It was truly sickening to watch how Chavez manipulated the celebration of Independence Day to gain political advantage. During the customary July 5th. parade, Chavez had the military reenact the Battle of Santa Ines, his rallying cry for the upcoming recall referendum. The battle of Santa Ines is not celebrated on July 5th. It was another “viveza” (sneakiness) by Chavez. We will se a lot of this in the upcoming weeks as Chavez violates the rules for the campaign. Yesterday, all of the TV stations were forced (chained in Spanish) to carry out the parade, Chavez could not pass this up, to take advantage of his power as President for political gain. But Petkoff said it better than I can in this section of his Editorial in today’s’ Tal Cual:
“The 5th. of July has no political color, it identifies all of us, Chavistas and antichavistas, as Venezuelans. When the armed forces march on this day, they do it for all of us, they represent all of us.
Yesterday, the grotesque reenactment of the Battle of Santa Ines in the middle of the parade, the presence of hundred of activists with red t-shirts on the military vehicles, the logo “NO” on one of them configured a very pitiful moment in the history of the country’s armed forces. The most sacred date was adulterated, violated by Chávez using it in the framework of electoral campaigning. Yesterday the Armed Forces were made to look like the army of a party. It was used as a tool of division, of provocation and insult towards a large segment of the population. Rangel had warned us:” All of the weight of the state will be launched towards the electoral campaign”. Well, yesterday the launched the armed forces into that tournament.”