Interpreting today’s events

October 3, 2003


There is no question in my mind, that today’s actions by the Chavez administration were meant to intimidate both Globovision and the opposition. To actually go in, confiscate the equipment with a fuzzy charge, using the wrong procedures and create this reaction, had to be something carefully planned to intimidate at least Globovision if not the opposition. The only question is why. In my mind, there are three possibilities, from most probable to least probable:


-For the last two weeks, Globovision has been broadcasting regularly and live, the acts of repression against the oil workers in Los Semerucos and Monagas and poor squatters in La Rinconada. Then last night, Globovision shows a large contingent of “militia” arriving in Caracas biggest military facility “Fuerte Tiuna”. These “militia” which Globovision suggested were Cubans, was shown arriving at the fort with Che Guevara T-shirts and being welcomed by Venezuelan military officials. To me, this was the last straw; someone got very mad and decided something had to e done.


-A second possible explanation was that this was simply a test of the response of the opposition people to an arbitrary measure by the Government. It was sufficiently flimsy and improvised to make it likely.-09 \



-The third and final explanation, which has to be proven medium term, is that the Government wants to generate a climate of protest and violence, much like it successfully did during last year’s strike. Then, as the day of the petition drive for the recall approaches, the CNE would be forced to argue that given the climate of tension and confrontation, it would be impossible to even attempt to gather the signatures. This would postpone the petition drive, which plays right into the Government’s strategy (see the previous story)


The sloppiness of the procedure, which gave it an air of improvisation, seems to point out to the first explanation. However, only time will tell whether this is correct or not.

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