Archive for November 28th, 2004

Two new blooms

November 28, 2004



The first three pictures are of a Cyrropetalum Elizabeth Ann. The four flowers are five to six inches long. I ahd a hard time taking the picture as different flowers would reflect differently. Still not happy with the result. The second picture on the top right, shows a detail of the upper part of the flowers. The third picture, bottom left, shows one flower up close. The pinkish area in the middle sort of flotas and swings up and down. A true beauty. Bottom right, a Venezuelan species Cattleya Lueademaniana Clint McCade x Raga, which I got from Armando Mantellini.

Spectacular Lapiris plant

November 28, 2004



Spectacular specimen plant of species Lapiris Viridifolia at an orchid exhibit.


 

How we are perceived

November 28, 2004

From cartoonist Mingote in Madris’ ABC:



If more Venezuelan Caudillos keep coming here, you and I are going to be out of a job.


(Note: I have added some orchid pictures today in that section, needed something fresh to relax a little)

Miami Herald expresses similar concerns about Venezuela

November 28, 2004

From today’s Miami Herald (Thanks M.), concerns similar to hat I expressed earlier today


Venezuela edges closer to political precipice


 


Under President Hugo Chávez, the rule of law in Venezuela has been deteriorating steadily — some would say precipitously — for a long time. Two recent events have made matters much worse. The Chávez-controlled Congress last week approved a ”media reform” bill that imposes stiff censorship on one of the few remaining independent institutions in the country. More urgently, the assassination of prosecutor Danilo Anderson 10 days ago has set off a series of arrests and at least two police killings of ”suspects” under circumstances that are far from clear.


 


Political killing


 


Mr. Anderson was said to be investigating some 400 opposition leaders and businessmen who supported a 2002 coup that briefly ousted President Chávez from power. There is ample reason to believe his killing was politically motivated. His killers should be arrested and brought to justice as quickly as possible. But surely it is self-evident that the investigation must also be transparent and free of self-serving political manipulation — which so far hasn’t been the case.


In one of the government’s first official statements, Information Minister Andrés Izarra blamed the killing on Venezuelan ”terrorists” training in South Florida with anti-Castro Cuban exiles, but offered no evidence for this charge. The government thus placed the murder in a self-serving political framework.


In the last few days, moreover, suspects have been killed in shootouts with the police, arrests have been made and supposed evidence — weapons and explosives — has been seized even though there’s no sign that arrest or search warrants were issued.


Mr. Chávez’s police may be on the right track, but it’s necessary to show that the Anderson assassination isn’t being used to justify officially sanctioned violence. Unless the case is resolved in a timely and credible manner, it could produce deeper divisions and more political tumult.


 


Media gag


 


It is precisely because these are such perilous times in Venezuela that the nation needs a free and independent news media to report on events.


Unfortunately, the Chávez-inspired ”gag law” guarantees freedom of expression but does just the opposite.


Among other provisions, broadcasters would be liable for opinions expressed on their programs. They could be fined for ”messages that justify violence or aggression,” inciting lawless activity, impeding law enforcement or disrupting ”public order.” Critics complain that the law is so vague in parts that anything could be construed as a crime.


Under President Chávez, Venezuela has been on the brink of chaos for years. Given his recent victory in a referendum, it’s up to him to ensure that the latest developments do not push the country over the precipice.

Patricia Poleo on the Anderson case

November 28, 2004

Patricia Poleo is a Venezuelan investigative reporter. She has been wrong, but she has also been right a lot, she has very good sources. There is a long interview with her in today’s El Nacional (by subscription only) on the Anderson murder. She has always had good police sources and the Government is blaming the police.


She also has shown to have good connections to this case. Three years ago, she won the Principe de Asturias prize in Spain for her investigative reporting on the Montesinos case. For months she insisted Montesinos, Fujimori’s former Head of Intelligence, was in Venezuela. She even had pictures of the plastic surgery he had here. The Government went as far as holding a press conference to show that the person who had the surgery was a different one. Time proved Poleo right. Montesinos was indeed in Caracas; the Government knew about it and guess who was protecting him? The Guevara brothers, the same ones that are being blamed for Anderson’s death. Here are the highlights of what she said in her interview today.


 


-Anderson was being pressured. He almost had a fight with a Supreme Court Justice. He threatened Minister Chacon saying that if anyone came and denounced the civilian deaths in the Government’s TV station in the 1992 coup, he would prosecute. He also had a case for corruption involving Diosdado Cabello who did not show up at the funeral.


