News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela
Scared Maria Corina Machado … “If you can’t do the time, baby, don’t do the crime…”
TOP STORY AT THIS HOUR!
Sunday, November 13, 2005
VHeadline.com commentarist Arthur Shaw writes: In an piece published in something called the Stanford Review, an independently-run student newspaper registered as a voluntary student organization at Stanford University, Diane Raubrants and howls about the “Losing the Fight in Venezuela” and tries to excite public indignation and pity among the Stanford University students over the plight of Maria Corina Machado, the celebrated bribe-taking US imperialist agent in Venezuela.
“’ I’m scared, I’m very scared; I have three kids,’” a sobbing Machado tells Raub.
“These are the words of Maria Corina Machado, the leader of Venezuela’s fight to save its democracy, on the prospect of spending up to 28 years in prison if President Hugo Chavez silences her through a phony trial,” Raub explains.
What in the world is Raub talking about?
Machado isn’t a “leader of Venezuela’s fight to save its democracy?” … Machado was a member of the April 2002 conspiracy to overthrow democracy.
This conspiracy did, in fact, overthrow democracy for two days and the conspirators set up the brutal Pedro Carmona dictatorship which concentrated all powers within itself by the forced dispersal of the legislature and the forced dissolution of supreme court and by the cancellation and trashing of the Venezuelan Constitution.
All of this was done by the decree of one man, Carmona, just hours after he illegally took power from the elected Venezuelan government which he and Machado overthrew. The Carmona dictatorship arrested government ministers and legislators for being governments ministers and legislators.
On April 12, 2002, the dictator Petro Carmona asked 395 of his prominent and influential backers to celebrate the overthrow of democracy at the Miraflores Presidential Palace in Caracas, and to sign a Decree or Manifesto extolling his dictatorship and promising it their support.
Guess who showed up and signed?
None other our Maria Corina Machado, the so-called “leader of Venezuela’s fight to save its democracy,” the person whom the US election-thief and US dictator George W. Bush has appointed and anointed as his mouthpiece and gofer in his ongoing second attempt to overthrow democracy in Venezuela.
Raub pretends that Machado is a person of moral worth who deserves respect because she comes from the privileged class and she has a professional background.
“Born into a wealthy Caracas family,” Raub writes “Machado studied engineering at Catholic University in Caracas and earned a graduate degree from the Venezuelan business school IESA. After graduating, she worked for an auto parts manufacturer in Valencia, Venezuela, leaving that job in 1992 to create a foundation to care for Venezuelan street children.”
If Machado had stuck with the auto parts and the street children, she would still be a person of worth who deserves respect … but Machado dropped the auto parts and the street children to indulge in treason against her country as paid agent of the US government.
“Miss Machado had never been involved in politics until 2002,” Raub claims “when she ‘decided to drop everything else’ after a friend invited her to create a pro-democracy group.”
This “pro-democracy” group of Machado, about which we will talk later, was a lamentable “creation.”
So it was a “friend” that got Machado to drop everything and to “create” a group. Well, what do you know? This “friend,” of course, was none other than the Central Intelligence Agency which promised Machado more money from agency funds and from the funds of the agency’s front, the infamous US National Endowment for Democracy, than Machado was making either from the auto parts or from her “foundation” for the street children.
According to Raub, this “friend” didn’t get Machado to drop everything “until 2002;” this dropping of everything had to occur in 2002 before the overthrow of Venezuelan democracy on April 11 by the CIA-led conspiracy which installed Pedro Carmona as dictator.
So, Machado dropped everything either in January or February or March of 2002.
But, just because the friend got her to drop everything and “create” a group in early 2002 does not mean that the friendship between Machado and the CIA did not exist before 2002. The friendship likely began 1992 when Machado dropped the auto parts and opened her “foundation” with the CIA as the principal contributor.
Using lies and distortions … the only means at hand … Raub does a vicious hatchet job on President Chavez’ bona fides as a democratic leader, to form a basis for her other lies and distortions.
