This letter was sent to the Boston Globe by Adolofo Taylhardat, Venezuelan representative to the Latinamerican Parliament (Thanks to Antonio Guzman-Blanco for sending it)
To the Editor of the Boston Globe
Dear Mr. Editor,
With great concern, and I must confess, with indignation, I have read the information published in your prestigious journal (12-06-02), regarding the current situation in Venezuela.
That information, among other things, says: “The navy seized a government oil tanker yesterday that had been pirated by a rebel and President Hugo Chavez vowed his military would stop sabotage of Venezuela’s oil industry”
This is a gruesome misrepresentation of what is happening today in my country. There has not been any act of piracy in Venezuela, much less any rebel crew.
To understand the Venezuelan situation it is important to know that although the current President was elected democratically and nobody contests that. But that democratically elected president has betrayed the people who elected him by pretending to impose in the country a communist revolution inspired on the Cuban model. He managed to enact a “tailor made” new National Constitution which he has violated even before its promulgation. In Venezuela there is no rule of law because the only law is Mr. Chavez will, who has turned himself into a vulgar dictator. Currently he controls all the Public Powers: the Parliament, the Supreme Tribunal, the Attorney General, the General Comptroller, the Defender of the People. As a result of this the Venezuelan people is completely defenseless.
Fortunately, Mr. Chavez’s constitution contains a provision according to which the people have the right of disobey any regime, legislation or authority contrary to the values, principles and democratic guarantees.
Based on this provision, all the sectors of the Venezuelan life (the civil society, the political parties of the opposition, the trade unions, the industrial and commercial organizations) have declared a general national stoppage that has already placed the whole country in a stand still situation for several days and it is not excluded that this could last indefinitely. Such stoppage is an act of disobeyance under the above mentioned constitutional provision and seeks to provoke the ousting of Mr. Chavez through institutional, constitutional means.
The employees and workers of “Petroleos de Venezuela” (PDVSA), the Venezuelan oil company, have voluntarily joined the stoppage, including the whole staff of its shipping subsidiary of PDVSA (PDV-Marina) as well as the crews of its fleet. This action by the crew of the oil tankers, to which the information in your journal refers as pirates, is a legal, genuine effort by that crew to contribute to induce a solution to the already flammable current political, economic and social situation prevailing in Venezuela.
I hope this letter could find adequate space in your prestigious newspaper.
Adolfo R. Taylhardat