Archive for August 13th, 2003

Two interesting political developments

August 13, 2003

Two separate events took place this afternoon that I find interesting and intriguing:


-The Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled on a request of interpretation that signatures gathered in a petition drive for a recall referendum may be gathered either before or after the mid point of the term of the elected official whose recall is being sought. This simply removes an important cloud hanging over the signatures gathered in the opposition’s petition drive in February of this year. The expedience with which the Court is acting is leading many to be suspicious of what is going on and whether some sinister plot is being executed.


-The President of the National Assembly and National Director of Movimiento Quinta Republica (MVR) Francisco Ameliach, said today that the initiative by Deputy Iris Varela is not shared by MVR and said that the proposed Constitutional amendment will likely not be considered during the current extraordianry session. This appears to be a result of the realization that such an amendment may not even be approved by the Chavistas themselves as suggested in today’s Tal Cual Editorial below. It may also be that the proposal was so ridicolous or stupid that it would have made the Government look really bad, if passed.  

Miami Herald article on Cuban Doctors in the barrios of Caracas

August 13, 2003

Scott sends in this link to the article by the Miami Herald on Cuban Doctors in the Venezuelan barrios. The problem I have with it is that the Herald actually tries to be balanced, forgetting that public health care is the responsibility of the Government whether in the barrios or in public hospitals. What Venezuelans wonder is why Chavez had to bring Cuban Doctors for the barrios and not simply start a project in the barrios with unemployed, well-qualified Venezuelan Doctors. After all, when Cuba has had health crisis, Venezuela has sent doctors to find the problems the Cuban doctors could not.

The Beast grabbed them!

August 13, 2003

 


Some people in the opposition dislike Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff because they think he has not been tough enough on the Government. Well, I had to translate today’s Editorial (by subscription) on Chavez and his cohorts. Not only is it tough on them, but it shows Petkoff’s ability to see through the Chavistas and say it in very clear and simple terms.


 


The Beast grabbed them! by Teodoro Petkoff


 


The best Constitution in the world has grabbed the President and his cohorts by the neck.


 


They don’t know what to do anymore to free themselves from its mortal embrace. Now we have seen young Iris Varela, who lends her last name to a project of constitutional amendment that would allow to bypass that obstacle that a qualified majority (two-thirds of its members) of the National Assembly is needed to remove Justices of the Supreme Court or elect members of the National Electoral Council (CNE). Why doesn’t MVR leave aside all foolishness and propose once and for all that the Constitution be voided and its regulations be substituted by the whims of I, the Supreme?


 


With what joy did the President use to show the little blue book on Television! He even invented a nickname for it. “The Beast”, he used to call his Constitution, not with scorn but with tenderness.


 


Here comes the Beast! He would warn those that opposed him. Careful or “The Beast” will grab you, he would warn, demanding respect for what, according to his own words was “the best Constitution in the world”.


 


“Grab that top on your nail” he would appear to say with his body language each time he would wave the miniscule book. He even had it translated to wayuu, the language of the Gaujiro Indians. That is all well, but what for? Theater, pure theater, without any substance.


 


“The Beast” can be violated not only in Spanish, but also in wayuu.


This “Varela Project” translates, in the end, in the aspiration to have a parliament without the opposition being a pain in the neck.


 


And that other genius of Constitutional Law that is Ismael Garcia threatens with dissolving the National Assembly “if we lose our majority”. How easy it was to drive when there was no traffic on the roads! But, the moment it begins to fill with cars, they don’t know what to do about it. They step on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time; they go the wrong way and end up provoking a huge traffic jam. They could begin to think in another amendment:” All votes in the National Assembly will be won by the Government’s party, no matter how many Deputies they may have”. Or Ameliach (The President of the Assembly) could transform in a proposal his arithmetic discovery that a tie in a vote goes in the Government’s favor.


 


Of course, it is all pure acting.


