Skip to comments.Cuban Embassy in Venezuela Besieged
Posted on 04/12/2002 11:31:34 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) - About 500 Venezuelans, chanting and blowing whistles, demonstrated outside the Cuban Embassy on Friday, angered by Cuban leader Fidel Castro's support of ousted President Hugo Chavez and claiming four of Chavez's lieutenants were hiding inside.
Riot police stood between the protesters and the embassy, its turquoise walls spattered with eggs. Demonstrators vandalized at least three cars in front of the embassy - breaking windows, puncturing tires and pouring white paint inside - thinking the vehicles belonged to the former members of Chavez's government.
The protesters also reportedly cut telephone and electrical wires leading to the embassy.
In Havana, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told journalists the Cuban diplomats had been instructed to protect the mission "with their very lives." He also denied any Venezuelans were seeking refuge at the site.
He said he expressed concerns to the United Nations about the safety of the embassy and its diplomats and blamed the protests on "coup leaders" backed by Cuban exile groups in Miami.
Henrique Capriles Radonski, mayor of the upper-middle class suburb of Baruta where the embassy is located, stood on a 10-foot wall surrounding the compound and urged to the crowd not to storm the mission - though he encouraged protesters not to leave.
He refused to say if any Venezuelans had sought refuge inside.
Chavez and Castro were good friends. Castro even celebrated his 75th birthday with Chavez last year in Venezuela.
Cuban President Fidel Castro, left, and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wave to a crowd while touring Canaima National Park in eastern Venezuela in a canoe in this Aug. 12, 2001 file photo. Chavez, the former army paratrooper who polarized Venezuela with his strongarm rule and whose friendship with Cuba and Iraq irritated the United States, resigned under military pressure Friday, April 12, 2002 after a massive opposition demonstration ended in a bloodbath. (AP Photo/HO, Miraflores Presidential Palace, Egilda Gomez)
Venezuela's Power Shift Condemned*** Security forces conducted house to house searches Friday for members of so-called "Bolivarian Circles," citizens' groups said to have been armed by Chavez's government. Anti-Chavez politicians said they still feared assassination by the "Chavistas." Police searched the home of Chavez supporter, Caracas Mayor Freddy Bernal, who was missing.***
But the charismatic former paratroop colonel, who had staged a failed military coup in 1992, betrayed the voters and proved to be more of a pompous, left-leaning egomaniac than a true democrat. His international friends were Fidel Castro, to whom he agreed to ship oil at a cut-rate cost, Saddam Hussein and very probably Colombia's leftist guerrillas. He turned his back on the United States, although Venezuela remained this country's No. 3 supplier of imported oil.
Friday Chavez either resigned his presidency or was forced from power by Venezuelan military commanders following a national strike and mass march in Caracas that resulted in at least a dozen demonstrators being killed and an estimated 250 wounded. His approval ratings had plunged from 80 percent to 30 percent, even among the poorest of Venezuelans who had once been his strongest supporters.
In effect, the revolution had eaten its young. Power had corrupted. Domestically, Chavez grabbed for power with both hands. He put his old military friends into high positions. He muzzled and intimidated Venezuela's free press, got rid of honest judges along with some corrupt ones, rewrote the constitution and attacked middle-class businessmen, the Roman Catholic Church and labor leaders. He set the nation's state oil monopoly on a path to ruin.
Chavez's revolution turned out to be a lost chance to fix the many wrongs that plague the ordinary citizens of Venezuela. But the former colonel betrayed the people, as do most leaders who seek absolute power.
It is unclear where Venezuela will go from this point. Pedro Carmona, the interim leader who heads the country's largest business association, has promised new presidential and legislative elections within a year.
The future of Venezuelans depends on the rule of law, honest judges, a free press, a more transparent government and a renewed dedication to the principle that all Venezuelans should be treated fairly and humanely and with dignity. On this, history must wait. [End]
Venezuelans destroy cars in front of the Cuban Embassy in Caracas April 12, 2002. Military officers forced Hugo Chavez out as Venezuelan president in a coup, installing a civilian business chief as interim president of the world's fourth-biggest oil exporting nation. REUTERS/Chico Sanchez
OK, that seems fair enough.
I agree. Looks like a lot of Chavez rats scurried to the Cuban Embassy. Maybe the new Venezuelan president should go in and remove them like Castro removed the Cubans from the Mexican Embassy in Havana. Seems like what's good for the goose is good for the gander.
This brave action to dispose of the Commie in charge of Venezula has resulted in 12 to 14% price reduction of bulk gasoline. Those decreases will be showing up at our pumps next week>
Also, this may be the end of the vile Opecker Princes and their cartel Opec. The new government will supply the oil to meet market demands.
Shermy, would you please go to Drudge to get an article on what is happening re maybe the end of Opec, and post a thread on what is happening down in Venezuela. I will be leaving to do Grampa things and to help my DIL to plant flowers and other green things in her new back yard.
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