Hugo Chavez: Never lost for words
In power for 14 years, the late leader of the New Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Chavez, has left enough memorable quotes for his successors. Part of his political legacy, some of the phrases showing great wit and sense of humor have made history.
“No part of the human community can live entirely on its own planet, with its own laws of motion and cut off from the rest of humanity.”
“I hereby accuse the North American empire of being the biggest menace to our planet.”
“We must confront the privileged elite who have destroyed a large part of the world.”
“We're not perfect, but we do have democracy.”
“It wouldn’t be strange that there had been civilization on Mars, but once capitalism got there it would finish the planet.” (2011)
“I think we are suffering from political impotence. We need political Viagra." (2006)
"We’ve been around for 500 years and never shut up, much less to a monarch. The king is the head of state just like me. The only difference is I've been elected three times with 63 per cent. We are equal as heads of state, be it the leader of the Indian State Evo Morales or King Juan Carlos of Spain.” (2007, to the demand of King Juan Carlos I of Spain to be quiet during the XVII Ibero-American Summit in Chile).
"Yesterday the devil came here. Right here. [crosses himself]
This place still smells of sulfur." (after getting to the
rostrum at the UN General Assembly the day after then-US President
George W. Bush in 2006)
"Come here, Mr. Danger, coward, murderer, you’re a mass murderer, you’re an alcoholic, you’re drunk, you’re immoral, you are the worst, Mr. Danger, you’re a sick, I know it personally…You're a fool, Mr. Danger, or to tell you in my bad English - you are a donkey, Mr. George W. Bush… You are the worst I have seen on this planet. God save the world from this threat.” (on the US president in 2006).
"Israel criticizes Hitler a lot, so do we, but they’ve done something very similar, even worse, than what the Nazis did.” (visiting Iran in 2006)
“The Holocaust, that is what is happening right now in Gaza…The president of Israel at this moment should be taken to the International Criminal Court together with the president of the United States.” (2009)
“Fascists are not human. A snake is more human.”
Economic issues and social justice
"Being rich is bad and inhumane. So condemn the rich.” (2005)
"Much of Europe’s wealth comes from the mineral riches of the new world, which fed the coffers of the monarchies of Europe.” (2007)
“The world has enough for everybody, but some minorities, the descendants of the same people that crucified Christ, and of those that expelled Bolívar from here and in their own way crucified him . . . have taken control of the riches of the world.”
"If you get up at three in the morning to go to the bathroom, man, why you have to turn on that little light? Put the torch there on the nightstand.” (2009, when announcing more measures to alleviate the energy crisis)
"If I keep quiet, the stones would cry out for the people of Latin America who are willing to be free after 500 years of colonialism."
"The eagle does not hunt the fly."
"Next year I'm sure you're going to reelect the president for six years. And in 2019, though I said I was going to go, I won’t either. 2019-2024, 2024-2030, so here we go with the favor of God and the Virgin.”
"It is a victory of shit and our defeat. Call it a defeat, but of courage, value and dignity.” (on his defeat in the referendum for constitutional reform in 2007).
"I bring in my heart the weeping and crying Caribbean Orinoco.” (expression of his grief over the death of former Argentine President Nestor Kirchner, 2010).
"Childbirth is full of optimism, full of light, of faith in Christ, of battling and overcoming.”
“Would it be so strange that they've invented technology to spread cancer and we won't know about it for 50 years?”