6 ago. 2011

Eduardo Galeano Speaks on the Venezuelan Med

Translation by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com

During a recent talk between Ignacio Kostzer, president of the University Federation of Buenos Aires [FUBA] and Juan Manuel Karg, secretary of Latin American Integration of the FUBA, the prestigious writer Eduardo Galeano gave an interesting summary of the position of the hegemonic media in Venezuela.

He analysed the recent history of the Bolivarian process, the coup d’état in 2002, and the opposition’s media manipulation.

During a recent talk between Ignacio Kostzer, president of the University Federation of Buenos Aires [FUBA] and Juan Manuel Karg, secretary of Latin American Integration of the FUBA, the prestigious writer Eduardo Galeano gave an interesting summary of the position of the hegemonic media in Venezuela.

He analysed the recent history of the Bolivarian process, the coup d’état in 2002, and the opposition’s media manipulation.

“The president had returned, there were millions of people in the streets. And the private media communicated what was convenient for them...their vision of the world is dictated by those who rule, and those who rule, who demand that the world be seen upside-down.”

Here we include a part of the interview with Galeano, carried out ...by FUBA, as an example for Latin American youth in the construction of an anti-hegemonic grassroots culture.

Juan Manuel Karg: I’ve heard...before coming here we saw a lot of your interviews, because you’re the type of person who expresses himself very well, and about what Ignacio was telling you, about Venezuela, we just saw an interview, I think it was a panel, to tell you the truth, in Italy, where you classify Chavez, as a “strange dictator”, in the sense that…

Eduardo Galeano: Of course, he [Chavez] had won twelve elections. He’s a very strange dictator, because he won twelve elections, cleanly. Because if Franco won elections, and he won them with 115% of the votes (laughs). 120%. They were fraudulent, of course, but these are clean elections. I was an observer at one of those elections, an international observer. They elected me as delegate of the observers and I was following the election step by step, together with Jimmy Carter, who was once president of the U.S, and with Gaviria, of the OAS. The three of them. Myself as an independent observer, and those two, each of them for their organisation. And we spent the whole day and night, until in seven in the morning when we gave a press conference, and the three of us confirmed it. Gaviria wasn’t very convinced at first, but afterwards he had to accept that there wasn’t any concrete information that permitted affirming that that election hadn’t been clean. And well, the three of us affirmed it: the election was clean, and the others as well. I’m sorry for the opposition, no one likes to lose. But they [the elections] weren’t fraudulent. Because if I said, “Chavez won twelve fraudulent elections”, well then yes, of course he’s a dictator. But he’s a “weird dictator” if he won them cleanly.

Juan Manuel Karg: Of course, the point of the question was also to see how the media operate there, that without a doubt there’s a lot of media manipulation, and also what it means and what does the Bolivarian process show , in its biggest achievements, in health and education. You travelled there, could you see these things? What media manipulation exists about the Bolivarian process?

Eduardo Galeano: Well, they have the media against them, in general, don’t they? And the truth is the behaviour of the dominant media in Venezuela isn’t very honourable, as was proven with the coup d’état [in 2002]. When the coup d’état happened, which by the way, Chavez had also attempted a coup d’état [in 1992] and he paid for it with three years in prison. That is, his participation in a military coup wasn’t unpunished. However, those who committed the coup against him, none of them went to prison. And none of them were prisoners because he himself decided that no one would be. And furthermore, the justice system didn’t condemn them because it’s a very unfair justice system. But, what happened with the media during this absurd coup d’état where the “president” of businessmen was “elected” president of the country? Yes it was identical to Mr. Burns (laughs), the businessman of The Simpsons, of Homer Simpson, just the same (laughs). What is this? A television miracle? I’m looking at Mr Burns! And it was...what was his name? Carmona...

Juan Manuel Karg: Pedro Carmona, of Fedecameras [the Venezuelan Chamber of Commerce]...

