Chances are that you’re also sick of hearing stories of his fiery outbursts and power-grabbing constitutional reforms which will go before the Venezuelan people this weekend. Most of us just take what the news tells us about Chavez, as it blasts us daily with images of him backslapping Fidel Castro and bad mouthing the beloved United States of America while sending cheap oil to it’s poor.
For example, if you ask someone what the people of Venezuela are actually voting on this weekend they’ll probably tell you it’s about whether or not they want Chavez to be a life long dictator. The word “Chavez” and “dictator” are usually not spaced too far apart from corporate media coverage of the events in Venezuela. Little mention is given to the fact that the people of Venezuela have voted in favor of Chavez and his reforms on no less than 11 occasions, which in many books makes him the most heavily elected official on the planet, or at least creates a very strange definition of the word “dictator”.
Although most Americans tend to think that all democracies must function like their own tattered version, many Western democratic nations do not have term limits either. Chavez will be able to be re-elected to power for a third time if the Venezuelan population so choose. Recent declarations from the president of Brazil put the events in a clearer light:
President Lula da Silva of Brazil defended Venezuela last week, asking why “people did not complain when Margaret Thatcher spent so many years in power”. He added: “You can invent anything you want to criticize Chavez, but not for lack of democracy.” Lula has repeatedly defended Venezuela’s government as democratic, but these comments are never reported in the English language media. The reforms to be put before the people of Venezuela are numerous, even though only one is getting mentioned in most coverage of the vote.
The corporate media generally abandons any notion of balance and objectivity when reporting on Venezuela. For example, the recent death of a pro-Chavez supporter was reported as the murder of an anti-Chavez supporter. Images of pro-Chavez supporters brandishing a pistol from behind a shut door were blasted across the world without the context that those pro-Chavez supporters were actually being locked into a burning building which was set alight by those holding the door shut.
Recent polls, we are told, suggest that Chavez is losing support for his “yes” vote - something we can fully understand. After all, if his supporters are a violent bunch of murderers how could anyone vote for him? If not for the fact that Washington based Center for Economic and Policy Research issued a warning yesterday that “Recent History Shows Use of Fake Polls, Other Efforts to Undermine Credibility of Electoral Process,” and the man who produced the latest polls, Luis Vicente Leon, himself dismissed its findings saying, “the most probable [outcome] is that there will be no surprise and Chavez will win 60 percent against 40 percent…” one could almost harbor a notion that they might be true.
So why produce fake polls saying Chavez will lose only to have the hopes of every caring sole in Miami and Washington dashed on Monday? The answer is simple and in fact more believable, taking into account a recent revelation of a CIA backed coup planned for this weekend. By having fake poll numbers, anti-reformist demonstrators will shout fraud from the seats of their BMW’s and luxury apartments until the atmosphere is ripe to take to the streets .
How is this to be done?
In the memo, the CIA proposes the following tactics and actions:
Take the streets and protest with violent, disruptive actions across the nation
Generate a climate of ungovernability
Provoke a general uprising in a substantial part of the population
Engage in a “plan to implode” the voting centers on election day by encouraging opposition voters to “VOTE and REMAIN” in their centers to agitate others
Start to release data during the early hours of the afternoon on Sunday that favor the NO vote (in clear violation of election regulations)
Coordinate these activities with Ravell & Globovision and international press agencies
Coordinate with ex-militar officers and coupsters Pena Esclusa and Guyon Cellis - this will be done by the Military Attache for Defense and Army at the US Embassy in Caracas, Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO)
To encourage rejection of the results, the CIA proposes:
Creating an acceptance in the public opinion that the NO vote will win for sure
Using polling companies contracted by the CIA
Criticize and discredit the National Elections Council
Generate a sensation of fraud
Use a team of experts from the universities that will talk about how the data from the Electoral Registry has been manipulated and will build distrust in the voting system
The CIA memo also talks about:
Isolating Chavez in the international community
Trying to achieve unity amongst the opposition
Seek an alliance between those abstentionists and those who will vote “NO”
Sustain firmly the propaganda against Chavez
Execute military actions to support the opposition mobilizations and propagandistic occupations
Finalize the operative preparations on the US military bases in Curacao and Colombia to provide support to actions in Venezuela
Control a part of the country during the next 72-120 hours
Encourage a military rebellion inside the National Guard forces and other components
Those involved in these actions as detailed in the CIA memo are:
The CIA Office in Venezuela - Office of Regional Affairs, and Officer Michael Steere
US Embassy in Venezuela, Ambassador Patrick Duddy
Office of Defense, Attack and Operations (DAO) at the US Embassy in Caracas and Military Attache Richard Nazario
—Venezuelan Political Parties:
Comando Nacional de la Resistencia
Alberto Federico Ravell & Globovision
Interamerican Press Society (IAPA) or SIP in Spanish
International Press Agencies
To some, all of this may look like a time to put on our tin foil hats. However, those of us whose memories stretch all the way back to 2002 have as much of a deja vu feeling about Venezuela as we do for Iran. If you haven’t seen “The Revolution will not be televised” yet, it’s worth watching on Google video to put the events you may see unfold this weekend into some sort of historical perspective. Or then again, you could just watch it unfold on Fox, CNN, MSNBC, or whatever your favorite corporation is, and believe whatever they tell you .