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by Fight the Right Monday, Dec. 16, 2002 at 8:47 AM


Bush’s Desperate Venezuela Statement

Read Between the Lines: The Coup is Falling Apart

By Al Giordano

December 13, 2002

Today's Statement by the Press Secretary of the White House that “Calls for Early Elections” in Venezuela inadvertently reveals the Bush administration’s efforts against democracy in that country, and its fears that the total collapse of its foreign coup attempt is only days away.

Kind reader: “I’m from Washington, I’m here to help you,” is one of the proverbial three biggest lies whether addressed to South Dakota or to South America. Only the most gullible – or intentionally dishonest – person would claim to believe it.

The White House statement reveals that Organization of American States secretary general Cesar Gaviria is not an authentic “mediator” in Venezuela, but, rather, a biased pro-coup agent of Bush administration efforts to destroy yet another democracy in our América. It is another example of why the discredited Gaviria should leave Venezuela immediately.

There is zero chance that Gaviria will have the credibility with the Venezuelan public to broker any kind of agreement. But that’s not the true motive for his presence: Gaviria has been installed in Caracas to destabilize the situation and bolster the false portrayal by commercial media that there is a “general strike,” of which there is not. The majority of stores in Venezuela are open. The subways are moving, air traffic is moving, and despite the concerted actions of executives of the Venezuelan oil company to lock out workers and sabotage refineries, oil is flowing again.

We urge you to read between the lines.

When the White House says:

“We note the Secretary General's recent public warning on the need to negotiate soon, in the next few days, or risk further polarization that could erupt into violence.”

The White House really means:

“Gaviria has followed our script, but we only have a few more days of being able to sustain the false media image of a ‘crisis’ or ‘national strike.’ In three days a tanker with 550,000 barrels of crude oil that left from Venezuela yesterday will arrive on United States shores, proving that the ‘strike’ was a media myth. Gaviria only has a few more days left of isolated disturbances by an exhausted upper class to use as an excuse to destabilize Venezuela. The coup is falling apart. The clock is ticking and we are trying to revive it.”

When the White House says:

“The United States is convinced that the only peaceful and politically viable path to moving out of the crisis is through the holding of early elections.”

The White House really means:

“Six elections in the past four years in Venezuela, all of them won by President Hugo Chávez and his supporters, all of them deemed fair and free by national and international observers (including by delegates of the U.S. Republican and Democratic parties who were present to observe them), are not enough. We need a Seventh Election in four years because we don’t like the results of the first six. We, in the Bush administration, are deeply offended that Venezuelan law awards the presidency to the candidate who won the most votes. That’s not how we did it in the U.S. We will only be happy when a minority of citizens can impose a president. If we allow Venezuela’s majority decisions to stand, they might start exporting democracy to the United States. In any case, we insist that Catherine Harris be allowed to count the votes, and Jeb Bush should print the ballots, next time in Venezuela.”

Court Appointed President George W. Bush has no moral or legal standing in Latin America to insist on a seventh election just because he didn’t like the results of the previous six.

The call for “early elections” is also deceptive, because the Venezuelan Constitution already provides for a Presidential recall vote in August 2003 – sooner than any national elections will happen in the United States. President Chávez has publicly welcomed that vote, just nine months away. What the White House, in fact, is urging is a violation of the Venezuelan Constitution.

Kind reader: Doesn’t the fact that Bush is in such a hurry – “in the next few days,” he insists – reveal that the jig is up? The Big Lie of a “popular strike” in Venezuela is crumbling, as all lies crumble eventually. This one just happens to be crumbling faster than most, because of the heroic efforts of the Venezuelan majority, and its wisdom to have not been fooled by media simulation. Kudos also belong to the 19 members of the United States Congress who called the administration’s bluff yesterday with a public letter of protest – you can add your signature by clicking here – thus forcing the White House to play its hand more transparently today.

All these eight months, since the coup attempt last April, the Bush administration has claimed it favored constitutional and democratic solutions in Venezuela, and has denied its involvement in coup attempts. Today, the White House took off its mask and admitted for the first time that it was never in favor of Constitutional rule in Venezuela. Its agenda has always been unconstitutional. Today’s statement was meant only to give oxygen to the dying “strike of the spoiled brats,” a desperate maneuver that should and will fail.

The United States Congress should call immediate investigations and public hearings into the now-transparent behavior of the executive branch in manipulating a coup d’etat in Venezuela.

And as for President Chávez and the Venezuelan majority, they should stay the course, meet their opponents at the ballot box next August as planned, and defeat them fair and square, the American way, with a majority vote, as they have six times already.

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