“Venezuela’s current President, Hugo Chavez, was voted into office in 1998,” Raub writes. “Six years earlier, he’d led a failed military coup. He learned. This time around, Chavez used an ancient tactic: he blamed the rich for the troubles of the poor. Class warfare got him into office, and gave him the chance to make his dictatorship permanent by crushing democracy. Like so many dictators before him, Chavez carved away Venezuela’s freedom piece by piece: creating a ‘constituent assembly’ dominated by his supporters, which voted to curtail the constitutional powers of Congress and the Judiciary; using the new assembly to write a new constitution advantageous to Chavez (dedicated, in the preamble, to counteracting ‘fetishist free-market discourse’); and removing hundreds of judges, accusing them of being “corrupt” or “abusive.” In 2000, Chavez won another election making him President until 2006.”
Did you get a load of Raub’s snide observation “Chavez used an ancient tactic: he blamed the rich for the troubles of the poor.”
Evidently, Raub believes the rich are blameless for the troubles of the poor. Perhaps Raub has one of those fancy and “profound” Stanford University theories that blame the troubles of the poor on biology or something.
Today, in Venezuela, the rich, particularly owners of large land estates, are whining and sniveling about their own troubles … the rich better not use the “ancient tactic” of blaming the poor, the squatters and their friends in government, for the troubles of the rich.
Raub must have greatly enjoyed her big lie that Chavez “created” a Constituent Assembly dominated by his supporters. Unlike God, Chavez didn’t create nothin.’ The national referendum to convene the constituent assembly and to elect its deputies passed in the spring of 1999 by 92% of the voters. The people of Venezuela who voted in the referendum election “created” the deputies who served in the Assembly. The deputies represented and supported the people of Venezuela who, again , elected and “created” them. The people of Venezuela in the spring of 1999 and today overwhelmingly support Hugo Chavez.
There is also the nonsense, here, from Raub about the Constituent Assembly “voted to curtail the constitutional powers of Congress and the Judiciary.”
The National Assembly (the “Congress”) came out of the Constituent Assembly bloated with power because, under the 1999 Constitution, the National Assembly, not the executive power over which the President presides, had the power to pick the judges who served on the Supreme Court … a separate branch or power of government.
In contrast, the president of the United States exercises an obscene concentration of power when he picks not only the judges of the supreme court, but also the judges of the courts of appeal and the district judges of the inferior courts.
The US judiciary, as a result, has degenerated into a contemptible rubber-stamp of the executive power under Bush.
In Venezuela, the judiciary that came out of the Constituent Assembly was strengthened because neither the legislature nor the executive power picks the judges who served in the inferior courts. The judges of the Venezuelan supreme court pick the judges who serve in the inferior courts.
US supreme court judges would love to have this power … which Bush exercises to the detriment of justice … to pick their inferiors.
In the United States, Bush habitually picks scum to serve at all levels of the US judiciary.
Even the US Supreme Court with a dishonest GOP majority is a better judge of judicial talent than the election-thief in the Oval Office. If Raub is worried about the independence and integrity of the judiciary, she should concentrate her odious attention on the US judiciary which Bush has turned into a pigsty.
This Constituent Assembly which Raub says Chavez “created,” affirmed the right of the people of Venezuela to recall the President … a right which most of the American people, especially those who aren’t GOPs … wish they possess to impart authenticity to the alleged US democracy.
Nothing limits the power of the presidency and increases the accountability of the government to the voters more than the voters’ right of Presidential recall.
It is hard to say what Raub was trying to achieve with the next one, unless her goal is to appear fashionably unfathomable. “For two days in April 2002, Chavez was briefly overthrown by a popular coup backed by labor, business, the Catholic Church, the media, and parts of the armed forces, but was quickly reinstalled by the Venezuelan paratroopers (his initial power base), and the presidential guard,” Raub writes. “In August 2003, the chavista government created a National Electoral Council stacked with government supporters (bypassing the constitutionally required congressional selection).”
There are so many lies in that one, I must, of necessity, pick out only a few lies, say only three of them.
The first lie claims that the April 2002 overthrow of Venezuelan democracy and establishment of the Carmona dictatorship was “by popular coup.”
