If you told me you associate Vladimir Putin with peace, I would tell you you’re really, really, really bad at word association.
Having said that, the president of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro seems to disagree. This week, he named the President of the Russian Federation as the inaugural winner of the Hugo Chavez Prize for Peace, introduced to honour the former socialist leader.
The honour was bestowed on the very same day that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded, which – unsurprisingly for most – Putin didn’t win, and wasn’t even nominated for.
“I’ve decided to create the Hugo Chavez prize for peace and the sovereignty. I think President Vladimir Putin deserves this award,” said President Maduro.
In Maduro’s mind, those 7,300 nuclear weapons that Putin has lying around are all in the name of peace, and his work in Syria and beyond has been more than enough to earn him the title of an exceptionally peaceful person.
The award is for those who have ‘excelled in the struggle for peace’. Perhaps there was some miscommunication, and it was supposed to be ‘struggled in accelerating peace’, but what’s done is done, and Vladimir Putin is now officially more peaceful than you and I.
Of course, this has nothing to do with the lovely relationship Russia has with Venezuela, nothing at all…