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(en) CRA - El Libertario #44 - news from Venezuela

Date Wed, 21 Sep 2005 14:31:46 +0300

From the XVI SYWF to the VI WSF: Chavez's shindig in Venezuela
* From El Libertario, # 44 September-October 2005, voice of the
Comision de Relaciones Anarquistas, exposing the show of international
mega-ceremonies the Chavez regime uses to try and acquire revolutionary
legitimacy by means of petro-dollars and verbosity.
There took place in Caracas, during August, an event that was
obviously inspired by the Cuban assistants to the official propaganda
apparatus: the XVI Students and Youth World Festival (XVI
SYWF). In 1997 the Castro regime resurrected this Stalinist
commemoration in its desperate search for support for its fossilized
regime, although it wasn’t even a shadow of its past as the
extinct Soviet Union that had provided the required economic and
political support was sorely missing. Luckily for the Cuban
government, now in charge of this decaying undertaking, there
appeared some interested in giving it financial oxygen: in 2001 it was
the Algerian military rulers who produced the show to gain
justification from the left to the genocidal repression they were then
waging against the Berber people and the Islamic insurgency. Later
came another military ruler stuffed with oil currency: Hugo Chavez,
whose government financed the show at a cost, officially recognized
and approved by the supine Venezuelan National Assembly, of 1.8
billion bolivars (almost US$84 million, at the official exchange rate)
although given what we’ve seen so far, it probably reached the
sum of US$90 million.

The XVI SYWF was characterized by a sycophantic tone one would
hope unthinkable in these times. Besides the pathetic spectacle of
the North Korean delegation parading the sacred icons of Kim Il
Sung and his heir, the Last Emperor, the majority of those attending
participated without a word in the ceremonies exalting the
country’s government and its leader (as well as Castro and his
dictatorship). For sure this participation was forced upon many
government employees (the same as in the electoral meetings, the
bosses ordered the attendance of official functionaries) and a large
portion of the visitors, who were thus paying back expenses and
pampering dispensed by the host State. Those who were able to
avoided with relish those “solidarity and revolutionary
duties”, so that while some people blindly dedicated themselves
to tourism and shopping, others were able to confront a reality that
rudely belies the international image promoted by the
self-proclaimed socialist revolution of the XXI century.

The Festival didn’t hide its condition of being an event made to
order by the producer, since besides the personal glorification of the
leader, the burdensome and tacky esthetic and symbolism of the
“Bolivarian Revolution”, as well as its ideological context
imposed, dominated the event. The much talked about
“anti-imperialism” was limited to repeating how evil Bush
and his league are, to characterizing them generically as neo-liberals
and globalization advocates, without going into the details and thus
avoid explaining the glaring compromises of the Chavez government
with transnational corporations (such as Chevron and
Conoco-Phillips) and imperialist agendas (such as the Plan
Puebla-Panama) that would apparently be not so evil. In long
sessions the SYWF dealt with militarism, performing incredible
verbal gymnastics to present pro-Yankee governments as military
oppressors without making accusations against regimes such as the
Algerian, the North Korean, the Cuban or the Venezuelan. As an
anecdote, this “anti-military” debate took place in Fort
Tiuna, a military installation in Caracas, where in addition foreign
guests were billeted and subjected to military discipline during their
stay. There was rampant jingoist chauvinism that proved unbearable
from the first day to many attendees who left when forced to march
behind their respective national flags in front of the Venezuelan
president’s tribune. During the sessions, the patriotic verbal
diarrhea that informed both the anti-gringo discourse as well as the
praises to the States, armies and other oppressive institutions, tended
more or less vaguely to sustain that “the nation” (identified
with the state structure) will be the fundamental base of socialism for
the new millennium (will it then be called national-socialism?).

