Forwarded from Walter Lippman

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Apr 18 12:48:39 MDT 2002

I'm pleased to announce that two of my photographs of Cuba and a link to my
TWO MONTHS IN CUBA essay have been posted today MSNBC's website.

Follow the link and scroll down to the story: "Cuba, where time has
stopped" (


BABEL'S GUIDE April 17, 2002

The following are notes on Francisco Aruca's radio discussion of the
defeated coup in Venezuela which you can and should listen to in archived
form now available at his site.

Cuban-Americans who speak English and others people interested in Cuban
affairs can always hear an informed discussion of Cuban affairs and topics
of interest to Cuba, Cuban- Americans and the Cuban diaspora generally by
listening to Miami businessman Francisco Aruca's radio program Babel's
Guide. Four days a week, Tuesday through Friday, Aruca comments on
political issues and takes calls from listeners on issues of interest.

Venezuela has been of burning interest to Aruca and his listeners during
the recent two days. Here are some notes on the program for Tuesday April
17, 2002.

Aruca explains how journalists are now looking for links between the Bush
team and the coup in Venezuela. Today they have changed stories and now
deny what they admitted yesterday, that Otto Reich had spoken with Pedro
Carmona during his few hours as "president" of Venezuela.

Aruca believes that media in Venezuela faced problem that masses felt
abandoned by media there. Some of the media admit they must reflect on what
they missed.

It's like what happens in the US, in Miami. We pay consequences for that in
the U.S. where people are more used to getting news from other sources.
This is much less true in Venezuela where people are poorer and less used
to the many options we have in the U.S.

El Nuevo Herald's role as the dominant source of information for people in
Miami whose first language is Spanish. El Nuevo's role is similar to, and
based on the same thinking which the Venezuelan media use to carry out
their role.

These media are controlled by narrow-minded people, with lots of media
influence in Latin America which is placed behind specific political
parties. We see that in Miami with right-wing Cuban exiles playing an
exaggerated role in the political life of the community. [Think: "Elian:-wl]

Mexico's LA JORNADA reported Tuesday on the possible links between Bush and
Venezuela coup. Excellent article based on Stratfor (also reported in
Granma) described by Barrons magazine as a "private CIA"). He discusses the
Stratfor report in very great detail.

The Venezuelan media, which played a powerful role to mobilize the
opposition to Chavez, quickly went silent about politics and began to show
programming such as cooking shows and movies from Hollywood, rather than
report on the events unfolding right there in Caracas.

They did not report about the mobilized people of Venezuela who were
supporting Chavez, and likewise did not report the many Chavez backers who
were killed during the brief time Carmona was in "office".

Aruca then discusses the Otto Reich connection to the events in Venezuela.
He notes that the New York Times reporter Christopher Marquez formerly
worked for the Miami Herald. Marquez further followed up on the Reich
connection in a second article in the NY Times. He shows how Otto Reich was
on the phone with Carmona as soon as he took power, advising him how he
should run the country.

The Miami Herald de-emphases the role Reich played under the heading that
the White House denied any role in the Venezuelan coup. The Herald in
English mentions the phone call to Carmona, but then did not publish any of
this other material from the New York Times. More issues such as Bush
administration efforts to secure support for the Colombian government in
its decades-long civil war against the FARC, the role of oil in all this
were omitted from the Miami Herald.

Venezuela is the fourth largest supplier of oil to the United States, and,
under Chavez, Venezuela has also sold oil to Cuba. By the way, Aruca also
explains that not only is Venezuela providing oil to Cuba, but it is also
selling oil at preferred rates to other Caribbean countries.

Aruca explains that Carmona really had no other option but to dissolve the
Venezuelan parliament. This was because, had Chavez actually resigned, the
Venezuelan constitution had a procedure for  succession: the Vice-President
was next in line.

(In fact, following Carmona's resignation, this is just what happened: the
Vice-President took office with a firm declaration that he was only doing
so until President Chavez could return to office.)

In the Spanish El Nuevo Herald all this information on Otto Reich is
completely omitted. This shows the role of the media in Miami, which
parallels the role the media has been playing in Venezuela.

Aruca also reports the role that the opposition parties which had supported
the coup have now announced they're not recognizing the Chavez government.
How they can do this is unexplained. (They boycotted the initial post-coup
session of Venezuela's parliament, for example.)

Listen to the entire program, including call-ins. This will be an excellent
56 minutes of your time.

Much other news information is also available at Aruca's site, which now
includes a weekly e-mail newsletter and the very special section called
"B.S. Detector". "B.S." in this context refers to "Bi-lingual scam", the
practice of covering events quite differently in the English and Spanish
editions of the very same newspaper.

Aruca opened his program with an announcement of an Earth Day rally in
Miami sponsored by both the Sierra Club and the Green Party this Sunday
April 21.

ARUCA PROFILE: Even though it's dated, readers interested in learing a bit
more about Francisco Aruca may find a profile of him at the Miami New

Louis Proyect
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