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Chavez tried to steal the vote
Posted by: McQ on Monday, December 10, 2007

Apparently there is more to the rumors that the military called Chavez's hand concerning the recent referendum than just conjecture. Jorge Castañeda reports for Newsweek:
Most of Latin America's leaders breathed a sigh of relief earlier this week, after Venezuelan voters rejected President Hugo Chávez's constitutional amendment referendum. In private they were undoubtedly relieved that Chávez lost, and in public they expressed delight that he accepted defeat and did not steal the election. But by midweek enough information had emerged to conclude that Chávez did, in fact, try to overturn the results. As reported in El Nacional, and confirmed to me by an intelligence source, the Venezuelan military high command virtually threatened him with a coup d'état if he insisted on doing so. Finally, after a late-night phone call from Raúl Isaías Baduel, a budding opposition leader and former Chávez comrade in arms, the president conceded—but with one condition: he demanded his margin of defeat be reduced to a bare minimum in official tallies, so he could save face and appear as a magnanimous democrat in the eyes of the world. So after this purportedly narrow loss Chávez did not even request a recount, and nearly every Latin American colleague of Chávez's congratulated him for his "democratic" behavior.
Shorter version: He got blown out in the vote, his magnanimity was all show in an attempt to pretend he is a "democrat" and you can expect another attempt soon, after the dust has settled from this try. Interesting that the military has put him on notice though. I'd bet that step one in his new try will be a military purge. Watch for it.
 
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I’d bet that step one in his new try will be a military purge.
He will be removing the reactionary elements from the military. A necessary step towards utopia.

Ya got a problem with utopia?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Not really suprising, if true. I wonder what Roger Cohen now thinks of this allegation?

Meh? If he backed off because of some threat from his military, I don’t see how he can effectively purge his enemies at some future point.
 
Written By: vinman
URL: http://www.wikistan.com
Meh? If he backed off because of some threat from his military, I don’t see how he can effectively purge his enemies at some future point.
He can now begin planning the replacement of those he can’t trust, and he has a better idea who they are. He might be able to take them out piecemeal, at least until he has consolodated key portions of the military under his control, then he will be free to do as he wishes.

It is one thing for the military to mobilize against Hugo overthrowing a democratic election, and a different thing for them to support a "discredited" senior officier that Hugo is jailing on charges of "treason".

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
This is sheer hysterical nonsense. Castaneda has long been revealed as a pathetic liar — his behavior as Mexican President Fox’s foreign minister, when he straightfacedly told the media lies that were easily shown to be such, greatly embarrassing his government, provides the best known examples, but there are plenty of others. Diplomats are paid to lie, but when they get to the point, like Tolstoy’s "well-wound clock" automatic liar of a diplomat, where they effortlessly reeled off lies that they don’t even expect any serious person to believe, it does do some damage to a future career as a professor or a "journalist."

In this case, Castaneda is citing a ferociously anti-Chavez Caracas newspaper, with such a record of inventions that no independent observer takes it seriously when it makes this kind of charge (it has routinely charged fraud, even in the face of overwhelming victories by Chavez where the official results were endorsed by the OAS and the Carter Center). Castaneda then supports this charge with confirmation (he says) by "an intelligence source" (whatever that is: could it be the US Embassy? Couldn’t he at least tell us the government employing this "intelligence source," assuming there is one?) Such a poorly sourced story could only be believed by somebody who desperately needed to believe it — particularly since the election results reflected pre-election polls that the result would be close.

But the unhappy reaction of El Nacional does confirm what many predicted before the vote: that Chavez would win if he lost, and lose if he won. Chavez needs to reshuffle the government, get rid of sycophants, and rededicate himself and his forces to resolving the day to day problems of his Venezuelan base. Had he won, he might have continued blindly down the arrogant path that he had lately been on — like several US presidents who have won by landslides. The defeat was a good wake-up call to him and his forces. And I guess El Nacional feels the same way.
 
Written By: Mark
URL: http://
Oh look, the "Marksists" are here doing spin for Uncle Hugo.

Isn’t that adorable?
 
Written By: The Gonzman
URL: http://

 
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