Bud Norris Thinks Foreign Players Need To Respect ‘America’s Game’ If They Want ‘Our American Dollars’

San Diego Padres pitcher Bud Norris wants to let foreign players know that if they’re going to come play his country’s game in his country and take his country’s money, then they better damn well act how his country wants them to act. 

A recent USA Today article analyzed “bench-clearing incidents” in Major League Baseball over the last five years and found that in 87 percent of the incidents, the “main antagonists hailed from different ethnic backgrounds.”

Informed of this statistic, Norris offered his, uh, interesting take on the situation:

White player to Latino players: "My cultural values are more important than yours." http://t.co/lr3kbIXZ17 pic.twitter.com/BhQlTkTF67

— Jon Tayler (@JATayler) September 30, 2015

Now that’s what we call a patronizing take at best and a xenophobic one at worst.

Norris first brings up the internationalization of baseball in the 21st century, referring to players who “come into our country and make our American dollars.” You’re excused if that conjures up memories of a notable “South Park” rant.

The problem is that while the sport has important origins in the United States, it’s been much more than America’s game for well over a hundred years. As writer Tomás Ríos notes:

The original Cuban League was founded in 1878. Organized ball has been in the DR for a century-plus. Pro ball in Japan started in the 1920s.

— Tomás Ríos (@TheTomasRios) September 30, 2015

The benefits of the game’s globalization — not to mention its racial and ethnic integration — are undeniable. They’ve increased the quality and competitiveness of the sport, as well as its popularity. And with so many people in so many places playing the sport, there is no one right way to play baseball.

Norris suggests that some players’ “antics,” as he calls them, are “a cultural thing.” Presumably, he thinks those who play the right way (read: white way) don’t share that culture. But more and more of baseball’s superstars are coming from foreign countries. The game is going to change along with them, even with pushback from players like Norris.

Misunderstandings can arise when some people are adjusting to a new country while holding down highly competitive jobs alongside co-workers with opinions like Norris’. Or as ESPN’s Bomani Jones notes, it might be that some players have just become a little too sensitive to other folks’ trash-talking and celebrating.

baseball, where they’drather protect grown men’s feelings rather than let ppl enjoy themselves. https://t.co/NGyfZPKmyK

— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) September 30, 2015

Norris concludes his argument by saying MLB’s newcomers “better have a pretty good understanding of what this league is.”

With so many international players excelling at their craft, breaking records and winning awards, it certainly seems like they have a great understanding of what the league is. Hopefully Norris will, too, someday. 

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What I Told My Kids When They Asked Why Dad Left

It’s a question no divorced parent wants to hear after a messy separation: “Why did dad (or mom) leave?”

What are you suppose to say in response to a question that heavy? A lite, kid-friendly version of the truth? That what’s happening is a grownup issue but you both still love them very much? 

Below, HuffPost Divorce bloggers and readers share the responses they gave their kids when faced with that heartbreaking question. 

1. I gave them a simple, age-appropriate response.  

“My children were very young. One was just an infant and the other was 4 years old. We sat him down and said, ‘Daddy has decided that he wants to live alone so you’ll have two houses now. And we love you and your sister very much so that will never change.'” – Dina S. 

2. I told them it was a grownup matter.

“I said, ‘Our relationship and the reason for our divorce is between Daddy and I. We both love you very much.’ Period. Saying that was the best advice I ever got from a counselor.” — Carolyn S.   

3. I told my daughter a version of the truth. 

“My daughter was a baby. He left me for another woman who he is married to now. My daughter is 8 now and I tell her the partial truth. I couldn’t get around it because she is a smart cookie. I didn’t lie but I reassured her of how much she is loved by me, her Dad and his wife and I told her that I want her to love them both. It took me a long time to get to this place but I’m glad I did.” — Ginen M.  

4. I reminded my child of the love we still share as a family. 

“I said, ‘Your Dad and I love you very much. We weren’t a great married couple but we parted as friends and will always work together to give you everything you need.'” – Honorée C.

5. I told my son the truth.

“Our son was 22. I told him the truth: His Dad had been cheating and had left me for the other woman.” — Rebecca C.  