 


-Chavez himself publicly said that he talked to Anderson regularly (What a conflict of interest!). Poleo claims in one of those meetings Chavez asked him to “clean up” the April 11th. case by prosecuting those that went to the presidential Palace as people still had the impression that the Government killed opposition protesters. Anderson also suggested that he would have to touch Lucas Rincon in that case. He had said his responsibility was to save Chavez only.


 


-The Attorney general had told Anderson he had to go to which Anderson said he would do it under ‘economically favorable conditions”. Anderson’s sister said that in this case there was “a lot of money involved”, apparently referring to the blackmail of those that went to the Presidential palace on April 12th. 2002. Anderson himself may not have been involved in this according to Poleo.


 


-Jesse Chacon is leading the investigation in the Anderson case and the intelligence and investigative police are being bypassed. There was a reward of Bs. 250 million being offered for anyone that captured Gonzalez Gonzalez or Felipe Rodríguez. Dead or alive. Lopez Castillo was confused with them. An informant told her that he heard over the radio cops saying they had seen Gonzalez Gonzalez and were following him.


 


-She questions that if they suspected Lopez Castillo why follow him? Why not go directly to his house? Se says the cop killed when Lopez Castillo was shot was killed by his partner’s bullet and ballistic tests confirm it. She also says Lopez Castillo’s body was held in custody to manipulate the evidence in the body.

Patricia Poleo on the Anderson case

November 28, 2004

Patricia Poleo is a Venezuelan investigative reporter. She has been wrong, but she has also been right a lot, she has very good sources. There is a long interview with her in today’s El Nacional (by subscription only) on the Anderson murder. She has always had good police sources and the Government is blaming the police.


She also has shown to have good connections to this case. Three years ago, she won the Principe de Asturias prize in Spain for her investigative reporting on the Montesinos case. For months she insisted Montesinos, Fujimori’s former Head of Intelligence, was in Venezuela. She even had pictures of the plastic surgery he had here. The Government went as far as holding a press conference to show that the person who had the surgery was a different one. Time proved Poleo right. Montesinos was indeed in Caracas; the Government knew about it and guess who was protecting him? The Guevara brothers, the same ones that are being blamed for Anderson’s death. Here are the highlights of what she said in her interview today.


 


-Anderson was being pressured. He almost had a fight with a Supreme Court Justice. He threatened Minister Chacon saying that if anyone came and denounced the civilian deaths in the Government’s TV station in the 1992 coup, he would prosecute. He also had a case for corruption involving Diosdado Cabello who did not show up at the funeral.


 


-Chavez himself publicly said that he talked to Anderson regularly (What a conflict of interest!). Poleo claims in one of those meetings Chavez asked him to “clean up” the April 11th. case by prosecuting those that went to the presidential Palace as people still had the impression that the Government killed opposition protesters. Anderson also suggested that he would have to touch Lucas Rincon in that case. He had said his responsibility was to save Chavez only.


 


-The Attorney general had told Anderson he had to go to which Anderson said he would do it under ‘economically favorable conditions”. Anderson’s sister said that in this case there was “a lot of money involved”, apparently referring to the blackmail of those that went to the Presidential palace on April 12th. 2002. Anderson himself may not have been involved in this according to Poleo.


 


-Jesse Chacon is leading the investigation in the Anderson case and the intelligence and investigative police are being bypassed. There was a reward of Bs. 250 million being offered for anyone that captured Gonzalez Gonzalez or Felipe Rodríguez. Dead or alive. Lopez Castillo was confused with them. An informant told her that he heard over the radio cops saying they had seen Gonzalez Gonzalez and were following him.


 


-She questions that if they suspected Lopez Castillo why follow him? Why not go directly to his house? Se says the cop killed when Lopez Castillo was shot was killed by his partner’s bullet and ballistic tests confirm it. She also says Lopez Castillo’s body was held in custody to manipulate the evidence in the body.

Patricia Poleo on the Anderson case

November 28, 2004

Patricia Poleo is a Venezuelan investigative reporter. She has been wrong, but she has also been right a lot, she has very good sources. There is a long interview with her in today’s El Nacional (by subscription only) on the Anderson murder. She has always had good police sources and the Government is blaming the police.