… And in January the carousal returns

The August shindig had all the markings of being essentially a
preamble and dress rehearsal for the international promotional act
the Venezuelan government was betting on the hardest: the
celebration in Caracas, from January 25 to 29, 2006, of the VI World
Social Forum Policentric See Americas (VI WSF). This is an event
that, in terms of socio-political viability, could represent much more
than the worn out shell of the SYWF, for it is not only devoid of an
Stalinist past, but also it can effectively allege that it is a space that
shelters at least a good portion of the social movements that today
struggle against neo-liberalism and its single-mindedness, proposing
alternatives based on collective participation. The WSFs started in
Porto Alegre, Brazil in 2001, as a venue of opposition to the World
Economic Forums organized every year since 1971 by the political
and economic powers of capitalism in Davos, Switzerland. Given its
desire to expand its convocational capacity, it was decided that from
2006 on, the yearly sessions of the WSF would be polycentric, with
several seats around the world, that year taking place in Caracas,
Bamako in Mali, Africa, and Karachi in Pakistan.

From the beginning, in spite of its image of broad appeal,
dynamism and originality that the promoters of the WSF have
fostered with relative success, several voices have sounded the alarm
regarding the eventual risks and hidden mortgages that the event and
its agenda mean for the new movements of social struggle. At the
beginning, these warnings were more generic and, in spite of it all,
didn’t question the basis of the initiative; but they have become
progressively more precise and deep in their criticism. These
misgivings have sunk so deep that they have even made possible
Alternative Social Forums with the most advanced and combative
sectors that have attended the last few WSFs. It isn’t possible
here to examine this radical critique, but we cite several documents
in Spanish that are accessible via Internet that expound on it with
clarity and eloquence, for example “Extraños amigos del FSM
de Porto Alegre” by B. Busaniche, “Lo pequeño es
bello” by N. Klein and “El Foro rehen y la trepanacion de las
ONG’s” de www.lavaca.org (also published in El Libertario
# 41).

Nonetheless, to Chavez’s propaganda strategists this was a very
attractive opportunity to have a Caracas WSF (even if polycentric); a
privileged sounding board to promote this particular revolution of
lots of barks and no bite. And so they moved all their political and
$olidarity levers (in particular with the Brazilian Partido dos
Trabalhadores -Worker’s Party-, whose receptivity to $olid
argument$ is well known). This way, all stops are pulled for the
preparations for the event, in a scale that promises to leave the XVI
SYWF which had barely 15,000 attendees far behind, while the VI
WSF looks to surpassing 100,000, which, translated into
expenditures implies amounts greater than US$250M (a real bargain
for a state with reserves of over US$30B).

There are some who will see as excessively sarcastic and distrustful
the tone we use to refer to the VI WSF, since after all the
“movement of movements” is conscious of and is taking the
necessary measures to overcome the challenges, as shown for
example in the document (easily found in the web, in spanish)
“Hacia el FSM e Caracas enero 2006 - La dimension de nuestra
responsabilidad” by E. Lander, one of the main organizers of the
event. But such hopes vanish when comparing Lander’s careful
allusions about the way to overcome the problems implicit in
organizing the Forum in Venezuela today with all the material that
can be found in Google when using the Spanish phrase “VI Foro
Social Mundial”, made up largely of bureaucratic information of
a similar tone to that which appears when using “XVI Festival
Mundial de la Juventud y los Estudiantes” in the search. The
only other text that contains somewhat careful thinking is
“Hacia el II FSA y el VI FSM Policentrico” by I. Leon,
written from a perspective that previews what is hoped to be the
official line to be imposed on the apotheosis of this coming January,
in a tone that only confirms these hard hitting words by Naomi Klein
: “For some, the kidnapping of the World Social Forum by
political parties and powerful men is proof that the movements
against corporate globalization are finally ripening and becoming
‘responsible’. But, does it really mean maturity amid the
graveyard of failed leftist political projects to believe that change will
come from casting your ballot for the most recent charismatic leader
and then cross your fingers and hope for the best? A little
seriousness, please!”



Two responses to Chavez' supporters

Christian Guerrero

* Interventions in a debate on Venezuela and the government of
Hugo Chavez. LASolidarity mailing list


This is a response to James and Timoteo with regards to previous
messages sent to the LASolidarity list surrounding a debate on the
Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela and the government of Hugo
Chavez. Originally the topic of discussion was indigenous rights
(loosely) and issues in Venezuela and turned into a broader
discussion on international media and information that covers
Venezuela in general and on the ground issues and grassroots
movements in that country.

