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<nettime> Strange Days in Caracas [4x]

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   <nettime> Chavez is in (again)                                                  
     "MULLE" <MULLE@FRONTNET.ORG>                                                    

   Hot Off the E-Presses: Chavez is Back                                           
     Alan Keenan <>                                           

   Re: [undercurrents] general strike in Venezuela - call for  resignation of  Pres
     martha rosler <>                                             

   Philip K. Dick in Caracas                                                       
     Ricardo Bello <>                                                 


Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 16:45:09 +0200
Subject: <nettime> Chavez is in (again)

"CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- President Hugo Chavez has reclaimed power in
Venezuela, just two days after being forced from office."

strange days in Venezuela...


Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 20:14:49 +0500
From: Alan Keenan <>
Subject: Hot Off the E-Presses: Chavez is Back

Below find a fairly evenhanded report on a remarkable change in fortune.
Perhaps politics is still alive in Venezuela after all?  If only "the
people" had been so alive, and lucky, in the US 18 months ago!


                  Chavez reclaims Venezuelan

                  Associated Press

                  14 April 2002

Hugo Chavez was freed by his military captors and returned to reclaim the
Venezuelan presidency today, greeting a cheering throng of supporters as
he stepped out of a helicopter, smiled and raised a fist in triumph.

Hundreds of people outside the palace in Caracas and thousands in the
street beyond began singing the Venezuelan national anthem.

Chavez arrived at the Miraflores presidential palace shortly after 3 a.m.
in a dramatic restoration of power following the resignation of Pedro
Carmona, who stepped down amid violent protests after just one day in
office as interim president.

Chavez's vice president, Diosdado Cabello, had declared himself acting
president until Chavez's return from military custody.

Chavez's family, supporters and former government officials insisted he
never resigned as president, as Carmona and Venezuela's high command have

"Today we are celebrating a new democracy," said one man who took a
microphone to greet Chavez.

The Organization of American States was sending a delegation to Venezuela
to assess the situation. The OAS General Assembly planned to meet this
week on the crisis. Chavez is a former army paratrooper who led a failed
1992 coup but was elected in 1998 on an anti-poverty platform. His term
was to end in 2006.

Chavez's attorney general, Isaias Rodriguez, told Carmona's ministers they
were under arrest pending possible charges.

"They must take responsibility. They will be put on trial with all their
rights, but they will be put on trial," Cabello said. Some military
officials also would be tried for military rebellion, he added.

Tens of thousands of people surrounded the presidential palace Sunday
after news of Carmona's resignation. They set off powerful fireworks,
awaiting Chavez's return from military custody.

"Chavez is coming! Chavez is coming!" said Dario Fereira, an unemployed
man wearing a tattered shirt. "The people want him back. He works for the

Chavez administration officials ? many of whom had evaded dozens of police
raids under Carmona's brief reign ? and loyalist military officers hugged
each other in the palace's marble-floored courtyard.

"In these past two days they have persecuted us," said Rafael Ramirez,
president of the state-run national gasoline company.

Unshaved and with red-rimmed eyes, Ramirez said he had hidden in friend's
homes after Chavez's arrest on Friday. Asked about the turnaround, Ramirez
said: "It's marvelous because the Venezuelan people responded to this
illegal coup attempt."

Chavez was kept on Orchila Island off the Venezuelan coast before his
return Sunday, his labor minister, Maria Cristina Iglesias, said.

Carmona, a businessman and co-leader of a general strike called last week
that eventually led to Chavez's ouster, was named president by the
military high command Friday, hours after generals arrested Chavez for
allegedly ordering gunmen to fire on a 150,000-strong opposition protest
on Thursday. Sixteen died and hundreds were wounded in the melee.

Dozens more died in rioting and looting yesterday. 

Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena said at least nine people were killed and 40
wounded Saturday. But an Associated Press reporter witnessed dozens of
bodies at city hospitals.

"We have every right to protest, but they are gunning us down out there,"
said Edgar Paredes, his clothes soaked in blood as he brought his wounded
brother to a hospital. He didn't know who shot Luis, and probably never
will. Like most violent demonstrations here, gunfire can erupt from any
side, at any time.

Demonstrators supporting Chavez ? or opposed to the way he was ousted ?
forced Carmona to step down. The commander of a strategic air base in the
central city of Maracay rebelled Saturday, setting in motion nationwide
protests demanding Chavez's return.

Thousands took to the streets, taking over state TV, to demand that Chavez
be reinstalled. Signaling a split in the armed forces, several military
commanders refused to accept Carmona's appointment.

Some Latin American leaders denounced Friday's irregular transition of
power. The United States said Chavez was responsible for his own ouster
because of attempts to violently suppress Thursday's demonstration.

The march capped a general strike called to support oil executives who
were protesting a Chavez-appointed board of directors at the state oil
monopoly Petroleos de Venezuela.

A work slowdown by the executives severely cut production and exports in
Venezuela, the No. 3 oil supplier to the United States.

At the palace, supporters displayed a huge poster of Chavez lit by
floodlights. A military brass band stood at the ready. Red-bereted
soldiers with automatic rifles paced through the hallways; others pumped
their fists and egged on the crowd.

