Sunday, March 29, 2015

In the language game of Anti-imperialism all conspiracies are one conspiracy

How many conspiracies has the Venezuelan government claimed to have revealed in the past 15 years? If every single claim made by each public official and public media outlet is counted, then dozens of conspiracies have been discovered every year.

However, one legitimate move in the language game of the conspiracy rhetoric played by the government is to claim that all conspiracies are part of a single Grand Imperial Conspiracy plot, which reveals itself in successive and often overlapping sub-plots.

Coup d’état attempts, magnicidios (attempts to kill the president or other government officials), economic, psychological, media, and cultural wars, are all part of a gigantic international plot with extended connections over long distances, and control over vast resources.

This unified conspiracy can be summarized as a grand plot by “The Empire”, usually meaning the United States government, controlled by the “industrial-military complex”. The rules of the language game allow for a wide variety of sub-conspiracies and conspirators to be moved and linked in complex plots, which may represent successive phases of the development of the main plot.

Local opposition leaders and critical persons and groups lose their independence and are turned into mere lackeys of foreigner and powerful puppet masters. In this language game only two legitimate moves are allowed for persons: either they unconditionally and loyally support the Leader in his struggle against the all-powerful imperial conspirator, or they become traitors in cahoots with a foreign power. No middle ground remains for a possible move and politics ceases to be the field of negotiation and agreement to become the polarized stage of a constant conflict for survival.

Far from an emancipatory language game, anti-imperialism becomes the tool for de-politicization and repression. Persons no longer have control over the discussion of their day-to-day problems and their possible solutions, and instead are asked to “temporarily” suspend their criticism of the authorities and the Revolution. The people or the government is not responsible for those problems and solutions; the Empire is the real and external source of all evils.

In the conflict played out by this rhetoric, extreme internal measures become necessary to protect the people from the external threat. Fifth columns have to be neutralized, internal discussion silenced, and politics suspended. All is to be left in the hands of the protecting Leader.

The language game of anti-imperialist hysteria is not played with the grammar of politics: it’s played under the rules of war. This is not the time for the squeamish, says the rule stablished by the Revolution, but the time for definitions.

(Read a good example of the “unified” conspiracy theory of imperialism in El conflict Estados Unidos-Venezuela y la VII Combre de las Americas by Carlos Fazio, published by the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Maduro will ask Obama to hand over Miami conspirators

During the Summit of the Americas to be held next month in Panama, Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro will ask U.S. president Barack Obama to hand over to Venezuela’s justice the members of what he called a “conspiracy center” in Miami which is “conspiring against the Venezuelan economy.”

“I am going to tell president Obama in Panamá that he is keeping a center which is conspiring against the economy and attacking the [Venezuelan] currency and commerce. It is directed by people who are fugitives of Venezuelan justice and who [act] from Miami,” said Maduro.

According to the president, the web page dolartoday, which has become the benchmark for the black market Dollar, is part of a conspiracy lead by Venezuelan banker Eligio Cedeño. Maduro argued that dolartoday represents a perverse “virtual economy” which does not correspond to the “real” Venezuelan economy. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Felipe González in charge of the coupist lobby of the Bogotá-Madrid axis

The ex-president of Spain Felipe González will participate as international consultant in the defense team of jailed opposition leaders Antonio Ledezma and Leopoldo López.

President Maduro yesterday accused González of being part of “Bogotá-Madrid axis (…) for intervening Venezuela.” He also accused him of “coordinating the coupist lobby in Venezuela.”

Maduro claimed that Felipe González is “receiving a good salary, in Euros, for getting involved in the campaign in favor of the coupists.” As evidence of this involvement Maduro argued that the Spanish ex-president had received Colombian citizenship in 2014.

Coordinating the “Bogotá-Caracas axis” is, according to Maduro, the political consultant J.J. Rondón. Recent rumors in Venezuela that children are being abducted and murdered for organs trafficking were attributed by Maduro to a “psychological campaign” designed by Rondón with the aim of destabilizing the country.

The source for this claim seems to be a comment also made yesterday by National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello: “there is a rumor around about children being abducted and their organ stolen, it is a campaign [matriz] that is out on the streets and has been created by perverse minds, and I am sure that J.J. Rondón is behind this, and his local lackeys who are being paid to do this job.” 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Obama created ISIS

According to chavista TV presenter Miguel angel Pérez Pirela, experts he has had access to claim that the group known ISIS, now controlling parts of Syria and Iraq, is a creation of U.S. president Barack Obama.

