Skip to comments.Chavez Next Step To Quash Venezuela Strikers & Opposition
Posted on 12/20/2002 10:19:42 AM PST by shanec
10-year Prison Terms For Protest Marchers in Venezuela
New law makes it a crime to march in protest against Chavez, or even write about it. Prison terms range from 5 to 10 years per protester.
Desperate and with only one in ten Venezuelans supporting it, the Chavez regime has unleashed a new "Ley de Seguridad de la Nacion" on the democratic opposition in Venezuela.
This "National Security Law" basically makes it a crime to be against Chavez: With dissidents being sent to prison camps for a minimum of 5 years and a maximum of 10 years.
Among the "crimes" punishable by harsh sentences of five-to-ten can be found such simple acts as as participating in a protest march near a security zone, and inviting others to such protest marches (the law's article 56).
Security zones can be any area that the Chavez regime says. Currently, there are 8 such security zones in Caracas alone, and 107 in the country. They cover airports, military bases, government buildings, even state-owned radio and TV stations.
And if a Venezuelan ever wanted to march on Miraflores, the presidential palace and also designated a "security zone", he better be a Chavez-supporter. Otherwise he is facing up to 10 years in jail.
Journalist covering protests would be deemed "instigators" and would also face stiff prison terms, a Chavez insider reported. This is a way to effectively silence critical opposition press coverage while still in theory allowing freedom of expression in Venezuela.
The same law, in its article 32, also allows the government to militarize companies, be it state-owned or private. In the case of private companies, such a militarization means that the basic human rights of the owners and the workers no longer apply. Owners are subject to what the local military boss says. And workers can not strike. If they are absent from the workplace, they will be termed military deserters and can be punished in a military tribunal for treason.
The democratic future of Venezuela and the hemisphere has moved to a whole new level. With a new oil-dictatorship right in Caribbean, the stability of the Americas is at stake now. And time is running out.
Being a news reporter in Venezuela, since Chavez came onto the scene, is the most dangerous profession down here with a dozen shot and six killed. All newscrews on the street are wearing body armor down here, it's like Beirut now in that regard.
In Caracas Dec 16, 17:35 GMT: During his weekly TV program Alo Presidente ("Hello President"), Chavez told the country's troops to ignore all orders except those given by him. In an heavyhanded attitude, Chavez told the military to ignore all laws and court orders that go against his personal wishes. Chavez has called the strike a "sabotage" against his self-styled revolution, and has threatened to arrest opposition leaders. The first raids on the offices of opposition parties have already begun this week with night-time swat team type raids trashing and taking computers from Opposition Party offices.
This is all in light of one of the favorite phrases of Hugo Chavez that "I am a servant of the people, and when the people does not want me anymore, I will leave office."
So why won't Chavez agree to free and democratic elections today in Venezuela?
On November 4 2002, members of the opposition delivered boxes to the National Electorate Council containing 1.5 million signatures. The signatures all requested a referendum, just like the Constitution sets out. On their way to the Council, they were attacked by mobs of violent Chavez supporters armed with bricks, metal bars and even guns. Many ended up in hospital, but the signatures got delivered.
Cornered, Chavez then fought back in his weekly TV-show Alo Presidente ("Hello President"). Here are some of his comments:
(Source: Official transcript 'Aló Presidente' N°128, Petare, 24/NOV/2002 04:59 PM)
It's clear Chavez plans to stay and employ all of the above on his road to fully implemmenting the Cuban style of dissident control, see Chavez bio-weapons lab in Venezuela for Saddam and Castro for more connecting of the dots here.
NO CHAVEZ NOR HIS MARXIST REGIME!
This says it all---another casstro!
This is what the Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe has in force. Not only can you not speak against him, you can not gather in groups of any size or write against his rule. It sounds like Fidel Castro has taught his students well.
Chavez is probably very close to nationalizing other industries and businesses anyway. Right after Chavez was elected, he had a plan to promote foreign investment in several industries in Venezuela, one of which was petrochemicals. I and several of my co-workers were attending a petrochemicals conference on Margerita Island and we met with the head of Pequiven, which is the petrochemical branch of state-owned PDVSA. He laid out the "enticements and rules" that would apply should we decide to construct a petrochemical facility there, and they all sounded good and reasonable until he came to the final point: "If we decide to nationalize the business, we will pay you a fair price." As far as we were concerned, that one sentance made the entire proposal a non-starter. We invested money, but not in Venezuela. And as far as I know, no other company invested in Petrochemical facilities in Venezuela under that plan, either.
