Venezuelan ex-president dies on Christmas Day

Carlos Andrés Pérez was president of Venezuela 1974-79 and 1989-93. During the second presidency he survived two attempts at military coups d’état, the first led by Hugo Chávez, the very same person who was last elected president in Venezuela.

Carlos Andrés Pérez, 1922-2010, ex-president of Venezuela
Carlos Andrés Pérez, ex-president of Venezuela, 1922-2010

Pérez died by a heart attack in Miami at 14:30, December 25th, 2010. On this same day the anti-constitutional and anti-democratic laws recently signed by Chávez were published in the official newspaper and became the law of the land. Venezuelan democracy and Carlos Andrés Pérez died the same day.

His second presidency was ended by impeachment. He was removed from office for misappropriation of some $60k from a presidential discretionary fund, but he always maintained that the money was used appropriately to support the electoral process in Nicaragua. Here is his last speech to the country.

It is completely in character that the Chávez regime does not know how to behave civilized at a loss like this. His minister of popular propaganda, Andres Izarra (on twitter as @IzarraDeVerdad, with URL, tweeted: “MIAMI: where terrorists, the corrupt, drug dealers, dictators, paramilitaries, mercenaries die… from all of this suffering region” (MIAMI: donde mueren los terroristas, los corruptos, narcos, los dictadores, los paracos, los mercenarios… de toda esta sufrida región).

Minister of propaganda, Andres Izarra
Andres Izarra, Minister of Propaganda in Bolivarian Venezuela

The total lack of tact and dignity on the part of the person responsible for information in the Chávez government is surely not lost on the Venezuelans. Nor is the significance of the coincidence with the day Jesus was born. Christ was the expected saviour, he was and is the symbol of hope, when he every year is mythically born again.

Fransisco de Miranda declared Venezuela independent from Spain in 1811. His lemma was “Death to Tyranny and a Long Life for Liberty“. In the new year it will be 200 years since that declaration of independence. This reminds me of the bird Fenix, that was said to live for exactly 100 years, then lay an egg, and when the bird died the egg hatched and a new Fenix was born. So while democracy and liberty died today, tomorrow it may well be reborn. With peace and faith everything is possible; things aren’t always what they seem to be.

For three days Venezuela will be in morning. If it was me, I would dress in black, go out on the street, and hold a silent minute. Or two. Or three. Or maybe hours instead of minutes. I would welcome company, as long as all was silent and peaceful. But I would bring a cell phone so that I discretely could record any human rights violations that might occur, and post it on Twitter. That I would do tomorrow and the day after as well.

Pérez would always say that he wanted to be buried in Venezuela “after we regain democracy.” The word today was that he will be buried in Miami. The one who lives will see.

Media: DN (Swedish)

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