Venezuelan Minister of Ed. sees new coup attempt

Fred Feldman ffeldman at
Sun May 11 08:08:14 MDT 2003

This statement must be taken seriously.  Since the initial U.S. victory over
Iraq, U.S.-orchestrated international pressure on the Chavez government has
been heightening.  The economic crisis continues unabated but the
government's measures for containing it -- notably a very large
cost-of-living increase in the minimum wage -- become more and more sharply
counterposed to the course being dictated to the rest of Latin America.

And the U.S. campaign to slander and isolate Cuba is inspiring rightists in
Venezuela, too.

While the Venezuelan army has been changed substantially by the struggles of
the last several years, it has not become a homogeneous  army of the

A counterrevolution would have to carry out a gigantic purge of the army,
but the rightists still have reason to hope that sections of the army could
come to their aid as the economic situation worsens.  And it is worsening in
the United States, Cuba, and across Latin America and the Caribbean (and in
most of the world),.
Fred Feldman

May 9, 2003

Opposition organizing another coup

CARACAS (PL).- This Thursday, Aristóbulo Isturiz, the
Venezuelan minister for education and sport, charged the
opposition with organizing another coup - this time of a
social nature - planned for July.

Not everyone in the opposition is "just thinking about the
referendum"; other elements are organizing a "social coup"
with a view to creating upheavals in Venezuelan society that
would influence the Armed Forces, Isturiz stressed.

Condemnation from the minister came during a meeting with
the government delegation to the negotiating table and
representatives of the Friends of Venezuela Group of

He stated that the plan is to trigger off a coup this July,
when military promotions and changes are due to take place.

The opposition, he warned, is utilizing the rumor technique
via the privately-owned media channels to create a
destabilizing climate and an atmosphere of chaos throughout
the country in order to bring about general insubordination.

Referring to the talks table - created five months ago - he
stated that it cannot replace Venezuela's political parties
or public powers.

Isturiz reiterated that the governmental delegation has made
its position clear in relation to observations made at the
pre-accord meeting, which focused on the revocatory

In that context, he rejected claims that the Executive is
opposed to the meeting, recalling that the issue of the
referendum is a constitutional right.

The minister affirmed that revoking the mandate of President
Hugo Chávez could not be the only issue at the table, as
there are 48 requests of this kind in the National Electoral
Council (CNE), the majority of them from the opposition.

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