The New Smear Against Chávez
Those who have followed events in
Late last year, the media "show" centered on a proposed reform to the Venezuelan constitution. The mainstream media repeated endlessly that the constitutional reform would make Chávez "president for life" and would "turn
In reality, the reform simply proposed the removal of presidential term limits--something that has also been in the works in neighboring
In early 2007, the media generated yet another controversy based on complete fabrications, this time about freedom of expression and media censorship in
But the reality is that no TV station was ever closed down, and to this day, the same TV station continues to broadcast its virulently anti-Chávez message across the country by cable and satellite TV.
In fact, much of the media in
So it should come as no surprise that Washington and its unofficial spokesmen at the media are at it again, this time accusing Hugo Chávez of having ties to the Colombian guerrilla organization FARC. And they claim that the computer recently "uncovered" from a guerrilla camp has the evidence to prove it.
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THIS LATEST attack on
The illegal military assault resulted in the killing of a top FARC official along with more than 20 other people, including several university students from
The allegations raised some immediate doubts. First, how likely is it that a laptop computer could survive a bombing attack that killed nearly everyone in the camp? And second, if it did survive, how could the Colombian government have gone through the literally thousands of files on the computer in a matter of hours to find information implicating Hugo Chávez?
But notwithstanding these questions, there is not even any way to prove that the computers were actually found at the guerrilla camp, or that the files contained on the computer are authentic, and weren't just put there by the Colombian government.
After all, how easy would it have been for the Colombian government to simply load whatever files they wanted onto the computer, or simply prepare the computer ahead of time and claim that it was found it at the FARC camp? As
For this reason, the Colombian government invited the International Police (Interpol) to analyze the data and validate the information found on the computers. But contrary to the claims of the Colombian government and the international media, Interpol did nothing of the sort. The Interpol examination was limited to determining one thing: whether or not the computer files were manipulated after March 1, the date the Colombian military bombed the FARC camp and supposedly gained possession of the evidence.
When Interpol's report stated that there was no evidence the files were manipulated,
But even Interpol's own report reveals that they have no way of verifying this. Many of the files found on the computer were dated in the future, in 2009 and 2010, throwing out the reliability that any of the dates on the computer are accurate, and suggesting that the dates had been altered.
In addition, Interpol's own report also says that they have no way of validating where the computers came from, or the source of any information found on the computers. "The verification of the eight seized FARC computer exhibits by Interpol does not imply the validation of the accuracy of the user files, the validation of any country's interpretation of the user files or the validation of the source of the user files," the Interpol report clearly states on page 9.
So in other words, there is no way of knowing if the computers or any of the files contained on the computers are authentic, or if the Colombian government just made the whole thing up and planted the evidence.
In spite of all this, Washington and the international media are treating the findings as irrefutable proof that Hugo Chávez has ties to the FARC guerrilla organization, and are accusing the Venezuelan government of supporting acts of "international terrorism." Some in
Many analysts believe that the Bush administration will not go through with this, however, given that Chávez has repeatedly threatened to stop the supply of oil to the
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PERHAPS THE most ironic part of this latest attack on
Human rights organizations that routinely document human rights violations in
For example, the Colombian Commission of Jurists (CCJ) reported last year that during President Uribe's first term in office (2002-2006), the paramilitaries were responsible for 61 percent of the deaths, the Colombian military accounted for 14 percent, while the various guerrilla groups were responsible for the remaining 25 percent.
And over the last two years, it continues to be revealed that many in the Uribe government, including some of the president's closest allies, have maintained long ties to the right-wing paramilitary groups, those responsible for the largest portion of the killings in the country. As many as 33 lawmakers, and most recently, the president's cousin Mario Uribe Escobar, have been indicted for colluding with the paramilitaries and are currently in jail awaiting trial.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that what is known as the "para-politcs" scandal is really more of a "para-Uribismo" scandal, as one Colombian senator has suggested--and that could explain why Uribe might want to divert attention away from his government and direct it toward
Once again, Washington and its allies have launched a successful media campaign of slander against
But the hard truth is that