In my last message I sent to the list, I responded to a forwarded
news message from Venezuelaanalysis.com about the Venezuelan
government supplying cheaper heating oil and eye operations to the
poor in the US. In it I criticized the validity of the news- mostly
because it was reporting on a facts "hecho" that haven't happened
yet- the same thing goes for my comments on the assassination
attempt that hasn't happened yet either. (Yes- real people said real
comments that were reported on- and yes they themselves cause a
real socio-political / diplomatic effect) My point is how "we" (us on
the list, and us here in the US) give credit of adhesion to or dismissal
of this type of reporting with regards to how important it is to our

The story of the US trying to assassinate Chavez is important to the
few Americans that know or care about it because we have come to
associate Chavez with a "movement" or a "revolution" that
represents much of we a lot of us are working toward (shit- he's not
only associated with it- he is "the indisputable leader of the
Bolivarian revolution") We care if the US (politicians or
personalities) (fascist like Bush or Robertson- OR puppets like
Kerry- who had as much of a "problem" with Chavez as Bush did
during the presidential elections all you progressives were working
on last year. ) we care if the US makes a threat against our leader,
just as if our leader Hugo talks about cutting us a deal on pricey
gasoline and heating oil.

Because we care, because our convictions and sympathies are tied to
these and to other issues that we understand are important to us for
our particular reasons (be they political, comfortably being a
spectator here in the US, or personal, because you live in that reality
and eat the shit that they feed you)- we are in a way at the mercy of
the informers to tell us what is happening to the daily soap opera that
goes on everyday between the talking heads of diplomacy and
news-makers. We (or someone) constructs our impressions and
opinions around the information that is available to us, and are
categorized neatly into believers or non- In or Out- His side
or ours- Pepsi or coke- Bush or Kerry- Chavez or CIA. This is mass
communication (propaganda 101). The US government, the
Venezuelan government, Cuba, China, the anarchist and especially
the capitalist all use propaganda- the difference are the tools (means)
but the objectives (ends) are they same (persuasion).

-Or you are with Chavez or you are with Bush- Or:"or you are with
us or you are with the terrorist"-GWB. Is that the way we are
conducting this conversation??? I am taking a big step in coming out
on this list and saying these things- This is my retrospect from my
experience to Venezuela- which wasn't a global exchange tour (no
offense Zack)- but I'm doing pretty much what any other G.Ex.
"delegate" tourist would do after their return state side- share their
opinions. And since we stepped into this debate- one that I thought
was going be conducted in a spirit of learning and respect for those
you are writing to- that you actually wanted to hear something
outside the Bush vs Chavez line- I mean, that's a pretty narrow
margin of debate space you all afford me. I see because of the
fragileness of feelings, I should refrain from criticizing your
"indisputable leader of the Bolivarian revolution"- because I see now
that what you'll get is hostility??? Where is your spirit criticism???

You sort of ask me James:

"What I don't get is why you are downplaying Robertson's
comments. Nazism itself was preceded by the Threats of unofficial
fanatics and extremists that apparently not enough Germans took

That's the technique- take it seriously what the talking heads say-
make real their statements- Pat Robertson: "Chavez is the US's
enemy" Chavez: the US is the world's (Venezuela's) enemy. Both
needs are served, and business as usual. Joseph Goebbels- Minister
of Propaganda under Hitler- where war propaganda or
"psychological warfare" comes from- the basic tenant of
psychological warfare is identify an enemy and vilify them,
constantly ingraining into the accepting populace the "truth" you
want them to believe- the "big lie". Call a circle a square long
enough- repeat it many times over and you have a cultured society
such as the Germans- calling circles squares and accepting as state
policy one of the worst crimes against humanity-genocide.

In the case of Pat Robertson- a demon of his own kind, we
perpetuate what he says- by believing it and taking it in, giving him
power and credibility we don't need to give him. We facilitate his
message, and we react according to the dose we have been given.
The war mongering is perpetuated by our "progressive" movement
by our reaction to it. Chavez is,(and consequently his followers are)
more inclinded to pound their chest and pound their war drums also
because with the rise of military sentiment within Latin America
comes the rise of a more militant (obedient) society following the call
of patriotism with Chavez proclaiming "Let them come, we have lots
of mountains!!!"

