Archive for August 20th, 2003

Two Posters from trhe recall march

August 20, 2003


A bit beyond good taste, so I will not translate it   Chgavez, chicken what are you doing in Argentina?

Always beautiful women at the marches

August 20, 2003


Busy on the phone                                     Great smile!!



No words for this                  Forceful!

As usual, interesting people

August 20, 2003


A bit exxagerated                     Old lady waves at the march                     MM (a friend) at the march



Lady with a puppet                                            He brought his pencil to mark his YES

Spectacular march today in support of referendum

August 20, 2003


 


Fantastic, march/rally/demonstration, whatever you want to call it. Hundreds of thousands took to the streets in six separate marches from all sections of Caracas to a location near the National Electoral Council. While it had been expected that we would accompany the petition with the signatures to ask for a recall referendum, this was not to be as the signatures were handed in very early in the morning. This had an incredible effect as it dissipated many fears of violence among those that later went to the rally. The fear was that Chavez’ supporters would interfere with the march as happened last November when tear gas and shots were used by the police as the Chavistas attempted to hijack and stop the truck carrying the signatures. But it was not to be as a non-descript refrigerated truck was used at 6:30 AM to take the petitions to the CNE. Chavista thug Lina Ron was outraged by the deception, calling on live TV for the Chavistas to take to the streets as they were cheated by the opposition. She even accused the opposition of handing in the signatures last night, which would make them illegal.


Meanwhile, Vice-President Rangel actually went on TV and praised the peaceful day while Hugo Chavez who was in Argentina, said the signatures were fake as if the Feb. 2nd. massive petition drive never took place. Chavez even said that it was just the oligarchs using signatures from their banks to fraudulently fill in the petition. Chavez even said at the end that the opposition would be defeated anyway if they managed to get the referendum to take place. If he is so sure, why does he oppose the referendum so much? After all, if he won, it would give his “revolution” a mandate that he never had, since he never said that he would do what he is doing right now as President.




Above left, as close to the front of the rally as I was able to get, I took similar pictures looking the other way. On the right is a picture taken of one of the marches from the builiding where I work. I waited for over fifty minutes before joining the march and you can see how dense it is. More pictures in Pictures, Posters and Venezuelan Beauty inside.

Another shoddy job by Forero and the NYT on Venezuela

August 20, 2003

As usual, Juan Forero of the New York Times, does his shoddy job in reporting about Venezuela and the referendum. (One can not talk about Forero reporting from Venezuela, he seldom has a byline from Caracas, is an unknown to the international press circles and some people even question that he really exists). Let’s look at today’s article on the opposition mobilizing to ask for a recall referendum:


-“Tens of thousands of antigovernment demonstrators clogged streets in Caracas”. Well, the question is not tens of thousands, it is whether there were enough hundreds of thousands to make the million or not.


-“For an opposition led by a haphazard coalition of big businessmen, labor groups and media owners”. Curiously, Forero leaves out political parties, ignoring the fact that starting at the far left (Bandera Roja, Causa R, Socialists) to the middle (socialchristians, socialdemocrats) all political parties except Chavez’ MVR and miniscule party Patria Para Todos are part of the opposition. (There are no significant political parties in Venezuela that can be considered to be part of the “right”)


-“The most immediate obstacle is that a new electoral board must be chosen to oversee the recall. Venezuela’s Supreme Court has said it would pick the board, possibly by early next week”. This is not considered to be an obstacle except by Forero’s ignorance. The Supreme Court said it would pick a Board ten days after the omission by the National Assembly was declared. This means there will be a Board by August 24th.


-“Some government officials have also raised deep concerns about the way the signatures were collected. They say the process is illegitimate, arguing that the signatures could only be collected after the half-way point of the president’s rule”. Interesting, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled that this was not an issue, it seems only Chavez’ lawyer and Forero have not heard about this important decision.


-Polling companies in Caracas have said that if there were a referendum on Mr. Chávez’s rule, two of every three Venezuelans would vote to remove him”. Well, all polls, including those that Chavez used when he was a candidate give numbers of 70% or more, none say or have said two-thirds for quite a while. Picky? Maybe, but the article does try to give the impression that Chavez has more popularity than he does.


I have never understood why Forero remains at the New York Times, he has always been sloppy, ill-informed and biased. In my book that is three strikes and you are out, for a reporter from a newspaper as important as the New York Times.

The failure of revolutionary policies

August 20, 2003

 


An excerpt from today’s Tal Cual Editorial (by subscription only)on why Chavez has been unable to distribute better income and Table from the inside of the same paper:


 


“If one takes into account that in the year 2002 and so far in 2003 both inflation and unemployment increased significantly, we can infer that up to today, the distribution of income has become more negative towards workers. At the close of 2001, the percentage of unemployed Venezuelans reached 13% of the active population. At the close of 2002 the number was over 16% and at this moment it is at 18%. On the other hand, inflation in 2001 closed at 12.3% and jumped to 31.2% in 2002 and in the first seven months of this year it is already at 17.4%, with which one may Project to the end of the year a number somewhat higher than that of 2002. (All official numbers from the INE 8National Institute for Statistics and the BCV, the Venezuelan Central Bank.). In other words, the increase in unemployment and the CPI of the last year can only translate in an even more regressive distribution of income for labor sectors


 


This is the real and dramatic balance of the four and half years of the Chavista Government. But there is another aspect. Our esteemed charlatan goes around the world proposing referenda about the external debt, repeating the usual clichés about the “external debt”, but here at home, in only tour years he has increased public debt by more than US$10 billion. And he ahs just requested authorization to borrow US$ 3 billion from international banks.


