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Opposition lawmakers attacked by supporters of Venezuela's President Chavez
Houston Chronicle ^ | January 6, 2002 | JORGE RUEDA, AP

Posted on 01/06/2002 3:24:18 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife

CARACAS, Venezuela -- Dozens of supporters of President Hugo Chavez attacked opposition lawmakers trying to leaving Venezuela's legislature following a marathon session late Saturday.

Supporters of the president, known as "chavistas," attacked the legislators -- shoving, hitting and in some cases throwing rocks -- after a nine-hour session that ended with a Chavez ally's re-election as president of the National Assembly.

Hundreds of police officers and National Guardsmen were deployed to keep the violence from spreading. Several lawmakers and journalists were hurt, but no serious injuries were reported.

Chavez called the violence a "warning" to the opposition "and its absurd and evil intention" of trying to destabilize his government. He threatened to deploy supporters on "every street corner" to "defend the revolution," as the leftist leader refers to his policies.

"We have to be ready to take the streets," Chavez, whose power base is the nation's poor majority, told supporters late Saturday in a poor Caracas neighborhood.

Enrique Marquez, a member of the Radical Cause opposition party, who was attacked, accused the president and his congressional allies of promoting the violence outside the legislature.

Nicolas Maduro, a member of Chavez' Fifth Republic Movement party, denied the allegation, saying the violence was "a spontaneous protest against a political class that destroyed the country" before Chavez came to power. "And now they want to take control of the assembly," he said.

The violence came after Chavez ally Willian Lara was re-elected as assembly president by an 85-73 vote.

Several lawmakers in Chavez' party have recently assumed dissident positions and begun negotiating with opposition groups, but a pro-Chavez coalition still holds more than half of the assembly's 165 seats.

TOPICS: News/Current Events
Smearing Bush nominee: Democrats have set up a Stop Otto Reich site

Cuban President Fidel Castro (L), Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (C) and Colombian Andres Pastrana
talk during the closing of the III summit of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) on Margarita Island, Venezuela, December 12, 2001.
Caribbean leaders signed cooperation and trade agreements where Chavez carried his left-leaning agenda into the Caribbean Summit
urging his Caribbean neighbors to shun a U.S.-backed hemispheric free trade zone.
REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez

WSJ: WHILE CARACUS BURNS Sen. Dodd's petulance threatens national security--[Excerpt] Yet while Caracas burns, the top U.S. policy maker for the region can't assume his post for reasons of petty ideological revenge. Otto Reich--President Bush's nominee to be Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere--still can't get a hearing in Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd's subcommittee. Mr. Dodd's petulance has gone beyond the usual Beltway payback and is now creating a leadership vacuum damaging to U.S. national security.

It's hard to recall reading today's headlines, but 10 years ago Latin America's future looked bright. Democracy was on the rise, economies were growing and the era of military coups seemed to be over. The countries did this mostly on their own, but U.S. leadership was crucial. The U.S. nurtured free-market economic ideas and helped against Marxist rebels. That trend stopped during the 1990s, as the Clinton Administration mostly ignored the region for more glamorous priorities. The result today is a region threatened by repression, violence and economic decline.-[End Excerpt]

Last seven months of Hugo Chavez

Jiang Zemin and Hugo Chavez

Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) greets Colombian President Andres Pastrana
on Margarita Island December 11, 2001.
REUTERS/Miraflores REUTERS/Miraflores

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (L) greets Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov
on his arrival to Caracas December 14, 2001.
--Russia shopping for launch site in Venezuela