In this video produced by TELESUR, Pérez Pirela provides no evidence for the claim, which he repeats three times, nor does he reveal who the experts quoted are. But he affirms that the U.S. “needs constant wars,” the war against ISIS is the latest expression of this need.

“Who can believe that Obama is really going to fight a group he created himself?” asks Pérez Pirela in his final comment.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Signing up for anti-imperialism

President Maduro is calling on all Venezuelans to sign an anti-imperialist document against the sanctions recently announced by the U.S. government.

It is unclear what document supporters will sign. A series of links in government web pages asking for signed support leads to the document issued by UNASUR rejecting the sanctions, but a link in the Telesur web page leads to this second document in Spanish and English (copy and pasted below), which is a letter directly addressed to president Obama.

President Maduro in person started the gathering of signatures in a street “hotspot” (esquina caliente) set up by the government. Maduro said that he hopes to collect 10 million signatures.

The signature collection campaign has four levels: the first level includes the parties of the pro-government umbrella organization “Gran Polo Patriótico” which will collect signatures among their militants; the second is the work place “so that in an organized way the working class, the professionals and workers, sign in their own working centers,” explained Maduro; third is the network of pro-government street hotspots (Red de Esquinas Calientes), which would also serve, according to Maduro, “to educate the population;” and a fourth level will cover telephone services and social networks.

“Each person who signs should know that he is signing for peace and sovereignty. I am asking for a signature for Venezuela. I am asking for a vote of confidence and conscience on the country,” declared Maduro.

Minister of communications and information Jacqueline Faria also called on the people to sign: “We will continue our struggle, working in order to keep on living, because the empire will continue to attack us through its puppets and lackeys. But because they [puppets and lackeys] have failed this time, they [the empire] has decided to attack us directly,” said the minister.

The signature drive is part of a broader anti-imperialist campaign called “Obama, Venezuela is not a threat.” The campaign will be coordinated by the Mayor of Libertador municipality Jorge Rodriguez as “Chief of the Special Command for the National Campaign against the U.S. Decree.”

President Maduro stressed that the campaign should have a strong educational component in order to “explain to the people the truth about the conspiracy by the government of the United States and the right against Venezuela.” According to the president this will not be campaign only to gather signatures, but also to organize “forums and debates to inform of the constant attacks of the U.S. government, and the Venezuelan right, against the Bolivarian people and government.”

The president seems aware that, despite the attention given to the sanctions announced by Obama against Venezuelan officials, the deteriorating economy could still pose a problem for his support levels. However Maduro has also adjusted for this in his conspiracy narrative: during a rally this Wednesday he told supporters that “the government of the U.S., allied with the national [Venezuelan] bourgeoisie has given the order to a group of bourgeois that they should do everything in their hands to sabotage the Venezuelan economy and to deviate attention from the huge problem [problemón] the U.S. has provoked with the international indignation aroused by the infamous Obama decree against Venezuela.”

Maduro revealed that according to the latest information he has received form “U.S. allies”, “they [the U.S.] have ordered from their embassy that bourgeois, form CAVIDEA, FEDEAGRO, and CONINDUSTRIA [business unions], always the same people that spend their time at the gringa [U.S.] embassy, should take to street to create problems [bochinche], they should do something scandalous, so that the people forget that people has been slandered by Obama.”

He also said that he is not really facing the local opposition because there is no opposition in Venezuela: “we don’t have an opposition, what we have is a right wing kneeling in front the embassy of the United States.”

