Chavez: send Bush to the ICC, not Bashir

Colonel Qaddafi isn’t the only bombastic leader making a lot of noise at the Arab Summit in Doha. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won the summit’s only mid-speech applause with his claim that the arrest warrant for Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, was “a legal eyesore and a political abuse.” Chavez fiercely criticized the International Criminal Court ...

By , International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.
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President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez attends the opening session of the 2nd Arab-South American countries summit in Doha, on March 31, 2009. Chavez slammed as a "judicial horror" an international arrest warrant issued against Sudan's President Omar al-Beshir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. AFP PHOTO/MARWAN NAAMAIN (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

Colonel Qaddafi isn't the only bombastic leader making a lot of noise at the Arab Summit in Doha. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won the summit's only mid-speech applause with his claim that the arrest warrant for Sudan's leader, Omar al-Bashir, was "a legal eyesore and a political abuse." Chavez fiercely criticized the International Criminal Court for issuing the warrant against the Sudanese president for crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan. He invited the accused to visit him in Caracas.

The Chavez reply to such an insult to the global south?

Colonel Qaddafi isn’t the only bombastic leader making a lot of noise at the Arab Summit in Doha. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won the summit’s only mid-speech applause with his claim that the arrest warrant for Sudan’s leader, Omar al-Bashir, was “a legal eyesore and a political abuse.” Chavez fiercely criticized the International Criminal Court for issuing the warrant against the Sudanese president for crimes committed in Darfur, Sudan. He invited the accused to visit him in Caracas.

The Chavez reply to such an insult to the global south?

“[W]hy do not they order the arrest of (former US president George W.) Bush, who is a genocidal murderer who ruled the United States for eight years and ordered bombing Iraq?”

The bad news for Chavez: On the Sudan warrant, he doesn’t speak for everyone in the “global south.” While the Arab Summit has stood behind Bashir, regional leaders, such as Chile’s Michele Bachelet, favor the court.

No matter — Chavez has a way of allying himself with whoever the West (and particularly the United States) does not. Besides, by the time he had criticized Chile, Chavez was already moving on. Time for a petro-currency aside from the dollar! Time for the south to unite in opposition to failing economies of the G20! Time for Chavez to travel the world!

Too bad Chavez doesn’t seem to have any time to read up on his shrinking goverment coffers.

MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images

Elizabeth Dickinson is International Crisis Group’s senior analyst for Colombia.

Tag: ICC

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