Can it really be 10 years already?

Somehow, today’s anniversary makes me feel terribly, terribly old. My stab at commemoration is running on the IHT’s Latitude Blog:

An independent truth commission promised soon after the events of that April was never convened, and no serious investigation was ever started. Instead, the Chavista propaganda machine crammed the events of that weekend into a Bay of Pigs template that has little to do with the historical record and everything to do with the propaganda needs of the regime.

The April Crisis was pressed into service as a kind of Myth of Origin for the Bolivarian Revolution’s radicalization: a tale of C.I.A. conspiracy, shadowy agents and provocateur sharpshooters planted by the opposition to fire on its own supporters.

126 thoughts on “Can it really be 10 years already?

  1. Francisco! Please try to respond to the comments to your article in the latitude blog! They are misleading the readers!
    On another note, marking the 10 year sad anniversary I have just begun reading “The Silence and the Scorpion”. There is no bias, instead plenty of different points of view that we should respect even if we don’t agree with them. This is a must for every Venezuelan.
    10 years after this, what have we learn?

    • I had the opportunity to meet Brian Nelson and correspond with him on occasion. The man is easily one of the best writers that has dealt with Venezuela under Chavez. He doesn’t have the benefit of being led around by teams of sycophants out of Miraflores so his research isn’t filtered through the lens of officialdom. Funny story: The first time I met him was in DC and I’d somehow managed to find an advance uncorrected proof of Silence and the Scorpion in a used bookstore in Texas. (No idea how it got there) When I met him I congratulated him on his book and told him I’d read the whole thing. “Wow, that’s amazing,” he says. “It’s not out until next month.” D’oh.

  2. I saw the chaos evolve from afar, Many of my friends and colleagues from Intevep where in that march, I could not believe the violence that ensued . I recall thinking that the coup was a logical outcome of the Chavez experiment. I was also surprised that no one put a bullet in Chavez that
    day. Seeing Carmona become president gave me a bad feeling, I had met him many years ago and the guy is not a politician, to much of a nice guy to deal with was coming his way, he was just the figure head, I have always wondered what exactly happened, Carmona has never really said much about it, nor has he ever clarified how he got away.

  3. I would have like to see some mention of the Irish marxists who, at the time, were filming “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. For, I always found it suspicious that the filmmakers *just happened* to be inside the presidential palace, during the chaotic evening that followed the march.
    To be expected then, their finished product was heavily edited and time distorted to suit a chavista narrative.

  4. I had never read a more accurate comparison regarding A-11, the Bolivarian Bay of Pigs. Don’t expect this April 13th to pass by so smoothly and unnoticed as the previous. 10th anniversary of Chavez’s brave and triumphant return (in spite of the cadena proving the opposite), the fact that he’s now half dead and it’s election year. Quite the perfect storm for propaganda.

    • Well this will depend of the dosis of drugs that elcomandantepresidente could tolerate

  5. # pplhearmeout

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I am very glad to report that The Silence and the Scorpion has been translated into Spanish and updated. We had been pushing for today as the release date, but unfortunately have had to postpone until the end of the month. However, I’m very happy that it will be out soon and that the story will finally be accessible to all Venezuelans.

    I know that there is a certain sense of exhaustion after so many years have passed without much change, but it is still very important to keep talking about it.

    To paraphrase civil rights leader John Lewis: When you are waiting for justice, all you can do is keep telling your story.

    • Hi Brian! I am glad that the book was traslated, let me know when it is out. I hug to the family!

    • Mr. Nelson … a coupla observations …

      In your “Education of Hugo Chávez” — and I congratulate you for putting together this important history, I note the need for one correction. It’s “Digepol” (Dirección General de Policía”) and not Digipol.

      Otherwise, I’m troubled by what comes across as your waffling over some coups and not for others. Allow me to explain.

      You mentioned Betancourt’s 1963 wish to crush insurgent forces “after two failed coup attempts orchestrated by Castro and the FALN.”

      That statement is clean and decisive. Not so when it comes to Chávez. You seem to fall for the charms of the Lt Col by wearing the apologist’s mantle, when you describe the 1992 watershed event as follows: “a partial coup was no coup at all.”

      Really, now? No coup at all? That’s the cockeyed line of reasoning that gives Cuban apparatchiks their tools for excuse mongering. To wit, Martha Harnecker explained the 1992 incident to a group of Canadian students as “that was no coup.”

      Three sentences later, you waffle back by mentioning that Chavez “took full responsibility for the botched coup.” So now it’s back to coupdom.


    • Brian,
      I’m very happy the book is finally going to be available in Venezuela. I’m sure a lot of people are going to be buying this book for relatives and friends.

      A time will come in Venezuela when all these events will be more clearly understood by the collective and justice will be served.

    • I found your book no more than another chronicle of what happened those days. Nothing new here, at all. Furthermore, even if your journalism was adequate, these remarks of yours not only disqualify you but also show that you have a very poor understanding of why things have happened in Venezuela, that is, you have a very poor command of Venezuelan history.

      “Hugo Chávez’s call for a revolution seemed completely appropriate to me. In fact, it seemed that nothing less could turn the country around. So when I returned to Venezuela in September 2002, six months after April 11, I WAS A DEVOUT CHAVISTA.”

      See, I have always been a very harsh critic of how the country was governed during those 40 years of the so-called “fourth republic.” Nobody is going to tell me how good or bad were those years of imperfect but true democracy, because I lived through them, and I am a thinking person. But, on December 6th, 1998 as I was watching chavista celebrations on TV after this thug won the election, I said to everyone around me that a real tragedy was about to begin for our country. Sadly, I was not mistaken. I DO NOT give the benefit of the doubt to those who saw in micomandante a solution to our problems, but then repented. I DO NOT have a shred of respect for “adult” people who happen to see the light only after reality has throwed at their face the dire consequences of having supported the wrong man for the most important job in the land.

      Then as now, I saw a deeply ignorant and malicious individual who some years before tried to subvert the constitutional order and is clearly responsible for the deaths of many during both attempted coups and beyond, but had at the time and still has now NO QUALIFICATIONS whatsoever to lead a country. By now, that should be clear to anyone, but, alas, we tend to regard the support afforded by ignorant people – “el pueblo” – to lack of education. Try lack of common sense. In fact, this thug’s psychiatric issues alone disqualify him for that purpose; and, I am not talking about his purported bipolar disorder.

      Thirteen years later, the destruction that has plagued Venezuela is of a level that was unimaginable during the so-called 4th republic. You don’t try to fix a problem by creating a bigger one, but this is exactly was has happened. I don’t know what will come from all this mess in which the country is. The future looks very bleak for Venezuela, because even if the thug dies, it is clear that the regime, supported by the Cubans, will do anything to stay in power and further the destruction of what remains of my country.

      For these reasons, any former chavista – you included – should just shut their mouths off and remain silent forever about things concerning Venezuela because by once supporting the authors of what is going on in my country, you have disqualified yourselves and lost any bit of respect that you once could have probably deserved.

      P.S. I know Alberto Espidel. He is a “colleague.” When I saw in your book that he was one of the “three principal chavista characters” that you interviewed, I really laughed my ass off. He can only be characterized as a clown, and is widely discredited in the medical community. Way to go to get your info!

