05 May 2009

Uribe to make himself president for life

You can bet your life's savings (if you've got any left) that the British or American press won't have this headline in their reports - if they even report it!

According to Colombian daily newspaper El Espectador and reported by Dow Jones: "Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe will seek a third consecutive term after the country's Congress approves a referendum to change constitution to allow him to stay in power after 2010...Uribe, who was first elected in 2002, had the constitution already changed in 2005 to enable him to seek a second four-year term in 2006."

Of course, when Hugo Chavez did the same, western media were virtually unanimous in their description. The Daily Telegraph's headline was "Hugo Chavez to make himself president for life", and inside, McDermott, their Latin American correspondent wrote:

"The Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has anointed himself president for life by proposing sweeping changes to the country's constitution.

Setting out his plans for completing his socialist revolution in the oil-rich Latin American nation, he proposing radical constitutional reform which has at its centre indefinite re-election for himself."

But the Telegraph was not the only one. The Times headline after the first attempt was defeated was "Hugo Chavez's president-for-life bid defeated".

Two years later. in 2009, he won the referendum, at which the Wall Street Journal asked the question "President for Life?": "Like his idol, Fidel Castro, who reigned in Cuba for a half-century, Mr. Chávez can now move toward his goal of becoming President for life."

In Ireland, RTE News reported in Feb 2009 "Voters open door to a Chavez life term". The Economist's headline wasn't that controversial: "Hugo Chávez's constitutional plans",but the article started: "WHEN Simón Bolívar, South America's Venezuelan-born independence hero, wrote a constitution for the brand new country of Bolivia, it featured a lifetime president. So it should come as no surprise that Hugo Chávez, who claims to be a latter-day Bolívar, is proposing to let himself be re-elected indefinitely to his country's presidency. "

Even the Huffington Post was at it "Why Chavez Wants To Be President for Life", and the UK Guardian's Rory Carroll was up to his propaganda tricks again with his headline "Chávez drive for indefinite re-election as president".

So will we see similar coverage from the Western media on Uribe? You already know the answer...

Meanwhile, did anyone know that in Colombia cocaine is legal? And marijuana and even ecstacy, ever since "a 1994 Constitutional Court ruling that said the prohibition of drug use violated the right to the "free development of personality" set forth in Colombia's Constitution...Since then, adults have been able to legally possess up to 20 grams of marijuana, one gram of cocaine, and two grams of synthetic drugs such as ecstasy for consumption in the privacy of their homes."

That's all about to change if Uribe has his way.

And let's not forget about all those human rights abuses that have been going on inside Colombia throughout Uribe's presidency. If there had been anything remotely like that happening in Venezuela what do you think the western media reaction would have been?

Gary Leech at Colombia Journal today:

"It seems that new revelations about the Colombian government’s links to human rights abuses are appearing almost weekly. In recent weeks there have been allegations that Colombian political and military officials conspired with right-wing paramilitaries to burn the bodies of massacre victims in an effort to conceal the number of people killed by the militias; the country’s largest paramilitary organization funded President Alvaro Uribe’s 2002 election campaign; and the military’s counterinsurgency strategy has contributed to a worsening humanitarian crisis. These revelations come on the heels of evidence that the military has increasingly used extra-judicial executions as a counter-insurgency strategy in recent years and the para-politics scandal linking elected officials to the paramilitaries. In response to the Colombian military’s increasing involvement in human rights violations, the British government recently announced that it was ending military aid to Colombia."

When our official 'enemies' do it, its all over the press, but when its our official 'friends'...silence.

No comments: