Opinion and Analysis: Venezuelan Media
2002 Coup Victims Accuse Venevision Owner Gustavo Cisneros of Coup Participation
Miguel Mora, a 37 year old environmentalist, was present during the events on Llaguno Bridge in Caracas on 11 April 2002, and is accusing Venevision [television station] of being involved in the coup against President Hugo Chavez. Mora fired at a Metropolitan Police truck from Llaguno Bridge. The truck was on Baralt Avenue, a fact that was presumably manipulated by audiovisual press for their political advantage and to bring down the president.
“I hold the owner of Venevision, Gustavo Cisneros, and the head of the company Vinccler, Juan Francisco Clerico, responsible for everything that happened, personally and collectively, towards those who were on the Llaguno Bridge that day, some of whom lost their lives. Clerico, for being the financer of the coup,” Mora said.
Maybe Cisneros is known by most Venezuelans as a wealthy businessman, president of the organisation bearing his name, which includes telecommunications such as Venevision channel, as well as mass consumption products, but few people know about Clerico.
Juan Francisco Clerico is the heir of the empire of an Italian builder. He dedicated himself to the petroleum business, and his income was as big as it is unmentionable. The Vinccler company, said to be Canadian, but presided over by this Venezuelan, who is also owner and/or director of Petro Falcon, Petro Cumarebo, Microfin (responsible for Fondemi micro credits- Translator: Fondemi is the state owned micro credit development fund) as well as the stock company, Trasbanca. The first company recently received a loan from the World Bank for 36 million dollars.
In the past Vinccler also signed a contract with Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) for 300 million bolivares [Translator, in today’s Bolivar Fuerte] to construct two gas processing plants in Anzoategui state- one in San Joaquin and the other in Santa Rosa. However, ex-workers accuse the company of unjustly firing 2,258 workers and other supposed irregularities regarding worker finances, according to Aporrea.
Clerico is a friend and business partner of Rafael de Armas, part of the De Armas media bloc, as well as with Ruth Zuloaga, Francesco Nicoletto, and Lourdes Gonzalez, in Miami, Florida construction businesses, such as the Metro West Park company.
In April 2002, after the shots fired from Llaguno Bridge, Mora’s family was terrified. Their house was raided by the Technical Judicial Police, and his wife was taken to Carabobo Park as a prisoner. The woman suffered attacks and psychological torture by police. She spent two days locked up in a small dark room that they hammered against repeatedly in order to break her.
The woman didn’t know where Mora was. They wanted him to turn himself in for her. “On Venevision they broadcast a special 11 April program where they practically asked for our heads, they accused us of being murderers and my son saw that, which, as one would assume, gave him a psychological problem".
Mora reported that the negative effect of the Venevision video, in which he was firing but with images in the background that “condemned us,” (the pro-government protesters on the bridge) can’t be easily erased. He affirms that Gustavo Cisneros “put it all together, he created the script that was going to be carried out that day". Mora [condemned] Juan Francisco Clerico of Vinccler company, for "financing the coup”.
“Everyone in Venezuela should know that it was Venevision who constructed the coup. The camera people who recorded us were already in position, with an already defined plan. Venevision already knew they were going to stick up those first images, they even had a script,” Mora said.
He said that people without class consciousness could have doctored the images of 11 April, something explained in the documentary which has won international prizes, ‘Llaguno Bridge: Keys to a Massacre’, by film maker Angel Palacios.
Mora, referring to the journalists, directors, or camera people who supposedly participated in the event, said “it’s impossible to make a judgement on whether we should comply with what the boss says or not”.
He argues that those people on the Llaguno Bridge weren’t clear about Cisneros’ plan, but those who received the images to broadcast on Venevision were; “The journalists took part in that script and commented on a march that they couldn’t even see and said that we were firing”.
He indicated that he fired from Llaguno bridge with two clear objectives; the Metropolitan Police truck, and the Eden hotel, both located on Baralt Avenue, where the snipers were. Snipers who initially shot at the unarmed marchers who were going down Urdaneta Avenue, leaving many people dead, and which were used as a moral argument to try to remove democratically elected president Hugo Chavez from power.
Look at this part of the documentary by Pana Films, ‘Llaguna Bridge Keys to a Massacre’ [in Spanish] where it scientifically and objectively takes apart the lies spread by the private media in Venezuela on 11 April 2002. Among those lies is the supposed people with pistols shooting at the opposition march, and what stands out is that the media knew that that wasn’t true, and even so, they tried to trick the population. This shows that they participated in a coup. Why aren’t the owners of that media in prison?
Translation by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com
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