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Coup cheerleader Aleksander Boyd faces hate-Venezuela setback in Austria

VENPRES reports: After incidents that occurred in Vienna (Austria), May 11, the Venezuelan opposition has suffered a new defeat in its intent to create negative opinions of Venezuela's Bolivarian Revolution in foreign countries.

According to information released by the Venezuelan Embassy in Vienna, the Socialist Youth Party of Austria and the Movement "Hands Off Venezuela" had demonstrated on May 11 in front of the Latin American Institute headquarters in Vienna, where a meeting entitled "Communications Media & Information Processes: The Venezuelan Case" was being held by the self-proclaimed "Vienna Pro-Venezuela Group" lead by Aleksander Boyd ... a member of the same group in London.

A large group of youth drew pictures of dead bodies at the entrance to the Institute to represent the many deaths that the opposition's destabilizing acts have caused in Venezuela.

Under the slogan "We won't allow fascist organizations to appear in Austria and try to justify to our society the abuses that the opposition coup leaders commit in Venezuela," the youths distributed informational material explaining Venezuela's private communications media's manipulations.

According to the press release, Boyd tried to justify the private communications media's conduct ... but he was harshly criticized by the majority of the participants, who refuted his statements with strong, logical arguments.

During his presentation, Boyd tried to justify the "right" of the media to promote military pronouncements and the coup d'etat against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ... and to lie or manipulate the information, all in the name of "freedom of expression."

These statements served to unmask to the public the true fascist, antidemocratic, and unconstitutional concepts supported by opposition coup-promoters. "Rather than freedom of expression and information, what they wish to promote is freedom of media owners to lie and act as power brokers to defeat the legitimate government elected by the people of Venezuela," notes the press release.

Aleksander Boyd, a hotel bell-hop who has admitted fantasies of being a "Ghengis Khan," lost his job near Oxford Street in London last November (2003) and has since devoted his energies as the "brains" behind a virulent hate-Venezuela website based in from London UK ... the website shows he is sponsored by various US NED-funded groups in the Venezuelan opposition.

See the photo gallery here.

Translated by Philip Stinard

En Espanol:

Fracaso de la oposición venezolana en Austria

Venpres (Vienna, Austria): La oposición venezolana sufrió una nueva derrota en su intento por generar una matriz de opinión negativa de la Revolución Bolivariana en el exterior, tras hechos ocurridos en esta ciudad el pasado 11 de mayo y que destaca una información de la Embajada de Venezuela en Austria.

De acuerdo con la información, la Juventud del Partido Socialista de Austria y el Movimiento "Manos Fuera de Venezuela"manifestaron el 11 de mayo frente a la sede del Instituto Latinoamericano, en esta ciudad, donde se realizaba un evento organizado por el grupo autodenominado Viena-ProVenezuela, titulada "Medios de Comunicación y Procesos de Información: caso Venezuela", a cargo de Aleksander Boyd, integrante del mismo grupo en Londres.

Un numeroso grupo de jóvenes dibujaron figuras de cuerpos sin vida a la entrada del Instituto, en representación de los numerosos muertos que han generado las acciones desestabilizadoras de la oposición en nuestro país.

Bajo la consigna "no permitiremos que organizaciones fascistas se presenten en Austria y traten de justificar ante nuestra sociedad los abusos que la oposición golpista comete en Venezuela", los jovenes distribuyeron material informativo, explicando la manipulación que ejercen los medios de comunicación privados en el país.

De acuerdocon la información, el expositor trató por su parte de justificar la conducta de los medios de comunicación privados, pero fue duramente criticado por la mayoría de los participantes, quienes desmintieron sus declaraciones con argumentos contundentes.

Boyd pretendió justificar durante su ponencia el "derecho" de los medios de promover el pronunciamiento militar y el golpe de estado contra el presidente de la República, Hugo Chávez Frías, y de mentir o manipular la información, todo ello en nombre de la "libertad de expresión".

Esas afirmaciones terminaron de desenmascarar ante el público presente la verdadera concepción, fascista, antidemocrática e inconstitucional que sustenta la oposición golpista. "Más que libertad de expresión e información, lo que pretenden mantener es la libertad de los dueños de medios de mentir y actuar como factores de poder para derrocar el gobierno legítimo que se dio el pueblo venezolano", destaca la nota de prensa.

