Saturday, February 25, 2006

Collegiate Times article on Hugo Chávez by Adolfo R. Taylhardat

Dear Journalists,

Below please find open letter to the Collegiate Times written by Ambassador Adolfo Taylhardat (


Maru Angarita

Collegiate Times article on Hugo Chávez by Adolfo R. Taylhardat

I refer to the article entittled "The U.S. needs to find out just who Hugo Chavez is" published in the Collegiate Times:


Whoever wrote the article on Hugo Chavez either has no idea of what is happening in Venezuela or simply is biased. It’s a well known fact that Chavez spends enormous sums of money to have articles published in foreign media to present a false picture of the real situation of my country.

To begin, there is a historical lie when the author of the article says that Chavez nationalized the oil industry. Venezuelan oil industry was nationalized in the 70's by President Carlos Andrés Pérez. What Chavez has being doing is precisely the opposite. He is de-nationalizing it by entering into arrangements with foreign companies which are harmful to the national interest.

The whole of the article depicts and absolutely false picture of the political, social and economic situation. Just to give your readers an idea of the kind of President Chavez is, only last Sunday he threatened to make legal changes so that he can remain in office indefinitely. Before he came to power the presidential term was five years and any president could not present himself for reelection for the following two terms. That is a president could not be reelected during ten years after the end of his mandate. Chavez changed that. He extended the term to 6 years with the possibility of reelection for one additional term. Now he pretends to govern until the year 2030. This he has proclaimed publicly. We have presidential elections next December and Chavez has illegally launched an untimely presidential campaign (the law prohibits any campaigning until 4 months before the date of the elections) and he is using all the public resources to support his candidature. He has at his disposal 2.6 billion Bolivars (mor2 than 1 million dollars to be extracted from the national treasure) for his campaign, he has instructed all the official of his government (ministers, governors, mayors, members of the parliament, magistrates of the Supreme Court, etc. etc, to campaign in his support. As in the past he will blackmail and threaten public officers to have them voting for him. He is also using all the government controlled media (radio, tv, press) as instruments of his campaign.

I ask the author of the article on Chavez, I ask you, Mr. Administrator of the Collegiate Times, I ask your readers: would the American people accept that? Would they accept that a presidential candidate behaves as Chavez is behaving in order to secure his electoral victory?

Chavez claims that he is the follower of the teachings and deeds of Simon Bolivar. Bolivar always opposed and rejected continuity of rulers. Chavez is doing the opposite.

When the Venezuelan electorate refused to participate in the legislative elections last December (I myself was a candidate for reelection as member of the Latin American Parliament and withdrew my candidature) we did so because the people do not trust the electoral system imposed by Chavez and much less we can trust the electoral authorities. Unless the electoral system is purified and the electoral authorities are changed and replaced with citizens that guaranty impartiality, transparency and cleanliness in the electoral process, it is most probable that again, next December, there will be a large abstention leaving Chavez with his scarce minority so that the world understand that the Venezuelan citizens reject his "bolivarian revolution", a carbon copy of the Cuban regime which he pretends to impose in our country against the will of the people.

Adolfo R. Taylhardat