"Chavistas" seized the state-run TV station late Saturday. Even as gunfire
rattled downtown streets, pro-Chavez lawmaker Juan Barreto praised the
"peaceful insurrection" that called for Chavez's return.

Carmona also lost the support of the 1 million-member Venezuelan Workers
Confederation, which co-led last week's general strike, after Carmona
decide to dissolve Congress, said confederation director Jesus Urbietta.

Jesse Chacon, president of Venezuela's telecommunications agency, said TV
stations' conduct last week will be investigated. Chacon condemned
stations that failed to cover protests against Chavez's ouster and said
they falsely depicted a calm Venezuela to help the new regime.

At least 20 disturbances were reported in Caracas yesterday. Unrest also
was reported in the cities of Maracay, Guarenas, Los Teques and Coro.
Police fought pitched battles with Chavez supporters in the western
Caracas slum of Catia, a Chavez stronghold.


Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2002 17:26:49 -0400
From: martha rosler <>
Subject: Re: [undercurrents] general strike in Venezuela - call for  resignation of  Pres

I've removed the commenting sender's name because i feel uncomfortable
about forwarding it without permission.

>>Thanks for posting this. The situation in Venezuela worries a lot of us.
>>Chavez's relationship with Castro has always been criticized, but I think
>>that the man wants to have a country with its own economic independence. I
>>do not like his personality. Something with his military attitude bothers
>>me. What is interesting is that according to some Venezuelans, the poor and
>>most of the working class are behind Chavez and that the midle class is the
>>one creating the confrontation.
>>>Date: Thu, 11 Apr 2002 10:38:21 EDT>
>>Carlos Zerpa
>>>Hoy es el tercer dŐa de žhuelga generalÓ que vive Venezuela,
>>>todos los centros comerciales est∑n cerrados, las panaderŐas, las
>>>industrias, los colegios y supermercados todo esta cerrado, no hay
>>>no hay alimentos, dentro de poco se anuncia que ser∑ cortado el gas, el
>>>y quiz∑s la electricidad.
>>>La ConfederaciŘn de Trabajadores de Venezuela (CTV) anunciŘ la decisiŘn de
>>>extender de forma indefinida el paro general que hoy cumple su tercera
>>>jornada, hasta que el Ejecutivo atienda las demandas presentadas por la
>>>central obrera, de la industria petrolera y de la sociedad civil.
>>>Se habla de decretar un estado de excepciŘn, de la suspensiŘn general de
>>>garantŐas y hasta de un žtoque de quedaÓ.
>>>El presidente Ch∑vez, esta desencajado, furibundo y autoritario como nunca,
>>>esta votando de sus puestos a los empleados y directivos que el tilda de
>>>žtraidoresÓ, esta alentando a los grupos que lo apoyan a que
>>>agredan a los žtraidores burguesesÓ o como el nos llama
>>>žlos escu∑lidosÓ, hay bandas armadas hasta los dientes, en las
>>>calles agrediendo a los manifestantes que est∑n en contra del gobierno, la
>>>policŐa y la guardia es žlanzadaÓ contra los manifestantes que
>>>ya suman millones. El presidente de Fedec∑maras advirtiŘ que cualquier
>>>medida que pueda adoptarse en la represiŘn a manifestaciones que se
>>>en las calles del paŐs, tendr∑ como resultado la ''invocaciŘn en t»rminos
>>>constitucionales de rebeldŐa o desobediencia civil'', hoy hay una marcha
>>>gigantesca, banderas, cacerolazos y una sola consigna žni un paso
>>>atr∑sÓ en verdad lo que queremos es que se termine esta pesadilla y
>>>que el presidente Ch∑vez y sus hordas se vayan, queremos vivir en
>>>N»stor Gonz∑lez Gonz∑lez, General de brigada del Ej»rcito, se manifestŘ
>>>pôblicamente, en contra del gobierno y acusŘ hoy al jefe de Estado de
>>>''sobre la presencia de campamentos guerrilleros'' colombianos en
>>>porque el tiene pruebas, de que SI los hay en Venezuela; este General, es
>>>quinto militar de alto grado que se opone pôblicamente a la
>>>žCubanizacionÓ de Venezuela÷ žNI UN PASO ATR°S;


Date: Sun, 14 Apr 2002 01:18:31 -0400
From: Ricardo Bello <>
Subject: Philip K. Dick in Caracas

I went to sleep for a few hours, waked up at 1 a.m., got out of bed,
turned on the TV and.... the national strike that paralyzed the whole
country for three days didn=B4t exist (the first time that employees and
workers, perhaps in Latin America, decided together, hand in hand, a
strike that stopped in its tracks a whole nation). A peaceful march of
over half a million people that turned into blooshed and forced military
top brass to demand and get President Chavez resignation, didn=B4t exist,
was not recorded, did not happen. I=B4m living in a world described by
Philip K. Dick. Anyone wants a proof that the author of The Man in the
High Castle was the most visionary, lucid and intelligent American author
of the 20th century?, just turn on the TV and watch CNN. It turns out
there were executions today and all sort of excess against chavistas by
the hand of the same generals that outs Chavez just yesterday. But tonight
they are defending him. I will try to sleep again, and tomorrow I will get
out of bed, turn on the TV and...


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