That started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see
That the joke was on me
I Started a Joke, The Bee Gees, 1968
In a relaxed atmosphere, Chávez joked with Lula by saying that Venezuela was going through a phase of “nationalizations, except for Brazilian companies (in Venezuela)” which caused generalized laughter at the meeting.
- Argentine press were also present.
- Argentine press that don’t like Chávez
- And Argentina is just 31 days away from the polls in its hotly contested senate elections
Once it got to the point of the Argentine industrial union (the biz bigwigs association there) calling for a bar on Venezuela as a Mercosur partner, Klishtina got on the phone to Chávez and asked him about his comments that seem to “involve certain discrimination”. It was only at that point that Hugo realized what he’d done (i.e. had the temerity to crack a joke and treat those present as adults…big mistake when it comes to reporters in South America) and so this afternooon he got his diplo corps to issue a formal communicado that officially tells in official language just how much Venezuela respects Argentina and they’d never do anything to piss them off and it was all a smear campaign by certain sectors of the press etc etc read it here if you like…letterheaded paper and everything.
Moral of the story: Don’t crack jokes in the presence of dumbasses with recording equipment, teeline skills and editors with agendas.