Stupid questions about Venezuela

LouPaulsen LouPaulsen at
Sat Dec 14 09:54:17 MST 2002

The United States government has asked the government of Venezuela to scrap
its constitution and hold elections ahead of schedule, because a minority of
persons oppose the Chavez government.  The U.S. president was elected by a
minority, not a majority as in the case of Chavez.  Does this mean that the
United States government will agree to hold presidential elections before

The United States government has warned of the danger of 'violence' if the
'strike' continues.  But doesn't their support for the 'strike' encourage it
to continue?  Isn't the 'strike' continuing now mainly in the hope that it
will get support from outside Venezuela?  Wouldn't it work better to lessen
the 'danger of violence' if the U.S. government were to issue a statement
saying "We will not interfere in the affairs of Venezuela to support any
internal opposition.  They had better wait until August and use the recall

Has the money sent to the organizations which oppose Chavez by the U.S.
government through the Endowment for Democracy caused the crisis, and the
'danger of violence', to diminish or to increase?

The United States government apparently takes the position that it is a
violation of human rights for the government of Venezuela to use troops to
keep the oil industry functioning.  Why is this consistent with the
readiness of the U.S. government to use troops to keep the Pacific coast
ports open during the recent dispute with the ILWU?

The United States government apparently believes that the 'public interest'
is no justification for using governmental force against the 'strike' in
Venezuela.  How does this square with the use of governmental force to
prevent a transit strike in New York City?

The "International Confederation of Free Trade Unions" issued a joint
statement with the "International Employers' Organization" supporting the
"strike" and the efforts of the OAS "mediator".  Can we expect a similar
joint statement, condemning the outlawing of the New York transit strike,
and encouraging the OAS to mediate between the transit workers and the city
of New York?

If the transit workers actually do go on strike, does this mean that Bush
will call for early elections for mayor of New York City in order to resolve
the crisis?

The U.S. government apparently believes that the government of Venezuela has
no right to fire executives of the government-owned petroleum enterprise,
even if they sabotage its operations in order to force the resignation of
the president.  Would they have applied the same principle if appointees of
the Clinton administration had shut down the U.S. Postal Service, the
Federal Aviation Administration, or other similar operations, in an effort
to force Bush's early resignation?

Does the Bush administration's respect for the labor union rights of
managers of the Venezuelan petroleum industry mean that they are going to
rethink the portions of the Homeland Security Act which abrogate the labor
union rights of U.S. federal employees?

The Chavez government has allowed the opposition to occupy a square in
Caracas without a permit  on a 24-hour-a-day basis for some weeks now.  The
U.S. government apparently thinks that the Chavez government has not yet
done enough to guarantee the rights of free expression of these forces, even
though they participated in the overthrow of the government earlier this
year and kidnapped and imprisoned the president.  I assume this means that
if anti-war forces in the U.S. wish to take over a portion of the Mall in
Washington for 24 hours a day, without a permit, the Bush administration
will let us do it, and not come up with some phony 'national security'
concerns?  After all, we have no record of having overthrown him.

Yes, I know - these are STUPID QUESTIONS.  I apologize for wasting your time
with them.   Sorry.

I hate imperialism,

Lou Paulsen

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