Opinión Nacional

MESSAGE FROM VENEZUELAN WRITERS, ARTISTS AND ACADEMICS TO THEIR COLLEAGUES OF OTHER COUNTRIES

Venezuela is going through one of the most dramatic moments in its history. A gigantic fraud disallowing millions of signatures asking for the recall of the President, Hugo Chavez, the President, is currently underway. Confronted with the possibility of losing power, the government is promoting a national and international propaganda campaign to tarnish the gathering of recall signatures The President refers, ironically, to the recall as “Mega-Fraud.” It is the disallowing of the signatures, which is the mega-fraud.

The 3,475,000 citizens who signed the recall petition did it because of:
1) The Predisent’s taking total control of all branches of government and steering the country towards totalitarianism 2) The militarization of the administration at all levels, including a high percentage of cabinet members and state governors; 3) the blatant infringement of laws and the Constitution itself, not only by the President, but by public servants at all levels: 4) The militarization and politization of the state petroleum holdings (PDVSA) leading to the deterioration of the country’s most important source of income, and its progressive privatization, turning development over to foreign companies; 5) The economic disorder, its ruinous currency exchange controls, high inflation, an already excessive and growing unemployment rate, a dramatic growth in poverty levels, and an acute shortage of vital products such as food and medicine.; 6) The dismantling of the armed forces, and its gradual substitution by a parallel military force serving the President and his supporters., not the State., 7) An erratic foreign policy, directed by the head of State as a function of his personal whims, which greatly harms the national interest; 8) A gigantic looting and waste of the public financial resources; 9) A brutal repression of public protest rallies, using vigilante groups , organized and armed by government agencies; 10) The intimidation media opposing the regime, and a total scorn of public opinion; 11) The abandonment of public services, specially social security, education, and health services, to be substituted by “Missions” of clear populist slant; 12) An absolute indifference to the run-away growth of common street crime; 13) An exacerbated cult of personality, as it is typical of dictatorial rulers.

Instead of trying to achieve a national consensus, Chavez has used vitriolic rhetoric promoting violence and hatred between social classes and the exclusion of vast sectors of middle class people branding them as oligarchs. His aggressive and offensive rhetoric, aimed at discrediting middle class values, has eroded middle class support, and now they constitute, (together with a large low-income sector), an opposition approaching 70% of the population, which is now trying to revoke his mandate by the recall vote. The recall vote is a a sacred right of the Constitution approved by a Constituent Assembly.

To our colleagues around the world, we hereby denounce the situation briefly sketched here. Chavez’s government has been cleverly propagandizing worldwide, and has sowed confusion among groups of people who are geographically removed from what is really happening in Venezuela and who are not in possession of the true facts. This propaganda campaign tries to persuade people that Hugo Chavez is the leader of a revolution, which, is only empty rhetoric, since his actions have only led to a catastrophe. Step by step we are approaching a brutal military dictatorship, disguised as a socialist government preying upon the utopian sentiments of Venezuelans, who yearn for a solution to poverty. President Chavez continues to deny democracy to the great majority of Venezuelans that oppose authoritarianism.

