The following is the complete unedited text of
the address to the United Nations by Hugo Chavez on September 20,
Representatives of the governments of the world, good
morning to all of you. First of all, I would like to invite you,
very respectfully, to those who have not read this book, to read
Noam Chomsky, one of the most prestigious American
and world intellectuals, Noam Chomsky, and this is one of his most
recent books, 'Hegemony or Survival: The Imperialist Strategy of
the United States.' [Holds up book,
waves it in front of General Assembly.] It's an excellent book to
help us understand what has been happening in the world throughout
the 20th century, and what's happening now, and the greatest threat
looming over our planet.
The hegemonic pretensions of the American empire are
placing at risk the very survival of the human species. We continue
to warn you about this danger and we appeal to the people of the
United States and the world to halt this threat, which is like a
sword hanging over our heads. I had considered reading from this
book, but, for the sake of time, [flips through the pages, which
are numerous] I will just leave it as a recommendation.
It reads easily, it is a very good book, I'm sure
Madame [President] you are familiar with it. It appears in English,
in Russian, in Arabic, in German. I think that the first people
who should read this book are our brothers and sisters in the United
States, because their threat is right in their own house.
The devil is right at home. The devil, the devil himself,
is right in the house.
And the devil came here yesterday. Yesterday the devil
came here. Right here. [crosses himself] And it smells of sulfur
Yesterday, ladies and gentlemen, from this rostrum,
the president of the United States, the gentleman to whom I refer
as the devil, came here, talking as if he owned the world. Truly.
As the owner of the world.
I think we could call a psychiatrist to analyze yesterday's
statement made by the president of the United States. As the spokesman
of imperialism, he came to share his nostrums, to try to preserve
the current pattern of domination, exploitation and pillage of the
peoples of the world.
An Alfred Hitchcock movie could use it as a scenario.
I would even propose a title: "The Devil's Recipe."
As Chomsky says here, clearly and in depth, the American
empire is doing all it can to consolidate its system of domination.
And we cannot allow them to do that. We cannot allow world dictatorship
to be consolidated.
The world parent's statement -- cynical, hypocritical,
full of this imperial hypocrisy from the need they have to control
They say they want to impose a democratic model. But
that's their democratic model. It's the false democracy of elites,
and, I would say, a very original democracy that's imposed by weapons
and bombs and firing weapons.
What a strange democracy. Aristotle might not recognize
it or others who are at the root of democracy.
What type of democracy do you impose with marines
The president of the United States, yesterday, said
to us, right here, in this room, and I'm quoting, "Anywhere
you look, you hear extremists telling you can escape from poverty
and recover your dignity through violence, terror and martyrdom."
Wherever he looks, he sees extremists. And you, my brother -- he
looks at your color, and he says, oh, there's an extremist. Evo
Morales, the worthy president of Bolivia, looks like an extremist
The imperialists see extremists everywhere. It's not
that we are extremists. It's that the world is waking up. It's waking
up all over. And people are standing up. I have the feeling, dear
world dictator, that you are going to live the rest of your days
as a nightmare because the rest of us are standing up, all those
who are rising up against American imperialism, who are shouting
for equality, for respect, for the sovereignty of nations.
Yes, you can call us extremists, but we are rising
up against the empire, against the model of domination.
The president then -- and this he said himself, he
said: "I have come to speak directly to the populations in
the Middle East, to tell them that my country wants peace."
That's true. If we walk in the streets of the Bronx,
if we walk around New York, Washington, San Diego, in any city,
San Antonio, San Francisco, and we ask individuals, the citizens
of the United States, what does this country want? Does it want
peace? They'll say yes.
But the government doesn't want peace. The government
of the United States doesn't want peace. It wants to exploit its
system of exploitation, of pillage, of hegemony through war.
It wants peace. But what's happening in Iraq? What
happened in Lebanon? In Palestine? What's happening? What's happened
over the last 100 years in Latin America and in the world? And now
threatening Venezuela -- new threats against Venezuela, against
He spoke to the people of Lebanon. Many of you, he
said, have seen how your homes and communities were caught in the
crossfire. How cynical can you get? What a capacity to lie shamefacedly.
The bombs in Beirut with millimetric precision?
This is crossfire? He's thinking of a western, when
people would shoot from the hip and somebody would be caught in
This is imperialist, fascist, assassin, genocidal,
the empire and Israel firing on the people of Palestine and Lebanon.
