Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

JANUARY 2002 - Venezuela's Chavez Steps up Verbal Attacks On Church-- Calls It a "Tumor" for the Country's "Revolution" ***CARACAS, Venezuela, ( Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez assailed the country´s Catholic bishops, accusing them of not "walking in the way of God" because they do not openly support the political leader´s "revolution." ….In past months, Chávez has tried, unsuccessfully, to establish a Church loyal to his government (similar to that in China), separated from the bishops, with priests and former priests who subscribe to his Marxist ideology.

His criticisms against the Church grew harsher after 80,000 protesters marched last Wednesday in Caracas in opposition to his government. This was the largest protest against the 3-year-old Chávez government. As a result, the president has sped up the militarization of his regime with the appointment of Ramón Rodríguez Chacín as Interior Minister. Chacín was a navy captain who took part in the failed 1992 coup organized by Chávez himself.

The appointment followed soon after the suspension of Vice President Adina Bastidas, who was replaced by Diosdado Cabello, a retired colonel who also took part in the failed coup against democracy. Four other military men of the unsuccessful coup are now in the Cabinet. At least 50 soldiers occupy midlevel posts in government, the diplomatic corps and state-run enterprises. ***

January 2002- Opposition lawmakers attacked by supporters of Venezuela's President Chavez****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. 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.***

February 2002 - Chavez Tries Charm to Disarm Critics (Russian and Cuban security advisers in Venezuela) ***The official said he was also concerned at the growing role of Russian and Cuban security advisers in Venezuela. Egui Bastidas said he had experienced "the direct participation and the attempts at indoctrination by the Russian and Cuban intelligence services, who have direct and virtually unlimited access within the Helicoide (DISIP's headquarters building)." The official's lawyer, former DISIP Secretary-General Joaquin Chaffardet, said around 100 members of the Cuban intelligence services are currently operating in Venezuela. The new allegations would, if proven, further strain the already difficult relationship between the United States and Venezuela.***

March 2002- Chavez's image taken off altars *** Lately, Chavez declared himself a member of a charismatic congregation, thus allegedly belonging to his country's fastest-growing branch of Christianity. But then he angered the country's National Catholic Bishops Conference by communing at a Mass organized by a priest of pro-Communist leanings.***

April 2002 Chavistas: Venezuelan street toughs "Comandante" Lina Ron, who considers herself a modern version of "Tania," a woman who fought alongside Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara, says she is a willing martyr for Chavez's cause. She was arrested after leading a violent pro-Chavez counter-protest against demonstrating university students………. In recent months, the 42-year-old Ron has organized and led street marches - called "countermarches" here - to stop or intimidate demonstrations by civilians and a disorganized opposition to Chavez.

Two December marches to Miraflores, the presidential palace, were stopped by Ron's "countermarches." A February march to the National Assembly to commemorate Venezuelan democracy was similarly met - and diverted - by a countermarch. Ron and her followers burned a U.S. flag in Caracas' central Plaza Bolivar just after the September terrorist attacks in the United States. The anti-Washington demonstration appalled many Venezuelans.

More recently, Ron's followers threatened journalists at El Nacional newspaper in Caracas. Chavez has called Ron a political prisoner. "We salute Lina Ron, a female soldier who deserves the respect of all Venezuelans," he said recently.*** (More at LINK)

U.S. Cautioned Leader of Plot Against Chávez***On Capitol Hill, Democrats voiced concern that the administration meetings with anti-Chávez leaders might undercut Washington's credibility as the region's main advocate for democracy.

"I'm very concerned about what message it sends about our support for democracy there and around the world," said Senator Tom Daschle, the Democratic majority leader. "I think that we've got to be supportive of democratic principles even when they choose to elect people we don't like."

In some ways, the back-and-forth between administration officials and Democrats recalled the suspicion and bitter policy battles over Central America and Cuba during the Reagan administration. The administration's foreign policy team is dominated by anti-Castro hard-liners, who fought those policy battles, and they are running afoul of familiar antagonists including Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat who has long specialized in Latin American affairs.

Mr. Dodd expressed dismay that the administration had been slow to criticize Mr. Chávez's ouster. Administration officials erroneously reported on Friday that Mr. Chávez had resigned and said his antidemocratic behavior was responsible for his undoing. Only after Mr. Chávez had been restored on Saturday did the administration support a resolution at the Organization of American States condemning the interruption of democratic rule.

"While all the details of the attempted coup in Venezuela are not yet known, what is clear is that the vast majority of governments in the hemisphere lived up to their responsibilities under the Inter-American Democratic Charter, and denounced the unconstitutional efforts to take power from a government which had been freely elected," Mr. Dodd said.

Mr. Reich, who is a Cuban exile, warned Congressional aides that there was more at stake in Venezuela than the success or failure of Mr. Chávez. American officials accuse Mr. Chávez of meddling with the historically independent state oil company, providing haven to Colombian guerrillas and bailing out Cuba with preferential rates on oil.

In the closed door briefing, Mr. Reich said the administration had received reports that "foreign paramilitary forces" suspected to be Cubans were involved in the bloody suppression of anti-Chávez demonstrators, in which at least 14 people were killed, a Congressional official said today.

Mr. Reich, who declined to be interviewed today, offered no evidence for his assertion, the official said. ***

FARC: A Terrorist Regime waiting in the Wings-- Hugo Chavez's involvement.

MORE: Hugo Chavez - Venezuela

1 posted on 04/17/2002 12:19:23 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies ]

To: All
Who's in charge of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez or Fidel Castro?

Fidel Castro - Cuba

2 posted on 04/17/2002 12:21:45 PM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

To: Cincinatus' Wife
Reuters use of euphemisms constantly astounds. Chavez= "feisty?" How about 'power-mad' or 'megalomanical?' These seem more appropriate.

If Reuters was writing a story on Lenin today, they would probably describe him as "feisty" too.
9 posted on 04/17/2002 3:08:32 PM PDT by bourbon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson