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].
REASON FOR SHUTTING DOWN TV STATIONS
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.
CHÁVEZ COMEBACK EXPOSES U.S. GOVERNMENT & MEDIA LIES
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
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
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
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
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
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
EVERYBODY IS IN SUCH A HURRY
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
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."
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
- State Dep't Statement (2)
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
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.
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
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"
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"
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