Here is the complete text of the letter linked by Telesur: 
         Nosotros, amantes de la paz, hacemos un llamado al gobierno de EEUU para que asuma sus obligaciones internacionales en cuanto al respeto a la autodeterminación de los pueblos y el derecho de los mismos a decidir libremente su camino.
         El día 9 de marzo fuimos sorprendidos con la Orden Ejecutiva dictada por el presidente Obama a través de la cual se “declara una emergencia nacional con respecto a la amenaza inusual y extraordinaria para  la seguridad nacional y la política exterior de Estados Unidos representada por la situación en Venezuela.”
         Sorprende aún más que esta declaración se haga 2 días después de que la Unión de Naciones del Sur, órgano de integración regional, estuviera en Venezuela y se reuniera con todos los poderes públicos de ese país y con varios representantes de los diversos partidos que componen la oposición venezolana, y que significó un espaldarazo a la democracia de Venezuela y a las elecciones parlamentarias previstas para finales del año.
         Destacamos, además, que la presencia del Secretario General de la UNASUR y de los Cancilleres de Ecuador, Colombia, Brasil y Uruguay, se produce por iniciativa del propio Presidente de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela, quien desde comienzos del año ha pedido la participación de este organismo para que facilite un diálogo con el gobierno de EEUU.
         Ni las sanciones, ni los bloqueos, ni las agresiones armadas son los caminos para un diálogo verdadero. La historia ha demostrado, como lo admitiera el gobierno de Obama el pasado 17 de diciembre en relación con Cuba, que esas son políticas ineficientes que sólo causan daños a los pueblos. 
         Nosotros, amantes de la PAZ y acérrimos enemigos de la GUERRA, nos oponemos a estas acciones y hacemos un llamado a que el Presidente Barack Obama retire la Orden Ejecutiva contra Venezuela y normalice las relaciones diplomáticas con el gobierno legítimamente electo del Presidente Nicolás Maduro, con base en el respeto mutuo y el principio de no injerencia en los asuntos internos de los países.
Venezuela, a peace-loving nation, calls on the U.S. government to fulfill its international obligations regarding the respect for a country’s self-determination and the right of its people to freely choose their own path.
On March 9, we were surprised by the Executive Order issued by President Obama in which he declares "a national emergency with respect to the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States represented by the situation in Venezuela."
Even more surprising is the fact that this statement was made two days after a delegation from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), a regional integration body, visited Venezuela and met with the Venezuelan authorities as well as several representatives from the various parties that comprise the Venezuelan opposition. UNASUR showed great support for democracy in Venezuela and for the parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year.
It is important to highlight that the visit of the Secretary General of UNASUR and the Foreign Ministers of Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Uruguay, took place at the invitation of the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, who earlier this year requested the participation of this body to facilitate a dialogue with the US government.
Sanctions, blockades and armed aggressions are no substitute for genuine dialogue. History has shown, as the Obama administration admitted last December 17 with regard to Cuba, that these are ineffective measures that succeed only in causing harm to innocent people.
Venezuela, a peace-loving and anti-war nation, rejects these actions and calls on President Barack Obama to repeal the Executive Order against Venezuela and normalize diplomatic relations with the legitimately elected government of President Nicolás Maduro and reaffirm the principles of mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of countries.

Presidente de EE.UU. Barack Obama

Retiro inmediato de la Orden Ejecutiva en contra de Venezuela

Monday, March 16, 2015

Defense against saboteurs according to public television

The National Assembly approved yesterday the “Anti-imperialist Enabling Law for Peace” which grants president Maduro extensive especial powers to rule by decree in matters related to national security and sovereignty.

As part the preparations for the imperial invasion the government has started 10 days of “civic-military exercises” called Bolivarian Shield. According to defense minister Vladimir Padrino López these exercises aim at reinforcing the “civic-military union in defense of the Fatherland in the face of any imperial aggression.”

However the civil and military readiness is necessary, not only against the external imperial aggression, but also against internal apátridas saboteurs. 

Here is a video shown by the public television channel Venezolana de Televisión explaining how to deal with this internal threat. In the closing minute of the video vice-president Jorge Arreaza explains that it “is a clear demonstration of how to protect” the Venezuelan oil industry.

In the first part an actor representing a saboteur gains access to the operation center Paraguaná oil refinery. Fortunately, the operator at the control board “is a patriot,” says the narrator, and quickly calls his superior. The superior confirms there is a sabotage attempt -the suspect seems nervous alterado, says the narrator- and calls security.

Enter the Cuerpo Combatiente de PDVSA, including a rifle armed soldier, two corporate security officers, and a militia member. They “proceeded to take the apátrida, saboteur, into custody.”

The video then turns to “situation number 2.” The narrator tells us that thanks to “social intelligence” the Combat Units (Cuerpos Combatientes) of PDVSA, have received information that a group of people have gathered with “the intention of creating a manifestation.”

A small group of protesters wielding sticks and rocks approach the gate of a PDVSA facility. Members of the National Guard and Militias (not allowed by the Constitution to deal with public order situations) arrive at the scene on motorbikes. However, the situation is fortunately diffused by members of the Cuerpo Combatiente who, according to the narrator, “use dialogue and the debate of ideas” to calm down the protesters “as it is usually done in our Fatherland.”

But the danger is far from over. A tank truck driver “intentionally” provokes an accident with an incoming car with the aim, says the narrator, of “blocking the entrance of the refinery and paralyzing its operation.”

Medical personal arrives at the scene to take the injured car driver. The narrator insists for a second time that the situation is “intentional” and not an accident. Nothing is said in the video of what happens to the saboteur truck driver who is not seen again.

“Situation number 3” is similar to the previous one. A second saboteur truck driver parks his tank truck in front to the entrance and refuses to move. This second driver seems to be an open saboteur because he gets down from his trick and violently proclaim he will not move their truck. The National Guard arrives again and arrests the apátrida truck driver.