(For those that do not know me- I was the one with the !Viva
Fallujah! sign at the last a election protest) But I personally do not
want to see Quito, Bogota, Caracas, or any Latin American city turn
into a Fallujah- I say we all must be very careful what we wish for-
Do we really want a skirmish between North and South America in
South America???? Then why would we contribute to the escalation.
And yes- this is my main point- I think we contribute to it. How? -by
the type of information we multiply, by the way we react to the
information (news) that bothers us- And by the way we receive
information (mostly through government or corporate channels in
this case) or how we dismiss information- such as the information
(examples of news) I have contributed in my responses if it doesn't
fit into our perception of the way we would like to see things.

What Im saying is propaganda works. Regardless of who is behind
it? What matters is who is in front of it and how the calculated
responses work or not. My suggestion was to not believe
EVERYTHING we are told just because it comes from the LASC
list, "independent media" or a "socialist" country / government.

I said "we must exercise (especially us in the US) more critical
analysis and self reflection when it comes to SUPPORTING the
Chavez government or any social movement in a country or reality
that isn't ours. By supporting I mean being the information activist
that we are, facilitating the information flow of a media frame, that
does not permit us to look at REAL issues and events in a particular
reality, because it might go in counter to want we (or the people we
want to persuade) want to be thinking- we only see what we want to
see." TAKE THE BLINDERS OFF- That goes for the CNN/BBC
kind to the Castro/Chavez kind.

I'll give you an example of this type of media in the US We all listen
to Amy Goodman- and love everything Amy has to say because she
is a great media activist and reports on all the issues that are
important to us. Democracy Now has a media frame built around
Venezuela- usually DN! covers what Condoleezza or Rumsfeld said
about Chavez and what Chavez said back about Bush or what JV
Rangel said about the arrogant US, the reporting will be on the
spectacle of the week, the statements are made and maybe a
Venezuelan government official is interviewed. If you ask
Democracy Now (which I have) to cover a protest in Venezuela- that
is not an "In opposition to Chavez" protests- but a protest or an event
by popular sectors of society that makes Chavez look "bad", then you
know what you'll get: no reply??? Why??? Because the media frame
(= propaganda) only works if you are consistent. Reporting on events
on DN! about Venezuela that make Chavez look bad goes against
the grain of Democracy Now if thier intention is to idolize him. (cult
of personality)

WAIT!!! For all the people that just shrieked because I accused Amy
Goodman for using propaganda - it is not the same as calling her
part of some larger leftist plot- like the commies invading America-
Which would be cool! BUT! It is saying that we have blinders on
when it come to looking at on the ground realities in the places we
want o be in solidarity with. What ends up happening is we end up
being in solidarity with what they tell us to be in solidarity with,
supporting (media, pr, funding, political) effort that with better
information and perpective on the "topic" we would adjust and adapt
better the way and the who we support.

FAIR and balanced reporting would be to give under-reported issues
fair coverage- not much everyday life gets in Venezuela gets covered
by US media- haven't you all noticed this. I mean, most reporting
happening with common Venezuelans is a news article tied to a
government program or a political event. Like the rains in Vargas-
which I'm sure some of you know about (at least by now) but I bet
the majority of you are totally oblivious.

I say above "especially us in the US" because of a "cultural truism"
im not too sure I believe- that the opinion of Americans is what
matters- that the issue in Darfur Sudan is only an issue if it make
noise in the US- I hate to believe in that "truism; and to some extent
I try not to live by it. But being a part time US citizen, I see that the
info (news) that is circulated around this country does influence the
greatest consumers of the world- so in a way influences what
happens around the world. We are utterly connected by economic
globalization- to downplay our involvement (direct or indirect) is to
be in denial.

