London (14.12.03) - Once upon a time there was a rather infamous and openly propagandistic website whose editorial read "VHeadline.com Venezuela is a wholly independent e-publication promoting democracy in its fullest expression and the inalienable right of all Venezuelans to self-determination and the pursuit of sovereign independence without interference. We seek to shed light on nefarious practices and the corruption which for decades has strangled this South American nation's development and progress. Our declared editorial bias is pro-democracy and pro-Venezuela ... which some may wrongly interpret as anti-American".
Fortunately the site has been removed from the web, owing either to the lack of funding coming from the Venezuelan presidential palace or due to its multiple and well documented fiascos when reporting the crisis. However Hugo Chavez is never short of minions, especially when one takes into account the largesse with which PDVSA's monies are spread around nowadays, isn't that right Mr Kemp? As such, a new pro-Chavez website has appeared -as if we didn't have enough with the BBC...- disguised under the most concise title of Venezuelanalysis: News and Analysis from Venezuela.
The editor in chief – a Gregory Wilpert- is remarkably gifted with clever, discerning awareness and hard-headed acumen. Said gentleman is in charge of the impossible task of spinning the truth and produce make believe stories about the benignity of Hugo Chavez and his revolution. For it, he counts with the assistance of a group of very talented writers; some of them famous as Mark Weisbrot or Greg Palast; constitutional experts as Eva Golinger Moncada and the rest of the lot are just brilliant minds from leftist academic circles. They have informed the world about the demoniac opposition, they have even alerted about fallacious statements of Human Rights Watch in an attempt to keep their audience abreast of the real situation.
The recall referendum in Mr Wilpert’s opinion “will not solve any of Venezuela’s basic problems and it seems obvious to me that Venezuela’s opposition will be much less capable of solving them than the Chavez government”. Not content with it, his site published a report by the “International Observers” which clashes with the opinion of the OAS with respect to the transparency of the signature collection event and democratic behaviour of the 3.6 million supporters of the recall.
Curiously enough, Venezuelanalysis uses the same tactics that the extinct Vheadline employed in the past i.e. they pay to appear in the ad section of Google, the Washington Post is another recipient of a share of the budget destined to promote their views, one must wonder about the source of such funds though. This site for example can not afford to do so, even with all the money that the CIA, Bush and the neo-cons are sending in!!
Ms Golinger Moncada, Mr Weisbrot and Mr Wilpert have received messages from this editor, alas none of them have responded. They have also miserably failed in informing about the damaging relationship between Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, which up to date has cost Venezuela more than 700$ millions, the presence of the Colombian guerrilla in Venezuela, the protection given to Wladimiro Montesinos by Chavez’ regime, the constant and systematic violations to the constitution drafted by Chavez, the lack of independence of powers and rule of law, the inexistence of viable macro economic plans to put the country back on track, etc, etc, etc…
As a note on the side, yesterday while having a drink with some acquaintances of mine here in London I bumped into Arturo Sarmiento, representative in Venezuela of the phantom venture Free Market Petroleum. Mr Sarmiento was accompanied by an American gentleman with whom he was purportedly on the way to Abu Dhabi. Considering Mr Sarmiento’s high connections with the new PDVSA, it really freaks me out the fashion, people and places which the regime employs to conduct its businesses.
And last but not least, democratic people around the world must feel rejoiced today after learning the news of the capture of Saddam Hussein. Let us hope that other criminals at large such as Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Robert Mugabe -just to name a few- will be equally captured and imprisoned soon.