Monday, November 8th 2010 - 16:29 UTC

Venezuelan military would “not accept” an elected opposition government

A top Venezuelan military commander said that the National Bolivarian Armed Force is committed to President Hugo Chavez and his Socialist project, therefore if in the coming elections the opposition wins “it will not be accepted because they would sell the country”.

Total commitment to Chavez Bolivarian project says General Henry Rangel Silva

The hypothesis of an “opposition government is hard to swallow, it would mean selling the country, and that is not going to be accepted, not by the Armed Force and much less by the people”, said Major General Henry Rangel Silva, head of the Operational Strategic Command in a interview published Monday in the Caracas daily, Ultimas Noticias.

Rangel Silva claimed that the Venezuelan opposition acts “with the support of third countries”, which affects “nationalism” and this is something the military would not accept.

The top military officer accused the political sectors that oppose President Chavez revolution of keeping an “agenda of attacks” against the Bolivarian Armed Force and also against some of its leaders which they are trying to remove because they are an “inconvenient” to their alleged international interests.

“Those attacks are in the opposition’s agenda. The Armed Forces historically have been used in Venezuela to overturn and oust governments”, said Rangel Silva who added that “the National Bolivarian Armed Force has no half loyalties but complete loyalty with the people, a project of life and development, and with the Commander in Chief (President of the Republic). We are married to that project of country…”

Last week President Chavez said that if the opposition manages to win the election in 2012, he “would be unable to contain a violent revolution”.

“They (the opposition) would try to sack from the Armed Force all those who support Chavez and they would only achieve having the military up in arms”, warned President Chavez during a recent “Aló President” program aired by radio and television to the whole country.

The opposition alliance under the umbrella of the Democratic Union Table, (MUD) rejected the presidential claims which were described as “irresponsible” and “non respectful” towards the Venezuelan armed forces, and a further attempt “to scare Venezuelan society”.

“MUD policy has been at all times respect for article 328 of the Constitution which states that the National Armed Force is an institution essentially professional, with no political militancy, organized by the State to guarantee the independence and sovereignty of the nation”, pointed out the opposition alliance in an official release.

MUD which brings together twenty odd political groups and forces in last September’s legislative elections obtained 65 seats in the National Assembly thus ending the government’s hegemony which retained a majority (99) but unable to confirm the two thirds it enjoyed since 2005.

That year the government captured all seats since at last minute the opposition walked out alleging irregularities in the electoral process.

30 comments Feed

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1 xbarilox (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 05:12 pm Report abuse
wow, They surely know what Democracy is all about! Talking about right-wing dictators now you have left-wing dictators. The title should go like this “If the opposition wins, they would kill people”. But I guess that Bolivar would be proud of Hugo Chávez. Chávez is a cretin sociopath. What a tosser!
This means that what people say about Chávez is true, Chávez doesn't like Democracy, doesn't like freedom, he doesn't love his country, just like what we have in Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is Chávez's disciple.
2 Idlehands (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 06:01 pm Report abuse
Chavez's mask has now slipped so far I don't know why he even bothers to pretend he's wearing one.

If Venezuelans can't see this for what it is then they deserve him.
3 jerry (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 09:16 pm Report abuse
Amen, brothers!
4 Beef (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 10:12 pm Report abuse
So if the opposition were elected then this would not be acceptable to the people. Now that is an oxymoron if ever I have heard one. So welcome to the South American version of Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea. Now, can any democracy loving South Americans please explain why they wish to embrace Chavez who by this story is simply a military dictator. A military dictator who has also ruined the economy of his country.
5 Forgetit87 (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 10:48 pm Report abuse
Under all honest criteria, Chavez is not a military dictator. He was democratically elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2006. And judging by the recent legislative elections, his party is still the favourite one amongst the Venezuelan electorate. Acting against Chavez as if he were an illegimate leader, a dictator - as once a Mexican commenter in this webiste commended LatAm countries to do - would be an act of aggression against the Venezuelan public will.