Or how about this example: About a year and a half ago during the
World Social Forum in India, Via campesina put out a call to Chavez
to end his contracts with Monsanto and to ban all GE crops in
Venezuela. Off the heals of the publicity that the Venezuelan
government usually takes advantage of during the WSF (even
though originally governments and heads of state were not supposed
to be a part of the WSF) it was announced, quiet similarly like the
announcements made by that government on this list forwarded by
dedicated Chavez supporters- that a moratorium on GE corn and soy
and other Monsanto products was being put in place and that
Venezuela was going to go NO GE!!! Everybody hailed the news
and it was circulated and made a buzz about-especially during the
WSF and after.
"In April 2004, President Chavez announced that all cultivation of
genetically engineered crops on Venezuelan soil would be
prohibited. Full details of the administration's policy on GMOs are
still forthcoming."
Green Left Weekly (5 May 2004) "Venezuela: Chavez Dumps
<www.globalpolicy.org/socecon/tncs/2004/ 0505venezuela.htm(last
visited August 2004) or
Venezuela bans GM crops
- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Frias has announced that the
cultivation of genetically modified crops will be prohibited on
Venezuelan soil, possibly establishing the most sweeping restrictions
on transgenic crops in the Western Hemisphere. Though full details
of the administration s policy on genetically modified organisms
(GMOs) are still forthcoming, the statement by President Chavez
will lead most immediately to the cancellation of a contract that
Venezuela had negotiated with the U.S.-based Monsanto

The problem is with this news announcement is that it never really
turned out that way- Monsanto is still very well invested directly and
indirectly through subsidiaries in Venezuela. IM NOT SAYING VIA
that with this "solidarity" effort with the people of Venezuela, we
have been too quick to REPORT AS FACT anything the Chavez
(Venezuelan government / Ministry of information and
communication) tells us.

With this issue of big-agri-business corporations, there actually is a
small campaign in Caracas where some fledgling anti-globalization
types that protests every once in a while outside of Monsanto's
offices- and as far as I know they do not receive any funding or help
from the revolutionary government. But yes, Monsanto is still there-
and so is Cargill, ADM, and all the other giant agribusiness
corporations that have not just the only sole intention of making
profits- but also serving the Us interest of high jacking the
Venezuelan agro-economy and entrenching it into deeper
dependency= 80% of what all Venezuelans eat is imported into the
country- 80%! And YES it is mostly GE crops that are still being
produced in Venezuela- and they are packaged in a nice
revolutionary bags that say something like "No to the paramilitaries
and Yes to food sovereignty." Still, we all eat it up!!! (well the grains
if you're Venezuelan, the green-washing if you are a US spectator)

One last media example of how quick we are to pick up the
pom-poms and how reluctant we are to put them down. Do you
remember the story of Danilo Anderson- Primer Fiscal de la nacion-
Top prosecuting attorney for the state. He was in charge of the huge
investigation to prosecute all those who had signed on to the
"Carmona letter"- the document of endorsement that Carmona
received, during the 2002 coup. As he was investigating, earlier this
year his SUV was bombed and he died in the truck. He was elevated
to national hero and martyr. After all the parades and protest to
avenge his death, the investigating corp. that was assigned to
investigate his murder, a month later finds all this evidence that
Danilo Anderson was involved in a huge extortion ring, along with
other attorneys from his office, extorting millions off of the many
millionaires on the list. Danilo, who was not a rich man, in a matter
of a couple of year had amassed a small fortune and reputation for
liking the finer things in life. He also was not a very good washer of
his money/assets that were all tied back to him and the extortion ring
that was uncovered by the Venezuela police.

Well you can imagine how that turned out. After a week of damage
control because of the obvious contradiction from martyr to thief-
they just stopped talking about IN VENEZUELA- did they report on
this incident on the LASC list??? Did Amy Goodman mention it???)
I was in Venezuela where it was a pretty big deal. Did it make it to
the US opinion setters??? Probably not- Why??? Does anybody see a
trend yet????

I cannot stress enough that there are many example like this- I AM
NOT GOING TO LIST THEM ALL HERE- I believe if we really
care about what is happening in Venezuela or with the greater
Bolivarian movement in Latin America- we must get real with the
info we are sharing with each other.

I am not out to "discredit" the Bolivarian movement- And I am not
out to "support" or give passage to the right wing in the US!!! You
say: "I HAVE said that ANY criticism of Venezuela undertaken in
this country should only be expressed in the context of even more
ardent organizing against US imperialism against Venezuela."

