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What are they afraid of? Hate-Venezuela media threatens us again! Big, Big, Yawn!


Sunday, June 12, 2005 commentarist Oscar Heck writes: Recently, has received yet another menacing statement from the purported operator of a seemingly now-desperate Venezuelan opposition media outlet which apparently operates from Miami and which disseminates English-language anti-Chavez rhetoric with the fervor of a starving, opportunistic vulture.

We (most writers) have been receiving menaces and threats from these (and other) Chavez-haters for about three years because we have refused and still refuse to promote their myopic, self-serving and egotistical views — even though has freely published innumerable editorials and letters written by people who support their views.

To this day the violent and manipulative anti-Chavez hoard are “out to get Chavez,” without accepting for one minute that Chavez was elected with a strong majority, re-elected with a strong majority and victorious in a referendum against him with a strong majority (59%) in August 2004.

What they also fail to realize is that if they were US citizens and living in the USA … and if they did not believe in Bush … they would probably be committing suicide by now— in complete frustration at their total inability to “get rid of Bush.”

I was watching CNN again — to make a routing diagnosis of the illness-plagued “corporate” media.

According to a recent poll in the USA, Bush has 47% overall support (compared to Chavez, who has an estimated 70% support now — and, an official support of 59% in the August 2004).

Imagine, opposition people, if the USA were a true democracy … as Venezuela … whereby US citizens had the mechanism to call for a referendum against Bush at a time period equivalent to half his elected period in office — what would happen?

Bush would most probably lose the referendum — and 53% of the US population would be shouting for joy, ridding themselves of the greatest criminal which recorded history has probably ever known.

Your president, people of the USA, is damaging your reputation to the extent that potentially, at some point in time, US citizens will hardly be able to travel to other countries with any peace of mind whatsoever (outside Europe, Japan, Australia and countries or territories like Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong perhaps).

I have recently received letters from people in the USA confirming similar fears and expressing their frustration and sadness at their inability to hold their own leadership accountable (through referendums, for example), as we do in Venezuela.

Talking about fear — and instilling fear into a population …

If one enters the US State Department website, which covers travel issues and information about countries throughout the world (for travelers), you may be astounded.

Simply choose a country (there is a long list), and scroll down to the sections: SAFETY AND SECURITY and CRIME. Compare the information between different countries and you will find that for most countries in the world, one will read about all the “dangers” which US citizens may be exposed to in those countries: theft, rape, kidnapping, extortion, muggings, etc.

From my experiences in 34 countries and having visited/worked in and lived in many areas of these countries which are rarely ever visited by outsiders, most of the information on the US State Department website is either not true, or very much exaggerated. Nonetheless it remains “reliable” government-approved (?) information which is essentially shoved down people’s throats (where else will you get the information from?) — perhaps in order to keep US citizens “scared.”

If such information is provided by the CIA (which I believe it is) can it truly be “reliable” information? — especially considering the fact that the CIA is known to be a subversive spy network working on behalf of US government interests — and not necessarily working on behalf of the best interests of the people of the USA?

Take Venezuela for example: 

“The State Department warns American citizens not to travel within a 50-mile area along the entire Venezuela/Colombia border. U.S. citizens who elect to visit areas along the border region with Colombia against this warning, apart from the Colombian terrorist threat, could encounter Venezuelan military-controlled areas and may be subject to search and arrest.”

“The U.S. Embassy must approve in advance the official travel to Venezuela of all U.S. Government personnel. Private travel by U.S. military personnel to Venezuela requires advance approval by the U.S. Embassy. Non-military employees of the U.S. Government do not need Embassy approval for private travel.”  (Democracy?)

It also states:

“Kidnapping of US citizens and other foreign nationals, from homes, hotels, unauthorized taxis and the airport terminal has occurred. U.S. citizens should be alert to their surroundings and take necessary precautions. “

What a way to scare the living daylights out of US citizens!

This is poppycock!

I spend months at a time along these borders, and the only people that I have ever heard of who were kidnapped are members of well-known, wealthy (very wealthy) Venezuelan families — and some cases of feuds between families. Anyhow, if one thinks about it logically, why would anyone in their right criminal-mind ever want to try to extort money from a US tourist or traveler? Technically-speaking, it makes no sense at all. What are they going to extort, $100, $1000, $2000, $5000? The kidnappers can more easily and efficiently extort several hundred thousand dollars from a very wealthy Venezuelan family — and there are many Venezuelan families who have millions upon millions of dollars.

Tourists or travelers, whether they are US citizens or not, are peanuts to them (the kidnappers).

So, USA people, why would your own government put such fear into your minds and into your good hearts? Is it intentionally done in order to put such fear into you that you will, with your hard-earned tax dollars, continue to support the US government-invented “war on terror?”

On CNN, they showed Bush inaugurating the new Counterterrorism Center.

What is this?

Let me ask you a question. Who are the “terrorists” which your government is supposed to be protecting you from?

North Korea, which is at the other end of the world and which has essentially told the US government — don’t bother us and we won’t bother you?

Perhaps Iraqi insurgents (another US-government-invented term), who are in Iraq, thousands of miles away, simply trying to pry their devastated country from the hands of unwelcome guests?

