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Jimmy Carter Unveils Plan to End Venezuela Crisis
yahoo.com ^ | January 21, 2003 | Pascal Fletcher, Reuters

Posted on 01/21/2003 11:51:15 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner Jimmy Carter on Tuesday presented to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his foes a plan for elections to solve the deadlocked political conflict gripping the world's fifth largest oil exporter.

The former U.S. president said after talks with the left-wing leader his blueprint foresaw an end to the crippling seven-week opposition strike that has slashed supply from South America's biggest oil producer.

The strike, launched by opposition leaders to press Chavez to resign and hold early elections, has jolted world oil markets and threatened to bankrupt Venezuela's oil-reliant economy. The bolivar currency tumbled 5.1 percent against the dollar on Tuesday.


Thousands protest against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Charallave, approximately 30 miles east of Caracas, Jan. 20, 2003. One person was killed and two dozen wounded by gunfire during street clashes as Nobel Peace Prize-winner Jimmy Carter tried to salvage peace talks between leftist President Chavez and his foes. (Reuters)

Chavez, an outspoken former paratrooper who was elected in 1998 and survived a brief coup last year, refuses to quit and says he is beating the strike, which is causing serious shortages of gasoline, cooking gas and some food items.

Carter, who was U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 and has since made a career of trying to solve world conflicts, traveled to Caracas to aid international efforts to end the Venezuelan crisis. He was awarded the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize for his international work in support of peace, human rights and democracy at the head of his Atlanta-based Carter Center.

"My opinion is that both sides now want to reach an agreement to end the impasse that is threatening to destroy Venezuela's economy and social structure," Carter told a news conference before flying home.

He outlined his plan for an electoral solution, comprising two independent alternatives.

One proposed an amendment to Venezuela's constitution that would allow early elections. The other was for the country to wait until Aug. 19 -- halfway through Chavez's term -- when the constitution allows for a binding referendum on the president's mandate, which is due to end in early 2007.

FOCUS ON CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM


Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez(L) chats with Nobel Peace prizewinner and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in the Miraflores Palace in Caracas January 21, 2003. Carter said on Tuesday he had proposed an agreement on elections to Chavez and his foes which he believed could help end the country's long-running political crisis. (Reuters)

Chavez said after meeting Carter he was willing to accept a reform of the constitution if it was approved by the National Assembly, where Chavez supporters hold a slim majority, and through a national vote. The reform could shorten his mandate to allow early elections or bring forward the August referendum on his rule.

"I don't reject any of these possibilities, but the opposition must comply with the constitution," Chavez said.

Carter stressed that while he was encouraged by the initial reaction he received from both Chavez and the opposition, his proposals would still have to be discussed and agreed on by both sides.

"This is a step in a positive direction, but certainly not a definitive answer ... everyone realizes that all decisions must be taken only by Venezuelans," he added.

More than two months of negotiations brokered by Organization of American States Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria have failed to produce a deal on elections to end the conflict. The negotiations were due to continue on Tuesday to consider the specific Carter proposals.

The opposition has been demanding immediate elections, arguing the country cannot wait until an August referendum.

The president said instead of disrupting gasoline and food supplies through the strike, opponents should work to collect the signatures of the 15 percent of the nation's voters required to request a reform of the constitution.

Fears of increased violence have risen as opposition protesters step up street demonstrations and the government increases its efforts to defeat the strike.

Chavez, who purged the armed forces of opponents after last April's coup, has sent troops to take over strike-hit oil installations and to raid private factories and warehouses the government alleges are hoarding food supplies.

The oil shutdown showed signs of weakening on Tuesday when oil tanker pilots in western Lake Maracaibo went back to work.

Since the strike began on Dec. 2, at least six people have been killed and dozens wounded in shootings and street clashes.

Carter deplored the violence.

'FRIENDS' GROUP TO MEET

He said he would also present his electoral proposals in Washington on Friday to the first meeting of foreign ministers from six nations forming a "group of friends" whose task is to help seek a solution to the Venezuela crisis.

The six-nation group, comprised of the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Spain and Portugal, was created last week to back the OAS-brokered peace talks.

