Ali Rodríguez Araque: Don't be fooled by these slanders about Venezuela

From a speech by the Foreign Minister of Venezuela, to the Organisation of American States
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The Independent Online

The most diverse accusations have been obstinately levied against the government of President Hugo Chávez Frías, such as that of his being a negative and destabilising force in the region. It has been similarly proposed that this organisation pressure and isolate Venezuela, a country that has, like any other country, legitimate rights.

The most diverse accusations have been obstinately levied against the government of President Hugo Chávez Frías, such as that of his being a negative and destabilising force in the region. It has been similarly proposed that this organisation pressure and isolate Venezuela, a country that has, like any other country, legitimate rights.

Insidious accusations, such as those linking Venezuela to terrorist organisations, those insinuating that Venezuela is violating freedom of expression, and those criticising Venezuela for seeking to engage in a destabilising arms race, have been repeated and have intensified.

The absurdity of the accusations levied against our government would not bother us in the least if a multitude of facts did not exist that prove that when such statements are made, it's because, sooner or later, the attack will follow. This is what happened to motivate the coup in April 2002 in Venezuela, and similarly occurred with the attack on the oil industry and the economy at large in December of the same year.

It is what happened with Allende, it is what happened in the Dominican Republic, it is what happened in Guatemala and countless other cases. For the same reason, we cannot dismiss information from our intelligence services concerning the physical liquidation of our president, the same man who has been legitimated every time he has been subjected to the scrutiny of the Venezuelan people. No one could possibly imagine the consequences of such an action.

In the meantime, and noting the precedents, we are obligated to alert public opinion around the world as to the consequences of such an action, not only for Venezuela, not only for Latin America, but beyond our own borders and beyond our own desire for peace.

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