Archive for October 3rd, 2003

Interpreting today’s events

October 3, 2003

 


There is no question in my mind, that today’s actions by the Chavez administration were meant to intimidate both Globovision and the opposition. To actually go in, confiscate the equipment with a fuzzy charge, using the wrong procedures and create this reaction, had to be something carefully planned to intimidate at least Globovision if not the opposition. The only question is why. In my mind, there are three possibilities, from most probable to least probable:


 


-For the last two weeks, Globovision has been broadcasting regularly and live, the acts of repression against the oil workers in Los Semerucos and Monagas and poor squatters in La Rinconada. Then last night, Globovision shows a large contingent of “militia” arriving in Caracas biggest military facility “Fuerte Tiuna”. These “militia” which Globovision suggested were Cubans, was shown arriving at the fort with Che Guevara T-shirts and being welcomed by Venezuelan military officials. To me, this was the last straw; someone got very mad and decided something had to e done.


 


-A second possible explanation was that this was simply a test of the response of the opposition people to an arbitrary measure by the Government. It was sufficiently flimsy and improvised to make it likely.-09 \


 


 


-The third and final explanation, which has to be proven medium term, is that the Government wants to generate a climate of protest and violence, much like it successfully did during last year’s strike. Then, as the day of the petition drive for the recall approaches, the CNE would be forced to argue that given the climate of tension and confrontation, it would be impossible to even attempt to gather the signatures. This would postpone the petition drive, which plays right into the Government’s strategy (see the previous story)


 


The sloppiness of the procedure, which gave it an air of improvisation, seems to point out to the first explanation. However, only time will tell whether this is correct or not.

Why the revolution has no scruples

October 3, 2003

 


Some people have a very hard time understanding what Chavez and his cohorts want to do and why. The reason is remarkably simple, these people have no ethics, morals or scruples. This was proven today in a report in Ultimas Noticias (free if you register) on what pro-Chavez Constitutional lawyer Carlos Escarra said in a forum on the media and the recall referendum:


 


“The recall referendum will not happen, because we don’t want it to happen. Here we have a population that does not want it.


 


“The idea is to gain time and to that end we will question every signature that backs the recall”


 


“We will fight, so that the YES vote favors Chávez”


 


“He believes that the presence of Bolivarian circles will intimidate the people”


 


“In his opinion, the vote will take place whenever the Government wants”


 


But the most immoral part was:


 


He discarded the possibility of calling for elections if Chavez loses. In that case (after Aug. 19th) the Vice-President will assume the position, he in turn would name Chavez to his position (Vice-Presidency), he would then resign and Chavez would assume the Presidency.  (This is all strictly correct)


 


And you thought Al Capone was a con man!!!!!!

Why the revolution has no scruples

October 3, 2003

 


Some people have a very hard time understanding what Chavez and his cohorts want to do and why. The reason is remarkably simple, these people have no ethics, morals or scruples. This was proven today in a report in Ultimas Noticias (free if you register) on what pro-Chavez Constitutional lawyer Carlos Escarra said in a forum on the media and the recall referendum:


 


“The recall referendum will not happen, because we don’t want it to happen. Here we have a population that does not want it.


 


“The idea is to gain time and to that end we will question every signature that backs the recall”


 


“We will fight, so that the YES vote favors Chávez”


 


“He believes that the presence of Bolivarian circles will intimidate the people”


 


“In his opinion, the vote will take place whenever the Government wants”


 


But the most immoral part was:


 


He discarded the possibility of calling for elections if Chavez loses. In that case (after Aug. 19th) the Vice-President will assume the position, he in turn would name Chavez to his position (Vice-Presidency), he would then resign and Chavez would assume the Presidency.  (This is all strictly correct)


 


And you thought Al Capone was a con man!!!!!!

