VHeadline Venezuela News (Roy S. Carson) reports: On a "high visibility" visit to Puerto Ordaz this weekend, President Hugo Chavez Frias has given the weight of his full political backing and sponsorship to Bolivar State Governor Francisco Rangel Gomez for re-election in November 23 local and regional elections. Speaking to a gathering of his new United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) at the regional Francisco de Miranda hydroelectric complex, Chavez said that if there were any doubts about the reason for his visit to Guyana, "it is to give resounding support to Francisco Rangel Gomez!"
Chavez says he wants to encourage internal debate in the Patriotic Alliance of associated left-wing parties that have recently become amalgamated with PSUV but insists that it should be conducted "away from the microphones."
Reminding his supporters (Chavistas) that his proposal for constitutional reforms was narrowly defeated last December 2, the President warned that the party faithful need to work strongly "to prevent a victory for the enemy" ... not just with regard to the governorship of Bolivar State, or Aragua, or Mayor of Caracas ... "we must strengthen our position from the very top!"
Seemingly ignoring the fact that a large number of 'Chavista' voters have build up a formidable electoral rejection of his army comrade-in-arms, Rangel Gomez, Chavez insists that the weekend event was an attempt to recover the Governor's somewhat waning image ... "I come to give my fullest qualified support to the Governor, Francisco Rangel Gomez, but the debate should not serve to give flesh to the vultures ... such discussions can not be held in front of microphones!"
Meanwhile, Chavez has urged opposition activists to mind their tongues! He says "we care about the language used, so as not to fall into provocations ... we will discuss things internally, with hard ideological debates, political discourse and practice ... indeed, this should be our motto!"
President Chavez insists that Francisco Rangel Gomez has been his friend for many years, and listed what be believes to be the Governor's many achievements during the past few years ... "there are so many reasons why he should remain the governor of this state," he said, adding that the Patriotic Alliance should be careful and understand "that the enemies are not the other factions on the pro-government side but the representatives of the 'Fourth Republic' (Chavez' label for corrupt previous administrations).
Rangel, himself, says he's sure to triumph in November. He said the Bolivarian Revolution is working within the Guayana region even if he senses enemies in the jungle ... "they are not going to silently creep up on us ... we will punch these puppets of the Empire (the United States) back each time they raise their opportunistic heads to attempt to penetrate and destroy what we have achieved here in Venezuela. With the support of the workers, we will continue to triumph!"
Chavez told the PSUV assembly that "the working class must be the spearhead of a wide social alliance in Guayana. Nevertheless, he warned that the first thing he would do, if a 'counterrevolutionary' were to win the regional election in Bolivar state, would be to demand his/her head on a platter ... "if it happens, 2009 will be a year of war, so I urge the red pro-government alliance to win!"
While the Venezuela opposition has encountered severe conflicts within its ranks, Chavez insists that this is nothing new in the State of Bolivar but it is of "utmost concern" that Rangel Gomez has been drawn into their quarrels. He claims that the opposition has infiltrated the political environment since the Patriotic Alliance has insisted on proposing Manuel Arciniegas for Governor. Nevertheless, with only a few months left to go before the crucial elections, he insists that Rangel Gomez is best placed to govern a state that is so important for Venezuela as a whole.
Referring to the controversy over his television statement, Thursday, that the Venezuelan government will buy Spanish Santander's interests in Banco de Venezuela, Chavez said that Venezuelans can be more confident with their money in Banco de Venezuela once his government finalizes details to buy the bank from Santander.
"Banco de Venezuela depositors will have greater guarantees for their savings ... there will be a lot more security now, with the bank in the hands of the revolutionary socialist government of Venezuela and there will also be a lot more security for workers at Siderurgica del Orinoco (Sidor) now that it is in state hands!"
Roy S. Carson