Skip to comments.Venezuela Genl 'Doubts' Chavez Means To Disobey High Ct
Posted on 12/16/2002 1:29:48 PM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
CARACAS (Dow Jones)--A high ranking Venezuela army general said on local radio Monday he "doubts" President Hugo Chavez means to ignore a recent high court ruling requiring Chavez to reverse a military takeover of the Caracas Metropolitan police.
Raul Baduell, commander of the fourth armored division and considered one of the most powerful military men in the country, said he'd have to see the "text" of Chavez's instructions to the military in which the president asked troops to ignore the ruling.
"Knowing the president, I don't think he would give an order of that type," Badeull said.
Tthe Caracas Metropolitan police reports to one of Chavez's most active political opponents, the mayor of Caracas.
Late Monday, opposition groups demonstrated around police facilities which were still being guarded by heavily armed soldiers.
Whether or not Baduell supports the troubled president isn't clear, but in April the army commander was credited with spearheading a campaign to rescue Chavez after he was deposed for two days by other military heads.
After Baduell's comments Monday, some now expect Chavez to abide by the high court ruling because the general's official stance - that he and his troops only wish to defend the constitution - may weigh on Chavez's leadership.
As reported earlier today, the Venezuelan College of Attorneys is asking the Supreme Court to appoint a special District Attorney to investigate Chavez's alleged violation of court rulings, the group's president Rafael Veloz Garcia said.
Besides the most recent high court decision, Chavez last week rejected court rulings in Carabobo and Zulia states demanding the military return to striking private companies the fuel transport trucks it "borrowed" to ensure gasoline supplies made it to important areas.
Chavez is battling a strike against his leadership that entered its third week Monday.
Opposition leaders launched the strike Dec. 2, an effort to force the government into accepting an immediate nonbinding referendum on President Hugo Chavez's leadership. After three protesters were killed by gunmen at an opposition rally Dec. 6, strike leaders demanded Chavez resign immediately and call elections.
Chavez has thus far maintained the constitution only requires him to accept the results of a possible recall referendum next August, the midpoint of his term. But his representatives have begun talking about elections the opposition want by the first quarter of next year.
Chavez's critics blame his left-leaning policies for country's deepening economic crisis with a 6.4% contraction in the first nine months of this year, 17% unemployment, and 30% annualized inflation sparked by a nearly-50% devaluation of the bolivar ($1=VEB1294.50) earlier this year. The currency has strengthened a bit since then mostly due to central bank efforts.
Chavez has said the problems are due to an "economic coup" led by his opponents.
-By Jehan Senaratna, Dow Jones Newswires; 58212 564 1339; jehan.senaratna@ dowjones.com
"I can't think of a single shipping company in the world that is prepared to take care of a tanker and have it unloaded in a port that is declared unsafe," said Jose Toro Hardy, a former director at state-owned oil monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela SA and now a private oil consultant. Currently, only one small refinery is producing, but running at a meager rate of 80,000 barrels a day. Venezuela needs around 400,000 barrels a day to satisfy its domestic needs.***
Chavez Blocking Vote on His Rule *** CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - During his campaign to dismantle a corrupt political system, Hugo Chavez's favorite tool was a popular referendum. Now, the president is infuriating opponents by snubbing a petition to hold a referendum on his rule. The drive for signatures gathered force at an eastern Caracas plaza that has been occupied for seven days by more than 100 dissident military officers and thousands of civilians demanding Chavez's ouster.
Opposition political parties say more than 1.2 million people, or 10 percent of registered voters, have signed - the number required by Venezuela's constitution to petition for a referendum on "matters of national importance." They plan to deliver the signatures next week, and want the vote held in December. Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel rebuffed the petition, insisting Monday "we can easily get 10, 15, 20 percent of the people to say that they are against the referendum."
Critics say that would be taking a page out the playbook of Chavez's good friend, Fidel Castro, who scorned a petitioning drive to hold a referendum for more civil liberties in Cuba earlier this year. Instead, Castro supported a counter-petition for a constitutional reform declaring the island's socialist system untouchable. Castro's government later claimed that 8.1 million of Cuba's 8.2 million eligible voters signed the "socialism forever" petition - a typically resounding return of 98.7 percent in favor. ***
Venezuela Election Body Agrees to Chavez Referendum *** CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Venezuela's election authorities agreed early on Thursday to hold a nonbinding referendum in February demanded by the opposition on whether President Hugo Chavez should resign, an option dismissed by the populist leader who refuses to step down. The consultative vote, scheduled for Feb. 2, would not legally force Chavez from office. But his foes believe a decisive rejection would deliver a political defeat that could press the president into resigning and trigger elections in the world's fifth-largest oil exporter. Alfredo Avella, president of the National Electoral Council, said the institution that oversees elections and polls agreed to stage the popular referendum on the question of whether Chavez should resign immediately from office. ***
Venezuela Court Halts Vote on Chavez - Venezuelan President's Approval Below 30 Percent *** CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela's Supreme Court put the brakes on opposition efforts to force a non-binding referendum on President Hugo Chavez's presidency, quashing a decision hours earlier by the electoral council to conduct the vote. The back-to-back decisions on Thursday threw Venezuela into political turmoil. Foes and supporters of Chavez held rival demonstrations, with police keeping them apart. Opposition leaders threatened a general strike on Monday to press for the non-binding vote on whether the president should resign. police keeping them apart. Opposition leaders threatened a general strike on Monday to press for the non-binding vote on whether the president should resign. ***
is worth watching for at least
two reasons. It is
the only OPEC
representative in the
their national oil
company is the parent
of CITGO Petrol.
It's hard to believe
there's not more than meets the eye
in their politics.
Are they waiting for us to set up an Allende-type deal for them? Go Army!
Bottom line is Two-Bit Dictator cannot follow his own Constitution, the Constitution he wrote and rammed through his Constitutional Assembly.
The Two-Bit Dictator is even firing Supreme Court Justices after stacking the Court with his own Justices.
Two-Bit Dictator has alienated even his own hand-picked Judges and his own hand-picked military officials.
Somebody should ask Chavez to write the sequel to "How to Make Enemies and Alienate People."
I think maybe his parrot is working on it.
As for the comments of Baduell, I suspect he's trying hard to give Chávez a graceful and safe escape hatch - which, of course, being a nutty dictator, Chávez won't take.
At least the soldiers
didn't machine gun the crowd.
Someone is showing
restraint down there. Or
is the stage just being set
for one bloody sweep...
And, already translated, the impressive list/photos of all the top Generals and other senior officers with their comments on why they've left Chavez over the past 2 months, now in english, is here...
-Shane (My recent eye-witness report here)
It would be better
if the people rebelling
weren't being linked
to Lyndon LaRouche
by various non-US
It's one thing to stand
against oppression. But not
with tin foil wrapped nuts!