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Venezuela & Chávez

This Is A Media Insurrection

Telephone Interview with Venezuelan President, Hugo Chávez conducted 12 April - in midst of coup d'état

Excerpts from interview by Stella Calloni in Argentina Reprinted from LA JORNADA (Mexican daily) 12 April 2002

Our appreciation to Paul Davidson who sent this article and Felipe Ortiz who kindly translated it [Posted 16 April 2002]



After giving the interview posted below, President Hugo Chávez was first kidnapped and then amazingly rescued by loyal paratroopers supported by massive demonstrations. Above Chávez addresses Venezuelans following his release. The picture behind him is Simon Bolivar the great General who fought for a unified Latin American Federation free of foreign rule and who inspires Chávez. In our opinion his support of Bolivar's goals is at the heart of Washington's opposition to Chávez.

"What we have before us is a conspiracy, open and shameless, and yesterday you could already hear them talk of being ready for a civilian-military insurrection, and the TV stations lined up to transmit this. This is unheard of. A wave of rumors and falsehoods was presented to the world and we can demonstrate that each and every one of these was a lie," said President Hugo Chávez to La Jornada by telephone from Caracas.

"They brought [to the anti-government demonstration] a lot of people whom they had duped, telling them that I was already a prisoner and they were going to seize Miraflores [the presidential palace]. It must be said also that this is a media insurrection and one must consider what that means for the future of all democracies. I must thank the workers in the oil, petrochemical, education, health, steel, and air transport industries, and so many others who worked, resisting this almost unbelievable campaign [of disinformation]," he continued.

The President maintained that a campaign was devised in which certain television stations instigated violence, knowing beforehand that there was a plan for insurrection. He recalled that long ago he personally had [publicly appeared] to explain to the world what was happening in his country, when he was already being accused of installing a dictatorship in Venezuela.

"This is nothing new if you understand that they are imitating Goebbels, who in Adolph Hitler's time had the task of repeating a lie until it seemed true," he said.

Although the president could not stay on the phone for long, due to the gravity of the situation and confusion in Caracas, Venezuelan government sources stated that several supporters of Chávez have been among the first victims of the clashes, pointing out that this has not been reported in the news media which have, moreover, transmitted only a few fragments of Chávez's long message [to the people].



In his speech, sent to us, the president and former military coup leader [note: Chávez led an attempted military coup d'état in 1992] explained to the population his reasons for having closed down three television stations.

He said he had tolerated the [television stations'] attacks as much as possible, the disinformation and the "lies" which-he insisted-were conceived to serve a plan for insurrection. He even underscored that, a day earlier, he had sent the Vice President to meet with the owners of the television stations to pursuade them to stop instigating violence.

By way of explaining what led up to the current situation, he said that in the past few days groups of hooded individuals had, from a safe position behind the television cameras, proceeded to attack with stones those who demonstrated on the streets. [The television cameras would then film these "attacks on peaceful demonstrators" without filming the hooded attackers.]

When he got no cooperation from the television stations, he decided to apply the legal powers available under the Constitution.

"There were repeated violations of article 192," said Chávez, explaining the reasons why he suspended the television stations, recalling that yesterday the media was giving a public voice to those who were calling for the violent overthrow of the government regardless of how many deaths this would cause. "I don't want anything serious to happen. We are perfectly willing to negotiate," he pledged.

He denounced the behavior of some police groups who [he said] have assisted the opposition by spreading rumors, and who decided to fire at the demonstrators without orders.

Spokespeople close to the President called it "astonishing" that a group of television stations tied to the economic elite should create an information flow to literally "invade the world" with just one version of events, spreading "astounding disinformation."

To make their case they noted that those in the ranks of the military who are part of this campaign had openly called for a coup d'état against the constitutional president. Several businesspeople interviewed by the same television stations called for the same thing.

"They are looking for an Augusto Pinochet, not in the shadows anymore, but openly, in a television broadcast," said these sources close to the government. [Note: General Augosto Pinochet worked closely with the CIA to overthrow the legal president of Chile, Salvador Allende, in a bloody coup d'état in 1973. This was followed by years of harsh repression.]


Who's in charge? Would-be coup leader Pedro Carmona, with friend.
In this picture, Carmona is "taking the oath." During his brief reign, his junta dissolved Congress, fired all members of the Supreme Court, arrested or hunted all former government ministers, and conducted house-to-house searches of Chavez supporters. Meanwhile police shot many at massive pro-Chavez demonstrations. The State Department described the pro-coup military as "commendable," the media which had openly incited the coup as "valiant" and referred to the coup d'état regime as a "transitional government." But the latest issue of Newsweek informs us that the US government did not support the coup.

REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar
Not like Chile in 1973... Army barracks opposite Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, April 13, 2002. Soldiers wave Venezuelan flag and raise weapons and berets hailing a crowd backing President Chavez as members of the coup government flee the palace through tunnels.


By D. Baatar, Jared Israel, Nestor Gorojovsky & Nico Varkevisser [Posted 14 April 2002]

To paraphrase an old proverb: "Celebrate in haste; repent at leisure."