See the photo gallery here.

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LIE ONE

• CHAVEZ DOES NOT WANT TO CALL A RECALL REFERENDUM •

In fact the recall referendum is an instrument introduced by the new Bolivarian constitution. In order to trigger it a certain number of signatures must be collected. In this particular case (the recall of the President of the Republic) 2.4 million signatures are necessary. In December 2003 the opposition said it had collected 3.6 million signatures. In February the National Electoral Council declared that 800,000 of these signatures were invalid. Moreover, 700,000 were declared as unclear and needed to go through a verification process. This demonstrates how massive the fraud was. This decision was ratified by the Carter Center and observers of the Organization of American States (which certainly can not be considered as two revolutionary organizations). If the opposition manages to reconfirm 50 percent of the doubtful signatures, it would have enough to be able to call for the referendum. The Government declared it was prepared to follow the decision of the National Electoral Council.


LIE TWO

• CHAVES USES REPRESSION AGAINST THE OPPOSITION •

In Venezuela there have been hundreds of peaceful opposition demonstrations and never has there been political repression of any kind (the opposite of what used to happen during the 40 years of rule of the parties now in opposition). In February 2004 the opposition refused to recognize the decision of the National Electoral Council, called for civil and military disobedience and for the building of barricades in the streets of Caracas. It confronted the National Guard with Molotov cocktails and rifles. The National Guard responded in a moderate way and cleared out the barricades from the streets. After these disturbances organized by the "democratic opposition" there have been other peaceful demonstrations of the opposition, although poorly attended.


LIE THREE

• CHAVES USES REPRESSION AGAINST THE MEDIA •

In the last five years the private media (which is 90 percent dominated by the opposition) has launched a systematic campaign of insults towards the democratically-elected President, as well as deliberate lies and open calls for a military coup and for the overthrow of the democratic government by violent means. However there has been no censorship of the press whatsoever (unlike what used to happen during the 40 years of rule of the parties which now form the opposition). Only two TV channels have been closed during these five years: Channel 8 (which is the state-owned broadcaster), closed by the opposition during the military coup of April 2002; and CatiaTV, a local community TV station from a neighborhood in Caracas, which was closed by a local government controlled by the "democratic" opposition.


LIE FOUR

• IN VENEZUELA THERE IS A DICTATORSHIP •

In Venezuela all democratic rights are respected. The only people who tried to install a dictatorship in Venezuela were those from the "democratic" opposition who organized the military coup of April 2002, suspended the Constitution, the National Assembly (the Parliament) and all democratic rights. None of those responsible for the coup are today in jail. The majority of them walk free in the streets of Caracas while preparing new conspiracies to overthrow the government. The others are in a very comfortable exile in Miami from where they move the threads of the conspiracy.


LIE FIVE

• CHAVEZ SUPPORTS TERRORISM •

The opposition has never presented any proof for its ridiculous accusations (as for example the supposed existence of an Al-Qaeda training camp in Isla Margarita). Last Saturday 56 Colombian paramilitaries were arrested. They were training in order to organize terrorist actions against the democratically-elected government on a plot of land of a well-known opposition leader in El Hatillo.

In Venezuela there is a revolutionary process which has been overwhelmingly supported by the population in seven successive elections during the last 5 years. The "democratic" opposition represents the interests of an oligarchy which for decades has controlled the natural resources of the country and does not want to renounce its privileges. This is why we support the Venezuelan revolution.

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The Washington Post Should Support Democracy in Venezuela Instead of Spreading Misinformation


Today, 26 May 2004, the Washington Post ran an Op-Ed by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez calling on the opposition and the Bush administration to commit to respect the results of the signature repair process that will take place this coming weekend The Op-Ed is available online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55957-2004May25.html, and is included at the end of this e-mail.

Opposite the Op-Ed, the Washington Post's editorial page printed a factually inaccurate attack on the Venezuelan government (This editorial is available at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55981-2004May25.html). Moreover, the Op-Ed will undoubtedly provoke a flurry of e-mail from right-wing radicals in the U.S. seeking to spread misinformation about Venezuela.

