Archive for March 22nd, 2004

And you thought you were confused

March 22, 2004

11:30 AM The Minister of Health and icon for freedom of speech reiterates that “people that participated in the signing of the petition can not be compatible with Government policies and thus can not work for public institutions”.


That’s fairly clear, no? Stalin is alive in Venezuela in the form of a mediocre and sad character named Roger Capella whose medical specialty is removing varicose veins.


 


12:18 AM The Minister reappears. He says: “what I said was an error, I should not have responded in those terms. I never thought my statements would become a public matter”. He states that unjustified firings should not take place because there should not be political retaliations on the part of the Government.


 


Ummm. You say something outrageous, you are the Minister of Health who just fired fourteen medical doctors and you don’t expect your statements to be a public matter. Stalin would have been very proud of you for coming up with this logic.


 


1:59 PM That icon of the truth and impartiality who encouraged people to go and signed falsely in the petition drive by the opposition, our own and dear Minister of Labor Maria Cristina Iglesias says :” Not one worker of the civil service has been the subject of pressure or fired for participating in the recall referendum”


 


As the laughs of the reporters turn into convulsions, Ms. Iglesias says she has not heard the statements by Roger the “Healthy Democrat” and proceeds to show all of the cases her Ministry has received denouncing that workers were pressured into signing. (The others she simply does not accept). We wonder is she has not heard them, why is she clarifying them?


 


2:16 PM The Executive Secretary of the Confederation of Unions says that so far “only” 7600 workers in the public sector have been fired. This includes the 14 Doctors denounced on Friday.


 


I am confused, you should be too. Maria Cristina told us minutes ago that not one person had been fired and now these guys say it is 7600. Is this a small statistical discrepancy like in the forms with the same calligraphy?


 


Just when I have tried digesting these news I read that the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court was fired with a vote of three to two. The reason? Justice Martini told the Press Secretary that he would not answer questions. The Press Secretary told the reporters this. Another Justice wondered why no questions were allowed, so he asked that the Press Secretary be fired.


 


Are you confused? So am I, and I am the one trying to explain to everyone what’s going in this bizarre country!

And you thought you were confused

March 22, 2004

11:30 AM The Minister of Health and icon for freedom of speech reiterates that “people that participated in the signing of the petition can not be compatible with Government policies and thus can not work for public institutions”.


That’s fairly clear, no? Stalin is alive in Venezuela in the form of a mediocre and sad character named Roger Capella whose medical specialty is removing varicose veins.


 


12:18 AM The Minister reappears. He says: “what I said was an error, I should not have responded in those terms. I never thought my statements would become a public matter”. He states that unjustified firings should not take place because there should not be political retaliations on the part of the Government.


 


Ummm. You say something outrageous, you are the Minister of Health who just fired fourteen medical doctors and you don’t expect your statements to be a public matter. Stalin would have been very proud of you for coming up with this logic.


 


1:59 PM That icon of the truth and impartiality who encouraged people to go and signed falsely in the petition drive by the opposition, our own and dear Minister of Labor Maria Cristina Iglesias says :” Not one worker of the civil service has been the subject of pressure or fired for participating in the recall referendum”


 


As the laughs of the reporters turn into convulsions, Ms. Iglesias says she has not heard the statements by Roger the “Healthy Democrat” and proceeds to show all of the cases her Ministry has received denouncing that workers were pressured into signing. (The others she simply does not accept). We wonder is she has not heard them, why is she clarifying them?


 


2:16 PM The Executive Secretary of the Confederation of Unions says that so far “only” 7600 workers in the public sector have been fired. This includes the 14 Doctors denounced on Friday.


 


I am confused, you should be too. Maria Cristina told us minutes ago that not one person had been fired and now these guys say it is 7600. Is this a small statistical discrepancy like in the forms with the same calligraphy?


 


Just when I have tried digesting these news I read that the Press Secretary of the Supreme Court was fired with a vote of three to two. The reason? Justice Martini told the Press Secretary that he would not answer questions. The Press Secretary told the reporters this. Another Justice wondered why no questions were allowed, so he asked that the Press Secretary be fired.


 


Are you confused? So am I, and I am the one trying to explain to everyone what’s going in this bizarre country!

The faces of the pretty revolution

March 22, 2004


The man on the right is Jose Gregorio Garcia. Unknown and modest five years ago except in his party MAS, he has now become a favorite for big road construction projects. Recently he was awarded US$ 30 million in contracts in the effort by the Chavez administration to “distribute” the wealth. Some even say he was given dollars at the official rate with some of this money. Oh! I forgot! The man on the left is Ismael Garcia, his brother, Deputy of the National Assembly and Head of of Chavez “Comando Ayacucho”. The faces of the pretty revolution!

