blatham
 
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 08:43 pm
Condi Rice's odd concentration on Venezuela during her confirmation hearing suggested that maybe the administration is gearing up a PR campaign against Chavez. Though Chavez was democratically elected, and though he survived a recent nation-wide vote, the administration appears to be unhappy with certain socialist policies and ties to Cuba. Of course, Venezuela also has huge oil reserves.

The purpose of this thread is to maintain an on-going account of administration statements about Venezuela/Chavez.

Quote:
Published: February 15, 2005

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Latin American nations must join together to protect democracy against a ``creeping authoritarianism'' that has been taking root in the region, a senior Bush administration official said Tuesday.

Robert Zoellick, designated by President Bush for the State Department's No. 2 position, cited in particular the actions of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

Zoellick, who has served as Bush's chief trade official since 2001, said Chavez has been carrying out anti-democratic activities in the same way that former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori did during the 1990s.

``I think it's a very dangerous course for these countries,'' Zoellick said, testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing.

Chavez has closely aligned his country with Cuba and has embraced President Fidel Castro's rhetoric.

``The imperialist forces are starting to strike against the people of Latin America and the world,'' Chavez said in a speech two weeks ago to a gathering in Brazil.

Chavez has accused the United States of meddling in a recall referendum last year and of supporting a military coup that almost drove him from power in 2002. The Bush administration has denied both allegations.

Zoellick said a new breed of authoritarians follows similar patterns. ``You win the election, but you do away with your opponents, you do away with the press, you do away with the rule of law, you pack the courts,'' he said.

He said pro-democratic changes adopted by the Organization of American States in 1991 were designed to protect elected governments against military coups and should be altered to deal with a trend toward authoritarianism.

His comments offered a view of the challenges the United States faces in Latin America that was not heard earlier. His testimony could herald a significant departure in hemispheric policy.

Chavez, he said, wants to portray his relationship with the United States as comparable to ``David and Goliath.'' He added that the United States ``shouldn't be afraid to say, 'Well, he's taking away liberties.'''

Zoellick said the governments elected by Venezuelans before Chavez became president in 1999 did not serve the people and thus made possible the election of Chavez.

What is happening in Venezuela and elsewhere in Latin America, Zoellick said, reflects the upward mobility of people who are asserting their rights in the democratic era in Latin America that began replacing military rule a generation ago.

``What we're seeing now is that people who are on the margins of the traditional society are using some of the democratic openings and they are saying, 'Look, I want my share. I want my piece of this.'''

He said the United States should identify itself with these people. But, he said, ``we can't do it for them.''

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., expressed concern that China could become the chief importer of Venezuelan oil, replacing the United States, which now relies on Venezuela for 13-15 percent of its petroleum imports.

This could leave the United States scrambling for oil, Nelson said.

Zoellick dismissed that suggestion, saying the United States could buy oil from producers that now supply China.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 20,160 • Replies: 451
No top replies

 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 08:51 pm
Well, I want to follow this one, too.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:15 pm
and you are welcome in all places
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:18 pm
Must mull.
The question of when the Bush admin attention would turn to Venezuela has been asked here before.
0 Replies
 
Brand X
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:23 pm
Hard to say how the oil will play out, to not like us that much Venezuela does a lot of business here....they own Citgo which is a decent player in the US oil market.

They probably have 14,000 facilities selling their brand, that's a lot of product....if they decide to take their toys home there are plenty other players that would love to fill that gap with their product.

Venezuela produces a lot of oil but all of it doesn't come here by a long shot, only about 15% of ours is from there. Chavez is saying he wants to sell all the US assets but his top dude here says it isn't close to being sold, so Chavez may just be sabre rattling.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:25 pm
http://able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=75452#75452
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:39 pm
Just over 2 years ago, Dys was thinking about this.

(I think this is the discussion that caught my ear/eye)

http://able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=40813#40813
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:52 pm
jesus...what a memory you have girl.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:57 pm
What is scary is that I'll be thinking about this for a while longer, trying to pinpoint another discussion I read on this topic. It's been of some interest to me - so I always glommed onto any mention of Venezuela/oil here.