She also has shown to have good connections to this case. Three years ago, she won the Principe de Asturias prize in Spain for her investigative reporting on the Montesinos case. For months she insisted Montesinos, Fujimori’s former Head of Intelligence, was in Venezuela. She even had pictures of the plastic surgery he had here. The Government went as far as holding a press conference to show that the person who had the surgery was a different one. Time proved Poleo right. Montesinos was indeed in Caracas; the Government knew about it and guess who was protecting him? The Guevara brothers, the same ones that are being blamed for Anderson’s death. Here are the highlights of what she said in her interview today.


 


-Anderson was being pressured. He almost had a fight with a Supreme Court Justice. He threatened Minister Chacon saying that if anyone came and denounced the civilian deaths in the Government’s TV station in the 1992 coup, he would prosecute. He also had a case for corruption involving Diosdado Cabello who did not show up at the funeral.


 


-Chavez himself publicly said that he talked to Anderson regularly (What a conflict of interest!). Poleo claims in one of those meetings Chavez asked him to “clean up” the April 11th. case by prosecuting those that went to the presidential Palace as people still had the impression that the Government killed opposition protesters. Anderson also suggested that he would have to touch Lucas Rincon in that case. He had said his responsibility was to save Chavez only.


 


-The Attorney general had told Anderson he had to go to which Anderson said he would do it under ‘economically favorable conditions”. Anderson’s sister said that in this case there was “a lot of money involved”, apparently referring to the blackmail of those that went to the Presidential palace on April 12th. 2002. Anderson himself may not have been involved in this according to Poleo.


 


-Jesse Chacon is leading the investigation in the Anderson case and the intelligence and investigative police are being bypassed. There was a reward of Bs. 250 million being offered for anyone that captured Gonzalez Gonzalez or Felipe Rodríguez. Dead or alive. Lopez Castillo was confused with them. An informant told her that he heard over the radio cops saying they had seen Gonzalez Gonzalez and were following him.


 


-She questions that if they suspected Lopez Castillo why follow him? Why not go directly to his house? Se says the cop killed when Lopez Castillo was shot was killed by his partner’s bullet and ballistic tests confirm it. She also says Lopez Castillo’s body was held in custody to manipulate the evidence in the body.

Who was Danilo Anderson?

November 28, 2004

I have been trying to answer that question in the last few days in trying to understand the case of the murdered prosecutor. There are three different pictures of him which are discordant. First there is the Danilo Anderson of the interview in Tal Cual in May of this year., a struggling middle class prosecutor with an activist past, defending legality above all. Then, there is the loyal member of Chávez MVR that the Government tried to sell us during his funeral and burial. Finally, there is the communist revolutionary who had lots of enemies within Chavez’ MVR, as described by his close friend City councilman Carlos Herrera.


In the Tal Cual interview Anderson claimed to be a loyal civil servant who just followed the law. He did not renounce his activist past as a “hooded” activist at Central University. Who considered an aberration to fire people for signing against Chávez. Who shopped in middle class supermarkets and not in the Government sponsored ones. Who loved shopping center Sambil, used Tommy Hilfiger and who liked to wear brand names and live well. Who did not want to be poor again. Curiously, he said his major extravagance was his Toyota, but a different one from the one in which he was killed. Eerily enough, in that interview he quoted:” As for you death, and your amorphous destructive arm, don’t believe you can scare me”.


 


Councilman Herrera, who was Anderson’s best friend, gives a different picture. He calls Anderson a communist revolutionary who went after Chavistas and opposition alike. Who was being pressured by the Vice-President to drop some names from his list. Who had his won small arsenal in his car, carrying two guns, a machine gun and a grenade. Who only cared about Justice.


 


The Government on the other hand projected the image of Anderson s a loyal member of Chavze MVR, which he denied. As a martyr, loyal only to the revolution, despite the fact that he went after many of its leaders. As a great collaborator, despite the fact that he was a loner.


 


Finally, there is the clear impression that Anderson was extremely loyal to Attorney general Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez. He was assigned the cases and he went after them with all he had. In contrast to the other prosecutors used politically he paid little attention to detail, manipulating the system and the evidence, charging people for crimes that are not even penalized in the penal code in Venezuela. Following orders in detail in important cases and small cases, such as the stolen car in which an opposition figure was traveling earlier this year. He was omnipresent in political cases. He enjoyed the limelight, giving too many interviews for a prosecutor who should work with discretion.


 


I guess we will never know which was the true Anderson, but the last paragraph is the one closest to my perception of him.

Who was Danilo Anderson?

