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U.S. hands off Venezuela! - 2


George Salzman <[log in to unmask]>


Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>


Sat, 14 Dec 2002 12:28:25 -0500





text/plain (396 lines)

Saturday, December 14, 2002


Here are the Narco News e-mails I've received this past week from Al

Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Venezuelan People Surround TV Stations
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 01:29:56 -0600
From: "Alberto M. Giordano" <[log in to unmask]>

December 10, 2002, 2 a.m. ET


Alex Main reports from Caracas that masses of Venezuelans have peacefully
surrounded all the commercial TV stations in the country to protest the
dishonest simulating efforts by these media giants to provoke a coup d'etat:

The Narco Newsroom will not sleep tonight as immediate history turns in our
América. Within the next hour, we will file a more detailed report.

We serve notice to the corporate "press freedom" organizations and other
professional simulators that the vocal defense of the public's right to free
speech and peaceful assembly is the foundation of all freedom of speech:
Enough already with the double standard. Peaceful demonstrations outside of
TV stations are healthy for democracy and healthy for journalism.

We urge our readers to be vigilant in the coming hours and to combat the
inevitable distorted reports with our own free speech and press.

What is taking place right now in the streets of every major Venezuelan city
is a scenario championed by Narco News last Spring in our Second Mission
Statement, "The Masses vs. the Media." Venezuela's people are the inventors
in what has become a giant "immedia laboratory" as described in that report:

For Authentic Democracy, like Authentic Journalism, to survive, an open and
popular confrontation with the discourse - and power - of simulating news
corporations, their owners, and their agents, is necessary. Tonight's
unmasking of the true powers behind this week's attempted coup that posed
falsely as a "strike" marks a key turning point in that struggle, our global
struggle, and yours.

That battle is being fought tonight in Venezuela. By morning, the terms of
the international debate over media will be born anew. Watch and participate
with us in the rebirth of Authentic Democracy tonight and in the days to
come, right here on Narco News, in solidarity with Civil Society on a street
called América.
Subject: [narconews] Editorial: Gaviria Should Leave Venezuela
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 02:25:08 -0600

December 10, 2002

A Narco News Breaking News Editorial

Gaviria Should Leave Venezuela

Venezuelan Majority Takes to the Streets, Coup Plotters Hide

By Al Giordano

Permission is granted to anyone to republish this editorial on the condition
that it is published in full, without censorship, and with a link to:

These are the hours of immediate history.

As in Eastern Europe 13 years ago, the final defeat of dictatorial power in
Venezuela came last night at the doors of its "control rooms" - the TV

On Monday night, the Venezuelan majority - unwilling to allow an upper-class
economic coup d'etat that poses dishonestly as a "strike" to unseat its
democratically elected government - took to the streets on a scale only seen
once before in the nation's modern history; as they had last April, when
they turned back a military coup d'etat.

By early Tuesday morning the masses had every Commercial TV station in the
nation surrounded. Their weapons were nonviolent and theatrical: pots, pans,
fireworks and thousands of defiant but smiling faces.

Only at one TV installation in one of the outlying provinces - in Maracay
State - did the public actually invade the facilities of a station that uses
the public airwaves. Everywhere else, including at all the national TV
stations in Caracas, immense restraint has been shown by the masses
protesting outside of them.

The bluff of the former ruling class and its media - that their top-down
imposed sabotage of the Venezuelan economy and oil industry of the past
week is somehow a popular "strike" - has been called. The "strike leaders,"
including corrupt oil union boss Carlos Ortega, have, in recent hours,
disappeared from public view, abandoning their own supporters among the
upper classes.

To make sure the coup plotters don't flee the country, the neighbors of
Simón Bolívar International Airport near Caracas have surrounded the airport
as well.

The coup supporters, including the rogue ex-military officials from April's
attack on democracy who in recent days have called unsuccessfully for
military coup, promptly abandoned Plaza Altimar last night, their physical
base: the public stage they had occupied continuously for the past few

Confronted with the rising of the more massive and true majority of
Venezuelan Civil Society, the rogue officers and the elite of Caracas have
retreated, returning to their homes to watch the conflict on TV as fireworks
boom in the air all around them.

Meanwhile, the ostensible "mediator" of the conflict has cynically called
for government repression against the peaceful pro-democracy demonstrators
assembled outside the TV stations. With that action, Cesar Gaviria has lost
any illusory credibility in his aspiration to "mediate" the Venezuelan
conflict. He should return to Washington immediately.

Gaviria, Go Home

Gaviria, secretary-general of the Organization of American States (OAS), has
just squandered whatever credibility the organization tenuously had as
mediator in the Venezuelan conflict. He should leave Caracas immediately -
where he has become a destabilizing force against democracy and
constitutional rule - and cease posing as a "mediator" of a power-struggle
in which he is, now transparently, a partisan player.

