Venezuela Mourns



A week of mourning has been declared in Venezuela, following the death of President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday. An outpouring of grief has taken place across the country, with thousands attending vigils and other events, marking the loss of a much beloved leader. This morning, thousands of supporters gathered in Caracas to witness the state funeral, while many more have rallied elsewhere.

In Merida, hundreds of residents gathered in Bolivar Square to mourn. (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

In Merida, hundreds of residents gathered in Bolivar Square to mourn. (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

After a series of speeches, including a live feed of world leaders paying tribute to the fallen president, Chavistas joined in m

After a series of speeches, including a live feed of world leaders paying tribute to the fallen president, Chavistas joined in mass prayer (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

Chavistas paid tribute to Chavez by leaving messages on long sheets of paper (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

Chavistas paid tribute to Chavez by leaving messages on long sheets of paper (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

Plaza Bolivar, Merida (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

Plaza Bolivar, Merida (Ryan Mallett-Outtrim/

Merida (Tamara Pearson/

Merida (Tamara Pearson/

Venezuelans gathered for the president's funeral in Caracas (VTV)

Venezuelans gathered for the president’s funeral in Caracas (VTV)

Caracas (Carlos Cargia Rowlins/Rueters via El Pais)

Caracas (Carlos Cargia Rowlins/Rueters via El Pais)

Caracas (Gregorio Marrero/LatinContent/Getty Images via ABC)

Caracas (Gregorio Marrero/LatinContent/Getty Images via ABC)

Caracas (Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo via ABC)

Caracas (Ariana Cubillos/AP Photo via ABC)

Caracas (AP via El Pais)

Caracas (AP via El Pais)

Caracas (Juan Barreto/Getty Images)

Caracas (Juan Barreto/Getty Images)

Caracas (Jorge Silva/Reuters via El Pais)

Caracas (Jorge Silva/Reuters via El Pais)

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Owen Jones: Hugo Chavez lifted millions out of poverty – and even his opponents accepted he won elections fair and square


The President’s death will be mourned by millions of Venezuelans

If you want to learn about human rights in Venezuela before Hugo Chavez, type “Caracazo” into Google, and do so with a strong stomach. Back in 1989, then-President Carlos Andrés Pérez won an election on a fiery platform of resisting free-market dogma: the IMF was “a neutron bomb that killed people, but left buildings standing,” he proclaimed. But after safely making it to the presidential palace, he dramatically u-turned, unleashing a programme of privatisation and neo-liberal shock therapy. With gas subsidies removed, petrol prices soared, and impoverished Venezuelans took to the streets. Soldiers mowed protesters down with gunfire. Up to 3,000 perished, a horrifying death toll up there with the Tienanmen Square Massacre – in a country with a population 43 times smaller.

It was his abortive coup attempt against Pérez’s murderous, rampantly corrupt government in 1992 that launched Chavez to prominence. Though locked away, Chavez became an icon for Venezuela’s long-suffering poor. By the time he won a landslide victory in 1998 on a promise to use the country’s vast oil wealth to help the poor, Venezuela was a mess. Per capita income had collapsed to where it had been in the early 1960s. One in three Venezuelans lived on less than $2 a day. Oil revenues were squandered.

Over the coming days, you will be repeatedly told that Hugo Chavez was a dictator. A funny sort of dictator: there have been 17 elections and referenda since 1998. Perhaps you think they were rigged. When he won by a huge margin in 2006, former US President Jimmy Carter was among those declaring he had won “fairly and squarely”. At the last election in October 2012, Carter declared that, “of the 92 elections that we’ve monitored, I would say the election process in Venezuela is the best in the world.” I was there: perhaps you think I was like those hopelessly naïve Western leftists who visited Potemkin villages in Stalinist Russia. I was with a genuinely independent election commission, staffed with both pro-Chavez and anti-Chavez sympathisers, who had previously been invited by the opposition to run their own internal elections. We met with senior opposition figures who railed against Chavez, but acknowledged that they lived in a democracy. When they lost the election, they accepted it.

