Letters

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Challenging the rule of Chavez

Regarding Francisco Jose Moreno's Jan. 22 opinion piece "Venezuela's opposition ignores the Constitution": The author's characterization of the opposition's actions and demands as unconstitutional and geared toward the return to power of the oligarchy is false. To make a constitutional argument, the Constitution should be consulted.

Yet the author fails to note that Article 71 allows for a nonbinding, consultative referendum on matters of national significance; ignores Article 233, which allows the president to resign and then outlines the transitional process; and disregards Articles 333 and 350, which require Venezuelan citizens to act against and disavow any regime that tramples on democratic values and encroaches on human rights.

National Guard troops have begun to raid private businesses, commandeering their products and means of transportation. The government is now actively planning to revoke the licenses of four major television stations. Any peaceful opposition march is met by Chavistas carrying sticks, stones, slingshots, Molotov cocktails, and firearms. Mr. Moreno claims that Chavez wants to "work within the legal structure," yet the president has systematically violated the rule of law for the past four years. Eduardo Suarez Pompano Beach, Fla.

In response to "Venezuela's opposition ignores the Constitution": So truthful, so objective, a beautiful piece of true investigative journalism. I'm not only delighted because of its content, but because it gives me the opportunity to offer you a trade. I trade you your beloved Hugo Chavez for President Bush, whom I admire and respect. I think it's a fair trade. They were both democratically elected, and the fact that Hugo Chavez later decided to turn Castro- Communist dictator shouldn't bother you. If you accept the trade, I would like to offer some suggestions for when Mr. Chavez takes office as the 44th president of the US.

Please, when Chavez is in power, refrain from raising the Star- Spangled Banner. Don't dare show pride in your flag. …