Archive for October 7th, 2003

Rats jumping ship…….

October 7, 2003

 


Three more weird events:


 


-The Venezuelan Supreme Court ordered the Ministry of Defense to withdraw the military personnel from the Metropolitan Police facilities that have been occupied since last year during the general strike. The Court “ordered” that within 15 days a weapons inventory be performed. It also “ordered” the Director of the police to let the Court know within seven days if the telecommunications system of the police is working properly. It also ordered the Vice-Minister of Security and Defense to hold a meeting of the Security Council (which seldom meets) and “orders” all of its members to attend.


 


-The Governor of Bolivar State, a former Chavez supporter, declared himself an independent yesterday and guaranteed that the recall referendum will not be interfered with in his State. (Sorry, I meant to report this yesterday, but I belong to the sect of Red Sox fans who has been watching the games closely and was exhausted by the action in Oakland)


 


-The Attorney General introduced a request for the Venezuelan Supreme Court to look into overturning the case of the Puente El LLaguno shooters, saying a “great injustice” has been committed.


 


Are rats jumping ship already?

Playing at chaos by Veneconomia

October 7, 2003

 


I agree that this is most likely what is going on


 


From today’s Veneconomia, the best explanation for the recent events in Venezuela


 


Playing at Chaos


 


The government is sending out contradictory signals, even to the detriment of its own best interests. After having twisted public opinion around its little finger and manipulated the facts with rare skill, in the last few days, the government side has been, quite openly, making what appear to be a series of errors, but which could well be intentional with the idea of putting the opposition in disarray. Some think that it is a plan to avoid the recall referendum.
The first sign was the petition to revoke the mandate of seven governors, 38 deputies, and the Mayor of Greater Caracas, in what seemed to be a last-minute strategy that lacked coordination, which was apparent from the errors made in filing the petition. Besides, there is no justification for a referendum to revoke the mandate of the governors when the regional elections are coming up in June next year, which means that the present incumbents will have to resign from office on April 1.
The second signal was the government side’s disproportionate reaction to the article published by US News & World Report claiming that there are links between the Chávez administration and terrorism. Highly placed figures within the Venezuelan government suggested that this was part of a plan to destabilize the regime.
The third signal came with the –allegedly illegal- confiscation of Globovisión’s equipment last Friday and the reaction of the President, who ordered Diosdado Cabello to open criminal and legal proceedings against the station for “hindering action by the State, inciting protest without authorization, and exacerbating hate”.
All this is happening right in the middle of a difficult electoral climate for the government, which has been exacerbated recently by violent incidents, such as those experienced in Anzoátegui and Falcón with the eviction of the former PDVSA workers from the oil fields and the explosives that were set off in the barracks of the Presidential Guard of Honor at Miraflores, in front of Conatel, at La Carlota Airport, and at Fuerte Tiuna.
In addition to this, the National Guard will be out on the streets of Caracas this month to perform security duties, according to Chávez, as part of what he called an urban security plan, and the Army –that is the Military Police- will join the plan in November, but whether to protect the population or to lay siege to Caracas is not clear.
One hypothesis is that the government is attempting to sow fear and chaos in order to create a situation that would justify declaring a state of emergency and so prevent the holding of the Reafirmazo and, by extension, the referendum for revoking the President’s mandate

Playing at chaos by Veneconomia

October 7, 2003

 


I agree that this is most likely what is going on


 


From today’s Veneconomia, the best explanation for the recent events in Venezuela


 


Playing at Chaos


 


The government is sending out contradictory signals, even to the detriment of its own best interests. After having twisted public opinion around its little finger and manipulated the facts with rare skill, in the last few days, the government side has been, quite openly, making what appear to be a series of errors, but which could well be intentional with the idea of putting the opposition in disarray. Some think that it is a plan to avoid the recall referendum.
The first sign was the petition to revoke the mandate of seven governors, 38 deputies, and the Mayor of Greater Caracas, in what seemed to be a last-minute strategy that lacked coordination, which was apparent from the errors made in filing the petition. Besides, there is no justification for a referendum to revoke the mandate of the governors when the regional elections are coming up in June next year, which means that the present incumbents will have to resign from office on April 1.
The second signal was the government side’s disproportionate reaction to the article published by US News & World Report claiming that there are links between the Chávez administration and terrorism. Highly placed figures within the Venezuelan government suggested that this was part of a plan to destabilize the regime.
The third signal came with the –allegedly illegal- confiscation of Globovisión’s equipment last Friday and the reaction of the President, who ordered Diosdado Cabello to open criminal and legal proceedings against the station for “hindering action by the State, inciting protest without authorization, and exacerbating hate”.
All this is happening right in the middle of a difficult electoral climate for the government, which has been exacerbated recently by violent incidents, such as those experienced in Anzoátegui and Falcón with the eviction of the former PDVSA workers from the oil fields and the explosives that were set off in the barracks of the Presidential Guard of Honor at Miraflores, in front of Conatel, at La Carlota Airport, and at Fuerte Tiuna.
In addition to this, the National Guard will be out on the streets of Caracas this month to perform security duties, according to Chávez, as part of what he called an urban security plan, and the Army –that is the Military Police- will join the plan in November, but whether to protect the population or to lay siege to Caracas is not clear.
One hypothesis is that the government is attempting to sow fear and chaos in order to create a situation that would justify declaring a state of emergency and so prevent the holding of the Reafirmazo and, by extension, the referendum for revoking the President’s mandate

San Francisco Gate article on how the Government uses its power to stop the recall

October 7, 2003

 


Russel sends this link to an article in the San Francisco Gate about the tricks the Government may have use to stop the recall referendum. These are the type of things I am worried about that will keep people from signing the petition, the regulations require that all the National ID numbers of those that signed the petition. This means two million public workers will be intimated by the possibility of being fired if they do sign…..

Mysterious explosions labelled terrorist acts

October 7, 2003

After labeling the fires (see below) last Sunday in the Caracas military airport of La Carlota “an accident”, today the Minister of Defense said that this explosion, together with those in Fuerte Tiuna (The largest military facility in the country) were the result of terrorism. There was apparently a third incident at the same time, near the Presidential palace. In all cases, the explosions were caused by fragmentary grenades which are accessible  only to the military, within either military facilities (La Carlota, Fuerte Tiuna) or heavily guarded areas (Palacio Blanco). What is difficult to understand is the silence by the Government. Not even the oppositionwas accused! In fact, it was the Minister of Defense that condemned the events. Suggestions are that these are explosions set by military personnel who are unhappy with the turn of events in the country and are threatening to continue if the recall referendum is not allowed to proceed.


Separately, local newspaper El Mundo, reported that there were actually two deaths in the La Carlota explosion and the Attorney General’s office was trying to investigate, it but was not being allowed to do so by military authorities.

Populism in a single image

October 7, 2003


Great picture by Ilich Otero in today’s Tal Cual (by subscription). A banner in front of a shack says “The new PDVSA belongs to the people”, PDVSA the state oil company really belongs now to the revolution and its cronies only and is being used and abused right and left (many storties below on that issue). Sadly, down the line, the “new PDVSA” will contribute less to the standard of living of the poor than it has in the last ten years due to mismanagement. All indications are that the Government is ready to burn all of the company’s cash to “improve” things before the recall referendum……

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