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Tuesday, December 04, 2007


More on Venezuelan democracy

In the piece below, I talk about "democracy." But this article by my friend Gloria La Riva reminds us of what the capitalists, who like to use that word as a club against Chavez (or Fidel Castro or whomever) when it suits them, really think about democracy:
In the bourgeoisie's 48-hour experiment during the short-lived April 2002 coup that overthrew Chavez, Pedro Carmona, head of the country’s Chamber of Commerce and the two-day coup "president," annulled the constitution, dissolved the National Assembly and Supreme Court and declared martial law. The police began to round up known pro-Chavez activists. If not for the overturn of the coup, there would have soon followed severe repression and killing of revolutionary leaders.

All pretenses of democracy were instantly abolished. This provides a glimpse of what Venezuela will look like should the opposition regain political power.
La Riva doesn't mention (although I'm sure many of you will remember) the U.S. response to that coup. FAIR, in a contemporaneous article written on April 18, 2002, sums up the response. An example:
In an April 13 editorial, the New York Times triumphantly declared that Chavez's "resignation" meant that "Venezuelan democracy is no longer threatened by a would-be dictator." Conspicuously avoiding the word "coup," the Times explained that Chavez "stepped down after the military intervened and handed power to a respected business leader."

The paper's one nod to the fact that military takeovers are not generally regarded as democratic was to note hopefully that with "continued civic participation," perhaps "further military involvement" in Venezuelan politics could be kept "to a minimum."

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