Chavez has expressed reservations about the membership of the "friends" group, saying he would like to see it expanded to include other nations like China, Russia, France, Cuba and nations from the developing world.

Carter said the group would not be changed.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: carter; chavez; communism; latinamericalist; oil; strike; usefulidiots
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Chavez is using Carter to stall a referendum on his rule. Jimmy is such a useful idiot.

Hugo Chavez - Venezuela

The president's other face***Mr. Chavez was democratically elected with an overwhelming majority in 1998. This mandate allowed him -- through several referendums -- to dissolve Congress, create a Constitutional Assembly that drafted the current constitution, and to be elected once again -- as first president of the newly christened "Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."

But democratic legitimacy demands consistently playing by the rules. And once re-elected, Mr. Chavez revealed his true nature: the former paratrooper head of the failed military coup d'état of 1992. Soon showing a total disregard for democratic institutions, he moved to gain a stronghold on the country's legislative and judicial systems, and to involve the military in a myriad of civilian affairs, even selling food at cost on the streets.

The President has systematically harassed the media, intimidated his opposition, and alienated critical sectors of Venezuelan society, such as the Church, businesses, the middle class, civilian organizations and NGOs -- those who now march in the streets calling for his ouster. His violent speeches are loaded with diatribes against "them." Anyone who is not a loyal supporter is accused of being a fascist, sometimes in scatological terms. (Despite his claims, Mr. Chavez's "little blue book," as he calls the constitution, does allow for civil disobedience; Article 350 should grant the general strike legitimacy.) ***

1 posted on 01/21/2003 11:51:15 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: *Latin_America_List
bump
2 posted on 01/21/2003 12:01:13 PM PST by The Obstinate Insomniac (Oppose Constitutional Verbicide)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
We have no canals in Venezuela to hand over so this limits our diplomatic options.
3 posted on 01/21/2003 12:03:01 PM PST by jriemer
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To: All
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4 posted on 01/21/2003 12:04:32 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: jriemer
LOL! I do't think anything turned me against Carter as much as losing the Panama Canal (and there was a LOT...no Olympics, malaise speech, gas prices, interest rates, Iran hostage crisis). I KNEW at the time it was a doofus move, and events have proved me (and I am certain millions of other Americans) to have been right about Carter. He is a MORON!
5 posted on 01/21/2003 12:07:22 PM PST by Miss Marple
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I wondered what was driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average down below 8,500 again!!!
6 posted on 01/21/2003 12:07:29 PM PST by SierraWasp (Like, hey man, SHIFT_HAPPENS!!!)
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To: jriemer
Can't we build them a couple of nuclear reactors?
7 posted on 01/21/2003 12:08:10 PM PST by ijcr
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To: Dog Gone
Ping-a-Ling! One Pingy-Dingy, Two Pingy-Dingy...
8 posted on 01/21/2003 12:09:36 PM PST by SierraWasp (Like, hey man, SHIFT_HAPPENS!!!)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Chavez is using Carter to stall a referendum on his rule. Jimmy is such a useful idiot.

I agree. Chavez is probably going to demand that the strike be ended before any movement is made toward a referendum that will never happen.

9 posted on 01/21/2003 12:12:10 PM PST by Eva
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To: Miss Marple
Jimmy (the peanut brain) carter helps his lover Castro again!


10 posted on 01/21/2003 12:12:17 PM PST by steplock
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Carter was spotted wearing a "Vote Ortega" button left over from his attempts to keep Nicaragua in communist hands, as well as sporting his well-worn "Viva Fidel" bumper sticker on his brief case.
11 posted on 01/21/2003 12:12:46 PM PST by EternalVigilance
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To: Miss Marple
He is a MORON!

But the left's response is "But he's Our MORON!

(Or, Rapist, Perjurer, Oldsmobile Submarine Commander, B!tch, Grand Kleagle, Statutory Rapist, Communist, Traitor, Idiot,
Anti-American, America Subverter, Terrorist, ...)

