[Originally Published in Venezuela News and Views]
February 4, 1992 is a special date in recent Venezuelan history. It was the day the democratic Pandora box was opened and lieutenant colonel Hugo Chavez was implicated in the coup to remove the democratically elected president Carlos Andres Perez. It is a special date because it was the first event that destabilized the democratic pattern that the country had been followed since 1958. Chavez was incarcerated and, later on, after doubtful political maneuvering, was pardoned by President Rafael Caldera.
I have always thought that in order to get a pardon, one has to repent. This does not seem to be Chavez’s case. Not only he makes no excuses about the 1992 coup attempt, but his government has even given the day a special name “Dignity Day” and proudly announces the marches that will take place today in Caracas in commemoration with that despicable act, where tens of young soldiers died, in the first page of the Ministry of Information web page.
This is the same government that calls any dissenting person a “golpista” (a putchist)!
I will now make a quick translation of the article published by the Ministry of Information..
March to commemorate Dignity Day
One of the two popular marches will start from Plaza Sucre in Catia and lead towards the Military History Museum, in the 23 de Enero. The second one will take place from Plaza Bolivar where members of parliament of Bloque de Cambio and some of the military that participated in the events of February 4, 1992, will pay its respects to Bolivar.
This Friday several events will take place all over the country to commemorate the Military Rebellion of February 4, 1992. In Caracas the central act will take place in the Military History Museum in the Urbanization 23 de Enero, a popular place in the West of Caracas.
This was informed by deputy Dario Vivas who indicated that among the commemorative events that will take place, there will be paying respect to the Libertador in Plaza Bolivar, at 11 o’clock, where there will be present Parliament members of Bloque de Cambio and some of the military that participated in that heroic gesture, which was a determinant event that marked the new political, social and economical reality of the country.
He indicated that the march will start in Plaza Sucre and will head towards the Military History Museum where the central act will take place for this historical date that allowed a new national situation. He underlined that as a consequence of that new situation a new National Constitution was approved “nowadays we can count with a National Assembly, linked and working as a function of the people”.