Therefore, the Venezuela Information Office is asking people to write publishable letters to the editor of the Washington Post, in order to provide factual information about recent events in Venezuela and point out the factual inaccuracies contained in the Post's editorial.

GUIDELINES FOR LETTERS TO THE EDITOR:

  • Send to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • Remember to include your home address and evening and daytime telephone numbers.
  • Letters to the editor should no longer than 200 words long -- the shorter the better (roughly one-third of a page, single-spaced, maximum).
  • Mention in your letter the date and title of the Op-Ed you are responding to.

If you would like help drafting or editing your letter to the editor, please do not hesitate to contact the Venezuela Information Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 202-737-6637, x.27 (In the United States)

While writing your letter you may want to keep in mind the following:

--While the Hugo Chavez and other Venezuelan government officials have repeatedly pledged to respect the rule of law and obey the upcoming ruling by Venezuela's National Electoral Council (CNE), the opposition and the Bush administration have yet to offer such a guarantee.

--Opposition leaders, including former President Carlos Andres Perez and former union leader Carlos Ortega, have recently made statements suggesting they plan to once again resort to violence in their drive to unseat Hugo Chavez. This raises the alarming possibility of renewed political violence in Venezuela.

--Venezuela remains a democracy.

  • Hugo Chavez was elected in both 1998 and 2000 in elections declared free and fair by international observers.
  • The opposition controls 48 percent of the seats in Congress and regularly delays or blocks legislation supported by the government.
  • The Supreme Court is independent, and has repeatedly ruled against Hugo Chavez, finding his land reform decrees unconstitutional and releasing from prison military officers charged with participating in the 2002 coup.
  • The Venezuelan media is completely free, and attacks Chavez in the harshest of terms on a daily basis.
  • The opposition regularly holds large, peaceful demonstrations without fear of police harassment.

--The Chavez administration has implemented a wide variety of new social programs benefiting poor Venezuelans. These include clinics in impoverished neighborhoods, new schools, adult literacy classes, infrastructure projects in poor areas, and land reform.

--Independent polls give Chavez an approval rate of 40%-50% nationwide, a figure comparable to US president George W. Bush.

--The opposition blames Chavez for Venezuela's economic woes; in fact, the country fell into economic decline in the 1980s due to mismanagement and corruption. The economy has been no worse under Chávez than under his predecessors. Moreover, the single most economically destructive event in recent Venezuelan history was last year's opposition shutdown of the state oil company, which cost the economy around 14 billions dollars. The economy is growing rapidly right now and the IMF projects an 8.8 percent growth for 2004 (World Economic Outlook Spring 2004).

--The Bush administration supported the 2002 coup against Hugo Chavez. U.S. officials continue to make very hostile statements about the Chavez administration, and have said that they will not accept anything other than a recall referendum, regardless of whether the legal requirements for such a vote have been fulfilled. The administration should declare its support for Venezuela's independent electoral authorities and pledge to abide by their decision.

--The editorial response to Chavez's Op-Ed contains multiple factual errors, some of which you may want to point out in your letter. These include:

  • Since 1999, the Venezuelan economy has contracted 14 percent, not 25 percent as the editorial claims. Most of this contraction is due to the three months shutdown of the state oil company in 2002-2003, which was organized by the opposition. The rest comes from instability in which the opposition played a major role, e.g. the 2002 coup d'etat, other strikes, and capital flight (some of which was deliberate and political or influenced by negative media reports).
  • The Post's editorial claims that Hugo Chávez appointed the National Electoral Council (CNE) that is overseeing the recall process. This is false. The CNE was appointed by Venezuela's Supreme Court, which is independent. Both the government and the opposition expressed satisfaction when the electoral authorities were chosen.
  • The Post's editorial says that the signature verification process scheduled for this weekend will be two days long. This is false. It will be three days long.
  • According to the Post's editorial, Hugo Chávez "tried to exclude" international observers from the Carter Center and the Organization of American States last week. This is false. Hugo Chávez had nothing to do with the dispute between electoral authorities and the CNE last week, and never publicly commented on it.
  • The Post's editorial expresses concern about " intimidation by government goon squads" during the signature confirmation period this weekend. In fact, there has been no systematic intimidation of voters or petition signers since Hugo Chávez took office in 1999.

