Friday, June 30, 2006

MUST SEE: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

     Wow, I just got done watching the documentary The Revolution Will Not Be Televised which covers the events surrounding the coup which put Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez out of power temporarily in 2002. It was filmed by a group of Irish filmmakers who were doing a documentary on Chavez but then got caught up in all of the action as it took place. Maybe I'm biased towards films like this, but I thought it was fucking amazing. I've never been so interested in what was going on in a documentary before.

     Quit wasting your time reading this and go watch it over at Google video. Below are the parts that I liked the most. Don't read the following if you're going to go watch it, it might spoil some of it for you.

  • At the beginning of the movie, before the coup, the filmers were at a meeting on the wealthy side of town where a bunch of rich, white people were gathered and discussing what they should do. A rich, white girl tells the filmers that the poor have no values and that they haven't "struggled" like the rich have. But then, when they are filming the meeting that she is attending, the speaker at the meeting says "keep an eye on your domestic servants". I thought that was great. Having domestic servants can really make life tough.

  • The film shows clips of the private media during the whole ordeal and of course the media shows a very obvious bias and even lies when the people retake the Presidential palace after the coup. Before the coup however, when covering the peaceful demonstrations in support of Chavez, the media says that the demonstrators were "like the mobs used by Mussolini and Hitler".

  • There was awesome footage shot in the Presidential Palace of the guards and people when they knew that the army had switched sides and was surrounding them with tanks and was planning on bombing the building if Chavez didn't resign as President.

  • When the people took back the Presidential Palace, the Chavez's VP was getting sworn in as President (Chavez was being detained by the army). After being sworn in, you see the VP on the phone saying to someone "I hope this will settle now that I've been sworn in as Vice President", and then you hear someone else say "You're President" and then he says "Yes, I mean President". I thought that was amusing.

  • I think the most exciting part of the film is when the people in support of Chavez surround the Presidential Palace currently being controlled by the "transitional government". With the people around it, the guards of the palace (with hidden loyalties to Chavez) decide to organize and take back the building. Once they've taken it back, you see a couple of soldiers on top of the building with their fist in the air and waving at the cheering people.

         I meant to make a post about my religious deconversion today, but that will have to wait until next time. I just had to tell you about this documentary. Hope you like it.

    Anonymous said...

    I heard about this several months ago, but never got around to viewing it. What an awesome documentary. Thanks for the link, and for bringing people of like minds together.

    As to your deconversion story, could you also maybe do one about how you went from being a Faux news-watching Bushbot to having the views you do today? Both would make good stories, I'm sure.

    Thanks again!


    Silk_Worm said...

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    KA said...

    you might want to check out this documentary too

    Delta said...


    Thanks for the comments, I'm glad you enjoyed the film as well. I was thinking of doing a post about my political deconversion as well at some point, and I appreciate your interest in it =)


    From what I can gather you are the creator of that documentary which attempts to debunk 20 lies that are in the film, and appears you are overwhelmingly the largest activist against the film. I watched a bit of your documentary, but I do not live in Venezuela so if you tell me one thing and the video says another I don't have a very effective way of reconciling the two. Early in the video you claim that the promotion of the movie and it's acceptance by major European news agencies constitute an expensive campaign to promote pro-Chavez propaganda. Why would pro-Chavez interests, whose financial situation surely pales in comparision to any pro-US, pro-capitalist interests, be able to win out in a propaganda war and be able to win over mainstream news agencies such as the BBC?

    Anonymous said...

    Pat Robertson called for the assassination of Chavez. "The enemy of my enemy is my friend" is not the best logic in all cases, but I think it applies in this one.

    In the Irish documentary, the people who are against Chavez are lily white - females covered in makeup and jewelry, fancy clothes, meeting in posh buildings with windows for walls - claiming that those who support Chavez are "lazy" and "don't want to work hard", etc; whilst those who support him are short and brown - jean- and t-shirt-clad, dirty, meandering through the slum streets - call for equal rights and adherence to the constitution. Chavez, although slightly better dressed, is short and brown, just like them. I hate to bring up the race card, but knowing some of the history of South America, I think it is pertinent to this discussion.

    It was clear to me in the last scenes, when they caught the assholes who engineered the coup, that the Chavez supporters were going to be fair to them. If I were a brutal dictator like they claim Chavez is, I would have had them all killed, execution-style, right there in the palace courtyard, in front of all the people. Chavez nor his followers did any such thing.

    I wasn't born yesterday, and I don't think the other people that frequent this blog are either. Take your half-assed, biased, poorly-constructed anti-documentary somewhere else.


    KA said...

    No I am not the creator of the film nor had anything to do with the film. I do think the film was sold to the European networks as an accurate unbiased documentary which it is not. Plus major news networks have been doing some very sloppy work by not verifiying information. Now I ask you don't you find it interesting that the film is distributed and promoted by the Venezuelan government? would you consider what the US state department says and shows as unbiased? I certinly would not. Unfortunatlly the film is well made and has resonated very well among those who dislike Bush.

    I truely do not understand how people can like Chavez but dislike Bush. Wake up people they are the same thing.

    You should read this, it is probably the most truthful and unbiased account that I have been able to find to date in English:

    Mookie I will assume that you left the racist and dispariging remark on my blog. FYI, I'm getting my education, I would love to move back to Venezuela but I would not be able to do it in an apolitical manner. When was the last time some one took nuts like Par Robertson seriously. (Ooops. I forgot Bush).