And that was supposed to make investors feel secure?
In any case, it looks like the gloves are off today, and Chavez isn't even pretending to be a nice guy anymore.
'radical oppostion gang in the streets?'
Do you mean like the Adams brothers and shifty Tom Paine?
Why don't you stop calling names and tell us how you know the story is false? Why not tell us about the wholesome virtues of the Chavistas?
Why, that's just a tool of the armed thugs in the streets! You are too stupid to talk to! Lenin and Hitler and Mao and Pontius Pilate and Beezlebub would have loved you!
But I'd rather hear what Hillary Clinton thinks.
It won't happen if the Venezuelan military doesn't rise to the occasion.
We need courageous Venezuelan military officers like the late Contralmirante Wolfgang Larazabal who helped oust the previous dictator (P.J.), and who presided over the nation in a triumvirate prior to the election of Raul Leoni to the presidency.
Will any high Venezuelan military officer follow Larazabal's courageous lead and ignite the spark that results in Chavez fleeing for his life, and the Venezuelan people reclaiming their country?
But Perez, who voted for Chavez before becoming increasingly alarmed by the president's leftist politics, said it was wrong to assume that all of the thousands of protesters were fighting to preserve their privileged status. ''Me, rich?'' he said with incredulity, gesturing to his worn tennis shoes and threadbare track pants. ''I make $150 a month if I'm lucky. I live in a working-class neighborhood. But that doesn't mean I want Venezuela to become like Cuba. There, everyone is poor.'' Chavez's opponents accuse him of trying to remake this conservative South American nation in the image of communist-run Cuba. They point to Chavez's close ties to President Fidel Castro of Cuba, his increasingly leftist rhetoric, and his creation of neighborhood watchdog groups modeled on Cuba's Committee for the Defense of the Revolution.
Chavez opponents accuse the groups - called Boliviariano Circles after the South American independence leader, Simon Bolivar - of inciting violence during protest rallies, including the bloody clashes in April that killed 19 people. Those deaths helped trigger an abortive 48-hour coup, after which Chavez resumed control. But the president's once sky-high popularity ratings have slumped to 25 percent, according to some newspaper surveys. Despite fears of more violence, the mood among anti-Chavez protesters yesterday was one of jubilation, with many participants equating their struggle with that of Eastern Europeans in the days before the fall of the Berlin Wall. ***
All freedom-loving Freepers support them.
In fact, The government (Chavez) sent armored trucks into the Central Bank and basically looted it. Most of the cash money that they normally send out to bank branches have been loaded onto the trucks and sent to:
1) Miraflores. The presidential palace
2) Fuerte Tiuna. The main army garrison of Caracas.
In addition, they have asked Casa de la Moneda - the money printing plant - to start printing new money without a Central Bank approval or National Assembly (parliament) approval.
The person who can be quoted publicly as a contact and source for all of this is Andres Velasquez, congressman for the "Causa R" party and former Venezuelan presidential candidate. Another source that can verify this is a contact I have within the Central Bank. I have his name and email address, too.
It is 100% verifiable. And since I know it, other insiders know it too. The dollar gained yesterday, and the Bolivar lost in the Forex market.
I agree, and am hopeful they will/can. I base that on having met and visited with the top military dissenters recently at Altamira Plaza in Caracas. This includes the former heads of his Army, Navy, Air Force, etc. that have left Chavez over the last 60 days. (They also have another 19,000+ still within the ranks ready to follow them.) The photos/bios of these top Generals, Majors, Colonels, etc. that are publicly together, at great risk, taking this stand can be seen here...
Unable to silence media criticism of his administration's massive corruption and angry with press coverage of his country's general strike, Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez is now planning to take control of privately-owned TV stations.
The scheme was announced by top Chavez minister, Felipe Perez Marti,
...speaking Friday to a small crowd of Chavez-supporters gathered in front of stateowned oil company PDVSA:
" - After the taking of PDVSA, the people will take control of the mass media," promised Perez Marti.
Mr Perez Marti, an economist, is the head of Venezuela's Planification Ministry. On previous occasions, he has publicly voiced support and admiration for the Cuban model of government, where only one TV station is allowed and where state censorship strictly controls public opinion. His predecessor in the post, former Planning Minister Jorge Giordani, goes one step further. Giordani is best known in Venezuela for having authored a college text that holds up North Korea as an example to follow.