1 posted on 01/06/2002 3:24:18 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
I wish Bush had just gone ahead and made a recess appointment of Otto Reich. All of Latin America is too unstable now, after years of Clinton neglect, to be ignored.
2 posted on 01/06/2002 3:29:32 AM PST by livius
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To: livius
Castro, the Carribean, and Terrorism
3 posted on 01/06/2002 3:34:03 AM PST by backhoe
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To: livius
Bush might appoint while Senate's away-- At issue: whether Bush will give recess appointments to several high-profile nominations bogged down in the Senate. They include Otto Reich for assistant secretary of state for Latin America and Eugene Scalia, the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, as Labor Department solicitor. Democrats criticize Reich's staunch anti-Castro views and what they contend were his efforts within the Reagan administration to undermine Nicaragua's Sandinista government.
4 posted on 01/06/2002 3:41:26 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: backhoe
5 posted on 01/06/2002 3:42:11 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
6 posted on 01/06/2002 5:55:38 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
We've got big problems 1) Venezuala is two months away from a Castro styled dictatorship; 2) Brazil's Communist party is in the lead for the 2002 elections; 3) Panama is under Chinese control and without a military intervention on our part, which won't happen, it will be too late; 4) Argentina, instead of relying on free market solutions, will create a third currency based on China's and Cuba's third currency 5) Mexico is assailing our borders and demanding parts of California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. 5) Columbia is having big problems with communist insurgents. Most of this activity is funded by the gains of narcotic trafficking. IMHO, if a whole host of Pinochets don't show up the next major world war will be startin the Southern Hemisphere. Unless of course a Democrat is in control-then we'll just roll over and join the socialist march.
7 posted on 01/06/2002 6:09:54 AM PST by MattinNJ
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To: MattinNJ
Thank you for your post!

The war against terrorism: Whose side is Sen. Chris Dodd on?-- by Gerard Jackson TNA News with Commentary Monday 3 December 2001 [Full Text] Why is Christopher Dodd, Democratic Senator from Connecticut, trying to sabotage the war on terrorism? President Bush nominated the highly experienced and very able Otto Reich as Assistant Secretary for Western Hemispheric Affairs. Since then Dodd has done everything within his power to prevent the appointment from being finalised.

Sen. Dodd So obsessed is Dodd with Reich that he has undertaken a massive document search in the hope of uncovering any evidence of wrongdoing that would destroy Reich's reputation. (Dodd is in the 'fortunate' position of not have much of a reputation to destroy).

His self-appointed search and destroy mission against Reich has been an embarrassing failure, not that Dodd has ever proved sensitive to embarrassment. Despite his mean spirited efforts Reich not only remains unscathed but his nomination has also been endorsed by twenty-two career Foreign Service officers, nine of whom are ambassadors.

Irrespective of Dodd's nauseating moral posturing, it is Reich's experience in the Reagan administration that qualifies for the post of Assistant Secretary for Western Hemispheric Affairs. Moreover, unlike quite a few Democrats, Reich has shown unstinting loyalty to America.

To understand what is driving Dodd to act against the national interest in a time of war requires some background information. During the 1980s Reagan became alarmed by the threat that pro-Soviets Marxist-Leninist revolutionary groups posed to Central America. As part of his anti-Soviet campaign he gave Reich an important role in meeting this Soviet challenge. Reich was eminently qualified for the task. As a refugee from Castro's Cuba and the grandson of Austrian Jews who had been murdered by the Nazis Reich understood the nature of tyranny from personal experience.

Dodd, however, was not only actively hostile to Reagan's policy of defeating militarily and politically the Soviet's Central American proxies he even aligned himself with the very same proxies, regardless of the fact that they detested America and intended to set the whole of Latin America alight. Even today, Dodd boasts on his site that he stood up against Central American military dictatorships. What he doesn't tell visitors is that he never stood up for democracy in Central America and that he thought it was better for the people of Central America to be ruled by Marxist-Leninist thugs rather than the rule of law. In other words, Dodd never stood up for liberty and democracy in the region and it's sickeningly dishonest of him to suggest otherwise. Let us not forget that this is the same Dodd who strongly objected to Reagan ousting the Marxist-Leninist dictator of Grenada and liberating its people. The resulting jubilation of the Grenadians is not something he shared.