        • I do not need to “burn the heretic.” But I have the right to remark that anyone with an utterly incomplete understanding of Venezuelan history and politics, and who defined himself as a devout chavista, should not be writing books of what he thinks happened. And yes, I have no respect for any chavista. Is that a problem for you? Do you have a problem with me shunning the opinions of any person validating what has happened in the last thirteen years? I do not. For instance, people like Miguel Henrique Otero, who should have known better. Right?

      • Thank you, JW, for those incisive words. I have not read BN’s book, and by the teasers offered in his website, I’m inclined not to bother spending my money on yet another rehash of a conflicting period of history, this time from a fence sitter’s perspective.

        As for Toro’s incredibly puerile retort over your comment, I wonder if he isn’t being compensated for publicizing BN’s work. All we need now is Nagel weighing in and giving another plug to the book.

        Just sayin’ …

        • Thank you Syd for your remarks. I am not trying per se to be obnoxious to any individual, mind you, but I cannot help to feel a deep anger to those chavista converts. Really, are we little kids? Do we as adults normally assume a very different and antagonistic position one day and then change the next. Nelson agreed with what the man did even after April 11, 2002! And now has repented? Please! In a book Marguerite Yourcenar says that you are from the place where you become intelligent. For me that was Caracas, Venezuela, so I don’t need Nelson – a foreigner with a barely adequate understanding of Venezuelan society – to tell me what happened. I have lived through and experienced very closely the Caracazo, both 1992 coup attempts, and all the violence beyond. How in his right mind can anyone state: “Hugo Chávez’s call for a revolution seemed completely appropriate to me.” Really?

          I do not need to become a sycophant of the authors of this blog. I also hope that they do not feel that need. But I do expect more than a puerile retort to my comments. Alas, not this time.

          • Dude, if you aren’t interested in being a sycophant of the authors of this blog, then you haven’t figured out how it works around here. Rule #1 is to always agree with the nonsense spouted by Toro and JC, and seek their approval, even when it is wrong over and over and over again.

            • Look TROLL, I do not need you to tell me how things work anywhere, nor to tell me that the authors of the blog are wrong over and over again or that the rule here is to seek their approval. Since I have a mind of my own, I can perfectly conclude that what you “spout” is simply NOT true. Exactly like everything else you crap in this comment section. Nervous that your overlord is about to kick the bucket?

        • Furthemore, look at this:

          “El estadounidense Brian Nelson, profesor de la UNIVERSIDAD Johns Hopkins, publicó en 2009 una investigación sobre los sucesos del 11 de abril de 2002, The Silence and the Scorpion. El libro está siendo traducido al español y saldrá este año en Venezuela.”

          Source: Interview by El Nacional, April 12, 2012.

          The reality is that he is just a school teacher. This is where he really works:

          BIG DIFFERENCE! It looks like now every foreigner that spends some time in Venezuela can become and expert on the country.

          • Right, now it’s Brian’s fault that El Nacional’s guy is a hack.

            LIsten, JW, this guy spent FIVE YEARS interviewing every key player in the April Crisis multiple times. THAT makes him an expert. Deal with it.

            • This is going to shock you, Toro. But a 5-year period of intermittent investigations (among other duties) on a particular topic, outside one’s own country, and a periodic parachuting into that country to conduct interviews, may make you a bit of an expert on the topic. BUT, make no mistake, my little friend, you will always be “fuera del perol”, where politics or history is concerned. And why? Because these areas involve years of builting an intimate knowledge of that country’s culture, society, language and nuances. These are vital components of politics and history. And to pretend that they do not matter is the height of ignorance.

              Let me clarify in terms that even you might understand. Imagine for a minute, that you were to delve into Quebec’s political crisis of the mid-90’s — and that’s a province, mind you, not a country. And you were to spend five years interviewing every key player in that crisis, multiple times. Well, I’m here to pop your delusions. For you would never be considered an EXPERT on that topic, in that society. Your credibilty would be limited.
              And you know it, having immigrated to that province just a few short years ago. Now imagine further that you did not even live there, and you periodically parachuted into Quebec City over a 5-year period, in which you interviewed every person involved. Credibility shrinks further, doesn’t it?

              So, by all means, promote writers who, like yourself, sat on the fence regarding Chavez. But don’t expect people to swallow every hook, line and sinker that comes along, just because you think that the lure is so marvellous. OK?

            • What are you talking about? This guy misrepresented himself as a Johns Hopkins University professor, when he is in fact just a schoolteacher. That, right there, is freaking and blatant dishonesty. There is a HUGE difference between a Johns Hopkins University professor and a schoolteacher. Do I need to explain this to you? And no, he is not an expert. I bet he is not even able to talk well in Spanish. Do you consider him an expert just because he intermittently went to the country to interview a bunch of people? Are you kidding me? I wasn’t prepared to entertain this, but I might begin to think you have a chrematistic interest in defending this guy. Agustin Blanco Muñoz, a university professor, and a guy that I don’t like very much, IS AN EXPERT on Venezuelan affairs. By Nelson’s own account he just interviewed 19 people. Just nineteen people! You say in 5 years? And, that makes him an expert in Venezuela? Are you nuts? Is that the kind of journalism that you want to practice? Do I have to deal with your B.S.? No, I don’t. And let me tell you this: I am going to go after you or after any of your fellow bloggers anytime that you post anything that looks like a distorted truth, just because it serves you well.

            • It seems that Syd just taught you a lesson. A grand one. it is priceless and anyone can barely add to it anything of value. Swallow it Toro and reflect on it. Who knows? May be it will enrich your life.

            • Guys, it’s customary in almost any discussion that if you want to critisize a book or it’s author, you READ IT first. The level of arrogance to dismiss a whole study, without checking the facts quoted, just referring to the author’s CV, is dissapointing to read here.
              I read the book. I have serious criticisms and doubts about certain parts of it, but all in all, it’s a fine, serious work that deserves to be discussed in extenso.
              Unfortunately, this is not the forum to do so.

            • The program is associated with the University and its name provides a certain caché cachet to those who need it.

            • Ulive:

              Did you take the time to carefully read my response to Nelson?

              I HAVE READ THE BOOK. This is a QUOTE from it:

              “Hugo Chávez’s call for a revolution seemed completely appropriate to me. In fact, it seemed that nothing less could turn the country around. So when I returned to Venezuela in September 2002, six months after April 11, I WAS A DEVOUT CHAVISTA.”

              And you have the gall to call me arrogant? If you really read the book, how come you did not identify this verbatim quote as part of the contents of said book?

              You call this book serious work? By a schoolteacher that dishonestly misrepresents himself as a UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, Johns Hopkins University of all places?

              Just for that, here in the US, they would have ripped his skin out of his body.

              And knowing the circumstances in which that book was written, that is, interviews with 19 people in a span of 5 years (intermittently at best) and without a good working knowledge of Venezuelan history and politics, don’t you think that this alone would make reasonable people to pause regarding reading the book?

          • FYI, Ulive:

            If you read the serious flags raised by JW and myself (mine began with some noted discrepancies in the story that Brian Nelson put together in his website), you’ll find that we are not discussing Brian Andrew Nelson’s book, per se, but rather, the curious distortions in the promotional bandwagon surrounding his work. Get it?

