Archive for January 20th, 2005

Garzon Attacks by Teodoro Petkoff

January 20, 2005

I guess Petkoff resonates very well with my post last night on Garzon’s decision in today’s Editorial in Tal Cual:


Garzon Attacks by Teodoro Petkoff


 


The grandmother had twins. As if it were not enough with the scandals that lately plague the Government, we now have to add the charging by Judge Baltazar Garzon of the Directors of Spanish bank BBVA for “contributions to the electoral campaign of Hugo Chávez to the Presidency of Venezuela” that may have violated Spanish legislation.


 


But, the point is not only that Spanish bankers violated Spanish laws, something that will have to be determined in a trial, but that candidate Hugo Chávez and his party may have violated Venezuelan laws, when they received financing from a foreign company for his electoral campaign in 1998. There is a presumed crime in Spain, that will be tried there, but there is also a presumed crime in Venezuela, about which, despite the injunction requested by lawyer Tulio Álvarez, years ago, in front of the Supreme Court, Venezuelan justice has not acted.


 


In fact, the Court sent the case to the Prosecutor to open an investigation. Of course, Isaias put the case in the drawer. Although it is not possible to have any illusions with Venezuelan justice, it is going to be very difficult for the Prosecutor and the Supreme Court to ignore the consequences of the trial that is developing in Spain. Because, let’s assume that the trial determines that indeed the bank made those “contributions” (one for US$ 525 thousand dollars on 12/1/98 and another for one million on July 5th. 1999, my comment: note Chavez was already President on this last date), then how do things stand?


 


Venezuelan legislation is very precise with respect to this.


 


On the one hand, political parties are obligated to keep accounting books about their income and expenses in electoral campaigns and present them to the CNE. Well, in the books of MVR, delivered to the CNE, the contributions by BBVA do not appear. We would have one crime right there: hiding information and falsifying data. But there is more. The Law of political parties, in its article 25, paragraphs 4 and 5, compels political parties to “reject donations…from foreign companies or with holding companies abroad”. Not observing this disposition is punished with prison from two to three years and the penalty increases if the funds came from a crime. If the trial in Spain determines that those “contributions” , then, those that received those funds , here in Venezuela, if it is proven that they committed a crime when they asked for them and received them, would also have to receive the punishment foreseen by law. Who is responsible in front of the law? The candidate and Head of the respective party. In this case it happens to be Hugo Chávez Frías, who at the time was the candidate and, simultaneously, the Head of MVR. Who should also receive the punishment foreseen in article 258, paragraph 5 of the Suffrage Law which punishes with prison from two to three years to “the candidate that hides information or provides false data to the CNE about his campaign expenses. By the way, what happens to our sovereignty in all this? Isn’t hypocritical to persecute an NGO for receiving financing abroad when those accusing have such a large skeleton in their closet?

Is not because of Granda by Fernando Londońo Hoyos

January 20, 2005

Many see the crisis between Venezuela and Colombia as a simple incident, a likely mistake by Chávez in confronting President Uribe, who is likely to be a formidable opponent. I don’t. While I think the Granda case may have taken Chavez initially by surprise, I also think once he acted and spoke on the case, it was a well thought out reaction: It is time to export the Bolivarian revolution, we now control Venezuela. This idea is shared by Fernando Londońo, the former Minister of Interior and Justice of Colombia as shown by his article in El Tiempo a couple of days ago.


 Is not because of Granda by Fernando Londońo Hoyos


 


“He who humiliates himself to avoid war, will have the humiliation and will have the war” (Churchill)


The grotesque Granda case would be the cause of our problem with Venezuela in the same measure that the war of independence would have been due to the insolence with which the chapeton refused to lend the flower vase to the party to honor Antonio Villavicencio. History organizes imitations of flower vases to distract simple souls. Thus, beyond the facts and its idiotic interpretations, we are forced to penetrate the profound historical logic which explains why what is happening to us is happening.


From the Ministry of Interior and Justice we warned that the key to our relationship with Chavez could be found in the Sao Paulo Forum, and in the communist conspiracy that was being brewed there for the takeover of the Continent. It was improper to invade someone else’s space, but at least we are consoled by the fact that we did it without subterfuge: Chavez wants to organize for us a coup d’ etat, similar to the one he could have staged in Venezuela with the ballot boxes and he has recently ratified with fraud.


The attempt is an old one. The octogenarian muse of comrade the President, has had an old appetite for Colombia. When a member of the Communist youth, he came to Bogotá to sabotage the Pan-American Conference with the murder of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, he was already dominated by his geopolitical obsession. That is why he armed the FARC, the ELN, the M-19 and all of the groups of bandits that have whipped the nation with the preaching of a popular revolution. And now, in that languishing autumn that his friend Garcia Marquez predicted for him, he finds that he can revive those dreams of revolution in Colombia.


