Issue # 19 Sign Up for Free Mailing List

April 13, 2002


Democracy Held Hostage

in Bolívar's Venezuela

Narco News '02

Coup Questions

for Journalists

Time for Civil Society to Insist

on Accurate Venezuela Coverage

A Narco News Press Briefing

By Al Giordano

With Barry Crimmins

They've really overplayed their hand this time. They, being the commercial media with their fictional coverage of the violent coup d'etat in Venezuela.

Yesterday's Q & A posed to Narco News by authentic journalist Jules Siegel has brought some comments and further questions into the Narco Newsroom, which we will answer today. During that exchange, I said:

"But the sorriest group of all has been the US news correspondents in Venezuela. Not a single one of them has asked the right questions, much less answered them."

Our first question today comes from journalist Ron Mader of the Latinscribes mailing list -- a group of 268 reporters who cover Latin America -- where the original Q & A with Jules Siegel took place.

Ron asks:

To Al and others --

"What are top three questions you think should be asked?"

Narco News answers:

There are many more than three questions that must be asked by the journalists covering Venezuela. Here are some of them.

1. Where is President Chavez?

2. On what charges is he being held?

3. What are the names and locations of the other political leaders
who have been rounded-up?

4. Where are they being held?

5. Why are they being kept incomunicado? Why can't we interview them?

6. Why have they been denied access to attorneys?

7. If Chavez has "resigned" where is his resignation letter?

8. Are you keeping us from interviewing President Chavez because he has not resigned?

9. If he did resign, why hasn't the Vice President substituted him?

10. On what legal grounds does the military installed dictator Pedro Carmona abolish Congress, the Supreme Court and even change the name of the country?

11. To the US Embassy: The Washington Post today reports, "Members of the country's diverse opposition had been visiting the U.S. Embassy here in recent weeks, hoping to enlist U.S. help in toppling Chavez. The visitors included active and retired members of the military, media leaders and opposition politicians." Who are these individuals who, the US had prior knowledge, were organizing a coup d'etat?

12. Which US officials did they speak with?

13. To the media: On what basis do almost all of you claim that the shots fired on Thursday came from the government?

14. How do you explain that Chavez supporters were also shot?

15. Where did those shots come from?

16. On what basis do almost all of you claim that Chavez "resigned"?

17. Particularly after his daughter, his attorney general and his ambassador to Mexico have proclaimed that he has not resigned, why do you keep repeating this knowingly false lie?

18. On what basis, since he is held incomunicado, do you claim he asked for asylum in another country?

19. Why do you refer to the military installed dictator Pedro Carmona as president without at least placing the word in quotation marks?

20. On what basis do you call this military coup a popular revolt?

21. On what basis do you portray a relatively small effort by the "spoiled brat" oligarchy classes in one city of a country of 24 million people as at all representative of the national public will?

22. Why is there no examination of the vested interests that the military brass, the oil industry (including dictator Pedro Carmona), the corrupt petrol workers union, the Church hierarchy and the five TV networks had to stage a military coup?

23. What were their real motives for imprisoning a democratically elected leader?

Those questions may soon be bypassed by events more grave in the days to come.

24. What dishonest spin will the inauthentic journalists place on the story when the Venezuelan majority begins to fight to restore its constitutional government?

Anything can happen in the next 72 hours. Anything.

And the US correspondents have showed themselves, already, to be unprepared or unwilling to conduct the most basic inquiries of journalism.

For more information, see:

(Thanks to Jules Siegel for yesterday's Q & A, which is now published along with other analysis and breaking news).

salud y abrazo,

Al Giordano

A Real Coup for the

Bush Administration

A reader writes:

Dear Al,

I know that democracy has been defeated, the CIA fired at those crowds in Venezuela and then blamed Chavez, the jackbooted thugs are going house to house right now in Venezuela to round up the democratically elected leaders, and the New York Times is lying through its dentures -- you should see that corrupt rookie asshole Forero's story today! -- but, jeez, Al, you sound so angry and serious. Can't you have a sense humor about all this, even if the joke is on We, the People?


Laughless on Long Island


Dear Laughless,

Um, I'm going to have Barry Crimmins handle that question.

Barry sent this commentary out to his mailing list this morning.

from somewhere in a country called América,

Al Giordano


Quips & Comments 4-13-'02

by Barry Crimmins

This Venezuelan thing is a real coup for the Court-appointed Bush Administration.

If you want to know what's going on in Venezuela just read, and invert, the New York Times.

The State Department's own newsletter contains more material it objects to than can be found in a month's worth of the New York Times.

It's nice to see it didn't take long for the CIA to make good use of its unchecked power and unlimited budget.

The Dulles Brothers are cackling in Hell over the restoration of America's ability to reverse the democratic will of sovereign nations, without so much even mild cross-examination by the media.

William Randolph Hearst is sitting in the same bonfire as the Dulles boys, beaming proudly at the ease with which the contemporary corporate media is able to mislead the public.

On the other hand, Simon Bolivar is on a rotisserie in his grave.

Remember the Maine? Well keep it in mind when you are reading anything in the corporate media concerning the Venezuelan coup.

Remember the Latin American hoaxes!

The new corporate junta in Venezuela so loves freedom that it is now delivering it door-to-door, at the end of a gun barrel.

The US-backed Venezuelan coup installed "President" Pedro Carmona who in just 24 hours dissolved the legitimately elected congress, delayed elections and declared he has the right to remove any elected official from power. At this rate he should be naming John Ashcroft Attorney General sometime later today.

Bush and Carmona are forming a new group: The Organization of Illegitimate Leaders or "OIL."

The Venezuelan coup is about the drug the US simply cannot kick-- oil. Fingerprints of the oily Bushes and their family-owned subsidiary, the Central Intelligence Agency, are all over this removal from power of a man who had the gall to assert that Venezuelans should benefit from Venezuela's natural resources.

Anyone in the Court-appointed Bush Administration will tell you, Chavez Frias' fidelity to the people of Venezuela is proof positive that he is anti-American.

If you think the snipers that killed the people in Venezuela were doing so at the behest of overthrown democratically-elected (by landslides) President Hugo Chavez Frias, you probably believe Wag the Dog was a documentary.

I'm not saying that there are a zillion parallels to the overthrow of Allende in Chile, I'm just saying that if Jack Lemmon has any kids in Venezuela, now would be a good time for them to get the hell out of there.

That figure of 150,000 protesters at the anti-Chavez Frias rally in Venezuela includes 110,000 previously uncounted participants from earlier peace, environmental and civil rights rallies in the United States. When the Court-appointed Bush Administration saw the need to make Pedro Carmona seem legitimate, it immediately ordered the National Park Service to send down a healthy amount of uncounted masses to help in the rationalization of the installation of this
corporate junta.

The actual figure of 150,000 was provided to the Venezuelan Corporate Junta courtesy of Katherine Harris.

The presidents of Mexico and Peru have announced that they do not recognize the illegitimate regime of Carmona but what do elected leaders matter?

And while we're at it-- for the best coverage and analysis of the Venezuelan Coup and all matters concerning affairs south of the Land of the Court-appointed Gringo, read Narco News:

© 2002 Barry Crimmins

To join Barry Crimmins' mailing list:

Have a Question for the Press Briefing?

Write to Us At:

for more Narco News, click here

Okay, Now Can I Go Back to Being Bitter Again?