What, exactly, do you consider is “being ignored” by Guillermoprieto in those two articles? Again, are you talking about the articles themselves or just the very brief excerpts from them that I posted?
Particularly the bit regarding the Súmate: the vote-monitoring organization that got the signatures for the referendum against Chavez, Súmate then monitored the election, they are in trouble because $31,000 were donated to Súmate by the National Endowment for Democracy (the USA). But the report makes it sound that their problems are just because they are in opposition to Chavez. However, I monitored even spanish sources and it came clear that Sumate was not as innocent as pictured here, particularly on the fraudulent way they performed their outside polling:
Did you notice how the amount of the grant changed in the other serious report?
Anyhow, back to what I saw then: the obvious reason for this manipulated exit poll was to get other independent reporters to publish their projections, when the Independent newspaper in England came with the “scoop” (I did a pit thread on that) then it became clear the reason for this: to entice the opposition members to revolt because “there was fraud involved” when the official results of the election were reported, it was a tense time, and I would indeed put Sumate’s feet to the fire for trying to convince the Venezuelan people later that fraud was involved (And many of the Sumate members said so), since a good chuck of the opposition and independents swallowed that, I am not shedding a tear for their current problems.
Was Guillermoprieto picturing them as “innocent”? From comments like
I got the distinct impression that Sumate was basically a front for anti-Chavez political finaglers with shady political ties to the anti-Chavez US regime, and that most Venezuelans were outraged about it. That didn’t look like “innocent” to me.
But the context is this: at the end of the bit on Sumate, the author comments that:
Of course, I am concerned that the Asamblea National is under Chavista control, but it was control also gained in elections. The author forgets to mention this bit. This last comment IMO shows that the author does consider sumate a victim. And lets us not forget the information on Sumate that was not reported.
Getting back to the OP, I’m almost tempted to dismiss Pat Robertson’s obsessive paranoia about Hugo Chavez since it’s the product of the same mind that wanted to ban Halloween because it was demonic and thought the Smurfs were satanic. (Okay, I’ll admit he may have been on to something with that second one.) However, I then remember he still has a lot of influence on Republican Party policies and that his opinion on Chavez is shared by many people in Congress and in the Bush Administration. Of course, they don’t publicly advocate bumping off Chavez (at least not now) but it’s likely they’ve considered (or even implemented) that or other similar options.
As for Chavez himself, I think he’s a populist blowhard who delights in tweaking the nose of Uncle Sam. In terms of his politics and his appeal, he’s like a Venezuelan version of Huey Long and, at his worst, he’s a minor irritant to the U.S. Unfortunately, the Bush Administration (and many of its supporters like Robertson) have such a hatred this guy that they mindlessly keep on antagonizing, poking, and prodding him thereby causing the “minor irritant” to become needlessly inflamed.