Eduardo Galeano: Yes, Fedecamaras. I remember because the press, the mainstream media in the world reported, “Democracy has returned to Venezuela”, “The dictatorship of Chavez is over”. Well, this euphoria lasted 48 hours, when Chavez retook his place in the [Presidential] Palace Miraflores, in Caracas, the mainstream media didn’t find out. For 24 hours they played cartoons, the main television channels, the main radios, didn’t report the news. The president had returned, there were millions of people in the streets, and the mainstream media didn’t communicate what wasn’t convenient for them to communicate. Even though they are called [in Spanish] communication media. What type of communication is it that this mainstream media cuts off? And this mainstream media is, therefore, suspicious. Sometimes they say the truth, but in general they are mistaken, because they have a vision of the world that is dictated by those who rule. And those who rule, order that the world be seen upside down.

Source: Radio Nacional de Venezuela

US-Backed Candidates in Venezuela Announce Electoral Strategy


President Chavez, who recently confirmed plans to run for reelection, called the opposition’s electoral strategy “a farce”, terming their coalition the “Roundtable of the United States”

This week Venezuela’s pool of opposition political parties announced plans to create a “unified electoral ticket” for next year’s presidential election in an attempt to garner enough votes to prevent Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez from winning another six-year term (2013-2019).

The new opposition “strategy” was unveiled on Saturday when spokesman Ramon Guillermo Aveledo told reporters that the opposition’s Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) had decided it will use a “single unitary” electoral ballot in its attempt to defeat Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in next year’s presidential election.

The opposition’s decision is “a symbol” of the opposition’s “commitment to unity”, affirmed Aveledo, who went on to explain that each of the opposition’s major political parties is likely to maintain its own electoral ballot and that this “unitary compromise” does not apply to elections for mayor and/or governor also expected in 2012.

Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) has yet to announce the exact date of next year’s presidential elections or the dates of next year’s elections for mayors and governors. Suggestions have been made that one single election will be scheduled, allowing voters to elect their national, regional and local representatives all on the same day.

“If a certain party wants to use its own symbols (emblems, colors, mottos) in support of the MUD, that’s fine; just like it’s fine for them to set those symbols aside and join the MUD ticket”, explained Aveledo. The MUD, which includes an atypical mix of extreme-right, traditional conservative, and frustrated leftist parties was formed in 2008 as an electoral tool aimed at confronting the pro-Chavez United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) in September 2010 National Assembly elections.

The PSUV, founded in 2007, is currently Venezuela’s largest political party with an estimated seven million members. To guarantee Chavez’s reelection in 2012, pro-Chavez forces have begun forming the Polo Patriotico, or Patriotic Pole, a coalition that includes the governing PSUV, the Venezuelan Communist Party (PCV), and numerous grassroots social movements.


Cilia Flores, socialist assemblywoman and Vice President of the PSUV, responded to the MUD’s recent announcement by asserting that opposition forces are looking to disguise ongoing “infighting” with a “false show of unity”. The opposition’s electoral ticket, she said, “is not singular, nor unified. It’s not even one single ticket, but one more among many”.

According to Flores, the MUD presidential ticket is nothing more than another attempt to “show unity where none exists”. In a televised interview on Monday, Venezuelan Foreign Minister and PSUV Vice President Nicolas Maduro told viewers that opposition parties have one uniting force, “the sectors of transnational power, especially those in the United States” that finance their efforts. Maduro reiterated Flores’ assertions that the opposition seeks to “swindle its own voters” by creating “false illusions of unity” and added that the opposition’s “unity ends up being secured by the (US) embassy”.

The Foreign Minister pointed out that 14 of the opposition’s possible presidential candidates have already traveled to Washington “to ask for its (Washington’s) blessing before launching their presidential bids”.

Maduro went on to assert that Venezuelan President Chavez will win his reelection bid next year because Chavez is united with “the most humble of this country, those who had always been forgotten, those who have awoken as part of this Revolution and those who have now become incorporated into political power”.


President Chavez, who recently confirmed he has every intent on running in, and winning, next year’s presidential elections, said the Venezuelan people must “unmask” the opposition’s plans for next year.

