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Haiti at the verge of civil war, will Venezuela follow?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 10.02.04 – A civil up rise is threatening the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. News sources report that the Haitian police have retaken the town of Saint Marc that was controlled by rebels. The strife started last Thursday in the city of Gonaives and has spread to 11 towns across the country. UN, US and French officials have expressed their utmost concern regarding the violent situation sending an appease message to those involved in violent acts.

These acts, as sad and unfortunate as they are, reflect the dangers that ruthless and whimsical leaders face. It is known that Aristide was placed at the top with the helping hand of Clinton. He promised to bring a number of changes to the country and at one time his popularity was high in the polls. Ten years down the road Haitians are totally fed up with his abuses, his repressive militias and rampant corruption. As a Venezuelan I can’t help but sympathise with the people of Haiti in the same way I feel deeply for the misery forced upon the people of Cuba.

Aristide, Castro, Chavez, Mugabe, Hussein… What is the difference between them? Last night I heard that a 16 year old student from Zimbabwe was gang-raped by Mugabe’s police just because he was present in a demonstration that took place the last time the English Cricket team played in the country. Citizens of Cuba cannot access the Internet to keep abreast of news or anything considered harmful by the master of the revolution. In the meantime his Venezuelan counterpart sends 7.000 youngsters to Cuba to receive tactical training akin to eliminate the recall referendum. When the people get upset and start taking justice in their own hands the majestic international community swiftly steps in to condemn riots and violence. However they are incredibly silent when it comes to ostracise pathological criminals as the aforementioned.

It seems as if it is all right for heads of State to do as they please with the lives and wellbeing of citizens, a sort of Carte Blanche self-assigned once in power and condoned by the international community. Why was not the same community deeply worried only three weeks ago? It is perhaps due to the fact that human beings have to be killed in order to prompt action or condemnation? Hypocrisy springs to my mind. Fidel Castro can torture, kill and imprisoned individuals who dare to call out for freedom but that’s OK because the bloody Americans have placed an embargo on Cuba. Hugo Chavez can lead coups, kill innocents, manipulate, alter, and wipe his ass with the concept of the Rule of Law and Democracy, send his thugs to intimidate public officials, never mind though because the CIA was supposedly involved in the brief ousting of last year. That provides –in contract terms- with enough consideration to justify his actions. Now Aristide’s [having an appalling record of human rights abuses and maladministration] rule is threatened and the world cries foul. Can anyone please have the kindness of explaining to me why?

Diosdado Cabello and Lina Ron -two of Chavez' most staunch supporters- expressed in unequivocal terms a few days ago that there won’t be referendum in Venezuela. Minister of Infrastructure and former Vice-President Diosdado Cabello said “If two million signatures have to be eliminated, then they will be eliminated. I don’t give a f… about the international community.” Street thug Lina Ron stated “there is a possibility that the CNE will allow the recall referendum, we can not accept it, I foresee that whether the answer is one or the other there is going to be a combat. My party is composed of the radicals, the tough ones, the violent ones.”

Should Chavez and his gang block the constitutional and democratic recall, will the people of Venezuela robbed of their freedom and democracy be criticized by the international community if they decide to constitutionally [Art 350] oust the president? We shall see.



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