The narrator explains that these actions “show the understanding and cohesion of the trilogy government, the people, and the Bolivarian Armed Forces.”

The saboteur’s truck is finally moved and a convoy of tank trucks passes the gate, the drivers waving national and PDVSA flags. The narrator ends by celebrating the triumph of the “anti-imperialist, socialist, and profoundly chavista PDVSA workers.”

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rodolfo González. Im memoriam.

Last year’s opposition protests have never been considered by the Venezuelan government as what they really were: opposition protests. Instead the government has consistently explained them as part of a broad conspiracy. Student protestors have been portrayed in the official media as mercenaries, paramilitaries, or thugs paid through the United States embassy.

Violent protests were never understood by the government as protests that had turned violent because of frustration or as a response to repressive overreaction by the police and army. Instead Venezuelans were told through public media that the violence had been carefully planned from abroad by conspirators based in Bogotá, Miami, and Madrid who had sent mercenaries to “burn the streets.”

Because protests were not really protests but part of a conspiracy, conspirators had to be found and arrested. Those who had leading roles in the guarimbas (barricades), especially coordinating the logistics of the two months long protests, had to be the links between the student on the streets and the conspirators abroad.

Rodolfo González was an active supporter of the guarimbas. His house was raided on March 26, 2014 by the intelligence police SEBIN and he was arrested. On March 29 president Maduro on national television identified him as “El Aviador” and claimed that he was the mastermind of a foreign backed plot to overthrow his government through violent protests.

On May 2, the then minister of interior Rodríguez Torres announced that an analysis of the Aviador’s computer had revealed unspecified links with Caracas mayor Antonio Ledezma (recently arrested on conspiracy charges.) That supposed evidence never made it to court. Indeed no evidence of any kind was ever produced during the whole year González was in custody. It was later revealed, by the president of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello, that González had been arrested following a tip of a patriota cooperante, an anonymous government informant.

The lack of evidence did not stop public attorney Katherine Harrington form accusing, in July 2014, González of “conspiracy, public instigation, and association to commit crime.” Harrington is the same public attorney that accused mayor Ledezma of conspiracy and is one of the seven Venezuelan government officials recently sanctioned by the United State government.

The ordeal the Gonzalez family was forced to endure during the last year was recounted by Rodolfo’s daughter, Venezuelan academic Lissette González in her blog.  

Last Friday, March 13, Lissette González herself confirmed the rumors that her father had taken his own life inside the SEBIN cell during the night. Rodolfo González, and other students also held since the protests, had been told the day before that they were to be moved from the SEBIN facilities in El Helicoide, to the notoriously dangerous Yare prison.

However, on Friday afternoon, the minister of interior González Marinez, declared that there had never been any plans to move Rodolfo González form his SEBIN cell.  

But Rodolfo González told his family that he had been told he would be moved to Yare prison. The students in SEBIN told their families that they were told they would be moved to Yare. Some reports claim that prisons minister Iris Valera herself told the prisoners they would be moved to Yare. If what the Interior Minister says is true, then these prisoners were subject to a very serious form of psychological pressure.

When conspiracy theories become the official discourse of a government, they have serious political consequences. They are not just an innocent interpretation of reality among others: when used by authorities they turn political adversaries into enemies. Critics and protesters cease to be disgruntled citizens with legitimate (or not) grievances against the authorities and become part of grand conspiracies plot. They are no longer part of the national community, but lackeys of foreign powers and are therefore to be treated as traitors. They are dehumanized and ridiculed by public media. They cease to have human rights because they have become the embodiment of the absolute other and of absolute evil. The can be charged without any evidence, and worse…

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Using conspiracy theories against the internal enemies: NGOs

Venezuela’s human rights organization PROVEA has expressed its concerns about recent accusations made by the president of the National Assembly Diosdado against several human right activists and union leaders.

In his television show “Con el Mazo Dando”, Cabello accused the activists of being part of “conspiracy plans” against the government. As evidence Cabello showed pictures of the activists participating in a public meeting which was also attended by officials of the embassies of Canada and of the United States in Caracas. He also praised an anonymous informer or patriota cooperante for the pictures and the information.

