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<nettime> waldstuck of mirrors [recktenwald, wang]
nettime's_fellow_traveler on Wed, 10 Mar 2004 23:28:40 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> waldstuck of mirrors [recktenwald, wang]


Re: <nettime> Sorry Franz, no CIA
     Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} uni-bonn.de>
     Dan Wang <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>

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Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 16:41:56 +0100 (CET)
From: Heiko Recktenwald <uzs106 {AT} uni-bonn.de>
Subject: Re: <nettime> Sorry Franz, no CIA

> meters away from the G-15 meeting. When Chavez was giving Robert
> Mugabe from Zimbawe a replica of Simon Bolivar´s sword (see Amnesty
> International 2003 Report for his country in: http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/Zwe-summary-eng),

Things are difficult in Zimbabwe. Some people say that Mugabe has become
crazy, but it is still one of the nicest countrys in Africa.
To me it shows again that Amnesty is just another party in the game.
Why not attacking Nigeria? Or whatever.

H.

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Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2004 12:11:36 -0600
Subject: Re: <nettime> Sorry Franz, no CIA
From: Dan Wang <danwang {AT} mindspring.com>

Ricardo and all,

Sorry to be so suspicious about the anti-Chavez opposition. US leftists are
so accustomed to ticking off the list of CIA-orchestrated or induced coups
in smaller countries (iraq, guatemala, chile, congo, etc, etc.) as proof of
pattern that yes, many of us do immediately think "CIA" when there is an
active opposition to a leader or government who has been conspicuously
critical of the US. This is how, as we see it, the American government
handles those leaders. Standard fashion. You can thank Noam Chomsky's 70s
writings for popularizing the perception of this pattern.

What plays into this also, at least from the very particular perspective of
the American left, is that we (I?) have a hard time imagining any type of
strong opposition, because we don't have much direct experience with a
strong opposition. So when we hear about political movements in other
places, we tend to make sense of them through the simplistic narratives
only. If it's a little bit populist and leftist, that equals a good thing.
If it is a little bit rightist, that equals a bad thing. And if it is a
little bit rightist, swelling the streets, getting TV exposure, and not
letting up, then it must be CIA manipulated. Please forgive the paranoia, we
had an election stolen in America four years ago, not by the CIA, but by
something remarkably close to a central command.

Expanding my imagination a little bit, I wonder if the anti-Chavez forces
are more substantively democratic than perceived by the western leftists on
this list. Hearing more about the structure of this opposition, and if there
is any serious parallel wariness of a hard right ready to step into Chavez's
stead, would reassure me more than (sadly enough) the eyewitness accounts
from demonstrations.

Of course, I'm just another first world leftist (who are the very definition
of powerlessness, except when we aren't even trying to exercise power!) and
the situation in Venezuela does not exist for my approval or even
understanding. That said, this thread has been stimulating and brings up all
sorts of questions having to do with how western (or, if you prefer,
northern) leftists still walk a tightrope in relating to activists and
intellectuals from Venezuela, or a hundred other countries. I can't see that
changing anytime soon.

Dan w.

> I was there Franz, I walked that February 27th at 1pm. in the
> Avenida Libertador, cruce con Maripérez in Caracas, just 400
> meters away from the G-15 meeting. When Chavez was giving Robert
> Mugabe from Zimbawe a replica of Simon Bolivar´s sword (see Amnesty
> International 2003 Report for his country in:
> http://web.amnesty.org/report2003/Zwe-summary-eng),
 <...>

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