Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Changing the Balance of Power

Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner has won the Argentine presidency with 44.5% of the vote and almost double the amount of her closet opponent. The 54-year old senator was a shoe-in for the presidency and has now become Argentina's first woman president elected by the voters. The second place candidate who won 23% of the vote, was also a woman: Elisa Carrio, a former lawmaker and conservative. Cristina is a close ally of Venezuela and President Hugo Chavez and will likely continue to strengthen relations between the two nations. Argentina has been one of Venezuela's best friends in the process of Latin America integration and cooperation, and has leaned on Venezuela to help lessen its own dependency on the United States and its international financial institution, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Cristina will likely accompany her husband, current President Nestor Kirchner, on a visit to Caracas next week for the signing of the agreement to formalize the creation of the Banco del Sur (Bank of the South), an initiative proposed by President Chavez and widely lauded throughout Latin America as an alternative to the exploitative loan policies of the USA, World Bank and IMF. Heads of state from Bolivia, Ecuador, Brasil and Colombia will probably attend the event on November 3rd in Venezuela as well. Cristina will be sworn in as the President of Argentina on December 10th of this year.

Could this be a sign that finally power is shifting into more feminine hands? Last year Chileans elected Michelle Bachelet as the first woman president in that South American nation. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected last year as the first president of an African nation, Liberia. Other countries, like the Philippines have head women presidents on several occasions (current president Gloria Arroyo, previously Corazon Aquino in the late 1980s), and Nicaragua, Panama, Sri Lanka, Germany, Ireland, Finland, Guyana, Latvia and Iceland have also all had women presidents during the past several decades. Ecuador's new president, Rafael Correa, has named women to some of the most important cabinet positions, such as security and defense, and women foreign ministers are now a common sight for most nations. Is the US next?

(I'm not expressing support here for Hillary Clinton, particularly because her key strategist, Mark Penn, is one of the owners of Penn, Schoen & Berland, the polling firm that worked with opposition group Súmate to try and fraudulently contaiminate and/or discredit the recall referendum against President Chavez, and she has met with opposition leaders from Venezuela and endorsed anti-Chavez resolutions in Congress. But, whether or not the US will finally elect a woman president is a very important consideration).

On the note of changing power balances, we are almost ready here in Venezuela to kick off the campaign for the referendum on constitutional reform that will be held this coming December 2nd. The National Assembly is (supposedly) debating today the final articles that will be reformed, and then the entire package will be sent on to the National Elections Council for review and then made public so the campaign can start. In any case, both sides long ago began campaigning for and against the reform. Opposition marches led by student groups trained by the Serbian group OTPOR started up again last week and got violent, though only minor incidents were reported. The pro-reform folks are calling for a major march in Caracas with President Chavez on Sunday, November 4th.

Right now, it's still not 100% clear as to what all the proposed reforms will include. Some major changes include reducing the voting age to 16 and recognizing the rights and traditions of afro-venezuelans, as well as a ban on all discrimination for reasons of gender and sexuality. Venezuela may very well soon have the first constitution in the world that recognizes the rights of homosexuals and transgendered peoples.

The new US Ambassador here in Caracas, Patrick Duddy, was received personally by President Chavez last night in Miraflores Palace, in a ceremony to recognize and accept his "credentials" as the diplomatic representative of the US in Venezuela. Duddy was previously the Assistant sub-secretary of State for South America and the Caribbean, and has held prior posts in La Paz, Bolivia, Sao Paulo, Brasil and other locations in the hemisphere. He holds a Master's Degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College in the US and appears to be an expert in economic sabotage and subversion strategies. From Charles Shapiro to William Brownfield, each time a new US ambassador comes on board in Venezuela, the situation between the two nations only deteriorates. We will be on the look-out for what Duddy has in mind....


tribalecho said...