As for this story, I wouldn't make much of it. That was one officer only, and one that isn't even of very high ranking. Has Chavez said something about it? Has the Congress? Higher-ranking officials? Is it weird for an army official to make such statements? For LatAm not so much. In the country I live the head of the Supreme Military Tribunal made a veiled coup threat against the president as recently as 2007. That doesn't mean he had broad support from the army.

As for this - that ”MUD policy has been at all times respect for article 328 of the Constitution (...)” - it is a lie. The 2002 coup was planned and put into motion by the all anti-Chavez sectors of the society: the opposition, the military and the press. And it was precisely due to the state of the Venezuelan army - under the hands of officials with ties to the old elite - that Chavez began a crackdown on the military leadership: he began to replace suspicious officials with his own lackeys. He might have replaced one evil with another, but he's hardly entirely to blame for how things stand.
6 xbarilox (#) Nov 08th, 2010 - 11:00 pm Report abuse
@Beef #4
“can any democracy loving South Americans please explain why they wish to embrace Chavez”
Democracy loving South Americans and all Democracy loving people of the world, don't use violence. Chávez knows this, and he uses the threat of violence to create a climate of fear and to prevent people from doing something against his will by telling them: if you do not do as I say, you'll go to jail or you'll be shot.
7 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 12:55 am Report abuse
6 xbarilox “can any democracy loving South Americans please explain why they wish to embrace Pinochet”
8 Idlehands (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 11:25 am Report abuse
Pinochet had been dead for years. Did nobody tell you?
9 Zethee (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 03:11 pm Report abuse
“Under all honest criteria, Chavez is not a military dictator. He was democratically elected in 1999 and re-elected in 2006. And judging by the recent legislative elections, his party is still the favourite one amongst the Venezuelan electorate.”

Democratic government untill the event that someone else gets democratically elected at which point he would become a military dictator, as the above story proves.
10 Marcos Alejandro (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 04:27 pm Report abuse
8 Idlehands ”Pinochet had been dead for years. Did nobody tell you?
Not his folowers like xbarilox.
11 xbarilox (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 05:04 pm Report abuse
@ Marcos Alejandro #10

I'm not a Pinochetist, I'm not a Chavizt? Chaveztist? Chavezist? and I'm not a Kirchnerist. Hope this helps.
12 rylang23 (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 05:56 pm Report abuse
Most of the above comments sound like a chorus from the American Enterprise Institute. The General is absolutely correct in assuming that a right wing government would dismantle and sell off all of Venezuela's nationalized assets. I suggest all of you read Eduardo Galiano's “The Open Veins of Latin America” for a historical perspective. Of course, you could merely look at the crumbling of the US to see what the international corporatocracy has done to that country to see the result. I don't always agree with the tactics of the democratically elected Presidents (Yes, they were all elected!) of South America, but I do agree with their attempt to reverse centuries of abuse and exploitation by the various European and North American empires. To underscore my point, I am leaving the insanity of the US and the overwhelming control of the government by the oligarchs to live in and experience the experiments of South America.

P.S. - Watch Oliver Stone's “South of the Border” for additional insight. It may shame you into seeing who the Presidents of the US really work for.
13 Think (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 06:06 pm Report abuse

Besides the intelligent replies at (5) and (12).................................

Have any of you, monolingual Anglos, that have so intelligently opined and commented about General Silva’s (NOT HUGO CHAVEZ) “declarations” thought about checking the “trustworthiness” of the English ”translation” of this article by reading the original document in Spanish?…

No……. of course not :-)))

Just a clue for you………
The Spanish and English texts are “astonishingly” different….
Most of the original Spanish syntaxis has been crudely manipulated and the best “reconstructed punch lines” are rerere-peated.

