Chavez: people and army will fight for revolution

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sat Jan 11 19:17:45 MST 2003


AFP. 11 January 2003. Venezuela's embattled Chavez warns that armed forces
are ready to fight.

CARACAS -- Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez Saturday denounced leaders of a
crippling six-week strike, warned that the armed forces were ready to wage
battle and vowed his revolution would not be defeated.

"This is the time when there is an army to battle for Venezuela. This is
when
we have a force that is organized and ready to wage battle," he told
thousands of cheering supporters gathered in a Caracas arena.

He warned that his foes were taunting "a giant" and said the Venezuelan
people "will defeat any attempt to silence the mandate of the people."

"The revolution will not be defeated, it will be strenghthened. The
revolution cannot be negotiated," said Chavez, who was flanked by soldiers
in
camouflage gear.

He insisted he would not cave in to opposition demands to step down or call
snap elections, to which the crowd answered by chanting "Chavez is not
leaving."

He also warned that if public schools closed in support of the strike did
not
reopen, their directors would lose their jobs in the same way about 1,000
striking employees of the Petroleos de Venezuela state oil firm fired in the
past weeks.

"We will do everything we can to continue classes," he said in his address
broadcast live on radio and television.

Chavez insisted his government was "ready to take any measure that has to be
taken, within the framework of the constitution," to end gasoline and food
shortages as well as school closures cause by the strike that aims at
forcing
him from office.


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