Well, Raub, if the coup was so popular, why did it last for only two days?
By the way, if these conspirators — “labor, business, the Catholic Church, the media, and parts of the armed forces” (Raub, of course, conveniently overlooks the CIA as a “popular” co-conspirator) — were so popular, why did they lose the presidential elections of 1998, 2000, and 2004 in addition to SIX other legislative, provincial, and constitutional elections after 1998, when Chavez first came to power.
What’s more, if these conspirators — “labor, business, the Catholic Church, the media, and parts of the armed forces” — were so popular, why did the opinion polls in 2002 show President Chavez with the support of between 55 and 65% of the Venezuelan people. Another thing, if the CIA and its fellow conspirators are so popular, why do the opinion polls today show Chavez with the support of between 70 and 80% of the Venezuelan people.
Clearly, Raub “creates” the popularity of Machado and her friends.
In the second lie, Raub says Chavez was “reinstalled” by paratroopers and the Presidential guard.
She says these stupid things because the revolution was not televised due to the decision of the Venezuelan capitalist and US capitalist media to censor coverage of the activities of all the patriotic forces which overthrew the Carmona dictatorship after it had overthrown democracy.
In April 2002, when democracy was overthrown and dictatorship installed, the poor of Venezuela “dropped everything,” (including their troubles for which the rich are allegedly “blameless”) and poured, by the millions, toward and into Caracas like the waters of the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and Lake Pontratrain poured into New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
They came down from the shantytowns in the mountains and out of their shacks in the rural areas and headed straight for Caracas.
Only two days after its birth, the so-called “popular” dictatorship of Carmona, the CIA, and Machado cut and ran. It’s true however that patriotic sectors of the military, more than just paratroopers and the presidential guard, fought beside the people of Venezuela to restore democracy after Machado and her “friend” overthrew it.
The third lie goes something like this: “In August 2003, the chavista government created a National Electoral Council” and stacked it.
Well, the last time I looked, the Venezuelan Constitution … not the Chavista government, “created” the National Electoral Council, at least in its current form, because the Council pre-existed the 1999 Constitution.
Every time Raub starts to talk, like God, about “creating” things, she screws up. This is the fourth time she has “created” a mess.
Article 292 of the 1999 Constitution says:
Let’s move on to the next batch of Raub’s lies.
Raub falsely portrays Machado, the violence-proned conspirator for CIA dictatorship over Venezuela, as a courageous person fighting peacefully and legally against the odds to “save” democracy.
“Maria Machado stepped into politics just at the time when Chavez’ methodical destruction of democracy was becoming perfectly clear,” Raub writes. “She helped to create Sumate, an organization explicitly dedicated to standing up to Chavez’ attack. Sumate’s goal was to force a recall referendum on the presidency by gathering 2.5 million signatures on a referendum petition. The Chavez government fought Sumate with every tool available to it, stopping just short of outright abolition. Those tools included intimidation, terror, physical violence, the use of corrupt judicial decisions, stifling the free press, and many other methods. In this process, Chavez created a bunch of new ‘laws’ which essentially prohibited the basic individual freedoms which allow democracy to work. Amazingly, despite these odds, Sumate forced the recall referendum only to be defeated by what most fair observers call a blatant falsification of the results by the Chavez government. (Jimmy Carter, however, thought the election perfectly fair.)”
The first thing we notice in this huge batch of falsities is the disappearance or conspicuous absence of the mysterious “friend,” the CIA (which, by the way, maintains a huge presence at Stanford University student recruiting offices and research facilities) which got Machado, in the first place, to drop everything, including the auto parts and the street children, and to “create” a group.
Raub also doesn’t mention the millions of dollars the CIA and its organizational fronts invested in the referendum operation.
And here we go again with Raub’s God complex — “She helped to create Sumate.” This “She,” Machado, helped the CIA and the agency’s front organization, NED, to “create” Sumate which began in February 2003 its signature drive to petition for a recall referendum, citing Article 72 of the Constitution.
