The democratic tactics of Venezuela's Foreign Ministry
By Aleksander Boyd
London (01.12.03) – The last person signing in London did so at about
5 PM yesterday. There are still many cities around the world where organizers
continue to gather signatures for the recall referendum of Hugo Chavez. In total
136 cities worldwide witnessed the democratic effort of Venezuelans who have
been forced out of the country owing to the catastrophic situation. Alas none
of it is mentioned in the world’s media.
Never before in contemporary history a people [in the sociological sense] has
been so determined to democratically get rid of its ruler. As a matter of fact,
Venezuela is the only place in the planet where a fascist, coup-plotter, oligarchycal
and exploitative opposition is crying out loud for elections and its “democratically-elected,
populist, charismatic and saviour-of-the-downtrodden" president is desperately
attempting to block and boycott the effort. Indeed Chavez started already to
make comments about this weekend event, stating that it was a "Mega-Fraud".
Is it his subconscious speaking?? I will not adventure into predictions, but
even the most cautious reports point out that the minimum signatures needed
for the recall referendum to take place have been collected.
Examples abound. Firstly the resolution of the Electoral Council of denying
the political participation of 26.000 Venezuelans registered in the electoral
roll. A number of articles of the constitution –drafted by Hugo Chavez-
were violated by said measure therefore it deems the decision as unconstitutional.
Then we have the closure of the Venezuelan-Colombian border after orders of
VP Jose Vicente Rangel. I expect the brown-nosed-salaried apologists of the
Venezuelan pariah will come up with all sorts of excuses (they have actually
started as of now...) Nevertheless is yet another proof of the nature of this
Days ago Hugo Chavez left behind his sheepish attitude when he blasted the media
for not accepting advertising from "the parties supporting his Government".
Unfortunately, and as revealed by Tal Cual, the problem was that the advertising
submitted to the TV station as part of Chavez' Movimiento Quinta Republica party
(MVR) was submitted and paid by none other than PDVSA. Imagine this, a Government
company PDVSA, pays and submits and ad for a party (MVR) in what has a number
of violations of Venezuelan law. First of all, this is outright corruption as
a Government company is financing the campaign of a private party. Second, Venezuela's
electoral law explicitly prohibits ANY advertising by any Government agency
in political campaigns or elections. Finally, by publicly filing a complaint
in a nationwide TV address on behalf of his party, Hugo Chavez is violating
the ethical separation between his Government and his party. 
Memos were sent to every Venezuelan diplomatic office around the globe to discourage
those who were thinking in taking part of the collection drive overseas (please
refer to the picture above). In certain cases, such as London, consular staff
has been providing misleading information to citizens who want to change domicile
in the electoral roll.
The race for the greatest liar of the regime is reaching epic proportions. Hugo
Chavez was comfortable in the lead although VP Jose Vicente Rangel’s late
recovery is worth commending. He firstly said during the official signature
drive of last weekend 7.5 million signatures were collected, BBC quickly echoed
the report, however when government officials handed in the signatures they
delivered only 8 boxes containing a little over 29.000 signatures. He then went
on saying that the opposition’s collection drive was “virtual”,
I assume he has not watched TV for the last four days.
In any case this regime is at the last bend of the road. No report, declaration
or statement coming from then can be taken seriously. There is of course the
peanut gallery -composed by the BBC, The Guardian, Amnesty International and
some others- ever eager and ready to reverberate the nonsense, however “no
se puede tapar el sol con un dedo” that is “you just cannot block
the sun with one finger”. That argument of the vast support enjoyed by
the tin pot dictator has irremediably died this weekend. Even a zany lefty from
LSE who less than 6 months ago affirmed that the best that could have ever happened
to Venezuela was Chavez, commented on the outcome stating “Chavez is bound
to lose a recall, he will probable retreat to lick his wounds and come back
in 2006”. Hopefully by then he will be in prison.
 From Miguel Octavio
© by Vcrisis.com & the author