6. I told them it was a mutual decision.

“My ex-husband blindsided all of us — me and the boys. He left without warning one night saying he didn’t love me after he’d already planned a three week business trip, with no opportunity for the family to talk. I held down the fort and although angry and hurt, I came to terms with divorce. When he returned, we told our sons it was a mutual decision, even though it was not. In the end, it’s what’s best. We said there would be no more fighting, that the divorce was not about them but about us as grown ups. They would have a happy mom and a happy Dad and to do that we needed to live apart. I have never bad-mouthed him. But they know he left and treated me poorly. They have asked if he doesn’t love me anymore. I simply say that people change sometimes in marriages, but no matter what we both love them. That’s the best I can do right now: love them and take care of them.” — Jenny K. 

7. I told them Daddy and Mommy were going in different directions in life.

“My children were very young. I told them that their Dad and I wanted different things. He wanted to live his life differently than me.” — Sarah P. 

8. I suggested they ask their Dad what happened.  

“I was lucky enough to be in counseling with my ex to learn how to co-parent. He explained to our triplet boys that what he had done was something a married man should never do and that was why we were getting divorced. When the boys ask me what Daddy did, I tell that that is something you need to discuss with your Dad. My motto is ‘better not bitter.'” – Janice S. 

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Congressman Wants To Heed Pope’s Advice, Open Obamacare To The Undocumented

WASHINGTON — Many undocumented immigrants who pay taxes would be able to access Obamacare under a long-shot bill introduced Wednesday by Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.).

The Affordable Care Act currently limits access to its exchanges and subsidies to those “lawfully present.” That means the approximately 11.3 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are not eligible for Obamacare, nor can they shop on the exchanges if their employer does not provide them with coverage. 

Gutiérrez’s bill would open the exchanges and extend the subsidies to undocumented immigrants who provide proof of state residency and tax filings. It would also subject everyone to Obamacare’s individual mandate, which doesn’t currently apply to those not lawfully present.  

“The goal is to make integration and inclusion real for millions of families that are locked out under current law,” Gutiérrez said on the House floor. “As it stands right now, undocumented immigrants are not subject to the individual mandate and cannot buy into health insurance exchanges even if they use their own money. My legislation will change that. It says that we stand for inclusion.”

If passed, the immigration reform advocate’s bill would take effect on Dec. 31, 2015, in time for 2016 enrollment, although his speech did not suggest optimism.

“I don’t think the speaker, even as a lame duck, will allow a vote,” Gutiérrez said, referring to the fact that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is stepping down at the end of October. 

Gutiérrez argued that his bill would strengthen the insurance pool and keep premiums low since undocumented immigrants tend to be young and healthy. According to the Migration Policy Institute, about 72 percent of undocumented immigrants are aged 19-44, compared to only 36 percent of the total U.S. population being aged 18-44.

Last year, California state Sen. Ricardo Lara (D) introduced similar legislation to open California’s exchange to the state’s estimated 1 million undocumented residents lacking insurance. He dropped the effort earlier this month, citing difficulty in rallying support. But the state’s health program for the poor, Medi-Cal, was extended this year to cover those under age 19 regardless of their immigration status. 

Introducing his bill on Wednesday, Gutiérrez cited the pope’s address to Congress last week. Pope Francis invoked the “Golden Rule,” urging lawmakers crafting immigration policy to treat people as they would want to be treated.  

“Doing unto others as you would have them do unto you means moving forward with no restrictions on which brother and sister and neighbor we think of as ‘eligible’ or ‘deserving’ or is, in fact, considered my neighbor, my sister or my brother,” Gutiérrez said.

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Here’s How The Latest Cover Of Philadelphia Magazine Should Have Looked

The editor of Philadelphia magazine recently apologized after releasing a cover that displays a striking lack of diversity.

The magazine’s October cover story tackles how parents can choose the best city school for their child. However, the photo promoting that story features a group of students who are conspicuously unrepresentative of the student body the School District of Philadelphia actually serves.

While Philadelphia is a majority black school district — 51.8 percent of students are African-American — you wouldn’t know it from this magazine cover. The specific school where the cover photograph was taken, Albert M. Greenfield Elementary School, is reportedly 31.4 percent black

Philadelphia schools are 52% black. Yet this was the cover of Philadelphia magazine: http://t.co/4b4F1bmvTd pic.twitter.com/EftAkw3Aoz

— Rubina Madan Fillion (@rubinafillion) September 30, 2015

The cover’s headline reads, “A City Parent’s Guide to Schools,” while the subhead says, “How to get your kid a great education … without moving to the ‘burbs.”