I'm quite glad you've started this thread.
0 Replies
 
PDiddie
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Feb, 2005 09:58 pm
Quote:
"Hugo, Cesar -- whatever. A Chavez is a Chavez. We've always had problems with them."

-- Rush Limbaugh, 3/26/04

Oops, bern; wrong thread. Sorry...
0 Replies
 
Thomas Hayden
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2005 01:47 pm
Blatham How can you be such a fool? You either do not want to know what really is going on in Venezuela or support Chavez's regime. As I told you in a post, civil rights and freedom are in serious peril in Venezuela. This danger does not come from CIA conspiracies, as you relentlessly suggest, but Chavez government itself. Although I think it isn't necessary to dig deeper into Chavez's totalitarian madness (just listen to what he says: his speeches consist of hailing the dawn of a "New Bolivarian Venezuela or wildly criticizing "the evil American Empire") I have searched for some reliable sources on the web. For example, this article by Thor Halvorssen available at weeklystandard.com

Caracas, Venezuela
EARLIER THIS YEAR, the U.S. media was atwitter with coverage of the protests against ousting Saddam Hussein. At the same time, just weeks before the war in Iraq began, a record-setting one and a half million Venezuelans marched in protest against a law proposed by the president of Venezuela, Lt. Col. Hugo Chavez. Simultaneous marches against Chavez took place across the world. It was the largest peaceful protest in Latin American history.
These protests did not register even a blip in the international and U.S. media. There were no page-one articles or photo-spreads about this widespread rejection of the Chavez regime. That the international media failed to cover these events is particularly dispiriting, since the protest was organized specifically to support the Venezuelan media, which has been tirelessly exposing human rights violations by the Chavez regime.
Since January, using a presidential decree, Chavez has interrupted regular television and radio broadcasts on 60 separate occasions, forcing all media to transmit his hours-long tirades and pro-government propaganda.
And Chavez now seeks to formalize his control through the "Media Contents" law, a bill that controls TV programming by defining time slots suitable for children. The law assumes that children will be watching television for 18 hours a day and prohibits the broadcasting of news or any content with violent images or political language except between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. For example, live footage of Chavez militia members shooting at innocent protesters, would be content unsuitable for children.
IN ADDITION to controlling the programming, the law criminalizes any content that "promotes, condones or incites disrespect for the legitimate authorities and institutions." Known locally as the "gag law," it states explicitly that mocking or criticizing the president and his henchmen is illegal. Broadcasters face million-dollar fines, loss of their broadcast licenses, and even jail time for non compliance. If this column was published in a newspaper or read on television here in Venezuela, it would be in violation of the proposed Chavez media law.
When journalists expressed opposition to the law's barefaced censorship, Chavez responded: "That's just like drug traffickers opposing anti-drug laws or criminals complaining about crime-fighting."

THAT'S FREEDOM OF SPEECH ISN'T IT? AND VENEZUELA IS THE ONLY LATIN AMERICAN DEMOCRACY WHICH IS NOT A PUPPET OF THE US.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Feb, 2005 02:31 pm
TH

I'd suggest, as a matter of prudence, that if one wishes to understand what is going on in Venezuela, or the rest of the world, that Rupert Murdoch's The Weekly Standard is not the place to seek out that enlightenment. The fellow is quite incorrect to suggest there was no media coverage of the march and turmoil (see Here for example). I'd recommend Human Rights Watch as a place to start. But then check out the same site for those South American and Latin American countries which the US is supporting and has supported. America's outrage comes at the price of serious hypocrisy.

Chavez is doing a lot wrong as the HR site demostrates, but Venezuela seems unique in two pertinent respects...Chavez is a socialist, and his country has huge oil reserves. That he is a socialist is tough beans for the democracy-loving US, as the population there has elected him twice.