            Secondly, just because a book comes along by an author whose background is hazily mentioned and raises some flags, doesn’t mean one has to go out and buy the book in order to discuss what’s behind said background. This is particularly so when the background, provided by the author, is in the absolutely barest form and can easily lead to confusion. The issue is heightened when confusion does arise (Mayorca’s interview in El Nacional). And why? Because the non-profit program that employs Brian Nelson (CTY) does NOT employ ANY Johns Hopkins university staff. The program is associated with the University and its name provides a certain caché to those who need it. But make no mistake. Nelson is NOT a university professor at Johns Hopkins. He is, indeed, a schoolteacher, either through CTY’s online courses for kids, or during CTÝ’s summer programs.Get it?

            I don’t see any errata, today in El Nacional, correcting the erroneous impression gained by Mayorca (through his online interview?) that Brian Nelson is a university professor at Hopkins. But I understand where Mayorca might have been led to believe what he did, precisely because of Nelson’s uwhere hazily mentioned background, which conveniently for him leads to a certain duplicity. Get it?

            Toro, who should have done his homework on this, who should have applied a little rigor in his investigation, chose, instead, to fall in love with a work on which he could tie in a post, plus an article or two of his own. In sum, Toro wittingly or not, fueled the confusion. Get it?

            Finally, I will NOT be buying this book. And not just because of the lack of transparency in the stated background of the author. You’ll find other reasons peppered in the comments associated with this post. But you are free to plunk your monies as you see fit. Kindly don’t bother trying to tell me to do the same. Get it?.

            • I earlier placed this correction in the wrong place.
              The program is associated with the University and its name provides a certain caché cachet to those who need it.

            • So much for investigative journalism. The man interviews someone who writes a book that purports to describe an important event of Venezuelan history, and does not even bother to check his background!

    • In the comments I mean! I hadn’t seen so many in a while…

      remember when we had all those PSFers come and troll the blog all the time?! We have come a long way since those days!

      • “We have come a long way since those days!”

        Debatable. For some reason we’ve been geting an influx of new “machos del teclado” since around the time of the primaries…

  6. Thanks for passing on the measured reflections Francisco, and the book tip. Always looking for a good book tip.

  7. After having it on my to-do list for quite a while, last week I finally got around buying and reading The Silence and the Scorpion. After just a couple of days I’m almost done with it, it’s an amazing read. It’s somewhat weird to realize how much my perspective about those days has changed from the one I had back then as a 15-year-old school kid. I am very glad to read that the book will be soon available in Spanish, and I congratulate and wish Mr Nelson all the best.

  8. Always good to see Toro and Brian Nelson continue to deny the facts while staring them in the face, even 10 years later! Now that’s impressive!

    They continue to pretend that the coup was not planned ahead of time by opposition leaders, even though the coup leaders themselves admitted it on live television the next day!!!

    And, of course, they continue to ignore the Otto Neustadt testimony, who was told by opposition forces the night before that “there will be deaths”.

    But dishonest hacks like Toro and Nelson don’t even recognize the existence of extremely important pieces of evidence like this. They don’t even mention them in their historical accounts of what happened! No, they continue to pretend that ” the violence started with a handful of civilian Chávez supporters,” as Toro says, and they pretend that the coup wasn’t really planned by anyone but was really the fault of “a cabal of right-wing business and military leaders” who “seized the initiative.”

    This, Toro, is what’s called being stunningly dishonest. You never fail to impress.

      • Maybe she took Godgiven Hair’s advice today and had a couple of shots of whisky. Alone. (Sorry, I forgot the exclamation marks and emphasis: STUNNINGLY IMPRESSIVELY EXTREMELY ALONE!!!)

        • A foreigner, having such a reaction to an event that happened ten years ago its disturbing, every day horrible and outrageous things happen all over the world. I can imagine his head about to explode when he wrote it, the nos and inflections as he were speaking were hilarious.
          At the end the real victims where the people who got killed and their families who had to mourn them, not the people proselytizing and profiting from it.

          • Thanks for demonstrating guys that you can’t engage the argument, or the evidence. The level of pathetic scum-bag-ed-ness around here is unmatched anywhere.

            • Yeah, pathetic scumbags require more evidence, much more evidence, on which to build an argument than two doctored presentations (dontcha just love the voiceover from the ‘Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ in the first little video, as well as the ‘doom-and-gloom’ gongs of the second?). It’s our way of protecting ourselves against the impressively stunning heart attacks that can affect those who sit on their ass all day to opine on far-away issues..

            • “The level of pathetic scum-bag-ed-ness around here is unmatched anywhere.”
              You haven’t been to “Noticiero Digital” or “Noticias 24″, have you?

    • No mean to offend, Get a Clue. But, really? Are you saying the first video is irrefutable evidence that the media were part of a conspiracy to overthrow Chavez? Are you saying with a straight face the deaths were planned ahead just cuz some journalist heard the day before people would die (even my parents, who had no priviledged information suspected something ugly was going to happen on april 11th). After 10 years of research (I.e. Eva Golinger googling stuff) is this all Chavistas can come up with. Again, REALLY?

      • The first video is evidence that the coup was planned in advance. The ring leaders openly admit it, and even discuss how they needed to make sure Chavez didn’t go to Costa Rica days before in order for the plan to work. Are you REALLY going to try to deny that?

        The second video is not conclusive evidence of anything, but it supports what many have said, that the announcement from the military command was planned in advance, and that they were discussing deaths before there were any deaths in the street. Otto Neustadt isn’t the only person who was there and who has made this claim:

        So, yes, REALLY? Are you REALLY going to deny that the coup was pre-planned despite the evidence?

        Again, REALLY?

      • Oh, and BTW, I have to point out how stupid this is:

        “even my parents, who had no priviledged information suspected something ugly was going to happen on april 11th”

        So, your parents knew on the night of April 10th that people were going to get shot in the streets of Caracas the next day? Wow, they must be psychic, because obviously tens of thousands of Venezuelans DIDN’T know that, otherwise they wouldn’t have marched right into the line of fire.

        No mean to offend, but you’re not very bright are you?

        • Listen, smarty. You can insult all you want. This doesn’t change the fact that you’re trying to prove it was a conspiracy based on two clips, the second of which doesn’t prove anything as you’ve already said, thanks. As for the first one these guys are about Chavez flying to Costa Rica the same day, not several days in advance. The truth is you can insult us all you want. But you’ve got to have something better than that to prove your point, it’s that simple. When you have something better to offer rather than condescending comments against other users and BS videos, I would love to debate you.

          • PM, stop feeding the troll. This guy is Chris Carlson. He says really at every sentence: you stupid, clueless, you idiots, etc, etc. He tried to keep a blog with the name clueless trying to make a parody of this blog. The guy is an eternal US student from a wealthy background who worked for years for an English Chávez propaganda site.
            The guy has absolutely no desire to debate. He will perhaps pretend to “address” someone who tries to be extra nice to him for one single comment and then fall back to insults. He is a pathological Chavista. It is wasted time to engage in any conversation with him. He usually comes here when he is worried about the regime. This time he is mostly worried because the milico is sick and he knows if the coup monger Chávez dies, this regime and Cuba’s are finished.

          • I have to tell you guys, it is absolutely fascinating the level of denial and outright ridiculous levels of dishonesty that you all are capable of demonstrating.