On Twitter, the cover generated pushback from readers who saw it as an attempt to marginalize the largest group of students served by Philly public schools. Some connected it to a 2013 piece that ran in the magazine, called “Being White in Philly,” which discussed race relations in the city but only featured the voices of white residents

 The magazine’s editors quickly responded to the backlash, posting an apology on the website. An excerpt from editor Tom McGrath’s apology reads:

“We blew it with the cover photograph (which we’ve chosen not to republish here). To include not even one African-American child on the cover fails to reflect not just the diversity that exists at the Greenfield School (where the photo was taken), but also that within the city of Philadelphia. I’ll offer no excuses here about process, etc.; at the end of the day, I chose this photo for the cover, and it was without question the wrong choice. I apologize for my failings in judgment and for our insensitivity … The magazine has always prided itself on taking on controversial subjects in Philadelphia. (Ironically, our upcoming December cover story focuses on racial bias on the Main Line.) But the October cover photo wasn’t some brave journalistic stand. It was a stupid, insensitive decision that I deeply regret.” 

In response, we have created our own version of what we think the Philadelphia magazine cover photograph should have looked like — one that reflects the city’s beautiful diversity. Below is our version:

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UFW — Women Heroes in the Shadow

Fifty years ago on Mexico’s Independence Day, September 16, 1965, the primarily Latino farm workers union joined the primarily Filipino agricultural workers union in the nation’s first successful farm workers strike. Over the following five years, workers walked from the fields, Cesar Chavez repeatedly fasted and led a march across California from Delano to Sacramento.

The farm workers engaged in a worldwide grape boycott. Finally, growers yielded and signed contracts with the farm workers union. The name Cesar Chavez has become known around the world as the farm-workers’ leader, but few are aware that the union’s effort would have been fruitless had it not been for a group of women heroes who not only were among the first strikers, facing arrest and jail, but also conducted the behind the scenes work necessary to create a union; not only women icons like Dolores Huerta, Helen Chavez and Jessica Govea, but women like Linda Legrete who oversaw the union’s national service center to handle daily problems farm workers face and Esther Uranday who is exemplary of these women heroes.

(Photo by Olivia Flores Jourdane — Esther Uranday at 40 Acres)

At forty acres last weekend, and in the local paper, Esther told her story. Now, 78-year-old Esther was 28 when in 1965 when she and her family walked from their jobs as Delano grape pickers at D.M.Steele Company. As a child, like Cesar Chavez, Esther and her family migrated throughout California from the Delano grape fields to the plums and apricot orchards s in what is now Silicon Valley. Her schooling ended before high school because she did not have clothes to wear to junior high. When the Filipino and Mexican workers went on strike in Delano, she was the first D.M.Steele employee to join the strikers. She went to the tiny United Farm Workers tiny office at 102 Albany Street in Delano and spoke with Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta. Cesar and Dolores sent Esther to the fields to organize. Rising at 3 a.m. she went from field to field talking with workers arriving to pick grapes. Her aim was to convince them that together they could improve the lives of themselves and their families. With 43 companions, 14 of them women, she was arrested for yelling outside a grape field “Strike” and “Huelga.” In the Kern County jail she saw that the arrested strikers were heroes for standing up to their cruel bosses.

At the Albany Street office, Esther became friends with Cesar’s wife Helen who oversaw the union’s credit union, one of the few benefits the union could immediately provide members. Soon, Dolores Huerta who wanted to return to the fields and organize workers saw something special in Esther and convinced her to take over Dolores’s job recording, union membership. Starting at the Albany Street union office, she moved to 40 acres when the union’s center shifted there over the following years. When Cesar asked Esther to supervise the union clinic, she told him she did not know what to do; she had not attended junior high school and had never worked in an office. Relying on the principle that carried the union to success, Cesar told Esther, “You can do it, Esther. Si se puede.” When the union entered contracts with growers several years later, Esther supervised the union’s hiring hall system. With pay of $5 a week, like all union staff, Esther had become a part of the union. When she saw a train loading grapes grown in Delano, they decided to stop the train. Fortunately for Esther, Cesar heard of her plan to lie on the tracks and told her, “Don’t lie on the tracks. You will likely be killed before you are arrested.”