November 28, 2004

I have been trying to answer that question in the last few days in trying to understand the case of the murdered prosecutor. There are three different pictures of him which are discordant. First there is the Danilo Anderson of the interview in Tal Cual in May of this year., a struggling middle class prosecutor with an activist past, defending legality above all. Then, there is the loyal member of Chávez MVR that the Government tried to sell us during his funeral and burial. Finally, there is the communist revolutionary who had lots of enemies within Chavez’ MVR, as described by his close friend City councilman Carlos Herrera.


In the Tal Cual interview Anderson claimed to be a loyal civil servant who just followed the law. He did not renounce his activist past as a “hooded” activist at Central University. Who considered an aberration to fire people for signing against Chávez. Who shopped in middle class supermarkets and not in the Government sponsored ones. Who loved shopping center Sambil, used Tommy Hilfiger and who liked to wear brand names and live well. Who did not want to be poor again. Curiously, he said his major extravagance was his Toyota, but a different one from the one in which he was killed. Eerily enough, in that interview he quoted:” As for you death, and your amorphous destructive arm, don’t believe you can scare me”.


 


Councilman Herrera, who was Anderson’s best friend, gives a different picture. He calls Anderson a communist revolutionary who went after Chavistas and opposition alike. Who was being pressured by the Vice-President to drop some names from his list. Who had his won small arsenal in his car, carrying two guns, a machine gun and a grenade. Who only cared about Justice.


 


The Government on the other hand projected the image of Anderson s a loyal member of Chavze MVR, which he denied. As a martyr, loyal only to the revolution, despite the fact that he went after many of its leaders. As a great collaborator, despite the fact that he was a loner.


 


Finally, there is the clear impression that Anderson was extremely loyal to Attorney general Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez. He was assigned the cases and he went after them with all he had. In contrast to the other prosecutors used politically he paid little attention to detail, manipulating the system and the evidence, charging people for crimes that are not even penalized in the penal code in Venezuela. Following orders in detail in important cases and small cases, such as the stolen car in which an opposition figure was traveling earlier this year. He was omnipresent in political cases. He enjoyed the limelight, giving too many interviews for a prosecutor who should work with discretion.


 


I guess we will never know which was the true Anderson, but the last paragraph is the one closest to my perception of him.

Who was Danilo Anderson?

November 28, 2004

I have been trying to answer that question in the last few days in trying to understand the case of the murdered prosecutor. There are three different pictures of him which are discordant. First there is the Danilo Anderson of the interview in Tal Cual in May of this year., a struggling middle class prosecutor with an activist past, defending legality above all. Then, there is the loyal member of Chávez MVR that the Government tried to sell us during his funeral and burial. Finally, there is the communist revolutionary who had lots of enemies within Chavez’ MVR, as described by his close friend City councilman Carlos Herrera.


In the Tal Cual interview Anderson claimed to be a loyal civil servant who just followed the law. He did not renounce his activist past as a “hooded” activist at Central University. Who considered an aberration to fire people for signing against Chávez. Who shopped in middle class supermarkets and not in the Government sponsored ones. Who loved shopping center Sambil, used Tommy Hilfiger and who liked to wear brand names and live well. Who did not want to be poor again. Curiously, he said his major extravagance was his Toyota, but a different one from the one in which he was killed. Eerily enough, in that interview he quoted:” As for you death, and your amorphous destructive arm, don’t believe you can scare me”.


 


Councilman Herrera, who was Anderson’s best friend, gives a different picture. He calls Anderson a communist revolutionary who went after Chavistas and opposition alike. Who was being pressured by the Vice-President to drop some names from his list. Who had his won small arsenal in his car, carrying two guns, a machine gun and a grenade. Who only cared about Justice.


 


The Government on the other hand projected the image of Anderson s a loyal member of Chavze MVR, which he denied. As a martyr, loyal only to the revolution, despite the fact that he went after many of its leaders. As a great collaborator, despite the fact that he was a loner.


 


Finally, there is the clear impression that Anderson was extremely loyal to Attorney general Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez. He was assigned the cases and he went after them with all he had. In contrast to the other prosecutors used politically he paid little attention to detail, manipulating the system and the evidence, charging people for crimes that are not even penalized in the penal code in Venezuela. Following orders in detail in important cases and small cases, such as the stolen car in which an opposition figure was traveling earlier this year. He was omnipresent in political cases. He enjoyed the limelight, giving too many interviews for a prosecutor who should work with discretion.


 


I guess we will never know which was the true Anderson, but the last paragraph is the one closest to my perception of him.

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