Brainwash anybody?
14 xbarilox (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 07:52 pm Report abuse
Maybe it is all Clarin's fault.
15 El Supremo (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 10:19 pm Report abuse
Very well, then CIVIL WAR it shall be. The only question is when the current leader will be taken down and what caliber will be used.
16 rylang23 (#) Nov 09th, 2010 - 10:38 pm Report abuse
El Supremo, you have the typical attitude of an American who believes that the US has a right to dominate, exploit and suppress the entire world. Imagine if you can, if Chinese or Brazilian (take your pick of a foreign country) leaders were openly discussing assassinating Ronald Reagan or the Bushes. Do you still feel the same? What if China or Brazil or... had military bases in Nebraska or Connecticut? Again, what are your feelings.

It would be helpful if you did a little studying of world history rather than just watching FOX (so called) News, and then thinking that you actually understand anything. Your comments betray a very small mind.
17 El Supremo (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 12:02 am Report abuse
rylang ... please post again, but this time try to make some sense, please.
18 rylang23 (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 12:38 am Report abuse
El Supremo - My intention was to say “walk in their shoes” and “what if this were happening in reverse” and ... things like that.

But, please accept my apology for allowing my anger to leak into my comments to you and for making unnecessary and cruel comments about you. It was mean spirited of me.
19 xbarilox (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 12:47 am Report abuse
Excuse me, but El Supremo is a Latino Americano. That deserves some respect.
20 El Supremo (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 01:04 am Report abuse
Let us move on, and, cartainly apologies sincerely offered must always be sincerely accepted. This issue I see here, as a mere 'commentator' practicing his English, is that the history of totalitarianism always ends very badly, especially when wrapped and disguised in the camoflage of nationalism ... nearly all of our great (or potentially great) ex-Spanish & ex-Portugese nations have expienced this unhappy phenominum to some degree or another. Now, i would argue, it is (again) Venezuala's turn. They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same (bad) thing time after time and expecting a good outcome. That, I fear, will prove to be the case with Venezuela ... unfortunately. Venezuela's greatest enemy is not the US, Colombia, the foreign nationals, the absentee landlords or anything else. Rather, in my opinion, it has been and remains its own leadership who seems to be stuck with demonstrably out-of-date and totally discredited policies. But, as I have said. We shall see what happens. Let us hope and pray for as good an outcome as history will allow, or has allowed in similar situations, elsewhere.
21 rylang23 (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 03:16 am Report abuse
El Supremo - What do you think about the governments of Bolivia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Brazil? They all have common cause with Venezuela in some way or another. And, all of the current presidents of those countries would disagree with your analysis of the problem. Are they all wrong?
22 El Supremo (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 03:35 am Report abuse
I agree with you, rylang. I would not expect agreement by those Presidents ... indeed, i would be absolutely astonished if they even read these posts. But, of the group you mention I would say that the common cause they have with Venezuela is situational, conditional and expedient. I do not think, for example, that Uruguay's leadership is in the same league as Venezuela's and does not seem to be heading in that direction or trajectory. Likewise, and more importantly, Brasil. The others? Yes. To a lesser degree that have circumstances and internal political and social forces that could make some of their political leadership feel a kinship with some of what The Great Leader of Venezuela has unilaterally implimented. I am of the opinion (like anyone should case what I have to say) that none of that latter group would wish to create the level of internal disfunction that The Great Leader of venezuela is visiting on his nation ... the outcome of which in all other states where this has been tried in the past has proven to be total disaster and/or civil war. Certainly, as one goes down the check-list of 'to dos' in making a totalitarian state, The Great Leader of venezuaely is about 70% down that list at this stage. he next and final logical stage will be declaring enemies of the Revolution too dangerous to remain free and those must be quarantined, imprisoned or expelled. As I say, we shall see soon how this will all unfold. All I can say at this stage is that I am blessed to not be living in Venezuela ... and, as such, my only interest in the proceedings within Venezuela are in the conext of how those developments may affect the more stable nations of this continent. Frankly, in the 2000's you have to question the judgment of anyone in leadership who holds-up the Castro brothers as their heroes and leaders.
23 Think (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 05:32 am Report abuse
(22) El Sufremo

Lots of nice, grandiloquent words but …………………..
The question remains that, at post (15) you declare:

”Very well, then CIVIL WAR it shall be. The only question is when the current leader will be taken down and what caliber will be used.”