When in 1970 after years of farm workers’ striking, fasting, marching, praying and persisting, Delano grape growers yielded and recognized the union, many thought the union work was over. But the women heroes like Esther soon learned that it had just begun. Farm workers had prevailed in the grapes, but there was lettuce and celery, citrus crops, apples, mushrooms and all agriculture where too many workers were treated like slaves. As Robert Kennedy Jr. noted at the fiftieth anniversary in Delano last week-end, laws Southern plantation owners relied on in the 1940s to oppress black farm workers were applied in California in the 1960s to oppress Filipino and Latino farm workers.

Talking with Esther on the grass at 40 acres while supporters thanked the 1965 strikers who walked off jobs, losing the income needed to buy food and pay rent, Esther reminded us that too many farm workers had lost their homes during the grape strike. When asked why the workers were willing to lose everything if they left their jobs, Esther reminded us that they were paid barely enough to buy beans and rice; there were no toilets in the field, women held it as long as they could and ultimately had to relieve themselves in the field where they worked. There often was no water and when there was, it meant scooping luke-warm liquid from a bucket with a cup on a string shared by the workers.

Over the past 50 years, the United Farm workers has grown. It has contracts representing farm workers across the western United States. In 1967, when the union was still in its infancy, Cesar Chavez told me in Delano’s Memorial Park that the working conditions of those who put food on our tables are unconscionable, but more important than the minimal amount of pay they receive and the toiling long hours in 105 degrees with no toilets or water, is our lack of respect for the work they do. Today, farm workers are still dying from working long hours in 105 degrees. They are still fighting for respect. In the words of the union president since the death of Cesar Chavez more than 20 years ago, Arturo Rodriguez, “Farm workers will prevail; they have hope.” Like Esther and the other women heroes learned from Cesar and Dolores, si se puede.

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Ted Kennedy Thought Harry Reid Didn’t Do Enough On Immigration Reform In 2007

WASHINGTON — The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) largely blamed Senate Democrats for the failure of immigration reform in 2007, according to an interview released on Wednesday.

In the October 2007 interview, given to the Miller Center at the University of Virginia for an oral history of his career, Kennedy painted a bleak picture of the Senate’s lackluster efforts to pass immigration reform, one of his main legislative priorities before his death in 2009. He even predicted it would “take another 45 years for someone else to get this thing passed” after his immigration bill died in 2007. Kennedy criticized Republican opposition as well as a “constantly tentative” response from Democratic leadership, reserving particularly harsh words for Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). 

“[Reid] was never really interested in it until the very end, and at the very end it was too late,” Kennedy said, according to a transcript posted by the Miller Center. The center on Wednesday released a series of interviews with Kennedy that took place between 2005 and 2008, in partnership with the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the Senate in Boston.

Kennedy accused Reid, then the majority leader, along with top Senate Democrats Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and “to some extent” Dick Durbin (Ill.), of focusing on the wrong things, such as whether they could avoid being “snookered” with a bad bill and whether blaming Republicans for the failure to pass reform would help Democrats win Latino votes.

“We want to do this enough so that we can get the Hispanic votes, but not enough so that we get our people caught in it,” Kennedy said, describing the thinking of Democratic leadership. 

Kennedy’s criticisms of the reform effort weren’t limited to Reid, Schumer and Durbin. He said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), then the minority leader, had “absolutely no intention of doing anything but sinking the bill.” A spokesman for McConnell did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

In the interview, Kennedy also described then-Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who worked with him on the bill, as “knowledgeable” and “forceful,” but said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was “very troublesome” in meetings. He accused many others of being absent from the process, including then-Sen. Barack Obama, who Kennedy said was “somewhat interested” in an earlier effort to pass reform in 2006, but “not around the second time because he was also running for president.”

Overall, Kennedy said, immigration, civil rights and gay rights brought out “the worst in terms of the functions of the Senate.”

“Immigration starts out as reasonably sanitized, and then — as we have seen recently, in 2006 and 2007 — basically deteriorates into racist amendments and racism on the floor of the Senate,” the Massachusetts senator lamented.

“It’s been dressed a different way, but I’ve said that it’s the same music we heard in the early ’60s with different words,” he added.