Social justice

Indeed, Chavez himself has had to accept defeat before: back in 2007, he lost a referendum campaign, and did not quibble with the results. Until he came to power, millions of poor Venezuelans were not even registered to vote: but dramatic registration drives have nearly doubled the electorate. There are 6,000 more polling stations than there were in the pre-Chavez era.

On the other hand, the democratic credentials of many of his opponents can certainly be questioned. In 2002, a Pinochet-style coup was launched against Chavez, and was only reversed by a popular uprising. Much of the privately owned media openly incited and supported the coup: imagine Cameron was kicked out of No 10 by British generals, with the support and incitement of rolling 24-hour news stations. But Venezuela’s media is dominated by private broadcasters, some of whom make Fox News look like cuddly lefties. State television could rightly be accused of bias towards the government, which is perhaps why it has a measly 5.4 per cent audience share. Of seven major national newspapers, five support the opposition, and only one is sympathetic to the government.

The truth is that Chavez won democratic election after democratic election, despite the often vicious hostility of the media, because his policies transformed the lives of millions of previously ignored Venezuelans. Poverty has fallen from nearly half to 27.8 per cent, while absolute poverty has been more than halved. Six million children receive free meals a day; near-universal free health care has been established; and education spending has doubled as a proportion of GDP. A housing programme launched in 2011 built over 350,000 homes, bringing hundreds of thousands of families out of sub-standard housing in thebarrios. Some of his smug foreign critics suggest Chavez effectively bought the votes of the poor – as though winning elections by delivering social justice is somehow bribery.


That does not mean Chavez is beyond criticism. Venezuela was already a country with rampant crime when he came to power, but the situation has deteriorated since. Around 20,000 Venezuelans died at the hands of violent crime in 2011: an unacceptable death toll. As well as drugs, near-universal gun ownership and the destabilising impact of neighbouring Colombia, a weak (and often corrupt) police force is to blame. Although the government is beginning to roll out a national police force, endemic crime is a genuine crisis. When I spoke to Venezuelans in Caracas, the sometimes frightening lack of law-and-order was brought up by pro-Chavistas and opponents alike.

And then there is the matter of some of Chavez’s unpleasant foreign associations. Although his closest allies were his fellow democratically elected left-of-centre governments in Latin America – nearly all of whom passionately defended Chavez from foreign criticism – he also supported brutal dictators in Iran, Libya and Syria. It has certainly sullied his reputation. Of course, we in the West can hardly single out Chavez for unsavoury alliances. We support and arm dictatorships such as Saudi Arabia; Britain’s former Prime Minister Tony Blair is paid $13 million a year to work for Kazakhstan’s dictatorship. But our own hypocrisy does not absolve Chavez of criticism.

The so-called Bolivarian Revolution was overly dependent on Chavez’s own reputation, and inevitably his death raises questions about its future direction. But have no doubt: Chavez was a democratically elected champion of the poor. His policies lifted millions out of abject poverty and misery. He represented a break from years of corrupt regimes with often dire human rights records. His achievements were won in the face of an attempted military coup, an aggressively hostile media, and bitter foreign critics. He demonstrated that it is possible to resist the neo-liberal dogma that holds sway over much of humanity. He will be mourned by millions of Venezuelans – and understandably so.

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Welcome to America: Hundreds in New York City take to the streets against police brutality


‘Mass incarceration is a tool of control’

Hundreds march in rain to protest ‘Stop and Frisk’


Demanding an end to police brutality, a march of hundreds in New York City showed the New York Police Department that no amount of repressive, racist violence can break the people’s will to resist. The demonstration, titled “Stop the Cops,” was organized by a broad coalition of groups including the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), Stop “Stop and Frisk,” Women Organized to Resist and Defend, Cop Watch South Bronx and Harlem, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

Protesters assembled to demand an end to the frisking and brutalization of youth, the targeting of immigrant and Muslim communities, and the harassment of women and LGBTQ people.

The march began at 138th and Third in the South Bronx, one of the neighborhoods that has been most devastated by the NYPD. Despite the cold temperature and constant rain, hundreds of activists and community members gathered for an opening rally, each with their own particular set of motivations but united by a desire to fight for justice.

March participant Luss Nigaglioni, who himself has been a victim of police harassment, expressed frustration that officers are “mostly targeting our youth” but was energized by the demonstration, which he said was “a good sign of resistance.”

