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Venezuelans in Washington protest against the propaganda film about the bolivarian “revolution”

By Gustavo Coronel, December 11, 2003

Some hours ago the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, D.C. staged another attempt at showing U.S. audiences a film called “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” a dishonest piece of work designed to present the Chávez government as the good guys versus the bad guys of the opposition. The show prepared by the Venezuelan Embassy of Hugo Chávez started with a reception at an expensive Bethesda restaurant called “Bon Ami Gabi.” Each guest was asked to pay between $30 and $100 to finance the “medical programs for the Venezuelan poor,” although the government has pilfered billions of dollars through ineptness and corruption in programs such as Bolivar 2000 (subsidies to the poor), MERCAL (popular markets) and popular, “bolivarian” universities which have never started to work.

The number of guests was about 150, our source tells us, but fully half of those guests were members of the Embassy staff and relatives. The reception became a rather incestuous exercise, as most other Venezuelan government events of late. At the end, however, there was a famous guest that gave the event a boost: Mr. Harry Belafonte, the singing star who made of “Day-O” and “Matilda” enormous hits. If Belafonte is for Chávez, the audience would say, Chávez must be good. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Mr. Belafonte has long ceased to be a singer and is now a political figure. He has done very little musical work in the last 40 years. So, he could have been a wonderful singer but now he could be a lousy politician. Today, Belafonte is a political activist supporting generally worthy causes, but also open to being duped by fraudulent racial “victims” such as Chávez. Belafonte has been sold on the story that white Venezuelans are opposing Chávez because he is trying to improve the lot of dark Venezuelans. This, of course, is bullshit. A great majority of Venezuelans who want Chávez out are dark and this is easily documented. The racial element is so stupid that the presence of Belafonte in the reception did not do much to consolidate the credibility of the event.

As some 70 people filed in to see the film, a group of about 90 Venezuelans gathered outside, in the cold, to protest against this paid propaganda. When Colin Powell appeared in the film, the group of paid chavistas duly booed him. After the film ended, the Venezuelan Ambassador, Bernardo Alvarez, conducted a brief workshop. Unfortunately for him some dissidents aggressively drilled him. In particular, he was asked about the assertion of General Lucas Rincon Romero, the current minister of the Interior that Chávez had resigned to the presidency in the morning of April 12th, 2002. To this, the Ambassador had nothing to say. How could he, if this was a fact?

As the languid audience filed out, the protesters handed them copies of a document showing, in detail, the errors of the film they had seen, the lies and the dishonesty behind this effort financed by the Chávez government.

No one paid Venezuelan citizens to be there, fighting for the truth. This is the difference between the decent Venezuela, acting on principles, and the Venezuela of mercenaries and shills, paid to say and do whatever Chávez demands of them.

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