Here's another take, from Washington Monthly
Quote:
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2004_08/004528.php
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2005 11:33 am
Quote:
http://news.ft.com/cms/s/77d0a418-93ff-11d9-9d6e-00000e2511c8.html
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Mon 14 Mar, 2005 11:59 am
bookmarking, but wanted to say that this:
Quote:
Zoellick said a new breed of authoritarians follows similar patterns. ``You win the election, but you do away with your opponents, you do away with the press, you do away with the rule of law, you pack the courts,'' he said.


is an interesting quote.
0 Replies
 
Thomas Hayden
 
  1  
Reply Tue 15 Mar, 2005 09:16 am
Quote:
"Chávez is a problem because he is clearly using his oil money and influence to introduce his conflictive style into the politics of other countries," Mr Pardo-Maurer said in an interview with the Financial Times


That's the truth. Bolivian native narco-leader Evo Morales, who is actually pushing for a non-democratic government change in Venezuela( against the legitimate government presided by Carlos Mesa) , has showed repeatedly allegiance to Chavez's policies( well, Chavez himself may find Morales' principles too radical, he merely doesn't advocate for communism, he defends the return to the most primitive, indigenous forms of life, which are lyrically described as " the culture of life" by constrast to the European "culture of death") .

And now tell me How has Morales movement reached such a powerful position in Bolivia? I mean, there was no presence of Bolivian natives in politics, and, suddenly, with some support by Chavez, they almost take over the power two years ago, during the rioting which followed the polemic oil and gas law enacted by president Sanchez de Losada. And their violent struggle goes on...

Quote:
Mr Chávez....has denied that he is aiding insurgent groups in countries such as Bolivia, Colombia and Peru


Oh, he alleges innocence...these thoughts about the expansion of post-communist terrorism throughout Latin America are nothing but ravings from the paranoid neoconservatives... sure?


Quote:
He and Fidel Castro, the Cuban president, have alleged, without offering proof, that the Bush administration was plotting to assassinate the Venezuelan leader, an allegation that US officials have dismissed as "wild".



Can somebody pay attention to such a stupid guy? The US are intelligent enough to not support Chavez's assassination, it will only make the critical Venezuela situation become worse. Anyway, Venezuela will soon be so impoverished due to Chavez's madness that no matter if US acts , the people will overthrow this villainous leader ( and send him to hell!!!)
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 02:40 pm
Here is the latest opinion which should add to the Chavez Watch

Posted on Tue, Mar. 22, 2005

VENEZUELA

Why Chávez seeks a clash with the U.S.

BY CARLOS ALBERTO MONTANER

www.firmaspress.com

It's obvious that Hugo Chávez is looking for a confrontation with the United States. He constantly insults President Bush, makes vulgar sexual allusions about Condoleezza Rice, threatens to suspend the supply of crude oil to the United States and wastes not a single chance to associate with the enemies of Washington, be they Iran or Moammar Gadhafi.

At the same time, Chávez funds and helps all subversive movements in Latin America, from Evo Morales' MAS, which is sniping at Bolivia's precarious democracy, to Colombia's communist narco-guerrillas.

Why the irresponsible behavior? It's obvious: Chávez needs a powerful enemy abroad to galvanize his own forces. The chavista leadership -- a gaggle of geese -- is an ill-conceived mishmash of communists, military men lacking in prestige, hot-headed radicals, Cold War zombies like Vice President José Vicente Rangel, and flunkies from the new and official economic class that feeds from the million-dollar oil revenues.

These folks have no ideological spine, no discipline. Neither do their supporters, who are attracted to the polls only through the coarsest populism, for the price of a few alms. They are not militants but clients. They are grateful stomachs.

Besides, Chávez needs to project his image abroad, and he believes that he must prepare himself to take up the role of David vs. Goliath -- splendidly performed by Fidel Castro during half a century of Caribbean tragedy -- as soon as el comandante chooses to die and pass him the torch of anti-imperialism in the midst of a lively wake.

