[Marxism] Counter-revolutionaries step up actions in Venezuela: Two Items

Fred Feldman ffeldman at bellatlantic.net
Sun Aug 28 08:05:07 MDT 2005

Published: Thursday, August 18, 2005
Bylined to: Patrick J. O'Donoghue 

11th rural leader assassinated in Portuguesa State 

Another person has been killed  in Venezuela as a result of lands
disputes. Agriculture & Lands (MAT) Ministry State Unit director, Jose
Abelardo Hernandez reports that Carlos Wilfredo Hernandez is the 11th
person killed in Portuguesa State for the same reasons.

Unfortunately, Jose Abelardo does not go into details about the
assassination itself, only to reveal that the deceased belonged to the
Ramon Lepage settlement in Guanarito municipality. 

The Ministry man says he wants the government to declare a rural
emergency to counter increasing political assassinations of government
supporters in rural areas. 

The method of using hired assassins has become the norm in fighting
government occupations of idle landed estates. 
Hernandez states that the rights of Portuguesa State peasants and small
farmers must be guaranteed whether they are beneficiaries of credits or

Last Tuesday, local representatives handed  the MAT Minister a list of
abuses that several families in the municipality have had to suffer and
at the same time, they requested an end to impunity and hired
assassinations in the State.

2. New York Times
August 27, 2005
Chavez Supporters, Foes Clash in Caracas
Filed at 5:26 p.m. ET

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Foes of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
clashed with his supporters on Saturday during an opposition march to
demand electoral reform before parliamentary elections later this year.

Six people were injured after hundreds of opponents of the populist
leader marched from western Caracas to the center of the capital, where
they skirmished with Chavez sympathizers in a volley of smoke bombs,
rocks, bottles and fireworks.

The street clashes were the most serious violence in months between
supporters of Chavez and his opponents, who believe Venezuela's
electoral board is biased and must be overhauled before National
Assembly elections in December.

Emergency crews whisked wounded away on motorbikes as the two groups
whipped rocks and bottles at each other in a chaotic battle in downtown
Caracas streets normally packed with vendors.

``A woman hit me hard in the head from behind with a stick. The
metropolitan police were beside me and they did nothing,'' said Marisela
Riera, a 50-year-old ballerina and opposition supporter, holding out her
bloody hands.

Venezuela has been relatively calm since August 2004 when Chavez won a
referendum on his rule after two years of political violence. But foes
of the populist president claim the referendum vote was tainted by fraud
and that the electoral council is stacked with Chavez supporters.

Opponents say Chavez has become increasingly authoritarian in his rule
of the world's No. 5 oil exporter. They say he has packed institutions
like the Supreme Court and the electoral council with loyalist
appointees and is driving the country toward Cuban-style communism.

``We are protesting, marching to the National Assembly to protest the
fraud perpetrated by the CNE (National Electoral Council),'' 54-year-old
Guiseppe Santini said before the clashes halted the march blocks away
from the national assembly.

Chavez supporters say his ``revolutionary'' programs are finally using
the OPEC nation's vast oil wealth to help the poor after years of
neglect by previous governments.

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