Hugo Chavez, Michenelli, Police gizmos

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A day of wacky news. First all the media and the blogosphere were in maximum hype mode about a spat between Hugo Chavez and Alfaro Uribe at the Cancún summit. "Be a man!" yelled Uribe. "Vete al carajo!" replied Chavez.

What is "carajo" exactly? Otto from Inca Kola News explains:

On a ship, "carajo" is Spanish for "bird's nest", the little spot at the top of the tall mast where some sailor sits as look-out. In the days of the tallships, pirates, plundering, conquistadores and all that jazz, one of the punishments used by the ship's captain on a long transatlantic voyage was to send sailors to the bird's nest for an extended period; no water, no food, exposed to direct sunlight etc. Since that time, the punishment order, "Go To The Bird's Nest!" (in Spanish 'vete al carajo') has passed into Spanish slang as a "screw you" type of insult.

Now that we know that, what did Chavez himself have to say about it? He spoke extensively with CNN's Carmen Aristegui, and you can see part one here.

And here's part two:

And if you listen, halfway more or less he describes running into Panama's president Micheletti in the men's room. And he continues to make the mistake, until he finally apologizes. Micheletti, if you remember, was that oligarch wingnut who mongered the Honduran coup last year with almost no international support but applauded by most of the American "expat" community. A Freudian slip by Chavez?

And that while La Estrella reported, worriedly, that Panama is getting closer to Chavez!

Anyway, that brings us back home, and the latest here is that the Defensor del Pueblo (ombudsman) has now said the police gizmo use we wrote about earlier should be suspended until they have their database in order - which will be never.

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