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  Latina Venzuela Democracy Analysis


Destabilizing Venezuela Pre-Election

Posted: 2012-09-11
From: Mathaba
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On October 7, Venezuelans get to choose between Bolivarianism under Chavez and Henrique Capriles Radonski`s corporatism they rejected resoundingly in 1998.


Note: the publication of this article today has been made possible thanks to the donations and subscriptions of our supporters who are awarded access to Mathaba members-only articles as a result. When donations are below minimum cost levels on a given day we have to cease free publication and distribution.

by Stephen Lendman and Adam King


Polls show they'll do it again. IVAD late August results show Chavez ahead 55% to 34%. Only 10% of Venezuelans are undecided.

Eight major July polls showed Chavez leading by 15 - 27%. Subsequent ones weeks later revealed his support remains strong. Few doubt October's outcome. At issue is only by how much. On December 16, regional elections follow.

In late August, Chavez warned that opposition forces plan to declare victory before electoral results are announced. They'll say they won, reject National Electoral Council (CNE) totals, and claim fraud.

They'll call for violence, destabilization and US help. "They are gearing upÖ with some allies in the world, some media, some social organizations to claim victory," said Chavez. "We know they are capable of anything."

Chavez is right. World globalist media networks including TV news bulletins around the world are preparing their viewers for this scenario. The U.S. and its banker masters are stretching for world-wide war.

They wish to remove the main bastion of resistance and support to national independence and socialism across Latin America: Venezuela. They've already done so removing Libya as an obstacle to their designs in Africa, while in Asia both Russia and China have abandoned socialism, as well as those who resisted imperialism in South East Asia now compromised or isolated.

Venezuela's popular President Hugo Chavez urged respect for official results, adding:

"We will support the National Electoral Council. We call on all sectors to respect the referee, the Constitution, the laws."

The opposition candiate Capriles' economic advisor, Ricardo Hausmann, said his campaign will announce its own results independently of official ones. This is already a clear sign that the same scenario may be used to overthrow the popular Venezuelan government as was done in the Ivory Coast in Africa.

With free health and food subsidies for Venezuela's poor, which make up the vast bulk of the population, it is inevitable the majority will vote for the popular socialist party led by Hugo Chavez. Even the United Nations data shows that poverty has been greatly alleviated under the government of Hugo Chavez.

Capriles is playing to the poor by claiming, in spite of his foreign backing and clear background and allegiances with the rich and their foreign paymasters, that he is even "further left" than Chavez and would do even more for the poor. He also claims that Venezuela should use its oil only for its own population and not for the mutually beneficial support of and solidarity with others.

Most of Latin America (South America) now is under popular socialist governments, thanks to the efforts of Hugo Chavez to shore up support for those candidates, as well as financing a powerful independent news media network, Telesur, which broadcasts in Spanish and has done more to ensure that the neo-colonial, imperialist plans of the U.S. regime fail in the region.

This in turn strengthens the chances of Venezuela's poor to continue their rise to power, education and wealth. Regional blocs have formed in cooperation, and the entire region has become a no-go area for foreign bases and militarist designs with few exceptions.

Ultimas Noticias editor Eleazar Diza Rangel said the U.S.-backed Capriles will "claim fraud (and won't) recognize the people's will."

Since Chavez took office in February 1999, 15 national and regional elections were held. Independent observers declared them open, free and fair. America's Carter Center calls Venezuela's electoral system one of the world's most reliable.

Around 200 or more international observers will monitor October 7 voting. Expect confirmation of another exemplary democratic process. It puts America's to shame and then some. US federal and many regional ones lack legitimacy. Big money controls them. Ordinary people have no say.

Venezuelans get the real thing. They're not about to accept pre-Chavez harshness. They want no part of corporatism at their expense.

The Venezuela Solidarity Campaign published a report saying a leaked internal right wing document revealed plans to roll back public services if elected.

It calls for reducing state funding. Health care, education, food subsidies, housing assistance, communal council projects, and other programs Venezuelans rely on will be affected.

The document titled "First Ideas for Economic Actions of the National Unity Government" calls for "concrete steps to decrease, in the medium and long term, the heavy load of goods and services" by slashing overall social spending.

