Archive for December, 2004

Happy New Year to all!

December 31, 2004


I have made a lot of friends via this blog and thanks to this blog. I know many of you just read without commenting, so we may not know all of you. But this greeting is to all of you. I hope that the disagreements we may have are just part of the process of creating a better country. 2004 was not all I wished for Venezuela. I do hope that in 2005 we can have less confrontation and more happiness than we have had this year. I do wish the best for everyone in 2005 and that we may all live in peace and prosper together. Happy New Year to all of you and thank you for reading me!

Common sene from Portuguesa’s Governor

December 31, 2004

The Chavista Governor of Portuguesa state gets my vote for her statements today on what has been happening with land in other states. She acknowledges that Governors have no authority over lands and that responsibility falls on the National Institute for Land. (INTI). She comes out all in favor of private property and calls for respect for those that work it and make it produce.  Definitely a voice of reason within this mess.


Let’s see if she is criticized by her peers in the days to come. She shows too much common sense.

Common sene from Portuguesa’s Governor

December 31, 2004

The Chavista Governor of Portuguesa state gets my vote for her statements today on what has been happening with land in other states. She acknowledges that Governors have no authority over lands and that responsibility falls on the National Institute for Land. (INTI). She comes out all in favor of private property and calls for respect for those that work it and make it produce.  Definitely a voice of reason within this mess.


Let’s see if she is criticized by her peers in the days to come. She shows too much common sense.

Venezuela and Open Source: A Paso de Vencedores

December 30, 2004

8/31/2002 My blog was less than one month old two and a half years ago when I wrote for the first time on Venezuela and Linux, due to an article which appeared in Linux Today entitled Venezuela’s Government shifts to open source software. The article generated a big discussion in Slashdot, most of which was useless as most writers have no idea how inefficient the Venezuelan Government is.


9/01/2002 A scandal broke out because it turned out that two of the three “advisors” to the Minister of Planning happened to have very strong ties to Linux commercial efforts. It was that and not some Microsoft plot that stopped that effort.


 


9/29/2004 Right after Venezuela spent close to US$ 400 million buying voting machines with embedded Windows and fingerprint machines, which are also Windows based, a new effort was announced by the President himself, promising “obligatory” open software. Officials spoke about “national scientific independence” which must be something equivalent to “secure embedded Windows” in the voting machines, coming from the Government that killed the most important scientific institution and project in the country’s history. The President also announced that day that he would open 343 “infocenters” by tomorrow. Oh well! Another deadline is past!


 


12/30/04 And thus we arrive at today, when finally the decree is in and once again the Slashdot nest is stirred with an article entitled Venezuela Moves Further Towards Open Source. Well, it turns out it is not “further”, it actually “less towards” Open Source than before.  The previous decrees were never actually published or implemented and someone had the presence of mind not to make it obligatory, but to issue a decree to have all public institutions present their plans towards Open Source implementation and they all have no more than 24 months to adapt themselves to the decree. I will remind you of this on 12/30/2006.


 


Now, I think that if they really want to do this, rather than spend the money in making the Bolivarian Computer (COMPUBOL), the Ministry spend money giving out grants to software developers who use open source and training people jointly with Universities as the Government will need hundreds of IT people trained in Linux/Tools and whatever.


 


In the meantime, it is hard to imagine underfunded institutions like the Ministry of Health or many others, devoting significant resources to this project. You need a carrot and a stick to drive a project like this and I just don’t see it. They should have used it in the electoral machines, or the fingerprint grabbing machines, or the new system for National ID cards, all Windows absed and huge investments by the Government in the last two years. And they didn’t. In fact, today is the two year and four month anniversary of the first such announcement and all we have so far is only the decree. What were they doing? As Chavez says this revolution moves “A paso de vencedores” (At the pace of winners)

Illegal land grab by the puppets continues

December 29, 2004

Many thought there would at least be political calm after Chavez’ victory in the recall vote and the regional elections. No such luck, that is simply not the style. Chavez thrives on conflict, on pushing people to see how far he may go. When the Governor of Cojedes decreed the intervention of some farms in that state, many thought it was another footnote in the revolution, something even reasonable. I didn’t. That is simply not the style, Chavez was in China when this happened, but few of these Governors act alone or even have a mind of their own, they are puppets who only follow orders.


