Archive for October 17th, 2002

From Tal Cual and WEIL

October 17, 2002

From todays’ Tal Cual (page 7) cartoon by WEIL:

Chavez from the podium: Given the hunger I have generated in my country and the excess luxury that I have thanks to the State….Gentlemen…what the f……am i going to say here?

(If the President were honest)


Editorial on Venezuela by Peru’s El Comercio de Lima

October 17, 2002

This is my translation of the Editorial two days ago by one of Lima’s leading newspapers:

The large demonstrations against President Hugo Chavez express the high level of popular discontent caused by his authoritarian ways and his poor economic performance.

It is a fact, that the so-called “Takeover of Caracas”, last Thursady the 10th. exceeded the expectations of the organizers: It is calculated that more than one million people went to protest agaisnt the Government, without resorting to violent excesses.

Now a work stoppage is announced if Chavez does not resign or hold anticipated elections at the same time that Chavez’ supporters participated in a demonstration to back the Government which was presided by the Head of State himself.

Perhaps the requests may be polemic and even extreme from the point of view of the principles of a democratic system. However, there is no doubt as to the legitimacy of the demonstrations organized by the Democratic Coordinator which groups almost all political parties, civil associations, unions and the private sector. Thus, they should serve as a wake up call to the Chavez Government to rectify and to reopen democratic spaces in Venezuela.

Venezuela faces a profound economic crisis,  together with high unemployment and high inflation indices which contribute to radicalize the social climate. To this inefficient management of the economy with a bias towards the state, one should add corruption charges against the highest levels of the Government, which only makes matters worse.

That is why it is urgent to promote dialogue mechanisms between the Government and the opposition before the situation gets out of hand. This requires that before anything else the President should set aside his defiant and anti-Democratic speech, who never doubts in threatening freedom of speech and the press and who polarizes the country and increases the instability in dangerous ways.



Chavez’ cynicism

October 17, 2002

Venezuelans know that Hugo Chavez is a cynic. Well, the international community saw it first hand today. When Hugo Chavez came back in April, he was contrite. He promised there would be an independent committee to investigate the truth of what happened on April 11th. On May 15th., the Chavez controlled National Assembly approved the first draft of the Bill creating that commission, with the joint vote of the oposition. Since then Chavez’ MVR has shelved the discussion of that Bill.

Today Hugo Chavez calls for an international committee because he “gives an extraordinary importance to finding out the truth about what happened in April”. Come on Hugo, call Caracas and have your party approve the Bill in Congress. For those abroad who don’t follow the details of what happens in Venezuela, read the Editorial in local newspaper Tal Cual on September 10th., which describes how the Government sabotaged the bill to establish the truth commission. The Editorial that day also notes the “coincidence” that the Attorney General has jailed 7 members of Chavez’ MVR as the only suspects in the April deaths. By the way that paper’s Editor is Teodoro Petkoff, who irks the opposition with his attempts to be balanced.

Chavez talking about Human Rights, come on!

Violence asking for Mayor’s resignation

October 17, 2002

As I write this Governement supporters that took over downtown Caracas this morning continue shooting a the police. The group is led by Lina Ron , a Chavez supporter, who is asking the Mayor to resign.The Mayor, Alfredo Peņa was the first Minister of the Interior during the Chavez administration. The police are using tear gas, while Chavez’ supporters are using guns. Such nice people!