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Venezuela's Chavez ends royal wedding

by Laureano Marquez, translation Miguel Octavio*

*By popular request, here is a translation of Laureano Marquez' funny editorial in Tal Cual today, entitled "Chavez ends royal wedding." Madrid (EFE/TIO RICO).- Venezuelan President, Don Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, blocked this morning the celebration of the wedding, which had been scheduled for months, between Prince Felipe and Doña Letizia Ortiz, causing a grave diplomatic incident between the Spanish Crown and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. This pathetic incident was the last one in a long chain of mishaps caused by the Venezuelan leader, who after saying he would not attend, decided at the last minute to attend the nuptial event. This decision forced a delay in the wedding to allow President Chavez to arrive at the Almudena.

There he was, breaking all of the norms of protocol with a sort of red cassock and, on his head, a beret of the same color. King Juan Carlos and Doña Sofía did not hide their discomfort when the Venezuelan President entered, but with the discretion that characterizes them, they ignored the event. The situation turned a little tenser when Chavez, who was carrying a stuffed iguana (a sort of Venezuelan lizard) as a wedding present, with a red bow tied around the head of the dead animal, approached the bride, braking all protocol and handed it to her. The immediate intervention of the Royal Guard blocked the President from kissing the future princess, and he was led to a plastic chair placed at the last minute to sit him near the other Latin-American Presidents. Despite this, he shamed the bride by saying in a loud voice “Letizia, tonight you are going to get it” (Venezuelan expression which means you are going to screw). Once in his place, Chavez continued to interrupt the wedding when he greeted, with screams of “My brother, how is your vaina going?” (Venezuelan expression which means what’s up buddy) to the Presidents of Brazil and Argentina.

The moment of biggest tension took place just at the moment when the Archbishop of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco, pronounced the well-know liturgical formula at weddings where those present are asked if any of them oppose the act, indicating that they should “speak up now or be silent forever”. At that instant, the Venezuelan President, as if driven by a spring coil, jumped out of his seat and with two jumps was at the high altar, taking the microphone away from Monsignor Rouco. While the latter was stupefied, the Venezuelan President said: “I oppose it” and began a long winded speech in which he exposed the reasons to block the royal wedding. Among many other things, President Chávez said that what the world was watching there was “another example of the most rancid world oligarchs which oppress people and make nations poorer”. He also said that with all of the money being spent on the wedding he could have launched three Robinson plans in Venezuela” (Note: Plans to have people graduate from high school). The tensest moment occurred when alluding directly to the King; he accused him of having something to do with the Colombian paramilitary force caught in Caracas, which was detected about two weeks ago. He called Don Juan Carlos a “paraking”.

Immediately, he threatened with declaring war with Spain and warned that nation that 200 years ago Bolivar defeated a Borbón and “I would have no difficulty in defeating another one”

Lastly, he declared that the wedding had no validity because the wedding certificate of the civil ceremony celebrated a few days earlier in Madrid was of the same calligraphy or “plana”, not authentic and that Felipe and Letizia (he treated them with such familiarity) should go to the Constitutional Court of Spain to demonstrate that those signatures were effectively theirs.

By direct instructions of King Juan Carlos, the Royal Guard took the President outside of the Almudena. The King approached the Archbishop of Madrid to talk to him briefly and they agreed to postpone the wedding for the next day, while, from the door to the basilica, one could hear the deranged screams of the President challenging the King saying: “Juan Carlos, here I am waiting for you, come out to see if you are arrecho (tough guy in Venezuela)”. He stayed there screaming until the Guardia Civil took him directly to the airport.

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