Almost immediately, Venzuelan friends from Caracas and in London started ringing and emailing, everything you can imagine, but mainly things falling at one extreme (the dictator is gone, he was killing the "people") or another (this is a CIA backed coup against the will of the "people"). I went to indymedia website, where I found also a mix of comments and reports. I went back to TV, keep talking to friends on the phone, keep going into independent media websites. The only way I think we can get a good picture of what happens is to use all sources of information available, and to keep up to date with world politics so when crisis occur, they don't occur out of the blue. I was not surprised to see that the Venezuelan oligarchy attempted a coup, I was actually half-expecting it, especially since Chavez pissed off the Pentagon after September 11th, by saying in his UN address that America had received what they always gave. The US didn't like him, didn't like his policies and didn't like his close relation with Irak and Cuba - oh well... This does not mean that the coup is CIA backed, but it does mean that the ruling elite of Venezuela's economy knew they could have a go and America would not move a finger to stop them.
The self-appointed and short-lived coup-president was the Director of the Chamber of Commerce, hardly credible credentials for the job, and certainly no one voted him. He disolved the Parlament, the Supreme Court and reverted legisaltion to pre-Chavez days - all this in two days, not a shy one when it comes to reform!! As such, he had to go and he should be taken to justice with his accomplices for toppling a democratically elected government. The problem with democracy is that we have to live sometimes with politicians and reforms that we don't like. I do not like Tony Blair at all, yet he was elected to office and I have to live with his policies, and even try to see some of them on the bright side if I can, tough luck...the wealthy in LA, (the middle classes have been pushed either up or down a long time ago) simply are used always of getting what they want. If most European liberals could see how a rich Venzuelan and a poor one live, I am sure they will get shaken to the bone - the violence that the poor endure every day is shocking, unacceptable and in my very biased opinion it justifies radical and even violent action against the people that sit on their backs.
So Chavez is back, and the result of this failed coup is a country divided by hatred, my friends that live in poor quarters are reporting rioting in the streets, looting, dead and injured in fights, etc. My friends that live in rich areas are still whingeing about Chavez tiranny and communist inclinations - but at least they are safe in their luxury bunkers. They are also complaning that Chavez has stirred class hatred in the poor, which supposedly they didn't feel before now ("we all got along so nicely"). In this world we live in, whenever there is conflict, the poor and the weak always get the blame, as if it was their duty to endure oppression with a smile. I remember when I was very young and would vent my anger against the priviledge by birth that some people enjoyed, my grandmother would tell me with a resignation I found unbearable "the rich live off the poor, and the poor live off their work". This logic is embedded in the minds of poor people since they are born. Whatever is that shakes this spirit of submission off, I welcome. Maybe I am wrong, but as the Venezuelan story shows - there are many stories competing for the truth, and I for one would like to hear a different song sang by different people.
love and respect
Latino America, una sola casa...