Alberto Quiros Corradi and the foreign press in today’s El Nacional

December 29, 2002

 


From today’s El Nacional Alberto Quiros Corradi, former oil industry execituve,  his vision of the coverage by the foreign press of what is going on in Venezuela (El Nacional, page, B4, link not possible due to new “horrible” format), liberally translated by me:


 


-A very special “view” that Anglo-Saxons have of political societies in South America


 


They are imperfect democracies in which in each corner there is a conspirator waiting and stimulating the military to overthrow a legitimately constituted Government. The history of our coup de etats, together with the events of April 11th. helps to ratify that perception.


Especially when many of the civilians of that “incident” have a significant presence in the current process.

-Despite the above, and it is not a contradiction, Anglo-Saxons tend to subconsciously extrapolate the majesty and strength of their public institutions to those here and hope that citizens will respect them the same way they do it there. As an example it would be unthinkable for somebody to pretend to disobey a sentence from the Supreme Court which-to them- is the United Sates Supreme Court. (It isn’t)


 


-They do not understand the definite bias that the media, TV, radio and written press have in favor of the opposition.

Nevertheless, marking differences, it would be useful to remember, that when people have seen threatened their way of life, the media-in those places too-has taken strong positions.


 


In the American Civil War, those in the north and in the south took positions. During the two world wars, they took positions. During the tragic events of September 11th. 2001, they took position. Moreover, in presidential elections, some newspapers, editorialize about the candidate of their preference and encourage citizens to vote for them. Even more, in the view of these correspondents, Chavez is nothing more than a political trend which needs to be defeated with the regular mechanisms that democracy provides.  



For many of us, Chavez constitutes-if he continues strengthening his autocratic regimen- a real danger that is attempting to substitute democratic institutions that we have given ourselves, for a regimen of clear totalitarian nature. For those that have always lived under the rule of law and with the subordination of military power to civilian power, perhaps it is difficult to “see” this type of danger. But I am sure that if they tried to put themselves in our position, they would see it.

-Correspondents, senators, deputies and Anglo-Saxon opinion groups take clear position in favor of a Government which, because it was elected democratically, has legitimacy and any attempt to remove it from power, by means which are clearly unconstitutional, would be unacceptable.

We think the same thing, but we would like to remind these foreign friends that the Democratic Charter, subscribed by all our countries, includes an article that a democratically elected Government may lose its legitimacy, if during its term it strays from the constitutional precepts that it agreed to respect. The British and others, whose countries are ruled by a parliamentary system, know quite well how the will of the people changes Governments when they deem them inappropriate and in the majority of these cases, it is not even related to Governments that have violated constitutional mandates.


 


These transgressions took place in the case of one President of the United States which was impeached for lying to his people. If we could apply that same criteria here to get rid of our President we would not be in the dangerous sociopolitical situation we are in today.


 


(See my notes on Impeachment, Elections, referenda below)


 


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