Camille Raneem told Liberation News that police brutality is one component of a larger system of mass incarceration, which “starts with the criminalization of young people.” “Mass incarceration is a tool of control” that “keeps people from working to make changes,” added Abigail Brune.

Protester Helena Wong pointed out that the “Southeast Asian community faces a lot of detentions and deportations,” while Carman Neely of Harlem Pride agreed that the police disproportionately target LGBT people.

Before the demonstrators took to the streets, a number of speakers energized the crowd. One was ANSWER Coalition activist and South Bronx resident Emmanuel Pardilla, who spoke about the daily abuses youth of oppressed communities experience at the hands of the racist police force.

Protesters then took their message to Harlem, marching from the South Bronx to 125th and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. Community members along the march route cheered as the demonstration went by and joined in the chanting. Favorites included, “No justice, no peace, no racist police!”, “Policia Asesinos!” and “How do you spell racist? N-Y-P-D!”

As the marchers arrived at their destination, another round of speakers kept the momentum going at a rally chaired by march organizer Kerbie Joseph of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Eugene Puryear of the Washington, D.C.-based organization Jobs not Jails highlighted the fact that police brutality is not isolated to one city or one region but is a permanent feature of an unjust system that must be overthrown. Karla Reyes, representing Women Organized to Resist and Defend, denounced the cops’ systematic violations of the rights of women.

As part of a long history of resistance, oppressed people chose to join the Stop the Cops march and fight back against the terrorism of the NYPD. If the determination and organization on display on Feb. 23 is any indication, the movement against police brutality will continue to grow and challenge the entire system of exploitation and oppression.

Posted in USA0 Comments

Hugo Chavez’s death is a body blow for the poor and oppressed throughout Latin America


Under Chavez’s revolution quality social housing became the norm and more than 90 per cent of Venezuelans ate three meals a day for the first time in the country’s history.

The death of Hugo Chavez at just 58 is a body blow for the poor and the oppressed, throughout Latin America and the wider world. The most elected leader in the modern era, Chavez transformed Venezuela by the force of his will and a popular revolution which encompassed the marginal, the ethnic minorities, the workers, and key sections of the progressive intelligencia who saw in him a veritable Spartacus.

He rallied an army of not slaves, but those despised by the oligarchy as hewers of wood and drawers of the oil which previously made only the rich richer. Under Chavez’ revolution the oil wealth was distributed in ever rising wages and above all in ambitious social engineering. He built the fifth largest student body in the world, creating scores of new universities. More than 90 per cent of Venezuelans ate three meals a day for the first time in the country’s history. Quality social housing for the masses became the norm with the pledge that by the end of the presidential term, now cut short, all Venezuelans would live in a dignified house.

Chavez’ ambitions were not limited to Venezuela alone. He fostered Latin American unity promoting democratic and socialist movements throughout the continent. He founded a Bank of the South, a University of the South, even a television station of the South – Tele Sur. And further afield he championed the Palestinian cause, giving citizenship to stateless Palestinian refugees. When Israel invaded Lebanon, from where I write, in 2006 he expelled the Israeli ambassador from Caracas – relations which remain severed. He stood up to North American hegemony and with the victims of imperial domination everywhere.

I knew him as a warm gregarious bear of a man, a force of nature.

My wife and I spent almost two weeks working in his presidential campaign late last year. It is heartbreaking to be writing what amounts to his obituary so soon after yet another of his great political triumphs. He will be remembered as a man who lived and died for his people, as a paratrooper, a tank commander, a president. Hasta siempre Comandante. Presente.

Posted in Venezuela1 Comment

How the Fed Could Fix the Economy—and Why It Hasn’t

Global Research

Quantitative easing (QE) is supposed to stimulate the economy by adding money to the money supply, increasing demand. But so far, it hasn’t been working. Why not? Because as practiced for the last two decades, QE does not actually increase the circulating money supply. It merely cleans up the toxic balance sheets of banks. A real “helicopter drop” that puts money into the pockets of consumers and businesses has not yet been tried. Why not? Another good question . . . .

