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AP falsely accuses Chavez of seeking almost indefinite power

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posted on May, 9 2006 @ 08:18 PM
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A short while ago, an AP story provoked this thread:

Originally posted by DigitalGrl

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 opposition candidate.

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.




posted on May, 29 2006 @ 08:27 PM
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There has been a dedicated and persistent media campaign to demonize Chavez. No doubt Evo Morales will be next. They'll tout him as a drug lord, since he wants to legalize the indigenous poor's only cash crop. Coca is used in all types of medicines but the North American public doesn't think of the dentist when they hear coc aine, they think of prom night. It will be a simple knee-jerk reflex.

The real reason they don't want it legalized is the big business and the banks who are all growing rich on the trade will be exposed. Not to mention big brother.

Chavez considers himself a soldier of Christ - only unlike Bush, God's not on his side, he's on God's side.





 
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