Powell vs. Chaderton: How to twist the truth

April 20, 2003

Upon my return I find that U.S.A. Secretary of State Powell made a very simple statement “Chavez can show his democratic vocation with the recall referendum”. To me, a very bland and true statement. To the Venezuelan Government, a violent reaction such as an MVR Deputy saying “Powell is not well informed”. But I am truly amazed at our Foreign Minister who said: ” The truth is being hidden from Powell, the recall referendum is in the Constitution and was put in there by the Government.”

This is true, but the opposition, through a violation of the previous Constitution only has four seats out of a hundred in the Constitutional Assembly, despite obtaining 33% of the vote. This violated the right to minority representation guaranteed by the previous Constitution. Now, as far as I remember these four people did not object to the recall referendum, so what is Mr. Chaderton saying? Moreover, the consultative referendum is also in the Constitution and despite the fact that the opposition fullfilled all the requirements for it, it was not held. Finally. Hugo Chavez himself, using a very vulgar expression, told the opposition that there would not be a referendum and appointed himself to a job that is not his, when he said that the signatures already collected for the recall referendum were “chimbas”. Chimba is local slang for something which is fake through dirty means. So perhaps Mr. Powell is better informed than Mr. Chaderton would like him to be.

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