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Venezuelan Opposition Deny Honduran Coup

Mérida, July 1st 2009 (Venezuelanalysis.com) - Venezuelan opposition press, radio and television have adopted a mixed approach towards the coup in Honduras, criticising President Hugo Chavez's involvement in trying to rectify it, defending the currently sworn in president, and justifying the reasons for the coup, whilst portraying the situation in Honduras as peaceful and ignoring the military repression. Chavez accused the opposition of wanting a similar coup in Venezuela, and also of attempting to divide the armed forces.

Last Sunday, Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was kidnapped and the government was shut down. Since then protests in response have been brutally repressed. The United Nations (UN), the Bolivarian Alliance of the Americas (ALBA) and the Organisation of American States (OAS) have all unanimously voted against the coup and to recognise Zelaya as president.

The Venezuelan daily El Nacional portrayed the events and kidnapping of President Zelaya as "legal" and as having the approval of the "public authorities".

CNN Spanish, broadcast on cable TV in Venezuela, split its screen yesterday while Zelaya was delivering his speech to the UN, to show on the other larger half, protests by Hondurans who support the coup. The show zoomed in on the various placards protesters were holding, many of them in English. It did not show the multiple anti-coup protests and repression of them occurring in the Honduran capital Tegucigalpa.  CNN categorised the coup as a "forced succession" and Zelaya as the "dismissed president".

The Venezuelan opposition television station Globovision also has not shown footage of anti-coup protests. Its commentators have argued that what took place was not a coup, and it has streamed text messages along the bottom of the screen, celebrating the events. It has been portraying the situation in Honduras as peaceful, the events as democratic, and referring to Roberto Micheletti, who swore himself in on Sunday, as "president".

One Globovision anchor, Fernando Garcia, said people in Honduras were worried by "the threats of Mr Chavez, in the sense that he's going to interfere in the country." Another, Leopoldo Castillo, classified Chavez's participation in the issue as "abandoning the country" and criticised the National Assembly for discussing the situation in Honduras. Further, anchor Antonio Sanchez said, "The big loser in Honduras is Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias, who wanted to impose Zelaya and didn't achieve it."

"What we are seeing is that Chavismo is starting to suffer forceful blows in Latin America," Sanchez said.

Legislator Dario Vivas said the opposition press was using "ambiguous discourse" when referring to the coup in Honduras only because of the international community's pronouncements against the coup.

"They are justifying the coup, trying to blame President Chavez, talking of interference... and not of the international presence and solidarity that has been shown towards the Honduran people and President Zelaya," Vivas said.

Other opposition members, such as the dean of politics at the University of Zulia, Diana Romero, have repeated the discourse used by the Honduran coup supporters. "The congress of the Republic of Honduras unanimously decided to remove its president from his position as they judged he had disrespected constitutional norms," Romero told the press.

The president of opposition party A New Time (UNT), Omar Barboza, referred to the coup leaders as the "current Honduran authorities" which he said "aren't going to be brought down" by the Organisation of American States (OAS) which recently unanimously rejected the coup.

Metropolitan District Mayor Antonio Ledezma also criticised Chavez's "interference," saying, "I ask that the Hondurans solve this problem." He had just returned from a trip to the United States where he was looking for opposition campaign financing.

Other Venezuelan opposition leaders, such as the mayor of Lecherias, Anzoategui state, have more carefully referred to the events in Honduras as "delicate", whilst the youth leader of the political party Democratic Action (AD), Angel Medina, said the events weren't a "traditional Latin American coup."

"It would seem that now Chavez has become the George Bush of Latin America, when... the [Venezuelan] government interferes in the internal affairs of Honduras," said Medina.

President Chavez said the opposition are endorsing the Honduran coup in order to re-write the coup that happened in Venezuela in April 2002. "The Venezuelan oligarchy here would like what is happening in Honduras to happen here again... in the same format," said Chavez at a military ceremony in Aragua state yesterday.

He said the opposition in Venezuela seek to destabilise the country anyway they can, including "assassination of the president, division of the Armed Forces, media warfare.... And they repeat it all so many times that some Venezuelans end up believing it."

"They have been obscenely and grotesquely applauding [the coup] openly on television, radio, and written press... It's amazing how political leaders here in Venezuela keep saying that in Honduras there's not a coup but a power vacuum," Chavez said.

During his speech at the ceremony Chavez compared the role of the military in Honduras, who he said have not stood by the "people who are in the streets protesting [the coup]" to the role of the military in Venezuela. He said Venezuelan soldiers are "the people armed" and that their role is to strengthen national unity and sovereignty and to contribute to creating "the great Latin American and Caribbean homeland... for us, homeland is [the continent of] America."

The Venezuelan president also accused opposition media of trying to divide the armed forces with their negative campaign about the process of transition to the Law of the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, which was passed in August last year.

Chavez said the media is trying to create the idea that there is discontent within the military over the law, but he said if someone isn't happy with the law they can leave the armed forces.

Published on Jul 1st 2009 at 10.54pm

Comments

Globovision

Globovision needs to be shut down by the Venezuelan government since they are not willing to obey the law.

WHAT???????????????

Obey the law?????????????

Ty, my suggestion to you is to look at the ONLY outlet for unbiased reporting in Venezuela. Globovision is actually quite boring to watch. They just keep complaining day after day of the laws being broken by the government. The issue has two points:

1) The Venezuelan government has broken law, after law, after law. Just look at the ELECTED MAYOR of Caracas. Chavez could not beat him, so he "invented" a government post above him, thus cutting off his power. If Obama EVER tried anything remotely similar, he would be out of office quicker that your attention span.

2) Globovision and the opposition are guilty. They have watched the complete dismantling of a once proud nation, and sat there doing absolutely NOTHING. If there ever was time for a coup in the americans, Venezuela is by far the one that needs it the most.

My friend, I suggest you read and study close, every nationalized company in Venezuela. Dont get reports from the "Right of Left" Study their volume, capacity, and effectiveness. You will then find the false reports put out daily to show phantom growth in a country now bordering on banana repiblic status. I know, I've lived here for years.

THERE WAS NO COUP!!!!

LOOK AT THE TIME LINE AND LEARN;

1) Zelaya was DENIED a referendum by the senate. This can be seen in press accounts all over the world.

DAYS LATER.....

2) Zelaya was DENIED a referendum by the Supreme Court.
Verifiable from world press reports.

DAYS LATER....

3) Zelaya ILEGALLY DEMANDS a general to distribute zoting info and boxes. Verifiable through world press reports.

Day later,

Zelaya ILEGALLY FIRES general for not following through on his demand that goes against the CONSTITUTION.

DAYS LATER...

Supreme Court reinstates general, and calls for Zelayas removal as president for braking the laws of the country. Where the military went wrong was in removing him from the country. Chavez is correct. Zelaya SHOULD GO BACK TO HONDURAS, and be jailed for what he did.

If you do not agree with historical fact, that is up to you. I would hope anyone reading this realize that Zelaya broke the law!!!
His removal was wrong, he should have been jailed, not sent away.
My solution is simple: he needs to think about life in a Honduran jail, or free to stand in line waiting for his daily rice and milk ration in Caracas.


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