[Marxism] Petition in support of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Wed Aug 4 22:49:34 MDT 2004

This is an international petition in support of
Chavez. It was initiated by activists in Brazil
and you'll recognize many of the signatures. 

Please pass sign this yourself and repost this
petition as widely as you can. Instructions for
the return of the petition are given below.

It's also posted up to the web at this url:

Walter Lippmann

ON AUGUST 15TH, 2004, 

We, the signers of this manifesto, wish to express our
solidarity with the struggle that, alongside President Hugo
Chavez, the majority of the Venezuelan people are waging in
defense of their right to freely determine their future.

At the same time, we wish to denounce the disinformation
campaign that is being orchestrated by the major media and
that attempts to characterize as a tyrant, a President who
has consistently respected the rule of law and the
country's Constitution.

In the democratic elections of December 1998, and all of
the elections that have taken place since, Hugo Chavez won
landslide victories. In accordance with the promises made
during his campaign, he is in the process of carrying out
fundamental political, economic and social reforms in a
country that, for decades, was subjected to the dictates of
an oligarchical minority. As a result of this program of
reforms, he has been targeted by Venezuelan and
international corporations and financial institutions, and
the media organizations that defend their interests

Hugo Chavez has become the defender of his country's poor
majority and has dedicated himself to promoting the
principles of Venezuela's new Constitution adopted by
popular referendum in 1999, following a process of vast
democratic participation. This extraordinarily progressive
Constitution contains a provision that allows for a
referendum on the mandate of any elected official, half-way
through his or her term in office. As a result of this
provision, on August 15th of this year, a popular
referendum will determine whether Hugo Chavez will remain
President of Venezuela until the end of his 5-year mandate.

This sort of constitutional mechanism is unique in Latin
America and perhaps in the rest of the world as well. How
many heads-of-state would have the courage to put their
popularity to the test before finishing their term ? Hugo
Chavez has demonstrated this courage and has thus given a
democratic lesson to the sectors of the Venezuelan
opposition that have, in the past, resorted to coup
d'Etats, economic sabotage, lies and managerial lockouts in
an attempt to undermine the country's constitutional order.
They are now obliged to act within a legal framework that
they had previously chosen to disregard.

We are certain that, on August 15th, the Venezuelan people
will celebrate a new victory that will allow them to
continue building a freer and fairer society ; the country
that Simon Bolivar dreamt of.

This is why we reaffirm that: 


1.	Tariq Ali (Pakistan-Great Britain): Writer
2.	Perry Anderson (Great Britain): Historian
3.	Tony Benn (Great Britain): Politician
4.	Robin Blackburn (Great Britain): Historian
5.	Victoria Brittain (Great Britain): Journalist
6.	Atlio Boron (Argentina): Economist
7.	Chico Buarque (Brazil) Musician
8.	Jose Bove: ex-spokeman of la Confederation Paysanne, 
		member of Via Campesina.
9.	Bernard Cassen: Founder of ATTAC
10.	Luciana Castellina (Italy): Journalist
11.	Manu Chao (Spain-France): Musician
12.	Jean Pierre Chevenement (France): Politician
13.	Alex Cox (Great Britain): Film Maker
14.	Celso Furtado (Brazil): Economist
15.	Eduardo Galeano (Uruguay): Writer
16.	George Galloway (Great Britain): Politician
17.	Richard Gott (Great Britain): Historian
18.	Eric Hobsbmawn (Great Britain): Historian
19.	Mike Hodges (Great Britain): Film maker
20.	Francois Houtart (Belgium): Centre Tricontinentale
21.	Ken Livingstone Great Britain): Mayor of London
22.	Fernando Morais (Brazil) : Writer
23.	Sami Nair (France) : Sociologist
24.	Oscar Niemeyer (Brazil): Arquitect
25.	Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Argentina): Nobel Peace Prize
26.	James Petras (USA): Sociologist
27.	John Pilger (Australia): Journalist
28.	Harold Pinter (Great Britain): Playwright
29.	Ignacio Ramonet (France): Writer
30.	Emir Sader (Brazil): Sociologist
31.	Joao Pedro Stedile (Brazil): Landless Peasant Leader
32.	Rudy Wurtlizer (USA): script writer
33.   Walter Lippmann (USA): writer

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