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ENGLISH EDITION/ The artillery of ideas INTERNATIONAL Friday, May 10, 2013 | 157 | Caracas | www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve T/ CNE Press This week, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) approved the presence of organized social movements in the second phase of the citizen verification audit of the results of the last presidential elections on April 14th. The audit has been broadened in order to Social movements participate in audit of presidential vote ensure the proper functioning of the technological platform used for the elections. Requests for participation by ci- vil society groups were approved by the electoral authority in order to add them to the list of hundreds of auditors, technicians and politi- cal party representatives that will participate in the activity. So far, the second phase of the citizen verification audit, which began on Monday, May 6th, has found no errors. According to article 162 of Venezuela’s Law on Electoral Processes, citizen verification involves reviewing the paper receipts issued by voting machines and checking them against the electronic re- cords at each voting table. The activity involves reviewing the selected electoral material and verifying the paper receipts, as well as the registry of results recorded in the automated ve- rification system. It also entails the supervision of each station by external auditors who will is- sue a verification form and proof of review. Phase two of the citizen ve- rification is being conducted on 46% of the voting tables, all of those that were not audited automatically on the day of the election, and it will take place in three ten-day cycles. At the end of the process, an official report will be presented. Latin American workers union T/ AVN Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro proposed Tuesday the creation of a Central Workers Union for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in order to re- articulate and strengthen the la- bor movement in Latin America. “When are we going to have a powerful bloc of workers in Latin America and the Caribbean? We already have CELAC. We should have a strong union of regional workers from our Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. If we can carry out the- se proposals, we offer Caracas as a headquarters of the CELAC workers union, where Central American, Caribbean and South American workers converge”, said Maduro during a meeting held at the headquarters of the Inter-Union Workers Assembly of Uruguay. He highlighted the achieve- ments of the working class in Uruguay and Venezuela, which “have shown the ability to har- monize the experiences in both union and labor movements and joint development opportunities”. Analysis US efforts to block democracy in Venezuela harm hemispheric relations page 7 Opinion Venezuela rejects US attacks The United States government took another pot shot at Venezuela last Friday when President Barack Obama questioned the behavior of authorities in the South American nation as it confronts violent protests and challenges to constitutional order. The latest aggressive and provocative statements made by Obama add to an overall deterioration in relations between the two nations since the US backing of a coup d’etat to overthrow President Hugo Chavez in April 2002. page 2 Integration Petrocaribe energy alliance advances President Nicolas Maduro hosted the 7th Petrocaribe summit this week in Caracas. page 3 The international organization applauded Venezuela’s efforts to eradicate hunger. page 4 Analysis Hugo Chavez’s benevolent revolution How the Venezuelan Revolution inspires the world. page 6 Politics FAO lauds Venezuela’s hunger relief President Nicolas Maduro strengthens ties with Mercosur nations Newly-elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro embarked on his first official tour in South America since his election in April. The head of state of the powerful oil na- tion visited key members of the Common Marketplace of the South (Mercosur) in order to fortify relations with this important bloc, of which Venezuela became a full member last year. Maduro’s first stop in Uruguay to meet with President Jose “Pepe” Mujica also resulted in further cooperation between the two nations. He subsequently traveled to Argentina and Brazil, meeting with both presidents Cristina Fernandez and Dilma Rousseff, advancing relations. page5 Is Capriles Venezuela’s “sore loser”? Page 8

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Page 1: English Edition N° 157

ENGLISH EDITION/The artillery of ideas INTERNATIONALFriday, May 10, 2013 | Nº 157 | Caracas | www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve

T/ CNE Press

This week, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) approved the presence of organized social movements in the second phase of the citizen verification audit of the results of the last presidential elections on April 14th. The audit has been broadened in order to

Social movements participatein audit of presidential vote

ensure the proper functioning of the technological platform used for the elections.

Requests for participation by ci-vil society groups were approved by the electoral authority in order to add them to the list of hundreds of auditors, technicians and politi-cal party representatives that will participate in the activity.

So far, the second phase of the citizen verification audit, which began on Monday, May 6th, has found no errors. According to article 162 of Venezuela’s Law on Electoral Processes, citizen verification involves reviewing the paper receipts issued by voting machines and checking them against the electronic re-cords at each voting table.

The activity involves reviewing the selected electoral material and verifying the paper receipts, as well as the registry of results

recorded in the automated ve-rification system. It also entails the supervision of each station by external auditors who will is-sue a verification form and proof of review.

Phase two of the citizen ve-rification is being conducted on 46% of the voting tables, all of those that were not audited automatically on the day of the election, and it will take place in three ten-day cycles. At the end of the process, an official report will be presented.

Latin American workers union

T/ AVN Venezuelan President Nicolas

Maduro proposed Tuesday the creation of a Central Workers Union for the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in order to re-articulate and strengthen the la-bor movement in Latin America.

“When are we going to have a powerful bloc of workers in Latin America and the Caribbean? We already have CELAC. We should have a strong union of regional workers from our Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. If we can carry out the-se proposals, we offer Caracas as a headquarters of the CELAC workers union, where Central American, Caribbean and South American workers converge”, said Maduro during a meeting held at the headquarters of the Inter-Union Workers Assembly of Uruguay.

He highlighted the achieve-ments of the working class in Uruguay and Venezuela, which “have shown the ability to har-monize the experiences in both union and labor movements and joint development opportunities”.

