Friday, April 11, 2008

At least some people still don't seem to get it. 

Today is another anniversary of the coup that briefly ousted Chavez in 2002. Personally, I haven't paid much attention to it. In the intervening six years Venezuela has moved on with violence and anti-democratic means now seeming to have been spurned by all sides. Venezuela regularly holds elections with the results accepted by both sides even when THEIR side is on the losing end - can't ask for much more than that.

Hence, I think Venezuela should focus on its future and not dwell on the now resolved problems of its past.

However, all parties do need to be vigilant to avoid backsliding. The reason for that is there are clearly some people who just don't get it. Witness this editorializing from Venezuela's leading business periodical:

The peaceful wave of humanity which overflowed the MeritocraciaPlaza in Chuao, spontaneously decided to head towards the Miraflores presidential palace to ask the President to return PDVSA’s autonomy and reinstate the mangers and professionals that he had arbitrarily and illegally fired. Many among the crowd yelled: Out with Chávez!

In his arrogance, the President, who is not one to tolerate any form of dissidence, didn’t not allow the march to reach the Palace, surrounding it with National Guard units. Additionally, along the marcher’s route, ambushes were set: a sniper located on the top of a building, and gunmen placed on the Llaguno Bridge. By the end of that afternoon, 19 Venezuelans were dead and dozens wounded.

Imagine the audacity of Chavez - sending the National Guard to enforce the law and stop a march which had no permit to go to Miraflores and clearly had seditious intent!!!

What was Chavez supposed to do with the mob? Invite them in for tea?

This sort of non-sense written by such an influential and supposedly staid journal shows that while Venezuela has made much progress in recent years of which it should be proud there are still people in high places who just don't get what democracy is all about.

Its up to the rest of Venezuelan society, which does understand what democracy is about and wants political differences resolved without violence to make sure this noxious minority never again gets enough of a following to be able to inflict is violence on the rest of Venezuela.


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