But beyond the instrumental nature of his anti-Americanism, Chávez has decided to speed up the pace toward the Cuban model, that ''sea of happiness,'' as he calls it. And the reason for this is also easy to understand: While chavismo is merely a torrent of hollow verbiage, an endless stream of spit aimed at people who entertain themselves with his Sunday program Hello, President!, Marxism-Leninism is a perfectly articulated system of beliefs and government.

It has a utopia, a vision of reality, a diagnosis, a code of ethics and some objectives. It also has a method to manage the state. It is a very useful off-the-rack dictatorship, suitable for chieftains who wish to perpetuate themselves in power.

The problem is that that type of societal organization has failed always, everywhere and under every circumstance. It failed in Russia and Germany, North Korea and Nicaragua, Mongolia, Yugoslavia and in every historic, geographic, cultural, ethnic or political microenvironment where it was planted. It flopped among Slavic, Germanic, Scandinavian, Latin, Turkmenian and Asian people.

It fizzled in Byzantine-Christian, Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist, Islamic and Confucian societies. In huge states and in tiny enclaves. In nations with a plethora of natural riches and in others blessed with excellent human capital.

Simply put, the theoretical proposition -- Marxism -- was twaddle, and the practice of government -- Leninism -- an enormous and unproductive prison that inevitably led to material backwardness, the cruelest abuses and widespread desperation.

And China? China stopped being Marxist, reestablished private property and, instead of waging war on the First World, now sells it housewares. That's why it prospers. It is still an atrocious tyranny but eventually, guided indirectly by the great Western powers, it will abandon the single-party standard and discover political pluralism, democracy and human rights, as Taiwan and South Korea already have.

Most Venezuelans, with the exception of the top leadership, share this analysis. According to the most reliable surveys, only six percent of them admire Cuba as a valid reference model and 85 percent oppose a reproduction of the Cuban model in Venezuela.

However, the path that Chávez has found to skirt that little obstacle is the path of confrontation with the United States. He assumes that a crisis against Washington, implying the risk (real or invented) of a U.S. Marine landing, will serve as an excuse to brand as traitors to the homeland all those who refuse to defend the revolution.

Within that climate of induced collective hysteria, the caudillo, the armed forces, the homeland and his own party will form a monolithic unit in whose name any crime may be committed and any adversary may be destroyed.

This Chávez-designed strategy of confrontation is so obvious that it becomes impossible to ignore, which forces democratic nations to ask: Is it reasonable to allow ourselves to be dragged by this adventurer into a whirlpool of conflicts and confrontations that can only lead to a violent end, probably within the borders of Venezuela itself?

It is true that Chávez struts through the world carrying a bulging checkbook that he manages mindlessly, but is it worth the trouble, or is it morally justifiable, to access that dangerous dynamic by selling him weapons and warships, or to join him in his chimerical plans to create great, multinational, public enterprises into which he'll sink billions of much-needed dollars?

These are questions that require swift answers. The crisis worsens.
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Tue 22 Mar, 2005 03:33 pm
Quote:
The Return of Latin America's Left
By ÁLVARO VARGAS LLOSA

Oakland, Calif.

THE left is in power in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. With this month's inauguration of Tabaré Vázquez as president of Uruguay, this trend will likely continue. The year 2006 could bring a similar leftward shift in Mexico and Peru, while in Bolivia the Socialist opposition has been setting much of the political agenda since the fall of President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada in 2003. Although this movement is hardly homogeneous (there are major differences between Venezuela's Hugo Chávez, Chile's Ricardo Lagos and Brazil's Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva), the continental pattern is clear.

Behind this tilt is popular frustration with the failures of the 1990's, a decade of reform under governments of the right that were supposed to catapult the region toward development. Despite the success of many of these governments in curbing inflation, that development failed to happen. Instead of decentralization and the creation of a free, competitive economy and strong legal institutions open to all, crony capitalism and authoritarianism grew.

Countries replaced inflation with new taxes on the poor, high tariffs with regional trading blocs, and, especially, state monopolies with government-sanctioned private monopolies. The courts were subjected to the whims of those in power, widening the divide between official institutions and ordinary people - one reason recent surveys in Latin America have pointed to such widespread disillusionment with democracy...

