Women Protest US Award to Venezuelan Coup Leader Gustavo Cisneros

Billionaire and media tycoon Gustavo Cisneros will be awarded by the Inter-American Economic Council, in spite of his involvement in anti-democratic activities in Venezuela. Henry Kissinger will present the award

Philadelphia, Jan 29 (Venezuelanalysis.com).- The U.S. based NGO Global Women’s Strike issued a press release today protesting an award expected to be given by the Inter-American Economic Council to Gustavo Cisneros, a Venezuelan billionaire identified by sources such as Newsweek, local Venezuelan publications and analysts as one of the protagonists and financiers of the April 11, 2002 coup d’etat against President Hugo Chavez.

Cisneros is also credited with being a driving force behind the December 2002 nationwide lock-out and sabotage of the oil industry, which instead of ousting President Chávez from his elected office, drove the Venezuelan economy into the ground by causing a historical drop of 27% in the country’s GDP in the first trimester of 2003.

Cisneros is the owner of AOL, Coca-Cola, DirecTV and Pizza Hut in Latin America, Univision in the US, and Venezuela’s biggest TV network Venevision.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, who according to declassified documents headed the CIA operation to overthrow Chilean democratically-elected President Salvador Allende in 1973, will be in charge of awarding fellow coup plotter Cisneros.

The Global Women’s Strike statement follows:

The Global Women’s Strike condemns the outrageous decision of the Inter-American Economic Council to honor Latin American media tycoon Gustavo Cisneros at its 2004 Winter Gala on Thirsday January 29h. It shows once more the total contempt of the US administration for people’s right to elect their own government. To recognize as a person who “has consistently sought to create an environment where business and government can work together in meaningful ways for the betterment of society, a man who has systematically used his corporate wealth and media monopoly to illegally and violently attempt to force from office the democratically-elected government of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, is particularly cynical. It is women in particular who elected and have overwhelmingly defended President Chavez, and women from the poorest areas who have most to gain from and have been most involved in the economic and social reforms Venezuela is undertaking to tackle poverty and corruption despite constant coup and assassination attempts from the likes of Cisneros.

The award is being given at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW January 29, 2004, beginning at 6:30pm.

Gustavo Cisneros’ record is one of working for the “betterment” of the white, racist elite of Venezuela against the interests of the vast majority of Venezuelans who are people of color, and who, in oil-rich Venezuela, were left mired in poverty after 40 years of rule by the Venezuelan elite:

He played a leading role in the bloody April 11, 2002 coup d’etat against the government of President Hugo Chavez – a coup planned and carried out with the support of the US administration. The coup was defeated within days by millions of grassroots people taking to the streets to demand the return of their elected President and constitution.

He was a leader in the Dec 2002-Feb 2003 nationwide big-corporations’ lock out aimed at forcing President Chávez from office, which brought more suffering to grassroots Venezuelans. Again, grassroots people, starting with the oil workers themselves worked overtime to save their valuable resource, and defeated the new attempt of overthrowing President Chavez.

He has used his media power in relentless campaigns of lies, disinformation, distortion and racist insults against President Chavez and his supporters. On the day of the coup he even used his television station, Venevision, as the meeting place for top coup supporters, reportedly including the dictator illegally installed as President, Pedro Carmona.

The Cisneros Group has been implicated in the December 2003 illegal shipment of US$2.5 million in cash seized aboard an American Airlines flight from Miami Florida to Caracas, no doubt intended to help finance another attempted coup against the Venezuelan people.

Gustavo Cisneros personally spoke with the U.S. State Department’s former Latin American Affairs Chief, Otto Reich and the U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela, Charles Shapiro (currently under fire for hosting a puppet show ridicule of President Chávez in his home in Caracas) on the day of the coup, an event reported in Newsweek Magazine (see Newsweek, April 29, 2002, p.10).

To add insult to injury, Henry Kissinger will be presenting this obscene award. Kissinger is himself a war criminal and a man reviled all over Latin America, the Caribbean and the world for leading the CIA overthrow of the democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. He justified the coup which led to the disappearances of thousands of people and the exile of hundreds of thousands with the infamous statement: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.” Kissinger is also responsible for similar US policies in Indonesia and Cyprus. He recently had to withdraw his appointment by President Bush to head a commission investigating 9/11 because his reputation was too unsavory to give any credibility to the findings. He cannot travel to many countries for fear of arrest. 

For further info: http://globalwomenstrike.net