Archive for December 27th, 2002

Brasil and Venezuela: A dangerous intervention

December 27, 2002

The decision by the Brasilian Government, whether new or old, to send a tanker of gasoline to Venezuela, may have grave implications for the future of Brasilian-Venezuelan relations. For those of us in the opposition, this represents not only a clear intervention in the internal affairs of our country, but it also represents an act of agression against us. It is an agression because the Brasilian Government is taking sides in a conflict that matches a majority of 70-80% of Venezuelans, against a Government that has by now become absolutely illegitimate. We find little comfort from the words of the Brasilian Ambassador to Venezuela, who attempted to explain the tanker as “Humanitarian aid”. What defines “Humanitarian”? What if the gasoline arriving in Venezuela is used  by the National Guard to mobilize its troops to repress peaceful demonstrations like what has happened in the last few weeks? What if it is used to mobilize Chavez’ supporters in their demosntrations, while the opposition walks? What if is used to favor one group over another? This is what makes a mockery of the excuse given by the Brasilian Ambassador to Venezuela.

One of the most puzzling aspects of the gasoline tanker sent by Brasil, is to see Lula Da silva, the soon to be sworn-in President of Brasil, whose power base comes from the unions, act as a scab in a conflict where the largest Federation of Unions the Confederacion de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV), is leading the general strike against the Chavez Government. It is remarkable to see how a “union man” who came to power changes his behavior even before he has taken power. Even worse is to see his personal emissary insulting Venezuelan media in what is clearly an intromission in Venezuelan affairs.

Politicians like to talk about history and supposedly it shapes them, Lula Da Silva should look at history and the history of rebellions. No Government can survive the level of rebellion and civil disobedience by the Venezuelan society in the last few months. No Government can fool the world all the time, the way the Chavez administration is trying to fool the world.  Thus, the relations between Brasil and Venezuela will suffer significantly if the Brasilian Government mantains its current attitude. If it does, the protest of Venezuelans will focus on Brasil. Venezuelans are currently mobilized like few citiizens of any country have ever been. Diverting even a small fraction of that protest to Brasil, its Ambassador, its Consul, its properties, boycotting its products will take little effort. The danger is that the Brasilian Government is acting against almost 80% of the Venezuelan population. A population that did not celebrate Christmas because getting rid of Hugo Chavez was more important. A population that sacrificed many things to get where it is today. There is no gas, soft drinks, some foodstuffs are scarce. Thus this same population can sacrifice Brasil and all things Brasilian if it finds that country acts agaisnt its will. We will miss Brasil, its music, its people, its futbol (soccer), its  products, but there are values definitely more important to us than that. Like democracy or freedom…….

My pictures from yesterday’s protest

December 27, 2002

Patriotic Biker                                                                Reporter with kids

Chvaez the Grinch                                            Cha-Beast                                    The self pot-banging man, he jumps and makes noise



Posters from New York protest

December 27, 2002


An analogy sent by a reader

December 27, 2002

This was sent by a reader named Eliana, not all the analogies are perfect, PDVSA is owned by the Government, for example, but it does put it into a perspective that may be understood by Americans.

American Friends:

In proper proportions, what the Citizens of Venezuela are doing raises questions that I want to put forth to you:

What would America do if your President Owned (yes owned, not influenced) Congress, the Supreme Court, the Attorney General, and all high officials and you are helpless and have to rely only on yourselves?

What would America do if President George Bush forced Secretary Colin Powell into early retirement, and with him, most 4, 3 and 2 Star Generals, and replaced them with One Star Generals and Colonels that he feels are true to him?

What would America do if President Bush decided not to respect Human Rights any more?

What would America do if 22 million Americans demanded to have Free Elections to do away with a corrupt Government it found it had decided to openly embrace communism , but you didn’t vote to have your Democracy assassinated?

What would America do if President George Bush decided that he didn’t trust the Army to be unconditional to him, and thus decided to have Milosevic send him some of his Elite troops to protect him from the American Citizens and assure he stays in power?

What would America do if President Bush decided to fire Vice President Dick Cheney, and put a Lieutenant friend from the Army in his place? and then fire the three Vice Presidents!

What would America do if President Bush decided to fire all management and take over EXXON MOBIL, AMOCO, CONOCOPHILLIPS, SHELL America, CHEVRONTEXACO,OCCIDENTAL PETROLEUM, SUNOCO,  and all smaller oil companies, and when the American citizens working in them went on Strike, President Bush decided tocall the National Guard to attack these unarmedprotesters, men and women, with Tear Gas and hit them with Machetes?

What would America do if President Bush asked Fidel Castro to invade the USA on his behalf, have mercenaries come ashore and put them in the officers home’s in Annapolis, Tallahassee, the Georgia and South Carolina coast , and have Mrs. Powell and the wives of other military officers cook for them so that these mercenaries are not seen or detected by the way they speak? keeping them in hiding until the time comes for them to kill unarmedcivilians, under Presidential order?

What would America do if 120 million Americans took to the streets in protest against a legally elected President who decided that he didn’t like Democracy any more, and that Americans would now be ruled by Osama Bin Ladenand friends?

These incredible things are happening in Venezuela right now. The citizens of Venezuela will not give up. Are you going to continue to support “President” Chavez’s Regime and have our blood in your conscience?

What would America do in two weeks when preparing for War with Irak’s Saddam Hussein and having lost 2.000.000 Barrels of dependable Oil from Venezuela?Oil from Venezuela will not flow as long as this modern day Dictator, Chávez, is in Power.

Another order for the Venezuelan Government by CIDH

December 27, 2002

The Interamerican Human Rights Court (CIDH), issued another order today to the Venezuelan Governnment to protect ” the life, personal integrity and freedom of speech” of five Television reporters. It also asked that threats and attacks on these reporters be investigated. As reported below by COFAVIC, not once has the Chavez administration obeyed these orders.