Analysis

US efforts to block democracy in Venezuela harm hemispheric relations page 7

Opinion

Venezuela rejectsUS attacks

The United States government took another pot shot at Venezuela last Friday when President Barack Obama questioned the behavior of authorities in the South American nation as it confronts violent protests and challenges to constitutional order. The latest aggressive and provocative statements made by Obama add to an overall deterioration in relations between the two nations since the US backing of a coup d’etat to overthrow President Hugo Chavez in April 2002.page 2

Integration

Petrocaribe energyalliance advancesPresident Nicolas Maduro hosted the 7th Petrocaribe summit this weekin Caracas. page 3

The international organization applauded Venezuela’s efforts to eradicate hunger. page 4

Analysis

Hugo Chavez’s benevolent revolutionHow the Venezuelan Revolution inspiresthe world. page 6

Politics

FAO lauds Venezuela’shunger relief

President Nicolas Maduro strengthens ties with Mercosur nations

Newly-elected Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro embarked on his first official tour in South America since his election in April. The head of state of the powerful oil na-tion visited key members of the Common Marketplace of the South (Mercosur) in order to fortify relations with this important bloc, of which Venezuela became a full member last year. Maduro’s first stop in Uruguay to meet with President Jose “Pepe” Mujica also resulted in further cooperation between the two nations. He subsequently traveled to Argentina and Brazil, meeting with both presidents Cristina Fernandez and Dilma Rousseff, advancing relations. page5

Is Capriles Venezuela’s“sore loser”? Page 8

Page 2: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideas2 Impact | Friday, May 10, 2013

T/ COIP/ Agencies

The United States govern-ment took another pot shot at Venezuela last Friday

when President Barack Obama questioned the behavior of au-thorities in the South Ameri-can nation as it confronts vio-lent protests and challenges to constitutional order.

During a televised interview, Obama said that the United States is watching Venezuela and what he termed “crackdowns on the opposition” by the recently elected government of Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro was elected Venezu-ela’s new President on April 14th with 51% percent of the vote in an election that saw 8 out of 10 registered voters cast a ballot.

The losing candidate, Hen-rique Capriles of the right-wing Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) coalition, has refused to recognize the outcome, alleging electoral fraud and encourag-ing his supporters to take to the streets in protest.

International observers pres-ent for the contest reported no irregularities and the Maduro administration has dismissed the opposition’s claims of elec-tion rigging as political postur-ing and destabilization.

The anti-government dem-onstrations turned violent in the days following the election,

Venezuelan government condemnsnew verbal attacks by Washington

costing the lives of at least 9 people, 8 of whom were Ma-duro supporters.

While political tensions con-tinue to run high in the OPEC member state, the United States remains the only nation in the Americas to not recognize the Maduro government, lending implicit public support to the op-position’s protests.

Obama’s recent comments have been taken by many as further evidence of assistance to Capriles although Obama has claimed that Washington “has not tried to interfere in any way with what happens” in Venezuela.

“I think that the entire hemi-sphere has been watching the violence, the protests, the crackdowns on the opposition”, Obama said during the inter-view with Univision.

“I think our general view has been that it’s up to the

people of Venezuela to choose their leaders in legitimate elections”, he added.

Members of the ruling so-cialist party in Venezuela have pointed out that such comments conflict with the strong democratic record of their country and the nation’s foolproof electoral process that has been praised by indepen-dent NGOs around the world.

A POLICY OF AGGRESSIONOn Saturday, the Maduro gov-

ernment released a statement strongly condemning what it called the “interventionist” jibes from Washington.

“President Obama, your dec-larations do not help to improve bilateral relations. On the con-trary, they lead to a greater de-terioration that only confirms, before the world, the policy of ag-gression that your government maintains against our nation”,

said Elias Jaua, Venezuelan For-eign Minister during a televised broadcast on Saturday.

Reading a written statement to Obama, Jaua said that the president’s words “feed the possibilities of a Pinochet in Venezuela” and that the people of the Caribbean country are prepared “to defend the peace and independence of the home-land of Bolivar”.

“Venezuela rejects with all of its Bolivarian dignity the decla-ration emitted by the President of the United States Barack Obama, where he again attacks the legitimate Venezuelan gov-ernment”, Jaua said.

This latest diplomatic row fol-lows a pattern of disputes that have seen US representatives openly question the legitimacy of the Venezuelan government and express solidarity with the country’s political opposition.

At the end of last month, Assistant Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson called for a recount of Venezuela’s April 14th election results, after previ-ously stating publicly that Hen-rique Capriles “could be a very good president”.

Jacobson made similar com-ments before April’s presiden-tial contest, quipping that “it would be a little difficult” to have fair and transparent elec-tions in Venezuela.

In January US Senator and now Secretary of state John

Kerry hinted that “a transi-tion” in Venezuela, given the sickness of President Hugo Chavez, would be a positive de-velopment.

Chavez died of cancer on March 5th, prompting the new election cycle in the South American country.

NO CHANGE IN RELATIONSAlthough it appeared that a

mending in US-Venezuela re-lations was on the horizon fol-lowing steps taken by Maduro in November and then again in April, the head of state has reacted strongly to the recent comments, blaming Washing-ton for the postelection politi-cal violence.

“There is no doubt that it is the same Obama, as a puppet of imperial power, who is be-hind the financing of the right-wing leadership that wants to destroy democracy”, he said on Saturday.

The Venezuelan President also accused extremist fac-tions in Miami and Colombia of harboring plans to assassi-nate him.

“We have sufficient proof that there are plans coming from Miami, led by [former US Assis-tant Secretary of State] Roger Noriega and from Bogota, led by [former Colombian Presi-dent] Alvaro Uribe to make me disappear”, the former union leader imputed.

Maduro, who served as Foreign Minister during the government of the late Hugo Chavez, was reported to have spoken with Washington offi-cials in November regarding a possible warming in bilat-eral relations.

Upon winning April 14th’s elections, he told the former Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, that he wanted to improve Venezuela’s relation-ship with the United States.