That is what happened. And now we hear, “We're suffering because
we see homes destroyed.”
The president of the United States came to talk to
the peoples -- to the peoples of the world. He came to say -- I
brought some documents with me, because this morning I was reading
some statements, and I see that he talked to the people of Afghanistan,
the people of Lebanon, the people of Iran. And he addressed all
these peoples directly.
And you can wonder, just as the president of the United
States addresses those peoples of the world, what would those peoples
of the world tell him if they were given the floor? What would they
have to say?
And I think I have some inkling of what the peoples
of the south, the oppressed people think. They would say, "Yankee
imperialist, go home." I think that is what those people would
say if they were given the microphone and if they could speak with
one voice to the American imperialists.
And that is why, Madam President, my colleagues, my
friends, last year we came here to this same hall as we have been
doing for the past eight years, and we said something that has now
been confirmed -- fully, fully confirmed.
I don't think anybody in this room could defend the
system. Let's accept -- let's be honest. The U.N. system, born after
the Second World War, collapsed. It's worthless. Oh, yes, it's good
to bring us together once a year, see each other, make statements
and prepare all kinds of long documents, and listen to good speeches,
like Abel's yesterday, or President Mullah's . Yes, it's good for
And there are a lot of speeches, and we've heard lots
from the president of Sri Lanka, for instance, and the president
But we, the assembly, have been turned into a merely
deliberative organ. We have no power, no power to make any impact
on the terrible situation in the world. And that is why Venezuela
once again proposes, here, today, 20 September, that we re-establish
the United Nations.
Last year, Madam, we made four modest proposals that
we felt to be crucially important. We have to assume the responsibility
our heads of state, our ambassadors, our representatives, and we
have to discuss it.
The first is expansion, and Mullah talked about this
yesterday right here. The Security Council, both as it has permanent
and non-permanent categories, (inaudible) developing countries and
LDCs must be given access as new permanent members. That's step
Second, effective methods to address and resolve world
conflicts, transparent decisions.
Point three, the immediate suppression -- and that
is something everyone's calling for -- of the anti-democratic mechanism
known as the veto, the veto on decisions of the Security Council.
Let me give you a recent example. The immoral veto
of the United States allowed the Israelis, with impunity, to destroy
Lebanon. Right in front of all of us as we stood there watching,
a resolution in the council was prevented.
Fourthly, we have to strengthen, as we've always said,
the role and the powers of the secretary general of the United Nations.
Yesterday, the secretary general practically gave
us his speech of farewell. And he recognized that over the last
10 years, things have just gotten more complicated; hunger, poverty,
violence, human rights violations have just worsened. That is the
tremendous consequence of the collapse of the United Nations system
and American hegemonistic pretensions.
Madam, Venezuela a few years ago decided to wage this
battle within the United Nations by recognizing the United Nations,
as members of it that we are, and lending it our voice, our thinking.
Our voice is an independent voice to represent the
dignity and the search for peace and the reformulation of the international
system; to denounce persecution and aggression of hegemonistic forces
on the planet.
This is how Venezuela has presented itself. Bolivar's
home has sought a nonpermanent seat on the Security Council.
Let's see. Well, there's been an open attack by the
U.S. government, an immoral attack, to try and prevent Venezuela
from being freely elected to a post in the Security Council.
The imperium is afraid of truth, is afraid of independent
voices. It calls us extremists, but they are the extremists.
And I would like to thank all the countries that have
kindly announced their support for Venezuela, even though the ballot
is a secret one and there's no need to announce things.
But since the imperium has attacked, openly, they
strengthened the convictions of many countries. And their support
Mercosur, as a bloc, has expressed its support, our
brothers in Mercosur. Venezuela, with Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay,
Uruguay, is a full member of Mercosur.
And many other Latin American countries, CARICOM,
Bolivia have expressed their support for Venezuela. The Arab League,
the full Arab League has voiced its support. And I am immensely
grateful to the Arab world, to our Arab brothers, our Caribbean
brothers, the African Union. Almost all of Africa as expressed its
support for Venezuela and countries such as Russia or China and
I thank you all warmly on behalf of Venezuela, on
behalf of our people, and on behalf of the truth, because Venezuela,
with a seat on the Security Council, will be expressing not only
Venezuela's thoughts, but it will also be the voice of all the peoples
of the world, and we will defend dignity and truth.