I have more than anything tried to highlight the deepening and
increased relation of the US and US companies in Venezuela- The
IIRSA project and the "cooperation agreements" between Venezuela
and Colombia- Chavez and Uribe! I think this counts as denouncing
US imperial expansionism in Latin America-

The sticky part here is; it is blasting the US and Plan Comombia and
the US corporate interest to infiltrate and dominate the region with
its investments and projects it advances when we speak of these
investments and projects happening in Colombia BUT! when we
speak of similar, related, or interconnected investments or projects
by the US or foreign corporate elite on the Venezuelan side it is
called the Bolivarian revolution- and according to James' criteria, is
above criticism from anybody who isn't chavistas-bolivarianos (And
that's if they can withstand the reaction)

So I also think you should note that im not just bithing to bitch about
something just to be radical- But I am helping the US audience see
on the ground issues that are off the radar to the 'PROGRESSIVE"
report on it is still a big question to me and I have found it is because
either there is 1. a lack of this type of info being circulated- and 2
because nobody would dare wanna criticize the second coming of
Che because that would be super unpopular and maybe that would
get called a JUDAS!

I know who I stand with- I have meet them. I have put my hands on
there work. I do not know 'CHAVEZ" OR "BOLIVAR" or wonder if
Bolivar thought about socialism (he was a slave owner like the
enlighten T. Jefferson- as were most of the other military aristocrats
of their time). Talk about a cult of personality.

In this cross-road of changing times and war- we should think about
what we are contributing to- reform or revolutionary change.

"Ninguna revolucion es financiada por Transnacionales"



So I just wanted to chime in since the discussion had gotten so
interesting. First of all to thank Adrian for the clear and cool headed
message about the purpose and etiquette of this list. I feel that has
gotten quiet blurred in these last weeks, and I do accept my part in
the whole "mess". As I mentioned before, I am happy to spare the
time that I can on this very crucial debate that is solidarity with Latin
American social movement. We should all participate in this debate-
chime in, express our opinions- not just share news briefs. We are
all in a way (especially us Latinos living in the US) extensions of
Latin America and her social movements, in this country. And so we
must also have spaces, especially those that pertain to us, to give our
opinions, with hopes that we may grow with the changes of the
times, not just become disillusioned or conformed by them.

So, I want to mention that yes I too have felt attacked on this list.
From being compared to "working for the other side" to writing
"smut" (thanks Chuck!), to being compared to Judas (thank you
James). I entered into this discussion with intention of being honest
with the way I felt about these issues, knowing that I had different
opinion than most on the list-THINKING this would be a healthy
and good place to express such opinions in the spirit of debate- I feel
that the attacks- however general are actions of very poor security
culture- throwing accusations around like that can hurt peoples lives
and cause them great harm in the future.

I also think it reflects a narrow mindedness when it comes to
dismissing what people say because of their background- something
very strange coming form a list like this. I was really surprised to see
you James retract your apology to calling a woman you don't know a
fraud and an hopefully an agent.???

As for me, contrary to the opinions of those who wrote the personal
attacks above against me, I do work-everyday- toward Latin
American Solidarity- al biet in my own personal way- and definitely
without the permission or blessing form the capos on this list. I
simply choose not to ascribe to the state sponsored "popular"
socialism of certain countries, because of blatant contradictions
within my principals, and because of blatant contradictions between
the rhetoric and action within certain scientific utopian experiments.

And please by all means- check me out. Find out who I am. I see
now that James will not vouch me as he has done for others on this
list in the past. Please, call the Earth First! Journal, the voice of the
radical ecology movement (where I have been asked to be their guest
editor for the 25th anniversary edition)- - I am an Earth First!er- You
know, the dying breed of radical environmentalist that DO NOT
compromise with corporations or capital in defense of Mother Earth-
the group that is accused of being too idealistic and principled they
never accomplish anything- Or! Ask around Ecuador and the
campaigns to end petrol death in the Amazon. Or contact
Venezuela! contact the Wayuu or the Yukpa in Zulia, the Union the
Colectivos Autonomos-UCA in Maracaibo, The CRA or the Centro
de Estudios Sociales Libertarios in Caracas and check me out-
because I certainly ain't no "right-wing kook"-Chuck Kaufman-
because perhaps it's easier to dismiss things you don't want to hear if
you can dismiss the person saying them.

