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Damn Yankees

Chavez is all thumbs.
Chavez is all thumbs.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez held a news conference on September 10 in Caracas and said the following in a mixture of Spanish and English:

"Russian strategic bombers, Tu-160s, have landed in Venezuela. Yes, yes! So, that way it hurts the Yankees."

Chavez is rarely restrained in thumbing his nose at the United States. But it appears that the Russian television news station RTR wanted him to keep his thumbs in his pockets.

In their coverage the next day, RTR ran the same sound bite.

The first sentence had the correct translation into Russian.

But the part about "hurting the Yankees" was missing. It could be vaguely heard in Spanish in the background, but the Russian voiceover skipped past it and went to Chavez's next sentence about wanting to fly one of those "bugs" himself.

It's not clear why, but it looks like Chavez's anti-American crack bugged somebody in Moscow.

-- Bruce Jacobs

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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