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VenEconomy :
Time for common sense and prudence

 

 

In his Aló Presidente this Sunday (11/8), President Hugo Chávez called on Venezuelans to get ready for war.

The President, in response to an escalation of violent incidents that have been occurring on the border with Colombia, urged the country, “Don’t let’s lose a single day in our main mission: to get ready for war and help the people to get ready for war, because it’s everyone’s responsibility.” Chávez berated his followers saying, “Commander of the military garrison, militia battalions, let’s get trained. Revolutionary students, workers, women, all of you, get ready to defend this sacred fatherland called Venezuela.” Naturally, he clarified that his call did not include the “squalid ones” (his pet name for the opposition), because, as he sees it, “they’re a fifth column, they’re unpatriotic, as unpatriotic as the Colombian oligarchy.”

In calling on Venezuelans to prepare themselves for war, Chávez is trying to further the internal and external interests of the Castro-Chávez revolutionary process.

Externally, this is a new step of Chávez’s to try to establish communism in the region, which is tantamount to condemning the countries of the hemisphere to isolation and poverty. Ironically, this step back in time being promoted by Chávez is happening on the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the economic and political theories espoused by communist countries and which dominated much of the 20th century; a collapse that generated a period of extraordinary prosperity, which led to the consolidation of the European Union.

As Chávez sees it –and quite rightly so-, Colombia is a stumbling block for implementing his communist agenda in the region. So, the threat to go to war with Colombia is Chávez’s response to Uribe’s refusal to fall in with his plans. This belligerent advance comes on top of dozens of aggressions by the Chávez administration against its neighbor in the past eleven years. The objective of the anti-Colombian diatribes would seem to be to destabilize Colombia’s democracy and put one of Chávez’s henchmen in its presidency with the help of domestic insurgent groups, as has happened in other countries of the continent. Denouncements by the Álvaro Uribe administration regarding the support that the Chávez administration is allegedly giving narco-terrorist groups such as the FARC and the ELN have been multiplying since the contents of the computers belonging to narco-guerrilla Raúl Reyes were revealed.

On the domestic front, Chávez would seem to have two objectives in calling the population to get ready for war:

The first would be to mount a circus to distract people’s attention from the internal battle Venezuelans wage daily against crime and groups organized to mete out instant aggression that have been promoted in the past eleven years. It also seeks to cover up his government’s failure in vital areas such as health, housing, employment, and education, and to hide the dramatic figures that his wrongheaded policies have wrought in the country’s economy.

But what is even more serious is that, in developing a pre-war situation with Colombia, Chávez is creating the perfect excuse for destabilizing Táchira’s regional government once and for all. Since César Pérez Vivas, a representative of the Democratic Alliance, was voted in to take charge of this border state, Chávez has been ferociously attacking him, trying by fair means and foul to undermine and thwart his efforts to govern the region.

Now that a pre-war situation has been established, it is to be expected that the government’s next step will be to militarize Táchira state and the rest of the border zone and appoint military officers to replace the civilian authorities who were voted into office by the local inhabitants.


VenEconomy has been a Venezuela's leading specialized publisher on financial, political and economic data since 1982. VenEconomy's Points of View on the issues of the day, as seen by VenEconomy during the last week. Petroleumworld does not necessarily share these views.

Editor's Note: This commentary was originally published by VeneEconomy on 11/09/2009. Petroleumworld reprint this article in the interest of our readers .

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Petroleumworld News 11/16/09

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