Macon Mayor Jack Ellis has sent a declaration of “solidarity” to Hugo Chavez, the fiery populist leader of Venezuela who has labeled President Bush “the devil” and pals around the world stage with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Cuban President Fidel Castro…
“We commend President Chavez for the things he’s done in this country,” said Ellis, citing Chavez’s efforts to subsidize the cost of heating fuel for low-income residents of the United States. “We want to work for peace and harmony … through the mayors of Venezuela.”
Ellis said he sent the pledge to the South American nation by courier two to three weeks ago. Chavez on Sunday apparently read the proclamation during the weekly broadcast of his public television and radio show, “Al-, Presidente.”
According to venezuelanalysis.com, a Caracas, Venezuela-based Web site that aims to provide news and analysis of Venezuelan politics, Chavez spent a record-breaking eight-hour broadcast calling for “a global ‘alliance of civilizations’ to resist the attacks of U.S. imperialism.”
During the lengthy address, the Web site reports that Chavez “thanked Jack Ellis, mayor of the city of Macon, Georgia, in the US, for sending a declaration of solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, describing it as ‘within the framework of a human interchange and positive character. All is not lost.’ “
He added, ” ‘There are social organizations which rise and which will impel the change that the world requires,’ ” according to the Web site.
Community leaders in Macon seemed perplexed – but not necessarily surprised – by the mayor’s action.
“I think the term is ‘megalomania,’ ” said Councilwoman Brenda Youmas. “Well, it’s only August. You got three more months. … The best is yet to come.” …
The mayor said Chavez, through the country’s embassy in the United States, has offered to look at donating fuel to needy senior citizens in Macon. Venezuela, one of the world’s top producers of petroleum, controls the oil company Citgo.
Ellis said Chavez also has invited him to come to Venezuela, though a trip has not yet been scheduled.
“We’re working on that now,” Ellis said.
One suspects Mr. Ellis should book a one-way ticket.
Weirdly, the article doesn’t even mention Mayor Ellis’s “conversion” to Islam earlier this year.
In fact, he wants to change his name to Hakim Mansour Ellis.
But he said his religious preference had nothing to do with politics. It “just felt right.”
All too typically, however, the article also neglects to mention his honor’s political affiliation. (The “conversion” article didn’t either.)
Of course he is a Democrat.