On April 13th the New York Times rushed to gloat that one more opponent of the US Empire had been crushed.

Never mind that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez had been elected by overwhelming popular vote. (In contrast, might we note, to George Walker Bush.) All the same, an editorial in the Times described the Venezuelan military/big business coup d'état as an effort to reassert democracy:

"Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator...[because] the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader." - N Y Times (1)
And the Times added:
"But democracy has not yet been restored, and won't be until a new president is elected." (1)
In the bad old Cold War days, the US Establishment used to attack its opponents for not holding multiparty elections.

Well, Venezuela did hold multiparty elections and Chávez won by a landslide. But this was not sufficient.

In the New World Order, democracy is not defined as holding elections. Democracy is defined as supporting US polices. No matter how many elections Chávez won by how many landslides, his resistance to US Diktat made him by definition antidemocratic, that is, "a would-be dictator."

Thus when the military took over Venezuela three days ago and installed a pro-Washington big business leader as President, the Times did not describe this military coup d'état as a threat to democracy. Rather, they described it as *ending* a threat to democracy.

Similarly, in the past, NY Times editorials have immediately applauded coup d'états in Yugoslavia (overthrowing elected President Slobodan Milosevic) and the Philippines (overthrowing elected President Joseph Estrada).

But this time the Times gloated a bit too soon.


Since the New World Order has re-defined democracy as subservience to US diktat, it is only fair that the democratic content of every event should be given a rating by the US government.

Thus it is by no means surprising that the US State Department issued a Press Statement rating the democratic content of the Venezuelan coup d'état.

The only problem is, the State Department, like the New York Times, published a bit too soon.

Within hours of the coup, the State Department issued a Press Statement. This described the pro-coup military as "commendable," the media which had openly incited the coup as "valiant" and referred to the short-lived coup d'état regime as a "transitional government." The document blamed Hugo Chávez for the coup because under his government:

"essential elements of democracy...have been weakened in recent months."
- State Dep't Statement (2)

To what "essential elements of democracy" might State be referring? They didn't say, but all the newspapers have pointed out that the big dispute in Venezuela has been over the State-owned oil company.

Venezuelan President Chávez had weakened "essential elements of democracy" by appointing as leaders of the state-owned oil company people that were (horrors!) loyal to his administration rather than to Chevron Oil and, perhaps even worse, by selling oil to Cuba at an affordable price.

Chávez must not have been aware that willingness to strangle Cuba is a crucial component of the New World Order's definition of "democracy."

The State Department declaration repeated the common media line, without introducing a shred of evidence, that:

"Chávez supporters, on orders, fired on unarmed, peaceful protestors, resulting in more than 100 wounded or killed." (2)
"The results of these provocations are: Chávez resigned the presidency. Before resigning, he dismissed the Vice President and the Cabinet. A transition civilian government has promised early elections." (2)
So let's get this right.

First, Chávez ordered his supporters to kill a few opponents. This could hardly have been expected to disperse a large demonstration which had been called by leading TV stations and part of the military. But it could certainly have been expected to assist military leaders who were openly looking for - or trying to manufacture - an excuse to stage a coup d'état.

Having provided this excuse by murdering said opponents Chávez then switched character and acted with remorse by firing himself and everyone else who was (we are told) involved. This Chávez is very mercurial, no?

We can now state with certainty that a) Chávez never resigned; b) he never dismissed his vice president and cabinet. In other words, the State Department, confident that Chávez had been silenced for good, was lying.

But why?

Because they wanted the military takeover to appear as a "Change of Government" (which, by the way is the title of the State Department declaration) rather than what it was: a US instigated military coup d'état.

To make this possible, it was necessary that before departing the scene Chávez should dismiss every single top government official, and then himself.

Mind you, it would have been entirely unacceptable for Chávez to begin by firing himself. Once he dismissed himself he would no longer have had the authority to dismiss the vice president and all cabinet members. This would have violated prescribed State Department procedures, making it undemocratic.

Since we know for sure that the State Department was lying through its teeth when it claimed Chávez had resigned and fired everyone, isn't it reasonable to believe they were also lying through their teeth when they claimed he ordered supporters to shoot some opponents?

Keep in mind that shooting opponents was an act which (like dismissing his government) would have helped only his opponents by giving them a seeming justification for the coup d'état which some military officers had been calling for on "opposition" TV stations.

Even as the Mighty and their Media congratulated themselves on the "democratic" coup and celebrated this latest reassertion of their invincibility, another voice was heard.

The wretched of this earth, residents of the slums of Caracas, whose suffering is the ugly secret of the glossy US Empire, came by the thousands, in from the countryside, down from the hills around Caracas, and with loyalist soldiers they took Venezuela back from the hands of what the CIA boys like to call "Civil society," and all we can say is this is how the current worldwide empire of lies will end: by just such actions of the ordinary, wonderful, decent people of this world, God bless them.

Press Statement Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman Washington, DC
April 12, 2002 "Venezuela: Change of Government"

From: http://emperors-clothes.com/analysis/jornada.htm

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