            General Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez’s announcement was the day before the coup, not the same day. But you’re still going to deny that it was pre-planned by the opposition, even though they admit it themselves on live television!! You’re hilarious.


            What does any of that have to do with the evidence above? Try to keep your limited brain power focused on the topic at hand.

        • For the first time I agree with “Get a clue” on something.

          Come on guys! You cannot cover the sun with a finger. Of course the 2002 coup was planned (by the way, the term “unplanned coup” seems rather oxymoronic). This was the second nastiest thing the opposition has ever done (I put the oil strike first in the list of nasty things they have done, for reasons I may explain some other time), and is one of the main reasons why many people who oppose Chavez cannot support the other side either.

          • Gas,

            I have always thought it was a coup and I was not happy about it.
            How could you justify Chávez could ever be trusted after he murdered the people he murdered in 1992?
            CAP was leaving anyway in two years time.
            He used as excused the crime of 1989. Hello? The culprits back then were not only CAP and his closest and the police. Most murderers were actually military, not the police (who were also into it).
            Human rights violations in the IV Republic? Some of the key criminals back then actually became leaders in the V Republic (like Chacín or Roger Cordero or Bernal)

            • As I said in a previous post, I didn’t vote for Chavez in 1998. Your questions should be answered by those who did vote for him. I can only add that there was nothing in the Venezuelan constitution back then that could prevent him from running for president. In many contries, ex-convicts cannot be presidential candidates, but that was not the case in Venezuela those days, so we had no option but to accept his victory, if that was the people’s choice, even if we didn’t like the guy.

            • Get a shrink,

              Sure he was elected president and we have to accept that. But that doesn’t mean we cannot see someone who has spilled blood to get to power is going to be an autocrat.
              You said you did not vote for him, but you still say his government until something like 2006 was “good”? Hello? It wasn’t good. It was oil price several times what it was in the nineties.

            • I haven’t said Chavez government back then was good, just that it wasn’t that bad (it’s not the same). At least not so bad to justify going all berserk against it. You know what was a bad government? The second one of Caldera. Now, THAT was a real piece of crap of a government, and yet I didn’t see anybody going to demostrations to demand his resignation. The only government that was worse than Caldera 2 was Lusinchi, with the difference that the crap Lusinchi did during his presidency wasn’t felt immediately, and people were saying that it was actually a good government during his years. Of course, he was building a time bomb, only that it exploded in the hands of CAP.

              The sad thing is that with Chavez 2006-2012 we have had a combination of very $hity things occuring during this period together with the building of a new time bomb. It’s like a mix of many of the worst things of the IV Republic.

            • Get a shrink,

              I do not justify the violent protests and the strike and the coup. I did not like what Caldera II did. And yet: what you interpret as “not that bad” was just yearly average oil price at 17, 23, 24, 28, 36, 50 and $61 from $12 at the end of Caldera II and Caldera II was at a time when other Latin American countries had inflations that were even worse.

              So: you really need to put things in perspective and perspective does not mean simply “do I and my pocket feel better now than in the previous term?” but “why? what if?”
              This is not just guessing. It’s doing the maths with what they were getting and how they were already pilfering (Proyecto Bolivar someone? the Bolivarian crap? the changes in the constitution whereby Chavistas managed to get the seats they got in 1999?)

              We cannot expect that from a lot of people with little education, but after a certain level, we should demand from ourselves to analyse beyond what’s good for our pocket hic et nunc.
              Chávez did give more crumbles to the poor than Caldera, for instance, but proportionately speaking, based on what the country was getting they got less.

              And one should have seen that coming.
              And one should know from history that coup mongers who come to power even by democratic means will sooner than later screw it up big time and refuse to give up power democratically.

              Olavarría didn’t abandon the ship out of a tantrum. He recognise – very belatedly in 1999 – with those constitutional and para-constitutional changes what was coming.

              Of course, the drama is that there are also many people “on our side” who are as ethically bankrupt as any Boligarch…and yet by principle a government based on coup mongers and extreme leftists will always reject pluralism – just read their own books and ideas – whereas an opposition is usually a smorgasbord, where at least there are some alternatives.

              No se baja de esta cruz, como decía Cortázar.

          • Thank you Getashrink!

            This is all I am saying, nothing more. Yet most people here still deny this basic fact. Including Francisco Toro and Brian Nelson. Have you read Nelson’s book? Its absolutely ridiculous that he would write a whole book on the topic, yet try to deny that the coup was pre-planned by the opposition!

            • Chris, the guy(s) who plotted and financed 11A for the “opposition”, have never been openly fingered. Do you know who they are and why is this?

            • Dave, so nobody knows who the people are in the video above? No one knows who these military guys are who rebelled? No one knows who signed the Carmona Decree? It doesn’t take an intrepid reporter to know who was behind the coup, it just takes a willingness to face the facts. Unfortunately that’s rare around here.

            • PS General Nestor Gonzalez Gonzalez is not and was not involved with the real coupsters. His great feat has been avoiding capture. C’mon Chris, give me some names. I want to see how much you know.

            • Well, apparently you DO know who was involved, and who wasn’t. In other words, you aren’t actually interested in debating whether the coup was pre-planned or not, you’re just interested in engaging in some good ol’ douche-bag-ery. Keep it real man!

            • I asked you a specific question. They are not in the video. It’s a mixed bag of military and civilian. Do you know where the meetings where held? You know nothing but your bosses know. Well they are not exactly your bosses because you do not directly work for the government.

            • Yes, Dave’s admission that there were certain people who were behind the coup means that it was obviously pre-planned. That’s my whole point. Case closed!

            • I haven’t read the book, as I wasn’t even aware of its existence before I read these posts. It sounds interesting, but if the guy denies the coup was planned in advance, then he must be leaving some incovenient facts out.

              Well, most people leave out incovenient facts when they have a pre-conceived conclusion they want to reach. Chavistas do it, antichavistas do it, and so do Democrats and Republicans in the US, as well as climate change deniers and Bigfoot believers.

              So that’s why before reading Nelson’s book, first in my list is this one:

            • Getashrink,

              Yes, you are right that most people leave out inconvenient facts, both Chavista and non-Chavista. But I still have to say this case is particularly astounding. Its like as if Bush supporters in the US tried to deny that Bush invaded Iraq. I think there are few examples of distorting the basic facts that can parallel how the opposition has continuously denied their role in the April 11th coup.

            • Getashrink, you are correct to say “Chavistas do it, antichavistas do it, and so do Democrats and Republicans in the US, as well as climate change deniers and Bigfoot believers.” Without any intention to offend, I believe this phenomenon is tronger in South and North America than in Western Europe, and it is a consequence of the mental/intelectual freedom provided in the colonies (to the colonisers not the colonised), in the US exacerbated by market driven media derationalizing public discourse.

              In Europe the weight of an “almost universally shared body of knowledge” is heavier, and outright denial of the obvious is more frowned upon. Western Europe may not be at it’s greatest moment, but the weight of the body of knowledge is a great tool for addressing society’s challenges.