Here is the complete text of PROVEA’s press note:

Diosdado Cabello insiste en criminalizar a los defensores de Derechos Humanos y activistas sociales
El presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, diputado Diosdado Cabello, sigue haciendo uso del sistema nacional de medios públicos para criminalizar la labor de los defensores de derechos humanos y activistas sociales del país. 
En su programa “Con el mazo dando” transmitido este 11.03.2015 en el canal del Estado Venezolana de Televisión (VTV), Cabello se refirió a los activistas Esperanza Hermida, Coordinadora de Exigibilidad de Provea; Marco Ponce, director de la ONG Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (OVCS); Carlos Lusverti, miembro de Amnistía Internacional Venezuela; Mikel Las Heras, director de ConflictoVE; Orlando Chirino, dirigente de la corriente sindical CCURA y Marcela Máspero, dirigente sindical de UNETE, por su participación en un foro realizado el pasado 04.03.2015 en la ciudad de Caracas y organizado por el OVCS, en el marco de la presentación del informe de conflictividad laboral en Venezuela, realizado por esta ONG.
Cabello descalificó a los activistas e insistió en señalar que su labor forma parte de “planes conspirativos”. Mencionó que en la referida actividad (convocada y reallizada de manera pública), se encontraban presentes funcionarios de las embajadas de Estados Unidos y Cánada. Además, el presidente de la Asamblea Nacional dijo que las ONG se preparan para presentar información sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en el país en las próximas audiencias de la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) este 17 de marzo, lo cuál -afirmamos- es una función pública y legítima de las ONG defensoras de derechos humanos.
La Declaración de la Organización de Naciones Unidas sobre Defensores de Derechos Humanos, consagra la necesidad y obligación de los Estados de proporcionar apoyo y protección a los defensores de los derechos humanos en el desempeño de su labor. Asimismo, la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos a través de sus relatorías especiales para defensores de Derechos Humanos ha expresado constantemente su preocupación por la persistencia desituaciones de amenazas y hostigamientos contra defensoras y defensores de derechos humanos, y por la creciente criminalización de sus actividades en contextos de amenazas generales a las libertades democráticas y al ejercicio de derechos por parte de la ciudadanía.
Provea lamenta que los funcionarios del Estado venezolano insistan en criminalizar la labor de las ONG, y reitera que es responsabilidad del Gobierno y las instituciones las posibles agresiones que puedan producirse contra los defensores y activistas y sus familiares como consecuencia de esta reiterada conducta. (Prensa Provea, 12.03.2015).

Here is the clip of Cabello’s show on public television channel Venezolana de Televisión:

Friday, March 13, 2015

A true, real victim of conspiracy theories

Rodolfo González was the father of Venezuelan university professor and close friend Lissette González. He was in jail since April last year, having been accused by president Maduro, on national television and without any evidence, of masterminding an attempt to overthrow his government. Rodolfo González died last night in a SEBIN cell.

Using anti-imperialism against the internal enemy

The day before the announcement of recent sanctions and the ensuing anti-imperialist reaction, I made this comment to a question by the Latin American Advisor:

Q: The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro recently arrested Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma over accusations of involvement in a coup plot and has also sought to remove legislator Julio Borges from his seat, moves critics have said are the latest in a series of illegal attempts to silence opposition leaders. What is the state of the opposition in Venezuela today, and how are the government’s actions affecting its strategy? Will the opposition be able to capitalize on Maduro’s low popularity, which currently sits at about 20 percent, in parliamentary elections that are expected to take place later this year?

A: Hugo Pérez Hernáiz, professor of sociology at the Universidad Central de Venezuela: “If the opposition wants to capitalize on the government’s low popularity and win the next legislative elections, it will have to overcome several hurdles. First, the opposition has to sort out its internal differences between its radical and ‘electoral’ factions. Recent announcements from the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) of successful negotiations for the primaries and designated candidates are a good sign, but not the end of the story, as many opposition supporters could heed abstentionist calls regularly made through social media. Second, the opposition will face a government that will use its hold on most of the local media to frame the elections, not as a struggle between a powerful government and a battered opposition, but rather as an epic battle of a revolutionary nationalist movement against an imperial power and its local lackeys. Anti-imperialism will probably resonate most with the hard-core Chavista base and not among general voters, but the government could use the anti-imperialist rhetoric to justify further crackdowns on the opposition. For example, by politically inhibiting or arresting key opposition leaders, even candidates for the Assembly, the opposition’s electoral bid could be significantly weakened and the radical abstentionist faction strengthened. And last, a pre-elections surprise by the government, such as last year’s dacazo before the regional elections, cannot be ruled out.”

Yesterday the president of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello had this to say at a political rally:

“We are going to send a message to the Venezuelan opposition: the fatherland [Patria] is being threatened. Any Venezuelan unwilling to defend the fatherland is surely willing to be a traitor, is surely willing to be an enemy, is surely willing to be an evil doer [malinche], and as such, he must be treated. The fatherland must be defended.”

