Monday, November 5, 2007

A Coup by Any Other Name...

I was perusing CNN tonight before I went to bed, and couldn't help but notice the discrepancy between its coverage of Pakistan's coup and its coverage of Venezuela. CNN essentially hands a megaphone to disgruntled Chavista Raul Baduel, who describes Chavez's proposed constitutional amendment as a coup. The amendment in question would remove the term limit for Venezuelan presidents. Making it a country just like England or Germany, neither of which has a term limit for its chief political figure. The proposed amendment also has to be approved in a popular referendum. Not to mention, of course, that Chavez has to actually be re-elected for the amendment to mean anything like the right wingers are construing it as, and his re-election is far from a foregone conclusion.

It would, however, be such a conclusion if he acted like President Musharraf in Pakistan. When the Mush got word that the Supreme Court would likely invalidate his re-election last month (due to a constitutional conflict between his holding of positions as both President and Chief of Staff of the Army) he simply declared martial law and arrested everyone who had a word to say otherwise. Compare such treatment with how Chavez handled a massive protest against him today. CNN, however, never uses the term coup in its article on Pakistan. President Bush merely urges Musharraf to hold elections. Undoubtedly he would call on Chavez to hold elections if he weren't sure that the Bolivarian revolution would win yet again.