Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Coup d'État in Venezuela?

Venezuela is, for the moment, still a democracy and while it is widely believed socialist strong man Hugo Chavez will be reelected in voting December 3rd, the opposition is united behind consensus candidate Manuel Rosales who has a realistic chance at victory.

AcademicElephant: The presidential election in Venezuela is just a fortnight away. As I have mentioned before, this contest originally wasn't about whether or not sitting "president" Hugo Chavez would win. The question was by how much, and six months ago Mr. Chavez projected 10 million votes, at which point he proposed abolishing the obviously useless democratic system of Venezuela and declaring himself dictator for life. Times have changed.

It seems Mr. Chavez is still widely popular, but not universally popular among voters as the consequences of seven and a half years under his administration manifest themselves in society.

Venezuela Presidential Race Tightens: "When 50% of the people think that you are doing a bad job and almost 50% of the people say that the country is moving in the wrong direction, that is a real cause for alarm for any incumbent. Simply put, many Venezuelans are clearly unhappy with how things are going under Hugo Chavez."

Aware of the opposition, the socialists are preparing for the possibility of defeat by establishing the story that an election shortfall will be the result of U.S. interference.

Coup d'État in Venezuela: Made in the USA: Basically, it comes in three parts. First, they need to build up popular support for the opposition candidate, Manuel Rosales, by designing an attractive campaign. … The second step has been to use the mass media to create the perception that the elections are fraudulent. … Finally, they must get enough people out into the streets in order to create a situation in which a transition of power could take place.

The Latin America left sees through the manipulations of the Bush Presidency. Imperial America arranged the election of Ukraine President Victor Yushchenko in 2004, Mikheil Saakashvili in Georgia in 2003 and the electoral defeat of Slobodan Milosovic in 1999, (wait – that last one was during the Clinton Presidency). Still, the point remains the United States attempts to advance its interests by backing candidates with modern campaign techniques to gain voter support in a country. The horror that is Coup d'État by free election.