The above text makes perfectly clear your political position and the meaning of your texts…….

As a Patagonian, I clearly remember the 11 of September………………of 1973; when the democratically elected and very popular president of Chile, Dr. Salvador Allende, was assassinated by people using precisely the arguments you mention in your post (22).
24 El Supremo (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 06:14 am Report abuse
Not at all, #23. You can discern nothing, except whatever you place there, from what i said. It is mere;y a statement of the facts;

1) The Great Leader of venezuela had chosen, despite all the other options he has had before him, to embark upon the hopeless task of re-creating a Cuban-type monstrosity on the mainland of the continent.

2) He has manipulated and purged the military of Venezuela to a form and substance that now, as plainly stated by General Silva (see his remarks), that ANY 'opposition' government will be 'opposed' by the military, that is to say, in his words 'not accepted' ... same thing ... it means that at some point IF there is an opposition government (assuming one can even be formed) it would be reasonable to assume/surmise/project that the military would act as it has in so many other instances in so many other S. American countries over these past 200+ years, to stifle, if not outright quash/destroy (kill?) that oppositional government. This appears plain and simple enough of a threat, at least for me - how about you?
3) I think that is your (and my) recollection of the events of Chile in the 1970s are the same then what I am saying is what you are saying and we both agree that what Chavez and his General is saying is that they will fight, militarily to prevent and not accept any oppositional government ... or do I misunderstand?

That brings me to my own conclusion that;

a) There will most likely be some form of civil war, and

b) It increases the likelihood that Chavez will make of himself an attractive target for elimination by force ... since his own general has said that they will not accept oppositional governments, this always leads to frustration on the part of that opposition and can very likely lead to violence.

Not that I (a mere pipsqueak poster) would welcome, condone or support that (I had very great hopes for Chavez), but he is a man who is busy making his own bed in which he will lie some day.

Chavez is no Allende.
25 Think (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 06:56 am Report abuse
Pipsqueak posters we are indeed......
26 Argie (#) Nov 10th, 2010 - 04:58 pm Report abuse
One day, the Venezuelan people will not be able to believe that they had a government like the one they're suffering now.
27 Pheel (#) Nov 11th, 2010 - 06:25 pm Report abuse
I couldn´t charge the link that Think posted.
But I would like to know if this general has already said that.
One-eye democracy surely should not be called a democracy.
If the standard is so variable, anarchy or tyranny is near. keeping moderate cos couldn´t access to the link.
28 Think (#) Nov 11th, 2010 - 07:40 pm Report abuse
(27) Pheel

Seems to be that“ Ultimas Noticias” deleted the article because of some discrepancies.....:-)
Instead they have published the original soundtrack of the reportage...
29 Pheel (#) Nov 11th, 2010 - 08:47 pm Report abuse
Thanks for the link.

So, el Hugo has stated about an hypotesis (as the journalist and the general agreed) that the opposition win next election and therefore try to make changes in the high ranks -immediately after described as “desmantelar” the Armed Forces -.
In that case, either Chavez and Gral Rangel are telling that “a reaction” would happen. From “reaction” (Chavez dixit) to “popular reaction”, as Rangel predicted.
I thought that we were listening to Seineldin.

So, a “popular election” would be less than a “popular reaction”?
And “the opposition” and “the medios” are assumed as the bad guys.

Divisive and self-centered is the less to say.
Lack of respect to popular will.
And why are these magnificent generals going to loose if they are so people-oriented?

Sad evolution of the bolivarian regime.

Expect that this should not be an example of the times to come.
30 Think (#) Nov 11th, 2010 - 11:49 pm Report abuse
Hey man….

What do you expect…. Generals, Coronels,…… Uniforms.
Not diplomatic or intelligent their declarations but…..
Still a far cry from the manipulated text of the above MercoPress article…..

Very, very few good or intelligent military people in our continent…
Like this old “comrade in thoughts” (QEPD)

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