Kennedy wasn’t around for something that might have redeemed many of the senators he criticized: the comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013. That bill was championed by Reid and drafted by the so-called gang of eight: Durbin and Schumer along with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) Before the bill passed, Reid gave a floor speech saying he knew Kennedy “is looking at us proudly and loudly.”

The bill never got a vote in the House of Representatives, as a spokeswoman for Reid noted to The New York Times when reached for comment about Kennedy’s remarks. Reid is retiring at the end of his term as a champion of the immigration reform community, in spite of the tensions that followed the 2007 effort. 

Reid’s office did not respond to The Huffington Post’s request for comment. However, Schumer spokesman Matt House similarly defended the Democratic leadership’s commitment to immigration reform. 

“As Senator Kennedy said, Republicans had ‘absolutely no intention of doing anything but sinking the bill,'” he told HuffPost, referencing what Kennedy said about McConnell in the interview. “Still, Democrats put their full weight behind trying to get a bill passed in 2007, and eventually Senator Schumer helped lead the gang of eight to pass a bipartisan bill in the Senate six years later.”

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How One Spanish Letter Totally Changes The Meaning Of These 9 Words

The letter “ñ” gets no respect.

Pronounced “enye,” the fifteenth letter in the Spanish alphabet is often misused or completely left out of Spanish (or Spanglish) text messages, captions and social media status updates, be it due to human error or autocorrect. Either way, this is a huge problem.

When you replace an “ñ” with “n”, you can completely change the meaning of certain Spanish words and names. Oftentimes, those little swaps can be the difference between expressing a sweet sentiment and making a total fool of yourself. But don’t just take our word for it, see for yourself.

These nine words take on completely different meanings when you replace the “ñ” with the regular ole letter “n”. Can you think of any others? Share them in the comment section below. 


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18 Magical Images Of Women Pole Dancing Underwater

A photographer is illustrating body love and feminist sisterhood by photographing pole dancers. 

Photographer Sylvia Eng always loved to dance, but found that many types of dance privileged a smaller body type that she simply would never be able to obtain. Then she discovered pole dancing classes. 

The Toronto native instantly fell in love with pole dancing and the women involved in the classes.

“I have always found it really fascinating that a dance form that seems to have such a bad reputation for objectifying women was the place I found a sisterhood of strong feminists, and such amazing body image messages,” she told The Huffington Post.

To highlight this strong sisterhood of badass feminists, Eng asked her friends and teachers from the dance studio to pole dance underwater in order to capture the “beauty, sexiness and the diversity of the girls in our sisterhood.”

The results are dreamy and totally stunning. 

Eng said she was inspired to do the underwater pole dance shoot after she saw another photographer she admired do something similar. 

“I had two goals for my session, I wanted to feature my friends and show the many sides of pole dance,” Eng said. “I also wanted to give them — each of them an inspiration to me, each of them my little muses in a way — this gift back for all they have given me.”

She described pole dance as an empowering hobby that created a safe space for women to leave their body issues outside the studio. “I was shocked to realize that we never criticize or complain about our bodies,” Eng wrote in an August 2015 blog post. “We often idolize a trick another girl can do or lovingly tell her that her ass is to die for, but we never, ever verbalize a wish to have a different body. We never wish to be something we are not, we only ever wish to be stronger.”

Scroll below to see more of Eng’s gorgeous photographs:

Head over to Eng’s website to see more of her work. 

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Are We Cubans More Unruly Than Other Peoples?

Telephone with the handset ripped off
Telephone with the handset ripped off

“Nobody takes care of anything,” raged the lady in line at the cash register of a state butcher shop. She was referring to those who leave the refrigerators open or who put their shopping baskets on the glass counters. However, she didn’t seem to notice the lack of air conditioning, the stench coming from some of the freezers where the goods were spoiled, or the single employee taking payments, while the others looked on with their arms crossed. The customers are to blame, according to the feisty woman.

Social chaos has become a recurring theme in reports and interviews in the national media. Vandalism is blamed for everything, from problems with public transport buses to the deplorable state of planted areas. Official journalists raise the accusing finger more and more against the pillage, while barely addressing the educational and political system that has molded these citizens so bent on looting and destruction.

Social behavior is shaped by one’s environment. On a spotless floor, a clean sidewalk, in a cared-for city, many will imitate the environment and avoid dirtying, destroying or degrading it. Context greatly influences people’s attitude toward public spaces and common goods. But when the environment is dirty, assaulted by carelessness and becomes hostile, those who inhabit it will neither respect nor care for it.