            • Get a clue, chavismo outdoes this fact-denial on a daily basis, on both national and international issues. 92 (fue una rebeldia no un golpe) is a prime example. Even the chavista law makers constantly create laws that directly contradict the constitution or other laws. Chavez says crime level in the US is higher than in Venezuela, and yes this is a SERIOUS issue, tens of thousands of people die each year while the government stands by watching. International level: Dalai Lama is a terrorist. Iran has a socialist government. China is communist. Assad is a popularly elected president.

              There are hundreds of examples, but as kepler said you won’t respond to any of these points unless you have a convenient answer.

            • Paal,

              One of the differences between the American and the European is the presidential versus parliamentarian models. Parliamentarian models, specially as applied in the Continent, require permanent debates, in the original sense of the word, and the public can see both sides answering back and forth. This brings about an actual exchange. It can make the decision making more complicated, but it is more difficult to pretend to say your opponent said this when he is saying something else.

              Another difference, at least in the non Latin areas, is the public media.
              In Germany or Holland, for instance, you can actually have on a permanent basis the key representatives of all main political parties actually discuss things, sometimes in a very fierce way.
              That can be better than having ghetto TV channels catering for one sector only.
              I have actually friends from right, left and centre and they all watch ZDF or ARD news, even if they may buy a more lefty or rightist newspaper.

            • Paal,

              The difference is that Chavistas don’t try to outright DENY that Chavez was behind the 1992 coup. This is exactly what the opposition does with the 2002 coup. Preferring to call the coup a rebellion is a lot different than completely denying that Chavez was responsible for it. Seriously, just think how stupid it would be for Chavistas to try to deny that Chavez was behind the 1992 coup. Well, that’s how stupid it is when the opposition does it for the 2002 coup.

              The rest of your examples are true, but they are mostly just dumb things that Chavez has said. Most Chavistas don’t pay much attention to them, and definitely don’t around trying to construct a whole distorted version of the facts in order to support them.

            • Get a clue, the main problem I have with most of your arguments is that you translate actions *by a group of opposers* to “by the opposition”. Analogously, chavez’s planning of his first coup does not make all chavistas coupsters, nor even coup supporters.

            • You are right extorres. It wasn’t ALL the opposition, it was a relatively small group of the opposition. But the point is that the coup was clearly orchestrated by forces that were opposed to Chavez and sought his removal from power. Francisco Toro and Brian Nelson still deny this basic fact.

            • Get a clue, I totally agree with you that Chavez says A LOT of stupid shit, but I do believe many chavistas believe him, since I steadily hear them reproduce it, both in and out of the media.

              In the particular case of 11 de Abril and 92 you are correct in your assertion than the outright denial is on the opposition side. However, canal 8 and chavismo in general is all about constructing and living off a distorted world view. In fact the chavismo way of thinking is in itself not an action-focused ideology, but rather mainly a siege mentality which creatively incorporates any information that serves it to self-maintain. A very important example is the economic crisis, it is clearly a delution and a lie that Venezuela’s economic crisis has much to do with the global financial crisis given the high price of oil. Still Telesur, VTV 8, Chavez and chavistas constantly use it as an excuse. The same with speculation as the prime culprit for inflation. More examples: “Crime is not the government’s fault and in any there is nothing to do about it”. “Venezuela is poor because of US imperialism”. “La cuarta republica blablablablabla”. There are still a lot of chavistas who believe that the crime level in the cuarta is the same as now.

              In fact, on nearly any given issue where the government could usefully reconsider its position the government and its supporters prefer fantasy before reality. This is exactly why the government messes up everything it tries to achieve. If this wasn’t so, I’m sure a lot of the people on this blog and in Venezuela would be a lot happier with the government, because they would have decent policies instead of stupid policies.

              Whenever Chavez decides something and then turns around and decides the opposite, many chavistas will sequentially and fervently support both of the contradictory decisions. They have no interest in whether the decision is right or not. And in the end it is much worse to have government and people deny hard won historical lessons on how to build a country than to have them deny who was responsible for a coup.

            • It wasn’t ALL the opposition, it was a relatively small group of the opposition. But the point is that the coup was clearly orchestrated by forces that were opposed to Chavez and sought his removal from power. Francisco Toro and Brian Nelson still deny this basic fact.

              Get a clue, Even in your reply you demonstrate what is my second problem with most of your posts: “It wasn’t ALL the opposition, it was a relatively small group of the opposition.”

              Your use of the word ALL, in caps, and then the word “relatively” to describe “small” you insinuate that the group is bigger than it was. You insist on implying that the conspiracy was much larger than it was. It was a handful of military men seeking a “nice guy” to be the civilian representative. When they found him, they then sought the opportunity.

              My third problem with most of your argumentation is your focus on the coupsters being “opposed to Chavez” and that they “sought his removal from power”. The handful of military men were seeking their civilian representative even before chavez’s first coup. So it wasn’t an anti-chavez movement, at all, until chavez was the one continuing and worsening the status quo that led them –as it did chavez– to consider a coup in the first place.

              Finally, I’ll point out that you are perhaps purposefully causing the lack of argumentation from opposers by implying that admissions, seemingly of guilt by at least association if not outright support, are in order. They’re not. The coup was not planned by “the opposition” the same way chavez’s coup was not planned by “the military”, nor by chavistas.

              The reason it seems purposeful is that you insist of making a big deal out of obvious truths, as if they proved something important. For example, of course the coup was planned by those involved; military coups don’t just happen out of the blue. Also, that military folk make death assumptions in their plans does not prove that they “know” about them before they happen as if they were premeditated assassinations. They could be, but as you well said, the second video is “not conclusive evidence of anything”.

              My main point: stop making your comments sound as if anyone here needs to feel associated to the group involved in that coup, the same way there is no reason to make you feel badly for the deaths that chavez did know he would cause in his first coup. You do know that chavez did know, right? I don’t see any Carmonistas here. The real question then is: are you a supporter of chavez, someone who premeditated Venezuelan killings? Are you a chavista?

            • Sorry extorres, I thought you were making sense there for a second, but I guess I should have known better. Here are just a few of the nonsense things you say.

              “It was a handful of military men seeking a “nice guy” to be the civilian representative. When they found him, they then sought the opportunity.”

              Yeah, right, no one but a handful of military men were involved in planning for the coup. That’s why the media and the march leaders all worked in tandem with the military to create the conflict on April 11th. Just a handful of military men redirected the march towards Miraflores? Just a handful of military men distorted the images of Puente Llaguno? And how do you explain the group of mostly non-military men (including Leopoldo Lopez) talking openly about the plan on live television the next day?

              “So it wasn’t an anti-chavez movement, at all, until chavez was the one continuing and worsening the status quo that led them”

              Oh, right, I forgot, the 2002 coup wasn’t an anti-chavez movement. Are you mental?

              “you are perhaps purposefully causing the lack of argumentation from opposers by implying that admissions, seemingly of guilt by at least association if not outright support, are in order. ”

              Oh, right. So its my fault that Francisco Toro and Brian Nelson won’t admit that the coup was pre-planned by opposition forces. You aren’t very smart are you?

              “that military folk make death assumptions in their plans does not prove that they “know” about them before they happen as if they were premeditated assassinations.”

              It doesn’t prove it, but it certainly is strong evidence that they were premeditated. If you record an announcement to be transmitted on television that talks about people dead in the streets before there are any deaths, then it means you either have a crystal ball, or you knew about something that thousands of Venezuelans didn’t know about.