Despite these diplomatic moves, there have been no signs from Washington that the Obama administration will adopt a less aggressive stance against Venezuela.

In response to the new round of verbal attacks, President Maduro proposed a march and demonstration of citizens to reject provocations from the US and the country’s right wing opposition.

“I’m calling on the people, political organizations, and all allies of revolutionary movements... We’re going to have a great mobilization in the streets with all the people. We’re going to mobilize in all the capitals of the different states. Venezuela must be re-spected”, he said.

Page 3: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideasFriday, May 10, 2013 | Integration 3

T/ COIP/ Presidentia l Press

The creation of a special eco-nomic zone to encourage greater social and economic

integration in Central America and the Caribbean was the re-sult of the 7th Summit of heads of state of Petrocaribe that took place in Caracas last weekend.

“We believe that the condi-tions are given so that the coun-tries of Petrocaribe can build and work towards the creation of a special economic zone which we propose calling ‘Petrocaribe Economic Zone’”, explained Venezuelan Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez in a pre-summit meeting on Saturday.

Ramirez, who is also the president of the state run oil company, PDVSA, said the new measure would amplify the scope of Petrocaribe by extend-ing the work of the energy bloc beyond petroleum.

“It’s a proposal that will al-low us to continue to strengthen Petrocaribe and transcend oil for economic and commercial development as well as for fair trade between our countries”, the functionary said.

Petrocaribe, the initiative of the government of former Presi-dent Hugo Chavez, was founded in 2005 to promote country-to-country energy integration throughout the Caribbean.

By eliminating the mediation of transnational oil corpora-tions, the international associa-tion is able to supply oil and en-ergy derivatives at lower costs to its affiliates.

Venezuela currently pro-vides 122,000 barrels of oil daily to the 18 members of Petrocaribe including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Nicaragua and Haiti.

Last week’s summit saw the incorporation of Guatemala as a full member of the organiza-tion and the re-admittance of Honduras, following a suspen-sion from the bloc as a result of the nation’s coup d’etat against former President Manuel Ze-laya in 2009.

On Saturday, Ramirez praised the late Hugo Chavez for build-ing Petrocaribe and forging “a shield against the misery gen-erated by decades of capitalist exploitation in the region”.

“We’re meeting with the firm aim of giving another pass to-wards the strengthening of an extraordinary initiative that was born in the mind of a

Petrocaribe energy alliance eyes expansion

T/ AVNP/ Presidential Press

On Tuesday, President Nicolas Maduro reiterated his gov-

ernment’s commitment to main-tain and strengthen the union with Uruguay and the countries of the Southern Common Mar-ket (Mercosur).

“Uruguay is our brother coun-try, and we have come to ratify the path of union with Uruguay and the Southern Common Mar-ket”, he said on his arrival to Uruguayan soil.

Speaking to media, he also confirmed both governments will contribute to build a comprehensive strategic map on trade, industrial, agricul-tural, energy, cultural and social policies.

Venezuelan President Maduro Strengthens Ties with South America

“It’s time for union. The 19th century was the century of divi-sion, even though it was the cen-tury in which we won the first part of independence. The twen-tieth century was the century of imperial rule, dictatorships and looting of our lands and the twen-ty-first century is the century of liberation and union, that’s why we are in Uruguay”, proclaimed Venezuela’s President.

He stressed that his govern-ment follows the steps of the late President and Venezuelan lead-er Hugo Chavez, and noted the need to preserve, expand and multiply the great nation that Chavez, the founder of the Boli-varian Revolution, left.

“His mark is still fresh and alive in every street in our Latin America. He came to

build a new Latin America. He left us a great country and we must preserve, expand and multiply it”.

Maduro met Tuesday with Uruguayan President Jose “Pepe” Mujica to review more than 50 agreements of coopera-tion that bind both nations, as

well as to complete new agree-ments on food.

On Wednesday, Maduro trav-eled to Argentina to meet with President Cristina Kirchner Fernandez, while on Thursday, he will met with Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff, and her administra-tion on Brazilian soil.

great man and Latin American leader, Hugo Chavez”, Minister Ramirez said.

The ministerial meeting was followed by the gathering of heads of state on Sunday and the signing of a declaration that enumerates the goals of the new Economic Zone and the alli-ance’s “objective to elevate the quality of life of the Caribbean and Central American people”.

The statement affirms the willingness “to deepen the

reaches of the organization in the productive development sectors of member countries through the formation of pro-ductive opportunities that can produce economic surpluses and make cooperation under Petrocaribe sustainable”.

Initiatives under the new scheme will include joint financ-ing of development and tourist projects, officials reported.

On Sunday, Venezuelan For-eign Minister Andres Izarra

announced a joint tourist en-terprise with the Haitian gov-ernment under the rubric of Petrocaribe that will attempt to boost visitors to the Ile a Vache island.

The island, referred to as “the pearl of the Antilles”, is lauded as a little known Carib-bean paradise with great po-tential for ecologically respon-sible development.

According to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, the

expansion of Petrocaribe will “convert the economic, finan-cial and energy strengths” of each country “into opportuni-ties for development”.

Honduran head of state, Porfirio Lobo, praised the initiative as an example of the sustainable development models taking hold in Latin America.

“[Petrocaribe] is becoming an extraordinary alternative to traditional models which are based on free trade, which is nothing more than the domination of transnational companies where the zeal is for profits, where the zeal is to generate greater inequality be-tween our people”, Lobo said.

To close the summit, the participating heads of state paid homage to the recently deceased Hugo Chavez by vis-iting the leader’s remains, housed in the 4F Mountain Barracks in Caracas.

“We could not feel more hon-ored to be in this sacred site which represents the strug-gle of someone who not only fought so that the Venezuelan people could have a homeland, but also fought so that the peo-ple of Latin American and the Caribbean could have a home-land”, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega declared.

