Back to all interviews
Freedom Collection

Interviews with Marcel Granier

Interviewed February 11, 2010

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.