12 posted on 01/21/2003 12:24:13 PM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I'm sure that Jimmy would be more than happy to handpick a couple of lefties to replace his beleagured communist friend Chavez...
13 posted on 01/21/2003 12:27:19 PM PST by ApesForEvolution (This space for rent)
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To: SierraWasp
I love how one of Jimmy's alternatives is exactly the same as Chavez's position.

The other alternative could never be achieved prior to August, so it's moot.

Thanks so much for the help, peanutboy.

14 posted on 01/21/2003 12:31:13 PM PST by Dog Gone
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned self-immolation?
15 posted on 01/21/2003 12:31:54 PM PST by toenail
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
How much will appeasement cost us this time?

-PJ

16 posted on 01/21/2003 12:33:49 PM PST by Political Junkie Too
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Hmm...early elections, sounds good to me. Waiting around until August is NOT a good idea.

As far as constitutional reforms, I don't know much about Venezuela, but I doubt the people want anything to do with Chavez, as witnessed by the strikes.
17 posted on 01/21/2003 12:37:32 PM PST by anobjectivist
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
As long as the anti-Chavez protestors don't bring out their secret weapon, sure to foil the Nobel peanut farmer. :)


18 posted on 01/21/2003 12:39:28 PM PST by anymouse
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To: ijcr; Miss Marple
Can't we build them a couple of nuclear reactors?

Hmm, I doubt think that President Carter will provide Venezuela with reactors.

You see, their country doesn't have the adequate long-range missile technology to match a well-running nuclear power program. The only way around that problem is to have one of our defense contractors help Venezeula boot-strap their unknown-before-now satellite delivery projects.

To give a dictator access to nuclear energy without the means to deliver its "by-products" is just plain mean and unfair. It's downright cruel if that dictator happens to live in America's back yard. [/sarcasm]

jriemer

19 posted on 01/21/2003 12:40:02 PM PST by jriemer
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Who pays for his flights, lodging and meals on these "junkets"?

How much tax payer money is being wasted on his Secret Service retinue?

20 posted on 01/21/2003 12:40:18 PM PST by Uncle Sausage
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Carter, who was U.S. president from 1977 to 1981 and has since made a career of TRYING to solve world conflicts

Wherever he goes, whatever he does, Jimmy fails.

First step in reforming Venezuela: Chavez needs a bullet in his head.

21 posted on 01/21/2003 12:40:49 PM PST by pulaskibush
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To: SierraWasp
I wondered what was driving the Dow Jones Industrial Average down below 8,500 again!!

Little Dumbya's still proposing class-warfare giveaways to his rich campaign contributors, isn't he? With little Dumbya and his henchmen in power, the DJIA doesn't need any other excuse to continue plummeting as it has ever since the 5 Repukie Supremes foolishly stopped the vote recount in Florida.

22 posted on 01/21/2003 12:41:21 PM PST by MurryMom
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To: The Obstinate Insomniac
Mr. Peanut kisses the ass of another tin hat dictator.
23 posted on 01/21/2003 12:44:38 PM PST by Ditto
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To: MurryMom
You are soooo odious
24 posted on 01/21/2003 12:45:30 PM PST by justaguy (but I mean that in a GOOD way...)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Maybe that loathsome meddler will stay there!
25 posted on 01/21/2003 12:45:30 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: pulaskibush
Perhaps Jimmy could suggest Chavez flee the country and install an exiled cleric (maybe Father Aristide?). This was his solution to the last Oil-Bearing-Nation crisis.
26 posted on 01/21/2003 12:48:20 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Did you ever have the measles? And if so, how many? - Artimus Ward)
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To: MurryMom
MurryMom! I missed you.

I suspect others on this board are going to inform you in less pleasant language than I'm using that the DJIA has been in a decline since mid-2000.
27 posted on 01/21/2003 12:48:28 PM PST by denydenydeny
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To: MurryMom
Still staying in touch with FreeRepublic, I see.

(You should try doing the same with reality.)