              “stop making your comments sound as if anyone here needs to feel associated to the group involved in that coup”

              Sorry, my friend, but its not ME that is making it sound like you all are associated to the coup. It is your OWN FAILURE to admit that the coup was planned at all that makes it sound like you are trying to cover up for something. THAT is what makes it seem like you are somehow emotionally connected to those who carried out the 2002 coup. And obviously you are, since you continue to support the same politicians that supported the coup from the beginning.

            • Get a clue, since you did so much out of context quoting to reply, I’ll just skip to your last paragraph and reply to that

              “making it sound like you all are associated to the coup” conspiracy much?

              “your OWN FAILURE to admit that the coup was planned at all that makes it sound like you are trying to cover up for something”. Go back and read; did I not just tell you that it is obvious that planning was necessarily involved? I’ll spell it out again, military coups, chavez’s or carmona’s, were necessarily planned ahead of time. I don’t think anyone here has or would claim otherwise. Will you change your conclusion?

              “THAT is what makes it seem like you are somehow emotionally connected to those who carried out the 2002 coup”. That?! The failure to admit what had been already admitted? lol Seems to me like you are demonstrating emotional connection to your conclusions.

              “And obviously you are, since you continue to support the same politicians that supported the coup from the beginning.” Wow, firstly, you don’t point to any support of mine to any politician but conclude that I’m emotionally connected to the ones that carried out the coup? But then you go back to your the first problem I have with most of your posts: you generalize about ALL from ME and conclude about ME from ALL.

              Which brings me back to the question: Do you support chavez? Because you seem to not want to admit it. Hmm. By your logic you must be emotionally connected to him…

            • You aren’t very bright are you extorres???

              You admitted that it was pre-planned, but then went on to try to minimize the uncomfortable reality by claiming it was only a “handful of military men”, that it “wasn’t an anti-chavez movement at all” and that just because opposition forces were talking about deaths before any happened that it didn’t really mean they had premeditated them. In other words, you put yourself back in the same boat with Toro and Nelson and other coup-deniers by trying to disconnect the opposition from involvement in the coup.

              Now you say this:

              “military coups, chavez’s or carmona’s, were necessarily planned ahead of time. I don’t think anyone here has or would claim otherwise.”

              You must be kidding right? This is what the whole discussion has been about from the beginning. Have you read Nelson’s book? Both Brian Nelson and Francisco Toro do this very thing!! They both deny that the 2002 was pre-planned. How about getting a clue before spouting more nonsense?

              The rest of your post is irrelevant nonsense. Whether or not I support Chavez has nothing to do with this discussion, and is simply a distraction from the topic at hand.

              I am not criticizing people who support politicians that were involved in a coup. Its not necessarily a contradiction to support someone who was involved in a coup. What is a contradiction is to deny that the people you support actually engaged in a coup despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

              Chavez supporters don’t deny that he was the one behind the coup in 1992. Opposition supporters, on the other hand, continue to do exactly that when it comes to the 2002 coup.

            • Oh, and just a “handful of military men” is a bunch of dishonest horse shit. Even people from the opposition who were involved have openly admitted participation from broad sectors:

            • well, now I know where you get your broken-record thinking, clueless. You show us, with pride, a video seen on la hojilla, which copies three and four times, audio segments, for the mental registration, if not memorization, by chavista viewers. No sense in having a public come to its own conclusions.. Oh no. That type of independent thinking would be disastrous to control and power plays. Better to repeat what is conjured up to be incrimminating statements, then bring on an animator who will bamboozle the public with a pencil-tick routin, off a phoney list. Can you say: patheti?. I can’t believe that anyone with half a brain would actually buy this tripe. No offense to tripe.

        • C’mon @getaclue, “tens of thousands” on the march? … looks like you fell off the Chavista propaganda juggernaut. I just heard that the channel 8 guys reckoning that the marchers were in the hundreds. In another 10 years, they’ll reckon they were 10 or 20 “gatos locos”.

    • What about the independent investigation Chavez promised? Anyone can produce clips from you-tube, but what about allowing these claims to be tested in a hearing? On the face of it, if Chavez didn’t produce the independent review, it’s because he is afraid of what the results would show.

      • Let me see if I get this argument straight here Jeffry. So it doesn’t matter that opposition leaders openly admitted that they had planned the coup from the beginning. No, that’s not what matters. What matters is that Chavez hasn’t done an extensive investigation of what happened. THAT is the smoking gun! Seriously, just incredibly how you guys will flail in the wind with these astoundingly stupid arguments.

        • No, that’s not what matters. What matters is that Chavez hasn’t done an extensive investigation of what happened,
          You are right, to think that is relevant that the state, who has control over all Institutions who can establish objectively responsability for what happened, has done nothing its astoundingly stupid.

          • Right, the fact that there hasn’t been an independent investigation of the matter totally refutes the fact that opposition forces openly admitted that they had planned the coup.

            Is this some kind of alternate universe that you guys live in?

            • Look man,
              Everyone in Venezuela uses the coup language to condemn one another. The opposition call Chavez golpista because he gave the 1992 coup and say that in 1999 there was a vacuum of power. The chavistas said that there was a rebellion in 1992 and a coup in 2002. I dont see a distinction, there was a coup in both years. I was only 16 back then. I dont support neither of the people who gave it nor participate in it.
              I strongly condemn the ideas of violent coups, you dont, you support Chavez, many people from the opposition doesnt either and they say that nothing happened in 1992. The point is that most people think that there good coups and bad coups and support the one gave by the people they like.
              Because of that, I consider this whole debate hypocritical on both sides and I said I wish that the people who held power back them, who you have to admit, as the goverment has the responsibility to establish an independent investigation of what happened, and who killed all of those persons hasn’t done it.
              Most people (including the opposition) are more interested in milking the thing for political gain condeming the coup when both sides actually dont think that coups are bad per se. y al final los muertos no le importan a nadie sino a sus familiares.

  9. The Silence and the Scorpion book looks really interesting. The main theory seems plausible (no snipers).

    I gotta say that I do agree with some of the commenters on the article that it should really state more clearly that this was a coup (although not a very bloody one), and to me it seems undeniable that it was planned and that there was US involvement. To write about April 11 and not clearly call it a coup seems to me like writing about Castro and not clearly stating that he is a dictator.

    If we are not able to acknowledge obvious facts we dislike there can be no learning through exchange of ideas with our adversaries. This is one of the reasons why it is impossible to argue with chavistas.

    Would the country have been better off without Chavez between 2002 and 2012? Impossible to know for sure, but quite possibly. Will Venezuela be far more screwed up if the Chavez government continues until 2019? Most likely.

    • Francisco Toro, this one is for you:

      “If we are not able to acknowledge obvious facts we dislike there can be no learning through exchange of ideas with our adversaries. This is one of the reasons why it is impossible to argue with chavistas.”

    • The US was involved, they where on the phone the entire time. Unfortunately, nobody listened! Famous last words (Carmona to the US): “we know what we are doing”

  10. Yesterday put up an interesting video on the chronology of the events:

    As with every documentary you watch take everything carefully in with a grain salt and suspicious.