Privatizations and neo-liberal harshness are planned. What Venezuelans rejected years ago they want reinstated. They plan presidential diktat authority to enforce it. They want to "dismantle the socialized and collectivized state model." Their plan replicates IMF financial terrorism.

It mandates mass lay-offs, deregulation, deep social spending cuts, wage freezes or cuts, corporate-friendly tax cuts, prioritizing the divine right of capital, crushing trade unionism, and harsh crackdowns against non-believers.

Ahead of October 7, destabilization began. Expect more. Washington's dirty hands bear full responsibility. Chavez is relentlessly targeted. Bush policy was vicious. Obama promised better but lied.

He wants corporatism replacing Bolivarianism. He failed but won't stop trying. Chavez knows the stakes and what he faces. Hegemons demand unchallenged dominance. No holds barred tactics go all out.

Weeks ahead of October 7, a suspicious oil refinery fire occurred. A gas explosion ignited it pre-dawn. An immediate investigation was launched. Venezuela's Amuay facilitity was hit.

It's the nation's largest. It's part of state owned PDVSA's Paraguana Refining Complex (PRC). It produces 645,000 barrels of oil per day. Extensive damage halted production. Vital revenues were lost. Reports said operational areas weren't affected.

Chavez could have claimed foreign terrorism responsible, he did not, instead a full investigation has been launched, with no pronouncements being made on what was the cause until the results of the investigation are all in. Capriles on the other hand has spoken out constantly, using the time ahead of elections to accuse official neglect to be the cause, calling for resignations.

On August 31, production resumed. PRC head Jesus Luongo said strong winds complicated fire-fighting. PRC vice president Asdrubal Chavez said shipments resumed on September 2.

He also explained that contingency plans were implemented during down time. Regular distribution continued. "If the whole network of refineries were stopped," he added, "we'd be able to supply fuel for more than 10 days."

The incident took 48 lives. Plant workers and National Guard forces died. Over 100 others were injured. Hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed or damaged.

It's one of Venezuela's deadliest incidents. Earlier Tacoa and Las Tejerias refinery accidents killed 260 and 48 respectively. Around 160 died from a Ricardo Zuluaga electric power plant explosion.

Amuay's fire burned for days and spread. Damage caused was extensive. Chavez declared three days of mourning, saying:

"At this time of great pain, and from the bottom of my soldier's heart, may you and all of our comrades in arms from the National Bolivarian Guard receive a huge embrace in solidarity for the painful loss of such brave lives in the tragedy in Amuay."

"As the Son of Bolivar that I am, today my mourning is the same mourning as that of the entire country."

Following the incident, opposition forces and media scoundrels accused authorities of "gross negligence," "under-investment," and poor maintenance.

Chavez called it "very regrettable if some Venezuelans tried to use the pain of the victims to take advantage of the situation" and use it for political advantage.

"I know who is saying this," he said, "but I will not stoop to their level." Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said the plant received around $4.3 billion in 2012.

At the time of the explosion, reports said government web sites were hacked. Twitter accounts were also taken over and used to spread disinformation about a coup being under-way, for days before Twitter restored their correct ownership.

Corporate-owned Globovision broadcast exclusive footage of the explosion. Someone unnamed was positioned outside the plant at 2AM to film it. Suspicions followed that Amuay was no accident.

On September 3, Press TV headlined "Sabotage more probably than mishap in Venezuela refinery blast," saying:

Responding to spurious charges of government negligence and other accusations, Chavez said:

"You canít exclude any hypothesisÖ.Itís practically impossible that here in an installation like this which is fully automated everywhere and that has thousands of responsible workers night and day, civilian and military, and that there is a gas leak for 3 or 4 days and nobody responds. This is impossible."

On September 6, Press TV headlined "US-backed opposition devises plots to destabilize Venezuela," saying:

Chavez supporters accused them of spreading fear and terror ahead of October's election. Amuay's incident was Exhibit A. Political activist Hindu Anderi said:

"Our principal is to always be mobilized, to be on alert against anyone attempting to sabotage the election on October 7."

"They will do this to create an environment in which Venezuela will be looked upon as an outlaw state."

"This will make it easier for military intervention or at least sanctions against Venezuela."

He and others accused Washington of plotting against Chavez, his allies and Bolivarianism. Chavez said America and opposition forces want his government destabilized.