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/22/opinion/22Vargas_Llosa.html?oref=login
0 Replies
 
blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 23 Mar, 2005 06:32 pm
Quote:
Rumsfeld Questions Venezuela on Rifles
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Published: March 23, 2005

MANAUS, Brazil (AP) -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Wednesday criticized Venezuela's reported efforts to purchase 100,000 AK-47 assault rifles from Russia, suggesting that Venezuela's possession of so many weapons would threaten the hemisphere.

Harsh accusations and increasing animosity have marked the relationship between the United States and Venezuela. Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, has warned that he will cut off shipments of his country's oil to the United States if the Bush administration supports an attempt to force him from office.

Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and provides about 13 percent of U.S. crude oil imports.

Rumsfeld, during a four-day trip to Latin America, raised concerns about the reports of Venezuela's rifle purchases.

``I can't imagine what's going to happen to 100,000 AK-47s,'' Rumsfeld said at a news conference in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, which shares a border with Venezuela.

``I can't understand why Venezuela needs 100,000 AK-47s. I personally hope it doesn't happen. I can't imagine if it did happen it would be good for the hemisphere,'' the defense secretary said.

Rumsfeld appeared with Brazil's vice president and defense minister, Jose Alencar, who declined to offer similar criticism of Chavez. Alencar would only say that Brazil respects the right of self-determination of other countries.
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Rumsfeld.html?
0 Replies
 
rayban1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Mar, 2005 05:12 pm
Chavez's Censorship
Where 'Disrespect' Can Land You in Jail

By Jackson Diehl
Monday, March 28, 2005; Page A17

Venezuela's minister of communication and information, Andres Izarra, recently accused The Post and several other American media of being part of a campaign to defame Venezuela directed by the Bush administration and funded by the State Department. Apparently I drew Izarra's attention by writing several columns and editorials lamenting President Hugo Chavez's assault on press freedom and the independent judiciary and his support for anti-democratic movements elsewhere in Latin America.

One of the journalists libeled by Izarra pointed out that he had no evidence to back up his accusations. According to the newspaper El Universal, that inspired the following outburst, in Spanish, from the cabinet minister: "Mister gringo, be sure that we are going to come back to defeat you . . . because we work with the truth, we have spirit and above all something very special, a leader who unites and inspires us, the commandante Chavez!"
_____Today's Op-Eds_____
• World Bank Pragmatism: Wolfowitz's Ideology Fits New Challenges (Post, March 28, 2005)
• Chavez's Censorship: Where 'Disrespect' Can Land You in Jail (Post, March 28, 2005)
• Whose Life Are We Supporting? (Post, March 28, 2005)
• Saving Nonproliferation (Post, March 28, 2005)

_____What's Your Opinion?_____
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_____More Diehl_____
• Democracy From the Inside Out (The Washington Post, Mar 14, 2005)
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It's easy to laugh at such buffoonery if, like me, you have the privilege of working for an independent newspaper in a capital where demagogues such as Izarra aren't taken seriously. In Caracas, however, the minister's rantings -- and those of his master, Chavez -- are no longer funny. Beginning this month journalists or other independent activists accused by the government of the sort of offenses alleged by Izarra can be jailed without due process and sentenced to up to 30 years.

To be sure, much of the Venezuelan media has aggressively opposed Chavez's populist "Bolivarian revolution," though not without reason: The former coup-plotting colonel is well on his way to destroying what was once the most stable and prosperous democracy in Latin America. Some newspapers and television stations openly sided with attempts to oust the president via coup, strike or a national referendum. Having survived all three, a strengthened Chavez is moving to eliminate critical journalists and create in Venezuela the kind of state-controlled media environment in which a minister of information such as Izarra is all-powerful.

The first step was a new media content law, adopted by the Chavez-controlled legislature last December, that subjects broadcast media to heavy fines or the loss of their licenses for disseminating information deemed "contrary to national security." Its impact was soon felt: Two of the most prominent anti-government journalists lost their jobs as anchors on morning television shows, and Venezuelans quickly noticed the appearance of self-censorship among those who remained.