    I also found myself watching the Puente Llaguno: Claves de una masacre documentary which is where #getaclue found his “evidence” clips:

    As expected it is incredibly bias to the government. I know, i know, why even watch it?… but hear me out ppl.. we can’t always watch what we like and agree with, we have make the effort to look at all points of view and listen to people who think differently (at least hear them out). Then we can decide for ourselves if it’s worth debating or not. I personally don’t invest time debating but I do like to know how or what they are thinking.

  11. I wasn’t in Venezuela 10 years ago, and was not aware of the events of that day until after I arrived and started learning about Venezuelan politics. I fully understand the historical significance and emotions connected with this event for the Opposition and the Chavistas.

    However, stepping back from this, for just a moment, I am thinking that the current daily homicide rate in Venezuela makes this event pale in comparison. As dramatic as that event was, it simply doesn’t compare with the carnage and loss of innocent life we are seeing every day under the horrible mismanagement of this regime.

    • I do think it is worth it to discuss this event, since it is a coup, and secondly since it still has huge importance in Venezuela’s politics. At the same time, I totally agree that there are far more pressing issues, the crime level being number one.

      It is obvious that the government is trying to make this the bay of pigs of Venezuela, just as 92 is made the equivalent 26 of July. In Cuba this symbol-fueled patriotic partisan brainwashing combined with dictatorial freedom limitations and oppression has made a lot of Cubans disconnect government support (unconditional) from government performance. This is evidently the goal for the Chavez government also. I don’t think Chavez understands that the result of his policies will be horrible (scarcity, national subordination to Cuban and Chinese interests, power abuse, health system failure etc), but in any case it is a nice tool for him to staying in power, although he might believe that in the short term the transition to statism will be painful (like he often states “El camino al socialismo requiere mucho trabajo”).

      How can we fight this brainwashing? This conincides with what we often discuss on this blog… how to convince chavistas that Chavez is not the least bad alternative? How to make people evaluate the government for the current state of country and not for who the leader is or what he promises? Very central to this is how to break the connection of trust to Chavez and/or how to build a similar connection of trust to an opposition candidate. It is obviously hard to build that connection when the government actively, illegally and abusively interferes with any attempt by the opposition of good governance and image building.

      • One of the key points we need to do is to spend much more time in the key secondary cities, listen to people there and bring back proposals to them. One of the problems people in the main 4 cities have is they don’t realise where demographics lies in Venezuela. Venezuela is NOT urban versus rural. There is, roughly speaking, three groups in this sense: metropolises, secondary cities and rural. The population is roughly distributed like this: 40%, 50% and 10% .
        There are about 30 secondary cities. Most people there do not have proper Internet access (even if they may have pre-paid cards and mobiles) or cable. The vast majority of them do not have a car and would need a lift to vote come OCtober.
        Whenever we address people in those URBAN secondary centres we need to talk not about Venezuela, but about their Venezuela. Sorry, but we still do not have a Venezuela, in spite of the national myths and all. We have Venezuelan regions. As long as the people from the main 4 cities don’t get acquainted with the particularities of those regions, their special needs for development, as long as we don’t understand we need to prepare special messages for them, we won’t penetrate there as we should.

        Secondly, we need to address recent history facts. Some of them are the paradoxes of criticizing the violations of the IV Republic but having as key people murderers from said IV Republic (the case of Roger Cordero and Chacin, the lack of independent report on the Caracazo is another issue).

        Finally: Venezuela is a feudal country. As long as we don’t want to address land reform, real land reform AND as long as we don’t want to teach people what real debates – not parallel monologues – are, we will keep fostering this autocratic mentality and this need for strongmen.

  12. Since they’re here, a comment on origins of 11A disinformation wars. Eva and izarrita are cuban trained agents. Eva’s book was researched by sandalista remnants of past Cuban ops (Jeremy bigwood). That was then…today Eva and izarrita are big shots. Chris could be reporting into eva

    • Uh oh! Get our your tin-foil hats everyone! Its all a dark conspiracy to fool us into believing what most rational people already know… April 11th was a pre-planned coup led by opposition forces. Wicked Cuban spies!!!

  13. Chavez has a disturbing interest in Syria, Iran, Zimbawbwe, Cuba, North Korea, the old Libya, and other countries that have no qualms or hesitation about killing and torturing those with opposing views, These are countries that Chavez admires and supports. My greatest fear is that Chavez, facing death himself, will emulate these dictators and turn Venezuela into a bloody battleground to protect his power and assets. April 11 has already sent a message to Chavistas that they will not be punished for killing opposition supporters.

    The top level generals are all involved in narco-traffic and will do whatever is necessary to stop the opposition. I pray that the next level of command will have the morals and heuvos to not kill civilians.

  14. Watching PSFs comment on this blog makes me want to write enormous tracts countering them but it’s really just a hell of a lot easier to wait until October. They’ll be laughing out the other side of their face then.

  15. Honestly guys, don’t engage with someone that doesn’t know this country enough to know that Venezuelans in general are not very good planners. LOL.

    I wasn’t there but my personal take is that if the coup would have been planned, it would have been way more successful of what it was.

    After the caracazo and after Chavez coup in 1992 (first one in 30 years of continuous democracy), people grew a genuine fear that something “bad” was going to happen, each time there was a protest. It was the normal thing to say and to hear (that goes for Quico’s parents, BTW).

    We also shall throw in the mix that, according to the OVCS (Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social), there were around 5 thousand (!) civilian protests from 1998 to 2002. Why do you think this was? People were really angry at the turn the Chavez government was taken. The protest of April 11 was just one more and perhaps the biggest of all. The mood was very heated, so when somebody yelled, “lets march to Miraflores to demand the president’s resignation” people did not think about it and went all for it. This is something that hadn’t happen before in any other protest so I believe this turn of events was not planned.

    If at the moment there was a circle within the military that was planning to attempt a coup, is something that could have been possible, but my feeling is that they only seized the moment, thinking that the massive march going to Miraflores would only help. I believe that a group within the military wouldn’t have been able to mobilize so many people. They would have done what Chavez did, attack by surprise at night.

    Chavez got very scared and ordered the plan Avila and that was, plain and simple, stop the march at all costs. So the shooters of Puente Llaguno shot at the people. The metropolitan police shot back at them, and 19 people died. 2 pro-Chavez and 17 protesters. Meanwhile, the rebel military group was heading to Miraflores, and took Chavez out.

    The whole Carmona thing went so crazy with improvising decrees, that those militaries that took Chavez out realized that they screwed up, and restore him in power after 24 hours, so more improvisation.

    Anyway, this is my very personal take on these events. It was an improvised coup. Just in case, I am not a journalist, I am not a researcher, I am not going to write a book about it. I am just a regular citizen telling the story as she saw it through the news and family tales.

    The bottom line is 10 years have passed and 17 of those deaths have been unresolved. Those 17 were protesters that were on their way to ask for Chavez’ resignation. The only two of those deaths (the two chavistas) were “investigated and resolved” and got 11 people in jail.

    Where are the killers of the 17 protesters?

    • “The bottom line is 10 years have passed and 17 of those deaths have been unresolved. Those 17 were protesters that were on their way to ask for Chavez’ resignation. The only two of those deaths (the two chavistas) were “investigated and resolved” and got 11 people in jail.

      Where are the killers of the 17 protesters?”


      Don’t expect “Get a Clueless Life” here to answer that one.