When Ben Bernanke gave his famous helicopter money speech to the Japanese in 2002, he was not yet chairman of the Federal Reserve. He said then that the government could easily reverse a deflation, just by printing money and dropping it from helicopters. “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent),” he said, “that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.” Later in the speech he discussed “a money-financed tax cut,” which he said was “essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman’s famous ‘helicopter drop’ of money.” Deflation could be cured, said Professor Friedman, simply by dropping money from helicopters.

It seemed logical enough. If the money supply were insufficient for the needs of trade, the solution was to add money to it. Most of the circulating money supply consists of “bank credit” created by banks when they make loans. When old loans are paid off faster than new loans are taken out (as is happening today), the money supply shrinks. The purpose of QE is to reverse this contraction.

But if debt deflation is so easy to fix, then why have the Fed’s massive attempts to pull this maneuver off failed to revive the economy? And why is Japan still suffering from deflation after 20 years of quantitative easing?


On a technical level, the answer has to do with where the money goes. The widespread belief that QE is flooding the economy with money is a myth. Virtually all of the money it creates simply sits in the reserve accounts of banks.

That is the technical answer, but the motive behind it may be something deeper . . . .

An Asset Swap Is Not a Helicopter Drop

As QE is practiced today, the money created on a computer screen never makes it into the real, producing economy. It goes directly into bank reserve accounts, and it stays there. Except for the small amount of “vault cash” available for withdrawal from commercial banks, bank reserves do not leave the doors of the central bank.

According to Peter Stella, former head of the Central Banking and Monetary and Foreign Exchange Operations Divisions at the International Monetary Fund:

[B]anks do not lend “reserves”. . . . Whether commercial banks let the reserves they have acquired through QE sit “idle” or lend them out in the internet bank market 10,000 times in one day among themselves, the aggregate reserves at the central bank at the end of that day will be the same.

This point is also stressed in Modern Monetary Theory. As explained by Prof. Scott Fullwiler:

Banks can’t “do” anything with all the extra reserve balances. Loans create deposits—reserve balances don’t finance lending or add any “fuel” to the economy. Banks don’t lend reserve balances except in the federal funds market, and in that case the Fed always provides sufficient quantities to keep the federal funds rate at its . . . interest rate target.

Reserves are used simply to clear checks between banks. They move from one reserve account to another, but the total money in bank reserve accounts remains unchanged. Banks can lend their reserves to each other, but they cannot lend them to us.

QE as currently practiced is simply an asset swap. The central bank swaps newly-created dollars for toxic assets clogging the balance sheets of commercial banks. This ploy keeps the banks from going bankrupt, but it does nothing for the balance sheets of federal or local governments, consumers, or businesses.

Central Bank Ignorance or Intentional Sabotage?

Another Look at the Japanese Experience

That brings us to the motive. Twenty years is a long time to repeat a policy that isn’t working.

UK Professor Richard Werner invented the term quantitative easing when he was advising the Japanese in the 1990s. He says he had something quite different in mind from the current practice. He intended for QE to increase the credit available to the real economy. Today, he says:

[A]ll QE is doing is to help banks increase the liquidity of their portfolios by getting rid of longer-dated slightly less liquid assets and raising cash. . . . Reserve expansion is a standard monetarist policy and required no new label.

Werner contends that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) intentionally sabotaged his proposal, adopting his language but not his policy; and other central banks have taken the same approach since.

In his book Princes of the Yen (2003), Werner maintains that in the 1990s, the BOJ consistently foiled government attempts at creating a recovery. As summarized in a review of the book:

The post-war disappearance of the military triggered a power struggle between the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Japan for control over the economy. While the Ministry strove to maintain the controlled economic system that created Japan’s post-war economic miracle, the central bank plotted to break free from the Ministry by reverting to the free markets of the 1920s.

. . . They reckoned that the wartime economic system and the vast legal powers of the Ministry of Finance could only be overthrown if there was a large crisis – one that would be blamed on the ministry. While observers assumed that all policy-makers have been trying their best to kick-start Japan’s economy over the past decade, the surprising truth is that one key institution did not try hard at all.

