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Hugo Chavez - Venezuela
various LINKS to articles | April 14, 2002

Posted on 04/14/2002 4:01:40 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

LINKS to Hugo Chavez's "government" June 2001 - March 2002

I'm keeping track of Hugoland formally known as Venezuela. Please LINK any stories or add what you wish to this thread. The above LINK takes you to past articles posted before the new FR format. Below I'll add what I've catalogued since that LINK no longer could take posts.

(March 1, 2002)-- Venezuela's strongman faces widespread calls to step down

By Phil Gunson | Special to The Christian Science Monitor

[Full Text] CARACAS, VENEZUELA - The man who won Venezuelan hearts three years ago as a strongman who could deliver a better life to the masses is now facing them in the streets.

More than 20,000 people turned out this week calling for the resignation of President Hugo Chávez, while some 2,000 supporters marched in a rival demonstration of support. The demonstrations come after months of building discontent with a president who has managed to alienate the labor class, the media, business groups, the church, political parties, and the military.

Four military leaders have publicly called for his resignation.

In November, Chávez introduced 49 "revolutionary" decrees. The package of laws - affecting everything from land rights and fisheries to the oil industry - unified virtually the whole of organized society in a nationwide business and labor stoppage that paralyzed the country on Dec. 10.

The protests this week have a note of irony, because they started out as a commemoration called by President Chávez. In his eyes, Feb. 27 is a milestone of his so-called revolution - "the date on which the people awoke" in 1989. That is when thousands of rioters and looters took to the streets in protest of an IMF-backed austerity plan, in which the government hiked gas prices.

In what became known as the caracazo, or noisy protest, thousands of rioters and looters were met by Venezuelan military forces, and hundreds were killed. Three years later, Chávez and his military co-conspirators failed in an attempt to overthrow the government responsible for the massacre, that of President Carlos Andres Perez. Chávez was jailed for two years.

"But the elements that brought about the caracazo are still present in Venezuela," says lawyer Liliana Ortega, who for 13 years has led the fight for justice on behalf of the victims' relatives. "Poverty, corruption, impunity ... some of them are perhaps even more deeply ingrained than before."

Chávez's supporters consist of an inchoate mass of street traders, the unemployed, and those whom the old system had marginalized. This, to Chávez, is el pueblo - the people.

"But we are 'the people' too," protests teacher Luis Leonet. "We're not oligarchs like he says. The oligarchs are people like Chávez, people with power."

On Wednesday, Leonet joined a march led by the main labor confederation, the CTV, to protest what unions say is a series of antilabor measures, including one of the 49 decrees dealing with public-sector workers.

Chávez won't talk to the CTV, whose leaders, he says, are corrupt and illegitimate. So he refuses to negotiate the annual renewal of collective contracts with the confederation, holding up deals on pay and conditions for hundreds of thousands of union members like Leonet.

Across town on Wednesday, a progovernment march sought to demonstrate that the president's popularity was as high as ever.

"For the popular classes, Chávez is an idol," says marcher Pedro Gutierrez.

Pollster Luis Vicente Leon, of the Datanalisis organization, warns that marches are no measure of relative popularity. "There is a lot of discontent among ... the really poor," Leon says, adding that so far the protests are mainly among the middle class.

But the middle class can be a dangerous enemy. It includes the bulk of the armed forces, and the management of the state oil company, PDVSA.

This month, four uniformed officers, ranging from a National Guard captain to a rear-admiral and an Air Force general, called on the president to resign, while repudiating the idea of a military coup of Chávez, himself a former Army lieutenant-colonel.

But senior "institutionalist" officers "are under severe pressure from lower ranks frustrated at the lack of impact" that these acts have had, a source close to military dissidents says. In other words, a coup cannot be ruled out, although the United States publicly denounces the idea.

