Venezuelan gov't exposes U.S. threats on Chavez's life
Published Mar 2, 2005 3:27 PM
Sorting through recent emails and news
briefs from Latin America, a shocking theme stands out: threats to Venezuelan
President Hugo Chávez's life.
On Feb. 13, Reuters even quoted Cuban
President Fidel Castro saying, "I say to world public opinion: if they
assassinate Chávez, the responsibility will fall squarely on the
president of the United States, George W. Bush."
President Castro reminded
everyone about the multiple attempts against his own life. He added that his
assassination at this time would not significantly alter or reverse the Cuban
Revolution, for it is firmly rooted in the masses, but that the Bolivarian
Revolution is at a decisive stage.
On Feb. 20, in his 213th Aló
Presidente radio and TV program, Venezuelan Pre sident Hugo Chávez said:
"If something happens to me, I hold responsible the president of the United
States. I want the Venezuelan people to know, I am not going to lock myself up
in Miraflores. I will be with you on the streets. I am entrusted to God but I
know I am convicted to death."
These statements follow several recent
declarations from Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a vilifying
media campaign against Chávez both in the United States and in
Venezuela's oligarchy's media. There is great concern in the Venezuelan
government, which sees these developments as a mounting campaign to sway public
opinion against the Bolivarian Revolution in order to justify an open
intervention against it.
Rice's statement during her confirmation hearing
that "Chávez is a negative force in the region" is
Communications Minister Andrés Izarra called on the
Venezuelan people to be on the alert because of the "political and media
offensive" carried out by the Bush administration against the Bolivarian Revo
lution in their quest to delegitimize and isolate it.
Stating that the
national government is following up the denunciation made by President
Chávez, Izarra provided several documents that illustrate the systematic
campaign of "twisted information and groundless accusations" aimed at
manipulating public opinion.
He identified three basic arguments used
against Venezuela: "that President Chávez is accomplice of international
terrorism; that Chávez is an imminent threat to the Western Hemisphere's
democracy; and that Chávez's government is rapidly moving toward
autocracy, an authoritarian democracy or an elected dictatorship."
declared that these terms have been used by spokespeople from the U.S. State
Department and intelligence agencies, and have been echoed in several U.S. media
outlets; he mentioned the Washington Times and Post, Fox News, Wall Street
Journal and Miami Herald.
On Feb. 23, in an effort to let these threats be
known to the international community, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Alí
Rodríguez addressed the Permanent Council of the Organization of American
States in Washington, D.C., in an extraordinary session requested by the
Venezuelan government. Speaking to representatives of the 34 member countries,
Rodríguez said, "We are obliged to alert the world public
The imperialist threats will only grow stronger as the
Bolivarian Revolution steers toward the path of anti-imperialism, away from
capitalist exploitation of its people and natural resources.
national oil company, is showing not only to the Venezuelan masses but to the
peoples of the world at large what it means to use profits for the benefit of
the masses, not for the treasures of a few.
Many changes are coming in
rapid succession in Venezuela--not only social gains but economic as well,
nationally and also internationally with new trade agreements.
One of the
internal changes is the inauguration of INVEPAL, the new Endo ge nous Venezuelan
Industry of Paper. It is a model of co-management between the gov ernment and
the workers. Chávez des cribed it by saying, "In the traditional
capitalist model, the owner makes all the decisions; here it is in the hands of
the workers, in this model of co-management."
The Venezuelans' concerns
would be senseless were it not for the tragic historic evidence in Latin America
and the Carib bean, where the United States has deposed democratically elected
heads of state through bloody coups.
Venezuela itself has been the
recipient of genocidal U.S.-inspired actions like the 2002 April coup, the
PDVESA boss lockout and sabotage, the close to 100 Colombian paramilitaries
caught in Caracas last year training to kill Chávez, and the recent
assassination of prosecutor Danilo Anderson, who was investigating the CIA's
role in the 2002 coup.
These acts of murder are reminiscent of the
ever-present case of Salvador Allende in Chile. But there are also the murders
of Jorge Eliecer Gaitán in Colombia, Torrijos in Panamá, and all
the criminal invasions, interventions and massacres--in Guate mala, El Salvador,
Nicaragua, Hon duras, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Grenada and beyond.
is no place in the region where the United States has not intervened in one way
or another to prevent the establishment and development of governments
responsive to the needs of their peoples.
However, this time the
conditions are quite different in the region. Venezuela is seen by the
overwhelming majority of Latin America as their revolution, their leader, their
inspiration. And the Venezuelan people themselves are committed to its defense
and its development.
Chávez himself alluded to the possibility of a
U.S. intervention. He said: "Do not be mistaken, Mr. Bush. If this happens, a
blaze will not only set up in Venezuela. It will extend to the peoples of Latin
America, of South America. Do not dare, because I think you will regret
He had mentioned earlier that Vene zuela is continuing to increase
its defense capability and will continue forming the Peoples' Defense Basic
Units. He said, "Venezuela is not going to intervene anywhere, but I repeat,
nobody should interfere with Venezuela, here we are prepared to defend this
Homeland, at any cost."
Next: INVEPAL, interview with Elio
Colmenárez, assistant to the Venezuelan minister of labor.
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