Thursday, January 23, 2003 - Daily news and summary

Eight big lies told by the Chavista propaganda.
by Manuel Caballero
Special for El Universal
(this is an excerpt; please see the original article for full information)

European spheres see Venezuelan reality from the point of view sold by Mr. Chávez. For them we are racists and face a struggle between rich and poor; businessmen are fascists and the media are putschist; therefore, the nationalist government has not been able to fight corruption and work for the popular classes who put up with a minority’s outrages intended to destroy its peaceful and revolutionary project

1. There is a white minority against a dark majority who supports president Chávez in Venezuela.
False: Venezuela is one of the few countries in the world where there is no racial or religious hate.

2. There is a conflict between poor and rich in Venezuela.
False: It would be stupid to say that in Venezuela, like everywhere else, there are no classes opposing and struggling. But today the boundary is not between upper and lower classes but between the personalist authoritarism of Mr. Chávez’s government and the democratic collectivism of the opposition.

3. The popular classes are the support pillar for Hugo Chávez.
This is a half-truth: Chávez effectively got the majority of his votes in the big cities’ poorest sectors, mainly thanks to a frantic demagoguery. However, the answer to this propaganda assertion needs further elaboration.

4. The opposition to Chávez is putschist and fascist.
False: Denying this is not enough –it is certainly the biggest and at the same time the most shameless lie told by a government. It must not be forgotten that lieutenant-colonel Hugo Chávez Frías came to light politically in 1992 after having led two bloody military coups: if there is someone to be properly called putschist it would be him (who, by the way, took good care not to risk his neck).

5. Chávez’s government is civilian, legitimate, legal and stemming from popular sovereignty.
Another half-truth: Or, at this point, less (a lot) then that. Chávez was elected with the popular vote –nobody intends to deny that– the same way Hitler, Mussolini and Fujimori were. But the process of his delegitimization started at the beginning of his mandate: he had the rules of the game changed so that his term, originally a non-extendible five year period, would be lengthen to six years with an immediate re-election, and which everyday he threatens to stretch until 2021.

6. Chávez fights against corruption.
False: Chávez’s is one of the most corrupt governments Venezuela has had in its republican history.

7. There is freedom of speech in Venezuela.
Another half truth: In Chávez’s Venezuela, thanks to a long tradition dating from 1936, there is freedom to express one’s opinion, and I attest this. But there is no freedom to inform –no other Venezuelan regime has witnessed so many outrages against media, ranging from attacks on media headquarters to aggressions against reporters in the street.

8. Chavez’s is a nationalist government.
False: Like all fascisms, the Chavista regime exploits, ad nauseam, a blatant patriotism, focused on the idolatry of Liberator Simón Bolívar, whom it cites pell-mell to the same extent tyrant Juan Vicente Gómez used to in his day. But in fact, no one has strived more to give away Venezuelan interests to foreign capitals.

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