Of course, Dodd can claim that he has been critical of Castro's violation of human rights. Quite. But his weasel approach to the drug-running thuggish Castro compared with his strong condemnation of rightwing military regimes and his support for the Marxist-Leninist Sandinistas only serves to further highlight his obsequious attitude towards Castro's totalitarian regime. Does Dodd call for the liberation of Cubans by overthrowing Castro? Certainly not. Instead he calls on the White House "to start a new conversation with Cuba." A "conversation" with a man who is supporting anti-American terrorism? What give here?

That Dodd should insist that the US cave in to Castro's demands despite his drug running and terrorist activities is not really surprising. After all, Dodd is the same man who in a 1983 speech damned Reagan's anti-communist doctrine on Central America because it stood against "the tide of history". That's right, folks. According to Dodd communism was the wave of the future, just as many Germans and Italians once thought that Nazism and fascism was the wave of the future. Fortunately, communism has largely gone the same way as those despicable doctrines. But alas, Dodd is still with us.

Even as Dodd does his destructive best in the Senate the forces of international terrorism are re-establishing themselves in Central and South America. And Dodd continues as if there was no bin Laden and no Twin Towers atrocity, grimly intent on pursuing his vendetta against Reich regardless of the cost to national security. Why? Could the reason be that these terrorist supporters have the same ideology as his Sandinista friends and they receive support from Fidel Castro, another freedom-loving Socialist with whom he seems to have no quarrel. What other conclusion can we draw when Dodd, along with Castro, declares that Reich's activities during the Cold War need to be scrutinised. But they have been scrutinised. It's Dodd and Co whose Cold War activities could do with a public airing.

Hugo Chavez, president of Venezuela and self-professed Maoist, has aligned himself with Castro, Iranian President Mohammed Khatami, Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi and the murderous Saddam Hussein. All of these thugs, including Chavez, are sponsoring international terrorism. And yet the patriotic Dodd has tried to cripple the Bush administration in this region by denying them use of the best available men.

That things are getting worse down there is easily confirmed by the violence that is tearing Colombia apart and which both Castro and Chavez are fuelling. Between January 1999 and January 2000 the Colombian government captured 470 clandestine FAL rifles, stamped with the emblems of Venezuela's military and its armaments manufacturers, that were being shipped to Colombia's Marxist-Leninist FARC rebels.

So what's really driving Dodd? What makes him such so hateful, divisive and even subversive of Bush's presidential authority? I have found that there is one common factor that links the political likes of Dodd and that factor is the Washington-based Marxist Institute for Policy Studies. This is what Brian Crozier (a fellow of the prestigious Institute for the Study of Conflict, an eminent author and an expert on the Soviet Union) said of this organisation: "The IPS is the perfect intellectual front for Soviet activities which would be resisted if they were to originate openly from the KGB."

The IPS was viciously opposed to all of Reagan's anti-communist policies while at the same time hosting lectures by KGB officers, promoting the sadistic Castro, which it still does, and defending leftwing terrorist organisation's. Yep, this is the outfit that supplied Dodd with his anti-Reagan material and arranged meeting with Central American communists.

Dodd is far from being the only Democrat on Capitol Hill who thinks the totalitarian IPS is a jolly good outfit to associate with. Ron Rangel, Leahy the 'Leaker' and Daschle among just a few are all linked to the IPS. And let's not forget Teddy Kennedy, the hero of Chappaquidick, who has yet to explain his links to the late Orlando Letelier, who had been a member of the IPS, an agent for the DGI (Cuba's General Directorate of Intelligence which was under the control of a KGB general) and who also worked with the Stasi, the East German secret police and intelligence agency. What a miserable, sorry crew they are.

I'm not quite sure what defines an American, but whatever it is I'm damned sure Dodd doesn't have it. But perhaps I've misjudged the 'honourable' Sen. Dodd. Perhaps he' been nothing more than what Lenin maliciously called a "useful idiot" and that his vendetta against Reich is really motivated by the knowledge that events proved Reich right about Castro and South America. Either way, Americans must decide for themselves whether men like Dodd are morally fit to sit in Congress or the Senate. [End]

8 posted on 01/06/2002 6:35:00 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
9 posted on 01/07/2002 2:49:52 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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