President Maduro declared yesterday that the real objective of the recent sanctions imposed on Venezuelan officials is to force the government to free Leopoldo López, whom he called and agent of the Untied States:

“They declare a whole country as a threat in order to save one of their agents: Leopoldo López. They accuse us because Venezuelan justice has jailed the main agents they have sent in order to destabilize Venezuela. It is because of them [the opposition] that this country has been catalogued by the United States as a threat. (…) If something positive has come out of this juncture, is that the real enemies of the fatherland have come out from their hideouts, that [the fact has come out that] they have waged an economic war against us, a political war, a psychological war, and coup d’état attempts.”

Chavista political leader Juan Barreto also questioned the patriotism of the opposition. He is quoted by AVN:

“The right believes that the fatherland means only business, they ignore the true meaning of being born in this land, because to be Venezuelan is to be revolutionary.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Anti-imperialist tribune

Here is a small selection of some of the most poetical expressions of anti-imperialist sentiment made in the past few days, taken from pro-government web page Aporrea and the opinion page of the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias (AVN).

Rafael Guillén Beltre writes for Aporrea he fears that president Maduro’s courageous discourse asking congress to grant him especial enabling power to fight imperialism could make him the target of “new” assassinations attempts by the enemies of the revolution. He argues that “the satanic elites that dominate the world under a collective hypnosis of the human race –which for them is but a flock that should always be docile and subordinate,- could not come to terms with the fact that an extraordinary leader such as Hugo Chávez awakened the people as he did, with the infinite force of the greatest love ever poured by a leader on his people.”

Marcos Melendez, in Aporrea, warns that the imperialist invasion in imminent and will be very swift: “any Venezuela who does not own an airplane that can take him out of the country within a period of 25 minutes should be alert and united [cohesionarse] in rejecting this hideous recipe applied by the Obama administration under the pressure of economic groups, who want to see a return for the money they have invested in overthrowing the Venezuelan government, and to put their hands on the biggest oil reserves of the planet.”

Leandro Lev, Aporrea, is concerned that if the government fights the imperial invasion with the same tools it has fought the “economic war”, Venezuela is doomed: “In the economic war we have handed the weapons (dollars) to the enemy. That’s something like, in the face of a supposed invasion, we hand our rifles to the señores gringos.”

UCV professor Franklin González via AVN writes that in the face of the imperial threat, the time has come for the Latin American people to unite in support of the Venezuelan government: “Faced with this new threat, which is serious and has similar characteristics to aggressions rehearsed in the past, it is the time for solidarity and support [resteo] of the Bolivarian revolution by the people and governments of Latin America and the Caribbean, beyond [only] disagreeing with this cynic and meddling [injerencista] policy [they should] commit to its rejection. For patriotic Venezuelans the time has come for convictions, not for hesitation.”

Hernán Mena Cifuentes, AVN, claims that the “extraordinary” development of the United States was achieved by using the raw commodities plundered from Venezuela, “until, through the actions of the Bolivarian Revolution lead by Chávez, whose example was followed by other progressive and revolutionary leaders, they were rescued from their claws.”


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Anti-imperialism: imminent invasion of Venezuela

The decree announced yesterday by president Obama declaring that Venezuela is now considered an “extraordinary threat to the national security” of the United States, and imposing sanctions on seven government officials, has sparked a strong reaction by the Venezuelan government.

In the government’s anti-imperialist rhetoric, Obama’s announcements fit well as “evidence” that the United States is behind what it claims are an “economic war” and “on-going” coup conspiracies.

Yesterday several government officials, including president Maduro, declared that Obama’s announcement is part of a broad conspiracy to overthrow the government and that it signals an “imminent” intervention by the US government on Venezuela. Some officials have been calling for a strengthening of the “civic military union” in the face of what they believe is a prelude of an invasion by United States forces.

Maduro announced that he will be asking the National Assembly a new Anti-imperialist enabling law, granting him unspecified special powers to fight the alleged imperialist threat. According to the president, the law will be an “instrument to safeguard the sovereignty and peace of the nation.”

“President Barack Obama, representing the imperialist elite of the United States, has decided to personally assume the task of overthrowing my government and to intervene in Venezuela in order to control it. (…) This is why it has taken this step today,” said Maduro.

Here are several anti-imperialist images shared yesterday via chavista social media:

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The army and conspiracy theories as self-fulfilling prophesies

In the final minutes of his interview for Latin Pulse, Professor Dan Hellinger of Webster University made an important point: he is concerned that the constant talk of coup and conspiracies by the Venezuelan government could potentially lead to the unintended consequence of actually triggering a coup. Disaffected officers could end up believing that others are really plotting a coup and that maybe it’s not such a bad idea to join or even start their own plot.