As for this last comment by James: I don't think anyone belongs on
this list who is trying to "expose" and undermine and discredit the
presidencies of Chavez or Aristide. This does not fit in with our
solidarity model one little bit. To tolerate such opinions and posts is
a form of collaborationism with Empire."

This is saying I have no right to express myself negatively if I say in
my opinion something stinks. Again deligitimizing what I say
because "I" say it. Because I am ecuadorian (latino) raised in the US
(like many others) and am not Venezuelan. Do you need a
Venezuelan to tell you this? And would you just dismiss them as
counterrevolutionary Judas - because that is the tried and true tactic
in Venezuela (and here in the US with the war on terror) to put down
any social initiative that is not in line with "its" program by calling
them oppositionist- even when they group or initiative has nothing in
common with the "opposition".

Again, I think you are being way to general and over-dramatic. I am
not "interfering" with anybodies presidency. I have never questioned
the elections won by Chavez- I actually worked a lot during the
referendum of August 2004 reporting on the event. And I am not
collaborating with the Empire (Are you a really suggesting that I

Either way- I don't think it is right for you James to set parameters of
what news gets covered and how it gets covered- because it might go
counter to the media frame you all have built up in this list with
regards to Venezuela. My suggestions of how news gets covered (on
this list) are just suggestions- not dictations of what is acceptable
and what is not.

For example, Lucio Gutierrez. When was it permissible, James, to
report on the contradictions and shortcomings of this "popularly"
"democratically" elected president- who later turned out to be a
puppet for the gringos- when is it solidarity or not to speak the
TRUTH of what was happening in Ecuador. And can only
Ecuadorians do this- or does the greater Latin American community
have the right to think and express their opinions, in line with or not
with the "popular" (often dogmatic socialist) sentiment felt by the
LASolidarity list.

Because I report on the coal mines in Zulia- you don't have the right
to say I'm out to "expose", "undermind" and "discredit" the
presidency of Hugo Chavez- they are two totally different things. I
simply point out that your hero has direct control of a very unjust
and deplorable situation. And its not just outside agitators and
special interest fabricating and deploring these issues- meaning that
it is Venezuelans living in these situations that are voicing these
issues and I happen to be one of many foreign and national reporters
covering just this one story- and in turn you call me out as a traitor-
And on top of that say Im out of bounds because Im also a US
citizen and not Venezuelan- and that I should be more concerned
with what the rightwing in this country does- watch dog work. That
is pretty fucking close minded. I don't need to waste my breath or
time on what an asshole Pat Robertson is- and as you say James-
you know I'm opposed to racism- as well as many other "isms"- so
you know that I don't need to defend my track as a "progressive" like
you or like you all on the LASC list.

So below is the response to James and Timoteo that I wanted to
conclude my contribution with- This is not a healthly way to conduct
this discussion or debate- I am ending my two cents here with what
is below- I hope it pisses some of you off- not because I am a born
agitator, but because beside the under the belt comments some of
the "veteranos" on the list, I have also received personal replies
thanking, encouraging, blessing me for the unconventional stances I
take on these issues.

I would encourage everyone on this list to watch out for the English
sub-titled release of "Nuestro Petroleo y otros cuentos" Hopefully
available for US distribution by November [2005]. A video partly
funded by the Venezuelan government through the Minstry of
Culture. Produced by Edizioni Gatacicova and Yeast Films- who also
put out in the last few years the popular videos "How Bush won the
elections in Ecuador" "Bolivia No Se Vende" and "Venezuela, otro
modo es posible". Off the heals of this last video the Venezuelan
government participated in the funding and facility of this video-
granting permission to highlight such themes as the production of
Orimulsion, and other issues that surround PDVSA. The first few
showings of the video in Caracas proved to be very explosive- and
the controversial content of the video had the promotional backing of
the Venezuelan government pulled out- the video ended up being
almost black-listed in Venezuela with only informal lower-scale
showings happening around the country by independent media and
activist collectives.


Nelson Méndez <mendezn-A-camelot.rect.ucv.ve

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