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Katrina: Hugo Chavez offers aid and insults

From Reuters:

"That government had no evacuation plan, it is incredible, the first power in the world that is so involved in Iraq ... and left its own population adrift," [Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez] said in a cabinet meeting broadcast live on television.

"That man, the king of vacations ... the king of vacations in his ranch said nothing but, you have to flee, and didn't say how ... that cowboy, the cowboy mentality," said Chavez, chuckling in a reference to Bush without naming him directly.

Glad he's enjoying himself. If this story gets around, I wonder if people are going to cut Pat Robertson some slack.

Not that Venezuelans are all that clever:

In December 1999, rainstorms induced thousands of landslides along the Cordillera de la Costa, Vargas, Venezuela. Continuous rainfall during the first 2 weeks of December was followed by a major storm on December 14 through 16. Rainfall for this period totaled nearly 1,200 mm. Debris flows and flash floods on alluvial fans inundated coastal communities, caused severe property destruction, and resulted in a catastrophic death toll of as many as 19,000 people.

Two weeks of rainfall. Two weeks of warning. Two weeks to get out of the way.

I bring this up to remind everyone that hindsight is 20/20. Most people realize that and keep their yaps shut lest they appear insensitive and stupid.

I guess Chavez isn't most people.

Still, Chavez shows he's a man of compassion:

The Venezuelan president, applauded by supporters for his self-proclaimed socialist revolution to fight poverty, has offered to send cheap fuel, humanitarian aid and relief workers to the disaster area.

I'm sure someone at the State Department will be very gracious in declining the offer.

It's more courtesy than Chavez deserves.

[Add Hugo Chavez to the list of people trying to score some cheap political points, at home and abroad. Other international reaction.]

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