[Media Watch] An exchange of letters in the Guardian

Former Miss Venezuela Cristal Montañez wrote an anti-Chavez letter to the Guardian which prompted a quick reply by Hands Off Venezuela. 

Former Miss Venezuela Cristal Montañez wrote an anti-Chavez letter to the Guardian which prompted a quick reply by Hands Off Venezuela.

Chávez doesn't speak for Venezuela

Tuesday September 26, 2006
The Guardian

We, the members of IVCD, the International Venezuelan Council for Democracy, feel compelled to express our strongest protest against the manner in which Venezuela's current president, Hugo Chávez, is performing his role both on the domestic and the international scene (Chávez boosts Chomsky sales, September 25).

The contents of Mr Chávez's speech at the recent UN summit conference in New York cannot be taken to represent the true character and spirit of the Venezuelan people, and it makes us feel deeply ashamed to have him as our spokesperson, even if this role is of a temporary nature.

As an organisation that promotes democracy, freedom and civilisation, we are deeply offended by his attacks on the president of a country with which we have maintained the best of diplomatic, commercial and social relations for many decades. We would like to apologise to the people of the United States, on behalf of the Venezuelan people.

Finally, you must understand that Mr Chávez has lost all traces of political legitimacy in our country due to his systematic violations of the rule of law, and of the fundamental rights and freedoms of our people. Chávez has pilfered our national assets, created poverty and social chaos in our country, and aligned his regime with the most despicable dictatorships of the planet. Now he wants to promote division and resentment among US citizens by calling the US president a devil and an alcoholic, and by making insincere handouts to selected "poor" communities in portions of the United States.
Cristal MontaÅ„éz
President, IVCD

Chavéz is no villain to Venezuela's poor

Wednesday September 27, 2006
The Guardian

President Hugo Chávez has overwhelming support among the poor majority in Venezuela (Letters, September 26). This is because it is now a genuinely participatory democracy where 1.5 million more children are now in school, every barrio has a health centre, poverty has been drastically reduced and the country's oil wealth has stayed in the country instead of heading straight for Miami. Cristal Montañéz is clearly part of the tiny, rightwing rich elite in Venezuela, unused to sharing wealth, disgusted that a "mestizo" who truly represents the people is running the country for the benefit of the majority.
Rodrigo Trompiz
Hands Off Venezuela

So the International Venezuelan Council for Democracy feels it needs to apologise to the US citizens for Chavez's speech at the UN. Hardly any need, a large group of them agrees. IVCD is not for democracy, freedom and civilisation - if it was, it would support the changes taking place in Venezuela, which are taking the country from being a "banana republic" to a country that its citizens can be proud of. Social justice and equality is the best way for any society. IVCD should visit Scandinavia and learn.
Susanna Wisborg


Cristal Montañéz, president of the disingenuously named International Venezuelan Council for Democracy (which claims 23 affiliated organisations; 14 of them based in the US), attempts to dismiss the social reforms of the government of Hugo Chávez as "insincere handouts" to selected poor communities in the US. Montañéz (who is a regular contributor to the presses of the US-based petroleum industry and financial institutions) should be clearer in her terminology. The only "handouts" which would be of concern are those that the IVCD probably receive from Washington.
Mark Brown

[If you see lies or misinformation in the media about the Bolivarian revolution, please let us know so that we can put the record straight]



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