Archive for November, 2003

Good night,, smile, everyone else is

November 30, 2003

As I go to sleep all opposition figures are smiling, while all Chavista leaders have been talking about fraud, wonder why…..

Reafirmo que firmo by Laureano Marquez

November 30, 2003

 


Laureano Marquez is a humorist that writes in local daily El Nacional, he wrote this article which is more on the serious side of things:


 


I reaffirm that I sign (Reafirmo que firmo) by Laureano Marquez


 


The act of signing is something complex. The signature is a personal act, private and intimate, but which transcends publicly. That is, one does not sign for oneself, because in the loneliness of the spirit, one knows who one is or thinks one does. One signs for everyone else; so that others have the certainty that one is approving the document that you have signed, with your own fist and letters, the most personal thing you have: your name. Because, in some sense, the name is the person and the person is the name. Each signature is unique, like the fingerprint, and both conform the most distinctive characteristic of our individuality, that conquest of modernity that subjects us to both  duties and rights.


 


I respect the reasons that others may have to either sign or not sign, the same way I expect they will respect mine, which I would like to leave in writing in what follows:


 


·          I am going to sign, in the first place, because the Constitution allows me to.


·          Because I am convinced that President Chávez does not believe in democracy, but simply uses it to consolidate an arbitrary and personalized power that he believes he exercises in the name of the people, whose destiny he knows better than anybody else and thus he does not need to ask anyone about it.


·          Because this Government has made evil about the few noble things we had. It has forced us to fight one against each other, for no reason whatsoever; has converted the country into a society of squealers, cynics, and traitors, has promoted violence, has manipulated the poor, taking advantage of either the hunger and the needs of the people as blackmail and instruments of pressure.


·          Because the President has no respect for the laws, even to the point of disobeying them and inciting people to do so, with which he violates his dying oath. (Note: This refers to the fact that Chavez when first sworn in as President said he was taking his oath over the dying instrument that the old Constitution represented for him)


·          Because the Government which originates in a rebellion against corruption, has turned into something much worse than what we had, something which seemed quite difficult to achieve.


·          For his human rights violations, including those recently denounced about the prison in Ciudad Bolivar which fills us with horror.


·          Because this Government has taken us back to the worst of our history.


·          Because public powers have been put to the service of a military strong man attacking one of the fundamental values of democracy: the division and independence of powers.


·          Because culture has been relegated, cornered and threatened, if not placed at the service of the regime.


·          Because the abandoned children of the streets have not been picked up, but have actually increased in number. (Note: Chavez made this issue a campaign promise)


·          For his nationwide TV addresses and the insults that go with them.


·          Because I don’t like it that Chavez uses luxurious watches while he talks about misery and the luxury planes that he uses to go to summits where he rants  against summits and luxury planes.


·          Because the chief has kidnapped the freedom of thought of men that thought freely before and are now silent because of  fear or for comfort disguised as consistency


·          For the look of the Indian baby whose mother asked me for money at the stoplight and who lives in a country whose President condemns the bad treatment of the aboriginal population by the conquistadors.


·          Because poverty has increased just at the moment in which the country has had the highest (oil) income in its history.


·          Definitely because I want to freely express my right to dissent, to disagree, and not to back what I dislike or shames me.


 


And I say this Ismael (the Head of Chavez’ program to oversee the signings) to save you the work of taping me in the line of the Reafirmazo, so that you have it in writing and with my name on it, the reasons for each trace in the drawing of my signature as well as the folds of my fingerprint.

Reafirmo que firmo by Laureano Marquez

November 30, 2003

 


Laureano Marquez is a humorist that writes in local daily El Nacional, he wrote this article which is more on the serious side of things:


 


I reaffirm that I sign (Reafirmo que firmo) by Laureano Marquez


 


The act of signing is something complex. The signature is a personal act, private and intimate, but which transcends publicly. That is, one does not sign for oneself, because in the loneliness of the spirit, one knows who one is or thinks one does. One signs for everyone else; so that others have the certainty that one is approving the document that you have signed, with your own fist and letters, the most personal thing you have: your name. Because, in some sense, the name is the person and the person is the name. Each signature is unique, like the fingerprint, and both conform the most distinctive characteristic of our individuality, that conquest of modernity that subjects us to both  duties and rights.


 


I respect the reasons that others may have to either sign or not sign, the same way I expect they will respect mine, which I would like to leave in writing in what follows:


 


·          I am going to sign, in the first place, because the Constitution allows me to.


·          Because I am convinced that President Chávez does not believe in democracy, but simply uses it to consolidate an arbitrary and personalized power that he believes he exercises in the name of the people, whose destiny he knows better than anybody else and thus he does not need to ask anyone about it.


·          Because this Government has made evil about the few noble things we had. It has forced us to fight one against each other, for no reason whatsoever; has converted the country into a society of squealers, cynics, and traitors, has promoted violence, has manipulated the poor, taking advantage of either the hunger and the needs of the people as blackmail and instruments of pressure.


·          Because the President has no respect for the laws, even to the point of disobeying them and inciting people to do so, with which he violates his dying oath. (Note: This refers to the fact that Chavez when first sworn in as President said he was taking his oath over the dying instrument that the old Constitution represented for him)


·          Because the Government which originates in a rebellion against corruption, has turned into something much worse than what we had, something which seemed quite difficult to achieve.


