Lawyer for Venezuelan Officer calls for coup

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Feb 12 20:43:39 MST 2002

    [The article at the end of this post, under the headline, "Bustillos
does not rule out the use of weapons to oust Chávez", appears on the
Globovisión website. The lead says, "Retired Col.  Silvino Bustillos, former
Justice of the Military Court and a lawyer for the dissident mebers of the
military, said that the majority of institutionalist officers have opted for
the route of a public Pronouncement, but do not rule out of the idea of
using force to oppose the government of President Chávez."

    [This may seem like a bizarre statement for a lawyer whose clients have
publicly accused of treason to make. After all, your lawyer is supposed to
defend you, not confess on your behalf. But there it is.

    [It seems that the Venezuelan opposition is working overtime to prove
validity of the saying, "whom the Gods would destroy, they first drive mad."

    [Meanwhile, it is so obevious that the "opposition" has overplayed its
SO grossly that even the CIA and Washington analysts noticed.

    [So on wednesday, Richard Boucher, Colin Powell's mouthpiece, was busily
out of both sides of his mouth to the press.

    [Boucher telegraph the message to the opposition that they need to
calm down. Here is the exchange:]

*  *  *

   QUESTION:  Venezuela:  There's been some instability, and I just
wondered, what is the U.S. view of Colonel Chavez and the situation
down there?

    [An aside here on protocol, journalism, and ass-licking. Notice the
reporter's question is about Col. Chávez --as if the guy hadn't been elected
president (twice!!) BY DEVASTATINGLY CONVINCING margins.

    [Nor is this an adaptation to LatAm usages. Chávez is sometimes referred
to as "comandante" by his supporters --an allusion to his constitutional
role as commander-in-chief of the Venezuelan armed forces. But it is also
often a statement of support to his leadership of the revolutionary process.

    [The journalist asking the question --protected, of course, by the cabal
of borugeois journalists in general, and the transcript service in
particular, for it is required all journalists identify themselves by name
and media at such briefings (for the benefit of the CIA, I guess....), but
that identification is suppressed in the transcript-- gíves Chávez his
long-bypassed rank of  "colonel." It's a way of telegraphing Boucher that
the question is coming from a right-thinking, procapitalist "objective"
scribbler, rather than one of those despicable commie spics who insist on
calling ANY president, even those who Washington doesn't like,  "President
so-and-so" or at least, "Mr. so-and-so."

    [Having made that clear, we now resume our regular programming with what
Boucher had to say:]

BOUCHER:  You know I had some comments last week -- the secretary
had some comments in his testimony last week about our concerns about
his -- Chavez's posture toward the opposition and the independent
media in Venezuela.  He said further, "I'm not happy with Chavez's
comments regarding the campaign against terrorism."

   We have made these concerns on both counts clear in recent months; we'll
continue speaking on this matter which are of fundamental importance to the
United States.

    [On the other hand, and watch out for whiplash injuries, boys and
girls...] We've also said here repeatedly I think that we share concerns
about radicalization and polarization of the political process in Venezuela;
that we supported the democratic process in Venezuela.

    [Here  Boucher engages in deliberate indirectness and obfuscation. But
as far as anyone in Venezuela is concerned, the "democratic process"  can
only mean the rooting out of venal and corrupt politicians and functionaries
that's been carried out by Chávez.]

    [It] remains to be seen what direction that process might take in the
coming year, but confrontation and rhetoric, we think, don't accomplish
anything.  It's important for all parties involved to engage in a dialogue
and to respect the democratic institutions. That's what we've said here.

    [Translation: if you Venezuelan oppositionists insist on making
yourselves look like jackasses, don't expect Colin Powell to save your buts.

    [After all, when a high-ranking military officer -- like {soon to be
ex-} Col. Soto -- denounce the sitting president as a "tyrant,"  that can
only have one meaning -- a coup, or at least an attempt at one. And PLAYING
at a coup is precisely the worst thing one could do in this line of work. It
undermined the credibility of all coup plotters. -- José]

*  *  *

Bustillos no descartó el uso de las armas para sacar a Chávez

El coronel retirado Silvino Bustillos, ex-magistrado de la Corte Marcial y
abogado de los militares disidentes, dijo que la mayoría de los oficiales
institucionalistas han adoptado la vía del pronunciamiento público, pero no
desechan la idea de usar la fuerza para oponerse al gobierno del presidente

En la Base Aérea La Carlota, donde se entregó el coronel Pedro Soto, su
representante legal aseguró que los militares descontentos con la gestión
del actual jefe de Estado manifestarán su descontento de manera escalonada.
"Creemos que es la menos traumática, porque estamos en desacuerdo con
tanques en la calle, estamos en desacuerdo con aviones rasgando el cielo por
la ciudad de Caracas. Ese sería el último de los recursos, no lo podemos

Bustillos expresó que con este tipo de acciones de protesta le quieren
comunicar a la comunidad internacional que no tienen ambiciones de poder,
que sólo se busca la salida de un Gobierno que arrastra al país hacia el
totalitarismo y la guerra fatricida.

El coronel retirado agregó que las Fuerzas Armadas intitucionalistas están
con la sociedad organizada y con la sociedad civil que lucha contra la
dictadura y el militarismo impuesto por el gobierno de Chávez.

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