Government sanctions TV station, protestors reappear in Caracas

October 3, 2003

Just got in late, was not able to post much, maybe it was better that way. There can be many interpretations to what happened today at TV station Globovision. The Government confiscated equipment saying that it was transmitting at a frequency for which Globovision has no permits. The frequency that appeared in the paperwork is one for which Conatel technicians (This was all broadcast live, while it was being discussed have certified the equipment is not using and the equipment transmits at the frequency approved. The lawyer said, yes…but, something is missing from that other request. Additionally, in Venezuela you can not apply a sanction, without giving the other side the right to defend itself which Globovision has not been able to do.


In any case, this led to protests in front of Conatel (The media and telecom regulator) and in front of Globovision. People spontaneously went to both. Both protests were peaceful. However, Globovision executives and the police had to protect the CONATEL people so that they could leave the Globovision headquarters. In contrast, The National Guard used tear gas at the CONATEL headquarters to disperse, despite the fact that it was a perfectly peaceful demonstration. Once again, using tear gas against the people has become a daily and routine occurrence. Meanwhile, the Interamerican Human Rights Commission issued tonight precautionary measures to protect Globovision. The US State Department expressed its concerns about threats to freedom of speech in Venezuela. All of this happened at the same time, the Venezuelan Attorney General refused to supervise the action by CONATEL. While COFAVIC, the Venezuelan Human Rights organization expressed its concerns that the rights to due process were not respected by CONATEL. The Secretary General of the OAS also expressed its concerns in a press release. My interpretation of the Government’s actions in a little while.


Note added: An interesting side to this story was Deputy Pedro Castillo showing up in Globovision denouncing that one of the CONATEL officials leading the group applying the sanctions is none other than Hugo Tirado, the former Head of Security for Cojedes State, who Deputy Castillo accused a few months ago of being an arms trafficker and training guerilla/paramilitary groups at a fort in that state. I was surprised I could not find any link to that part of the story, since I saw it live on TV, but here is one. This is not a new charge, here is a very long article in a local paper explaining the charges against Tirado when 115 Israeli machine guns became only 60 and the Attorney General’s office ordered them confiscated. Deputy Castillo has been asking that these charges be investigated and documented, to no avail. Instead, the accused, who Castillo has shown pictures of training paramilitary groups is hired by CONATEL. The connection? Easy. The Head of Conatel Jesse Chacon and Tirado, are both former army officers, both participated in the 1992 coup led, among others, by Hugo Chavez.

October 3, 2003

Government officials are at this time at TV station Globovision, an all
day news station, removing all of their microave equipment which they
use for live transmissions. There is little information but the official
leading this says that the transmission frequency is not approved.

October 3, 2003

Government officials are at this time at TV station Globovision, an all
day news station, removing all of their microave equipment which they
use for live transmissions. There is little information but the official
leading this says that the transmission frequency is not approved.

October 3, 2003

Government officials are at this time at TV station Globovision, an all
day news station, removing all of their microave equipment which they
use for live transmissions. There is little information but the official
leading this says that the transmission frequency is not approved.

October 3, 2003

Government officials are at this time at TV station Globovision, an all
day news station, removing all of their microave equipment which they
use for live transmissions. There is little information but the official
leading this says that the transmission frequency is not approved.

US News and World Report journalist defends her article

October 3, 2003

 


While the Government continues to deny the allegations of the recent article in US News and World Reports linking Chavez’ Government to terrorism, the author of that article, Linda Robinson, has been on the offensive defending her sources and the quality of her information. In both an interview with local radio station Union Radio and a debate in Colombia’s Radio Caracol, Robinson has been saying that her sources come both from the US Government and the Venezuelan Government. Both the Vice-President and the Minister of Foreign Relations made statements on the issue, dismissing the accusations. In the debate in Radio Caracol, Robinson together with a Colombian official forced MVR Deputy Tarek William Saab to shut up. Saab tried to defend Chavez actions on terrorism, but the Colombian official was clearly well informed. All of the cases cited by Saab to defend the Government, were ones in which a public outcry or a foreign Government forced the administration to act. Robinson is emphasizing the fact that she was skeptical when she began because there have been many false accusations, but that she spent months gathering the evidence that backs the article.

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