All of this was proven by the press conference given yesterday by the Governor of Cojedes Yanez Rangel (I have problems writing his first name: Johnny) and by the decree by Monagas Governor Briceńo yesterday.


 


The press conference was an exercise in intellectual inconsistency with the Governor saying first that there is a legal limbo which led him to issue the now infamous decrees, which he followed by saying that social justice can not be sacrificed in the name of legal formalities. As if this was not enough, he then said: “we don’t want to run over anyone, we are not expropriating, we are appealing to intervention which implies the use of the force we have to resolve the situation”. So, we clarify the law issuing decrees, but the law is irrelevant and we have force to intervene. I see, very clear puppet Johnny, very clear.


 


As if to prove my point, Johnny then proceeded to say that Chavez approved the intervention directly from Beijing and the Governor received a few calls from the President “on this subject matter” while holding the press conference, making it very clear who was pulling the puppet’s strings. What’s next, a ventriloquist so that Chavez can speak for the Governor?


 


The Governor also said the decree had already had an effect since the owners of Hato Pińero had offered to give the Governor 18,000 Hectares to improve the state. This was later told differently by the owners of that farm, who said that they had offered 10,000 Hectares from their land in order to help solve the problem. For those of you who may not know, Hato Pińero is 140,000 acre private nature preserve created decades ago. The Branger family raises cattle and hosts small groups for bird watching and animal watching in the farm. (You can read what US newspapers say about it here). Hunting is not allowed in Hato Pińero and there is a biological station within the farm. Sounds to me like they should be given land, rather than take it away.


 


Yesterday, the Governor of Monagas state Jose Gregorio Briceńo issued his own decree intervening 50,000 hectares of unused land turning that state into “the second state that follows the orientations of President Hugo Chávez” 


 


Thus, these Governors invoke the laws while decree illegal interventions, while recognizing they have no legal jurisdiction under the Land Bill to do what they are doing, but social imperatives and their puppet master force them to do it. What’s next in the anarchy of this empty revolution?

Illegal land grab by the puppets continues

December 29, 2004

Many thought there would at least be political calm after Chavez’ victory in the recall vote and the regional elections. No such luck, that is simply not the style. Chavez thrives on conflict, on pushing people to see how far he may go. When the Governor of Cojedes decreed the intervention of some farms in that state, many thought it was another footnote in the revolution, something even reasonable. I didn’t. That is simply not the style, Chavez was in China when this happened, but few of these Governors act alone or even have a mind of their own, they are puppets who only follow orders.


All of this was proven by the press conference given yesterday by the Governor of Cojedes Yanez Rangel (I have problems writing his first name: Johnny) and by the decree by Monagas Governor Briceńo yesterday.


 


The press conference was an exercise in intellectual inconsistency with the Governor saying first that there is a legal limbo which led him to issue the now infamous decrees, which he followed by saying that social justice can not be sacrificed in the name of legal formalities. As if this was not enough, he then said: “we don’t want to run over anyone, we are not expropriating, we are appealing to intervention which implies the use of the force we have to resolve the situation”. So, we clarify the law issuing decrees, but the law is irrelevant and we have force to intervene. I see, very clear puppet Johnny, very clear.


 


As if to prove my point, Johnny then proceeded to say that Chavez approved the intervention directly from Beijing and the Governor received a few calls from the President “on this subject matter” while holding the press conference, making it very clear who was pulling the puppet’s strings. What’s next, a ventriloquist so that Chavez can speak for the Governor?


 


The Governor also said the decree had already had an effect since the owners of Hato Pińero had offered to give the Governor 18,000 Hectares to improve the state. This was later told differently by the owners of that farm, who said that they had offered 10,000 Hectares from their land in order to help solve the problem. For those of you who may not know, Hato Pińero is 140,000 acre private nature preserve created decades ago. The Branger family raises cattle and hosts small groups for bird watching and animal watching in the farm. (You can read what US newspapers say about it here). Hunting is not allowed in Hato Pińero and there is a biological station within the farm. Sounds to me like they should be given land, rather than take it away.


