View Full Version : Remarkable documentary

02-13-2004, 04:30 PM
I saw this film today. It's amazing. It's amazing that these documentary filmmakers were there on the streets of Caracus and in the Presidential Palace to film the coup against Chavez while it happened. It's amazing how the coup was orchestrated and amazing the implications made against the United States government.

I want to do a little more reading on this issue before I can have a definitive opinion on what was involved with this.

Chavez was the democratically elected President of Venezuela who was popular with the masses (poor) and very unpopular with elite minority (rich), which included most of the leaders of big business. He set out to nationalize the oil industry, which did not put him in favor with those business interests or with the United States.

One of the most remarkable things in this movie is the coverage by the private television networks in Venezuela of Chavez and of the coup against him. There were several private television stations, and they were all owned by or affiliated with these Venezuelan business interests that were battling Chavez. There was one public television station, and that was the only possible place where Chavez could reasonably have his voice heard. The reports the private stations made during the coup were misleading at best and false at worst. They falsly claimed that the sniper fire that killed 11 people during this period of unrest was from the Chavez supporters, and they misleadingly edited their footage of the events to show this. Unbelievable.

The quotes from the American governmental officials are similar to those from the Venezuelan private television news, sadly. Ari Fleischer (White House spokesman at the time) uses these 11 deaths at the hands of Chavez as justification for Chavez's removal. The facts aren't true, but that doesn't seem to matter. And the Americans state that the Chavez regime limited freedom of expression and was corrupt and self-serving. The movie certainly didn't show that; in fact it showed the opposite.

Two questions still unanswered for me at this point:
1) Chavez attempted a coup himself in 1992. Seems somewhat hypocritical that he can then play the honorable role in 2002, the one using the Constitution as his mandate.

2) In the past year, the people of Venezuela have tried to orchestrate a recall referendum (a la California) and Chavez has worked to thwart it. The right to recall the President (with enough signatures) is in the Constitution. If he is a man of the Constitution, as this film so proudly states, then he should allow the recall vote, correct?