Werner contends that the Bank of Japan not only blocked the recovery but actually created the bubble that precipitated the downturn:

[T]hose central bankers who were in charge of the policies that prolonged the recession were the very same people who were responsible for the creation of the bubble. . . . [They] ordered the banks to expand their lending aggressively during the 1980s. In 1989, [they] suddenly tightened their credit controls, thus bringing down the house of cards that they had built up before. . . .

With banks paralysed by bad debts, the central bank held the key to a recovery: only it could step in and create more credit. It failed to do so, and hence the recession continued for years. Thanks to the long recession, the Ministry of Finance was broken up and lost its powers. The Bank of Japan became independent and its power has now become legal.

In the US, too, the central bank holds the key to recovery. Only it can create more credit for the broad economy. But reversing recession has taken a backseat to resuscitating zombie banks, maintaining the feudal dominion of a private financial oligarchy.

In Japan, interestingly, all that may be changing with the election of a new administration. As reported in a January 2013 article in Business Week:

Shinzo Abe and the Liberal Democratic Party swept back into power in mid-December by promising a high-octane mix of monetary and fiscal policies to pull Japan out of its two-decade run of economic misery. To get there, Prime Minister Abe is threatening a hostile takeover of the Bank of Japan, the nation’s central bank. The terms of surrender may go something like this: Unless the BOJ agrees to a 2 percent inflation target and expands its current government bond-buying operation, the ruling LDP might push a new central bank charter through the Japanese Diet. That charter would greatly diminish the BOJ’s independence to set monetary policy and allow the prime minister to sack its governor.

From Bankers’ Bank to Government Bank

Making the central bank serve the interests of the government and the people is not a new idea. Prof. Tim Canova points out that central banks have only recently been declared independent of government:

[I]ndependence has really come to mean a central bank that has been captured by Wall Street interests, very large banking interests. It might be independent of the politicians, but it doesn’t mean it is a neutral arbiter. During the Great Depression and coming out of it, the Fed took its cues from Congress. Throughout the entire 1940s, the Federal Reserve as a practical matter was not independent. It took its marching orders from the White House and the Treasury—and it was the most successful decade in American economic history.

To free the central bank from Wall Street capture, Congress or the president could follow the lead of Shinzo Abe and threaten a hostile takeover of the Fed unless it directs its credit firehose into the real economy. The unlimited, near-zero-interest credit line made available to banks needs to be made available to federal and local governments.

When a similar suggestion was made to Ben Bernanke in January 2011, however, he said he lacked the authority to comply. If that was what Congress wanted, he said, it would have to change the Federal Reserve Act.

And that is what may need to be done—rewrite the Federal Reserve Act to serve the interests of the economy and the people.

Webster Tarpley observes that the Fed advanced $27 trillion to financial institutions through the TAF (Term Asset Facility), the TALF (Term Asset-backed Securities Loan Facility), and similar facilities. He proposes an Infrastructure Facility extending credit on the same terms to state and local governments. It might offer to buy $3 trillion in 100-year, zero-coupon bonds, the minimum currently needed to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure. The collateral backing these bonds would be sounder than the commercial paper of zombie banks, since it would consist of the roads, bridges, and other tangible infrastructure built with the loans. If the bond issuers defaulted, the Fed would get the infrastructure.

Quantitative easing as practiced today is not designed to serve the real economy. It is designed to serve bankers who create money as debt and rent it out for a fee. The money power needs to be restored to the people and the government, but we need an executive and legislature willing to stand up to the banks. A popular movement could give them the backbone. In the meantime, states could set up their own banks, which could leverage the state’s massive capital and revenue base into credit for the local economy.

Posted in USA0 Comments

Investigating Hugo Chávez’s death


Civil rights organizations demand U.S. documents and information related to possible assassination plans

Within hours of the announcement of the death of President Hugo Chávez, civil rights groups in the United States filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands with federal agencies seeking information and documents that “relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez.”  The records demands have been made to the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, and the Defense Intelligence Agency and have been filed by the civil rights legal organization, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the anti-war group, ANSWER Coalition and Liberation Newspaper.

The Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chávez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements, according to NBC News and other media outlets.