“Sumate’s goal was to force a recall referendum on the presidency by gathering 2.5 million signatures on a referendum petition,” Raub says. That goal was secondary to getting Sumate’s hand on as much laundered CIA and NED money as possible so that Sumate’s key people could both enrich themselves and corrupt the democratic institutions and electoral processes of Venezuela in violation of the law.
The strategy of the CIA was basically to use its laundered money and NED’s to entice Venezuelan citizens to commit treason against their country. As for this petition which Raub gushes about, Sumate forged half of the signatures on the petition.
Some objective observers contend Sumate forged more than half of the signatures.
There were page after page of different names on the petition in identical handwriting. Sumate didn’t try to hide the forgeries. Legally, the referendum should have never have occurred because Sumate’s petition, the basis of the referendum, was fraudulent. This illegal recall election was allowed because, Chavez is a free and fair election had nothing to fear from the CIA and its Venezuelan running dogs, the so-called “opposition.”
Notice also that Raub parenthetically says “(Jimmy Carter, however, thought the election perfectly fair.).” She is deliberately silent about the OAS which co-monitored the election with former US president Jimmy Carter. Raub seems to know that the OAS fought hard against Carter to tell the lie on August 15, 2004, that President Chavez lost the recall vote. But Carter refused to be a party to the OAS lie. Carter had to threaten to expose the OAS and its big lie to the world before the OAS backed down and reluctantly agreed to tell the truth that Chavez won.
The Venezuelan experience in August 2004 says a lot about what the OAS will do in Bolivia in the upcoming December 18 election. The OAS is gonna lie and say Evo Morales lost no matter what happens with the voting.
The OAS intends to use the Venezuelan elections set for December 4 to stab Bolivia in the back on December. 18. The OAS will send a token team of only 35 observers (the EU will send 150 observers) to the December 4 Venezuelan election and the OAS will readily and loudly concede that Chavez forces won on election day, increasing its creditability and prestige as an impartial election observer.
On December 18, the OAS, with 150 observers deployed in Bolivia, plans to stab Bolivia in the back by denying Evo Morales the win regardless of the electoral results and by citing the OAS performance in Venezuela of December 4, 2005 and its widely misunderstood performance in Venezuela on August 15, 2004 as ground for its creditability and impartiality.
It’s painful to see how many people on the so-called “Far” Left (at least, in the United States), brainwashed by the lying cappie (or capitalist) media, can not grasp this proposition about the OAS or its imminent significance.
So, the question is … if Evo wins, how should Bolivia deal with the lying OAS?
Anyway, that’s besides the point.
Returning to Raub, we just can’t overlook or bypass that stuff from Raub about “intimidation, terror, physical violence.” Oh no! That won’t do at all. It takes, you know, an exceptional or GOP shamelessness to spread rumors and gossip about “intimidation, terror, physical violence” in Venezuela at the very moment that the so-called vice president of the United States Dick Cheney is openly lobbying the US Congress to legalize torture. The current US government, the Bush regime, is not content with the actual and criminal practice of bestiality. The regime enjoys the sadistic and malicious practice so much that it now wants to legalize it. The next step of this regime, I suppose, is to turn torture into a “reality program” and televise it for the consumption of the GOPs of the United States.
Raub then manufactures a characterization of President Chavez as a mean and vindictive person who is out to destroy his political opponents.
“Now, it was time for Chavez to take revenge,” Raub says. “He accused Maria Machado of ‘treason to the nation’ by allegedly endorsing the April 2002 coup and conspiracy charges for Sumate’s acceptance of $53,000 from the US (congressionally-funded) National Endowment for Democracy.”
If Machado had been a US citizen and took $53,000 (actually it was a lot more) or “anything of value” from a foreign national, like the Venezuelan government, “in connection with” a US election, she could be sentenced up to 10 years in prison and fined up to a quarter of a million dollars under caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/2/chapters/14/subchapters/i/sections/section_441e.html
But this cabal of propaganda operatives at Stanford or at its “Review” — increasingly, a nest of GOPs who are the most two-faced and malignantly hypocritical sector of the US people — ask, as they put on a big show of innocence: What’s wrong with Machado taking money from the US government ‘in connection with’ a Venezuelan election? Why isn’t this proper?
