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Friday, July 09, 2004

Venezuelan Opposition Vows to Serve Its Constituency--In Washington

CARACAS, Venezuela (Reuters)
Venezuela will restore friendly ties with its main oil client, the United States, and scale back relations with Cuba if opponents of President Hugo Chavez win a referendum on his rule and elections, an opposition leader said Thursday.

Alejandro Armas said the opposition, if elected to govern following a defeat for left-winger Chavez in the August 15 recall vote, would reshape his foreign policy, which has distanced Venezuela from the United States.

"Our political relations with the United States cannot be at odds with our economic relations," Armas told Reuters.

The opposition's blueprint for a post-Chavez government will be formally presented Friday. It calls for a foreign policy that "helps to restore confidence in Venezuela as a democratic nation and as a political and commercial partner."
Armas said the contradiction between Chavez's "absurd confrontation" with Washington and Venezuela's role as a strategic U.S. energy supplier should be resolved.
The Bushies backed the 2002 coup against Chavez and were quick to recognize the "legitimacy" of the fascist coup leaders (they had to be quick, since a popular uprising put Chavez back in power two days later). The US just overthrew the government of a country which had never attacked it, or even threatened to attack it, but that's not absurd because it's the U.S.? But for Chavez to call the U.S. imperialist and Bush "a jerk" just because they tried to overthrow his democratically-elected government--now that's absurd!

It looks as though the wealthy opposition in Venezuela is starting to understand that they're not going to regain control of the oil money through a popular vote; their best chance is to encourage Bush-and-Kerry-supported U.S. intervention, covert or overt, before or after the referendum. That's the one thing they're right about.