The opening of the Freedom of Information Act reads as follows:

We are writing to request the following information on behalf of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), and Liberation Newspaper, pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552:

All records and documents, including but not limited to, emails, letters, cables or other communications, memoranda, notes, minutes, photographs, audio recordings, video recordings, digital recordings, intelligence assessments, communications, records or other data that relate to or reference or discuss any information regarding or plans to poison or otherwise assassinate the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, who has just died.

This request in made in light of the U.S. government’s acknowledged history of knowledge and possession of information regarding, and/or participation in, attempts to assassinate foreign leaders. The acknowledged attempts by the U.S. Government to assassinate foreign leaders, include Fidel Castro,  Rafael Trujillo, and General René Schneider Chereau (See, e.g.., January 3, 1975 Memorandum of Conversation between President Gerald Ford and CIA Director William E. Colby), among others [secured by the National Security Archives pursuant to the FOIA].

This request is also made in light of the exhumation of Palestinian leader Yassar Arafat’s body to determine whether his death was caused by poisoning, including media reports that “[t]he Institute de Radiophysique discovered abnormal levels of polonium-210” in his personal effects, Chris McFreal, The Guardian, November 27, 2012, Yasser Arafat Exhumed and Reburied in Six-Hour Night Mission: Samples Taken From Corpse of Late PLO Leader Will Be Used to Investigate Claims He Was Poisoned With a Radioactive SubstanceArafat’s Body is Exhumed for Poison Tests, New York Times, November 28, 2012.

As described further below, the public has an urgent and compelling need for information underlying any effort to assassinate the President of Venezuela, including any knowledge the U.S. government has or had regarding such efforts and in particular any role the U.S. government had in such efforts. According to multiple media sources, the Venezuelan government is also calling for an investigation into the circumstances of President Chávez’s illness, specifically whether he was poisoned or deliberately exposed to cancer causing elements. See, e.g. “Venezuela VP: Chávez’s cancer was an ‘attack’ by his enemies,” NBC News, March 5, 2013.

The full FOIA letter is available here.

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Chavez Dead – VP Accuses “Historical Enemies”


Venezuela’s Vice President Maduro announces the death of President Hugo Chavez, says they believe Venezuela’s enemies are responsible



President Hugo Chavez died on Tuesday March the 5th 2013 in Caracas Venezuela, the news sent political shockwaves all across Latin America and the World.


Nicolas Maduro acting as provisional president spoke to the people: 

“We came here to the Military Hospital in Caracas, to follow up on the health of our President – Commander. And the moment we where paying company to his daughter, brothers and family; we then got the hardest and most tragic information we can transmit to our people… Hugo Chavez Frias died today, March the 5th at 4:25pm .” 

The Venezuelan Defense Department Secretary Diego Molero Bellavia also spoke and announced special measures for the transitional period ahead. 

Here with me are a few member of the Armed Forces, we are now being deploy to guarantee the safety and sovereignty of all Venezuelan Citizens; we are also united on the purpose of having our Constitutional Precepts keept and observe the will of our leader Hugo Chavez Frias. 

Chavez died at 16:25 local time, only 2 hours before Nicolas Maduro declares that “the historical enemy” inoculated the disease that ultimately killed former President Hugo Chavez. 

“We have absolutely no doubt, and the right moment in history will come; when a scientific commission can investigate (and prove) that this disease was used to attack Commander Chavez. 

He publicly said as much and we have no doubt that was the case; (we think) that the “historical enemies of our homeland” found the way to harm the health of our Commander.” 

Millions mourning Hugo Chavez death in Caracas and all over Latin America 

For the real News this is Oscar león 

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Chavez : “Damn you State of IsraHell”


Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Long Live Chávez!: Venezuelan government issues statement on condition of Hugo Chávez


Announces expulsion of two U.S. Embassy officials; prepares emergency measures

Venezuela’s Minister of Communication and Information Ernesto Villegas issued a government statement March 4 on the worsening health condition of President Hugo Chávez.

Chávez, leader of Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolutionary process since his election in 1998, has been battling for his life against cancer, which was diagnosed in June 2011.

According to the March 4 communiqué, “there is a worsening in his respiratory function, related to the President’s depressed immune system” and “currently he presents with a new and severe infection.”

