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Coup in Venezuela

by portland indymedia editorial team
News and links regarding the coup in Venezuela

"" Globalized Capitalism has tromped on Democracy again, this time in Venezuela where President Hugo Chavez has been driven from power by a military coup. Just such a power grab was predicted in a February 2002 Narco News article, which stated that "the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Morgan Stanley have come out in support of a 'transitional government' for Venezuela, supporting Chavez's removal from office." Goldman, Sachs & Co. had also fueled the coup-fire, characterizing Venezuela as "entering a profound recession," and stating that "there is fear of a political and economic collapse, the financial situation is in chaos, petroleum prices have fallen, the country has suffered massive capital flight." Professor James Petras of the State University of New York, correspondent for the Spanish magazine, Rebelión, however, stated that "the IMF and financial institutions are fabricating a crisis. There is no economic crisis. The economic problems facing Chavez have always been there, they are problems that Chavez inherited."

Chavez won the Venezuelan Presidency in 1998 and 2000 by the largest majorities in four decades. Using this enormous popularity, Chavez implemented an unprecedented number of reforms including: a new Constitution providing guarantees for indigenous and women's rights; free health care and education up to the university level; a restructuring of the judicial and legislative branches to reduce corruption; breakfast and lunch for schoolchildren year round, which led to an enrollment increased of over a million students; and a reinvigoration of OPEC that resulted in raising oil prices from $8 a barrel to $27 (though it has since fallen lower). Christian Perenti, professor at the New College of California believes that, under Chavez, Venezuela was "an example of a people struggling to create an alternative, attempting to reform capitalism into a more egalitarian, healthier system... In fact, perhaps Venezuela is the truest democracy in the world today."

Was, that is.

In other words, as "outside the whale" said in a comment posted to Indymedia, "Hugo pissed off the Oil Cos. The Oil Cos. conducted a coup. The Oil Cos. used media propaganda to provoke a civilian opposition. In short The Oil Cos. are in control not the people of Venezuela. Gee, Venezuela sounds kinda like America..."

To follow this story as it unfolds, visit Argentina Indymedia (Español), Brasil Indymedia (Portuguese), and Global Indymedia (English).

[ "Coup in Venezuela: An Eyewitness Account" | Narco News: Kim Alphandary Reports on U.S. Coup Plot in Venezuela | PHOTOS (argentina indymedia) | Links to stories about Venezuela coup ]

by Mark Webber
The U.S. embassy, as well as many US based companies, are sending family members and non essential workers out of the country on a voluntary basis. I think many people feel that this is not over yet as was confirmed by the head of one of Chavez' opposing parties when he said that he did not recognize the reinstated Chavez government and that they had military backing (as the military is still quite divided) and would seek another coup. (BBC)
The Daily Journal(an anti Chavez rag written in English) here also have reported that while Chavez was still in detention that there was a plane that flew over the city that had US markings but was a private aircraft. No one claims to know why this plane was here and who it was carrying. We saw the news reports of this plane and were able to view it from our window.
Also the paper reported that 46 people had been killed throughout the weekend and that 23 of them had been killed by police officers that were using "excessive force," which is consistent with the warden message that we received from the US embassy stating that members of the pro Chavez Bolivarian Circles were being arrested by the police and shot on sight if they refused arrest. I would also like to add that the media here is very biased against the Chavez government and hides information, misleads with headlines , constantly contradicts and censors opinion that dissent from there right wing agenda. (I recently experienced this censorship first hand.)
Finally, I would like to say that the US government once again has served as a huge source of embarrassment for the US people by their apparent approval of the illegal Chavez coup and their reprimand of Chavez once he returned to power. They did all this in the name of "Democracy" they say. What they have really done, once again, is make targets out of US citizens, especially those of us living abroad. George Bush's cabinet (we all know he is far too stupid to be calling the shots) has been absolutely negligent in protecting US citizens living abroad. I hope thy can at least learn to keep their mouths shut instead of putting their citizen's in harm way with their ridiculous rhetoric.
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