Meanwhile, the president's imposition of a new board of directors on PDVSA this week sparked a virtual uprising by the company's senior management. In an unprecedented public statement, managers said the government was pushing the company "to the verge of operational and financial collapse" by imposing political, rather than commercial, criteria.

The political opposition remains relatively weak and divided. But in the view of many analysts, a president who offends both the military and the oil industry is asking for trouble. In the bars and restaurants of Caracas, the debate is no longer over whether Chávez will finish his term, which has nearly five years to run. It is when and how he will go - and what comes next. [End]

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: castro; china; communism; cuba; frlibrarians; hugochavez; latinamericalist; monroedoctrine; venezuela
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To: *Latin_America_list
Check the Bump List folders for articles related to and descriptions of the above topic(s) or for other topics of interest.
21 posted on 04/14/2002 8:14:23 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: FR Librarians;seamole
Check the Bump List folders for articles related to and descriptions of the above topic(s) or for other topics of interest.
22 posted on 04/14/2002 8:18:30 AM PDT by Free the USA
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
"The ChiComs are NOT running the Canal. The Panamanian Government is."

"The Chinese company got the bid on Balboa and Cristobal not because their bid was the lowest but because they paid the biggest bribe."

I feel better already.....


23 posted on 04/14/2002 8:34:33 AM PDT by Luis Gonzalez
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
--no, you understood perfectly well and answered my question adequately. I was just wondering if they had a lot of chinese actually on the ground there, and did they look like young males of military age and bearing. Thanks for the speedy reply. Now IF the situation changes and all of a sudden a thousand chinese "workers" show up, and fit the description/profile, assume it's a herd of rats to be on the safe side.
24 posted on 04/14/2002 8:43:27 AM PDT by zog
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To: zog
You're welcome.
25 posted on 04/14/2002 9:57:10 AM PDT by Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
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To: Gatún(CraigIsaMangoTreeLawyer)
Triumphant Chavez Returns to Power "I will always be with you. I will never go away."
26 posted on 04/15/2002 1:11:26 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
U.S.: Chavez Should Respect Process
27 posted on 04/15/2002 1:17:44 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Chávez turmoil a blow to Latin American populism **** Even though we don't know the ultimate outcome of the confused political situation in Venezuela, the turmoil may send a message that messianic leaders with confrontational styles generate massive capital flight, growing poverty and civil unrest.

Clearly, the last chapter in the quickly evolving situation in Venezuela has not been written, but there is no country in Latin America that would like to experience the pain and violence roiling that Andean country. If, as many believe, the ousted Hugo Chávez is to blame for the current crisis, it will not help candidates who follow his line.

At a time when critics of free-market policies are ranking high in the polls for this year's elections in Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia and Ecuador, there is a growing feeling in U.S. and Latin American political circles that Chavez's disastrous rule may become an antidote for populist experiments.

''This will definitely have an impact on the upcoming elections in the region,'' former Colombian President Alfonso López Michelsen told me in a telephone interview. ``The most immediate impact will be a return to pragmatism and political discipline, as opposed to easy, quick-fix solutions.''****

28 posted on 04/15/2002 2:50:01 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Chavez Returns to 'His' Army Base **** He praised Gen. Raul Baduel, commander of the paratroopers' brigade, and other officers who were loyal. He also spoke fondly of soldiers who during his captivity brought him coffee and told him they were plotting his escape.

Meanwhile, more than 100 military officials had been detained, and officers involved in the conspiracy could face charges, Vice President Diosdado Cabello said.****

29 posted on 04/15/2002 3:21:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Venezuela's Chavez resumes power - two-thirds of Venezuelans oppose him ** Chavez ''is the man who planted love in the people,
most of all us poor people,'' said Venner, 38, a seamstress, who quickly added: ''soon we'll be middle class.''**

She's going to find out Chavez has plans for Venezuela and it isn't going to have classes.
Unless of course, you count the dictator and his communist party elite and the masses. That makes two.