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Guardian journalist Sibylla Brodzinsky misreporting on Venezuela


Sibylla Brodzinsky's article on Venezuela ("Leftwing dictator or saviour of the poor: Chavez faces new challenge to his rule") fits into the pattern of half-truths and open lies that characterises the media coverage of the Bolivarian revolution. This is something we expect from The Economist (which openly calls for "regime change") but not from the Guardian.

When we saw the article we could not believe our eyes and immediately sent a letter to the Guardian (published on Thursday, May 25). But, because this comes from a paper seen as "progressive" by many, it might be worth analysing the article in detail.

To start with she affirms that a recall referendum against Chavez is "the last chance to remove the president constitutionally", something that seems to imply that otherwise the opposition will have no alternative other than to remove him by unconstitutional means. Has she considered the possibility of the opposition removing the president by waiting until the next presidential elections? Also, unnamed "experts" affirm "it may also be the last chance to avoid a civil war". So far, the only group provoking a civil war has been the opposition which carried out the April 11, 2002 coup, and which openly discusses the violent overthrow of the democratically elected government and calls on its supporters to rise up against it.

Trying to paint the opposition as innocent victims of an undemocratic president ("a former paratroop commander"), she says "the opposition used street demonstrations to try and force his resignation and last year staged a two month general strike". What about the military coup organised by the opposition in April 2002? Oh, but that is described by Brodzinsky as Chavez being "ousted briefly by a military rebellion, but returned to power two days later"! Who organised the coup? The opposition. Who returned Chavez to power, a mass movement of the people and a rebellion of military officers and troops loyal to the democratically elected president.

"Dozens of people have died in clashes between pro- and anti-Chávez groups during the past several years," Brodzinsky tells us. What she forgets to say is that most of those killed were Chavez supporters. Some 50 people were killed in the two brief days that the opposition coup lasted in April 2002 and nearly 100 peasant and trade union activists have been killed since Chavez won the presidential election in 1998. Most of those have been killed on orders from landowners and bosses to "solve" conflicts over the land reform and industrial disputes.

"The latest deaths came in February, when at least 14 people died in opposition demonstrations and as many as 200 were wounded". First of all the most recent case of a politically motivated murder is that of the of Giandomenico Puliti, Bolivarian leader and mayoral candidate of the Fifth Republic Movement in Tovar, Merida, assassinated on May 7. Secondly, in February the opposition called for an uprising against the democratically elected government when the National Electoral Council ruled hundreds of thousands of signatures collected for the recall referendum as invalid. The same Amnesty International report that Brodzinsky quotes only selectively describes the situation: "groups of opposition supporters using barricades, stones, Molotov cocktails and firework rockets. There were also several reports of protesters using firearms. In this context, there were clearly legitimate public security concerns, which the authorities had a duty to respond to." (AI INDEX: AMR 53/005/2004). The opposition clearly wanted to provoke a response from the government and the National Guard that would justify their theory that in Venezuela there is a dictatorship. If the opposition organises violent demonstrations using Molotov cocktails and firearms, violence will inevitably take place. However, in the last 5 years there have been dozens, probably hundreds of opposition demonstrations (some quite large, recently smaller in size) with no violence at all. In fact, after the violent incidents provoked by the opposition at the end of February, there was a peaceful (though small in numbers) opposition demonstration on March 6 (and there have been a few after that).

"Many fear that his friendship with Fidel Castro could herald a Cuban-style socialist system for Venezuela, and worry about his apparent sympathy with neighbouring Colombia's leftwing rebels", Brodzinsky informs us, without telling us exactly who these worried "many" are. There is also a straight lie dressed as a truth in the sentence when she talks about "apparent" sympathy for the FARC guerrillas on the part of Chavez. We publicly challenge Brodzinsky to provide any proof (a quote would suffice) to demonstrate this. The only thing she would have found out if she had carried out her journalistic duties is that Chavez offered to mediate between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrillas, at a time when the two sides were engaged in peace talks. This is not just a small detail or an unimportant oversight. A major part of the US administration and Venezuelan opposition campaign to oust Chavez is to brand his government as being "supportive of terrorism". Since the FARC guerrillas are considered by Washington to be "narco-terrorists" the intention in associating Chavez with the FARC becomes clear. In a world dominated by Bush's "war on terror", this is a very serious accusation to make. Not only does Brodzinsky not provide evidence for this opposition allegation, but she tries to cover herself by saying that this "sympathy" is "apparent". This is convenient because it removes the need to provide any proof, but it is appalling journalism.