Hi Eva. Enjoying your blog and interview with Chomsky. Especially the evolving culture part. His RCTV answer and other points, not so much. Can you imagine the press in US if he's arrested the leaders at the station as he probably should have?

I've been trying to find out about Miranda State coastal towns but not having much luck. I read at escapeartist.com that the airport near there is being renovated and a highway to Caracus(?) built.

In the past I've googled a lot looking for info on arts and crafts of VE and also about visiting Caracus. No luck on arts and crafts though Ecuador has a site. A lot of internet chat casts Caracus in very bad light but they do that to New Orleans too, yet in nine years at Jazz Heritage Festival I had great experiences, so it's hard to know. Do you think it's cool for a 57 yr old woman who speaks almost no Spanish to travel alone in Caracus, etc? Do you know any sites that give detailed info on places in VE? Not interest to much in touristy stuff. Just wanna see what it's like to be in VE. I'm rather surprised that VE has not done more marketing in US. And think of the people it would annoy!

greetings from Atlanta GA, where even the rightist Republicans are now talking about water conservation.

brian said...

Just because women are mnaking their way to the top, does not mean we will see fairer politics...consider such shining beacons of female power as Margaret Thatcher and Madeleine Albright.

brian said...

Eva, are u aware of this latest development:

By Arturo Rosales in Valencia and Ramon Santiago in Maracay. Axis of Logic Exclusive!
Nov 10, 2007, 16:40

Editor’s Note: My two correspondents in Venezuela provided me with the following report based upon their meetings with government officials earlier today. -LMB



14 deputies are expected to go to the opposition side in the National Assembly between now and the December 2nd National Referendum to approve the constitutional reforms.


After ex-General and former Defemse Minister, Raul Baduel came out against the constitutional reforms earlier this week, the Attorney General, Isaias Rodriguez and Comptroller General of the Republic, Cloudosbaldo Russian are expected to publicly pronounce their opposition to the Constitutional Reform proposals. Such traitorous actions will weaken the cohesive authority of the State and hence Central Government.


Raul Isaias Baduel, former Four Star General and Minister of Defense shocked the population when he came out against constitutional reforms last Monday, November 5, and is now working hand-in-glove with Podemos (political party now firmly in the opposition camp). Baduel has now joined forces with Ismael Garcia (General Secretary of Podemos) who consistently opposed the constitutional reforms alleging that they would constitute a single political line of thought in Venezuela. His position clashes with the pluralistic, democratic Articles 1 and 2 of the 1999 Constitution, so prized by the people. Plans have already been laid to launch candidates for mayors and governors in the 2008 local elections. This would be the new opposition to Chavez were it to succeed.

The 4th Armed Division in Maracay, formerly under of the command of Baduel is said to be loyal to him. Moreover, the current minister of Defense, Gustavo Briceno Rangel has been a close personal friend of Baduel for 30 years just as Baduel has been a close personal friend of President Chavez for the same number of years. In a seminar with oil workers in 2003, Baduel stated that he had been offered $1 billion to instrument the overthrow of Chavez and he stated that he turned it down out of loyalty to the Bolivarian project. Is this now about money or power? Earlier this week, in a public broadcast on VTV, Chavez stated, “Baduel is a traidor not only to Chavez – but to the people of Venezuela”. In massive marches supporting Chavez this week, signs appeared everywhere declaring “Baduel – Traidor a la Revolucion!”

Baduel took an oath with President Chavez on December 17, 1982 in Maracay to create a Bolivarian Republic and overthrow the corrupt oligarch system which kept 80 % of Venezuelans in poverty for 40 years. Baduel also stood by Chavez and saved the day during the 2002 coup attempt. This is the first hard evidence that the US-backed opposition may have penetrated the existing standing Army after the 2003 non-violent purge of the Venezuelan Armed Forces by former Defense Minister, Humberto Prieto. How did they do it? We suggest money and the desire for power now that petroleum has almost reached $100-barrel.