30 posted on 04/15/2002 4:06:14 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
LATIN BEAT: Much Work Awaits OAS In Venezuela - Chavez trashes rule of law **** But it would be a mistake for the OAS, which is undertaking a fact-finding mission this week in Caracas , to conclude that democracy has been restored simply because Chavez, elected in late 1998, is back in charge. Chavez and his government have slowly constricted the very constitution they had drafted and garnered approval for in a 1999 referendum. This has been evident not just in many dubious appointments to public office but also in a slew of Chavez decrees late last year. One of the most controversial decrees infringed upon private property rights, which is protected in the constitution****
31 posted on 04/15/2002 2:06:12 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Venezuela: Rumored U.S. Involvement Could Hurt Bush Administration***Several human sources told STRATFOR on April 14 that the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency may have had a hand in the tumultuous events that occurred between April 5 and April 13 in Caracas, culminating in President Hugo Chavez's brief ouster and his return to power.***

Bush Officials Met With Venezuelans Who Ousted Leader***One official said political hard-liners in the administration might have "gone overboard" in proclaiming Mr. Chávez's ouster before the dust settled. The official said there were competing impulses within the administration, signaling a disagreement on the extent of trouble posed by Mr. Chávez, who has thumbed his nose at American officials by maintaining ties with Cuba, Libya and Iraq.***

32 posted on 04/16/2002 2:15:04 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Captive Chavez prayed under stars for Venezuela ***"Let's hold each other's hand, let's pray here by the sea. Let's look at the stars and let's pray to God," Chavez said as he made his way to the helicopter that would fly him back to Caracas. "Let's ask for God's help so we are able to accept our differences and still come together in dialogue."*** LINKS to what he really thinks about religion and his communist association.
33 posted on 04/16/2002 3:30:44 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Chavez strengthens his grasp on power*** As the nation returned to normal, Chávez gave a long public address Monday before a packed room of journalists, where he called for dialogue and insisted many coup participants were manipulated. Many members of the armed forces who tried to overthrow him were deceived by civilian conspirators, Chávez said.

''They were tricked,'' Chávez insisted. ``I have no feelings of revenge or hate. No. I will review each one on a case by case basis and respect everyone's human rights.''

He also blamed the media for allegedly distorting information and magnifying the extent of the uprising. ''The news media have enormous power, and they should not act as a laboratory of lies, sowing terror,'' Chávez affirmed. ``That is terrorism, becoming a nest of terror in order to create a psychological impact.''****

