Wednesday, 3 November 2010

How far from pluralism

Venezuela's shame

Last Sunday we got the usual Chávez ranting in the presidential Aló Presidente show. The president and 1992 coup monger announced the expropriation of yet another company, Venezuela's largest privately-owned steelmaker factory. The main stock holder of that company is the father of well-known opposition leader Corina Machado. The military caudillo then said he did not like the fact POLAR employees were protesting against his latest expropriations. Chávez said he does not want to expropriate POLAR "for now" but "no strike will overthrow [him]". "Don't challenge me, that is to challenge the people", he said. Chávez really thinks he is the people.

He then addressed POLAR's CEO, Lorenzo Mendoza: "You are going to end up losing it, Mendoza...don't mess with me, keep yourself to your things, your company and your family, which I respect a lot, but don't challenge me". He also recommended Mendoza to do as Cisneros, the biggest magnate in Venezuela. Capriles had decided to cooperate with the military caudillo, his Venevisión channel does not criticize the former coup monger anymore and now he is doing fine, very fine. "Follow Gustavo Cisnero's example...he decided not to mess up with me, he's intelligent...there it is, [his] Venevisión channel, it does not belong to the government, but it is there".

The caudillo also said that if the opposition were to win the 2012 elections, "they would try to expel anyone within the military forces that smells like Chávez". He declared: "if I were rich and I were living in Caracas' (posh) East, but I were not on the side of the opposition and I had a nice life from their point of view, I would keep Chávez or a revolutionary, because if those opposition bosses were to arrive to power, they would cause a broadside". Talking about revolution...just like the Ancien Regime, but more rapacious. In reality Chávez is not against the rich, but against the rich who oppose him. In reality he is not for the poor, but he will pretend to be for the poor who support him. A poor not supporting him would become another escuálido.

Europe's shame

The National Electoral Council, under Chávez's control, invited a group of left-winged politicians from abroad to be "independent observers of the process". The government is having a hard time finding EU politicians who are ready to do this, but they still can find some. One of them is Sfia Bouarfa, a politician from the Francophone Socialist Party of Belgium, PS. Ms Bouarfa has had trouble even within her party because of her extreme positions. You can take a look at her site, in French, here. There you can read what she had to say about Venezuela. She was "an international observer". She said the opposition -the opposition alone- tried not to respect the election rules. She did not get into much detail, but she definitely did not see the hundreds of state vehicles used to transport voters for Chávez, she did not see the way in which the military regime used state resources for propaganda purposes, she did not listen to Chávez's constant threats and she did not take a look at CNE's shameless and clearly illegal gerrymandering. Ms Bouarfa says the alternative parties "have as only programme to get rid of Chávez" and "stop the Bolivarian (sic) revolution" proposal but the ultraliberalism of Primero Justicia". Never mind I can show her several programmes that have more substance than the "wish list" the military regime finally presented as "plan for Venezuela" after 8 years in power.

Ms Bouarfa says "it is sad to see that certain parties claiming to be from the left like Podemos or MAS have joined the right or extreme right". I wonder what she is doing in the PS. Perhaps she should join the communist Worker's Party of Belgium. She should firstly find out what Podemos, MAS and even Causa R stand for. She also writes Chávez's party, the PSUV, got 95 representatives against 65 from the alternative forces. She does not say the PSUV got 48% and the alternative forces 51% of all votes. She finally complains about the "mainstream media" for criticizing the elections and Chávez. "They call themselves free and objectives. Each one will appreciate". Yes, Ms Bouarfa, everyone will appreciate.

Here I want to ask the French-speaking Socialist Party what their position is regarding the current situation of Venezuela and Ms Bouarfa's position.

You can ask them too, if you want. Please, write a polite letter to the PS and ask them what their position is:
Let's see what they say. Do they endorse Bouarfa's position? Do they think Chávez is automatically a democrat just by virtue of past elections and people should be quiet? Do they think he is not an authoritarian? Do they think he is not threatening with violence and civil war if he were to lose? Do they think he is not abusing of state resources to use as direct party propaganda?

Amnesty on Venezuela
Chávez: le peuple c'est moi

Should deputies or senates from the Belgian French-speaking Socialist Party support a regime like Chavismo? I am asking them and sending the question to the media as well.

PS in Brussels

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