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Venezuela: Is the 2002 history repeating itself?

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Caracas, April 11, 2012 (Telesur, Prensa Latina) - Ten years after the failed coup d'état which the Venezuelan business leaders, backed by theUnited States, perpetrated against President Hugo Chavez, similar threats loom over the stability of this South American country.

On a day like today, 2002, representatives of the most conservative sectors of the oligarchy, supported by some senior army officers, kidnapped the constitutional president ofVenezuelaand took power in the culmination of an intense destabilizing campaign waged months earlier.

Fierce persecutions against ministers and leaders of the Government and also against supporters of Chavez broke out immediately, while the then President of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce ofVenezuela(Fedecámaras), Pedro Carmona, took over the presidency.

In addition to minor economic interests of the conservative sectors affected by laws passed by the government, the promoters of the coup were essentially motivated by the interest of regaining control over the oil company Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA), nationalized by Chavez.

But the riot was short-lived, as when they learned of the kidnapping of the president, the Venezuelan people, and especially the people ofCaracas, performed a real rebellion which routed the coup and which on April 13 won the liberation of the President and his triumphant return to thePalaceofMiraflores.

A decade later, perhaps with some formal variability, the threat of recurrence of these events is present inVenezuela, as the opponents face the certainty that the return to the power through elections is almost impossible.

The vast majority of surveys conducted since last year’s midterm predicted an overwhelming victory of Chavez against the opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles, in the presidential election on October 7, 2012.

A commentary published yesterday in the capital´s Diario Vea suggests that the same operation of assault on the State carried out by the oligarchy in April 2002, is currently in progress, with a different format and in two levels in order to get to the achievement of their goal.

  • The first one, the legal level, participates in the election event, thus casts a smokescreen.
  • The second one elaborates the military environment and prepares a large force of police controlled by mayors and governors of the opposition, claims the commentary.

All that, the commentary continues, accompanied by the backdrop of a destabilizing campaign based on planting doubts about the results of the elections, the questioning of the National Electoral Council, the presentation of the Chavez’ government as a dictatorship and by the hunt for foreign support.

Yesterday, referring to the issue during a press conference, Jorge Rodriguez, Head of the Command for Chavez’ Re-election Campaign, stressed that "the Venezuelan right wing currently operates a destabilizing agenda that seeks to generate fear in the community."

Meanwhile, in the statements made in thePalaceofMiraflores, last Saturday, the President talked about the events of 2002 and said that on that day, April 13, 2002 "a great civic-military uprising against the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie took place".

The President stressed that the country is now better prepared to deal with challenges imposed by the right wing that wants to eliminate the stability ofVenezuela.

Activities in public places, talks, forums, workshops, exhibitions, film festivals, concerts and rallies, among others, will mark this week´s working days inVenezuela.

On Wednesday, on all public squares of Bolivar throughout the country, will be organized vigils and prayers in memory of the fallen victims of April 2002 and the date will be declared a National Memorial Day of the Victims in the Struggle for Independence and National Sovereignty.

On Wednesday, April 11, a tribute to President Hugo Chavez will be organized as a part of the event Every 11th has its 13th. The people tell their story, a historical memory of the Revolution in April of 2002" at the theatre Teresa Carreño,Caracas.

Furthermore, on Wednesday, tele-SUR will transmit the report Inside the Coup, a journalistic report on the coup d'état, at 21:00hrs fromCaracas, along with the creation of a web forum with the Venezuelan political philosopher Miguel Perez Pirela, to discuss the political consequences of the April 2002.

A variety of simultaneous activities will be held out throughout Venezuela, in order to commemorate the historic day. Beisdes, on April 13, 2012, a large rally will be organized in theUrdaneta Avenuein the downtown of Caracas, near the Presidential Palace of Miraflores, in commemoration of the so called "Rescue of National Dignity".

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