Ten days ago Chavez handed Izarra a still-bigger stick: a new penal code that criminalizes virtually any expression to which the government objects -- not only in public but also in private.

Start with Article 147: "Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light." That sanction, the code implies, applies to those who "disrespect" the president or his functionaries in private; "the term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly."

There's more: Article 444 says that comments that "expose another person to contempt or public hatred" can bring a prison sentence of one to three years; Article 297a says that someone who "causes public panic or anxiety" with inaccurate reports can receive five years. Prosecutors are authorized to track down allegedly criminal inaccuracies not only in newspapers and electronic media, but also in e-mail and telephone communications.

The new code reserves the toughest sanctions for journalists or others who receive foreign funding, such as the election monitoring group Sumate, which has been funded in part by the National Endowment for Democracy. Venezuelans or foreigners living in the country can be punished with a 10- to 15-year sentence for receiving foreign support that "can prejudice the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela . . . or destabilize the social order," whatever that means. Persons accused of conspiring against the government with a foreign country can get 20 to 30 years in prison. The new code specifies that anyone charged with these crimes will not be entitled to legal due process. In other words, should Izarra determine that my Caracas-based colleagues continue to collude with the State Department against Venezuela, they could be summarily jailed.

Chavez and his propaganda apparatus don't feel compelled to live by their own rules. The president has directed crude epithets at President Bush and even more vulgar sexual innuendo at Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. His government has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund Americans in the United States who write articles and letters glorifying Chavez and attacking the Bush administration. Izarra himself could be charged under his own slander law for his false claims about American journalists. Lucky for him his adversaries here are a democratic government, and a columnist who merely thinks he's ridiculous.
0 Replies
 
Instigate
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Mar, 2005 06:01 pm
Quote:
Venezuela Gets Ready For Civil War
by James Dunnigan
March 30, 2005
Discussion Board on this DLS topic
Venezuela is having problems with the loyalty of its armed forces. The current government is run by a former army officer Hugo Chavez. Normally, that would not be a problem. But Chavez sees himself as another Fidel Castro. That is, the rebel Castro before he proclaimed himself a hard core communist. Chavez wants social revolution in Venezuela, but many, perhaps a majority, of Venezuelans don't want to be another Cuba. While Venezuela's oil wealth has not been distributed equally, it has created a large middle class. This includes the military. Many of the troops are nervous about Chavez, and his social programs. Even some of Chavez's military decisions have caused unease among officers and troops. For example, Chavez is now buying military equipment from Russia. This includes helicopters (nine Mi-17s and one Mi-26) for the navy. The navy considers these helicopters unsuitable for naval use. The sailors are correct, but the price is cheap, and Chavez wants to make a political point.

The army is unhappy about the cozy relationship between Chavez and leftist rebel groups in neighboring Colombia. Venezuelan troops have been operating more aggressively along the Colombian border. This is officially a crackdown on the smugglers who always have operated there. But the Venezuelan troops are accused to really going after the Colombian rebels, or supporting them. Take your pick. No one is sure exactly what is going on.

To top it all off, Chavez is now organizing a new army, one loyal to him personally. This is part of his plan create "Bolivarian Circles of Venezuela Frontline Defense for National Democratic Revolution." These are political clubs all over the country, particularly in poor areas, where Chavez has the most support. Chavez expects to have 2.2 million members, who will be the backbone of the "democratic revolution unfolding in Venezuela." What upsets the armed forces is Chavezs decision to pass out infantry weapons to these political clubs, so that his new political clubs can use force to "defend the revolution." There are believed to be Cuban advisors involved in this effort. This sort of mass organization has been used before in Latin America, by both leftist and rightist dictators (pro-fascist Juan Peron of Argentina, and communist Fidel Castro of Cuba.) But by passing out guns to his most dedicated followers, Chavez is angering the military, making the middle class even more nervous, and setting the stage for a bloody civil war.


LINK
0 Replies
 
 

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