Thus a debt that Chavez received in US$24 billion (between external and internal), he has taken it to more than US$34 billion.


 


What does this mean in practical terms?



From the national budget increasing percentages will be used to pay the debt, taking them out of educational and health expenses. The future an immediate generations will pay the broken dishes of a coarse administration, which has done nothing but repeat the trends that I, the Supreme condemned in the past and which he still refers to (abroad) as if his won administration had not been a magnified and worse repetition that those carried out by his predecessors.


 


How crummy has this “revolution” turned out!”



The above table shows some important macroeconomic numbers and how they have evolved during Chavez’ Presidency. From top to bottom: Price of a barrel of oil, GDP change,inflation, unemployment, imports, exports, exchange rate and foreign investment. The only missing parameter is debt, as the Tal Cual Editorial points out, total debt has increased from US$ 24 billion to US$ 34 billion despite oil income that has been by far, the highest in the country’s history. Macroeconomic numbers never tell the whole story, but if they don’t improve, it is impossible to the people’s lot to do.

The failure of revolutionary policies

August 20, 2003

 


An excerpt from today’s Tal Cual Editorial (by subscription only)on why Chavez has been unable to distribute better income and Table from the inside of the same paper:


 


“If one takes into account that in the year 2002 and so far in 2003 both inflation and unemployment increased significantly, we can infer that up to today, the distribution of income has become more negative towards workers. At the close of 2001, the percentage of unemployed Venezuelans reached 13% of the active population. At the close of 2002 the number was over 16% and at this moment it is at 18%. On the other hand, inflation in 2001 closed at 12.3% and jumped to 31.2% in 2002 and in the first seven months of this year it is already at 17.4%, with which one may Project to the end of the year a number somewhat higher than that of 2002. (All official numbers from the INE 8National Institute for Statistics and the BCV, the Venezuelan Central Bank.). In other words, the increase in unemployment and the CPI of the last year can only translate in an even more regressive distribution of income for labor sectors


 


This is the real and dramatic balance of the four and half years of the Chavista Government. But there is another aspect. Our esteemed charlatan goes around the world proposing referenda about the external debt, repeating the usual clichés about the “external debt”, but here at home, in only tour years he has increased public debt by more than US$10 billion. And he ahs just requested authorization to borrow US$ 3 billion from international banks.


Thus a debt that Chavez received in US$24 billion (between external and internal), he has taken it to more than US$34 billion.


 


What does this mean in practical terms?



From the national budget increasing percentages will be used to pay the debt, taking them out of educational and health expenses. The future an immediate generations will pay the broken dishes of a coarse administration, which has done nothing but repeat the trends that I, the Supreme condemned in the past and which he still refers to (abroad) as if his won administration had not been a magnified and worse repetition that those carried out by his predecessors.


 


How crummy has this “revolution” turned out!”



The above table shows some important macroeconomic numbers and how they have evolved during Chavez’ Presidency. From top to bottom: Price of a barrel of oil, GDP change,inflation, unemployment, imports, exports, exchange rate and foreign investment. The only missing parameter is debt, as the Tal Cual Editorial points out, total debt has increased from US$ 24 billion to US$ 34 billion despite oil income that has been by far, the highest in the country’s history. Macroeconomic numbers never tell the whole story, but if they don’t improve, it is impossible to the people’s lot to do.

Petition is in already

August 20, 2003

In order to avoid any temptation by any group to attempt to stop the petition with the signatures from reaching the National Electoral Council Headquarters, in a suprise move, the petition was handed in early this morning. (It already happened when the signatures for the failed consultative referendum were handed in last year, violent pro-Chavez groups attempted to block and hijack the truck that carried the signatures).  The more formal part of the hand in will take place later today during the march/rally.

New Year’s Eve in August as people take to the streets

August 20, 2003

It seemed like New Yera’s Eve, roughly an hour ago, as the people of Caracas and some parts of Venezuela took to the streets to celebrate that the mid-point of Hugo Chavez’ Presidency was here and we can call for a recall referendum to terminate his mandate. It was festive, with drums, people dancing and lots of fireworks, organized and not organized as people got ready for tomorrow. As the fireworks peaked, people began singing the National Anthem, definitely making the celebration quite emotional.


Minister of Defense attempts to intimidate

August 20, 2003

In a clear effort to intimidate those that plan to march tomorrow the Minister of Defense spoke to the nation tonight in a broadcast over all TV channels. He said that three of the marches that are scheduled for tomorrow can not have permits because they go by the “Security Zones’ defined by the military last December. The concept had not been revived until now and would have made many of the pro-Chavez marches illegal. He warnedf the citizens that “undesirable” events that take place tomorrow will be the sole responsability of the organizers. In this manner, once again, the Government skirts its responsabilities, intimidates the people and if and when the chavistas cause violence tomorrow, those responsible will be none other than the opposition leaders. Such is life in the bizarre Government of the self-appointed all-powerful all-knowing President Hugo Chavez. He thinks he is the law. Not for long.

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