The incident occurred at the XVII Ibero-American Summit in Santiago de Chile. The President of the Spanish Government, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was speaking. While this was happening, Chávez did not stop interrupting ex-president José María Aznar with descriptions of “fascist”. Zapatero demanded respect for the former president, the response being more interruptions from the Venezuelan president. Finally, the emeritus turned to Chávez and pronounced the famous plea and asks "Why don't you shut up?" at the same time that he demanded that he shut up.
The bad relations between Hugo Chávez and José María Aznar went back a long way. They worsened after the coup d'état in Venezuela in 2002 by the joint declaration of the governments of the United States and Spain. They got worse when, after Aznar's mandate, information began to come to light that linked Aznar and his government to a possible support for that coup d'état. Specifically, on November 22, 2004, the new head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the new Zapatero Executive, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, declared that Aznar had given instructions to the Spanish ambassador in Venezuela to support the coup of State in April 2002. Accusations later endorsed when the former Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations, Jorge Castañeda, revealed that Colombia, Spain, the United States and El Salvador supported said military insurrection. To this was added the support for these statements by the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Chile, Soledad Alvear.
Indeed, that incident went down in the history of political-diplomatic confrontations but it had, and still has, another side that we are showing now. We are referring to the conversion of that incident and specifically to “Why don't you shut up?” in a social phenomenon, of social networks and the Internet. The phrase spread, was replicated, imitated, and was adapted dizzyingly in the form of mockery, parodies, television programs, ringtones on mobile phones, and even became the title of television programs in Argentina and Spain.
Social impact: from Sabina to Mariano Peluffo in Argentina
The main phrase of the incident became the front page of different Spanish-language newspapers. As a curiosity, President Zapatero commented that after his arrival in Spain from the Summit in Chile, his own daughter reminded him of the fact and commented on the already famous phrase. It also had a great impact among artists and musicians, echoing the phrase from Joaquín Sabina to Joan Manuel Serrat. In Argentina it was used in television programs such as the one on the Telefé channel, hosted by Mariano Peluffo.
Eurovision and merchandising of the phrase
The Eurovision Song Contest was not spared from this reply. In its 2008 edition, the song that represented Spain, "Baila el Chiki-chiki" by Rodolfo Chikilicuatre included this phrase in its lyrics.
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It is well known that the “Why don't you shut up?” was used by the president of Peru, Alan García, in response to some comments by the president of Bolivia, Evo Morales. Such was the impact that it even reached the merchandising industry, manufacturing and selling everything from flags to scarves to t-shirts with the phrase that were accompanied by the colors of the Spanish flag or the face of the king emeritus.
From 'Eight Basque surnames' to a Japanese series
The cinema could not be outside the repercussion of the phrase. He appears in the highest-grossing Spanish film, Ocho apellidos vascos in 2014. In one scene, a scarf with the Spanish flag and the phrase stamped on it can be seen next to a television. But he crossed oceans reaching the "country of the rising sun." In the Japanese animated series Hetalia: Axis Powers, its characters represent the countries of the world wearing a Spanish T-shirt with the phrase of the king emeritus.
Repercussion on the Internet
But it was on the Internet and on social networks where the phrase circulated at enormous speed and extent. YouTube saw how thousands of videos were uploaded with enormous speed capturing the moment of the confrontation with Hugo Chávez. At the same time, adaptations of puppets, photomontages and even a singular reggaeton were created. In blogs and Internet forums and social networks such as Hi5 and Facebook massively recorded the "why don't you shut up?".
Web and SMS domain
The domain http://www.porquenotecallas.com was registered and later auctioned and sold for more than 10,000 dollars, although Ebay had to cancel said auction for committing a violation of intellectual property rights on one of the most representative icons of Spanish popular culture, the Osborne bull. Later, the owner of this domain held a second auction, reaching the figure of 852 euros. On the same day, all the domains of the remaining denominations were registered. A few days later, different SMS derivations began to register as “xknotecallas.com”.