Why the opposition rejects Chavez by Alexandra Beech

March 22, 2004

Powerful words by Alexandra Beech of Veninvestor describing the presentation by former Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN Milos Alcalay in her daily review of March 12th. In particular she was offended by “these Stepford Children who share New York with me” referring to the pro-Chavez students, secretaries and activists that attempted to make Alcalay look bad by asking what he had done when previous human rights abuses had taken place. And she was shocked with the Consulate Secretary that calle a priest attending the event a “white collar thief”.


But the best part is when Alexandra gives this very brief, but poignant description about why the opposition rejects Chavez:


 


The opposition rejects Chavez because he represents everything that is wrong with the country, and nothing that is right. He feeds the poor with food and hope to maintain their support long enough to remain in power. He turns Venezuelans against their fellow Venezuelans. He keeps Venezuela split, instead of united. He distorts the concept of democracy so that his opponents are coup plotters instead of citizens who want to exercise their freedom to sign him out of power. In his paranoid state, every action is a coup, every opponent an enemy to be crushed. Steeped in narcissism, he thinks Venezuela is about him rather than of the millions of Venezuelans who are Venezuela.  He uses Castro to control his military and indoctrinate his followers, and allows himself to be used by Castro in support of his “revolution”. A revolution alright, but a revolution that has revolutionized how quickly a country can become extremely poor, desperate, and miserable.  His current hero is Mugabe, hardly an example of someone who values freedom and democracy. In fact, the truest racist of all.


 


The opposition rejects Chavez because he continues to impose himself on the country long after his appointment with history ended. But by blocking the referendum through manipulation and repression, he is finally acknowledging that he is a dictator with no need for a pluralistic, democratic, and free-thinking society. Venezuelans oppose him because they yearn for a free and democratic society, not the structures of the past, but not this volatile state either.

Why the opposition rejects Chavez by Alexandra Beech

March 22, 2004

Powerful words by Alexandra Beech of Veninvestor describing the presentation by former Venezuelan Ambassador to the UN Milos Alcalay in her daily review of March 12th. In particular she was offended by “these Stepford Children who share New York with me” referring to the pro-Chavez students, secretaries and activists that attempted to make Alcalay look bad by asking what he had done when previous human rights abuses had taken place. And she was shocked with the Consulate Secretary that calle a priest attending the event a “white collar thief”.


But the best part is when Alexandra gives this very brief, but poignant description about why the opposition rejects Chavez:


 


The opposition rejects Chavez because he represents everything that is wrong with the country, and nothing that is right. He feeds the poor with food and hope to maintain their support long enough to remain in power. He turns Venezuelans against their fellow Venezuelans. He keeps Venezuela split, instead of united. He distorts the concept of democracy so that his opponents are coup plotters instead of citizens who want to exercise their freedom to sign him out of power. In his paranoid state, every action is a coup, every opponent an enemy to be crushed. Steeped in narcissism, he thinks Venezuela is about him rather than of the millions of Venezuelans who are Venezuela.  He uses Castro to control his military and indoctrinate his followers, and allows himself to be used by Castro in support of his “revolution”. A revolution alright, but a revolution that has revolutionized how quickly a country can become extremely poor, desperate, and miserable.  His current hero is Mugabe, hardly an example of someone who values freedom and democracy. In fact, the truest racist of all.


 


The opposition rejects Chavez because he continues to impose himself on the country long after his appointment with history ended. But by blocking the referendum through manipulation and repression, he is finally acknowledging that he is a dictator with no need for a pluralistic, democratic, and free-thinking society. Venezuelans oppose him because they yearn for a free and democratic society, not the structures of the past, but not this volatile state either.

The accomplices of the dictatorship by Nicolas Bianco

March 22, 2004

One of the sad aspects of the “Chavez revolution” is the split it has created in a society which had few things that divided it. The divisions go beyond social strata, affecting families in a country where the family concept is too important.  Most keep it inside and long for the day that some form of reconciliation may take place, others choose to express it now and do what they think is morally right. I know Nicolas Bianco, the author of the following note which appeared today in El Nacional page A-2 (by subscription only), it must be really hard to decide you have to come out and be that tough on your own sibling. It must also feel really good to speak up:


The accomplices of the dictatorship by Nicolas Bianco


 


Venezuela and its civil society suffer today the rigors of the “ferocious phase” of the military dictatorship. With total impunity, the high military command conveniently distributed over the whole territory of the country and the “civil commands” entrenched in the Ministries, in the public institutions of all types, in the “powers of the state”, in the financial axis, in the foreign service, and as if this was not enough, backed in the streets by the circles of terror, apply without pause the tools of crime, theft, dismantling and treason.


