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Let the bashing the OAS & EU begin

By Aleksander Boyd

12.12.05 | It's quite comical. And pathetic. And very telling. Right after the recall referendum of last year the only argument one could hear was "hey, OAS and Carter Center (CC) have given the recall a bill of fairness and transparency..." I can also recall quite vividly the remarks I made in a BBC studio on Monday 16th of August in response to a comment by one of the journalists with respect to the expected endorsement that both OAS and CC were to give to the process "...neither Carter nor Gaviria would compromise whatever reputation they may have by endorsing results agreed upon behind close doors by the three chavista stooges of the CNE." Nevertheless, Carter went on the public record to state the process was transparent, damaged "whatever reputation" he had, and the rest is history. Nevertheless one too many arguments in favour of Hugo Chavez's brand of democracy were built upon both the OAS and CC reports and predicament.

Thus it comes as a shock to this observer that this time round only criticism vis-a-vis international observers is to be heard. Chavez accused the OAS and the European Union electoral observation mission of having lied, of having acted against the people and of having conspired against Venezuela. His Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel followed suit yesterday stating "I distrust many international observers. Many of them are frivolous; bureaucrats at the service of certain organizations that come here uniquely to have a good time*. I think the institution of international observation must be revised and readjusted... It meant absolutely nothing to them that within the context of the election an oil pipeline was blown up nor the explosions in Caracas nor the perverse language against the country's institutions."

How should one interpret such comments? One year ago the OAS and the CC were the truth bearers; today, however, the OAS is but a CIA front. Same logic is applied to the EU. So as long as international bodies laud Chavez they are to be perceived as reputable but the moment constructive criticism starts they must be dismissed as nothing more than imperialist pawns. It is not difficult to understand why none of the reports mentioned the 'terrorist attacks' for the credibility of those denouncing such events equals that of the electoral authorities. The Chavez regime has claimed ad nauseam that there's plot to end the 'revolution' but the cry wolf predicament has, to say the least, lost lustre. That is why nowadays fewer institutions echo the unsubstantiated nonsense emanating from the Venezuelan administration. My advice to international observers is: pay no heed to the BS coming out of Venezuela, especially if coming from chavista mouths, and prepare for an unrelenting attack on your integrity. As the credibility of Hugo Chavez sinks deeper the smear campaign shall only intensify.

*In the original “Yo desconfío de muchos observadores internacionales. Muchos de ellos son unos frívolos de la actividad internacional; son burócratas al servicio de determinadas organizaciones que vienen únicamente a pasear. Creo que hay que revisar y reajustar la institución de la observación internacional.” El Nacional - Lunes 12 de Diciembre de 2005, A/4

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