Archive for October 14th, 2002

Cuba, lies and Videotapes (or at least pictures)

October 14, 2002

The power of the web

The web has some incredible features as yet not fully realized. Last Friday Caracas’ newspaper Tal Cual published a picture of last Thursday’s opposition march:

Yesterday Cuba’s glorious Government newspaper Granma published the same picture accompanying a story of Hugo Chavez’ glorious “two million people” march  which took place three days later on Sunday:

 How about that, the net does not allow you to lie!!! You can lie but you can’t hide!!!


Thanks to my friend Guadalupe for the tip!!!

The 22 violations of the Constitution by the Chavez Administration. Part II

October 14, 2002

Second part of the series being published by El Universal on the violations of the Constitution by the Chavez Government.

7.-6/30/2000 Chavez’ illegally appointed Supreme Court rules that the nomination for the National Electoral Commission do not have to follow the Constitution as long as they are provisional (This provisional status reamin until today).

8.-06/01/2000 The National Assembly approved the new Telecommunications law, which allows the Government to to suspend TV and radio concessions “when it is convenient to the interests of the nation”. This violates all the articles about freedom of information, speech and human rights established in the 1999 Constitution.

9.-06/30/2000 The Supreme Court excludes from being defined as non-Governemnt organizations with the rights given to such institutions by the Constitution to nominate, represent and participate to all organizations that: i) are composed of clerics, ii) foreigners, iii) have received funding from  foreign institutions and iv) are worlwide organizations. This violates the rights given by the Constitution to all people to participate and not be discriminated against.

10.-11/14/2000 The National Assembly approved a law to name Civil Servants and the Supreme Court which violated the procedures established in the Constitution. The Supreme Court (which had an obious conflict of interest) has yet to decide on the Constitutionality of this law.

11.- The President throught his Presidency has abused his power by forcing the media to carry his speeches, sometimes hours long and sometimes many times a week which he has used to attack, disqualify and declare “war targets” personalities and institutions from the media, religious and political groups. He has asked the people not to buy certain newspapers. He cancelled the transmission of TV stations on April 11th. at the same precise time tahat a peaceful march was being massacred by his supporters. In the two days prior to April 11th. he forced the media to carry as many as 20 of his nationwide speeches. These are all obvious violations of the both the current and prior Constitutions.

12.-12/2000 The President actively participated in a union campaign election, refusing to recognize the legality of the results when his candidate lost. The Electoral Commission in violation of international law supervised the process and refused to acknowledge the victor. This violates the Constitution as well as international treaties. To date, the Chavez Government has yet to accept the winner of that election.

Letter to the King of Norway

October 14, 2002


Your Majesty                                                          Oct. 14th. 2002

King of Norway

Oslo, Norway


Your Highness


As a Venezuelan I can’t help but be appalled at the news that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will be officially received by you and your Government. I am not sure what type of advice or intelligence your Government has received, but the Chavez Government has consistently violated the human rights of its people during the last three years. Only last week, active military officers had their rights violated by attempts to arrest them without any regards to due process or the Constitution.


Separately, Hugo Chavez, his Vice-President and members of his Cabinet have been accused of crimes against humanity in front of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, unfortunately the Court remains under his controls, despite which the Court has said that there is evidence and has asked the Attorney General to investigate the case further. Unfortunately, more than twenty suits against the President have yet to be processed by the Attorney General’s office.


This weekend Hugo Chavez boasted that he was ready to cut off all TV transmissions during last Thursday’ opposition march accusing them of faking the images which showed over 1.2 million people attended. And they attended despite the many threats of violence by the President himself and some of his supporters. The threats by Hugo Chavez are not new, the OAS has already issued precautionary measures to protect the rights of many reporters. None of these have been implemented by the Chavez administration.


As I said at the beginning, I am appalled and surprised that a Government from a country that has such a tradition of defending and promoting not only democracy but also the sanctity of human rights would welcome our President as a friendly Head of State. While Hugo Chavez was elected democratically, he has proven and shown at each step that he is not. His constant violation of the Constitution, abuse of the media and absolute disregard for those that disagree with him make him a threat to all Venezuelans and a shame on the international community that supports his ability to repress and abuse.


Respectfully Yours


Miguel Octavio


Was Chavez’ march that big?

October 14, 2002

There is no question that Hugo Chavez’ Government knows how to manipulate the media, in particular the international media. Reports in most newspapers abroad say that Chavez’ march was as large as that of the opposition. Nothing is further from the truth. The proof is in the sneaky ads published by the Government in today’s newspapers (Who paid for them?) claiming Government supporters are a majority with a fuzzy picture of Bolivar Avenue filled with people. Curiosly, in the era of digital media, the picture was extremely fuzzy (but in color!) in all local newspapers. The reason? simple, beyond a certain point Bolivar Avenue was simply empty. In contrast on Thursday during the oposition march, not only was the full avenue completly filled with people, but there were people still marching Kilometers away.

According to Alejandro Freites, who is the most serious person in Venezuela when it comes to counting people in marches, Chavez’ march had 93,000 people calculated in various ways, while the same technique yielded 1.2 million for the Government’s march.

What’s curious is that while Chavez maybe fooling the international press, Venezuelans either went or know someone that went to Thursday’s march and can’t be fooled by the President’s statements. If Chavez really believed that his supporters were a majority, he would hold a referendum and just get it over with. The problem is, he knows he would lose and will do anything to stop it, just watch the next few weeks.