posted on May, 9 2006 @ 08:18 PM
A short while ago, an AP story provoked this thread
Originally posted by
CARACAS, Venezuela - President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that Venezuelan voters should have the chance to decide whether he should govern the
country for the next 25 years.
This sounds like a very dangerous propostition to me. What do you guys think about this?
Here is the Full Story:
Yahoo News-Chavez seeking to rule until 2031
In the thread I expressed doubts that this was the case:
Originally posted by rich23
The US is trying so hard to spin against Chavez that I'm not sure I believe this. They already tried a coup attempt in 2002, which failed miserably
because people understand that Chavez doesn't want to sell Venezuela out to the US and wants a fair price for its oil. There followed a campaign of
disruption and disinformation, and now the US has sent a carrier group to carry out 'military exercises' in the Caribbean right on Venezuela's
doorstep. As usual, the US is desperate to get rid of anyone who won't just bend over for them. From the source above:
The Venezuelan Constitution allows a president to be re-elected only once in immediate succession. Chavez is eligible for re-election to another
six-year term in December, but if he wins he would not be able to run again in 2012.
Polls indicate Chavez is likely to win the Dec. 3 election, and international observers have signed off on recent votes as fair.
Four government opponents have announced plans to run against Chavez, although not all have agreed to participate in primaries to choose a single
Given the above, it's perhaps more likely that he would like to change the constitution so he can run again.
It seems as though I was right:
A little scrutiny of a recent Associated Press report about Venezuela provides a lesson in how the English-language press often gets the story
wrong. Take the first sentence: "President Hugo Chavez said Saturday that Venezuelan voters should have the chance to decide whether he should govern
the country for the next 25 years."
No, such a referendum would not be about "whether he should govern the country for the next 25 years." A referendum would be about whether Chavez
would be permitted to run every six years and --in the event that he were to continue winning elections-- serve multiple presidential terms. The AP
report's opening sentence makes it sound as if such a referendum would do away with elections in Venezuela, as if its intent would be to grant Chavez
a new 25-year term in office! The website of The Calgary Sun even titles the wire report "Chavez seeking 25-year term"!!
This is obviously an extremely poor piece of reporting. Chavez made it clear that, if the opposition committed to participating in the upcoming
presidential election, he would not convoke a referendum to end presidential term limits. He explained that the intent of his threat to convoke such a
referendum was not to perpetuate himself in power but rather to defend the Bolivarian Revolution.
Fortunately, Agence France Press (AFP) got the story right. The opening sentence of AFP's Spanish-language report reads, "Venezuelan president Hugo
Chavez claimed Saturday that, if the opposition decides not to run candidates in the December presidential election, he could decree a referendum to
permit his reelection for multiple terms until 2031."
You can find the entire article here
So what we have is just another piece of attempted demonisation of Chavez. He's just seeking to increase the number of times he can run for office.
As noted above, international observers have signed off on his election victories as 'free and fair' despite opposition claims of shenanigans.
Personally, I think they're more likely to have been above board than the last couple of US elections.
The question remains, how did this distortion get into AP, and subsequent publications such as the Calgary paper quoted in the article above?
Just a couple of reminders: Venezuela is sitting on one of the largest oil reserves outside the Middle East; and Chavez is doing things that US
governments hate - providing literacy programmes and food for his people, and kicking out US oil companies. These are the motives he's being branded
as 'a new Hitler' and his activities are being distorted and misrepresented in the US media.