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A rocky start for Andres Izarra, Venezuela's Information Minister

By Daniel Duquenal

It is September 11, three years after the Twin Towers were hit in one of the most cowardly acts of terrorism ever done. In this day, three years after the horrible images that we all remember too well, days that lead to incredible violence since, one would have thought that a day of reflection for all would be welcome. But for one person, the reflection was yet another blunder in a fresh but already shaky career.

Andres Izarra was a RCTV journalist that resigned (?) after April 2002 apparently disagreeing with the policies of its TV employer. Maybe, but his next job showed his independence: the Venezuelan Embassy in DC where he was coordinating all the propaganda effort for Chavez.

Now, after having done a significant amount of work lobbying (successful?) he has been rewarded with the Ministry of Communication that his predecessor left to head the Interior Ministry (which is the second most powerful position in Venezuela after the presidency).

His inaugural "Alo Presidente" of last Sunday was supposedly a technological disaster. Other folks claim that there was such a loud "cacerolazo" against Chavez in the Petare neighborhood that, not been able to cover the sound of pots banging, they decided to suspend Chavez weekly talk show. Izarra bravely assumed all the technical problems (to divert attention?). But other rumors circulated that Jesse Chacon, his predecessor has forced him to accept the staff he left behind, thus indirectly controlling the communication ministry.

Well, if that was not bad enough for poor Andres, his declarations to the press today were rather untimely. Apparently the US has decided to block some forms of help to Venezuela because it does not deal effectively with human trade, namely traffic of women and children (I mean, Venezuela cannot even deal with normal crime, what did the US expect?).

Well, what did Izarra do? After having spent quite a time in the US lobbying one would think that he would know better than slapping the US face on September 11. But no such luck... The US is decried as "not helpful " in improving ties with Venezuela in spite of "advances" made by Chavez. As if a recall election based on constant attacks on the US could be wiped out in a couple of weeks and a declaration that the US knows only too well as fake. Then again the US is doing brisk oil business lately. Hummm.....

But it gets better. Now Sumate (who just published all the fraud evidence) is accused of receiving 10 million bucks from the US! When we all know that Chavez spent hundred-S of million-S of buck-S for his campaign (how much was the cost of the fraud by the way? Will it be reported in the financial campaign report?).

And here I was naively thinking that Izarra would be at the very least a more presentable and credible spokesperson, or at least more professional. In barely one week I already wonder how long he is going to stay in office... That is OK for him anyway. He will be probably thanked in a couple of months and be given some embassy somewhere as his prize for taking the heat for his boss. After all, he seems quite uncomfortable on occasion (too much hard swallowing?)

PS: I wonder if in his efforts at propaganda and counter propaganda Izarra read the Venezuelan blogs. After all the people that he sponsored did read us.

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