 


These acts, of unquestionable dictatorial ancestry, generated with precision in “laboratories of systematic strategies” constitute a novel format which differentiates it from the classical dictatorships that produced so much desolation and death during the Twentieth Century in Latin America and the Caribbean. Not only in the spying and in the multiple electronic manipulations, in the endless access to the national treasury, but also in the “management of cynicism and lies” that characterizes these new formats, whose first trial was the regimen virtually directed by the tragic Fujimori-Montesinos duo.


 


Without any doubt, the confrontations and doctrinary dissidences or the imperialistic cohabitations have been left behind. The exploitation of the “patriotic, religious and leftists” speeches and the levels of complicity and accomplices strengthen that mortal armory. What is more recent, is the prevalence of transnational sources of complicity, the levels of which oscillate from the mega banks, to the drug traffickers and to the professional and paid intellectuals.


 


It is also quite painful, at the same time, the process of the accomplices that belongs to your own family or to that of fraternal friendship, and today they are part of a horrendous variance of the “useful idiots” of yesteryear. Blinded by their own hate or thirst for revenge against some executors of the damaging actions of the IVth. Republic, or anesthetized by the speech of the “savior” of the current regime  who fed the spaces of hope, they now stand like a formidable obstacle in the way of the fight by our courageous civil society.


 


It is quiet clear that civil society will eradicate the current dictatorship and will exile with full decision the pretension of some to “go back to the past” and it will make sure that this will be the case, in the transition Government, as well as in public powers, the universities and the unions. Even sectors like the military one, the private one, and the ecclesiastic one  will have to show a very clear disposition to unconditional cooperation  with the vast majorities of our population that await with anxiety a better destiny.

The accomplices of the dictatorship by Nicolas Bianco

March 22, 2004

One of the sad aspects of the “Chavez revolution” is the split it has created in a society which had few things that divided it. The divisions go beyond social strata, affecting families in a country where the family concept is too important.  Most keep it inside and long for the day that some form of reconciliation may take place, others choose to express it now and do what they think is morally right. I know Nicolas Bianco, the author of the following note which appeared today in El Nacional page A-2 (by subscription only), it must be really hard to decide you have to come out and be that tough on your own sibling. It must also feel really good to speak up:


The accomplices of the dictatorship by Nicolas Bianco


 


Venezuela and its civil society suffer today the rigors of the “ferocious phase” of the military dictatorship. With total impunity, the high military command conveniently distributed over the whole territory of the country and the “civil commands” entrenched in the Ministries, in the public institutions of all types, in the “powers of the state”, in the financial axis, in the foreign service, and as if this was not enough, backed in the streets by the circles of terror, apply without pause the tools of crime, theft, dismantling and treason.


 


These acts, of unquestionable dictatorial ancestry, generated with precision in “laboratories of systematic strategies” constitute a novel format which differentiates it from the classical dictatorships that produced so much desolation and death during the Twentieth Century in Latin America and the Caribbean. Not only in the spying and in the multiple electronic manipulations, in the endless access to the national treasury, but also in the “management of cynicism and lies” that characterizes these new formats, whose first trial was the regimen virtually directed by the tragic Fujimori-Montesinos duo.


 


Without any doubt, the confrontations and doctrinary dissidences or the imperialistic cohabitations have been left behind. The exploitation of the “patriotic, religious and leftists” speeches and the levels of complicity and accomplices strengthen that mortal armory. What is more recent, is the prevalence of transnational sources of complicity, the levels of which oscillate from the mega banks, to the drug traffickers and to the professional and paid intellectuals.


 


It is also quite painful, at the same time, the process of the accomplices that belongs to your own family or to that of fraternal friendship, and today they are part of a horrendous variance of the “useful idiots” of yesteryear. Blinded by their own hate or thirst for revenge against some executors of the damaging actions of the IVth. Republic, or anesthetized by the speech of the “savior” of the current regime  who fed the spaces of hope, they now stand like a formidable obstacle in the way of the fight by our courageous civil society.


 


It is quiet clear that civil society will eradicate the current dictatorship and will exile with full decision the pretension of some to “go back to the past” and it will make sure that this will be the case, in the transition Government, as well as in public powers, the universities and the unions. Even sectors like the military one, the private one, and the ecclesiastic one  will have to show a very clear disposition to unconditional cooperation  with the vast majorities of our population that await with anxiety a better destiny.

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