“I’m so bored. I hate my life.” - Britney Spears

Das Langweilige ist interessant geworden, weil das Interessante angefangen hat langweilig zu werden. – Thomas Mann

"Never for money/always for love" - The Talking Heads

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

LI question of the day: what country harbors terrorists who openly threaten, on tv broadcasts, to kill the leader of a democratic country? What country was involved in a failed coup attempt against that country? And finally, what country benefited from the assassination of the prosecutor looking into how that coup attempt was put together?

No – this isn’t Russia and the Ukraine. This is the U.S. and Venezuela.

Christopher Hitchens, who has to keep a shred of lefty credibility in order to be included in the dreary lists of “liberal” hawks – and to get those juicy tv appearances – recently wrote, once again, about Kissinger and Chile. Apparently, Hitchens still thinks it is a bad thing for the U.S. to sponsor military coups in Latin America. Hitchens also wrote a laughable column for the Mirror about the smart guys – his buddies – around Bush. The intent of the latter column was to scoff at the famous Mirror post-election headline, “how could 53 million Americans be so dumb?” Hitchens conjures up a nightmarish vision of himself, Wolfowitz and Karl Rove, smarties all, chuckling about their Iraq caper. No doubt the cigars and brandies flowed freely. One wonders if he haa thought to ask his buddy Karl or Paul, hey, how about that coup in Caracas two years ago?

In a hit that had the old history of the twentieth century wrapped around it: Danilo Anderson, the prosecutor looking into who was behind the 2002 coup (and in particular a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Endowment for Democracy that promotes democracy (defined as government by rich people who pay international lenders back by stealing from poor people) around the world, was blown up with a bit of plastique in his car last Thursday. Funny, American papers didn’t devote the headlines to it that they have devoted to the situation in the Ukraine. Can’t imagine why.

Here’s the AP story:

“Anderson was investigating 400 people who backed an interim government that took power during the brief April 2002 coup against Chavez, who quickly returned to power. Previously, Anderson investigated an opposition mayor, eight policemen for shootings during an opposition march, and 59 dissident military officers.
Chacon asked the United States to support Venezuela's efforts against terrorism, after Chavez announced a new "Anti-Terror Plan" Saturday.
Venezuela has asked the United States to extradite three dissident military officers blamed by a Venezuelan court for bombings in early 2003 against Spanish and Colombian diplomatic missions in Caracas.”
Now, what are the chances that the U.S. is going to extradite these guys? Remember, the Bush doctrine is that a lesser power – say, Syria – that hosted a group that was televising threats to, say, assassinate Allawi would render itself therefore worthy of corrective incursion. In this country, however, according to this Newsday report, Miami tv broadcasts some wonderful stuff:

CARACAS, Venezuela - The tone was light, but the dapper comedian's words were sobering as he outlined his vision for regime change in leftist Venezuela.

"It has to start with the physical disappearance of the top dog, at a minimum," Orlando Urdaneta opined in reference to Venezuela's populist President Hugo Chávez. Asked who would do the disappearing, he replied: "Men with rifles and telescopic sights who do not miss."

Chavez’s government is airing Urdaneta's comments, made in an October interview on a Miami television station, to underscore its claim that Venezuelan exiles in Miami may have played a role in the car-bombing assassination Thursday night of a prosecutor probing 400 suspects in the coup that briefly unseated Chávez in 2002.

Government officials here contend the exiles are working with Cuban commando groups who in the past have launched attacks against their country in an effort to oust Chávez's mentor, Fidel Castro. They demanded a U.S. investigation of the expatriates.

Though the Venezuelan exiles often call for Chávez's ouster, and some have even claimed to have trained with Cuban militants in the Florida Everglades, U.S. officials and many political analysts say there is no hard evidence of subversion. Moreover, they note, the exiles' comments aren't necessarily more inflammatory than those made by some U.S. citizens against President George W. Bush.”

There are a number of anti-Chavez sites on the Net. Some of them are pretty good. Some of them are not of the usual Latin American right, with its racism, calls for violence, and an ideology built solely around securing riches for the rich. But on none of those sites does one hear the criticism of Chavez put into the context of Venezuala’s recent history. For that, go to this Public Integrity site.

Chavez’s opposition keeps failing not because of Chavez’s oppressions, but because they keep promising the same outrageous policies as were pursued, to the country’s detriment, in the past. The same blind urge to privatize, the same economic policies which only worsen the vast inequalities that have been built into the system, instead of seeking to close them. The voice of the opposition is the voice of an oligarchy in exile. They definitely don’t like the exile. But until they learn to stop speaking as though they were ordering the maid back to work, we can’t see them toppling Chavez. The problem is, their frustration provides the Bush administration with a supply of coup material. And the Bush administration intends, obviously, to use it.

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