Cubans are no more unruly than other human beings and yet, right now, a park filled with children’s play structures needs to be guarded like a bank, so that the swing seats, the iron from the carousels or the ropes from the climbing nets aren’t stolen. In poorly-lit areas of the city people defecate or urinate, microdumps rise in thousands of corners and a stream of dirty water can fall from any balcony, directly on pedestrians below.

The situation has gone on for so long that many have come to believe that it is in the DNA of our identity to not care for our surroundings. “This city couldn’t have a subway, because imagine the stink in those tunnels with people taking care of all their needs down there,” states a gentleman with the tint of a shabby official, while waiting at a bus stop.

With his words, the man suggested that we Cubans cannot enjoy the privileges of modernity and comfort, because we are unable to maintain them. However, this same “unredeemable exterminator” that we have become can get on a plane, go to New York or Berlin, and in two weeks in those place be throwing trash in the bins, not lighting up in public places, and cleaning the mud off their shoes before entering an office.

Vandalism is a problem present in all societies. Laws and control regulate it and keep it in check, but there it is. It is a part of our human nature that a moment of rage makes us take a blade and inscribe our name on a recently painted wall, or rip the fabric of a movie theater seat. Fines and other penalties should keep this vulture we all shelter within us from getting out of hand.

However, the context has to encourage people to care for things. It is not enough to call for discipline and formal education, the individual has to feel that it’s worth the trouble to preserve his or her surroundings. A street full of potholes, a late and overloaded bus, a sidewalk plunged into darkness, its single streetlight broken years ago, are the ideal components for depredation and pillage.

Many, like the lady who complained at the butcher’s, no longer perceive the scenario of constant attacks on the rights of consumers and citizens that our society presents. So accustomed to the abuse, the inefficiencies, the breakage and the high prices, they throw all the blame on those “unruly Cubans” who couldn’t “live anywhere without destroying it.”

14ymedio, Cuba’s first independent daily digital news outlet, published directly from the island, is available in Spanish here. Translations of selected articles in English are here.

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Venezuelan President Calls For U.N. To Impose Restrictions On War

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro urged world leaders Tuesday to create new rules governing the use of force in the wake of a series of violent conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa that have sparked a refugee crisis, as hundreds of thousands of people flee to Europe looking for safety.

Speaking for the annual gathering of heads of state at the United Nations General Assembly, Maduro said he supported a plan by proposed by Russian President Vladimir Putin to create an international coalition to coordinate foreign military action in Syria.

Arguing that the Middle East is more more violent and unstable than it was before U.S.-led military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, along with foreign military support of rebel groups in Syria, Maduro called on the U.N. to restrict the ability of powerful countries to wage war.

“We should take advantage, we believe, of the total and complete, tragic failure of these four wars,” Maduro said, drawing applause from the crowd. “So that from the Security Council, from the United Nations, we can move forward toward creating new rules that prohibit the use of interventionist methods to bring war, to sow terror, to bring destruction and death to people who are declared by the elites of the world to be undesirable people or enemies.”

Some 250,000 people have died in Syria since the fighting broke out in 2011. The violence there has fueled the largest refugee crisis facing Europe since World War II. 

While the Obama administration has refrained from sending American troops to Syria, Congress has authorized $500 million to finance rebel groups opposed to the Islamic State group.

Some of the weapons the U.S. sent to Syrian rebels were subsequently surrendered to an al Qaeda affiliate group, according to the BBC.

“Who is going to pay for the crimes committed against Libya, against Iraq, against Afghanistan?” Maduro said. “And Syria looks like a horror film, like those that they make in Hollywood.”

Maduro’s words may have some impact on the debate. Venezuela took a non-permanent, two-year seat on the U.N. Security Council this year, and Maduro says his government plans to press for diplomacy there. The Obama administration, which has veto power in the Security Council, has yet to comment on whether it would support the Russian military cooperation proposal.

Obama and Putin cast the blame on one another for exacerbating Syria’s crisis on Monday, with Obama faulting Putin for backing the authoritarian government of Bashar al-Assad and Putin arguing that al-Assad represented stability in a country fighting the Islamic State.

Watch some of Maduro’s comments, in Spanish, below. 

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