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Emergency in Venezuela: Right-wing coup.

A right-wing coup d'etat has been carried out against left-wing president Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, at the behest of international oil interests and local oligarchs. Protests are needed to prevent bloody reprisals against Chavez supporters.
It appears that a right-wing military coup d'etat has ousted Hugo Chavez, the left-wing president of Venezuela. This happened after a violent confrontation between pro-and anti-Chavez protesters in front of the Presidential palace in Caracas yesterday. Our trusty bourgeois media are presenting this as a blow for democracy and against a budding dictator, but the facts are the exact opposite. Chavez was a legally elected president, now deposed by the armed forces. Further, the following items of information are NOT appearing in your newspaper or on your TV screen, and are vital for your understanding of the situation:
1. Eyewitness reports of the incidents at the presidential palace cast doubt on the version of events in our press. According to this info, the question of who fired first is not settled, because besides pro-Chavez National Guard forces guarding the palace, there were also city police under the control of the anti-Chavez mayor of Caracas involved in the shooting. The mayor had been openly calling for a coup against Chavez for weeks. Further, there were some shadowy "extreme" groups who seem to have been the snipers mentioned in news stories. Chavez says he gave no orders for anybody to open fire.
2. I am getting reports of widespread popular resistence to the coup in the streets of Caracas, with mounting pro-Chavez demonstrations.
3. A mob of about 500 people is besieging the Cuban embassy in Caracas. The Cuban government makes the accusation in GRANMA that this mob is being led by Cuban exiles from Miamil. There seems to be a real fear of violence being directed against the embassy and its personnel, and Cuba has asked for support from international organizations to prevent this from happening.
4. About a thousand Cuban doctors and other technical personnel are in Venezuela, and there is fear that they will also be subjected to violence.
The new president is the head of the country's largest business confederation, and has a cabinet partly composed of military officers. He has announced he is firing the Supreme Court and the Congress, which of course he has no shadow of a right to do. There is some indication that members of Chavez's cabinet have been arrested and beaten up. What set off the current crisis is the fact that Chavez tried to change the Board of Directors of the national petroleum industry. Touch big oil, and you get big trouble. Yet to be seen is how much direct or indirect involvement the United States government has in these developments.
This is an extremely serious situation, and in spite of the high priority of the Middle East crisis, also requires the serious attention and action of all progressive people.
 
 

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