Over and above all of this, Madam President, I think
there are reasons to be optimistic. A poet would have said "helplessly
optimistic," because over and above the wars and the bombs
and the aggressive and the preventive war and the destruction of
entire peoples, one can see that a new era is dawning.
As Silvio Rodriguez says, the era is giving birth
to a heart. There are alternative ways of thinking. There are young
people who think differently. And this has already been seen within
the space of a mere decade. It was shown that the end of history
was a totally false assumption, and the same was shown about Pax
Americana and the establishment of the capitalist neo-liberal world.
It has been shown, this system, to generate mere poverty. Who believes
in it now?
What we now have to do is define the future of the
world. Dawn is breaking out all over. You can see it in Africa and
Europe and Latin America and Oceanea. I want to emphasize that optimistic
We have to strengthen ourselves, our will to do battle,
our awareness. We have to build a new and better world.
Venezuela joins that struggle, and that's why we are
threatened. The U.S. has already planned, financed and set in motion
a coup in Venezuela, and it continues to support coup attempts in
Venezuela and elsewhere.
President Michelle Bachelet reminded us just a moment
ago of the horrendous assassination of the former foreign minister,
And I would just add one thing: Those who perpetrated
this crime are free. And that other event where an American citizen
also died were American themselves. They were CIA killers, terrorists.
And we must recall in this room that in just a few
days there will be another anniversary. Thirty years will have passed
other horrendous terrorist attack on the Cuban plane, where 73 innocents
died, a Cubana de Aviacion airliner. And where is the biggest terrorist
of this continent who took the responsibility for blowing up the
plane? He spent a few years in jail in Venezuela. Thanks to CIA
and then government officials, he was allowed to escape, and he
lives here in this country, protected by the government.
And he was convicted. He has confessed to his crime.
But the U.S. government has double standards. It protects terrorism
when it wants to.
And this is to say that Venezuela is fully committed
to combating terrorism and violence. And we are one of the people
who are fighting for peace.
Luis Posada Carriles is the name of that terrorist
who is rotected here. And other tremendously corrupt people who
escaped from Venezuela are also living here under protection: a
group that bombed various embassies, that assassinated people during
the coup. They kidnapped me and they were going to kill me, but
I think God reached down and our people came out into the streets
and the army was too, and so I'm here today.
But these people who led that coup are here today
in this country protected by the American government. And I accuse
the American government of protecting terrorists and of aving a
completely cynical discourse.
We mentioned Cuba. Yes, we were just there a few days
ago. We just came from there happily.
And there you see another era born. The Summit of
the 15, the Summit of the Nonaligned, adopted a historic resolution.
This is the outcome document. Don't worry, I'm not going to read
But you have a whole set of resolutions here that
were adopted after open debate in a transparent matter -- more than
50 heads of state. Havana was the capital of the south or a few
weeks, and we have now launched, once again, the group of the nonaligned
with new momentum.
And if there is anything I could ask all of you here,
my companions, my brothers and sisters, it is to please lend your
good will to lend momentum to the Nonaligned Movement for the birth
of the new era, to prevent hegemony and prevent further advances
And as you know, Fidel Castro is the president of
the nonaligned for the next three years, and we can trust him to
lead the charge very efficiently.Unfortunately they thought, Oh,
Fidel was going to die." But they're going to be disappointed
because he didn't. And he's not only alive, he's back in his green
fatigues, and he's now presiding the nonaligned.
So, my dear colleagues, Madam President, a new, strong
movement has been born, a movement of the south. We are men and
women of the south.
With this document, with these ideas, with these criticisms,
I'm now closing my file. I'm taking the book with me. And, don't
forget, I'm recommending it very warmly and very humbly to all of
We want ideas to save our planet, to save the planet
from the imperialist threat. And hopefully in this very century,
in not too long a time, we will see this, we will see this new era,
and for our children and our grandchildren a world of peace based
on the fundamental principles of the United Nations, but a renewed
And maybe we have to change location. Maybe we have
to put the United Nations somewhere else; maybe a city of the south.
We've proposed Venezuela.
You know that my personal doctor had to stay in the
plane. The chief of security had to be left in a locked plane. Neither
of these gentlemen was allowed to arrive and attend the U.N. meeting.
This is another abuse and another abuse of power on the part of
the Devil. It smells of sulfur here, but God is with us and I embrace
you all. May God bless us all. Good day to you.