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Friday, December 14, 2007


The Washington Post piles on Chavez

A couple days ago I criticized right-wing columnist Andres Oppenheimer (of "Castro's Final Hour" will be 1992 fame) for asserting that Hugo Chavez "only accepted his [referendum] loss under pressure." He attributed the claim to "independent election monitors," which seems like a highly unlikely source for inside knowledge about the inner deliberations of the Venezuelan government.

Now along comes the Washington Post editorial board to go him one better, claiming that "Chavez,...according to multiple independent reports announced the vote against his "Bolivarian revolution" only under pressure from the Venezuelan military." First of all, note there is no actual identification (even by category) of these alleged "multiple independent reports." And how would you know they were really independent? If one guy makes up a story (or puts a slant on the truth), and tells it to three people, and those three people each speak to a reporter, that doesn't constitute independent sources. You would have to know for a fact that each of your sources either had personal, first-hand knowledge of the truth, or had each obtained their information from a different person, each of whom in turn also had personal, first-hand knowledge of the truth. None of that is impossible, but in this case, it's highly unlikely, even more so because, as I noted in the earlier post, the results were announced pretty much as soon as they possibly could have been, just a few hours after the polls closed (and, by the way, the results were not announced by "Chavez" at all, but by the Electoral Council). None of this deters the Post from throwing out this unsupported slander. Incidentally, the Post's editorial the day after the referendum, which was pretty much a diatribe against Chavez, contained no such allegation.

Of course they don't stop there, asserting that "Bolivia and Ecuador are pressing ahead with copycat constitutional coups." Pretty funny way to conduct a coup, I'd say, asking the people to vote on something. Isn't that more of an "electoral revolution" than a coup? Of course, it isn't the American way. Here, the President just keeps usurping more and more power without even getting the approval of Congress, much less of the American people.

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