Venezuelaâ€™s â€˜National Strikeâ€™ has been going on for over a month. The opposition, who attempted a military coup in April 2002, has attempted to shut down the economy, and especially the oil industry, of the country in order to try to oust the elected government of Hugo Chavez. In response, a movement of supporters of the governmentâ€™s program has come out, as they did in April, to defend the government, the constitution, and its reforms.
A proposed view of history
Much of Latin America won independence from Spain in the 19th century. All countries that were independent faced the same problem: the former imperial powers continued to control decisive military, financial, and propaganda might. How could the newly decolonized (or, in the case of indigenous nations, never decolonized) countries prevent a recolonization?
For the months leading up to the April 12 coup in Venezuela, there were reports and rumours coming that a coup was imminent. In December 2001, the San Francisco Examiner ran a story by Conn Hallinan who had detected the ‘scent of another coup in Venezuela’ (http://www.zmag.org/content/Colombia/hallinanchavez.cfm). This was cause for alarm. John Pilger, and others, made the analogy to Chile.