Caracas, February 25th, 2004

Alvaro Agudo
Annabella Aguilar
Marisol Aguilera
Francisco Alarcón
Harry Almela
Rosario Alonso de León
Rachel Alvárez
Rosario Anzola
Alexander Apóstol
Aixa Armas
Alejandro Armas
Edda Armas
Carolina Arnal
Gustavo Arnstein
Rafael Arráiz Lucca
Belkis Arredondo
María Eugenia Arria
Mariela Arvelo
Michaelle Ascencio
Ruth Auerbach
Leonardo Azparren
Alesssandro Balteo
Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Guillermo Barrios
Alberto Baumeister
Margarita Belandria
Waleska Belisario
Ricardo Bello
Josefina Benedetti
Manuel Bermúdez
Giulano Bertolozzi
Marcelino Bisbal
Rodrigo Blanco
Demetrio Boersner
Víctor Bravo
Soledad Bravo
Luis Brito
Blas Bruni Celli
Elizabeth Burgos
Manuel Caballero
Colette Capriles
Antonio Luis Cárdenas
Elsa Cardozo de Silva
Adicea Castillo
Laura Castillo de Gurfínkel
Marian Castillo
Rafael Castillo Zapata
Cristina Castrillo
Israel Centeno
Armando Coll
Mara Comerlati
Simón Alberto Consalvi
Morella Contramaestre
Diómedes Cordero
Alfredo Coronil Hartman
Gloria Cuenca de Herrera
María Teresa Chacín
Isaac Chocrón
Sonia Chocrón
Victoria De Stefano
Jorge Díaz Polanco
Rafael Di Prisco
Franzel Delgado Senior
Haydee Deutsch
Roberto Echeto
Enrique Enríquez
Thais Erminy
Roldán Esteva-Grillet
Héctor Faúndez
Iván Feo
Carlos Fernández Cuesta
Daniel Fernández Shaw
Ana María Ferris
Ana Luisa Figueredo
Emilio Figueredo
Carlos A. Figueredo
Alicia Freilich
Miriam Freilich
Marisol Fuentes
Hernán Gamboa
Esther Gamus
Paulina Gamus
Raquel Gamus
Humberto García Larralde
Evangelina García Prince
María Antonia García Sucre
Diana García Sucre
Nelson Garrido
Judith Ghasgahie
Jacqueline Goldberg
Miguel Gomes
Emeterio Gómez
Luis Gómez Calcaño
María Elena González Adriano González León
Anna Gradowska
Moraima Guanipa
Víctor Guédez
Gustavo Guerrero
Arturo Gutiérrez Plaza
Sonia Hecker
Alberto Hernández
Tosca Hernández
Adolfo Herrera
Bernardino Herrera
Sofía Imber
Consuelo Iranzo
Juan Iribarren
Fausto Izcaray
Angelina Jaffé
Verónica Jaffé
Ariel Jiménez
Kira Kariakin
Marianne Kohn Beker
Gisela Kozak
Karl Krispin
Enrique Larrañaga
María Luisa Lazzaro
Carole Leal Curiel
Vicente Lecuna
Hélice León
Elisa Lerner
Diana Lichy
Antonio López Ortega
Hercilia López
María Teresa López
Pedro López
Teódulo López Meléndez
Oscar Lucien
Antonio Llerandi
Carmen Mannarino
Josefina Manrique
Héctor Malavé Mata
Manuel Malaver
Alexis Márquez Rodríguez
Esperanza Márquez
Gloria Márquez
Yolanda Márquez
Joaquín Marta Sosa
Ibsen Martínez
Roberto Martinez Bachrich
Milagros Mata Gil
María Beatriz Medina
Iván R. Méndez
Juan Carlos Méndez Guedez
Ricardo Mitre
Acianela Montes de Oca
Eugenio Montejo
Alfonso Montes
Dennys Montoto
Marcos Moreno
Alfredo Morles Hernández
Eleazar Narváez
Marco Negrón
Elvira Neri
Pedro Nikken
Humberto Njaim
María Celina Nuñez
Nela Ochoa
Iván Olaizola
José Orellana
Marta Orellana
Silvio Orta
Carlos Ortiz
Carlos Oteyza
Carlos Pacheco
Leonardo Padrón
Juan Paéz Avila
María Fernanda Palacios
Juan Carlos Palenzuela
Federica Palomero
Anita Pantin
Yolanda Pantin
Cristina Pardo
Norah Parissi
José Antonio Parra
Antonio Pasquali
Edilio Peña
Rolando Peña
Francisco Javier Pérez
Rubén Pérez
Luis Enrique Pérez Oramas
Omar Pérez
Delia Picón-Salas de Morles
Sandra Pinardi
Elías Pino Iturrieta
Gustavo Planchart Pocaterra
Eduardo Pozo
María Pilar Puig
Flor A. Pujol
José Pulido
Inés Quintero
Pablo Quintero
José Ramírez
Tulio Ramirez
María Elena Ramos
Gabriela Rangel
Lidia Rebrij
Eleonora Requena
Julie Restito
Luz Marina Rivas
Nelson Rivera
Tahía Rivero
Fernando Rodríguez
José Rodríguez Iturbe
Violeta Rojo
Gisela Romero
María Teresa Romero
Malena Roncayolo
Marcela Rossiter
Valentina Saa Carbonell
Elizabeth Safar
Magaly Salazar
Solange Salazar
Adolfo Salgueiro
Oscar Sambrano Urdaneta
Antolín Sánchez
Antonio Sánchez García
Roberto Sánchez Delgado
Elías Santana
Rafael Santana
Gioconda San Blas
Chelique Sarabia
Luis José Silva Luongo
Héctor Silva Michelena
Petruvska Simme
Milagros Socorro
Graciela Soriano
Blanca Strepponi
Guillermo Sucre
Pedro Tagliafico
María Soledad Tapia
Ricardo Teruel
Ana Teresa Torres
Héctor Torres
Ildemaro Torres
Fina Torres
Rosa Virginia Urdaneta
Thaelman Urguelles
Clementina Vaamonde
Alberto Valero
Horacio Vanegas
Patricia Van Dalen
María Teresa van der Ree
Alejandro Varderi
Vilma Vargas
Emilda Velazco
Mikel de Viana
Javier Vidal
Jóvito Alcides Villalba
Carmen Vincenti
Perla Vonasek
María Beatriz Yabur
Eliazar Yanes
Corina Yoris
Fernando Yurman
Hernán Zamora
Pedro León Zapata
Luis Zelkowicz

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