Venezuela: Rumor may herald things to come given mighty interests in our troubled region! By Jutta Schmitt

26 July, 2009 — VHeadline

University of Los Andes (ULA) senior lecturer in political sciences, Jutta Schmitt writes: Two days ago, on July 24 (Bolívar’s birthday and national holiday in Venezuela) a cellphone text message circulated nationwide that reached me in the afternoon hours and that read: “Desmontaron plan conspirativo de la fuerza aerea contra el proceso revolucionario. Detenido ex jefe de la DIM. ¡Alerta! ¡Ruédalo!” (translation: Conspiracy plan of the air force against the revolutionary process dismantled. Ex chief of Military Intelligence arrested. Alert. Pass it on.)

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

When asking the person I got it from for the original source of this message, she said she had received it earlier that day from her sister, who, in turn, got it from somebody in Caracas. As one has to be extremely careful with this kind of messages we checked back with a common friend and government insider in Caracas, who has a sound, critical attitude towards what is going on in the administration but who nevertheless keeps fighting to eradicate the vices and bad practices.

  • Our friend discarded the message as a rumor with the intent to emotionally weaken grassroots Chavistas and said that, usually, if a conspiracy has actually come to be dismantled, names would appear.

With regard to the specific moment this kind of message appears, I would say it’s “embedded” in the re-inforcement of a general campaign to weaken leftist-reformist governments in the region and to break the chain of events that point to an alternative shaping of the politico-economic landscape.

I am thinking of the implications of ALBA, specifically the launching of its own monetary system with a common currency, the Sucre, which — apart from being a powerful message to the North — is a remarkable intent to give a concrete response to the international financial crisis.

Also, I am thinking of the issue of the re-thinking of intellectual and industrial property rights within the ALBA framework in order to break the criminal monopoly of the big pharmaceutical giants, under the premise that public health is not only a human right but a matter of “national” (or regional) security, which has the big pharmaceutical companies screaming and who have reportedly backed the recent coup in Honduras.

  • One of the first things the coupsters in Honduras did was to consider its immediate withdrawal from ALBA, which points exactly to where the reason for the coup lies.

In any case, and what I’m trying to say here is: that there is, of course, a big picture that provides the context for analysing the whens and whys of rumors of the kind above mentioned.

A rumor is not only such, but may, indeed, announce things to come given the mighty interests involved in our troubled region.

With all the problems, vices and malpractices existent in the current administration I still consider President Chavez as the very centerpiece for change in Venezuela and Latin America, and all those who are tirelessly working to make it happen, against all odds.

Jutta Schmittñol
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