According to Chavez, the opposition “claims it’s us (socialists) that are divided” when in fact “they are the ones living through the night of the long knives”. Opposition forces, affirmed Chavez, “are attacking, stabbing each other in the back, as they define their candidates for governor in the states of Aragua, Bolivar, Carabobo, Miranda and Zulia”.

The President also said that opposition spokespeople have “already begun talking about Cubans manipulating the electoral registry, people’s identifications and voting machines”, as a way of trying to promote a perception of electoral fraud, in the likely event Chavez wins.

Beyond the “farce” announced last weekend, said Chavez, the opposition’s plans for next year’s elections include “taking to the streets, creating disturbances and chaos, discrediting the armed forces and claiming that Cubans are somehow in charge”.

“At the hour of our Bolivarian victory”, Chavez concluded, the opposition’s only real plan is “to cry fraud”. Chavez also pointed out that among his popular base in the PSUV, allied political parties, and grassroots social movements in both urban and rural areas, “we have unity, loyalty, a single political project and an ideology”.

The President also explained that he has already begun outliningnhis program for the 2013-2019 presidential term, a program which includes “transitioning away from capitalism’s perversity” and overcoming “the cultural, moral damage, the destruction of values, of nationality, of the self-esteem of Venezuelans” caused by capitalist relations of production, distribution and consumption.

In the country’s previous presidential election (2006), Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won 7,309,080 of the votes, or 62.84%, against the opposition’s Manuel Rosales, who garnered 4,292,466 votes (36.90%). The opposition’s Rosales later abandoned his post as mayor of Maracaibo and fled the country to avoid charges of stealing public funds, accepting bribes for public contracts and hoarding lands and capital using front names and companies. He currently lives in self-imposed exile in Peru, though he has suggested he might return to Venezuela to participate in the opposition’s presidential primaries set for February 2012.

Referring to possible opposition candidates, including Rosales, Maria Corina Machado, and Henrique Capriles Radonski, Chavez affirmed “those people are incapable of running the country. It would be the disaster of all disasters”.

“They aren’t unified”, affirmed Chavez. “The only thing they are is a threat to this country, and we take it upon ourselves to ensure that they don’t become that threat” by winning the election, said Chavez.

President of National Assembly, Bolivia's ambassador propose international debate over dollar crisis

Caracas, 03 Ago. AVN .- The ambassador of Bolivia to Venezuela, Jorge Alvarado, and the president of the National Assembly, Fernando Soto Rojas, met this Wednesday to discuss about diverse binational issues and exchange experiences.

In the meeting, they came to the conclusion that South Americana and world countries should organize a debate over the systematic crisis of the US economy, resulting in the weakening dollar, which would bring serious problems to the world.

Alvarado said, in a press conference after the encounter, that Soto Rojas proposed a debate that could start in Latin America and be spread by the world to take actions in the face of the worrying dollar situation and, thus being able to design policies that would help countries to be protected from the effects of US financial collapse.

He said he shared Soto"s opinion and that it is necessary to design measures to ensure dollar crisis will not have a traumatic effect in the region.

Finally, the diplomat sent an invitation to Soto Rojas to attend the act in honor of the Liberator Simon Bolivar that will be held in the Bolivar square, in Caracas, to celebrate the 186 anniversary from Bolivia"s independence.

Venezuelan economy will grow 4.5% this year

RNV Web Press: The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), has yielded diagnoses on the strength of the Venezuelan economy and its stability compared to other Latin American countries and Europe, said the journalist José Vicente Rangel in the "Confidentials: section of his program "José Vicente Hoy" (José Vicente Today).

"For the ECLAC, the Venezuelan economy will grow this year to 4.5 percent, but the prophets of economic disaster in Venezuela say the opposite, that the country is sinking, they have been forecasting this same thing for 12 years," he said.

The administrative balance of the proceeds in each of the investments made by the Bolivarian government has allowed the economy set positive directions, said the journalist José Vicente Rangel in his "José Vicente Hoy" program, broadcast on the private TV station Televen.