BREAKING NEWS: Venezuela is beset this weekend by rumors of a possible conspiracy or coup

26 July, 2009 — VHeadline

VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes:  Venezuela is beset this weekend by rumors of a possible conspiracy or coup which have NOT yet been commented upon by official sources although they have been denied by the pro-government website Aporrea.org and state-owned Venezolana de Television (VTV) commentator Mario Silva.

  • • In an email to VHeadline from US-Venezuelan lawyer Eva Golinger, she says the prevailing rumors of a conspiracy or coup d’etat are “Ridiculous! There are no blackouts or problems with internet connections or phones!” and offers as evidence the fact that she has web access from her San Bernadino (Caracas) home.  Eva adds: “There is no coup … everything here is under control. In Honduras there is a coup and we are quite worried about it!” She insists “…we Chavistas and socialists are existent!”

Nevertheless, reports filed with great difficulty from elsewhere in Caracas and across Venezuela speak worryingly of repeated electricity blackouts and disastrous telephone connections with internet connections often reduced to 2-3 Kps as grassroots Venezuelans strive to find out who is in charge of their destinies on a minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour basis.  Quite frankly, many thousands of Venezuelans do NOT know what to believe.

President Chavez has moved troops to Venezuela’s western border with neighboring Colombia against fears of a strike by Colombian and US forces under cover of the constitutional crisis 1,391 miles (2,239 kilometers) away in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  He spoke less than 48 hours ago of doubling the number of army tanks to be deployed and it is already known that local militias (part-time army reservists) have been issued increased fire-power. The central government has ordered National Guard (GN) troops to take over a municipal police force in the town of Curiepe close to Caracas and there’s a general state of (perhaps paranoid) anticipation of impending violence in the border states of Tachira and Merida never mind brooding rebellion in south-eastern Bolivar State close to Guyana where US Special Forces are reported to be training (supplanting?) that nation’s minimalist armed forces.

With what is essentially a news blackout there is NO official clarity and much of the government administration allegedly appears to be in the hands of officials “who only pay lip service to President Hugo Chavez.” According to an extremely concerned long-time Chavista (pro-government) source who specifically states that “true Chavistas and even lukewarm socialists are practically non-existent” in this weekend’s political crisis.

With its lockdown on official information, it’s clear that central government is attempting to deflect attention away from the domestic crisis in blanket government-media coverage of the continuing Zelaya/Honduras constitutional impasse which has taken Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro away from his foreign policy control console for much of the last few weeks.

Seeking to explain what’s happening we learn that much of Venezuela’s domestic political-economic crisis appears to emanate from a serious debasement of what is usually accepted around the world (with obvious imperfections) as “democracy.”  VHeadline Venezuela has, since its inception, feverishly defended the principle of Venezuela’s democracy, constitutionality and the rule of law … but something has gone seriously wrong, not just in our editorial eyes but in Venezuela’s day-to-day reality as experienced by the very grassroots Venezuelans that President Chavez said during his election campaign in 1998 that he would seek to protect amd nourish.

Undoubtedly, since that democratic election in December 1998 and his formally installation as President of Venezuela in February 1999, President Chavez has striven to supplant a half-century’s malfeasance under a corrupt Accion Democratica (AD) / Christian Socialist (COPEI) mis-rule by attempting to return political, economic and social power to more than 25 million people who today form the grassroots of the proud nation of Venezuela. He began his “reign” by admitting that he was NOT a magician and  (with rhetoric reminiscent of J.F.K.) he said that he could only accomplish his ambitions with the power of the people, the essential grassroots of what makes Venezuela great!

Essentially: “Ask not what your country can do for you … ask what you can do for your country.” Therein lies the rub!”

Venezuela’s grassroots millions had already given their all … unfortunately NOT for the nation of Venezuela … but to enrich a small percentage of already filthy-rich Venezuelan/Spanish/Gringo elites that President Chavez persistently describes as the oligarchy — implying that they have had some inherent birthright to viciously exploit their fellow citizens.

Rightly or wrongly things began to go seriously askew when the governmental food chain implemented a series of cliques (mafias?) with the original purpose of watching each other’s backs against the undoubted assault of the even bigger clique (Mafia!) of the disenfranchised rich-bitch elite which had already decided that they weren’t going to be pushed into the background by a “goddamn socialist” much less one that was of Afro/indigenous indian descent.

The USA-backed coup d’etat of April 2002 and the follow-up of a strange employers and trade union alliance to attempt to strangle Venezuela’s oil-based economy in a two-month blockade, undoubtedly contributed to Chavez drawing up the draw-bridge on dialogue with any from of political opposition … it also contributed strongly to an inherent paranoia in the upper echelons of his administration that they were under 24/7 attack by subversives and conspirators … mostly financed by the United States, although the latter persists in perpetuating the fantasy that its hands are antiseptically clean!

Meanwhile the clique (mafia) mentality persisted and has grown exponentially within the government administration. Our worried weekend source speaks of a government administration that “appears to be in the hands of officials who only pay lip service to President Hugo Chavez” and that “true Chavistas, and even lukewarm socialists, are practically non-existent!”

Worryingly to outsiders, pro-government political expression in Venezuela has in recent years taken on an historically sinister tone inasmuch as a ‘Cult of Chavez’ (Chavistas) has grown from basic electoral enthusiasm into quasi-religious fervor in which non-believers are either targeted for intensive induction or forever condemned to a fiery hell as ‘escualidos’ (squalids)!