On the very same day - Monday, December 9th - that the permanent council of
the Organization of American States (OAS), representing all nations in
América, stated that "all the countries of the hemisphere ratify unanimously
our support for Venezuelan democracy," the OAS chairman, in Caracas, showed
his contempt for that same Venezuelan democracy and the right of public

According to the French Press Agency (AFP), Gaviria "condemned" peaceful
demonstrations by the Venezuelan people outside of pro-coup TV stations
Globovision, Venevision, and other commercial media corporations. The "news
coverage" of those media companies in recent days has been at extreme levels
of simulation and dishonesty even for them: the people have had enough.
Terming the popular assemblies as "acts of intimidation" against a "free
press," Gaviria called upon the Chávez government to use repression against
the demonstrators.

"The secretary general of the OAS is deeply worried about the acts of
intimidation against the installations of some of the principal media of the
country such as Radio Caracas Television, the De Armas Group, Venevision and
Globovision," Gaviria stated through an OAS press release from the posh
Melia Hotel in Downtown Caracas, according to AFP.

Gaviria expressed his "condemnation of such acts that put freedom of speech
at serious risk," reported AFP, and made "an urgent call upon the
authorities to take immediate action to cease such threats. There can be no
doubt that press freedom and free speech are two totally consistent elements
with the existence of democratic principles."

But in calling for government action against the free speech rights of the
people to peaceably assemble, Gaviria revealed the false discourse of Power
regarding "press freedom." For Gaviria (and some corporate "press freedom"
organizations), the libertinism of a paid press takes priority over the
liberty of free speech by all the people. Nothing is more frightening to
them - nor more important for Authentic Democracy - than a scenario in which
 the masses confront this era's hijacking of the public airwaves by an elite

For the past week, coup supporters demonstrated (as is their right, too)
outside of Venezuela's public TV station, without a single word of protest
from Gaviria or any "press freedom" organization, and without any repression
from the Chávez government. Gaviria certainly did not term those
demonstrations as "threats" or call on the State to "cease" them, as he did
yesterday against the more popular demonstrations against media simulation.

The Venezuelan people have every right and duty to demonstrate outside of
the commercial TV stations. Those media companies backed the failed April
2002 coup d'etat in that country with a big lie that "Chávez Resigned" when
twice-elected President Hugo Chávez had not. For the past week, those
commercial TV stations have nakedly attempted to provoke another coup by
inventing another big lie - parroted by most of the U.S. and
English-language press corps - that a management imposed work lockout in
some sectors is somehow a "general strike." Like "Chávez Resigned," the use
of the term "strike" is this week's big lie; repeated ad nauseam in the hope
that it will be believed by the gullible among us. The problem for the Big
Liars is that the Venezuelan majority didn't buy it. The people - having
watched foreign companies like McDonald's, Wendy's and British Petroleum
lock their workers out for the imposed "strike" while the small neighborhood
shopkeepers and businesses remained open - have, in this month of December
of 2002, showed the world that "the big lie theory" for controlling public
opinion no longer works.

Who the Hell is Cesar Gaviria?

Gaviria, the former Colombian president (1990-1994), was the chief
beneficiary of the assassination of popular Colombian presidential candidate
Luis Carlos Galan, whose elimination cleared the way for the Gaviria
presidency. Gaviria was the president who allowed paramilitary death squads
to gain a foothold in Colombia. It was Gaviria who sold his nation's
sovereignty to foreign powers and betrayed his own attorney general Gustavo
de Greiff, after de Greiff had defied Washington by calling for drug
legalization. And it was Gaviria who Washington later installed as
secretary-general of the OAS in order to pave the way for Plan Colombia and
military intervention in that country.

In recent days, Gaviria has ostensibly been in Venezuela as a "mediator" of
the conflict between the oil-soaked oligarchy on one side and the supporters
of the Constitutional democracy and the Chávez government on the other.

Washington's discourse this week has been to feign support for democracy in
Venezuela (while Spaniard intelligence operatives from Europe handled the
hands-on dirty work of this most recent coup attempt) by making
proclamations of support for Gaviria as mediator.

Now that Gaviria has called for State repression against the peaceful
assemblies spreading like wildfire tonight throughout Venezuela, the true
goals of this US-backed act of "Mediation Theater" are obvious to all
reasonable observers. This was an attempted coup in strike's clothing.

Foreign powers and billionaire economic interests tried to fix the game by
installing their own referee, Cesar Gaviria, in Caracas. But he's not an
umpire or referee. He's a player for the team that has now lost the contest,
an advocate for destabilization and repression, and it is time for Gaviria
to get the hell out of the stadium.

The only possible "mediator" of this dispute cannot be the commercial media
nor foreign interests: It is, and will be, the Venezuelan people who now
make the calls.
Subject: [narconews] Feder: Copy Cat Journalism by NYT's Forero and LAT's
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 10:31:01 -0600

Narco News Associate Publisher Dan Feder catches two U.S. journalists in the
act of placing their bylines on essentially the same story.

Juan Forero of the New York Times and T. Christian Miller of the Los
Angeles Times, on Tuesday, filed nearly identical reports from an elite
suburban town in Venezuela, quoting the same three sources, to bolster their
previous false claims that there is a "strike" going on in that country.

Neither Forero nor Miller disclosed any information that would explain how
they ended up quoting the same two shopkeepers and the same former
government official to paint the same dishonest picture of current events.