Millions of dollars of US taxpayer money is being used through the auspices of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED-Washington) to buy the loyalty and consciences of all these men. In addition, a pronouncement by at least one high-ranking active military officer against the constitutional reform and against Chavez personally is expected in coming days.


This is all U.S.-planned and supported following the meeting in Prague when Paul Wolfowitz, Madeleine Albright and Venezuelan opposition leader, Humberto Celli from the discredited Democratic Action Party (AD) met earlier this month.


In addition to these dramatic findings, Carabobo State Governor Luis Felipe Acosta Carlez, one of the heroes in helping to break the opposition-inspired food shortages of economic sabotage of 2002-2003, has been bought off by NED funds in Washington and is expected to resign as governor after making a deal with rancid oligarchy in Valencia.

The Washington-spawned plan is also bent on blocking major routes to cut off distribution of food supplies in order to bring the population to its knees and with the hope they will demand Chavez’ resignation.


The plan also includes the use of Colombian paramilitary cells in Venezuela to arbitrarily kill innocent civilians and create chaos which they have been doing for the past month vis-à-vis the bourgeois student protests.

This plan involves another economic sabotage - the closing of factories to lock out workers - just as they did in the national managers’ strike in 2002-2003.


The private media (mainly Globovision) is up to its neck in this conspiracy against the legally and constitutionally-elected government. Reruns of Baduel’s speech and Ismael Garcia’s interventions in the National Assembly plus raising the profile of Israel Rodriguez are currently being shown over and over again. We are certain that this is a matter of laying the groundwork for an attempt to overthrow the government. This groundwork is being laid to give media credibility to these men. The opposition believes that the people in the barrios will abandon Chavez for a new government under the leadership of traidores like Baduel, Garcia and Rodriguez. Also, they hope that the people will be intimidated to believe “there is no other way”. This is directly out of the CIA handbook.

On a regional level, some who have claimed to be die-hard Chavez supporters have also been bought off to facilitate chaos on a local level and to disarticulate the influence of Central Government in cities and towns in all 24 Venezuelan States.


This information came from Arturo Rosales and Ramon Santiago directly from Venezuelan military intelligence. This information has been known for at least 3 weeks by the government. Proof: The same sources knew that Former Minister of Defense Raul Baduel would come out against the reforms before he made is speech on Monday, November 5. Therefore, while we are not making any hard predictions, our best intelligence indicates that some or all of the destabilizing actions described above will take place within the next few days or weeks.

Once again the opposition plans do not take into account the political awareness of the people (“el pueblo”). This was the major error of the opposition in the April, 2002 coup attempt and the economic oil sabotage of 2002-2003.

This week, Chavez held 3 pro-reform rallies trans-Venezuela before going to Chile, in Carabobo, Maracay and Charallave and hundreds of thousands of people poured into the street to see and support their beloved president. Chavez obviously knows about the opposition/Washington plan and these mega marches were designed to serve as a warning to the Venezuelan, undemocratic bourgeoisie.

There is a very real possibility that a “flash-point” will occur, in the midst of these actions or to launch this plan such as hasn’t been seen since the April 11, 2002 coup attempt, when President Chavez was kidnapped by the US-backed coupsters. In world history, there has been no humanistic Head of State comparable to him. Period!

The fact that Chavez is fully aware that this mega-conspiracy is not an objection to the constitutional reforms, but in reality, is another attempt to eliminate a democratically-elected Head of State. His awareness tells us that element of surprise has already been defused and his administration has plans in place to neutralize the actions of the US fascist opposition.


The former Chavez supporters, bought off with millions of dollars by NED do not realize the risks they are incurring. If these plans go forward, “el pueblo” may not respond as peacefully as they did in the 2002 coup-attempt when Chavez told them to go back to their homes and be calm. Caveat Emptor! (Let the buyer beware!).

Editor’s Note: In this breaking news article references are made to other articles in the featured section of www.axisoflogic.com