In politics conspiracy theories can become self-fulfilled prophesies. Not only because potential conspirators can eventually pick up on the idea of the feasibility of a coup d’état, as Professor Hellinger argues, but also because constant accusation of conspiracy are polarizing, lead to a mentality in which political adversaries become enemies, and can be used to justify repression. If you believe that the whole world is conspiring against you, and you act accordingly, you are likely to alienate a lot of people that may end up really conspiring against you.

Yesterday, in one of the many events to commemorate the passing of Chávez two years ago, president Maduro addressed the armed forces and gave a reassuring discourse emphasizing, according to the Agencia Venezolana de Noticias, the “compromise [of the armed forces] to the Bolivarian values, forged during the 15 years of revolution by the comandante Chávez, and also to the defense of the military honor in the face of the attacks perpetrated by the government of the United States and the national right wing, which aim at corrupting and showing the world a wrong image of one of the pillars [the armed forces] of the revolution.”

In his discourse Maduro reviewed the recent history of the Venezuelan armed forces, using the unconditional loyalty to Chávez as the basic link of his narrative. As it is usual in the official rhetoric, Maduro explained that the February 4, 2992 coup lead by Chávez is not to be understood as a coup, but as a “patriotic rebellion, the voice of dignity raised for all, a rebellion against the elites [cúpulas], the oligarchies, an anti-imperialist rebellion lead by our comandante Hugo Chávez, with bravery, courage, responsibility, and love for our people.”

It seems important for the Venezuelan government not to give bad ideas to army officers.

Here is the complete note by AVN:

FANB reafirma su honor en los valores bolivarianos para derrotar pretensiones contra la Patria     
Caracas, 07 Mar. AVN.- La Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana (FANB) ratificó este viernes su compromiso para continuar los valores bolivarianos, labrados en estos 15 años de Revolución por el comandante Hugo Chávez, así como defender el honor militar, tras los ataques perpetrados por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos y de la derecha nacional, que pretenden corromper y mostrar una imagen errónea de uno de los pilares de la Revolución. 
"Este mundo de hoy respeta al fuerte, al que está unido, al que está claro, al que no tiene miedo, al que se llena de coraje, al que se dice bolivariano. Ese es el ser, esa es la fuerza que es respetada. Hagámonos respetar, hagamos respetar a la Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana, hagamos respetar en el espíritu del cadete, el honor militar que se ha construido en estos años de Patria", fue el llamado realizado por el presidente de la República, Nicolás Maduro, desde la Academia Militar, Caracas, durante un acto realizado en homenaje al comandante Hugo Chávez, tras dos años de su partida física. 
El pasado 12 de febrero, el jefe de Estado denunció un nuevo intento de golpe de Estado contra del Gobierno legítimo y el pueblo de Venezuela, en el que están involucrados un reducido grupo de oficiales de la Aviación Militar y civiles, con respaldo del Gobierno de Estados Unidos. Dicho plan desarticulado por los órganos de inteligencia del Gobierno nacional y por las denuncias de militares patriotas.
Al respecto, Maduro recalcó que la única forma de derrotar los planes de golpistas orquestados por la derecha nacional, respaldado por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos (EEUU), es generando conciencia en el pueblo venezolano, que, junto a la FANB, dan vida a la unión cívico-militar.
"Hay que formar conciencia, si nosotros queremos defender el derecho a la paz en nuestro país. Lo he dicho una y mil veces, y lo creo: nuestra gran victoria contra la amenaza imperialista y la amenaza oligárquica golpista, nuestra victoria es la paz, es la estabilidad, es la democracia, son los derechos del pueblo. Esa es nuestra victoria", expresó el jefe de Estado. 
El Mandatario Nacional, además, exhortó a luchar por mantener los ideales del comandante Chávez, así como sentirse orgullosos de pertenecer a un cuerpo militar, basado en los líderes del continente suramericano. "Amor y lealtad es la orden, cadetes. Amor a la Patria de Bolívar y Chávez. Lealtad al proyecto revolucionario de independencia y patria socialista", enfatizó.
Chávez construyó una nueva conciencia militar 
En transmisión de Venezolana de Televisión, el presidente Maduro recordó que el comandante Hugo Chávez construyó una nueva conciencia política y militar, basada en los valores bolivarianos y socialistas, que precisamente maduró al calor de su formación castrense. Así, "levantó el más poderoso movimiento social de conciencia nacional que haya conocido Venezuela, que dio forma a la Revolución Bolivariana". 
La consolidación de este proyecto es reflejo de la evolución del líder socialista, cuya primera vida se inscribe desde su nacimiento, el 28 de julio de 1954, hasta el 8 de agosto de 1971, cuando ingresó a la Academia Militar a estudiar.
"Cuando ingresó aquí (Academia Militar) sin él saberlo comenzó su segunda vida, la vida de cadete, de militar, de patriota, de bolivariano. Creo que siempre fue un cadete. Así se sintió y cultivó los valores puros, sinceros del cadete para ver la vida y para ver los grandes asuntos de nuestro país", acotó.
En esa circunstancia, a Chávez le tocó vivir épocas de dolor, saqueo y masacre de la patria, protagonizadas por gobiernos de la IV República, los cuales se caracterizaron por reducir las inversiones sociales, acumular la pobreza extrema, aumentar la miseria, privatizar la educación y desmejorar la salud de los venezolanos.
Con esta nueva conciencia, labrada en los ideales bolivarianos, surgió en Venezuela, tras la rebelión cívico-militar del 4 de febrero de 1992, un líder revolucionario de una patria que despertaba ante el desmejoramiento de su calidad de vida. 
El 4F fue "una acción de rebelión patriótica, fue una voz que se levantó por la dignidad de todos, fue una rebelión contra las cúpulas, las oligarquías, fue una rebelión antiimperialista. Fue el sacrificio de una generación de militares, encabezada por nuestro comandante Hugo Chávez, con valentía, con coraje, con responsabilidad, con amor al pueblo", añadió el Presidente.
Entre 1992 y 1994, cuando estuvo privado de libertad en la cárcel de Yare, Chávez maduró la visión de país y las raíces del proyecto nacional bajos las ideas Simón Rodríguez, Simón Bolívar y Ezequiel Zamora.
Refirió que el 26 de marzo de 1994, cuando Chávez salió de la cárcel, se despidió de la Academia Militar y se entregó en cuerpo y alma al pueblo venezolano, compromiso que ratifica en 1996, cuando reafirma el camino democrático como la vía para la transformación de la patria. "Vamos a buscar una ventana de esperanza y de revolución pacifica y democrática", refirió en ese momento, de acuerdo con Maduro.
Así avanzó el movimiento bolivariano en 1997 y 1998, cuando se desató contra Chávez la campaña más sucia y feroz que se haya hecho contra un candidato presidencial. Aunque el objetivo era desmoralizarlo, "el comandante Chávez nos decía: 'vamos bien. Sí los perros ladran, es porque avanzando' -como decía el Quijote-. Y se cumplió la palabra del Comandante el 6 de diciembre de 1998: el pueblo de Venezuela eligió Hugo Chávez, presidente de la República de Venezuela y Comandante en Jefe de la Fuerza Armada". Además de un triunfo electoral, fue también el regreso de un hijo a su hogar: las fuerzas militares de la patria.
Desde 1992 hasta 2013, el máximo líder de la Revolución Bolivariana fue capaz de convocar a fuerzas honestas y morales para retomar la construcción de la patria bolivariana. Ante ese legado y las pretensiones imperiales, Maduro exhortó los miembros de la FANB a defender los ideales del comandante Chávez, de amor a la Patria y de lealtad al movimiento revolucionario, así como sentirse orgullosos de pertenecer a un cuerpo militar, basado en los líderes del continente suramericano.
Compromiso con ideales de Chávez 
En la actividad, la oficialidad de la Academia Militar ratificó su compromiso para continuar por el sendero de lucha trazado por el comandante Chávez. 
Alexis Rodríguez, rector de la Universidad Militar Bolivariana de Venezuela, expresó que este día el lugar, donde el pueblo venezolano rindió honor a Chávez hace dos años, se convierte en un "sitio sagrado para nuestro comandante supremo y para todos los que amamos, queremos, defendemos y estamos dispuestos a dar la vida por la libertad de la patria".
"Hoy conmemoramos el segundo aniversario del salto a la inmortalidad, cuando tú, comandante eterno, te volviste infinito entre todos nosotros. En cada uno de nosotros alberga el dolor de tu partida, pero tenemos sentimientos encontrados porque a su vez, ese dolor crece y se convierte en un inmenso compromiso para luchar por tu legado", manifestó.
Indicó que el momento histórico en que se conmemoran dos años de la siembra de Hugo Chávez coincide con la partida anual hacia el campo de entrenamiento de los 5.900 cadetes, quienes se formarán bajo el nuevo concepto estratégico militar fundado el líder socialista, con el fin de "defender nuestra patria, nuestros valores, el legado de nuestro comandante eterno, de un enemigo claro y definido y una amenaza presente".