She then, quoting again unnamed "analysts" ("and even some opposition members"!) says that "the cards are so stacked against them that the likelihood of a referendum is low". To back up this claim she quotes from Michael Rowan whom she describes as an American political strategist who has lived in Venezuela for more than 30 years. This bland and professional description is meant to give Mr Rowan an air of respectability (you see, he is not a "former paratroop commander"). However Brodzinsky conveniently forgets to say that Mr Rowan has a weekly column in one of the most rabidly anti-Chavez dailies, El Universal, where he makes his opposition views abundantly clear. In a recent edition of his column, comparing Chavez to Hitler and Mussolini he says: "Venezuela is starting to resemble Italy or Germany in the 1930s. As an elected leader with charismatic force and a radical worldview rose like a Phoenix to dominate the country, thoughts about how to put Venezuela back on a track of inclusion virtually disappeared. Consumed or appalled by the power and glory of the new leader's insane hatreds, every conversation turned on questions about him: Could he last, how can he be stopped, can he be recalled, how can I get away from this madness? This is exactly as the tyrant wants it." (The full article can be found in the opposition and coup supporting site Vcrisis and we recommend all our readers to read it in full to get a clearer picture of the kind of political thinking of people like Mr Rowan, an "American political strategist").

The truth of the matter is that the chances of a recall referendum being called are low because the opposition never collected the necessary number of signatures. Out of the 3.4 million signatures the opposition claimed it had collected only 1.8 million were declared valid by the National Electoral Commission (CNE), some 700,000 were declared invalid (where names did not correspond with national ID numbers, deceased or under aged people had "signed", etc) and 800,000 were declared doubtful and subject to a verification process (this was in the case where full sheets of data had been filled with the same handwriting). All the opposition needs to do in the verification period next week is to prove that at least 75% of those signatures are valid and then a recall referendum would be triggered (whether they can win such a referendum or not is another matter).

All Brodzinsky tells us about the National Electoral Commission is what the opposition thinks of it (that it is controlled by government supporters and that Chavez is manipulating the process). She does not even quote the government's position on this (which would be good journalistic practice). Even worse, she completely ignores the fact that the Carter Centre, the Organisation of American States and the European Union observers all certified that the signature collection and verification process were fair and free. These are hardly "Cuban-style" institutions, nor do they appear to have "apparent sympathies" for the FARC guerrillas!

The Carter Centre for instance, when the CNE publicised its decision on the number of valid and invalid signatures and those which had to be re-verified, declared that: "In this process, in particular, we find sufficient controls, including security paper for the petitions, full identification of the citizen with signature and thumbprint, summary forms (actas) listing the petition (planillas) serial numbers during the collection process, party witnesses, personnel trained and designated by the CNE, verification of each petition form and a cross-check with the summary forms, a cross-check of the names with the voters list, and a mechanism for appeal and correction." (You can see the declaration of the Carter Centre and the Organization of American States here). And although the Centre declared that they would have been more lenient regarding the sheets filled with the same handwriting, it also made clear its support for the process of re-verification of those. Brodzinsky conveniently ignores these statements since they would contradict the image she is trying to paint of a process manipulated by the government where the opposition does not stand a chance of getting enough valid signatures.

One of the funniest parts in Brodzinsky's article is when she says that: "For all his vitriolic rhetoric against the US and George Bush, Washington has so far failed to engage Mr Chávez directly in the fight. However, the US Congress has funded some opposition groups through a non-governmental organisation." This implies that Chavez is provoking Bush for a fight, but Bush (that great moderate) has restrained himself from engaging him directly. The truth, as is so often the case with journalistic articles on Venezuela, is precisely the opposite. Despite Washington's constant provocations against the democratically elected Venezuelan government and its constant interference with the sovereign affairs of Venezuela, the Venezuelan government has been very restrained in its response, and only more recently has started to reply directly to these constant provocations. As for the US not engaging Chavez directly, if what Brodzinsky means is that Bush has not yet ordered the invasion of the country, then that is true. But really, short of that, the US administration has used all other means at their disposal, open and covert, to undermine and overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela, one that in reality has more claim to democratic legitimacy than Bush's.

