A call to action by CISPES on Venezuela

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Dec 9 22:01:09 MST 2002

CISPES is the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador.  Fred

An article and a call to action by CISPES on the situation in Venezuela.


What's Really Happening in Venezuela

December 8, 2002

"I will not give in to blackmail nor pressures of any
kind. I swear to you that I will be with the people my
entire life. You brought me here and you are the only
ones who can get rid of me. Nobody else is going to
take me out of here."

- Venezuela President Hugo Chavez Saturday, December 7,

Dear Colleagues,

To read the commercial news reports from Venezuela, one
might almost think there is a popular "strike" that has
brought an "authoritarian" regime to its knees,
threatened U.S. oil supplies and that the Chavez
government is not allowing the people to vote on its

None of those above statements are true in the
slightest, but the simulating behavior of most
English-language correspondents from Caracas is, as
ever, over the top and knowingly false.

To help clear up the haze of lies and distortion with
some facts, Narco News publishes the analysis by three
correspondents on the scene in Venezuela, including two
professors from the Narco News School of Authentic
Journalism: Thierry Deronne, the Belgian journalist who
works with Tele-Tambores Community TV in Venezuela; Max
Arvelaiz, the French-Venezuelan communications
consultant to the Chavez government, and, Paul
Emile-Dupret, observer and official of the European
Parliament, all eye-witnesses to events in recent days.

You can read their factual accounts at:


Other late-breaking news items:

- The Venezuelan Navy today regained control of the
hijacked oil tanker from its mutinous captain. The last
effective maneuver of the upper-class "opposition" was
thus foiled and the "strike" (management imposed
lockout of workers from their jobs) that began last
week has now fracased on every front.

- Friday night's contemptible shooting of civilians in
an opposition demonstration by gunmen, resulting in the
capture of Portuguese national

Joao Gouveia, has taken a shocking turn:

"Congressman of the MVR party (Fifth Republic Movement)
and journalist Juan Barreto reported today that Joao
Gouveia, the Portuguese citizen accused of having
assassinated various members of the opposition
concentrated in Plaza Francia of Altamira (the wealthy
section of Caracas) entered the country

(Friday) at 5:40 p.m. coming from Lisbon. Barreto said
that Gouveia confessed that he had been contracted by
pro-coup General Medina Gomez to cause a massacre in
Altamira, for which he was paid 35 million bolivares.

"Congressman Barreto said that as a journalist he has
contacts in various agencies and information that the
accused was acting as if he were paranoid, faking that
he was mentally ill, but after examined by different
psychiatrists who determined he was lucid, finally
confessed this morning.

"Barreto reported that in a few hours the video of
Gouveia's confession will be made public."

Source: http://www.aporrea.org/

- If this is true, and such a video confession exists,
as the congressman and journalist reports, the
"opposition" leaders who have, without a shred of
evidence, blamed Chavez and his supporters for Friday's
shootings (3 dead, 28 wounded), will have to face facts
that one of their own top leaders is capable of
ordering his own supporters shot in order to create
destability and mayhem in order to justify another coup
attempt by rogue uniformed forces. General Medina Gomez, like clockwork - we
remind - moments after Friday night's shootings called on military officials
to overthrow the elected government by force. The Armed Forces -
significantly cleaned-up after last April's two-day military coup - have
remained solidly on the side of the constitution this round (as evidenced by
today's smooth retaking of the hijacked oil tanker).

- This video would also raise very clear questions
about who was behind the sniper attacks last April that
created the first pretext to try and take power by upper-class coup. As
previously reported by
Narco News and others, the snipers captured last April
11th were freed on April 12th by Dictator-for-a-Day
Pedro Carmona (a fact still not reported by the
simulating commercial correspondents).

It is difficult for many to believe that there are
interests so cynical as to order their own supporters
shot to gain sympathy for their "cause," but to close
observers of the Venezuelan reality this possibility is
not surprising at all. Stay tuned as we hunt down the

- Finally, after months of turning the other cheek,
Venezuelan President Chavez today announced that middle and upper level
managers of the state oil company who participated in this week's sabotaje
and hijacking maneuvers will be fired: a decision that is reasonable by any
standards, and, in fact, overdue.

- Meanwhile, today, two million Venezuelans took to the
streets today to defy the "strike of the spoiled brats" and defend their
electoral choices. The mood is still tense but all the momentum and factual
information continues to cumulate on the side of constitutional rule and
against destabilizing coup attempts.

- One of the losers of this week's skirmishes is U.S.
State Department fixer Otto Reich. (We note that
Secretary of State Colin Powell was, surprisingly, not
accompanied by Reich in his trip last week to Colombia,
an indication that Reich's extremist brinkmanship in
South America is increasingly viewed as
counter-productive even among moderates, like Powell,
in the Bush administration.)

The events of the next few days could accomplish the
"two-fer" of putting to rest delusional coup fantasies
by anti-democracy forces in Venezuela and also be the final nail in the
coffin of Reich's reign over U.S. Latin America policy.

It was the Venezuelan electorate in 1998 (and five
times since) that started the ball rolling for a united
Latin America against outside impositions. The
Venezuelans withstood and turned back April's coup
attempt, and appear to have the current one well in
hand. In early January, Brazil will inaugurate
president Lula de la Silva and Ecuador's Lucio
Gutierrez is walking through the same door in his

There will no doubt be cynical commercial media
correspondents who continue to "cry wolf" with their
hysterical predictions of the overthrow of Venezuela's
democratically elected government. But their
wolf-crying has diminishing effect after having been so wrong so many times.

What they don't admit, at least not in their simulated
reports, is that the coups fail precisely because
democracy in Venezuela is so extraordinarily healthy,
compared to that of any other country in the
hemisphere. It is vibrant. It is strong. It respects
human rights and voter control. And it has been
exemplary in its tolerance displayed toward a bratty
and disruptive upper-class "opposition."

As Venezuela has lived some very trying moments in
recent hours, the truth that shines through is that
democracy and constitutional rule endures even the
harshest most cynical provocations.

The hour has come for the commercial media - in
Venezuela and among U.S. and English language correspondents who have been
feeding a false picture of
events there - to grow up and cease the dishonest
reports that get proved wrong again and again and
again, and again today.

>From somewhere in a country called New York City,

Al Giordano Publisher The Narco News Bulletin
http://www.narconews.com/ narconews at h...

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by Don White, CISPES-LA

The Committee In Solidarity With The People of El
Salvador is joining the Nicaraguan Network in issuing
an Action Alert over the escalating crisis in
Venezuela. At the end of this article there is an
"unedited" letter from Caracus which warns of a dirty
war continuing to escalate in the country. Call the
State Department and let the U.S. government know that
we are monitoring U.S. complicity in the Venezuelan
crisis and call for respect for the elected government
of the country.


As the political crisis worsens in
Venezuela, our government remains silent. We invite you
to join a call to urge the Bush administration to make
a clear statement against unconstitutional and violent
means to resolve the current crisis and explain that it
will not tolerate a coup government and will not have
diplomatic or normal commercial relations with any
coup-installed government.

For more information, contact Katherine Hoyt at the
Nicaragua Network e-mail nicanet at afgj.org or Marya
Murray at murraydiaz at cepr.net.


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