Archive for November 19th, 2004

Prosecutor Anderson presumed dead by car bomb

November 19, 2004


Last night, I made the post below right before going to bed about an explosion in the car of Prosecutor Danilo Anderson. At the time, I was surprised at the high level Government officers present at the site, but none of them even suggested that there was a body (maybe they did not know). It turns out that there is a body presumed to be that of political prosecutor Anderson, but the remains have yet to be iodentified.


Anderson (above left) was originally an enviromental Prosecutor who began being used for political cases by Prosecutor/Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez. He led all political sensitive case, including the charges hat led to the prison of Capriles Randonsky, Sumate and the more than 200 opposition figures that went to the Presidential Palace in April 2002. He was also the Prosecutor in the Puente El Llaguno case, where the shooters that were seen on live TV were freed and eight policemen remain in jail to this date. Only two days ago, the Venezuelan Supreme Court reprimanded the Prosecutor in the case against Sumate.


One can speculate, but this is a case that needs to be investigated and solved. There can not be impunity if it is a terrorist act. It can not be used as an excuse for even more political prosecution. This presents a severe test to a Government not used to solving cases. It is a dark day for this country. Let us hope that this is not the beginning of even darker times ahead.

Breaking news before I leave

November 19, 2004

-The economy grew 15.8% in the third quarter when compared to the same quarter last year.


-A bomb reportedly exploded in super political prosecutor Danilo Anderson’s car.


-I will be going away to visit a sister for a few days, will update by e-mail till Thangsgiving.

Cabinet musical chairs for a new, new Government

November 19, 2004

The Chavez Cabinet sounds like a game of musical chairs. Here is what is being rumored, announced and suspected:


-The Minister of Health will be replaced by General Baduell’s sister.


 


-The Minister of Finance Tobias Nobrega will be replaced by the Treasurer Captain Carmen Maniglia, who happens to be the wife of the General who is the Commander of the Army. Nobrega will reportedly become President of the Central bank in January.


 


Technically, Nobrega is way better than Maniglia. Reportedly the move was pressed by Minister of Planning Giordani who is no an economist but has his very own economic ideas. Giordani is honest and well meaning but he was in charge of economic policy and it was a disaster as his policies were inconsistent. He also promoted his lifelong dream of the Orinoco-Apure river axis, in which US$ 500 million was spent, but nothing came of it.


 


Nobrega on the other hand, had the technical knowledge to fix short term problems, but never seem to address the many distortions in the economy. Moreover, many transactions were leaked ahead of them or questioned and many profited which led many to question the ethics of his office.


 


-Ali Rodriguez will become the new Foreign Minister. Anything is an improvement over the current one.


 


-Minister of Energy of Mines Ramirez will reportedly become both President of PDVSA and hold his current job. I don’t think anyone is competent enough to hold both jobs at the same time, least of all Ramirez. I think PDVSA should be run as a for profit corporation in order to run it efficiently and provide the highest return for the country. That job alone is a tall enough task for anyone. The Ministry should devote itself to set country wide policy and establish guidelines for PDVSA, no more, no less.


 


As Minister, Ramirez has shown to be too politically involved and doe not appear to have the technical know how needed. His explanations of the reasons for the cutbacks in Orimulsion, increased royalties for heavy oil projects and oil production demonstrate that he does not know enough about oil in my own personal opinion.


 


-Reportedly Minister of education Aristobulo Isturiz will also be replaced. He had been a fixture in the Cabinet ever since he lost the union elections as a candidate for Chavez’ MVR, only six months after publicly stating that Chávez appeared to have smoked an egg roll with his actions and speeches.


 


Personally, I would have named former Minister of Finance Rojas, who is in the Finance Department of PDVSA as Head of that corporation. Nobrega is probably a better choice at the Central Bank that at Finance, but having Giordani and Maniglia in the Planning/Finance axis is very bothersome. Neither has the depth and technical expertise for the jobs. Moreover, Giordani has some very peculiar economic ideas. Baduell’s sister is at least a veteran of the Health Ministry, a career civil servant from even before Chavez came to power.


 


In the end, Chavez’ new, new Government looks the same.

Cabinet musical chairs for a new, new Government

November 19, 2004

The Chavez Cabinet sounds like a game of musical chairs. Here is what is being rumored, announced and suspected:


-The Minister of Health will be replaced by General Baduell’s sister.


 


-The Minister of Finance Tobias Nobrega will be replaced by the Treasurer Captain Carmen Maniglia, who happens to be the wife of the General who is the Commander of the Army. Nobrega will reportedly become President of the Central bank in January.


 


Technically, Nobrega is way better than Maniglia. Reportedly the move was pressed by Minister of Planning Giordani who is no an economist but has his very own economic ideas. Giordani is honest and well meaning but he was in charge of economic policy and it was a disaster as his policies were inconsistent. He also promoted his lifelong dream of the Orinoco-Apure river axis, in which US$ 500 million was spent, but nothing came of it.


 


Nobrega on the other hand, had the technical knowledge to fix short term problems, but never seem to address the many distortions in the economy. Moreover, many transactions were leaked ahead of them or questioned and many profited which led many to question the ethics of his office.


 


-Ali Rodriguez will become the new Foreign Minister. Anything is an improvement over the current one.


 


-Minister of Energy of Mines Ramirez will reportedly become both President of PDVSA and hold his current job. I don’t think anyone is competent enough to hold both jobs at the same time, least of all Ramirez. I think PDVSA should be run as a for profit corporation in order to run it efficiently and provide the highest return for the country. That job alone is a tall enough task for anyone. The Ministry should devote itself to set country wide policy and establish guidelines for PDVSA, no more, no less.


 


As Minister, Ramirez has shown to be too politically involved and doe not appear to have the technical know how needed. His explanations of the reasons for the cutbacks in Orimulsion, increased royalties for heavy oil projects and oil production demonstrate that he does not know enough about oil in my own personal opinion.


 


-Reportedly Minister of education Aristobulo Isturiz will also be replaced. He had been a fixture in the Cabinet ever since he lost the union elections as a candidate for Chavez’ MVR, only six months after publicly stating that Chávez appeared to have smoked an egg roll with his actions and speeches.


 


Personally, I would have named former Minister of Finance Rojas, who is in the Finance Department of PDVSA as Head of that corporation. Nobrega is probably a better choice at the Central Bank that at Finance, but having Giordani and Maniglia in the Planning/Finance axis is very bothersome. Neither has the depth and technical expertise for the jobs. Moreover, Giordani has some very peculiar economic ideas. Baduell’s sister is at least a veteran of the Health Ministry, a career civil servant from even before Chavez came to power.


 


In the end, Chavez’ new, new Government looks the same.

More CNE BS

November 19, 2004

There will be no recall vote on opposition Deputies on Dec. 5th. because according to the CNE Board member Jorge Rodriguez “in this way the will await the decision by the Supreme Court”. I simply don’t believe it, the Court also had a number of cases before the recall vote that it never issued an opinion on and the recall vote was not suspended. In fact, the same CNE Director said repeteadly the recall vote will go on unless the Court ruled otherwise. What is different in this case? The likely reason was more that they probably were not ready for it. I doubt they will now take place this year.

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