So to recap, Al Qaeda, ecstacy consuming youth (and others whose milk and coffee is drugged), America, Egyptians and Tunisians are behind the unrest in Libya - that is; according to the one and only great Colonel Gaddafi, who, having only the day before threatened to show no mercy (and threatend to mete out the death penalty to protesters), now says he is just a 'symbolic leader', like Queen Elizabeth. Indeed, I am convinced - I've always wondered what Gaddafi's drag queen act was all about. Now I get it. Him and Queen Liz are kindred spirits apparently. The only problem is that I can't remember the last time Queen Liz threatened her subjects with the penalty of death, but I bet they can both ride the hell out of a horse.
Yet Latin America's leaders, the president of Venezuela (Nicolas Maduro), Argentina (Hugo Chavez), and ex-leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, have stood by Muammar Gaddafi's version of events ... that Western interests are formenting dissent in order to get their hands on Libya's oil. This would be believable if the situation were different, if traditional cold-war means of destabilisation were at work in Libya. But this clearly is not the case, and these prominent Latin American leaders, are revealing their own inability to grasp the changes that have gripped the middle east. Are they implying that the Libyan people can't possibly be behind this effort to secure their freedom from 42 year of rule? Are they implying that a man who cannot even put forward a believable explanation of what conspiracy is operating against him is fit to govern a people that he is massacring with weapons designed for conventional warfare.
I haven't yet seen a Libyan on tv who supports Gaddafi, apart from his sons - is this what our great Latin American 'leaders of the people' are suggesting that we, the youth of this world, deserve? Do we deserve dictatorships that operate in the 'name of the people' but which suck the lifeblood out of people, denying them any freedom to live as decent human beings within family run kleptocracies where leader's entire families have Swiss bank accounts, yet their people have no decent healthcare? Is this what Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro would prefer us to live under?
I am ashamed that I ever supported these leaders, and saw them as leaders who sought to represent the needs of their people before themselves. And yes, they themselves have been the subjects of conspiracy - there is no doubt about that - but when you stand by a leader who represents the worst of human qualities, whose delusions of grandeur are matched only by the blood that is being shed, you will eventually have to face responsibility for the stance you adopt. America itself stood by brutal dictators who brought about nothing but suffering and instability, and now we have seen Russia (both Putin and the toothless prime minister), and their ideologial counterparts in Latin America being called to account. Yet they act the same, sticking to their erstwhile power allegiances despite the facts.
And the facts are that the Libyan leadership has largely abandoned Gaddafi. Colonels, generals, ambassadors, aides to Gaddafi and his son, have all left in droves - how can the Latin American leaders pronounce solidarity under these circumstances? They should be ashamed of their inability to stand up for what is just - and if they aren't ashamed now, history will surely shame them. And just like Libyan troops once marched over the American Flag, the Libyan people will march over your flags, as in their darkest moment, you abandoned people for ideology (and not a very clear ideology at that) - you put the power of leaders over the power of the people. You chose to remain blind to those that are disappearing inside Libya, being gunned down in the streets, executed and bodies dumped at the side of the road, fired on by helicopter gunships and warplanes - this is what you will be remembered for; that you do not value human lives as you do the long winded words that come out of your mouths.
And when all of this is over you will be called to answer for your lack of courage to stand up against a deluded and dangerous leader who was massacring his people with abandon, with the sole reason of maintaining power for him and his family. How sick can you be?
There was always an ideological solidarity between the people of the global south that went beyond our national interests, to service the fundamental belief in the most admirable aspects of humanity. Indeed, when Cuba sent troops into Angola and drove South African troops out it effectively sounded the end of the Apartheid regime, and showed the world what true solidarity means - wars for humanity, not resources. Hugo Chavez, a celebrated man of the people, democratically elected to be the voice of the underclasses and the marginalised. Why are your voices so strangled now? Why do you support a farcical act, instead of the people?
You would prefer a dictator and his family to be in power? After all the speeches you have given, after all the objections you have made about the US propping up dictators, when faced with the same choice you act no differently. Power turns people to liars very quickly, for who can challenge a powerful liar? Are people in the middle east not human? Do they not deserve freedom from dictatorship and family rule? Which planet are you living on?