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Friday, 12 April, 2002, 16:13 GMT 17:13 UK
Venezuela press condemns 'autocrat' Chavez
Hugo Chavez in better days
Mr Chavez resigned under military pressure
Venezuela's major newspapers have welcomed the ousting of Hugo Chavez, heaping condemnation and insult on the deposed president.

Nowhere were the attacks more virulent than in the pages of El Nacional, which called him a coward who had brought the country to the verge of chaos.


With this miserable and cruel act, you committed the worst of your political errors and betrayed your country

El Nacional
"We all knew about his mental problems, that he would shrink when the real battle started, but we ignored his lack of scruples, which became manifest when he ordered his sharpshooters to open fire on innocent people."

"With this miserable and cruel act, you committed the worst of your political errors and betrayed your country."

El Nacional accused Mr Chavez, a former paratrooper, of "soiling the military uniform and the institution which gave you an opportunity in life".

"They say history elevates or buries men; for you it has reserved a pit beside the Venezuelan leaders infamous for their atrocities."

Your obsessions have cost Venezuela countless moral and material losses, never has so much madness been seen in this land

El Nacional

His threats to shut down the main television stations were akin to "turning Venezuela into a jungle", the daily said.

"Your obsessions have cost Venezuela countless moral and material losses, never has so much madness been seen in this land."

Shared responsibility

For the editor of El Universal, Andres A Mata, Mr Chavez is an autocrat who has lost his way.


After being freely elected as a democratic leader, Chavez stopped being one

Andres A. Mata

"After being freely elected as a democratic leader, Chavez stopped being one."

In his piece headlined, "Hugo Chavez: An autocrat in both style and substance", Mr Mata says the former president also violated several international laws

"He violated the Inter-American Democratic Charter by denying Venezuelan workers the right to meet freely and hold open elections... He violated the Rio Agreement in publicly declaring on more than one occasion that Afghanistan is only an example of the terrorism sponsored by the United States worldwide."

Writing in El Mundo, Rodolfo Izaguirre says although the "incompetence of the Chavez government is responsible" for the crisis, many others also bear responsibility in taking the attitude that "it's always others who are responsible for my misfortune, never me".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

See also:

12 Apr 02 | Americas
Venezuela president forced out
12 Apr 02 | Business
Oil prices fall as Chavez resigns
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