In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Michael Moore discussed meeting Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez (see video).
Moore's anecdote was a bizarre fiction. Just harmless fun? Well, his 'embellished' account left Eva Golinger feeling less than amused.
Anyone who has ever traveled [sic] or been close to President Chávez knows very well that it is absolutely impossible to just “go knock on his door”. Presidential security lines the hallways, elevators and all entrance points. Take it from someone who knows first hand. Moore’s story is complete and utter fiction. Also the man Moore identified in the interview as Chávez’s “bodyguard” is actually Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro, but hey, all latinos look alike!
The tale continues. Moore says he entered the room and a “bottle and a half of tequila later”, he was writing Chávez’s speeches! Of course, Michael, all of us Latin Americans drink tequila! Man, he couldn’t even get his alcohol right in his fairy tale! Tequila is Mexican, Michael. Venezuela makes rum. Get it straight. And anyway, President Chávez does not drink at all and is well known for his anti-alcohol position. But in Moore’s story, latinos are all a bunch of partiers! No work, just party, drinks and fun at 2am! [...]
No tequila, no parties, no scandals, just a normal meeting between a head of state and an invited guest. In fact, the real meeting lasted three hours, without tequila. [...]
Moore’s declarations against President Chávez are offensive and insulting and a clear sign of his hipocresy [sic] and lack of ethic.
Moore's response has been to accuse Golinger of lacking a sense of humour, and to admit that Chávez does not drink. This, in tern, lead to Golinger making a passionate defence of Chávez.
All I'm saying is, if you have 5 minutes on national television in the US to talk about Venezuela or President Chávez, and you care or believe in the incredible changes and movements taking place in Venezuela and throughout Latin America, and you're talking about one of the world's most demonized and threatened leaders, at least say something - one thing - redeeming. One positive thing. One. But to use the gift of 5 minutes before millions of viewers who know little or nothing - or care little or nothing - about Venezuela and Chávez to make jokes and ridicule an already overly-ridiculed leader, it just doesn't do it for me.
We have had a coup d'etat in Venezuela, funded and designed by the Department of State and the CIA, numerous economic sabotages causing billions of dollars in damages to the economy, we have an ongoing, severe media war, paramilitary infiltration causing death and violence throughout the country - coming from neighboring Colombia where the US not only has invested almost $10 billion during the past 10 years in Plan Colombia, but also just entered into an agreement with the Colombian government to utilize 6 more Colombian military bases for US operations in the region and to allow US military and security forces FULL ACCESS to all Colombian military and police installations...There have been several, documented assassination attempts against Chávez during the past few years, and just last year, the US Government tried to place Venezuela on the list of "state sponsors of terrorism", but it didn't happen because they couldn't figure out - yet - how to still get the oil if we are truly classified as enemies.
And not to mention the complete absence of any information in US media about the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution and President Chávez's policies during the past ten years, which have resulted in free health care coverage for all 27 million Venezuelans; the eradication of illiteracy and the guarantee of all levels of education, from basic to graduate level, for free to all Venezuelans; the recuperation of national sovereignty and national industries, such as oil, in order to redistribute the wealth and attempt to reduce and eliminate poverty - to date extreme poverty has been reduced more than 30% in the past decade, under Chávez. Worker-run factories, cooperatives, community councils, indigenous people's land and language rights, women's institutes and banks, community banks, free distribution of books and reading materials, inclusion of national artists and culture in all aspects of government and social policies, and the list is endless, practically, of incredible advances and achievements on a social and economic level in Venezuela during the past 10 years. Millions of people previously invisible are now visible. Participation in every aspect of Venezuelan society - political, economic, social and cultural - is at almost a 100%. People feel that what they do, matters. These changes are absolutely extraordinary, and untold.
So, excuse my apparent "lack of humor", but Michael Moore could have at least taken one minute to say one thing good about Venezuela and Chávez, instead of doing what all those who want to diminish and devalue what is happening here always do - ridicule and make fun of Chávez, and manipulate and distort the facts.