The role of the international institutions in Venezuela like the United Nations or the Organization of American States has been utterly useless, I would say. They have not been able to promote or to defend human rights in any way, even though several groups in Venezuela have been asking for it help because they find no justice in the judicial in the judiciary system in Venezuela or in the national assembly. So people I mean after suffering so many attacks have tried to implore the help of international organizations. I´d they they´ve been totally useless.
Then you have the more difficult cases like I other countries. You have Brazil, for example, who has a democratic decent president like Mr. Lula da Silva. And yet Mr. Lula da Silva, when he goes to Venezuela, he considers, and he says it publicly, that Chavez is the best president Venezuela has ever had. And because he´s interested in the Venezuelan money, he´s been promoting Brazilian interests in Venezuela very strongly. I mean so strongly that a country that exported to Venezuela $300 million dollars a year 10 years ago is now exporting to Venezuela $8 billion per year. So for him it is more important to promote Brazilian commercial interests than to promote human rights or historic truth.
The Spanish case is very similar. Spain has a long, long relationship with Venezuela. I mean we were part of the Spanish empire for three centuries. And after independence we were most Venezuelans were of Spanish origin. And then during after the civil war in Spain, hundreds of thousands of Spaniards emigrated to Venezuela. So we could say that several million Venezuelans are either first or second generation Spaniards. Yet what does Spain do? On the one hand they seem to be very interested in eradicating ETA the base terrorist organization that has very close ties with Chavez and Venezuela.
So they put a bad face to Chavez when asking for that. But on the other hand, they want promote their own businesses. And so they also say that there are no political prisoners in Venezuela, which is a complete total lie. Or they look elsewhere when human rights are being violated in Venezuela. Or when Spanish Spaniard nationals are being extirpated in Venezuela they do nothing to defend those little interests. When it goes to the big, big interests like the telecommunications companies or the banks, then they are very concerned and they try harder.
So we see a lot of contractions in occidental democratic societies that claim that the they are based on principles, on the respect of the human being, on the defense and promotion of freedom and free elections, which is from the mouth out, because it what it comes to to real action, they do business with the Chavez regime. All sorts of dirty businesses. I mean not only do I say selling weapons, but paying commissions under the table. Providing goods that are rotten or in bad state as it was recently discovered with over 170,000 tons of food. So it´s very contradictory.
And what I keep telling people is that the solution to the Venezuela problem is not in the international organizations, or asking for other people´s interventions. The United States will not solve the Venezuelan problem. Spain, Italy or Brazil won´t solve the Venezuelan problem. The Venezuelan problem has to be solved by we Venezuelans.. We have to do a lot of introspection. We have to find out what we have done wrong that brought us such a bad terrible government. And find ways to to reestablish democracy and pluralism and respect for other people´s lives and opinions in Venezuela. It it´s very difficult to to talk about the United States involvement in in Venezuela because I I´ve never been able to understand what the United States policy regarding Venezuela, regarding Chavez, is.
Venezuela and the U.S. have had a very good and long standing relationship. Venezuela has been for almost a century a very reliable and substantial provider of oil to the to the American economy. And an important consumer of North American goods, basically, from the United States. But learning policy, I´ve never been able to to understand what their problem is with Chavez. Sometimes I think that the different governments have not been able to understand what the relationship is.
Nowadays, I mean obviously the Chavez regime is a threat to the United States. Their close ties with states like Iraq or Syria or North Korea or Libya or Zimbabwe or Belarus or Russia is a threat. I mean they are we don´t know what they are doing, but it´s we know that they are buying weapons. That they are trying to develop nuclear activities. We don´t know how far they will be able to go.
We know that the drug traffic has grown in an incredible way. Venezuela is now there is, according to international organizations, the largest provider of cocaine, both to Europe and to Africa. And that is a problem that will hit the American econ the American society sooner or later. Because I mean they´re the American society had to invest billions of dollars trying to eradicate the drug problem from Colombia. And what they did was think they succeeded. They didn´t succeed. What they did was move the problem from Colombia to Venezuela.
Marcel Granier is the chief executive officer of Radio Caracas Television (RCTV). Trained as a lawyer, he began working at RCTV in the 1970s and worked his way up through the ranks to Director General of the station. The station’s editorial policies supported democratic governance and criticized efforts by President Hugo Chavez to consolidate power and eliminate governmental checks and balances.
In 2007, the Chavez government imposed a requirement that RCTV reapply for its broadcast license then denied the application. RCTV operated successfully as a cable station until the government frightened away its advertisers. Granier continues to live in Venezuela and to speak out for democracy and human rights.
Venezuela is a South American country of 28.5 million people with a history of multiparty constitutional democracy. President Nicolas Maduro took office after Hugo Chavez succumbed to cancer in 2013.
During the 1998-2013 presidency of Colonel Hugo Chavez, a series of constitutional and legal changes were implemented that make it far more difficult for citizens to change their government. The Chavez government systematically used public resources to secure its power, closed down independent news media, and used legal and extralegal means to harass and intimidate its critics.
Soon after his first election, Chavez called for a new constitution that would give expanded powers to the president and replace Venezuela’s bicameral Congress with a unicameral national assembly. The new constitution was approved by referendum in 1999. Chavez acquired substantial control of the military, the judiciary, the electoral commission, and the news media. The government closed Radio Caracas Television Internacional (RCTV Internacional), the country’s largest television network, and forced into exile the president of Globovision, the other major opposition-aligned network.
The Chavez government’s increasingly repressive methods generated strong public opposition, including a series of public protests by students, workers, and others who were not previously aligned with the political opposition. In the 2010 National Assembly elections, opposition parties received the majority of the votes, but under the new electoral rules the government took a substantial majority of the seats in the Assembly.
Venezuela’s vast oil resources allowed Chavez to implement policies that steered the country towards a socialist economy. The country’s oil wealth funded a major expansion of government social programs, much to the approval of government supporters in the lower class. Oil became the foundation of Venezuela’s relationship with Cuba, which has strengthened substantially over the last few decades due to shared ideology and financial and security interdependence. Venezuela has replaced the Soviet Union as Cuba’s major benefactor, financially supporting the Castro regime. Cuba in turn has supported the transformation and strengthening of the Venezuelan military. In 2004, the two nations founded the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), a group of socialist and social democratic nations working toward economic integration. ALBA and its member nations often champion anti-American policies and sentiments. This alliance has led to close ties between Venezuela and nations such as Ecuador, Nicaragua, and Bolivia.
Immediately after Chavez’s passing, Vice President Maduro assumed the role of interim President. He then went on to narrowly defeat an opposition candidate by a 1.5 percent margin in the April 2013 presidential elections. Maduro has pledged to complete Chavez’s socialist transformation of Venezuela.
Recently, Venezuela has struggled with a rising crime and homicide rate, blamed by some on a recent economic downturn, the availability of arms, and the weak judicial system. However, Chavez and Maduro both have linked this increase in crime to the media’s portrayal of both fictional and real violence and have continued to influence what programming and content is available. Both leaders have expanded the security forces within the country, calling on police, militias, and the military to fight crime.
In Freedom House’s Freedom in the World report, Venezuela earned “partly free” status, with an overall rating of 5. A rating of 1 represents the most free and 7 represents the least free.See all Venezuela videos