Ever since Chávez returned suddenly to Cuba in early December for further medical treatment, the Venezuelan masses who support him have rallied by the hundreds of thousands. The message: “We are all Chávez!”

Despite the opposition’s defeat with Chávez’s presidential re-election last Oct. 7, the right wing—with Washington’s behind-the-scenes backing—is trying to foment confrontations in their hopes to destabilize the government.

For several days now, some 50 right-wing university students have chained themselves near the Supreme Court in eastern Caracas, demanding that Chávez take the oath for his fourth presidential term.

Of course, they don’t really want him to be president; it is simply their attempt to delegitimize Chávez’s leadership.

But they are far outnumbered by the revolutionary youth, who have been rallying by the tens of thousands.

Vice-president Nicolás Maduro warned that the former presidential candidate, opposition figure Henrique Capriles, is in the United States, having met with the extreme right-wing former U.S. officials Otto Reich and Roger Noriega, as well with the State Department.

On March 5, after an emergency meeting of 20 pro-Chávez governors and the cabinet, Vice-president Maduro announced the expulsion of two U.S. Embassy officials for meeting with active military officers to plot de-stabilization of the country. The meeting discussed emergency measures to protect the country against any such efforts.

The government is calling on the revolutionary people to stay alert.

Its communiqué says in part:

“The Bolivarian government continues accompanying the children and other family members of the Commander President in this battle full of love and spirituality, and we call on all our people to remain prepared for struggle, unscathed against the psychological war deployed by foreign laboratories with their spokesperson in the corrupt Venezuelan right wing, which seeks to generate scenarios of violence as a pretext for a foreign intervention in the homeland of Bolivar.

“The Bolivarian government also repudiates the hypocritical attitude of those historical enemies of Hugo Chávez, who have always spread hatred, insults and scorn, and now they are trying to utilize his state of health as an excuse to destabilize the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

“Fortunately, this people awoke with Commander Chávez and those corrupt right-wing forces will never return.

“In this hour, unity and discipline are the bases to guarantee the political stability of the Homeland.

“Long Live Chávez!”

The Party for Socialism and Liberation stands in full solidarity with our heroic brother, President Hugo Chávez, his people, and the Venezuelan Bolivarian Revolution. This is a most urgent time for all progressive people to remain on alert and defend the revolution.

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments

Venezuelan leaders hold talk amid growing Chavez health concerns


Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a military council held to discuss the political path for Venezuela in Caracas on March 5, 2013.

Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a military council held to discuss the political path for Venezuela in Caracas on March 5, 2013.
Venezuelan Vice-President Nicolas Maduro speaks during a military council held to discuss the political path for Venezuela in Caracas on March 5, 2013.
Venezuelan leaders have met amid growing concerns over President Hugo Chavez’s health, with Vice President Nicolas Maduro saying his cancer is the result of enemies’ attack.

Venezuela’s civilian and military leaders met on Tuesday, after it was announced that Chavez’s health had taken a turn for the worse.

“…The historic enemies of this nation looked for how to harm the health of our commander,” Maduro said.

The vice president also added that a US Embassy military official was being expelled for seeking information from military officials and being involved in “destabilization projects” against the government.

He added that “special measures” are being taken to counter sabotage and conspiracies against the government.

Maduro also said that Chavez’s disease and health situation is similar to the fate of late Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat, which is of “public knowledge” that he was murdered.

Swiss scientists found traces of polonium in Arafat’s belongings, prompting them to carry out an investigation into his death.

On Monday, Venezuelan Information Minister Ernesto Villegas said that the president’s health condition was “very delicate” as he was battling a “new and severe infection.”

On February 18, Chavez returned to Caracas after receiving more than two months of treatment in Cuba and his supporters held street celebrations to welcome him home.

He had traveled to Havana on December 10, 2012, for a fourth operation after his cancer reappeared.

Chavez has not appeared in public since his December operation, which resulted in post-surgery complications.

In late March 2012, Chavez began radiation treatment in Cuba after an operation in February 2012 that removed a second cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. Chavez received chemotherapy after his first tumor, which was baseball-sized, was removed in June 2011.

Posted in Venezuela0 Comments


Shoah’s pages

To see Part 2 go to the the link below,

Join our mailing list

* = required field