·          For his human rights violations, including those recently denounced about the prison in Ciudad Bolivar which fills us with horror.


·          Because this Government has taken us back to the worst of our history.


·          Because public powers have been put to the service of a military strong man attacking one of the fundamental values of democracy: the division and independence of powers.


·          Because culture has been relegated, cornered and threatened, if not placed at the service of the regime.


·          Because the abandoned children of the streets have not been picked up, but have actually increased in number. (Note: Chavez made this issue a campaign promise)


·          For his nationwide TV addresses and the insults that go with them.


·          Because I don’t like it that Chavez uses luxurious watches while he talks about misery and the luxury planes that he uses to go to summits where he rants  against summits and luxury planes.


·          Because the chief has kidnapped the freedom of thought of men that thought freely before and are now silent because of  fear or for comfort disguised as consistency


·          For the look of the Indian baby whose mother asked me for money at the stoplight and who lives in a country whose President condemns the bad treatment of the aboriginal population by the conquistadors.


·          Because poverty has increased just at the moment in which the country has had the highest (oil) income in its history.


·          Definitely because I want to freely express my right to dissent, to disagree, and not to back what I dislike or shames me.


 


And I say this Ismael (the Head of Chavez’ program to oversee the signings) to save you the work of taping me in the line of the Reafirmazo, so that you have it in writing and with my name on it, the reasons for each trace in the drawing of my signature as well as the folds of my fingerprint.

Chavez says petition drive is a Megafraud

November 30, 2003

President Hugo Chavez went out to an open air market (guaranteeing attendance) and called the petition drive by the opposition a “Megafraud”. Chavez also said that the process was highly irregular and asked his supprters to defend the revolution. All of this clearly violates the electoral regulations, since the process does not end until tomorrow. But we are used to Chavez being above the law. The same “Megafraud” word was used by the President of the National Assembly according to the news briefs of El Universal. This makes it clear that the strategy of the Government will be to question the validity of the signatures. Chavez must be concerned, it had been a long time since he had mingled with his “people” in such spontanoues fashion. Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff took the President to task for his appearance and his statements. Petkoff also appeared today in an interview in the papers today saying that the losers of this process better admit their defeat right away.

Military and Infrastructure Ministry shut down airports

November 30, 2003

There is something going on with private airports that are being used to transport the forms with the signatures. The Ministry of Infrastructure has shutdown some of these airports difficulting the process of transporting the forms to Caracas to be counted. Check Descifrado or the report in Union Radio that says that an injunction is being prepared to ask the Supreme Court to stop the military and the Ministry delaying and blocking the process.

Military and Infrastructure Ministry shut down airports

November 30, 2003

There is something going on with private airports that are being used to transport the forms with the signatures. The Ministry of Infrastructure has shutdown some of these airports difficulting the process of transporting the forms to Caracas to be counted. Check Descifrado or the report in Union Radio that says that an injunction is being prepared to ask the Supreme Court to stop the military and the Ministry delaying and blocking the process.

The lines don’t go away

November 30, 2003

Went around the city, roughly half the polling stations open, half closed. (Maybe 60% open, 40% closed). Lines at the same centers are longer which  is simply a redistribution effect. The Opposition is providing transportation from one center to another. The OAS announced that it is talking to the Government about its desire to have their own technicians participate in the verification of the signatures in the next month. To me, this is a very simple message: No more tricks.

Operation Drugstore

November 29, 2003

 


One of the peculiarities of the complicated rules for the petition drive, purposely designed to make the process difficult, is that each electoral center is assigned a fixed number of forms for the petition drive, based on the number of voters that cast their ballots at the last election. If the number is exceeded, then that center simply ceases to function. Well, many centers have already run out of forms today with two days left in the process, leading the opposition to create “Operation Drugstore” which mimics the way drugstores in Venezuela on the weekends and nights announce which nearby ones are open. I find it absurd to establish a limit like this, but think about it, in the 2000 election people voted both for and against Chavez, but these centers are running out of forms which implies the total number of people that have signed the petition has exceeded the total number of people that voted in that election for or against, but this time around they are all anti-Chavez, asking for his recall. Incredibe!

Operation Drugstore

November 29, 2003

 


One of the peculiarities of the complicated rules for the petition drive, purposely designed to make the process difficult, is that each electoral center is assigned a fixed number of forms for the petition drive, based on the number of voters that cast their ballots at the last election. If the number is exceeded, then that center simply ceases to function. Well, many centers have already run out of forms today with two days left in the process, leading the opposition to create “Operation Drugstore” which mimics the way drugstores in Venezuela on the weekends and nights announce which nearby ones are open. I find it absurd to establish a limit like this, but think about it, in the 2000 election people voted both for and against Chavez, but these centers are running out of forms which implies the total number of people that have signed the petition has exceeded the total number of people that voted in that election for or against, but this time around they are all anti-Chavez, asking for his recall. Incredibe!

Picture from Caricuao

November 29, 2003


Picture from Caricuao, in the Western part of Caracas. Caricuao voted for Chavez in the 1998 and 2000 elections.

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