Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Everybody Loves Hugo 

Ignored in Media Matters' coverage of Batshit Pat's denial that he'd ever advocated assassinating Hugo Chavez, was the claim in the same interview by Thor Halvorssen, former Venezuelan ambassador, that Chavez had "attempted to assassinate" President Carlos Andrés Pérez" in 1992. Googling "Chavez assassinate Perez" turned up nothing to substantiate Halvorssen's apparent lie (Chavez did lead a failed coup attempt), but it did turn up this interesting pronouncement from Halvorssen's former boss:

Violence Needed Against Chavez, Venezuela Opposition Leader Says. Dictatorship Must Follow

Caracas, Venezuela. July 28, 2004 - Venezuelan opposition leader, and two time president Carlos Andres Perez, made a series of statements calling for violence and hinting at an eventual dictatorial period that the Venezuelan opposition must implement if current President Hugo Chavez is to be removed from office.

"I am working to remove Chavez [from power]. Violence will allow us to remove him. That's the only way we have," said Perez in an interview published Sunday in El Nacional, one of Venezuela's main daily newspapers.

Perez, who was speaking from Miami, denied being involved in a plot to assassinate Chávez, but said Chavez "must die like a dog, because he deserves it.
"We can't just get rid of Chavez and immediately have a democracy... we will need a transition period of two or three years to lay the foundations for a state where the rule of law prevails… a collegiate body (junta) must govern during that transition and lay the democratic foundations for the future," Perez said.

"When Chavez falls, we must shut down the National Assembly (Congress) and also the Supreme Court. All the Chavista institutions must disappear," the opposition leader added.
(via Venezuelan Analysis)

More here. Perez, we will recall, was the darling of neoliberals who wound up being impeached for rampant corruption, paving the way for Chavez's later electoral landslide. Twelve years later he's calling from US soil for the assassination of his elected successor and the reimposition of dictatorship, while an almost certainly US-backed effort to unseat him is underway in Venezuela, all without raising an eyebrow here, diplomatically or otherwise.

Chavez claims that the US wants him dead, and he's dismissed as a nut. As William Burroughs said, a paranoid is someone in possession of all the facts.

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