Planning Minister Perez Marti promised that the government would only take control of TV stations who let the opposition speak, and that those journalists who abide by the official government line can still keep their jobs:
" - Mass media which does not transmit biased news and which transmit good news will survive. Those who betray the people's cause can not continue to transmit in Venezuela", he assured.
Government control of the press is already unsurpassed in Venezuela, where the Chavez government can - at any time, and with no prior notification - hijack all TV- and radio signals to broadcast its own messages.
So far this year, nearly one thousand such interruptions of regular programming have already taken place. Independent political parties and democratic opposition groups do not have this right, but are instead voluntarily given ample coverage by the country's privately owned TV stations. This coverage of opposition leaders has angered Hugo Chavez, who calls the TV stations biased.
Venezuela's mass media has been critical of Chavez and has served as an important brake on corruption and human rights abuses in the country. In Venezuela, all branches of government are controlled by one single party, the MVR or Movimiento Quinta Republica, whose is under the command of Hugo Chavez.
" - Ordinary Venezuelans now turn to the press, rather than going to court or complaining to politicans when their rights are violated," explains general Enrique Medina Gomez, former military attache to Washington and now a dissident who has joined with 134 other military officials to publicly oppose Hugo Chavez.
" - They know that they can not fight the government in a country where the president has packed the Supreme Court with his cronies, and where both the legislative and adminstrative branches are under the sole control of one man only."
December 21, 2002
HOSTILITY TOWARD MEDIA "President Chavez made public threats against individual journalists and media organizations," it said, citing what it called "numerous allegations of inappropriate government pressure against the media." Chavez has accused his political opponents, including opposition media owners, of waging a hostile campaign of "media terrorism" against him. Journalists have complained of verbal and physical attacks by government supporters. "Some observers assert that President Chavez's aggressive rhetoric in criticizing the media has contributed to a climate of intimidation and hostility toward the media that encourages such attacks," the report said.
CHAVEZ BLAMES MESSENGERS ***In a familiar refrain, the president still is blaming the messengers: the media. Harassment against Venezuelan journalists -- physical, judicial and via new laws -- has gotten so bad recently that press organizations are sounding alarms. ''There can be no press freedom in a country where journalists have to hide their IDs and media logos out of fear of reprisals,'' concluded an Inter American Press Association delegation. In a three-day visit, the delegation investigated complaints of increasingly violent attacks against the media by Chávez supporters egged on by Mr. Chávez's inflammatory rhetoric. IAPA surmised that Mr. Chávez will ''have to answer for any escalation into even more serious actions'' that many fear.***
February 2002- But Chavez refuses to reconsider his appointment of leftist economist Gaston Parra as PDVSA president and of five government loyalists to the seven-member board of directors. He insists PDVSA employees must conform to state oil policy, which centers on strict compliance with production quotas imposed by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The policy aims to stabilize oil prices but has significantly reduced PDVSA's production and output capacity. "They have to follow government policy because it's a state company. It's that simple." Chavez told foreign reporters earlier this week. "Those who don't agree can leave."
March 2002 - In comments Sunday, the Venezuelan leader slammed what he called ``perverse, immoral, lying and ill-intentioned'' coverage of Venezuela by national and international media.
March 2002 - But until recent weeks, the skirmishes had been largely confined to newspaper editorial pages and Chavez's fiery speeches. Now, press advocates say, the president's incendiary verbal attacks have incited his followers to physical aggression against journalists. Angry hordes have shoved reporters and photographers covering presidential events, rocked and banged on television-station vehicles, and spewed epithets at reporters such as "traitors to the homeland" and "sell-outs."
"Some people feel legitimized (by Chavez) in lashing out at us physically and verbally," said Globovision television reporter Jose Vicente Antonetti, who has complained to the government's Human Rights Office. "He is instigating people by saying that Globovision does not report the truth, which is totally false." Reporters say the harassment is getting worse, with some saying that they have been followed, threatened and had their phones tapped. "One of the things they say is that my daughter is going to be the first death of this (Chavez) revolution," said Patricia Poleo, editor of the daily El Nuevo Pais.
At Chavez's radio show last Sunday, local newspapers reported that a Chavez supporter was videotaping journalists covering the event. When questioned, the videotaper ominously said the film was to identify the reporters to his colleagues. The previous week, the official government news agency Venpres issued a story denouncing three reporters who have been relentless in uncovering government corruption scandals, claiming they are "narco-journalists" in league with drug traffickers. Chavez later termed the story "a mistake."***
Methinks they already have a working version of As the World Churns.
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