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#205; From HOL and Le Monde: Hugo Chavez to visit Haiti (fwd)

From: Max Blanchet <MaxBlanchet@worldnet.att.net>

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez will visit Haiti

on August 18-20,1999.

The visit will take place within the context of the San 

Jose Accord which gives certain countries (*) access to Venezuelan

and Mexican crude oil and petroleum products at preferential prices.  

Haiti will rejoin the treaty in which it could no longer participate due 

to the OAS embargo. The treaty also makes available to certain 

countries 20-25 year loans earmarked for development projects.

President  Chavez has recently convened a constitutional assembly

which is about to engage in a complete overhaul of the Venezuelan 

system of government to bring about "a peaceful, democratic and

Bolivarian revolution" in that country. This is no idle boast as the 

partisans of President Chavez control 123 seats of the 131 seats 

of the constitutional assembly. President Chavez himself was elected 

last year with more than 60% of the votes. As a result, the traditional 

parties such as COPEI and Acciòn Democràtica have been swept aside

by the Chavizta tidal wave.

President Chavez, a former colonel of the Armed Forces of Venezuela,

enjoys their support as well as the backing of key elements of Venezuela's

left.  As a matter of fact, he is being advised by one of the pundits

of the left, Luis Miquilina. It is worth noting that in 1992 Hugo Chavez

was one of the masterminds behind the coup that nearly toppled and

killed Carlos Andrez Perez (CAP.) 

CAP was very generous towards Aristide as he gave him refuge after

the coup of September 91 and unflagging diplomatic support to insure

OAS condemnation of the coup and UN/OAS backing for JBA's return

to power. For his support and labors, CAP received from Préval in 1996 

Haiti's highest decoration in the presence of former President Aristide.

It will be interesting to see the reaction of the pundits of Lavalas to 

the visit of President Chavez who will also be visiting Haiti to garner 

support for his initiatives.  Among other things, the Venezuelan President

is trying to bring together Caribbean and Latin American countries in a 

campaign to counter structural adjustment which is being blamed for the 

destitute condition in which Venezuela finds itself today.

*) Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala ...