Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Sweetheart of Venezuela and the Radicalization of the Bolivarian Revolution

by Anna Mahjar-Barducci

During a State event, in the presence of all branches of the government, President Hugo Chavez said,"We can no longer be a docile Revolution, we must radicalize our position." He then presented the "Anti-Imperialist Manifesto" that will be signed by supporters throughout the country during special events to be held during the next few days in defense of Venezuela's sovereignty.

Eva Golinger, a Venezuelan-American attorney, was the keynote speaker at the event. Golinger, called by Chavez "La Novia de Venezuela" ("The Sweetheart of Venezuela"), is the editor of the Correo del Orinoco International; a newspaper financially backed by the Venezuelan government. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College (1994), and the City University of New York School of Law, where she completed her Juris Doctorate (JD) in international human rights law in 2003, she grew up in the US and moved to Venezuela in the mid-1990s to discover her Venezuelan roots. She currently resides in Caracas and is one of the staunchest supporters of Chavez's regime.

At the "historic" event, Golinger claimed that the US is employing strategies against the Chavez administration: "At the beginning of 2010, the US Director of National Intelligence, who coordinates all 16 agencies of the US intelligence community, classified President Chavez as 'Anti-US Leader in the region,': she said. "Saying 'anti-US' is the same as saying 'enemy'...This is language of war."

She also highlighted how during the "past five years, the US government and mass media have conducted a severe media campaign attempting to demonize President Chavez and his government". This effort, said Golinger, "tries to justify the escalation in hostility and aggression against Venezuela, as well as provide reasons for an ever-increasing amount of funding US agencies provide to Venezuelan opposition groups".[1]

She also proposed the Venezuelan government enact a law to "regulate, control or prohibit foreign funding for political activities" in the nation. According to the Correo del Orinoco, President Chavez heard Golinger's request for a foreign funding law loud and clear. "I implore the National Assembly to urgently pass a law to end US and foreign funding of NGOs and political parties in our country," he exclaimed. He also called on the other branches of government present to act against threats and violations of Venezuela's laws and sovereignty.

The presidents - all women - of Venezuela's Supreme Court, National Assembly, Electoral Power and Citizens Power, affirmed their commitment to defending the nation against any external or internal threat, and at the conclusion of the event, signed the "Anti-Imperialist Manifesto."

"In this bicentennial period, we ratify our unwavering commitment to the culmination of our Independence through the consolidation of our sovereignty and the construction of unity amongst our peoples, and we proclaim that our response to the imperialist threat will be: more unity, more independence and more integration," the Manifesto stated. It was ratified by Venezuela's state powers last week.[2]

Below are excerpts of Golinger's article on the event, published in Correo del Orinoco. Promoting the Bolivarian Revolution, she defined it in previous interviews as "an inspiration and hope to those in the US and around the world, alternatives to US capitalism do exist and can be successful. […] Every nation has its moment in history. This is the time of Latin America. But there is great hope that the people of the US will soon unite with their brothers and sisters south of the border to bring down Empire and help build a true world community based on social and economic justice for all."

From the press:

"Republican-dominated Congress will increase hostility towards Latin America"

[...] President Hugo Chavez presided over a state event in the presence of all branches of government and regional representatives, to express the nation's rejection of threats and attempts to undermine Venezuela's democracy.

"The people of Venezuela, the people of ALBA nations, the people of our America and the world will defeat the pretensions of US imperialism that seek to escape its own crisis by provoking more war and violations against the people of the world," stated an "Anti-Imperialist Manifesto" signed by all heads of the five branches of government during a special event held in the historic and prestigious Elliptical Room of Venezuela's National Assembly [...].

The state event "in defense of the sovereignty of the nation and against hegemony and imperialism" was convened by President Chavez in reaction to an event held [...] in the US Congress, titled "Danger in the Andes: Threats to Democracy, Human Rights and Inter-American Security," during which several US members of Congress called for harsh, direct action to be taken against Chavez and other presidents from member nations of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our Americas (ALBA). [...]

The Congressional event was interpreted by many throughout the region as a sign that a now republican-dominated Congress will increase hostility towards countries in Latin America such as Venezuela and Bolivia, which already have tense and difficult relations with Washington. At the conference, US Representative Connie Mack (Republican from Florida) declared, "Now that Republicans are a majority...we should confront Hugo Chavez directly," implying that the House Sub-Committee on Foreign Relations for the Western Hemisphere, to be headed by Mack, will initiate actions against Venezuela in 2011.

Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen wants to increase aggression against Chavez

The new Chair of the House Foreign Relations Committee, congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Miami, also indicated efforts would be undertaken to increase aggression against President Chavez, stating, "We should work closer with regional allies to confront the danger against democracy in Venezuela".

Ros-Lehtinen, well known for her close relations with anti-Castro Cuban terrorists Luis Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch, both responsible for the bombing of a Cuban airliner in 1976 that killed all 73 passengers aboard, as well as a series of other terrorist acts in the region, later referred to Chavez as a "repressive leader" and reiterated her calls to work for his "removal from power."

In 2006, the Florida congresswoman declared during a television interview that she would encourage and "welcome anyone who assassinates Fidel Castro or any other repressive leader". Such language was perceived by Venezuela and other Latin American nations as a clear and direct threat.

[...] Bolivian President Evo Morales directly charged Representative Connie Mack with the responsibility "should anything happen to President Hugo Chavez." Morales's comments were made during the inauguration of last week's meeting of defense ministers from the Americas, during which US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, was present. "This Congress member, Connie Mack, made statements that could be interpreted as a call to assassinate President Chavez", said Morales. "Should anything happen to Chavez, Connie Mack will be one of the people responsible". [...]

Correo del Orinoco (Venezuela), November 30, 2010

[1] Correo del Orinoco, November 26, 2010
[2] Ibid.

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Anna Mahjar-Barducci

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

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