 


Yesterday, the Governor of Monagas state Jose Gregorio Briceńo issued his own decree intervening 50,000 hectares of unused land turning that state into “the second state that follows the orientations of President Hugo Chávez” 


 


Thus, these Governors invoke the laws while decree illegal interventions, while recognizing they have no legal jurisdiction under the Land Bill to do what they are doing, but social imperatives and their puppet master force them to do it. What’s next in the anarchy of this empty revolution?

Illegal land grab by the puppets continues

December 29, 2004

Many thought there would at least be political calm after Chavez’ victory in the recall vote and the regional elections. No such luck, that is simply not the style. Chavez thrives on conflict, on pushing people to see how far he may go. When the Governor of Cojedes decreed the intervention of some farms in that state, many thought it was another footnote in the revolution, something even reasonable. I didn’t. That is simply not the style, Chavez was in China when this happened, but few of these Governors act alone or even have a mind of their own, they are puppets who only follow orders.


All of this was proven by the press conference given yesterday by the Governor of Cojedes Yanez Rangel (I have problems writing his first name: Johnny) and by the decree by Monagas Governor Briceńo yesterday.


 


The press conference was an exercise in intellectual inconsistency with the Governor saying first that there is a legal limbo which led him to issue the now infamous decrees, which he followed by saying that social justice can not be sacrificed in the name of legal formalities. As if this was not enough, he then said: “we don’t want to run over anyone, we are not expropriating, we are appealing to intervention which implies the use of the force we have to resolve the situation”. So, we clarify the law issuing decrees, but the law is irrelevant and we have force to intervene. I see, very clear puppet Johnny, very clear.


 


As if to prove my point, Johnny then proceeded to say that Chavez approved the intervention directly from Beijing and the Governor received a few calls from the President “on this subject matter” while holding the press conference, making it very clear who was pulling the puppet’s strings. What’s next, a ventriloquist so that Chavez can speak for the Governor?


 


The Governor also said the decree had already had an effect since the owners of Hato Pińero had offered to give the Governor 18,000 Hectares to improve the state. This was later told differently by the owners of that farm, who said that they had offered 10,000 Hectares from their land in order to help solve the problem. For those of you who may not know, Hato Pińero is 140,000 acre private nature preserve created decades ago. The Branger family raises cattle and hosts small groups for bird watching and animal watching in the farm. (You can read what US newspapers say about it here). Hunting is not allowed in Hato Pińero and there is a biological station within the farm. Sounds to me like they should be given land, rather than take it away.


 


Yesterday, the Governor of Monagas state Jose Gregorio Briceńo issued his own decree intervening 50,000 hectares of unused land turning that state into “the second state that follows the orientations of President Hugo Chávez” 


 


Thus, these Governors invoke the laws while decree illegal interventions, while recognizing they have no legal jurisdiction under the Land Bill to do what they are doing, but social imperatives and their puppet master force them to do it. What’s next in the anarchy of this empty revolution?

More movies and videos of the Tsunami wave disaster

December 29, 2004

More movies and videos of the scary Tsunami waves  here and here. In this link you can find a horrific video from a home in Indoensia. Animation of the tsunami wave can be found here. And here you can find more than a dozen videos of the tsunami wave and its afftereffcts. I am just in awe of this disaster, not much I can say, pictures and videos simply tell the whole story better than words.

More movies and videos of the Tsunami wave disaster

December 29, 2004

More movies and videos of the scary Tsunami waves  here and here. In this link you can find a horrific video from a home in Indoensia. Animation of the tsunami wave can be found here. And here you can find more than a dozen videos of the tsunami wave and its afftereffcts. I am just in awe of this disaster, not much I can say, pictures and videos simply tell the whole story better than words.

Amazing video of tsunami wave

December 27, 2004

This video of the tsunami wave in Thailand is pretty amazing. Never underestimate the forces of nature. Imagine, beaches and towns 3,000 miles away from the epicenter were hit. Caracas is only 1,500 miles from Miami.

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