    Delta said...

    Perhaps you are not. On the web I found lots of instances of "KA has taken the trouble to make the movie "Radiografia de una Mentira" (X-Ray of a Lie) available to watch or download from the web". My web browser only displayed that "KA has taken the trouble to make the movie". So my apologies for that.

    However, in what way do you think that Chavez is the same as Bush? Have the people of Venezuela not seen a rise in their living conditions since Chavez took power? Will the Venezuelan people not have a better future as a result of Chavez's medical, educational, and economic programs?

    KA said...

    well there are lots of similarities in my opinion. Neither are open to opinions or suggestions that differ from their narrow mind. Both have insisted on dividing a country along ideological lines despite a sizable or majority that do not share their opinion or views. They have abused their power or outright violated the constitution and have concentrated to much power within the executive branch. Any critical opinion against them is labeled as unpatriotic, and both use fear to against their people. Government spending is way out of control and feel that spending money on a problem will fix it vs actually reforming or finding what the root of the problem is and fixing it. Neither support decentralization or are supportive of local govt. Believe me I can go on.

    Yes the medical, educational programs are a good idea, any Venezuelan will tell you that. BTW these programs always existed before Chavez although they had increasing funding problems. The main problem is that they have been created at the expense of other public hospitals and schools and have become politicized.

    Again Chavez sells his revolution as something different from the past but it is not, it is the same bloated welfare state. If oil prices decline or even stay the same Venezuela is going to have a huge hang over from the oil party and the people who are going to suffer the most are the poor, just like they suffered in the 1980's after the oil party of the 1970's.

    Anonymous said...

    It is a very good movie. Further if you really want to learn more about the story, specifically the radically anti-democratic role played by the United States, much of the U.S. documentation has been released and placed online at:

    Chavez has won twice as many elections (6) with much higher ratios in his favor than Bush. Make no mistake about it, the U.S. is the world's primary threat to democracy, as was illustrated in 2002 coup against Chavez, or right now in the U.S. endorsed mass starvation campaign against the Palestinians because they had the audacity to vote in a way the U.S. didn't like. At the same time, the U.S. itself is becoming much more of a "democracy" in line with our "democratic" allies like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Taiwan.

    Americans for Chavez
    Bolivarian Circle 'Chief Tierra Blanca'

    KA said...

    Americans for Chavez we meet again :) is solely funded by the Venezuelan government so I wouldn't use them as an unbiased source. To be honest the internal memos from the State department don't reveal anything that people didn't already know. Any Venezuelan would have told you a coup was likely going to happen. It was common knowledge the military were not happy with Chavez but it became very visible a month or two before April 11 by the actions of Pedro Soto. Plus the US documents state that any coup would likely fail, so why would the US sponsor a coup that they predicted would fail?

    As for the elections no one is claiming Chavez didn't win in 1998 or 2000. ALthough the current election authority and database is a mess and Venezuelans know this, hence absention was ~80% during the Dec 4 National Assembly elections and the govt agency still hasn't released the official results yet! what are they hiding. Oh ya what about apartheid based on political beliefs with the "Maisanta List"?

    Anonymous said...


    Are you white or brown?

    KA said...

    What is the relevance of my skin color to the discussion? If I were white would that mean I'm a WASP, If I were brown would I be less intelligent? How about if I were black would that put me on the bottom of your intellectual and cultural hierarchy? My guess is that you are white.

    FYI, race was never an issue in Venezuela, except under Chavez. It was one of the wonderful things about the country. You see Chavez is very cunning and charming and knows that the race card plays well in Europe and the US so of course he uses it to his advantage.

    Anonymous said...

    It is a waste of his blog space to repeat myself, but in case you missed it the first time:

    "In the Irish documentary, the people who are against Chavez are lily white - females covered in makeup and jewelry, fancy clothes, meeting in posh buildings with windows for walls - claiming that those who support Chavez are "lazy" and "don't want to work hard", etc; whilst those who support him are short and brown - jean- and t-shirt-clad, dirty, meandering through the slum streets - call for equal rights and adherence to the constitution. Chavez, although slightly better dressed, is short and brown, just like them. I hate to bring up the race card, but knowing some of the history of South America, I think it is pertinent to this discussion."

    My guess is that you are white.

    FYI, race was never an issue in the U.S. (Ha!)

    SH said...

    Thank you for the links, Delta and KA. I watched both "pro" and "anti" documentaries. Unless I missed something the "anti" documentary did not seem to challenge any of the major elements of the narrative of the original film. They've mostly done nit-picking of the details to discredit the message of the first documentary. And I don't think it was very convincing. Even if original film does have some errors (whether intentional or not we don't know) the main story still seems to remain the same.

    KA said...

    sh, I agree the film "X-ray of a lie" is a little nit-picky and sometimes confusing. But there are a few point that the film "the revolution will not be televised" leaves out that make all difference in understanding what happened that day.

    1. Chavez ordered the military to the streets to repress the population. Theses orders were not followed and were used as a pretext to remove Chvez.

    2. The minister of defense at around 3 am came on TV to announce Chavez resigned. BTW this same minister was given his job back when Chavez was brought back to the presidency. Strange no?

    For those that speak Spanish there is a very good book called "El Acertijo de Abril". The authors revel and discuss some very intersting info on what was going on inside the opposition and the Chavez government that led up to the events that day and what subsequently happened. Truely a must read, regardless of your personal views.

    Anonymous said...

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