Archive for December 3rd, 2004

A heartbreaking tragedy in XXIst. Century Venezuela

December 3, 2004

Moving and heartbreaking interview with the parents of Antonio Castillo which complements the post by Daniel about the article on that subject by Milagros Socorro who carried out the interview.


I felt really saddened by the story of this couple, both of which served their country all their lives and are living such a horrible tragedy after their son was killed.


 


Under the heading: “I don’t cry because my indignation sustains him”, Haydee Castillo tells in very painful words about the nightmare they have been living through ever since their own was shot by the police.


 


“I tell you what I am, I am a mother whose son has been killed, who has been run over in her own home and has been the subject of bad treatment, not necessarily physical ones, but all of those than any human being can imagine. Our rights have been violated and that, added to the death of my son, has produced in me a profound indignation because to my personal sorrow I have to add the fact that on Venezuela, in the midst of the XXIst. Century, these things may happen with impunity”


 


“the only thing that we have been told the people that recognized my son’s body’s that he had been shot 18 times, among them one here (she points to her chin) with residue traces of gun powder. I imagine what happened to my son is the same thing that happened here (in her home) because the people that came here nobody knows who they were, some of them had their heads covered, nor we know to what police organization they belonged to. I still don’t know why my son died”


 


“We learned of our son death after they had been here for half an hour and we had been confined to the living room, they would not allow us to make or receive telephone calls… After half an hour asking questions he said, your son is dead and he is at the morgue.”


 


“Who are we going to ask Justice from?, because a police investigator told me her in my own home: We killed your son like a dog. And the “we killed” means that he and his people are the same ones that are investigating his death. God! What explanation can I expect from those responsible from killing my son? What Justice can we expect?


 


“”I was in the women cell; one of them lent me a dress to lay my head on. It was a horrible cell that the cops shut down every night, without a bathroom. They all tried to help me and kept a respectful silence when I cried a little that night”


 


‘My other two kids (who are abroad) wanted to come immediately. But we forbid them to do it because of what happened to our oldest son, we don’t want to be exposed the other ones to something similar or that they might be detained when they arrive at the airport.”


 


“After they killed my son, what else can they do to me? They are going to kill me? Let them do it. We are not leaving Venezuela. We know we are in danger and the only legal protection we have is you the media”


 


“We have trust in God, we know he is just and forgiving. These crimes without explanation scream in the eyes of God. We firmly believe in divine justice. Human justice may fail, but God’s does not”


 


Too heartbreaking and discouraging to even comment on, it speaks for itself.

A heartbreaking tragedy in XXIst. Century Venezuela

December 3, 2004

Moving and heartbreaking interview with the parents of Antonio Castillo which complements the post by Daniel about the article on that subject by Milagros Socorro who carried out the interview.


I felt really saddened by the story of this couple, both of which served their country all their lives and are living such a horrible tragedy after their son was killed.


 


Under the heading: “I don’t cry because my indignation sustains him”, Haydee Castillo tells in very painful words about the nightmare they have been living through ever since their own was shot by the police.


 


“I tell you what I am, I am a mother whose son has been killed, who has been run over in her own home and has been the subject of bad treatment, not necessarily physical ones, but all of those than any human being can imagine. Our rights have been violated and that, added to the death of my son, has produced in me a profound indignation because to my personal sorrow I have to add the fact that on Venezuela, in the midst of the XXIst. Century, these things may happen with impunity”


 


“the only thing that we have been told the people that recognized my son’s body’s that he had been shot 18 times, among them one here (she points to her chin) with residue traces of gun powder. I imagine what happened to my son is the same thing that happened here (in her home) because the people that came here nobody knows who they were, some of them had their heads covered, nor we know to what police organization they belonged to. I still don’t know why my son died”


 


“We learned of our son death after they had been here for half an hour and we had been confined to the living room, they would not allow us to make or receive telephone calls… After half an hour asking questions he said, your son is dead and he is at the morgue.”


 


“Who are we going to ask Justice from?, because a police investigator told me her in my own home: We killed your son like a dog. And the “we killed” means that he and his people are the same ones that are investigating his death. God! What explanation can I expect from those responsible from killing my son? What Justice can we expect?


 


“”I was in the women cell; one of them lent me a dress to lay my head on. It was a horrible cell that the cops shut down every night, without a bathroom. They all tried to help me and kept a respectful silence when I cried a little that night”


 


‘My other two kids (who are abroad) wanted to come immediately. But we forbid them to do it because of what happened to our oldest son, we don’t want to be exposed the other ones to something similar or that they might be detained when they arrive at the airport.”


 


“After they killed my son, what else can they do to me? They are going to kill me? Let them do it. We are not leaving Venezuela. We know we are in danger and the only legal protection we have is you the media”


 


“We have trust in God, we know he is just and forgiving. These crimes without explanation scream in the eyes of God. We firmly believe in divine justice. Human justice may fail, but God’s does not”


 


Too heartbreaking and discouraging to even comment on, it speaks for itself.