 


Fireworks. Threats which are impossible to fulfill. Even “Fosforito” (Varela’s nickname) herself knows her amendment, were to be approved by the National Assembly, would have to go to a referendum. Yesterday she spewed out like a dragon: “Here we are going to have a referendum, but consultative” In her infinite arrogance, the hardcore Chavistas believe that they can win that referendum. Please! Let’s have a go at it.


 


Why don’t you give it a go, approve your stuff, let’s take it to a referendum. The beating that they will get, will leave them paralyzed.


 


Even the Chavistas from the population would vote against it because such dirty tricks disgust anyone with democratic sensibility. Of course, they will approve nothing.


 


It’s all noise. Because to do that, they probably do not even have the votes in the Assembly.


 


The spectacle that the “officialists” are acting out in the Assembly is pitiful. Respect “the Beast”! Is the only decent and serious thing that they can do. Respect “The Beast” !

The Beast grabbed them!

August 13, 2003

 


Some people in the opposition dislike Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff because they think he has not been tough enough on the Government. Well, I had to translate today’s Editorial (by subscription) on Chavez and his cohorts. Not only is it tough on them, but it shows Petkoff’s ability to see through the Chavistas and say it in very clear and simple terms.


 


The Beast grabbed them! by Teodoro Petkoff


 


The best Constitution in the world has grabbed the President and his cohorts by the neck.


 


They don’t know what to do anymore to free themselves from its mortal embrace. Now we have seen young Iris Varela, who lends her last name to a project of constitutional amendment that would allow to bypass that obstacle that a qualified majority (two-thirds of its members) of the National Assembly is needed to remove Justices of the Supreme Court or elect members of the National Electoral Council (CNE). Why doesn’t MVR leave aside all foolishness and propose once and for all that the Constitution be voided and its regulations be substituted by the whims of I, the Supreme?


 


With what joy did the President use to show the little blue book on Television! He even invented a nickname for it. “The Beast”, he used to call his Constitution, not with scorn but with tenderness.


 


Here comes the Beast! He would warn those that opposed him. Careful or “The Beast” will grab you, he would warn, demanding respect for what, according to his own words was “the best Constitution in the world”.


 


“Grab that top on your nail” he would appear to say with his body language each time he would wave the miniscule book. He even had it translated to wayuu, the language of the Gaujiro Indians. That is all well, but what for? Theater, pure theater, without any substance.


 


“The Beast” can be violated not only in Spanish, but also in wayuu.


This “Varela Project” translates, in the end, in the aspiration to have a parliament without the opposition being a pain in the neck.


 


And that other genius of Constitutional Law that is Ismael Garcia threatens with dissolving the National Assembly “if we lose our majority”. How easy it was to drive when there was no traffic on the roads! But, the moment it begins to fill with cars, they don’t know what to do about it. They step on the brakes and the accelerator at the same time; they go the wrong way and end up provoking a huge traffic jam. They could begin to think in another amendment:” All votes in the National Assembly will be won by the Government’s party, no matter how many Deputies they may have”. Or Ameliach (The President of the Assembly) could transform in a proposal his arithmetic discovery that a tie in a vote goes in the Government’s favor.


 


Of course, it is all pure acting.


 


Fireworks. Threats which are impossible to fulfill. Even “Fosforito” (Varela’s nickname) herself knows her amendment, were to be approved by the National Assembly, would have to go to a referendum. Yesterday she spewed out like a dragon: “Here we are going to have a referendum, but consultative” In her infinite arrogance, the hardcore Chavistas believe that they can win that referendum. Please! Let’s have a go at it.


 


Why don’t you give it a go, approve your stuff, let’s take it to a referendum. The beating that they will get, will leave them paralyzed.


 


Even the Chavistas from the population would vote against it because such dirty tricks disgust anyone with democratic sensibility. Of course, they will approve nothing.


 


It’s all noise. Because to do that, they probably do not even have the votes in the Assembly.


 


The spectacle that the “officialists” are acting out in the Assembly is pitiful. Respect “the Beast”! Is the only decent and serious thing that they can do. Respect “The Beast” !

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