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Unusually decent coverage of Venezuela's 'crisis' by CNN

For the past few weeks only the occasional story in mainstream media has acurately covered events in Venezuela. Today CNN published an exceptionally decent account of yesterday's pro-chavez anti-facist demonstration
For the past few weeks only the occasional story in mainstream media has acurately covered events in Venezuela. Specifically there was a pretty great Op-Ed piece two weeks ago in the New York Times by a Yale professor that specifically stated that supporting foregin economies dominated by ethnic minorities (such as in Venezuela) is going to lead to trouble. Today CNN published an exceptionally decent account of yesterday's pro-chavez anti-facist demonstration.<p>

Personally I am just floored that any truth leeks through at all because I don't understand how a newspaper can publish conflicting articles, sometimes on the same day. Siginifigantly, there is never any mention in less biased articles that past reports have been incorrect. And sadly, as Ted Rall recently pointed out, often the truth on such issues will surface once or twice, and then be buried again by the usual lies. Forgive me if my language seems simplistic, but I really believe this as blatant example of the corruption in U.S. media.<p>

Here is the text of the article:<p>

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CARACAS, Venezuela (CNN) -- A day after hundreds of thousands of people from across Venezuela crammed into a plaza in the capital in a massive show of support for the country's embattled president, opposition groups announced plans to hold their own demonstration over the weekend.<p>

The counter-demonstration will start at 11 a.m. (10 a.m. EST) Saturday in the Los Ruices neighborhood of Caracas and end 24 hours later in the neighborhood of Chacaito, organizers said.<p>

Thursday's turnout had a festive air that was marred late in the afternoon when a homeless man was killed by a pipe bomb that exploded inside a trash can through which he was rummaging.<p>

The explosion happened next to the square packed with demonstrators who had gathered to hear a speech by President Hugo Chavez.<p>

Fifteen bystanders were slightly wounded and reports that a second man died in a hospital of wounds from the blast proved false, police said.<p>

At the podium, Chavez made no reference to the violence. He gazed at the crowd through binoculars and appeared elated at the turnout. "I have seen a lot of marches," he said. "But this is not a march. No, it's a flood of the people from all parts of the country. Long live the people! Long live the popular conscience!"<p>

"Fascists and terrorists cannot hide!" read one of the signs held by the demonstrators; "The homeland is not for sale!" read another.<p>

Some 5 million people participated in the demonstration, said one congressman. Independent estimates of the size of the crowd were not available.
Only government TV covers Thursday demonstration<p>

The demonstration was intended to show support for Chavez, whose leftist regime has been the target of vehement, vocal, largely middle-class opponents. A general strike that began December 2, aimed at forcing him to step down or call for early elections, has crippled the country's economy.<p>

Demonstrators waved aloft banners lambasting the news media, accusing them of not presenting both sides of the story. Owners of the nation's commercial television stations, who have supported the strike and opposed Chavez, stuck with regular programming Thursday. Only the government-owned television station covered the rally.<p>

Thursday's demonstrations also marked the anniversary of the fall of Gen. Marcos Perez Jimenez, who was deposed on January 23, 1958.<p>

Though his rule was followed by democratic governments, many Chavez supporters say the twice-elected president is the only one who has fought for the rights of the country's poor.<p>

Thursday's demonstrations came a day after Venezuela's Supreme Court dealt a setback to the opposition by rejecting its motion to hold a non-binding referendum February 2 on Chavez's presidency.<p>

Opposition groups had put forward a petition signed by 2 million people for the referendum. Chavez's government opposed the move, sending it to the Supreme Court, which ruled that the referendum would not be legal.<p>
Oil refinery visit planned<p>

Chavez was planning Friday to visit the oil refinery at El Palito, one of the nation's four largest, which Energy Minister Rafael Ramirez said is back on line.<p>

The general strike has set off a flight of capital from the country and crippled the country's ability to export oil. Before the strike, Venezuela was the world's fifth-largest exporter of oil, and supplied 12 percent of U.S. oil imports. That has been reduced to a fraction -- resulting in long lines at gas stations in Venezuela and reduced foreign reserves.<p>

In an effort to stem the outflow of money, Venezuela's central bank Wednesday closed the foreign exchange market for five trading days.<p>

The bolivar is down 24 percent since the strike began.<p>

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, who won last year's Nobel Peace Prize, was to speak Friday with the Group of Friends of Venezuela in Washington. The group, which includes the United States, Spain, Portugal, Mexico, Chile and Brazil, was created in Quito last week at the suggestion of Brazil's newly elected president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.<p>

Carter has also met in Caracas this week with leaders of the Organization of American States, which has been brokering talks.<p>

CNN Producer Penny Mannis and Journalist Ligimat Perez contributed to this story. <p>


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<font size="1" face="sans-serif">In closing I would like to point out that the Op-Ed piece I wrote about that was published sometime during the first full week of January seems to have dissapeared from the nytimes.com website. If you wnt to read it I guss you can check your local library. And I think it's also important to say that I believe CNN should from now on be considered an important and acurate source of world news...<p><b>...for me to poop on.</b>

homepage: homepage: http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/americas/01/24/venezuela.demonstration/index.html