We ask ourselves how an article by Sibylla Brodzinsky, who to our knowledge has never written for the Guardian before, but who is a regular collaborator of the right wing Miami Herald, made it into the pages of the Guardian.

Jorge Martin
International Secretary
Hands off Venezuela Campaign
(www.handsoffvenezuela.org)

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After every eleventh there is also the thirteenth

By Munnoo Bhai

Published in Daily Jang, Lahore, 31 May 2004

A poet says: When the idols gave me sorrow then god came in my memory.

Those who are now under the throes of the aggression of the lone ‘super power’ are now having the nostalgia of those socialist countries that rose with a force against the oppression and centuries of tyranny, plunder, European colonial domination and genocide of world capitalism. At the end of the Second World War by exploding atom bombs American imperialism tried to impose itself as a world policeman. But it also faced a mounting resistance. Just a few years ago those who were spouting poison against socialism are now coming to the conclusion that it is the only antidote to the imperialist poison. It is true that without a strong and scientific alternative system to replace it, American imperialism is moving towards a new and horrific colonialism and barbarity. In this situation Iraq has become a symbol of resistance against imperialist aggression.

It is also being said that if the Iraqi resistance would not have come up and the shameful acts in Abu Ghraib prison had not been exposed then this imperialist aggression would have moved into Syria, Iran,, North Korea and Venezuela.

Venezuela has become a new symbol of resistance against American aggression. This is a country on the coast of the Atlantic between Colombia, Guyana and Brazil and has an area of 352000 square miles. The former commando and thrice elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has introduced 49 laws in favour of the masses. For this crime and the sin of calling American action against terrorism as terrorism itself he has been declared as culpable to death by the imperialists. And more than once have attempts been made on his life.

In the words of Hugo Rafael Chavez himself after his government was overthrown by a military coup on April 11, 2002 for 24 hours he was certain that he would be assassinated. He says that, "after capturing my government the pro-American businessman, Pedro Carmona had told the people of Venezuela that I had resigned and left the government. I was expecting that they would shoot me and later say that I had committed suicide. But the masses of my country were with me hence I am alive and I am working with a new life, new determination and new intentions for the service of my people."

Those who had overthrown the elected government of Chavez on April 11, 2002 had their regime recognised by the United States within 12 hours. Hugo Chavez was forced to resign but when he refused he was taken to a military garrison where the young officers and soldier instead of shackling him garlanded him and showered flowers on him. From here Chavez was taken to an island two hundred miles in the Atlantic. But here instead of arresting him the military officers arrested those who had brought him there. From here Chavez was taken back to Caracas the capital of Venezuela.

On thirteenth of April 2002 when Chavez came off the aeroplane there were more than a million people on the streets to greet him. The American conspiracy against him was foiled in 48 hours.

After Fidel Castro had stepped on the tail of the Americans, the failure in toppling the government of this second ‘rebel’ didn’t stop the Americans from continuing their intrigues against the Chavez government. But perhaps they were too busy in the affairs of Iraq and Abu Ghraib prison and so the sole ‘superpower’ could not pay enough attention to Venezuela, which is one of the important oil producing countries and one of the four largest suppliers of oil to the United States.

On the second anniversary of the failed coup Hugo Chavez invited Alan Woods from Britain and Comrade Manzoor (Member National Assembly from Kasur) from Pakistan to Caracas. In this ceremony Hugo Chavez named George W. Bush and warned him that the intrigues against the democratically elected government of Venezuela are not stopped then not a drop of the Venezuelan oil shall go to America. Everyday 1.5 million barrels of oil are exported from Venezuela to the United States .He expressed his apprehensions that the American rulers want to carry out a bloody military coup in Venezuela as they had done against Sukarno in Indonesia, Mossediq in Iran and Allende in Chile in the past. These were reactionary counter-revolutions. In the whole of Latin America there is now a saying that ‘after every eleventh there is also a thirteenth’. This is in reference to the coup on the 11th and its defeat on the 13th.