“We are ratifying the conti-nuity of the dreams that have become reality over the years”, he added.

Page 4: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideas4 Politics | Friday, May 10, 2013

T/ Ryan Mallett-OuttrimP/ Agencies

Venezuela’s efforts to fight global hunger have been congratulated by the Unit-

ed Nations Food and Agricul-ture Organization (FAO).

In a letter to former Cuban president Fidel Castro, FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva recognized the achieve-ments of Venezuela, Cuba and 14 other nations in contributing to the eradication of world hunger.

Venezuela’s efforts to eradicatehunger recognized by FAO

T/ COIP/ Presidential Press

Venezuelan President Nico-las Maduro met with repre-

sentatives of various commu-nity councils last Monday in the central state of Miranda as part of his drive to build grass-roots political power and what he has termed a “government of the street”.

During the gathering, the recently elected head of state listened to the problems con-fronting residents including the need for greater public safety, the strengthening of food security initiatives, and the revamping of educational and health care facilities.

“From today on, we’re tak-ing on the concept of the gov-ernment of efficiency and of the street”, Maduro said, in-forming community members

National government moves to provide services in Miranda following opposition abandonment

of new measures that will em-ploy the nation’s armed forces and national guard in the car-rying out of public services.

The state of Miranda, cur-rently governed by opposition leader Henrique Capriles, shares parts of the capital Caracas and has consistently ranked as one of the regional entities with the highest crime rates in the country.

Economically disadvantaged residents in the state have been left “orphaned” by conserva-tive local governments, one community activist explained, while regional authorities have refused to participate in national anti-poverty and an-ti-crime programs.

Although some municipali-ties in Miranda are consid-ered zones “where only middle and upper class Venezuelans live”, resident Juan Itriago

commented, “there are impov-erished and rural areas that need to be assisted”.

Venezuelan Peace and Jus-tice Minister Miguel Rodri-guez Torres pointed out that many districts that belong to the opposition-controlled state lack police presence and that the national government is moving to ensure public safety for all residents.

This means deploying newly trained officers from the Na-tional Bolivarian Police force which will see a graduating class of more than 1600 cadets in the next two months.

Similar actions are being taken by the national govern-ment to improve health care and to increase the supply of electric power throughout the region, cabinet members on hand for Monday’s meet-ing informed.

While conversing with local organizers, Maduro criticized the governor of Miranda, who was also the losing candidate in last April’s presidential race, for neglecting his work as an elected official.

Since his defeat at the polls, Capriles has been busy prepar-ing various legal challenges to nation’s election results while

leading an international cam-paign that has attempted to cast doubt on Venezuela’s vot-ing system.

“People know that [Henrique Capriles] abandoned his consti-tutional and legal functions. It’s that’s simple. For this reason we’ve come to govern with effi-ciency in Miranda”, the Venezu-elan President declared.

At the 1996 World Food Sum-mit, both nations pledged to halve the number of citizens suffering from malnutrition; a goal achieved by both Cuba and Venezuela ahead of schedule.

According to da Silva’s let-ter, all 16 nations will receive certificates recognizing their achievements at the next FAO conference in Rome, Italy.

Along with Venezuela and Cuba, the countries that will receive the award include Ar-menia, Azerbaijan, Chile, Fiji,

Georgia, Ghana, Guyana, Ni-caragua, Peru, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Thailand, Uruguay and Vietnam.

COUNTERING HUNGERWITH FOOD SOVEREIGNTY

Since 1999, the Bolivarian Revolution has maintained the eradication of hunger as a core objective. This goal has now been expanded to achieving food sovereignty- the ability to rely on domestic production to cover demand for staples.

According to the former Ag-riculture Minister Juan Carlos Loyo, not only is Venezuela “a country that eats better every day”, but Venezuelans are also eating more of their own coun-try’s produce.

In an interview with Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (AVN) in January, Loyo stated that Venezuelan primary producers supply “between 70% and 80%” of domestic demand, including most chicken and over 60% of beef consumed in the country.

Loyo also indicated that do-mestic supplies of other regu-larly consumed products such as coffee and pepper likewise improved last year.

Moreover, figures released last month by the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands (MAT) indicate that agricultural out-put overall rose across the country in 2012.

Land under cultivation also increased. According to MAT, land used for cereal produc-tion grew by 11%, while the area for vegetable farming in-creased by 15%, fruits by 3% and other tropical crops such as sugarcane by 6%.

However, MAT figures also indicate that agricultural out-put is yet to recover from a collapse two years ago; the to-tal output of the sector in 2012 remained 7.8% lower than that reported in 2010.

When speaking with AVN, Loyo also conceded that some basic products such as wheat and soy continue to be imported.

While Loyo told AVN that more needs to be done to guarantee food sovereignty, data published by FAO indi-cates that between 2007- 2012 approximately 5% of Ven-ezuelans were going hungry- down from 13.5% in the pe-riod of 1990-1992, according to FAO.

This figure is also lower than the regional average.

According to the FAO “Food Security in the World 2012” report, just over 8% of the to-tal population of Latin Amer-ica and the Caribbean suffer from hunger.

The region’s most hunger stricken countries Bolivia, Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Paraguay.

As well as noting Venezuela’s role in fighting malnutrition, in 2009 FAO representative Fran-cisco Arias Milla recognized the nation’s progress towards food sovereignty.

According to the MAT re-port, more progress will be made in 2013.

MAT predicts that agricul-tural output will rise, improv-ing Venezuela’s domestic food supply this year.

In its 2013-19 plan, the Great Mission Agro Venezuela aims to increase production of sta-ple crops by 34%.