On August 28, he showed how Bolivarianism differs from neoliberal harshness. He allocated millions of aid dollars for victims and family members.

Spouses of victims got lifetime pensions. Their children get educational scholarships. Damaged and destroyed properties will be rebuilt. Interim housing was provided. One victim said state help came quickly. No one needing it is excluded.

Chavez congratulated everyone who pitched in to help. "The spirit of patriotism, national unity, and the battle for life is being financed," he said.

Vice minister Hugo Carvajal of Venezuela's Integrated System of Crime Investigation said:

"The Bolivarian government has organized a multidisciplinary team of the best disaster investigators of the Investigation Division of Disasters of the CICPC and the Board of the Technical Scientific and Investigation Consultancy of the Attorney Generalís office to work out the precise actions that lead to the fire."

Evidence is being examined. Satellite and ground photos were taken. Witnesses were questioned. Information is being carefully analyzed. Findings will be released once available.

Industrial accidents aren't uncommon. Amuay's timing and extensive damage raised suspicious red flags. Latin American expert James Petras agrees.

The incident, he believes, "was an act of sabotage, planned and executed by a clandestine group of terrorist specialists acting on behalf of the US government." Convincing arguments back this reasoning.

Cui bono is most obvious. Washington, Capriles, and corporate fascists hoped to benefit. They planned taking full advantage. Chavez was blamed. Venezuelans hear it ad nauseam. It wore thin long ago.

Nonetheless, dark forces never quit. Washington funds opposition forces. It's gone on throughout Chavez's tenure. CIA operatives infest the country. All independent governments are targeted. Chavez is Latin America's prime target. Its oil riches alone explain why.

Several times he said Washington wants him assassinated. Regional US bases threaten him. He's a marked man. He's also resilient.

He's not about to let threats roll him over. He pulls no punches. He condemns imperial US policies. Few anywhere match his outspokenness. Most Venezuelans support him for good reason.

Re-election next month looks certain. Imagine if America had leadership like his. He doesn't seek regional or global hegemony. He endorses peace, not war. He engages other nations cooperatively. He seeks unity and world solidarity. He heads the kind of democracy Americans can't even imagine.

His policies are socially progressive. State resources provide vital services. He champions civil and human rights. Ordinary Venezuelans are helped, not denied or persecuted.

No secret prisons exist. He doesn't target neighbors or practice torture. His elections are judged open, free and fair.

Last week, an indigenous organization said it had received reports of a mass killing in a remote jungle village. Chavez said his government still hasn't found evidence of any killings in Yanomami Indian communities in the Amazon.

Nicia Maldonado, the minister for indigenous peoples, said later on state radio that officials who travelled to the area last week had on Wednesday reached the community of Irotatheri where the massacre reportedly happened. She said the team didn't find any signs of bloodshed.

Leaders of the Horonami Yanomami Organization, a community group that released the original report, couldn't be reached for comment. In other words, it was all yet another lie for the ongoing media campaign through which Washington and its capitalist allies are attempting to remove the socialist government from power.

If they fail to do so at the ballot box, they'll declare victory and create a civil war and call for U.S. intervention. It's been done before. They'll do it again. This time however, the world must stand with Hugo Chavez and against U.S. terrorism and conspiracies.

After a year of battling cancer, Chavez has said he's now better and has assured Venezuelans that physical limitations stemming from his recovery will not affect his re-election campaign. On Wednesday, he said his last medical exam in June found him in good shape.

"I feel very good, even better. Because there are some who are throwing dirt and saying Chavez can't make it ó he's falling, he's dying," the president said. "They're playing with this, but it's not going to happen. We're going to have a massive victory."

The contrast with Washington is stark. Leadership in both countries is mirror opposite. Venezuelans have choice when they vote. Americans get two sides of the same coin. It's corrupted, dysfunctional, tyrannical, and too broken to fix. Bolivarianism shames it.

-- Please check the current state of affairs in our appeal at http://wiki.mathaba.net/Mathaba_Appeal_September_2012 and please also note that it is now possible to send cash that will be forwarded to us, from almost any currency: http://wiki.mathaba.net/Cash - the WORLD will thank you!

-- Mathaba Analyst Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago.

His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War".
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