34 posted on 04/16/2002 6:43:05 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Cuba closely follows the events in Venezuela ***Cuba's Cuban Workers Union congratulated Chávez supporters Monday for the ''triumph of right and justice'' with Chávez's restoration of power. ''We reiterate to our Venezuelan brothers that they can always count on the sure and unconditional support of the millions of Cuban workers who feel as if the cause of the Bolivarian Revolution is ours,'' read the letter, published in the weekly newspaper Trabajadores.***
35 posted on 04/16/2002 6:43:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Democracy shaky in S. America*** For the mostly poor supporters of the red-bereted, populist Mr. Chávez, his brief removal after deadly riots last week was a military coup dressed up by the country's ruling elite as a popular uprising - and suspiciously supported by the United States. For the middle and upper classes who reject Chávez as a bygone Latin dictator whose model is Fidel Castro's communist Cuba, his fall was a kind of Venezuelan spring, the work of a civil society galvanized by the rise of a megalomaniac…... One problem for the majority of Venezuelans - who oppose Chávez, polls before last week's events showed - is that the constitution was tailored to allow him to remain in power until 2021. "From his arrival in office Chávez worked to undermine the democratic pillars in that he never accepted give-and-take and pushed to concentrate power," says Miguel Díaz, director of the South America Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. But a pro-democracy civil society never let up on him," he adds, "and I assume they won't rest until Venezuela gets a better government."***
36 posted on 04/16/2002 7:37:32 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Salvador afraid president's support of interim Venezuelan govt will bring Chavez's wrath.*** Prominent members of the right-wing National Conciliation Party said that Venezuela, El Salvador's principal oil supplier, could seek retribution for Flores' seeming support for the coup attempt by disrupting the flow of oil here. "Hopefully, Venezuela will not take reprisals against an entire people because of the mistake of one person," retired army Col. Jose Almendariz said.***
37 posted on 04/16/2002 3:08:32 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Astros' Venezuelans keeping an eye on country's political unrest - Castro likes baseball too*** The political unrest in Venezuela has touched baseball on many fronts, especially the Astros, whose Venezuelan baseball academy is considered the model. The Astros' academy is in Guacara, 2 1/2 hours away from the turmoil in Caracas. Ironically, though, it is on land owned by the chemical company Venoco. Pedro Carmona, the man who served as leader of the interim government after temporarily overthrowing Chavez, is the president of Venoco. Carmona was released from jail Monday. Chavez surely hasn't forgotten, though, that Carmona dismantled the National Assembly, fired the ministers of the Supreme Court and arrested high-level government officials during the nearly 48 hours Chavez was out of power and under military control. …… "I've said for a long time that this guy might try to be the next Fidel Castro," said Peter Greenberg, who represents Hidalgo, Hernandez, Bobby Abreu, Edgardo Alfonzo, Roger Cedeño and most of the top Venezuelans in the majors. "My players say, `Don't worry. He loves baseball. He won't mess with the baseball players.' Then I remind them that Fidel loves baseball, too."***
38 posted on 04/17/2002 2:29:59 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
Foes determined to oust Chavez***Sixty-eight people were killed and 527 wounded by gunfire and other violence during the political upheaval and widespread looting from Thursday to Sunday, said Guillermo Garróz, head of the National Civil Defense. Cabello said 80 armed forces members were in custody, suspected of involvement in the coup. Caracas appeared almost normal Tuesday, although a number of looted supermarkets remained closed.

Chávez lost much of his popularity in the past year with his acidic attacks on virtually everyone who opposes him since his election by a landslide in 1998, six years after he launched a failed coup attempt. But in a sign of the continuing political bitterness, the million member Venezuelan Confederation of Workers said it will still push for a referendum on shortening Chávez's presidential term, due to end in 2006.

….. Most opposition lawmakers boycotted the first meeting of the Assembly since the coup attempt and a lawmaker from Chávez's party, the Fifth Republic Movement, Ernesto Alvarenga, announced he had defected to the opposition. …….''This is a government that has been violating the constitution for three years,'' he said, accusing the Chávez-controlled Supreme Court of repeatedly issuing politically-biased rulings. Defense Minister José Vicente Rangel dismissed the calls. 'Those who continue asking for Chávez' exit did not learn the lesson of the counter-coup,'' he said.

''In fact, until now the only one I have hear talking about rectifying is Chávez,'' Rangel added. ……'He said the events were a lesson that God has given us all . . . and said that for the good of the country he was going to straighten out many things,'' Velazco added. ``I believe at that moment he was sincere.''***

39 posted on 04/17/2002 2:31:28 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: All
U. S. Secretary Otto Juan Reich, Chavez Successor Spoke on Coup Day *** NEW YORK (Reuters) - A senior Bush administration official contacted Pedro Carmona the day the business leader took over as Venezuela's president after Hugo Chavez was temporarily ousted, The New York Times reported in its online edition Wednesday. Otto Reich, the assistant U.S. secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, phoned Carmona Friday and pleaded with him not to dissolve the National Assembly, the newspaper reported. Reich, a Cuban American known for his opposition to Cuban President Fidel Castro told Carmona that such a move would be a "stupid thing to do," and provoke an outcry, the Times reported, citing a State Department official. ***
40 posted on 04/17/2002 2:53:17 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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