28 posted on 01/21/2003 12:51:20 PM PST by PBRSTREETGANG
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
all about plan and power, for power hungry horny Carter. One Nobel Prize ain't enough, he has to try to crush truth and the innocent in Venezuela under his fat commi Chavez arse, with plans and the power to peace, instead of peace through truth... EVIL EVIL EVIL LUSTY MAN OF HELL. AND I THOUGHT CLINTON WAS OUR ONLY RAPIST PRESIDENT:::
29 posted on 01/21/2003 12:56:22 PM PST by lavaroise
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To: MurryMom
Be quiet, sit down, and eat your peas. They're getting cold.
30 posted on 01/21/2003 12:57:42 PM PST by homeschool mama (peas are little green balls of mushy poison)
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To: pulaskibush
Will no one rid me of this incompetant ex-president???
31 posted on 01/21/2003 12:58:16 PM PST by albee
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Why doesn't he hold a peace conference somewhere in the rainforest - you know, like a place where they have lots of bushmasters, fer-de-lances, coral snakes, piranhas and other creatures President Jimmy could commune with during breaks.
32 posted on 01/21/2003 1:00:31 PM PST by ZULU
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To: ZULU
"Why doesn't he hold a peace conference somewhere in the rainforest - you know, like a place where they have lots of bushmasters, fer-de-lances, coral snakes, piranhas and other creatures President Jimmy could commune with during breaks."

None of those would bother jimmy-the-jerk, they might catch something from him


33 posted on 01/21/2003 1:06:21 PM PST by sticker
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Jimmy Carter Unveils Plan to End Venezuela Crisis

Phew. I was worried about that Venezula crisis. We can all relax now that Jimmy is on the job.

And, er, by the way, who died and left him in charge?

34 posted on 01/21/2003 1:15:41 PM PST by wbill
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Ah yes, Carter. Destabilizer of the MidEast, NoBull Prize laureate, Irrelevant Idiot supreme, and backer of terrorists and dictators everywhere.
Has he suggested giving them nukes, food, and slaves yet?
35 posted on 01/21/2003 1:18:04 PM PST by Darksheare (This tagline has been deleted by the Americans for Social Septicemia, "I got burning, in my soul!")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
America's enemies are conspiring with American citizens, the Democratic Party, to help undermine the President of the United States during wartime. Isn't that special.

"Let me be clear," she said. "Only the president and the executive branch can speak for the United States." - Secretary of State Madeline Albright, Jan.2000.

http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0200helms.htm



Conducting Foreign Relations Without Authority: The Logan Act

Abstract: The Logan Act was intended to prohibit United States citizens without authority from interfering in relations between the United States and foreign governments. There appear to have been no prosecutions under the Act in its almost 200 year history. However, there have been a number of judicial references to the Act, and it is not uncommon for it to be used as a political weapon. Although attempts have been made to repeal the Act, it remains law and at least a potential sanction to be used against anyone who without authority interferes in the foreign relations of the United States.


E-mail Reuters
36 posted on 01/21/2003 1:37:10 PM PST by Ragtime Cowgirl (289 Million Americans Avoid So-Called "Peace" Rallies. AP and BBC ignore the "will of the people.")
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Whenever a leftist regime is threatened, Jimmy is faster on the scene than Domino's Pizza.

Yeah, let's stop the general strike so Chavez can consolidate power. That way he can fund nuclear terrorist strikes on U.S. soil, starting with...Atlanta. But only if Jimmy's in town at the time.
37 posted on 01/21/2003 2:06:28 PM PST by Man of the Right
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Comment #38 Removed by Moderator

To: MurryMom

39 posted on 01/21/2003 2:15:31 PM PST by BaBaStooey
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To: MurryMom
the Dow Jones has fallen from its peak since the Clinton Justice Dept. killed Microsoft. Bush pushed it back up close to its peak, then 9-11 happened.
40 posted on 01/21/2003 2:17:44 PM PST by BaBaStooey
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To: Cincinatus' Wife; harpseal; archy; StriperSniper; hchutch; ppaul; Mudboy Slim; goldilucky; ...
The fix is in. Commie bootlicker Carter is on the scene to make sure freedom is expunged.


Carter with Deng Xiao Peng


Carter with Ceausescu

He never met a communist he didn't like!

