Is Bush backtracking on call for Venezuela elections?

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Mon Dec 16 19:31:43 MST 2002

Apparently, Bush's move to place the United States openly on the side of the
Venezuela opposition, by endorsing their demand for immediate elections, has
failed to prevent the further weakening of the bosses' strike, and the open
challenge to Venezuela's sovereignty has gone over like a lead balloon in
Latin America, the Caribbean, and even in Canada.

So Ari Fleischer now has presented a modified and significantly softened
version of  the U.S. position.

Following is an excerpt from a letter sent out by Narco News editor Albert

December 16, 2002
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Friday's desperate maneuver by U.S. President George W. Bush - his cynical
call for "early elections" in Venezuela, a country that has had six national
elections in the past four years - has backfired after it was revealed as

White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, earlier today, withdrew that
demand with some not-too-fancy semantic footwork:

"Early elections, in the sense that of course, there is a referenda (sic)
that can be held earlier that is a reflection of the manifestation of the
will of the people and this is the process that is anticipated in the
Venezuelan constitution," Fleischer told reporters earlier today.

The White House backpedaling comes on the heels of major developments in
Venezuela and our América...

- Stores are open for business now even in the wealthy areas of Eastern
Caracas, the last bastion of "The Strike that Wasn't"

- 90 percent of all contract employees of the oil industry are back at work,
now that the executives who locked them out have been removed.

- This morning's highway "blockades" (meant to distract from the "strike"
collapse this morning) were disbanded by 2 p.m. (See our report today for
more details):

Read also, in our report today, about the machinations within the
Organization of American States, as we name the names of which countries'
leaders have lined up with the coup plotters, which have been strongest for
democracy, and which have broken from the United States position in recent

Read also from the transcript of White House correspondents grilling Ari
Fleischer on his false claims made last Friday regarding the Venezuela

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