A total of eighty seven officers ended up declaring themselves in Civil Disobedience not recognizing Hugo Chavez as President and any of their superiors. The military officers invoked article 350 of the new Venezuelan Constitution which says:
ArtŪculo 350. El pueblo de Venezuela, fiel a su tradiciůn republicana, a su lucha por la independencia, la paz y la libertad, desconocerŠ cualquier rťgimen, legislaciůn o autoridad que contrarŪe los valores, principios y garantŪas democrŠticas o menoscabe los derechos humanos.
Article 350. The people of Venezuela, faithful to their republican tradition, to their fight for independence, will refuse to recognize any regime, legislation or authority which contradicts their democratic values and principles or reduces human rights.
The military officers called on the rest of the Armed Forces to join them. They said they will not leave until Hugo Chavez resigns, called Chavez a Dictator who refuses to follow the will of the people as expressed by the marches of Oct. 10. and the general strike of Oct. 21st, calling for a referendum or elections.
The three pictures above, taken by yours truly, show when the officers were giving their speeches as well as a general view of the couple of thousand people that gathered at the Altamira Square, which the officers called, “liberated” territory.
The media was cautious with the news, giving it reduced coverage. The Democratic coordinating committee which groups the opposition distanced itself from the action. My initial impression was that something else was going to happen as the first couple of hours appeared to be quite carefully staged, with officers joining the announcement at carefully staged intervals. At this time, 1:28 AM Caracas (and EST) the crowd is still going strong, but the crowd seems to want “more” and it appears as if nothing else will take place.