As Loyo stated, “we will comply with what the Com-mander Hugo Chavez has always said: to promote na-tional production in order to achieve full development and sovereignty”.

Page 5: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideasFriday, May 10, 2013 | Politics 5

T/ AVNP/ Presidential Press

On Wednesday, Venezuela and Argentina signed co-operation agreements in

the areas of oil, technology, in-dustry, commerce, economics, finance, agriculture and food.

The event took place in the Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the presence of Venezuela’s President, Ni-colas Maduro and his coun-terpart from Argentina, Presi-dent Cristina Fernandez.

Among the accords signed is the partnership agreement between state oil company (PD-VSA-Industrial) and Pampaco corporation.

Additionally, the strategic alliance agreement for the de-velopment of applied research technology services between the State Society of Rio Negro Province of Argentina and the Ministry for Science, Technol-ogy and Innovation of Venezu-ela was also solidified.

Furthermoe, the two nations signed an agreement between the Ministry for Industry of Argentina and the Ministry for Trade of Venezuela, for ve-hicle import licenses.

wA commitment between the Ministry for Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Ar-

Venezuela’s President FortifiesRelations with Argentina

T/ Ryan Mallett-Outtrimwww.venezuelanalysis.comP/ Agencies

Opposition television chan-nel Globovisión will change

hands, but is expected to main-tain its anti-government edito-rial line.

Last Thursday, the chan-nel’s main news anchor Leo-poldo Castillo confirmed on the program Alo Ciudadano that the station would be sold to a group of investors led by Juan Domingo Cordero this week. Cordero is the owner of the Caracas based insurance company, Seguros La Vitali-cia. He does not appear to have any previous experience in broadcasting.

According to Castillo, jour-nalist and opposition sup-porter Vladimir Villegas is set to become news director. Late Thursday night, Villegas confirmed he would accept the position, but described his role as a “difficult challenge”.

Castillo, an outspoken sup-porter of the Venezuelan right-wing, stated he would be able to work with Villegas and Cor-dero “without compromising my principles or values”.

Following the announcement, some Globovisión staff expressed their approval over Twitter.

“Wonderful news. Vladimir Villegas, president of Globovi-sion. Leopoldo Castillo, second in command”, tweeted opposi-tion talk show host Maria Isa-bel Parraga.

Although he wrote for the Communist Party of Venezu-ela’s newspaper Tribuna Popu-lar early in his career, Villegas is now on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Between late 2003 to December 2004, Vil-legas was president of the state-owned broadcaster, Venezolana

Venezuela’s Globovision to be Sold but will Maintain Critical Line

de Television (VTV). He has also served under a number of government posts, including as a member of the National Assembly, ambassador to Bra-zil, and later as deputy foreign minister for Asia, Middle East and Oceania.

He currently has a weekly col-umn in the right-wing newspa-per El Nacional, and also writes regularly for El Mundo.

According to Castillo, Globovision’s current major-ity shareholder, Guillermo Zuloaga said on Thursday that he hoped Villegas would be able to provide better access to “official sources”. Zuloaga has been wanted by Venezu-elan authorities since 2010. He is accused of illegally hoard-ing consumer products to cre-ate panic and price hikes. He evaded arrest by fleeing to Mi-ami, where he now lives.

Although Globovision is ex-pected to remain aligned with the opposition, the station’s pub-lic broadcast license will expire in 2015, and there is speculation it may not be renewed.

Venezuela’s gradual transi-tion to digital television poses another uncertainty for Globo-vision; the channel was not in-cluded in the government list of digital broadcasters when the transition began in February, indicating that it may be left be-hind when the public analogue signal is switched off.

Despite being subject to at least eight investigations by the Ven-ezuelan National Telecommuni-cations Council (Conatel) for al-leged violations of its broadcast license, there is no indication from the government that the channel will not continue to be available on cable and satellite.

The sale of Globovision was expected to take place last Friday.

gentina and the Ministry for Food of Venezuela was also agreed upon to strengthen co-operation in this area.

A memorandum of under-standing between the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries of Argentina and the Ministry for Agriculture and Land Venezuela was signed, to create slaughterhouses, proces-sors, refrigerators, warehouses for import of products and by-products of animal origin into Venezuelan territory.

Argentina and Venezuela signed an agreement for coop-eration in the satellite field, a memorandum of understand-ing for the production and ex-

change of content as well as an agreement on science, technol-ogy and space applications.

On Tuesday, President Ma-duro began a tour of the na-tions of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur). The first stop was in Uruguay, where he met with his counterpart, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, and with whom he signed a number of bilateral agreements in the ar-eas of health, defense, science and technology.

Wednesday saw Maduro meeting with Argentine Presi-dent Cristina Fernandez, and on Thursday he traveled to Brazil to meet with President Dilma Rousseff.

Page 6: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideas6 Analysis | Friday, May 10, 2013

T/ Daniel Kovalik*P/ Presidential Press

While I was in Venezu-ela two weeks ago as an election observer (or “ac-

companier” as the Venezuelans referred to us), some of us were sitting around musing over the question of why revolutionary Venezuela has not received the same level of solidarity and sup-port from American leftists, pro-gressives and religious groups as Nicaragua had in the 1980’s or as Cuba has received at vari-ous times since its revolution in 1959. Where are the “Vencera-mos Brigades” for Venezuela, we wondered.

One explanation we agreed on was that, with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the vast majority of activists and progressives had simply aban-doned the dream for socialism and revolution which had up till then inspired their inter-national solidarity efforts. Whatever one’s view of the Soviet Union — and there are of course quite varying and passionate opinions on this subject — it was and is hard not to feel a sense of great loss at its demise. As Vladimir Pu-tin himself once said, “[w]ho-ever does not miss the Soviet Union has no heart”.