It’s only a Venezuelan election. Ain’t it?
I don’t see anything wrong with it, do you?
After all, hasn’t the US government been buying Venezuelan elections for over a hundred years? What was new or different about the election in August 2004?
That was (and still is) the GOP attitude and especially the attitude of the GOP leader, the election-stealing dictator George W. Bush, who a few months ago photo-opped with Machado at the White House.
If Chavez was revengeful, he would have thrown all of the conspirators, the CIA officers included, in jail after the people of Venezuela restored democracy in April 2002. Most of the conspirators are still walking or strutting around badmouthing Chavez, complaining vociferously in the Venezuela capitalist media and in the foreign capitalist media about non-existing and imaginary restrictions on their freedom of speech, trying of course to induce the CIA, NED, and other imperialist instrumentalities to give them more money.
What does Raub think should be done with conspirators (like Machado) if they arrested the disgusting and vile George W. Bush, dispersed the US Congress, dissolved the US Supreme Court, and threw out the US constitution?
We would probably witness an explosion from her of extreme hypocritical outrage which only the GOPs in the USA can muster.
Using every trick in the book, Raub next does the damsel in distress thing; Machado, you see, is facing the most dire consequences, none of her friends or, more correctly, her fiends can help her, including the most powerful scoundrel on earth.
“Maria Machado has a perfect right to be afraid,” Raub believes. “Chavez either owns the judges or has terrified into silence anyone who might help her. This is not likely to be a story with a happy ending. President Bush made a gesture of support by meeting publicly with Maria Machado in May 2005, but Chavez’ power has grown so strong that he fears no condemnation from the US or any other source.”
Well, at least we have gone two whole paragraphs without Raub “creating” people, groups, and things. I am so relieved to be spared any more of her unnecessary miracles.
Machado wasn’t afraid to sign dictator Carmona’s Decree extolling the dictatorship. She wasn’t afraid to pocket CIA and NED money in connection with a Venezuelan election. This dame wasn’t afraid to forge over a million signatures on the recall petition. She wasn’t afraid to enter into a conspiracy with the CIA and with “labor, business, the Catholic Church, the media, and parts of the armed forces” to massacre dozens of innocent protesters to manufacture a pretext to overthrow democracy. She wasn’t afraid to overthrow democracy.
But now, suddenly, she, one of the most cold-blooded persons in Venezuela or anywhere else, is afraid of prosecution for perhaps the most minor of her many crimes.
She’s putting on an act to elicit pity she doesn’t deserve.
And what does Raub want President Chavez to do?
Behave like the Mexican President Vicente Fox in Mar Del Plata … groveling, grinning, kneeling, fawning, bowing, and dancing … before the despicable GOP leader and election-thief George W. Bush? Fox’s performance in Mar Del Plata was uncharacteristic of the Mexican or Venezuelan people.
Raub concludes with this one “It’s very hard for us,  sitting comfortably so far away, to understand the fear and  hopelessness which must be part of every living day for Maria Machado. Unfortunately, those who  stand up for liberty do indeed risk everything, and they sometimes lose. The story of Venezuela truly should tell us what happens to a democracy which just  doesn’t have enough Maria Machados.”
(1) “Sitting,” is that what Raub is doing?
(2) The “hopelessness” of Machado arises from democracy — a large majority of the Venezuelan people firmly support President Hugo Chavez and this more than anything else thwarts her schemes. So, she deserves her hopelessness.
(3) “Standing up for liberty” does not and never will consist of signing a decree of the dictator, applauding the overthrow of democracy, the suppressing of the legislature, dissolving judiciary, and arresting government officials elected by the people to serve as their representatives.
(4) Raub complains that Venezuela “doesn’t have enough Maria Machados?” Just one Machado is distasteful, indigestible, and excessive.
As the recently acquitted TV star says, “Maria, if you can’t do the time, baby, don’t do the crime.”
www.vheadline.com/shaw More VHeadline.com commentaries by Arthur Shaw