Since VHeadline, by virtue of our foundation editorial policy as pro-Venezuela, pro-Constitution and pro-Rule of Law, has consequently refused to become a propaganda organ of the Chavez Cult or to enter into a Chavista state of ‘salvation’ we have been relegated to a No Man’s Land where we’re seen as ‘Escualidos’ by the one side and (erroneously) ‘Chavista’ by the other side of Venezuela’s decidedly anti-democratic political-economic divide.

Although the rot had already set in with the institution of mini-cliques at every level of the bureaucratic food chain in Venezuelan government, the greatest threat to Venezuela’s democracy came with President Hugo Chavez Frias ambition to create a one-party state with the forced amalgamation of center-left political parties under the inclusive banner of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) which only recent announced that 1,531,674 had joined in a recent membership drive, accounting for very nearly half (45.3%) of Venezuela’s +16 million registered voters.

Which is all well and good .. but, while still a powerful lobby, 45.3% is still NOT a convincing political majority and it is patently clear that the government has no wish to include the 54% of the electorate that remains.

Meanwhile a very vocal political opposition is seeking to draw international attention to the fact that by virtue of Chavez original campaign pledge to include those who had been excluded to the Venezuelan political process, the exact opposite has been achieved and Venezuela is perilously close to becoming a mirror image of what went before — included and excluded — apart, of course, from those who have found it personally expedient to swallow their pride and principles and to join the PSUV as the only realistic way of holding on to much-needed employment and to ‘become part of the crowd’ rather than face outright hostility in the workplace and elsewhere in society.

  • • I do NOT wish here to reflect on what happened elsewhere some 75 years ago, but the indications are eerily synonymous.

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe also had had similar ambitions in the 1970s and was heralded as a heroic breath of democratic freedom by the then Swedish government of Olof Palme … but since then things went disastrously wrong for Harare!

Chavez’ original ambition was to empower his people … in this sense the grassroots Venezuelan people, NOT simply his closest cliques of officials who simply replaced the corruption that went before.  Somewhere along the way, the Venezuelan government has lost touch with the reality of “power to the people” and has allowed the cliques (mafias) to take over the country’s institutions.

It is an already well-known fact that the Foreign Ministry (MRE) under Nicolas Maduro has become a rat’s nest of mini-cliques that viciously battle for position and to hell with any thought of seriously representing the country’s foreign policy interests.

It is already a well-known fact that most Ministries (especially those dealing with justice, trade, industry, environment, investment and essential mineral/mining resources) are encumbered by a multitude of mini-mafias which are doing more damage to the governmental structure of Venezuela than any serious opposition-allied saboteur could ever conceive.

It is also widespread knowledge that Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and the Central Bank of Venezuela (BCV) play host to a myriad of lucrative cliques/mafias that see self-enrichment has their only motivation while paying lip service to President Chavez’ political ambitions.

They are among the first in public to don a red-red shirt to appear alongside the President on his weekly TV show ‘Alo Presidente’ but also first to switch to CNN / Fox / RCTV International or Globovision as soon as they are safely behind their own villa’s locked doors.

All the while Venezuela’s dilemma prevails … exacerbated this weekend by persistent and highly-credible rumors of an impending coup, an assassination plot!  Who knows?  We’ll keep covering events as they happen despite all and any official efforts to pretend that everything is hunky-dory in Chavez’ backyard.

Yes, it is understandable that when all hell is breaking loose the less-than-professional instinct of government minions in Caracas is to run and hide from given responsibilities to govern and to inform the electorate.  But Venezuela warrants a professional and patriotic administration that is sadly lacking. It is perhaps President Chavez’ last remaining opportunity to right the wrongs of recent years and to return Venezuela to the true path of democracy — away from a one-party dictatorship that will ultimately be overthrown.

Not though any wish from our (VHeadline’s) side but when vox populi reaches such a crescendo of pain over a political process that is running helter-skelter from any thought of democratic dialogue and fast turning into a one-party dictatorship that will be its own demise.  This weekend’s political turmoil apparently seeks to avoid that inevitability.

We do not condone conspiracies or coups d’etat but in similar vein we understand the desperation of a citizenry that has been disillusioned and defrauded too many times in its noble history.

Just remember that it was VHeadline that alerted the world to what was happening on February 3, 2002 —  Venezuela — question is no longer IF, but WHEN! — some 66 days before would-be Dictator Pedro Carmona Estanga launched his assault on Venezuelan Constitutionality, April 11, 2002!

Roy S. Carson

editor@vheadline.com

http://www.vheadline.com/carson

http://www.vheadline.com/espanol

Our editorial statement reads:

VHeadline.com Venezuela is a wholly independent e-publication promoting democracy in its fullest expression and the inalienable right of all Venezuelans to self-determination and the pursuit of sovereign independence without interference. We seek to shed light on nefarious practices and the corruption which for decades has strangled this South American nation’s development and progress. Our declared editorial bias is most definitely pro-Constitutional, pro-Democracy and pro-VENEZUELA.

— Roy S. Carson, Editor/Publisher Editor@VHeadline.com

telephone USA: Houston TX: 713-893-1433

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