Chavez:: No turning back! "We have burned our boats"

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Mon Jan 6 06:26:44 MST 2003


AFP (with additional material by AP and Reuters). 6 January 2003. Chavez
slams opposition in TV speech.

CARACAS -- In a nationally broadcast speech preceeded by images of
violence and mayhem in the streets of Venezuela, President Hugo Chavez
late Sunday warned he would not hesitate to deal firmly with his foes.

"I will act when the time comes, my right hand will not tremble, and
even less so my left hand," the embattled Chavez said.

He paid tribute to two militant supporters of his government shot dead
during clashes with the opposition, blamed the metropolitan police,
widely viewed as sympathetic to his foes, and pledged the culprits would
be punished.

"The killers of Jairo Moran, 33, and Oscar Gomez, 24 -- we will find
them wherever they are, be it under a rock," he said, claiming the two
were killed "by violent fascists."

"Venezuelans cannot keep dying with impunity. We are obligated to impart
justice. The country demands it. The fatherland clamors for it."

"How long will metropolitan police officers continue being used to
repress the people?" Chavez said in his speech. "We will find the
assassins of Oscar Gomez and Jairo Gregorio Moran wherever they are
hiding."

He also lashed out at owners of Venezuelan newspapers and television
stations, accusing them of hailing strike leaders as "heroes when they
are really traitors."

Invoking "Jesus, my commanding officer," Chavez promised to press ahead
with his self-styled "revolution."

"We have burned our boats. There is no turning back. We will carry on
consolidating and deepening this Revolution," Chavez said.


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