My own view on this is that, whatever its faults and short-comings, the Soviet Union represented the aspiration for a better and more equitable world; an alternative to a world ruled by greed and the whims of the very rich. And, when the Soviet Union died, and the red flag with the hammer and sickle was taken down from the Kremlin on December 25, 1991, the dream of that better world seemed to die with it.

More than anyone else, Hugo Chavez helped to reawaken that dream, especially in Lat-in America and other parts of the Global South, and it is that contribution for which the in-ternational ruling class, led by rulers of the United States, cannot forgive him.

I had the pleasure of hearing Chavez speak at an interna-tional trade union conference in Caracas in the summer of 2010, and I was not a little sur-prised by how much he was influenced by, and had come

A benevolent revolution Hugo Chavezand the revolutionary imagination

to embody, the revolutionary spirit which had been un-leashed so powerfully in Rus-sia in 1917, and thereafter in other countries.

Indeed, Chavez made the profound observation that the 20th Century had not been the “American Century” after all, as so many have trumpeted, but that it indeed had been the “Century of Revolution,” seeing socialist revolutions most notably in Mexico, Rus-sia, China, Cuba, Vietnam and Nicaragua – revolutions which succeeded in varying degrees in throwing off the chains of domination by the capitalist Western powers, most notably the US.

Chavez explained that when he became President of Ven-ezuela in 1999, there was only “one light left on in the home”, and that was Cuba – a social-ist island in a sea of capitalism just barely managing to hang on. With Chavez’s election to the presidency, and the mutual support Venezuela and Cuba then gave to each other, Cuba was not only able to thrive but was able to expand its interna-tional medical solidarity even further, most notably in Haiti

where Cuban doctors are, according to The New York Times, the front line against post-earthquake cholera in that country. And, so too did other progressive governments in Latin America – for example, in Nicaragua, Brazil, Ecuador, Honduras, Bolivia, Paraguay and Argentina — emerge with the help of Chavez’s example and support.

Therefore, it was no exagger-ation for Noam Chomsky to say in an interview shortly after the death of Hugo Chavez that he had led “the historic libera-tion of Latin America” from the over 500 years of subjuga-tion it had suffered since the time of the Conquistadors – again, much to the chagrin of the United States. Indeed, Chomsky, agreeing with the interviewer that Chavez was a “damaging figure”, explained that Chavez was indeed “de-structive to the rich oligarchy, to US power”.

Meanwhile, in a mere 15 years, Chavez helped lead a social transformation of Ven-ezuela, one which would see il-literacy wiped out, children in schools receiving two meals a day, poverty and extreme pov-

erty greatly reduced, the UN Human Development Indica-tors raised significantly and Venezuela’s oil wealth used for the first time to benefit the people of Venezuela.

And yet, the most signifi-cant contribution Chavez has made – though the one he re-ceives least credit for from the mainstream press – is that he carried out his historic anti-colonial role, as well as a socialist transformation of Venezuela, through demo-cratic and peaceful means. The real triumph of Hugo Chavez is that, despite a coup against him in which he was kidnapped and ordered killed, despite a management-led oil strike which crippled his country’s economy, and de-spite massive resistance from the US, he never abandoned democracy or pluralism.

To the contrary, Chavez expanded democracy in Ven-ezuela, enfranchising Venezu-elans (most notably the poor and African descendants) who had never voted before, and creating a uniform and sophis-ticated voting system which Jimmy Carter has called “the best in the world”.

Truly, then, the revolution Chavez led in Venezuela is, without exaggeration, the most benevolent one in human his-tory. Unlike all major social revolutions which had come before — the French, Russian and Chinese revolutions come to mind – neither the real nor proverbial guillotines were ever brought forth by Chavez. And, the US, along with the Venezuelan oligarchs, have attempted at every turn to exploit the kindness and re-straint of Chavez’s revolution to undermine it. And still, Chavez never stepped back from the democratic path.

In other words, Chavez would not only see the antes of the revolutions that inspired his own, he would raise them.

Moreover, Chavez, in ad-dition to playing a uniting role of the countries of Latin America, was one of the most important voices for peace in Colombia – a country ravaged by over 50 years of civil war. Indeed, Colombia’s current peace process – with talks of course being held in Havana, Cuba – are largely due to Chavez’s unflagging efforts. And, therefore, it should have come as no surprise to me that I ran into Piedad Cordoba — the former Colombian Senator who has been Colombia’s most important voice for peace — in Venezuela. Ms. Cordoba, grateful to Chavez for his ceaseless efforts in support of peace for her country, had also come to accompany the Venezuelan people in their election process.

It is for these reasons that Venezuela, and its new Presi-dent, the former bus driver, Nicolas Maduro, deserve all of the support we can muster during this rocky time for that country.

What’s more, it occurred to me as I witnessed the final campaign rally for Nicolas Maduro on April 11 — with seven avenues of reveling Venezuelans, mostly poor and many of African descent, waving red f lags — that the US needs revolutionary Ven-ezuela as much or more than it needs us, for the revolu-tionary spirit which Ven-ezuela embodies may be the one thing that can save us from the current economic, political and moral morass in which we currently find ourselves.

*Daniel Kovalik is a laborand human right lawyer who teaches

International Human Rights at the University of Pittsburgh

School of Law.

Page 7: English Edition N° 157

The artillery of ideas Friday, May 10, 2013 | Analysis 7

T/ Laura Carlsen

The US government stands alone among major world governments in refusing

to recognize the results of the recent Venezuelan presidential election. The petulant position of the Obama administration harms US relations across the entire hemisphere and feeds a scenario of violence in that Ca-ribbean country.

