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by Stephen Lendman
Dark Washington forces never quit. Nor do media scoundrels. Chavez is fair game. Since 1999, he's been maliciously targeted and maligned. Ill or well makes no difference.
Alberto Barrera Tyszka and Cristina Macano are unapologetic. They represent neoliberal corporate views. They got feature New York Times op-ed space.
They headlined "Chavez, the missing President," saying:
Venezuela is "experiencing the very odd circumstance of being both with and without its leader; he is not here, but his voice endures."
He "gives orders and sends kisses to children. This is what his vice president says. According to the Supreme Court, the Congress cannot consider him absent, for no matter how ill he is, only Mr. Chávez himself has the authority to declare himself absent."
Venezuela's Supreme Court said nothing of the kind. It postponed his inauguration. It did so unanimously. A future date will be named. When doesn't matter. Democracies work that way.
Popular leaders aren't unelected. Subverting them is out of the question. The will of the people matters most. Things work that way in Venezuela. Doing so mocks America's sham democracy. It exists in name only.
Venezuela's National Assembly extended Chavez's absence. It did so unanimously. When Chavez fully recovers, he'll return. Swearing in is ceremonial only.
He could do it in absentia and be inaugurated. Parliamentarians and Supreme Court justices have final say. Democratic governance matters most. Venezuela prioritize it.
Tyszka and Macano said opposition figures demand "fe de vida." They want proof he's alive. If not, it'd be public knowledge. Both writers know but didn't say.
He "controls all public powers: the legislative body, the Supreme Court, the public prosecutor's office, to say nothing of the oil industry."
From his first election, "he knew that he had not made it to the presidency in order to run a sound government. He (came) to change the course of history."
He "revived the ghost of the South American military caudillo." He "creat(ed) a new version of that traditional strongman….As president, he deftly combines power with melodrama."
Times columnists, editors, and contributors duck vital truths. They're pro-war, pro-business, pro-privilege, pro-super wealth, pro-neoliberal, anti-progressive, anti-dissent, anti-freedom, and anti-government of, by, and for everyone equitably and fairly.
Tyszka and Macano marched in lockstep. Chavez took full advantage of what he inherited, they said. An "oil boom" won him popularity.
His "21st century socialism is a populist, patronage-oriented model that depends less on ideology than" the price of crude. He "revive(d) the illusion of a sustainable society that distributes rather than creates wealth."
Doing so lets him "maintain his ironclad grip on power."
Chavez believes all Venezuelans matter. National resources help everyone.
Venezuelans gets free education to the highest levels, quality healthcare, subsidized food and housing, land reform, respect for indigenous rights, job training, micro credit, affordable electricity and cooking gas, gasoline at 7 cents a gallon, and other social, economic, and political benefits.
Americans, Europeans, and Israelis get force-fed austerity, growing poverty, high unemployment, unaddressed homelessness and hunger, and a government beholden solely to business and privileged elitism.
Venezuela's wealth is distributed equitably. All boats are lifted. Chavez is targeted for doing the right thing. Media scoundrels assail him relentlessly.
"Venezuelans today are less poor than" earlier, admitted Tyszka and Macano. "But they are also far more dependent on the state, and more susceptible to a propaganda machine that attributes this 'miracle' to Mr. Chavez.".
Chavez is head of state. His policy initiatives benefit everyone. He's Bolivarianism's public face. Chavismo matters. It's institutionalized.
It works. He cut poverty, increased employment, lowered inflation, bettered the lives of millions, and made Venezuela prosperous. Its economy is one of the region's most successful. Lifting all boats responsibly works that way.
Venezuelans want it no other way. Tyszka and Macano call his leadership "authoritarian" and "messianic." Proof they claim is Venezuelans saying "We are all Chavez."
He's progressive, populist and caring. Venezuelans love him for what he is and what he's done. Doing so doesn't reflect personality cultism. It's real. Western leaders can't imagine it.
Times editors deplore it. So do Tyszka and Macano. He'll "leave behind a country plagued by problems," they claim. Americans wish they had similar ones.
Don't expect Times editors or contributors to explain. According to Tyszka and Macano, "absence might be just what Hugo Chavez needs to save him from his own failure. Myths survive only when they rise above the miseries of reality."
Times editors have to explain why this type rubbish gets published. All the news fit to print is verboten. The record of the newspaper of record is self-explanatory. It's deplorable.
It substitutes managed news misinformation for truth. It prioritizes imperial and corporate interests. It spurns populist ones. It ignores Western social decay. It targets leaders for doing the right thing.
Chavez and likeminded ones shame the American way. It never was beautiful and isn't now. Don't expect Times editors or contributors to explain.
Eva Golinger interviewed Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro. She did so for Russia Today's Behind the News.
Chavez designed a Plan of the Nation, he said. It has "five historic objectives." It prioritizes "real democracy." It follows Simon Bolivar's model.
It "balance(s) respect for our region and the right to development in a world at the time of empires deeply aggressive, with great military powers."
