Sunday, December 28, 2003

Washington Post Venezuela editorial

This is an incredible editorial from the Washington Post on the recall petition in Venezuela. It is one of the most amazing little things I have ever read, and sounds like it was written by Otto 'Third' Reich (who lost his job when he was unable to organize the coup to remove Chavez). A few good quotes (my emphasis):

  1. "The main obstacle, predictably, is Mr. Chavez, a self-styled revolutionary who over the past five years has triggered an implosion of the Venezuelan economy, trampled on the private business sector and the independent media, and alienated nearly all his neighbors save Fidel Castro."

  2. "He accused the petition-gatherers of 'megafraud,' though he produced no evidence; he summoned thousands of his supporters to a demonstration and vowed that no vote would take place; he sent his thugs to attack anti-government protesters in a plaza where the opposition was headquartered. Opposition media report that thousands of Cubans have entered the country in recent months and are busy organizing the president's strongholds. No one doubts that Mr. Chavez is capable of violence. His first political act, after all, was a failed coup, and last year he triggered an ultimately unsuccessful coup against himself by ordering police and the military to attack opposition demonstrations."

  3. "Mr. Chavez will allow a referendum and respect its results only if he is convinced that fraud or violence won't work for him. That's where the Bush administration should come in, along with Venezuelan neighbors such as Brazil. In the coming weeks, as the referendum process proceeds, they must insist to Mr. Chavez that he not disrupt it - and be prepared to respond if he tries."

  4. ". . . he must not be allowed to complete his depredations on Venezuela by destroying the last vestiges of its democracy."

Wow! This is, I remind you, the freaking Washington Post! This editorial is one of the most insane things I've ever read in an American newspaper, and that's really saying something. Some comments:

  1. The Washington Post permanently ruined what little reputation it had when it acted as the stooge for the U. S. State Department and reported that the coup had succeeded when it actually hadn't, an obvious ploy to dishearten the people of Venezuela into giving up and accepting the American-favored dictators (see my comments at 1. here). That coup failed due to the personal courage of Chavez, the pusillanimity of the man who was the nominal leader of the coup plotters, the fact that the army and the people continued to support their democratically elected leader, and the apparent utter incompetence of the American military men who were assisting the coup plotters in ousting Chavez. After the complete embarrassment for the Post in getting involved in American intrigues to topple another Latin American government at a time when the Americans had promised to be on their best behavior in that regard, you'd think the Post would have the decency to keep its opinions on Venezuela to itself.

  2. Chavez is no 'self-styled' revolutionary - he is the real thing. That is why the Post is willing to embarrass itself again in this over-the-top editorial. The American Powers That Be are absolutely terrified of what Chavez is accomplishing in Venezuela, and what a terrible example he sets for all of Latin America and any people in the world suffering under American corporate power.

  3. The people who are so 'democratic' in organizing the recall petition are the same people whose last try at 'democracy' was organizing the unsuccessful coup.

  4. This is in fact the second try at a 'democratic' recall petition. The last try was thrown out as the organizers failed to comply with the rules in the Venezuelan constitution (you could call it 'megafraud'). It is quite arguable that such an extraordinary remedy, the removal of a democratically elected President, should be very strictly construed, and you should only get one try at it. After all, Chavez was elected, so the worst thing that would happen is that he would serve the full term for which he was elected, at which time the 'democratic' opposition could actually try something novel like defeating him at the polls.

  5. Chavez gets along very well with his neighbors, which is one of the things the Americans are afraid of. The neighbor he doesn't get along with are the American-sponsored extreme right-wing thugs in Colombia. The recent overthrow of the government in Bolivia was partly inspired by the example of Venezuela (speaking of Cuba . . . ).

  6. We keep hearing about how unpopular Chavez is. He had only been elected in two successive elections, but apparently everybody in Venezuela hates him. This opinion is based on polls commissioned by the Venezuelan media, who showed soap operas during the course of the unsuccessful coup in order to hide what was going on from the Venezuelan people in a vain effort to help the coup succeed. The opposition are actually terrified of having to face Chavez in a real election, which is why we have seen a coup attempt and two petition attempts.

  7. "That's where the Bush administration should come in . . . ." The Bush Administration has already been in, and had to leave in a hurry when the Bush-sponsored coup attempt turned into such a debacle. Brazil, by the way, knows exactly what went on, was unhappy with the Americans about it, and the Venezuela-Brazil axis of social democrats that is developing worries the hell out of the thugs in corporate America.

  8. The most amazing thing of all is that not only is Chavez democratic, he has bent over backwards to allow the petition to take place, and has allowed every criticism of him to be made and broadcast throughout the country. Under Chavez, Venezuela has one of the most vibrant public debates going on in the world. He allows debate because he is confident of the validity of what he is doing. He allows all the criticism, he has now allowed not one but two recall petitions, and he had treated the coup plotters with remarkable grace, and yet he is called 'anti-democratic'. The anti-democratic brutes who aim to unseat him will certainly not be anywhere near as democratic.

  9. The opposition's view that the country is being overrun by Cubans is unworthy of comment, and it shows how low the Post has sunk when it stoops to include it in an editorial. The Cubans who are in Venezuela are mainly doctors who have been brought in to treat the poor.

This editorial is exactly what I'd expect to see out of a newspaper in, say, Wichita in, say, 1964. In the last paragraph what they are doing is no less than expressly calling for another American-organized coup in Venezuela. The fact the Washington Post decided to print this in 2003 just shows how important a man Chavez really is.