Chavez: Inside the Coup Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias is a controversial political figure in the Latin America. The western countries have always seen him as a threat to the democracy of Venezuela, and the Latin America at large…
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Issues like his crackdown on human rights groups and free media are exaggerated. He is a radical populist, and carries the blame for exporting his populist style to other states in the Latin America like Ecuador and Bolivia. Chavez publically refers to the US as imperialists, and bypasses trade agreement with the country opting to deals with their rivals like China (Golinger 26). Nevertheless, Chavez is not what the western media claims he is. Chavez is a populist fighting for the freedom of Venezuela from super powers like the US. He advocates for the poor in the country. This is evident from his indifferences with church leaders, where he accuses them of neglecting the poor and siding with the rich. He has attacked the oil executives for squandering the country’s oil wealth. He has initiated socialist revolutions, which he says may take time to grow roots in the country’s politics. Chavez’s government has implemented a number of social programs, which include health care and education for all (Golinger 52). The media, especially from the west, have portrayed Chavez as a dictator. They consider his policy against free media and human right activists a step towards totalitarianism. The media has claimed that democratic institutions in his government have been marginalized; an act that threatens the democracy of the countries that surrounds Venezuela. The biggest bias of Chavez’s policies was the film documenting the coup of 2002. The film is a propaganda carefully implemented to damage his image (Golinger 88). Some of the scenes and images are biased and do not correspond to the actual place of occurrence. An instance is the images of people singing and dancing near the presidential palace in Miraflores. Those images correspond to another city. On that day, April 11 2002, there was so such gathering outside the palace. Another lies in the film is that Chavez never resigned. Venezuela’s Main military officer at the time of the coup (Lucas Rincon) and the current Secretary for Domestic affairs announced on TV and radio that they had asked the president to resign, and that he had agreed. This was past midnight on 12 April 2002. The documentary does not mention this event for the obvious reasons of painting the coup attempt as a ‘coup d’etat’. The selection of the images of support for Chavez in Caracas is carefully. The images, which are at the beginning of the film, are shots from February 2000 when the support for Chavez was massive and enthusiastic. The makers of the film used only closed takes of a few wealthy and light-skinned people to represent the opposition (Bartley & O’Briain). In contrast, these shots are of rallies supporting the government. Such rallies are currently rare, and attendance is limited to government assistants and workers forced to attend them. Later in the documentary, the narrator talks of Carmona’s inauguration and the corresponding shooting of civilians. This is an absolute misrepresentation of facts, as Caracas was normal on 12 April. The only demonstrations that took place that day were those led by some opposition members in front of leaders of Chavez’s government and the Cuban embassy. There was some peaceful demonstration near the presidential palace, but not the angry mob being dispersed by police that the film displays. The film also contains time-biased images. At some point, the film shows images of a meeting held by neighbors. The meeting is a discussion on the defense actions against threats from the
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