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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:53 AM
Original message

Caracas, November 16, 2007 ( - Tens of thousands of people rallied in support of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his proposed constitutional reform in the regional city of Barcelona, Anzotegui on Wednesday, as the countdown to the December 2 constitutional referendum continues.

Addressing the crowd, Chavez said that the key objective of the reform, "is to give more power to the people." He pointed to a proposed change to Article 64, which would lower the voting age from 18 to 16, saying "This proposal will open participation to more than two million people; two million youths of 16 years of age will have the ability to vote."

He also said that to vote No' would holdback the process of change in Venezuela, known as the Bolivarian revolution, and emphasized that the reforms are necessary "to complement the work of transforming the country, to open paths to participation and social justice."

Speaking earlier the same day at a rally of thousands of supporters in Maturn, in the state of Monagas, Chavez said the opposition's plans to destabilize the country would fail because "Venezuela now is not the same as it was in 2002 . The people as well as the government remain alert in the face of destabilizing we won't be surprised like we were in 2002."

However at a press conference on Tuesday, Chavez warned of the potential consequences of a repeated coup attempt. "If they kill me, or if there is a coup d'tat, there will be a civil war here," he said.

Chavez stressed that Venezuela was the fifth largest exporter of crude oil in the world, and one of the largest suppliers to the United States. A coup d'tat "is the perfect plan" for US imperialism he continued. "To them it is not important if the Caribbean Sea is dyed red with Venezuelan blood, they want our oil."

Chavez also reiterated his call to all Venezuelans to participate in the referendum in order to defeat abstention.

"We must work very hard in the socialist battalions, the commands of the campaign, the militants in the revolutionary parties, the students, the campesinos, the workers, the women, the indigenous all of us must work to reduce abstention," he said.

Similar rallies have been held throughout the country, in Barquisimeto, in the state of Lara, and in Aragua, the home state of former Chavez ally, retired General Raul Isaias Baduel, whose declaration against the reforms last week sparked demonstrations by Chavez supporters outside the military barracks in Maracay calling Baduel a "traitor." More rallies are planned for the remaining weeks of the campaign.

Small but violent demonstrations against the reforms by opposition students from Venezuela's elite and private universities, who claim the reforms that will enable Chavez to stand for reelection, will lead to a "dictatorship," have also galvanized Chavez's support base, the poor majority, into action in favor of the reforms.

While opposition to Chavez and the reforms is predominantly centered in the wealthy areas, red graffiti saying "Si a la Reforma" - Yes to the reforms - can be seen everywhere, on houses, cars and buses, in the poor barrios of Caracas, home to an estimated five million people.

The socialist battalions of the new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), have also begun a door knocking campaign across the country, visiting all of the 5.7 million people who signed up to be members of the new party earlier this year and distributing information about the content of the reforms.

More than fifteen thousand university students wearing red shirts emblazoned with "Yes" also marched in Caracas on Wednesday in support of the reforms. The students also condemned violent acts by opposition students who attacked a group of Chavista students in the Central University of Venezuela last week, threatening to lynch them and holding them hostage for several hours inside the School of Social Work as they threw rocks and other objects and attempted to set fire to the building.

The students also distributed information about the reforms, which aim to democratize the universities by giving students and general staff and workers voting parity with academic staff in internal university elections, a move vehemently opposed by university authorities.

Gladis Gonzalez, a law student from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela said the reforms represent "a step towards participatory democracy...we are consolidating this revolutionary process."

Chavez assured yesterday that the majority of Venezuelans support the reforms and the results of a poll by Datanalisis published in the November 12 edition of El Universal indicates that the reforms will be approved by 55%.

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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. "violent acts by opposition students"?
Great article. K&R. So I got to this paragraph:

"More than fifteen thousand university students wearing red shirts emblazoned with "Yes" also marched in Caracas on Wednesday in support of the reforms. The students also condemned violent acts by opposition students who attacked a group of Chavista students in the Central University of Venezuela last week, threatening to lynch them and holding them hostage for several hours inside the School of Social Work as they threw rocks and other objects and attempted to set fire to the building."

and I had a moment of cognative dissonance. I could have sworn that the Bullshit Media System reported extensively on brave anti-Chavez university students being ruthlessly attacked by mysterious thugs on motorcycles, but that nothing at all was mentioned about large pro-Chavez demonstrations by university students, nor anything about pro-Savez students being attacked by anti-Chavez students. So I googled this, and landed here:

"An analysis of 10 major U.S. media outlets shows very consistent reporting of the story (links below). Seven of the 10 reprinted the same AP story. Only the Washington Post, however briefly, brings to light that there are even two different sides. Most media outlets reported that following peaceful protests in downtown Caracas, masked Chavista-gunman attacked anti-government supporters on the campus of the Central University of Venezuela (UCV). Photos of the masked gunman have accompanied most of these articles lending themselves as powerful images of violence against peaceful protestors.