Reporting the events today in Venezuela from the elite shops of El Hatillo,
Feder reminds, is akin to reporting the Los Angeles riots from the Gucci and
Armani stores on Rodeo Drive.

The story wasn't good enough to justify one article, much less two!

Where are the media critics, faced with this level of intentionally
dishonest simulation from Venezuela by two of the major dailies in the
United States?

Al Giordano
Subject: [narconews] Friday 9 a.m. in Washington: "Pot-Banging" at OAS
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 18:59:07 -0600

December 12, 2002

It's time to show the Bush Administration and its marionette "mediator" in
Venezuela - Cesar Gaviria, secretary general of the Organization of American
States (OAS) - what Authentic Democracy sounds like!

Bring your pots and pans and soup ladles tomorrow, Friday morning, at 9 a.m.
to the offices of the OAS at 17th and Constitution, NW


According to the protest organizers, "the congregants will have signs and
chants that denounce the Bush Administration's failure to state
unequivocally its opposition to violent and unconstitutional overthrow of
the democratically elected government of Venezuela. This comes at a time
when the OAS leadership is meeting to consider proposals to alter its policy
in the country."

"The December 13 protest at the OAS will denounce the Bush
Administration's silence on the issue of coup-plotters, which would seem to
lend support to their violent and unconstitutional efforts. The Bush
administration and the OAS must declare that there would be no normal
commercial and diplomatic relations with a coup-installed government, and
that they will not use intervention in the affairs of the democratically
elected government of Venezuela."

Remember: Venezuela President Hugo Chávez and his supporters have WON SIX
ELECTIONS IN THE PAST FOUR YEARS, that all national and international
monitoring organizations characterized as free and fair. The Bush
government, by contrast, STOLE ONE ELECTION to arrive to power.

For more information on the Organization of American States and its general
secretary's deceptive role in the Venezuela conflict, see:

Stay tuned for a full report on Narco News on "The Strike That Wasn't,"
coming to an Internet screen near you. Included in our upcoming report:
Solid proof, naming names, about how U.S. and British media correspondents
have lied to you over the past 10 days about what has occured in Venezuela.
This time, we're going to be much harder on these simulators than we were
after the failed April coup. Stay tuned for how you can help.

To wit:

BREAKING NEWS: At 2 p.m. this afternoon, Thursday, December 12,
2002, the oil tanker "Josefa Camejo" left the docks of Guaraguao Venezuela
with 550,000 barrels of crude oil heading toward the United States. THE

The people of Venezuela have wrestled the oil industry from the
coup-plotters and corrupt oligarchs.

In April, the people defeated the rogue military elements...

In December, the people defeated the rogue oil industry robber barons...

Next up: The corrupt Commercial Media that has robbed the public airwaves!

Tomorrow, as you gather in Washington outside the OAS offices with pots and
pans, a massive assembly of the Venezuelan majority will be simultaneously
gathering outside the presidential palace of Miraflores in Caracas to
celebrate their victory over the tyranny plotted by a few.

This is the crucial hour to neutralize Otto Reichian and Cesar Gavirian
plots for foreign intervention against democracy in our América. It's all
coming to a head, right here, right now.

Photographers in DC: Please send photos of tomorrow's pot-banging at the OAS
offices to [log in to unmask]

We either make immediate history or we are made by it.

Al Giordano
Subject: [narconews] Congress writes Bush on Venezuela - add your signature
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 00:01:11 -0600

December 13, 2002

"We, the undersigned organizations and persons, urge you to declare
unequivocally that the government of the United States is opposed to any
unconstitutional or coup attempt against the democratically elected
government of Venezuela."

- U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Ohio

- U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Michigan

- U.S. Rep. José Serrano, New York

- U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts

- U.S. Rep. Major Owens, New York

- Al Giordano, journalist, América

- and you?

KIND READERS, Please add your name to this urgent letter. You can read the
entire text of the open letter at:

(Thanks to Washington DC IndyMedia for providing the mechanism by which you
can add your name to this important appeal.)

Let's show them what Authentic Democracy means!

Time is of the essence. Please act.

Al Giordano
Subject: [narconews] Bush's Desperate Venezuela Statement
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2002 14:03:30 -0600
From: "Alberto M. Giordano" <[log in to unmask]>

With Bush's bluff called by yesterday's Congressional letter in protest of
U.S. Venezuela policy, the White House released a desperate public statement
today that revealed, more transparently than before, its pro-coup agenda.

Join us as we read between the lines of that statement (which can be
summarized as "hurry up! The coup is falling apart!") to point out the true
White House agenda - everything it has denied since last April's coup
attempt - in Latin America:

It's down to the wire in Venezuela, with the door closing on destabilization
attempts. Will Washington go so far as to invade a democratic country ("send
in the hanging chads"?) if it doesn't get its way? U.S. citizens: that's up
to you.

Now that Bush has unmasked, the events of the next few days will have
serious consequences - pro or con - for the safety of constitutional
democracy in all countries in our América.

Al Giordano

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