And it serves him for his purposes an ignorant charlatan, who lacks any moral scruples, owner of a country lined with gold. Chavez never read Das Kapital and he would not understand it if he read it, he doe not have the give and take with a Hegel and his very complex dialectic and he despises a Feurbach, not because he objects his historical materialism, but because he gets tangled when he pronounces the last name. But he is a communist, he is “Bolivarian”, he has the weapons, the dollars, the flatterers, the cynicism and perhaps the gall to be the perfect instrument for the little Cuban Dictator.


Chavez and Castro know that there are no Dictatorships without weapons. That’s why they love the FARC and that is why they are concerned that we will end up defeating them, as will fatally occur if a powerful ally dos not come to aid them. Like themselves, distracting the energies of Colombia in an international conflict, while their languishing allies catch a new air and while over a country in chaos the absurd take over by an extreme left Government, could unexpectedly happen


Thus, examining the Granda theme, it gains all of its fabulous importance. It allows Chavez to trick his internal public opinion and use and take advantage of the incident to press the anti-patriotic and traitorous opposition, which is what all tyrants always wanted. The Deputies, who stood up to applaud his ridiculous speech, will not do so well from today on. Censorship of the press has found the ideal pretext for the persecution of managers, those worms that buy Colombian products, will now be done in the name of the blemished sovereignty of Venezuela.


Once the borders to civilized and creative traffic are closed, they will open widely the doors to the weapons, the bombs, the propaganda and the money to aid the extreme left. The petrodollars will sprout without shame to back strikes and protests. And the Bolivarian Congresses, with ample delegations of the FARC, will repeat without rest.


The matter at hand is very grave and never has the country been in a bigger danger. But Churchill’s’ maxim that we remember above fits like a glove. President Uribe knows it and Colombians will have to surround him, without forgetting that we don’t have a conflict with our Venezuelan brothers, victims with us of the sick delirium of the two survivors of a species that many thought extinct: that of the Caribbean Dictator with communist delusions.

Is not because of Granda by Fernando Londońo Hoyos

January 20, 2005

Many see the crisis between Venezuela and Colombia as a simple incident, a likely mistake by Chávez in confronting President Uribe, who is likely to be a formidable opponent. I don’t. While I think the Granda case may have taken Chavez initially by surprise, I also think once he acted and spoke on the case, it was a well thought out reaction: It is time to export the Bolivarian revolution, we now control Venezuela. This idea is shared by Fernando Londońo, the former Minister of Interior and Justice of Colombia as shown by his article in El Tiempo a couple of days ago.


 Is not because of Granda by Fernando Londońo Hoyos


 


“He who humiliates himself to avoid war, will have the humiliation and will have the war” (Churchill)


The grotesque Granda case would be the cause of our problem with Venezuela in the same measure that the war of independence would have been due to the insolence with which the chapeton refused to lend the flower vase to the party to honor Antonio Villavicencio. History organizes imitations of flower vases to distract simple souls. Thus, beyond the facts and its idiotic interpretations, we are forced to penetrate the profound historical logic which explains why what is happening to us is happening.


From the Ministry of Interior and Justice we warned that the key to our relationship with Chavez could be found in the Sao Paulo Forum, and in the communist conspiracy that was being brewed there for the takeover of the Continent. It was improper to invade someone else’s space, but at least we are consoled by the fact that we did it without subterfuge: Chavez wants to organize for us a coup d’ etat, similar to the one he could have staged in Venezuela with the ballot boxes and he has recently ratified with fraud.


The attempt is an old one. The octogenarian muse of comrade the President, has had an old appetite for Colombia. When a member of the Communist youth, he came to Bogotá to sabotage the Pan-American Conference with the murder of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, he was already dominated by his geopolitical obsession. That is why he armed the FARC, the ELN, the M-19 and all of the groups of bandits that have whipped the nation with the preaching of a popular revolution. And now, in that languishing autumn that his friend Garcia Marquez predicted for him, he finds that he can revive those dreams of revolution in Colombia.


And it serves him for his purposes an ignorant charlatan, who lacks any moral scruples, owner of a country lined with gold. Chavez never read Das Kapital and he would not understand it if he read it, he doe not have the give and take with a Hegel and his very complex dialectic and he despises a Feurbach, not because he objects his historical materialism, but because he gets tangled when he pronounces the last name. But he is a communist, he is “Bolivarian”, he has the weapons, the dollars, the flatterers, the cynicism and perhaps the gall to be the perfect instrument for the little Cuban Dictator.