      Except maybe to say the ones who shot them are “Revolutionary Heroes”

      • I am not expecting it. I just think all this discussion about if it was or it wasn’t a coup is pointless.
        I just read a tweet that said “my son’s killer works at a ministery” posted obviously by the dad of one of the victims. That is what is important.

      • To be honest that’s why I prefer not to have an opinion on the issue. 17 people died and no one really cares. For most people in the opposition it was a vacio de poder and its all the governments fault. For the chavista camp it was a PLANNED Coup (They also planned a coup, so I dont see why the distinction its so important) not but because it was a coup, but because it was against Chavez. Apparently there are good coups and bad coups, they are good when we like the ones who planned it.
        At the end, we can debate and cross youtube videos from each side, but the only objective way of achieving closure, to determine who actually shot all those people is in no one’s agenda, particularly of the State and the Institutions who are responsible of punishing the responsible. Even some chavistas admit it
        My only comment is that my heart goes out to the families of the people who died and I hope they could find the closure of having losing a loved one with the added injury that most people (including the state) not giving a damn, but having the deaths of their love one used for political gain.

    • “I wasn’t there but my personal take is that if the coup would have been planned, it would have been way more successful of what it was.”

      The Samán de Guere gang were planning their coup for 20 years and it still failed.

      I do not understand how one can still argue that the coup was “improvised” or that “the moment was seized” knowing what we know now (pre-taped messages, etc).

  16. Just a short observation, at 10:18 @Getashrink uses the made up word “scum-bag-ed-ness” and later on at 11:05 @Getaclue blurts out a similarly constructed made up word “douche-bag-ery”, could it be that they are one and the same, and we are witnessing him debating himself?

    • Whoa! Man! Learn to read!

      I was QUOTING Getaclue (you can find his post with the word “scum-bag-ed-ness” above mine), and I enclosed what he said in quotations marks, and then wrote my reply.

      Debating myself… that’s a funny idea, although your pattern-seeking paranoia isn’t, it’s actually kind of scary.

  17. thank you, Carolina, Roberto and CACR for leading us to what’s really important about this discussion: the deaths of 17 peaceful protesters, and their limbo status, providing no closure for their family members.

  18. extorres needs some thumbs up guys, he completely obliterated “Get a clue” with logic and reason up thread, have a read. And still “Get a clue” boxes in all opposition in with the “relatively small” opposition that did the coup. It’s difficult for them to grasp that the players 10 years ago aren’t really representative of the players today. Young, energetic people who want Venezuela to move forward into a time of prosperity. I pity “Get a clue” because his savior Chavez is likely on his deathbed any time now…

    • Funny JC, because the most popular candidates of the opposition today, people like Leopoldo Lopez who very close to Capriles, were sitting right next to the coup leaders as they talked on live television about how they had planned the coup, or they were rubbing shoulders with Carmona in Miraflores.

      Oh, but I forgot, the official talking point is that these are “new” “energetic” people, not the same players that were involved in the coup! Reality must be your strong suit JC.

      • So your logic is that we (the opposition) are guilty of supporting popular candidates, which by being “like” Leopoldo Lopez, who is very “close” to HCR, and sitting “right next to” coup leaders, who were never charged but were “rubbing shoulders” with Carmona, so we are coup mongers, but you are innocent in directly supporting a coup monger, chavez?

        • It is so fun to watch you guys squirm around endlessly trying to deny the obvious. As I’ve said before, your problem isn’t that you support the people who were behind the coup in 2002, your problem is that you DENY that the people you support were even involved in a coup! It never ceases to amaze me. Even when the evidence for their involvement is undeniable, you squirm around and make pathetic attempts to twist the truth.

          This time apparently you’ve run out of arguments and all you can do is put quote marks around words like “close” and “like” and “next to” in order to make them seem like they aren’t true. I guess in the video above Leopoldo Lopez wasn’t really sitting “right next to” the coup leaders? And I guess Lopez isn’t really “like” the popular candidates of the opposition, he “IS” one of the most popular candidates of the opposition. And I guess he isn’t really “close” to HCR, he’s just publicly campaigning with HCR??

          Doesn’t it get exhausting to have to continuously deny reality while staring it in the face?

          • Trying to deny the obvious? You support a man who spent over a decade – A DECADE – meticulously plotting a coup against a democratically elected government, and now celebrates it year after year!!!!!!!!

            A decade, chamín!

            • I guess you can’t read very well. Go read my comment again. I never denied that Chavez was behind the 1992 coup. Yet all of you continue to deny that the opposition was behind the 2002 coup. So who is denying the obvious?

            • How one confuses celebrating your involvement in a coup with denying your involvement in a coup is really beyond me. Only in this alternate universe in which you live would this even be fathomable.

          • The quotes are because they’re your words, not mine.

            As to denial, you still haven’t admitted supporting the coupster, chavez, yet you’re trying to give others a hard time for not supporting the coupster, chavez. Go figure.

            • LMFAO! You have truly run out of arguments Torres. In response, let me just quote myself:

              “your problem isn’t that you support the people who were behind the coup in 2002, your problem is that you DENY that the people you support were even involved in a coup! ”

              Let’s see how long you can keep avoiding my argument.

              • And you mine… Your argument seems pot calling non kettles black. By the way, I’m laughing more. :D

            • Your argument is that I’m criticizing others for supporting coupsters while I also support a coupster. But you see, I’m not criticizing others for supporting coupsters, so that argument is just smoke and mirrors. Let me quote myself again:

              “your problem isn’t that you support the people who were behind the coup in 2002, your problem is that you DENY that the people you support were even involved in a coup! ”

            • Let me quote myself from up above too:

              “I am not criticizing people who support politicians that were involved in a coup. Its not necessarily a contradiction to support someone who was involved in a coup. What is a contradiction is to deny that the people you support actually engaged in a coup despite the obvious evidence to the contrary.

              Chavez supporters don’t deny that he was the one behind the coup in 1992. Opposition supporters, on the other hand, continue to do exactly that when it comes to the 2002 coup.”

              Your argument is smoke and mirrors Torres. Anyone with any honesty would just admit it and move on. But you’re so incapable of basic honesty that you’ll keep this going forevery.

          • Get a Clue, I disagree. Your comments are loaded, so the arguments you make with words cannot be taken without considering the context. Your lack of admission to your direct support of a coupster, chavez, precludes you from making such a big deal about others not admitting that the leaders they support have few degrees of separation to another coupster, someone they openly and strongly condemn. Your demands for our admission become more and more risible as you keep pretending to have such a moral high ground while standing in the mud, probably crawling under a rock.

            So, you must admit first: do you support the coupster, chavez?

            • So to summarize your argument:

              “It doesn’t matter if the opposition was behind the 2002 coup or not, and we don’t have to really be honest about admitting our involvement publicly because the person who is asking might be a supporter of Chavez.”

              Standing in the mud? I couldn’t compete in a million years.

          • Get a Clue, Let me see if you get it from another angle, they are all innocent of involvement in any coup until proven guilty in a court of law. I’m not denying that they were, I’m telling you they weren’t, even if they give indication that they may have been; they could be lying, you know.

            You, however, support a known coupster, proven in a court of law, chavez.

            Supporting a known coupster is lower in the mud supporting no known coupster.

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