[News] Women protest US award to Venezuelan coup leader

News at freedomarchives.org News at freedomarchives.org
Wed Feb 4 11:32:25 EST 2004

Phoebe Jones, Margaret Prescod and Nina Lopez for the Global Women's Strike

<mailto:philly at crossroadswomen.net>philly at crossroadswomen.net

* * * * *

  Press statement &. Press statement&.Press statement&.
Contact:  Phoebe Jones, Global Women's Strike  215-848-1120, 
<mailto:philly at crossroadswomen.net>philly at crossroadswomen.net

Women protest US award to Venezuelan coup leader

The Global Womens Strike condemns the outrageous decision of the 
Inter-American Economic Council to honor Gustavo Cisneros at its 2004 
Winter Gala tonight it shows once more the total contempt of the US 
administration for peoples right to elect their own government. To 
recognize as a person who has consistently sought to create an environment 
where business and government can work together in meaningful ways for the 
betterment of society,a man who has systematically used his corporate 
wealth and media monopoly to illegally and violently attempt to force from 
office the democratically-elected government of Venezuelan President Hugo 
Chavez, is particularly cynical.  It is women in particular who elected and 
have overwhelmingly defended President Chavez, and women from the poorest 
areas who have most to gain from and have been most involved in the 
economic and social reforms Venezuela is undertaking to tackle poverty and 
corruption despite constant coup and assassination attempts from the likes 
of Cisneros.

The award is being given at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium 1301 
Constitution Avenue, NW January 29, 2004, beginning at 6:30pm.

Gustavo Cisnerosrecord is one of working for the bettermentof the white, 
racist elite of Venezuela against the interests of the vast majority of 
Venezuelans who are people of color, and who, in oil-rich Venezuela, were 
left mired in poverty after 40 years of rule by the Venezuelan elite:

§         He played a leading role in the bloody April 11, 2002 coup detat 
against the government of President Hugo Chavez a coup planned and carried 
out with the support of the US administration. The coup was defeated within 
days by millions of grassroots people taking to the streets to demand the 
return of their elected President and constitution.

§         He was a leader in the Dec 2002-Feb 2003 nationwide 
big-corporationslock out aimed at forcing President Chávez from office, 
which brought more suffering to grassroots Venezuelans. Again, grassroots 
people, starting with the oil workers themselves worked overtime to save 
their valuable resource, and defeated the new attempt of overthrowing 
President Chavez.

§         He has used his media power in relentless campaigns of lies, 
disinformation, distortion and racist insults against President Chavez and 
his supporters. On the day of the coup he even used his television station, 
Venevision, as the meeting place for top coup supporters, reportedly 
including the dictator illegally installed as President, Pedro Carmona.

§         The Cisneros Group has been implicated in the December 2003 
illegal shipment of US$2.5 million in cash seized aboard an American 
Airlines flight from Miami Florida to Caracas, no doubt intended to help 
finance another attempted coup against the Venezuelan people.

§         Gustavo Cisneros personally spoke with the U.S. State 
Department's former Latin American Affairs Chief, Otto Reich and the U.S. 
Ambassador to Venezuela, Charles Shapiro (currently under fire for hosting 
a puppet show ridicule of President Chávez in his home in Caracas) on the 
day of the coup, an event reported in Newsweek Magazine (see Newsweek, 
April 29, 2002, p.10).

To add insult to injury, Henry Kissinger will be presenting this obscene 
award. Kissinger is himself a war criminal and a man reviled all over Latin 
America, the Caribbean and the world for leading the CIA overthrow of the 
democratically-elected government of Salvador Allende in Chile in 1973. He 
justified the coup which led to the disappearances of thousands of people 
and the exile of hundreds of thousands with the infamous statement: "I 
don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to 
the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for 
the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves." Kissinger is also 
responsible for similar US policies in Indonesia and Cyprus. He recently 
had to withdraw his appointment by President Bush to head a commission 
investigating 9/11 because his reputation was too unsavory to give any 
credibility to the findings. He cannot travel to many countries for fear of 

However these are not the only voices coming out of Latin America. From 
January 29 to February 9, Nora Castañeda, one of the foremost leaders of 
the Bolivarian revolution of Venezuela, will be in the US to provide people 
here with the truth about what is going on there and in much of Latin 
America. Nora Castañeda, appointed by President Chavez to head the Womens 
Development Bank, will visit major cities across the US to speak on, 
Creating a caring economy in Venezuela. The tour is coordinated by the 
Bolivarian Circle of the Global Womens Strike whose central demand is the 
return of military budgets, starting with the over $400 billion US budget, 
to Invest in Caring, not in killing. The GWS has organized this tour and 
supports the Venezuelan process because in the words of Nora Castañeda, We 
believe that the economy must be at the service of human beings, not human 
beings at the service of the economy. We want to create an economy based on 
cooperation and mutual support, a caring economy. &. We are building a 
different way of life.Contrast this to the high priests of death giving and 
receiving awards at the Inter-American Economic Council on January 29th.

Sponsors of the Castaneda tour include: Vanguard Foundation; KPFK Radio; 
Danny Glover; Ed Asner, Harry Belafonte; Dolores Huerta; Greg Palast.  For 
further info:  <http://globalwomenstrike.net/>http://globalwomenstrike.net

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