Chavez and Bhutto

By Munnoo Bhai,

Published in Daily Jang, Lahore, 01 June 2004

The resistance of Venezuelan president Hugo Rafael Chavez against the world’s sole super power has risen as a forceful voice and has become the centre of attention for the world public opinion. It is not ruled out that he could become an alternative power in the opinion of the world. This wall of resistance can become a socialist force of the yesteryears against the excesses and the aggression being perpetrated in the world today.

In the words of Hugo Chavez, “It was an extraordinary event that the masses of Venezuela came to know the conspiracy against their elected government in good time and they came out in hundreds of thousands. It was due to this fierce protest that the military officers were forced to foil this heinous conspiracy of imposing a dictatorship against democracy. This was that concrete truth that saved me from a certain death and my country from a terrible disaster. It will be my earnest desire that this truth will guarantee the betterment and development of my country and its people”.

According to Chavez the political crisis didn’t develop after his accession to power in 1998. This conflict has been there ever since the economy of human need has been at war with the economy of the market. Venezuela is one of the largest oil producing countries and amongst the four main oil-supplying countries to the United States. In spite of this a vast majority of the masses of Venezuela have been forced into the darkness of poverty and misery. In the words of Chavez, “my opponents are least bothered about the poverty and misery of the country because they breed on the poverty of the poor. They are agitated because I want to spend a part of the income of oil to give some respite to the lives of the poor, destitute and the workers.”

In the last six years the government has doubled the spending on health and tripled the expenditure on education. This has increased literacy, health of children and the average age of the population. But the rich classes think that their rights have been hit, that their rates of profit have decreased which they consider as a damage to their interests. They are worried that Hugo Chavez will continue to take these steps to sustain his popularity. These policies they think will further decrease their rates of profits.

Chavez tells us, “After failing to remove me from power my opponents i.e. the rich classes of the country closed down the state oil company last year. During the countrywide strike my supporters were fired upon and then a signature campaign was started for a referendum against me. But the Venezuelan national electoral council that is an independent and autonomous institution like the American federal election commission […]. Now this has been exposed and proved that 375,000 signatures in favour of the referendum were forged. More than 800,000 were only names written without signatures and there were so many signatures of people long dead.”

“In the short span of six years I have been elected twice and still if I am considered a non democratic president and my decisions are considered dictatorial, I am prepared to fight another presidential election so that with the support of the masses I can inflict a stunning defeat on the enemies of the people.”

Hugo Chavez hopes that the representatives of the rich classes or the “Oilgarchies”of Venezuela and the American rulers will respect the democratic decisions. But this fact is also well known that today the most prominent flag bearers of democracy are the biggest enemies of democracy.

In the second anniversary of the failure of the April 11, 2002 coup along with thousands of Venezuelan masses a hundred and fifty foreign delegates also participated. Speaking on the occasion the People’s Party member of the National Assembly Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed drew the analogy of the present situation in Venezuela with the political revolution of 1968-69 in Pakistan. He said that the People’s Party became the largest party in the country’s history almost overnight on the basis of its anti-imperialist, anti-feudal and anti-capitalist founding manifesto. But the Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto government while remaining within the confines of this system tried to carry out reforms against this system through the bureaucracy and hence failed. Due to the failure of fulfilling the tasks posed by a revolutionary political situation it was ultimately overthrown. Martial Law was imposed and Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged at the gallows. On this occasion Manzoor Ahmed also read out a quotation from a page of the last book of Bhutto’s memoirs in which Bhutto had confessed his own responsibility in reaching this fate, that he had not paid enough attention to the contradictions in the interests of different classes. Manzoor Ahmed drew another analogy between Chavez and Bhutto: that both of them faced extreme hostility from the media that is in the control of the rich classes.

It is considered that the centre of anti-Chavez activities is the American Embassy in Venezuela. In the whole of Latin America a famous joke circulates that there is no military coup in the United States because there is no American Embassy in America.

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