A heartbreaking tragedy in XXIst. Century Venezuela

December 3, 2004

Moving and heartbreaking interview with the parents of Antonio Castillo which complements the post by Daniel about the article on that subject by Milagros Socorro who carried out the interview.


I felt really saddened by the story of this couple, both of which served their country all their lives and are living such a horrible tragedy after their son was killed.


 


Under the heading: “I don’t cry because my indignation sustains him”, Haydee Castillo tells in very painful words about the nightmare they have been living through ever since their own was shot by the police.


 


“I tell you what I am, I am a mother whose son has been killed, who has been run over in her own home and has been the subject of bad treatment, not necessarily physical ones, but all of those than any human being can imagine. Our rights have been violated and that, added to the death of my son, has produced in me a profound indignation because to my personal sorrow I have to add the fact that on Venezuela, in the midst of the XXIst. Century, these things may happen with impunity”


 


“the only thing that we have been told the people that recognized my son’s body’s that he had been shot 18 times, among them one here (she points to her chin) with residue traces of gun powder. I imagine what happened to my son is the same thing that happened here (in her home) because the people that came here nobody knows who they were, some of them had their heads covered, nor we know to what police organization they belonged to. I still don’t know why my son died”


 


“We learned of our son death after they had been here for half an hour and we had been confined to the living room, they would not allow us to make or receive telephone calls… After half an hour asking questions he said, your son is dead and he is at the morgue.”


 


“Who are we going to ask Justice from?, because a police investigator told me her in my own home: We killed your son like a dog. And the “we killed” means that he and his people are the same ones that are investigating his death. God! What explanation can I expect from those responsible from killing my son? What Justice can we expect?


 


“”I was in the women cell; one of them lent me a dress to lay my head on. It was a horrible cell that the cops shut down every night, without a bathroom. They all tried to help me and kept a respectful silence when I cried a little that night”


 


‘My other two kids (who are abroad) wanted to come immediately. But we forbid them to do it because of what happened to our oldest son, we don’t want to be exposed the other ones to something similar or that they might be detained when they arrive at the airport.”


 


“After they killed my son, what else can they do to me? They are going to kill me? Let them do it. We are not leaving Venezuela. We know we are in danger and the only legal protection we have is you the media”


 


“We have trust in God, we know he is just and forgiving. These crimes without explanation scream in the eyes of God. We firmly believe in divine justice. Human justice may fail, but God’s does not”


 


Too heartbreaking and discouraging to even comment on, it speaks for itself.

Iranian blogger that covered Chavez’ visit detained

December 3, 2004

Through Scott I learn that the blogger from Iran that reported on Chavez’s visit and the unveiling of a Simon Bolivar statue in Teheran has been detained. I don’t think Simon Bolivar would have approved of that.


If it can happen there, can it happen anywhere? Yes Ed, I will try to be careful.

Iranian blogger that covered Chavez’ visit detained

December 3, 2004

Through Scott I learn that the blogger from Iran that reported on Chavez’s visit and the unveiling of a Simon Bolivar statue in Teheran has been detained. I don’t think Simon Bolivar would have approved of that.


If it can happen there, can it happen anywhere? Yes Ed, I will try to be careful.

Bonds, devaluation and monkey business

December 3, 2004

 


So today the Minister of Finance announced that on Jan. 1st the official exchange rate will become Bs. 2150 per US$ from the current Bs. 1920 per US$, an 11.9% devaluation. Nothing strange here, it was in the budget, it was expected, it was even mentioned yesterday by the Head of the Finance Committee of the National Assembly (Rumored to be the next Minister of Finance). But isn’t it strange to announce a devaluation one month before it occurs. Isn’t it?


 


Piensa mal y Acertaras? (Think badly and you will be right on target):


 


Today the Government completed placing up to US$ 500 million in the country’s Global ’34 bond. The placement was made in local currency at the official rate of exchange. The bond was sold to local investors at a price to be announced tomorrow between 122 and 125, while the bond trades in Wall Street at 103-104.


 


Why the difference? Easy, you pay in Bolivars at the official exchange rate at the higher price, but later you turn around and sell the bond to foreign investors at the lower price. The “implicit” exchange rate at which you purchased the foreign currency is somewhere between the official rate and the parallel market rate, which today was around Bs. 2,400 per US$.


 


The bond was not that attractive to individuals, because the difference between the parallel market rate and the official rate was not big enough and the market price of the bonds would fluctuate between now and Dec. 10th. when you get your bonds delivered. It may fluctuate even more with oil prices tumbling. It was attractive to corporations as it provided a legal way to purchase foreign currency. However…


 


…once the devaluation was officially announced, right after the book for the bond was closed, it meant that the parallel market rate tomorrow will adjust up to the announced devaluation and will be  some Bs. 200 higher than yesterday and those that bought the bonds will make money like bandits…Of course, you had to know in advance about the announcement of the devaluation…Did someone know? You figure it out. Otherwise, why would the Government make the announcement today, why not wait until late December? Viva la revolucion!


 


(Note: think about it, who gets hurt the most by a devaluation?)

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