Venezuela’s Media Must “Assume Consequences” for Destabilization Says Chavez

In another marathon press conference on Thursday afternoon, President Hugo Chavez, declared that the Venezuelan electoral system is one of the safest in the world, and that any media attempting to destabilize the elections by carrying out fraudulent mid-day polls, should be prepared to “assume the consequences.”

Caracas, December 1, 2006 (— In another marathon press conference on Thursday afternoon at the Venezuelan Presidential Palace, Miraflores, President Hugo Chavez, declared that the Venezuelan electoral system is one of the safest in the world, and that any media attempting to destabilize the elections by carrying out fraudulent mid-day polls, should be prepared to “assume the consequences.”

The Venezuelan President covered scores of additional topics over the more than 3 hour meeting, including Venezuelan and world history, Simon Bolivar, achievements over the last eight years, popular power, democracy, constitutional reforms, corruption, the 2004 coup, opposition candidate Manuel Rosales, Ecuadorian President-elect Rafael Correa, south-south integration, imperialism, George W. Bush and the devil.

Chavez told a packed crowd of foreign and domestic journalists that his Bush-devil reference during his speech before the UN earlier this year was completely unplanned.

“It just came from my heart,” said the Venezuelan President, who acknowledged that some people criticized that it wasn’t the best tactical move. “And if it came from my heart, it’s because it’s true.”

Regarding the opposition’s pre-emptive claims that the elections will be fraudulent, Chavez stated, “There is no possibility of fraud. No one can commit fraud in these elections in Venezuela. We have a completely transparent type of system. You can audit it, you can observe it.”

Chavez said that Venezuela never had international observers or vote audits before.

“I would like to welcome the international observers,” he added.

Chavez reminded the press of the use of discreditable exit polls during the day of the 2004 referendum, to show that Chavez was losing the election (he was declared victory by almost 20%). The polls continue to be used by sectors of the opposition in an attempt to prove that fraud had occurred.

“If some media begins with their destabilization plan, any type of media… that at midday, if they begin to emit exit poll results. If they do it, it is because they are in the midst of a plan to destabilize the country, they must assume the consequences,” said Chavez.

Chavez additionally declared that some members of the opposition have been contacting the government to say that others are preparing not to accept the results of the referendum.

Speaking of destabilization attempts, Chavez also declared that they recently foiled an assassination plot against his main opposition opponent, Manuel Rosales.

“It was to say that Chávez sent them to kill him and generate chaos,” said Chavez, who did not give further details.

Speaking on democracy, Chavez stated that in the eight years, there have been 11 (including this Sunday) national elections, while over the 40-year “democratic” period before Chavez, there where only 15.

“There will be more and more democracy here, participatory democracy, and that’s why we are going to win this election,” said Chavez. “Those who don’t realize this, will have their reasons.”

Chavez said that the last eight years have been the first phase of the “revolution”, and that Venezuela has taken huge steps forward in education, health, and employment. He said that with this win, Venezuelan will enter into the next phase, which will continue until 2021.

Chavez criticized his opponent, Rosales, for his support for the April 2002 coup against him and his “super-populist projects.”

As part of the next phase, Chavez spoke on the importance of giving the power to the people and highlighted the recently formed Communal Councils as instrumental in this goal.

He also announced that once elected president, he is going to “appoint a Commission to start to study Constitutional reform.”

“I believe that since ‘99, it’s been seven years since we implemented our Bolivarian Constitution, and I believe that since this is a revolution, it’s a dynamic process, I believe it’s necessary to revise the constitution,” he said.

Chavez reminded the reporters that any change to the Constitution will have to go through a National Referendum and be approved by the Venezuelan people.

Speaking on international relations and south-south cooperation, Chavez announced that the next Latin American – African summit is going to be held in Caracas in 2008, and that Rafael Correa’s win last weekend in the Ecuadorian Presidential elections will help with the integration of South America. Chavez additionally stated that Correa has also already expressed interest in joining the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Chavez stated that if he losses Sunday’s elections, he will listen to the voice of the people and hand over power, however, he stated, “that’s impossible.”

“I am going to win the election, he who thinks contrary is really lost. And you can write that down,” said Chavez.

Chavez declared that part of the reason he is so confident is because of what he called the ticking “time-bomb”, which he stated the Bolivarian process has been able to deactivate. But, he said, if Venezuela where to roll back to neoliberal politics, the “time-bomb” would, he said, be reactivated.

Quoting the Bible, Chavez finished the conference, “Only when there is justice, there will be peace.”