It calls for building a "multicenter multipolar world, a world without empires." Lots more needs to be done, said Maduro. Forming strategic alliances, ending colonialism, and preventing US hegemonic control matter. So does defeating poverty.
Venezuela made great strides under Chavez. So much was accomplished in a short time. Many challenges remain.
Maduro discussed internal debate about Chavez's absence. He was popularly reelected overwhelmingly. The will of the people matters. "Venezuela has a (duly constituted) government."
<blockquote>"In any case, this is a debate already settled." Bolivarianism "won 17 elections in 14 years." It has "greater legitimacy" now than earlier.
"It would be impossible to maintain a socialist revolution for independence in Latin America, with the constant threat of American empire, (without) strong support, clear, explicit, conscious of a people, and a people that massively supports the exercise of democratic political Venezuela."
Venezuela was collectively transformed. "Chavez is closing the cycle post-operatively." His surgery was "long" and "difficult." He's recovering well. He's fully aware of what's going on at home.
Fidel Castro extended his family great support. "We have to acknowledge his great humanity and humanism." Raul joined him in offering help.
Chavez "enter(ed) a new phase." More information will be forthcoming. Maduro plans returning to Cuba to see him. He's experiencing his "best days after surgery."
Maduro's optimistic about his return. His medical team will decide when. They want him in the "best condition." Their primary goal is assuring his full recovery.
Maduro said Chavez is Venezuela's leader, its mentor, its teacher. He reflects Bolivarian fairness. Venezuelans are greatly indebted. They're better off because of him.
January 23 is Democracy Day in Venezuela. It commemorates 1958 on that date. It's when a civil/military rebellion ended Marcos Perez Jimenez's dictatorship.
On Wednesday, hundreds of thousands rallied supportively nationwide. Estimates ranged up to a million. Roundtable of Democratic Unity (MUD) leaders urged supporters out on the same day. Small numbers responded.
Bolivarianism had its day. It wasn't to be denied. America and other Western societies can't imagine this type support. It happens often.
Venezuelans appreciate Chavismo and show it.
The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) and supportive organizations rallied under the slogan "The people will never be betrayed again."
Maduro addressed them in Caracas. Responsively they chanted "We're all Chavez." Placards, banners, and t-shirts displayed popular sentiment.
Dark forces never quit. Opposition hardliners distributed a document. It's called "Manifesto to democratic Venezuelan society and the National Armed Force."
Venezuelans call them Bolivarian Armed Forces. They serve popular interests. They perform services when needed. They partner with regional militaries.
They don't threaten or attack neighbors. They don’t depose or assassinate popular leaders. Secret prisons don't exist.
They have no nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. Torture isn’t used. They're a force for good, not ill.
Opposition elements addressed Venezuela's military. Dozens of hard-right extremists signed the document. They favor destabilizing Chavez's government. Washington provides generous support.
Their manifesto said government officials "violated the constitution." It's "subordinate" to Castro's Cuba.
"Cubans have slowly and progressively taken control of our registers, system of identification, our foreign policy, and important sectors of the national economy."
"Castro's communism" manipulates Venezuela's electoral process and national finances. Doing so "finance(s) the expansion of Castro-communism."
Venezuela is a "colony of Cuba." Its military was urged to impede further "dissolution of the fatherland."
Maduro said government officials uncovered a plot to attack him, National Assembly President Diosdada Cabello, and other senior leaders. "(G)roups infiltrated the country," he said.
"Don't be surprised by the actions that will be taken in the coming days," he added.
Expect Washington's dirty hands to be involved. Destabilization efforts are prioritized. State terrorism is official policy. Chavez long believed dark US forces want him ousted or dead. Loyal supporters are targeted.
A Final Comment
On January 24, Hands Off Venezuela headlined "Spanish paper El Pais makes a fool of itself," saying:
It published a "front page headline screaming 'the secret of Chavez's health.' "
It was "accompanied by a picture of a man, eyes closed, lying in a hospital bed with tubes coming out of his mouth."
It covered over a third of a page. A caption read:
"President Chavez during medical treatment in Cuba." When reports said he shows clinical improvement, it was intended to demoralize supporters. It added:
"Venezuela President Chavez's illness has been shrouded in opacity since he travelled to Havana on December 10 and has created a political polemic in his country."
"El Pais offers an unpublished and exclusive picture, taken a few days ago, showing an initial moment of his medical treatment in Cuba."
El Pais is one of Spain's worst. It supported Washington's aborted 2002 coup. It backs neoliberal harshness. It deplores Bolivarian populism.
Its photo and story were fake. The man shown wasn't Chavez. Al Pais pulled them from its website. A tongue in cheek apology followed. Hands Off Venezuela commented, saying:
"Here is yet another example of the type of lies, half truths and slanders which the capitalist mass media will not hesitate in using in their disgusting campaign against the Bolivarian revolution."
"These are the same media which have waged a noisy campaign about the so-called 'attacks on freedom of the media' in Venezuela."
"What is really at stake is the right to truthful information, as shown by this example. Once more we say, as loudly as we can: Hands Off Venezuela!!"
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.