41 posted on 01/21/2003 2:26:42 PM PST by Tailgunner Joe (God Armeth The Patriot)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Great, if they listen to Carter, there goes the southern hemisphere on our side of the two big lakes.

42 posted on 01/21/2003 2:29:06 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, the site supported by those who don't believe in free lunches! Are you a donor?)
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To: Grampa Dave
Carter's domestic strategy was always simple and easy...it was called capitulation!!
43 posted on 01/21/2003 2:31:41 PM PST by God luvs America
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To: ijcr
No, we won't build a couple of nuclear reactors for them.

However the French and Germans will gladly help them, as they are about to lose their best two customers, Iraq and Iran.

We know that every country that floats on a bed of oil needs nuclear reactors to produce cheap electricity, right?

With Jimmy's help, Chavez could have nuclear weapons about 2010. Just after he gets another Nobel Peace Prize for endangering America and the rest of the world like he did in North Korea.
44 posted on 01/21/2003 2:33:12 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, the site supported by those who don't believe in free lunches! Are you a donor?)
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To: All
Faster than the 2000 presidential election...

Stronger than a lame duck...

Able to create respect as a diplomat out of abject failure...

It's...

SUPERJIMMY!!
(Cue Superman theme)

45 posted on 01/21/2003 2:36:40 PM PST by Democratic_Machiavelli
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Peanutman should be expunged from this Country.
46 posted on 01/21/2003 2:41:17 PM PST by goldilucky
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To: Uncle Sausage
Re your question who pays for his trips.

Probably the same people who pay for the other hate America organizations/people, the Opecker Princes and Opecker Thugs like Soddomite, Chavez and the Murdering Mullahs of Iran.

Carter has been in the pocket of the Opeckers for over two decades: (Carter has been bought out by Opeckers for a long time)

Last but not least he doesn't need mcuh Secret Service protection when he makes these trips to kiss Commy Butt or Opecker Tail. He is their friend and buddy and provide all the protection he needs!

47 posted on 01/21/2003 2:44:24 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, the site supported by those who don't believe in free lunches! Are you a donor?)
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To: Tailgunner Joe
Great Pictorial series, and this bears repeating: Carter never met a Communist tryant that he didn't like and love like a brother!
48 posted on 01/21/2003 2:46:14 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, the site supported by those who don't believe in free lunches! Are you a donor?)
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To: God luvs America
Carter's foriegn policy makes the French look like valiant heroes.
49 posted on 01/21/2003 2:47:34 PM PST by Grampa Dave (Free Republic, the site supported by those who don't believe in free lunches! Are you a donor?)
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To: onetimeatbandcamp
"Whats the official opposition line on this? why don't they accept the binding referendum instead of ratcheting up the polarization with their non-binding earlier referendum?"

I guess the idea with the nearer non-binding referendum was they suspected chavez wouldn't let it happen, thus giving them a rallying cry. Or maybe they saw changes he was making in running large state institutions and believed than by august they would no longer be able to put the pdvsa on strike.

At this point, given the 7-week strike, I think they assume that
1) they will never have management control of the statepetro co again once this strike ends, thus there will be no future strike
2)to go on strike 7 weeks and fail is so demoralizing (as it should be) that it is questionable if they could ever pull an extended general strike again when chavez dodges the august referendum
3)this would give chavez another 6+ months to consolidate his political control even tighter, as he did after the april coup flushed out weak spots in his military and civilian governmental loyalties.

I have reluctantly concluded that, since chavez has weathered a 2-month shutdown in the national economy, he is not going to be dislodged, but instead will emerge from this in more control of the military, civilian government institutions, and economy(what is left of it) than ever. My memory says it is exceedingly rare for a banana republic dictator to be taken out as long as the military is under his control. Noriega is a good example of this, as he only suffered one signifigant coup attempt prior to a full-fledged u.s. invasion.

Venezuela voted this guy in, voted in his constitutional changes, so from that perspective it is their problem, but it really sucks we get so much oil from them, cuz chavez despises the US.
50 posted on 01/21/2003 3:04:28 PM PST by WoofDog123
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