Nation after nation--includ-ing the last hold-out Spain and the Organization of American States—has recognized Nicolas Maduro, who took office follow-ing his narrow win in the April 14th elections. The results rati-fied by the National Electoral Council show Maduro with 50.78 percent to 48.95 percent for de-feated conservative candidate Henrique Capriles—a differ-ence of 1.8 percent, or some 260,000 votes. There were no major anomalies on Election Day, which by all reports went remarkably smoothly.

Following the elections, Capriles contested the results in fiery speeches and called on supporters to demonstrate, but curiously did not file a legal challenge.

The refusal to recognize Ma-duro’s victory is an example of US external pressure that encourages a break with the rule of law and violates the principle of self-determination that President Barack Obama claims to uphold.

The Venezuelan electoral system is highly tamper-proof, as recognized by monitoring organizations like the Carter Center, which before the vote assessed the system as “the best in the world”. Delegations from the Carter Center, the Union of South American Nations, and other experts observed the elections and proclaimed them clean and fair. Venezuelans vote electronically, then print out and double-check a paper ballot before depositing it as well. The Electoral Council carries out an audit at polls of 54.3 percent of the votes. These reviews are signed by members of the politi-cal parties, including Capriles’ Democratic Unity Party.

The Electoral Council has agreed to audit the remaining 46 percent of ballots, although the electronic vote is the legal vote and the process for reviewing

the paper backup af-ter the on-site audit is unprece-dented and logistically ch a l len g-ing, with almost no possibility of changing the result. Represen-tatives of the con-s er vat ive c o a l i t i o n announced instead that they plan to gather a l l e g e d e v i d e n c e of fraud to pres-ent to the S u p r e m e C o u r t . C a p r i l e s said from there he will attempt to take the case to in-ternational courts, promising a drawn-out process that will feed sharp di-visions with the country. The opposition still has not present-ed the suit or the proofs for judi-cial review.

Daniel Kovalik, a US human rights lawyer who was among 170 international election observ-ers from around the world, re-ported in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “What we found was a transparent, reliable, well-run and thoroughly audited elec-toral system”. Voter turnout was reportedly 79 percent—a major achievement that would be the envy of more mature de-mocracies, including the United States.

And still the US State Depart-ment spokesperson Patrick Ventrell stated on April 24, 10 days after the elections, “We do continue to believe that the on-going CNE recount and a thor-ough review of alleged voting irregularities will…ensure that the Venezuelan people feel that their democratic aspirations are being met and that they have greater confidence in the elec-tion outcome”.

This, coming after recogniz-ing in the same press confer-ence that the Maduro govern-ment was making overtures to repair relations with the United States through the ap-pointment of its new charge d’affaires, dashed hopes of more cordial relations between the two trade partners.

The frame of concern for “the Venezuelan people” rings hol-low. In a democratic contest, es-pecially in a society as polarized as Venezuela’s, the losing side never feels like its “aspirations are being met” when they lose. And the insistence on a 100-per-cent recount after the ignominy of the Bush-Gore election of 2000 and the immediate US recogni-tion of the conservative Mexi-can president Felipe Calderon, despite evidence of voter fraud and a much narrower margin in 2006, is hypocritical at best.

At worst, it is an example of US external pressure that encourages a break with the rule of law and violates the principle of self-determination that President Barack Obama claims to uphold.

This is the first time the US government has refused to rec-ognize a Venezuelan election result, as Mark Weisbrot of the Center for Economic and Politi-cal Research points out. Weis-brot notes, “Washington’s ef-forts to de-legitimize the election mark a significant escalation of US efforts at regime change in Venezuela. Not since its in-volvement in the 2002 military coup has the US government done this much to promote open conflict in Venezuela”.

The Obama administration is bending over backwards to spur on an opposition movement that has no virtually legal leg to stand on in its desire for new presidential elections. There are some indications that the strat-egy to refuse to accept defeat at the polls was considered even before the close vote. Although Capriles conceded rapidly and gracefully to former President Hugo Chavez in the presidential elections last fall, it was a bad omen when he refused to sign a pre-electoral pact to respect the results prior to this election.

Now violent opposition pro-tests in the streets have led to

the deaths of nine people. Ma-duro has attended the funerals of his supporters killed in the disturbances with vows to de-fend his victory and prosecute those inciting and participating in violent acts. Health clinics established by Chavez have been frequent targets.

It is highly unlikely that Capriles would stake his future on rejecting legal electoral in-stitutions if he did not have the support of the US government. It is even more unlikely that he could sustain a movement for non-recognition. Even many members of his own coalition will not go so far as to say they honestly believe he won the April 14th elections. The other countries of the region recog-nized Maduro as the new presi-dent within hours of the results. Not only did the left-leaning governments provide their dip-lomatic welcome, but also Co-lombia, Mexico, and other na-tions closely allied with the US.

Capriles’ actions and de facto US support for prolonging post-electoral unrest not only en-danger peace and stability in Venezuela, but also potentially the entire region. Venezuela is a geopolitical hub—for its oil, for its role in building south-south integration projects like ALBA and Unasur, for its solidarity trade pacts, and for its defiance of US hegemony.

To illegally disrupt the con-stitutional order there will not be as easy as it was in Honduras, where even a broad opposition movement couldn’t restore the constitutionally elected president after a right-wing coup in 2009. Inevitably, nations across the hemisphere and the world will react with anger if the Obama adminis-tration decides to maintain this course, both in defense of their neighbor Venezuela and also in what they see as a threat to their own sovereign-ty. Already former Brazilian president Lula da Silva has warned that “Americans should take care of their own business a little and let us de-cide our own destiny”.

The longer the US remains globally isolated in its refusal to accept Venezuela’s election re-sults, the longer the instability, uncertainty, and violence will continue. Extending the conflict could very well end up unneces-sarily costing more lives.

