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Zimbabwe’s Mugabe quits the Commonwealth; Venezuela’s Chavez abandons the democratic path

By Aleksander Boyd

London (08.12.03) – Michael Dynes and David Charter report today in The Times “The Commonwealth agreed to exclude Zimbabwe indefinitely last night until the country moved towards ending state-sponsored violence and upholding democratic principles and the rule of law. Within hours of the declaration Zimbabwe announced that it would quit the organization with immediate effect”. Robert Mugabe’s record of authoritarian rule and abuses is well documented and his comprehension of democratic principles and the rule of law are most certainly very unorthodox.

Although the consequences for Zimbabwe’s democrats of Mugabe’s decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth remain to be seen, one fact is certain; those who have opposed his regime for years must be celebrating cheerfully. It is a clear message of repulsion towards him and his demeanours. “Dismissing the Commonwealth’s appeal to the ruling Zanu (PF) party to engage in “meaningful talks” with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) as a prelude to re-admission, Mr Mugabe said that he refused to accept any meddling in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs which would undermine its national sovereignty” reported Michael Dynes.

There is a striking similarity between Mugabe’s stance and that of Venezuela’s president. Hugo Chavez is obsessed with an offensive campaign to discredit anyone who would dare to speak of his unduly called democratic government. OAS’ secretary general Cesar Gaviria, former US president Jimmy Carter, Colombian president Alvaro Uribe, Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, Chilean President Ricardo Lagos and other international political figures have something in common; they are –Chavez’ dictum- enemies of the “revolution”.

Venezuelan citizens from all sides of the political spectrum have heard countless times Chavez’ argument of “national sovereignty and not-interference in the country’s affairs”. However analysing Fidel Castro’ leverage in Venezuelan politics one must wonder Chavez’ perception of sovereignty. The Cuban leader is purportedly asking his protégé for an increase in oil shipment to the order of 100.000 barrels per day [currently at about 70.000]. Worth noting that Cuba still has not paid one barrel of oil and the amount owed is over 700$ million, instead they send sports trainers, faith healers and urban militias. Such a favourable quid pro quo…

The collection drive was not even finished when the King and his buffoons –a.k.a. Hugo Chavez, Jose Vicente Rangel and Diosdado Cabello- solemnly declared that a “mega-fraud” had taken place. The National Electoral Council had not received one single form yet Chavez et al. affirm that more than 1 million signatures are of fraudulent origin. The divination powers of Chavez must be extraordinary, fortunately he must know by now that if he disrespects the will of 3.6 million people so blatantly as to declare the recall referendum unconstitutional –as he said in his latest dominical sitcom- the entire world is going to condemn him in the same way the African democrat just has been.

Luckily the international observers, Mr Gaviria and Jimmy Carter amongst many others, immediately dismissed Chavez’ statements of fraud. Moreover they confirmed that the process was of utmost transparency, commending also the democratic behaviour of the people. The army is very much aware of the true spine of Chavez, in the signature drive of last weekend they acted as a buffer state between the millions who turned up at the collection centres and angry “chavistas”, who were trying to sabotage the event and have the prodigious ability –as their master- to foresee what the future holds for them should the recall come to be; prison that is.


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