Or maybe, is it to protect you from Cuba, a small paradise island with a relatively small population (where millions of tourists from Canada, Europe and abroad spend beautiful vacations) — or from the supposed, “evil” Fidel Castro who is in his late 70’s or thereabouts?

(As far as I know, the only country in the world which does not permit its own citizens to travel to Cuba or to do business with Cuba is the USA! Democracy?)

What are they afraid of?

Are they (the US government) afraid that if US citizens were freely allowed to go to Cuba they would discover that Cuba is not what the US government makes it out to be? Think about it.

To enhance the notion, and as far as I know, Cuba generally allows Cubans to leave the country as they wish. There are thousands of Cubans in Venezuela and in Canada, for example. I have met many of them — and they have no fear. They return to their country regularly, go in and out, with little or few restrictions.

Emailing me from Cuba, one Canadian joyfully said to me (something to the effect of):

“Finally, after working in Canada all my life, I moved to Cuba 5 years ago — to paradise, to freedom. Imagine, freedom in Cuba?”

(He says that he has returned to Canada only briefly … and that he will not return to Canada unless absolutely necessary.)

Does the US-invented “war on terror” aim at protecting you from the US-government-labeled “terrorist” Colombian FARC revolutionary forces? Do you really think they will leave their beautiful paradise country to attack and invade the people of the USA — or to live there? I doubt it, especially since their country is one of the most beautiful countries in the world — and perhaps most importantly, because the FARC (and other Colombian groups) apparently finance much of their activities through the sale of cocaine and opium to the USA. Why would they kill their own best customer?

So who are the real flesh-and-blood terrorists which the US government is protecting you from?

Maybe it is the Canadians, “that tribe” of 30 million or so “evil” “igloo-dwelling” people with “funny accents?” Or maybe it is the Canada geese, which migrate yearly to and from Canada and the USA. Perhaps they are being trained to carry small vials of biological weapons which are to be dropped into US cities, parks and wildlife areas?

Or — just perhaps — it is to protect you from the only world-leader who is attempting to bring true participative democracy to the people, Hugo Chavez Frias, Latin America’s “negative force,” according to Condoleezza Rice — the person you are paying with your hard-earned tax dollars to spread a “positive image” of you.

She is not spreading that image — she is doing the contrary (at least in Latin America) — she is spreading further hate against you — you, the innocent, good-hearted, hard-working, tax-paying US citizens — and I am not talking about your corrupt business leaders (Enron for example) who have stolen your money, your jobs, and who have often put you and your family into bankruptcy, depression and divorce while they fill their offshore bank accounts with billions of your dollars and their tax exemptions (paid with your tax dollars).

So, where are the “terrorists” for which it is “justified” to spend billions of your tax dollars?

(I don’t remember the US government spending billions of dollars after the Oklahoma bombing, which was apparently perpetrated by a US “terrorist.”)

Remember, the tax dollars that you spend on “terrorism” are dollars which are taken away from your children’s mouths.

Instead of the US government attempting to reverse the critical situation by declaring that they will, for example, take all US troops and CIA operatives out of other countries (which would certainly help remedy the situation to some degree), your representatives from the US State Department continue to try to impose their own government-dictated views and “values” onto others, often with veiled threats and coercion — something that is not at all well looked upon (anywhere in this world, including the USA) — thus aggravating the situation and putting more unnecessary stress on the already semi-ruined reputation of US citizens abroad.

According to a poll (on CNN), surprisingly, 61% of the US population supports Bush’s “fight on terror.”

That is about the same percentage of people who officially support Chavez!

Meanwhile, according to another poll (on CNN), 59% think that their country is on the “wrong track” (without specifying what it refers to specifically).

That is the same percentage of support that Chavez received in the August 2004 referendum!

One of the funniest things I saw on CNN was a sequence of Bush inaugurating the Counterterrorism Center (in the USA, of course) — where he was surrounded by several bodyguards — lol.

So — again — where is the “terrorist” threat coming from?

Perhaps the people of the USA should consider actively pushing for true democracy in the USA — whereby, as in Venezuela, they can, through democratic process (such as referendums), hold their leaders accountable.

During the Gulf war (1991) I spoke with many young soldiers. (I sang for some as well.) Most of them were traumatized, depressed, angry or disillusioned. (Many were sick as well, some having suffered serious bouts of heatstroke.) Many felt as if they had been lied to by their own government. (This, by the way, can be confirmed by speaking with almost any Gulf War Vet.) Most of them were “kids,” 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 years old — and many were from small towns and from poorer families, some having never experienced life beyond their own village — and “boot camp.” They had been trained to “kill the enemy,” but most of them couldn’t, especially when coming face to face with other young Arab men from small villages or Bedouin camps.

Most of the US soldiers had girlfriends and some were married — and all of them missed their loved ones, desperately — especially during the lengthy days they spent under the unforgiving desert sun in metal tanks and armored vehicles alone with other young men, forced to go to the bathroom in the sand behind the semi-cover of their war machines, wondering if and when a bomb would land on or near them. (Note, at the time, I did not speak with women soldiers.)

Remember, we are all human beings. We all go to the bathroom — and we all get diarrhea —

Many people who believe in the anti-Chavez Venezuelan opposition do not seem to understand this — including those who have been menacing and threatening us for the last 3 years … the real Venezuelan terrorists.

Oscar Heck More commentaries by Oscar Heck

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