Chavez and Castro know that there are no Dictatorships without weapons. That’s why they love the FARC and that is why they are concerned that we will end up defeating them, as will fatally occur if a powerful ally dos not come to aid them. Like themselves, distracting the energies of Colombia in an international conflict, while their languishing allies catch a new air and while over a country in chaos the absurd take over by an extreme left Government, could unexpectedly happen


Thus, examining the Granda theme, it gains all of its fabulous importance. It allows Chavez to trick his internal public opinion and use and take advantage of the incident to press the anti-patriotic and traitorous opposition, which is what all tyrants always wanted. The Deputies, who stood up to applaud his ridiculous speech, will not do so well from today on. Censorship of the press has found the ideal pretext for the persecution of managers, those worms that buy Colombian products, will now be done in the name of the blemished sovereignty of Venezuela.


Once the borders to civilized and creative traffic are closed, they will open widely the doors to the weapons, the bombs, the propaganda and the money to aid the extreme left. The petrodollars will sprout without shame to back strikes and protests. And the Bolivarian Congresses, with ample delegations of the FARC, will repeat without rest.


The matter at hand is very grave and never has the country been in a bigger danger. But Churchill’s’ maxim that we remember above fits like a glove. President Uribe knows it and Colombians will have to surround him, without forgetting that we don’t have a conflict with our Venezuelan brothers, victims with us of the sick delirium of the two survivors of a species that many thought extinct: that of the Caribbean Dictator with communist delusions.

Financial Times article on Colombia/Venezuelan relations

January 20, 2005

Andy Webb writes about the diplomatic rift between Colombian and Venezuela (Thanks JT!). He has some extremely juicy tidbits that are worth copying verbatim, since in three days, you will need a subscription to read the article (bold is mine):


” According to Mr Granda’s diary, excerpts of which were seen by the FT, the top FARC representative kept the telephone numbers of several people in the Chávez government and other FARC members in Venezuela. It also has the numbers of Evo Morales, the Bolivian coca farmers leader and an international ally of Mr Chávez”.


 


Colombia possesses photographs of FARC settlements in Venezuela taken by US satellites. To be classed by Colombia, and by extension the US, as a supporter of terrorists could give Venezuela, the world’s fifth- largest oil exporter, “rogue-state” status. Condoleeza Rice, the incoming US secretary of state, described Mr Chávez as a “negative force” in the region.”


 


The Granda incident has caused ructions within the government of Mr Chávez, self-styled champion of the region’s wave of radical populism. His position in recent days has been influenced by the competing pull of a range of disparate leftwing and military factions.


While all the factions are loyal to the president, the radicals favour a faster pace of social reform and a more confrontational stance with the US. After the capture of Mr Granda a radical group of Marxist intellectuals who have sought international solidarity for Mr Chávez, as well as for the FARC, pressured Mr Chávez to take an aggressive stance with Mr Uribe.


 


This internal struggle is having a big impact on the [structure of] power,” says Alfredo Keller, a Caracas-based political analyst. “Chávez acted to suit the requirement of the left.” Differences between them and more conservative, mainly military, factions, analysts say, help explain why Mr Chávez took so long to respond to Mr Granda’s capture.”

Financial Times article on Colombia/Venezuelan relations

January 20, 2005

Andy Webb writes about the diplomatic rift between Colombian and Venezuela (Thanks JT!). He has some extremely juicy tidbits that are worth copying verbatim, since in three days, you will need a subscription to read the article (bold is mine):


” According to Mr Granda’s diary, excerpts of which were seen by the FT, the top FARC representative kept the telephone numbers of several people in the Chávez government and other FARC members in Venezuela. It also has the numbers of Evo Morales, the Bolivian coca farmers leader and an international ally of Mr Chávez”.


 


Colombia possesses photographs of FARC settlements in Venezuela taken by US satellites. To be classed by Colombia, and by extension the US, as a supporter of terrorists could give Venezuela, the world’s fifth- largest oil exporter, “rogue-state” status. Condoleeza Rice, the incoming US secretary of state, described Mr Chávez as a “negative force” in the region.”


 


The Granda incident has caused ructions within the government of Mr Chávez, self-styled champion of the region’s wave of radical populism. His position in recent days has been influenced by the competing pull of a range of disparate leftwing and military factions.


While all the factions are loyal to the president, the radicals favour a faster pace of social reform and a more confrontational stance with the US. After the capture of Mr Granda a radical group of Marxist intellectuals who have sought international solidarity for Mr Chávez, as well as for the FARC, pressured Mr Chávez to take an aggressive stance with Mr Uribe.


 


This internal struggle is having a big impact on the [structure of] power,” says Alfredo Keller, a Caracas-based political analyst. “Chávez acted to suit the requirement of the left.” Differences between them and more conservative, mainly military, factions, analysts say, help explain why Mr Chávez took so long to respond to Mr Granda’s capture.”

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