A country in crisis

September 9, 2002

On Sunday an OAS/PNUD/Carter Center commission arrived in Venezuela to attempt to establish a dialogue that will reduce tensions in the country. President Chavez himself came back on Saturday from the Johannesburg meeting. While one would think that things would be quiet prior to the arrival of such a commission. the opposite has been true. In fact, it appears as if the level of confrintation continues to go up:

-President Chavez announces that the Government will confiscate companies that participate in a General strike later in the month.

-President Chavez says he will create a new union Federation to make sure the will of the workers is represented.

-Venezuela resumes sending shipments of oil to Cuba under a treaty that has been questioned in the Supreme Court and has not been approved by the National Assembly as required by the Constitution.

-President Chavez presents a video purported to show that a video broadcast on April 11th., the day of the massacre against innocent civilians, was made before the deaths occurred, citing a CNN reporter. Within hours, the reporter says he has been used.

-An opposition group rejects the participation of the Carter Center in the mediation, arguing that the Center was invited by the Government, while the other two organizations were not.

-Union, a party created by a former Chavez friend says that Chavez is hiding the evidence of his responsability in the deaths on April 11th.

-AD leader: Chavez has to be kicked out democratically.

-A bomb is placed at the home of one of the leading Governemnt Deputies.

-General under possible trial says he is being threatened.

-Vice-President calls on the opposition to avoid “an explosion”.

-Socialist League: The 11 judges of the Supreme Court, who voted not to try the Generals for the events in April, should be tried for covering up the facts.

-The Commander of the Army gathers all military leaders and says he wants the Army out of politics.

You be the judge of which side induces more confrontation. What is clear is that tensions are building up very fast, boding badly for the short and medium term future of the country. 


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