They ought to make a movie about Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s aging and ailing Dictator Fidel Castro’s daring and adventurous lives. Here is the pitch: the head of state of an oil-rich South American country joins forces with historical foe of the last remaining world superpower. The two share hair-brained policies at the expense and wellbeing of their countrymen, and to the embarrassment of mankind.
Chavez, as a modern version of Marco Polo, strikes up an arms deal with the Chinese that results in the delivery of a handful of unneeded patrol boats and outdated helicopters.
Chavez then addresses the United Nations, calling U.S. President George W. Bush the devil and predicting a defeat of a U.S. invasion of Venezuela. Problem is, that the invasion only exists in the deluded mind of Chavez-regardless, Venezuela has called up its reserves and National Guard (Castro had pulled a similar stunt shortly after he took power in a UN visit in 1959, minus the devil insult, although he did eventually insult J.F.K. referring to him being as dumb as a donkey. Kennedy then asked in how many different languages Castro desired a response).
A week later, CNN broadcasts a piece on Chavez passing out of new still-in-the-box AK-47 assault rifles to his troops. One scene has Chavez handing a rifle to a toothless old woman who can hardly hold the thing up. Later, a resident of an impoverished Caracas outskirt was explaining how the narrow alleys of the neighborhood would channel U.S. Marines into ambushes (Similarly, Castro has forecasted a U.S. invasion for over 45 years now, and most of the militia folk he passed rifles out to are either dead or in Miami).
The movie version of the above events may differ, but the scenes would center on the public mishaps of the two men and their disregard for all that is advisable. I have a name for the movie, but I’m afraid that it is spoken for. It seems that irrational, immature and irresponsible acts by grown men have already been made into a movie, but I still can’t think of a better title than “Jackass.”
Octavio Ramos is a doctoral candidate and graduate teaching assistant in the history department. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.