The Obama administration should consider that its stub-bornness about what it considers an adverse election result in a foreign country is a direct cause of bloodshed. It harms relations with our hemispheric neighbors and partners and sows the seeds

US efforts to block democracy in Venezuela harm hemispheric relations

Page 8: English Edition N° 157

Editor-in-Chief Graphic Design Pablo Valduciel L. - Aimara Aguilera - Audra Ramones

INTERNATIONAL Friday, May 10, 2013 | Nº 157 | Caracas | www.correodelorinoco.gob.ve

T/ Dan Beeton- Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)P / Agencies

Reuters reported at the end of April that the president of Venezuela’s

National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena has criticized opposition candi-date Henrique Capriles for not presenting proof to back up his claims of fraud:

“We have always insisted that Capriles had the right to challenge the process”, Ti-bisay Lucena, president of the electoral council, said in a tele-vised national broadcast.

“But it is also his obligation to present proof”.

She dismissed various op-position submissions alleging voting irregularities as lacking key details, and said Capriles had subsequently tried to pres-ent the audit in very different terms than the electoral coun-cil had agreed to.

“It has been manipulated to generate false expecta-tions about the process, in-cluding making it look like the consequence of the wider audit could affect the elec-tion results”, she said.

Lucena’s statements that the election audit of the re-maining voting machines, as initially called for by Capriles, will not change the results are correct, although perhaps not for the reasons she meant. CEPR did a sta-tistical analysis of the prob-ability of the results of the audit of the first 53 percent of voting machines finding the results it did if the remaining 46 percent of voting machines in Venezuela had enough discrepancies to change the results of the election. The probability, according to our calculations, is less than 1 in 25,000 trillion.

The math is pretty straight-forward. Considering how many votes by which Nico-las Maduro was declared the winner, and that the initial audit of 54 percent of ma-chines didn’t find anything, and considering how many votes there are per machine,

Does Capriles Have a Plausible Claim, or Is He “Venezuela’s Sore Loser”?

it is almost impossible for the remaining 46 percent of machines to have enough discrepancies to change the election results.

Perhaps because he real-ized the audit is not likely to change things for him, Capriles has shifted course, now demanding access to the electoral registry and fingerprint records. In light of this news, some have at-tempted seriously painful logical gymnastics in order to make Capriles’ arguments seem plausible. Writing for Foreign Policy, for example, blogger Juan Nagel asks “Does Henrique Capriles actually have a case to cry fraud?” But Nagel does not seem interested in actually examining the question; his mind seems already to have been made up. Shortly after noting that,

“Voters identify them-selves at polling centers by showing their government-issued ID card and scanning their fingerprints. The scan-ner then (supposedly) veri-fies the identity of the voter, and if it passes, unlocks a

machine the voter uses to cast her vote”.

Nagel then writes:“One has to wonder: How

could chavistas get away with this? The explanation, according to Capriles, lies in the fingerprint scanning machines. According to him, these machines allow anyone to vote, regardless of whether the fingerprint matches the records”. [Em-phasis added].

But as election monitors who witnessed voting in the April 14th election described to us, the process is more fool-proof than Nagel sum-marizes. As noted in our April 14th live blog:

“People must show identi-fication, their serial number is then entered into a digi-tal device and their photo comes up, then they give a thumb print to verify their identity again.

Rather than just “anyone” being allowed to vote, gov-ernment ID is required, and the voter’s identity is veri-fied. The voter then enters her/his finger print as a sec-ond check against fraud”.

Despite the lack of evi-dence of fraud, or any plau-sible explanation for how the election could have been stolen in spite of the integ-rity of the Venezuelan elec-toral system, press reports

and commentary continue to treat Capriles’ claims se-riously. This stands in con-trast to the foreign media’s treatment of Andres Man-uel Lopez Obrador’s cry of “fraud” following the 2006 election in which Felipe Cal-deron was declared the win-ner. “An Anti-Democracy Campaign; Mexico’s presi-dential loser takes a lesson from Joseph Stalin”, ran a Washington Post editorial headline. The Times of Lon-don declared him “Mexico’s bad loser: A demagogue pre-pared to hold the nation to ransom”, while the Toronto Globe and Mail called him “Mexico’s sore loser”. So far at least, no major US, British or Canadian paper has labeled Capriles a “sore loser” and the Washington Post has yet to compare him to Stalin.

The double standard be-tween media treatment of the left-leaning Lopez Obrador and the right-wing Capriles is even more striking consid-ering that Lopez Obrador led in the polls up until the vote. Lopez Obrador and his sup-porters were understandably surprised when the official results declared Calderon to be the winner. Capriles, on the other hand, always trailed Ma-duro in the polls; the surprise on April 14th was not that he lost, but that he came as close to winning as he did.

More importantly, in the 2006 Mexican election there were “adding up” errors in nearly half the ballot boxes – i.e. the leftover blank bal-lots plus the voted (including spoiled) ballots didn’t add up to the blank ballots with which the ballot box location started out. The results were announced with millions of votes still uncounted, and there was a considerable lack of transparency – including a refusal by electoral authori-ties to release the results of a partial recount. Journalists covering the Mexican elec-tion at the time should have demanded answers from the authorities and commen-tators should have treated Lopez Obrador’s complaints very seriously, since there really was no way to tell who had won that election. The burden of proof in Venezu-ela, however, should be on Capriles to explain exactly how the election could con-ceivably have been stolen.

“CEPR did a statistical

analysis of the probability

of the results of the audit

of the first 53 percent

of voting machines

finding the results it did if

the remaining 46 percent

of voting machines in

Venezuela had enough

discrepancies to change

the results of the

election. The probability,

according to our

calculations, is less than

1 in 25,000 trillion”