The Miami Herald reported Photographers for The Associated Press saw at least four gunmen - their faces covered by ski masks or T-shirts - firing handguns at the anti- Chvez crowd at the UCV. Terrified students ran through the campus as ambulances arrived. The New York Times on Nov. 7th led with the following, Masked gunmen shot into a group of students on Wednesday at this countrys most prestigious university. The students were returning from a march here protesting changes to the Constitution proposed by President Hugo Chvez that could allow him to remain in power indefinitely. The following day, the Times printed a quote from one of the student leaders likening their tactics to those of Gandhi.

Unfortunately, these reports have left out an important chunk of the story. After last Wednesdays peaceful protest, many students headed back to UCV campus. Here is where things get complicated. According to Chvez supporters, eyewitnesses, and videotape recorded by the community TV station, Catia TV, opposition students, mainly from neighboring privates Universities, chased down a group of pro- Chvez students putting up signs in favor of the reform. The pro-Chavez group found refuge in the faculty of Social Work, which is known to be a Chvez friendly zone, and where it was also reported that another group of pro-Chavez students were meeting. The opposition students surrounded the faculty, armed with weapons, rocks, and gas masks shouting, We will lynch you all. According to reports, opposition students fired weapons, threw rocks at the students inside the building, and lit fire to the entrance. Chvez supporters present that day affirm that the motorcyclists televised to the world as sinister gunmen, arrived on the scene as part of a rescue mission to help their companions trapped inside the building by the rabid opposition outside. They argue that this was necessary because the Venezuelan army or police force are, by law, not allowed to enter the grounds of the University. To this day, the entire truth is not known about the events at the UCV last Wednesday, but the inability of the international press to report an unbiased account calls into question their journalist integrity. The consequences of this could lead to further violence in Venezuela."

It couldn't possibly be that the same Bullshit Media System that shamelessly pushes the neocon/neolib agenda here at home, the same False Noise machine that we watched with horror as it gleefully helped dragged us into a criminal invasion and occupation of Iraq, the same Corporate Kleptocracy controlled media that has aided and abetted election fraud and abjectly one-sided political coverage and commentary, would deliberately lie to us about events in Venezuela, at the heart of the resurgent Democratic Socialist movement in Latin America?

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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 01:29 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Isn't it sad? If the truth ever catches up with the lies, it is ALWAYS well after the disinformation
campaign. That's they way it has happened with so much news we've gotten from Latin America.

It's all in the hands of a very few, right-wing sources, and they're not close to sharing the truth with the public!

I'd like to repeat some very helpful information:
~snip~The Media

Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.

The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, todays publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Posts ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)

MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIAs testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who's Who of journalism:
  • Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
  • William Paley (President, CBS)
  • Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
  • Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
  • Jerry O'Leary (Washington Star)
  • Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
  • Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
  • James Copley (Copley News Services)
  • Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
  • C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
  • Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
  • ABC
  • NBC
  • Associated Press
  • United Press International
  • Reuters
  • Hearst Newspapers
  • Scripps-Howard
  • Newsweek magazine
  • Mutual Broadcasting System
  • Miami Herald
  • Old Saturday Evening Post
  • New York Herald-Tribune

....And don't forget Richard Nixon spent millions and millions of U.S. taxpayers' dollars outfitting and supporting Chile's most important newspaper, El Mercurio, and its owner, Augustin Edward's radio and tv stations which spit out anti-Allende news 24/7 from before Salvador Allende's election, throughout the destabilization of his Presidency, through the violent coup, and far into the Presidency of the U.S. supported tyrant, Augusto Pinochet, creating and molding public opinion to favor the views preferred by the U.S. right-wing President.

Augustin Edwards and his son are still both very active in right-wing "journalism" throughout the Americas to this day.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-17-07 09:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. In one story last week, I caught the Authorized Propaganda
counting both pro- and con- students demonstrators as opposition protesters. It was plain as day if you knew how to look (the pro Chavez kids so far have always had much bigger crowds) but not if you didn't. If you didn't know to look for the counter protest, what you got from the article was that a significant number of students were all marching to defend their constitution.

In that case, the AP did report on the students in support - by lumping them in with the opposition. The problem is, the Reuters slide show told a very different story. All the shots were very tight on the opposition protesters except one which clearly showed a very large crowd of pro-government students holding a huge flag. The Reuters slide show also showed opposition students setting fire and destroying property and going after police positions, not the other way around.


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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 03:54 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. It's hard to believe that's by accident, by now. They'll do anything, and if they get caught at it,
they'll issue corrections as late as possible, and in an inconspicuous way, and the intellectually sluggish only remember the misrepresentations, along with all the heat and hostility, while they continue to nurse grudges, and harbor rage over bogus situations!
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-18-07 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Maybe that's it. We have an Accident Prone Media!

No, it's no accident but that's how BushCo would frame it with their Orwellian flair.

For example, why do so many people know who Hugo Chavez is (and what a "bad" guy he is) and why don't they know the name of the leader in El Salvador? :)
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