President Hugo Chavez was awarded the Moammar Gadhafi Human Rights Award this weekend according to a CNN report. The award was given to Chavez for resisting “imperialism” and being a champion of the poor. It also praised Chavez for his “brave heart, intelligent mind, eloquent oratory and firm hand.”
Well, let’s analyze the award and we will se that is actually quite well deserved. First of all, given Chavez’ record on human rights, it is quite fitting that he should win an award named after Gadhafi, since I am imagining it means human rights “Gadhafi style”, i.e. repression, intolerance, , persecution of reporters, threats against the media etc..
Second, champion of the poor is also very well deserved. When Hugo Chavez became President, according to the National Institute for Statistics there were 11.41 million people living in poverty in Venezuela. Today according to the same institute there are 14.50 million, thus Chavez deserves the title “Champion of the poor”, since he has helped create 3.1 million new ones in the last five years, despite oil prices increasing four fold.
Third, he was cited for his “eloquent oratory”, also well deserved, as every Sunday he talks for five or six hours and surprises Venezuelans two or three other times a week with two or three hours of improvised speeches.
Finally, the prize cites him for his “firm hand” which I imagine means exactly the opposite of tolerance, compassion, unity and democracy, where Chavez also has definitely not done a great job in the last five years.
Fidel Castro was a previous winner of the award, leaving no doubt as to why Chavez is being awarded this prize. Castro’s name, together with the namesake of the prize certifies who Hugo Chavez is and what he stands for.
Next year the prize may go to a “soft” choice in Jimmy Carter unless the committee decides to give it to the only one that can top Castro, Gadhafi and Chavez: Robert Mugawe. The problem is, if Mugawe gets it, how can the prize top itself in the future? In fact, if Mugawe wins it, shouldn’t they change the name of the prize and name it after him?