Archive for February 2nd, 2005

Quotes of the week: Granda versus Chacon

February 2, 2005


FARC Foreign Misniter Rodrigo Granda today:


“The occasional presence of members of the FARC in foreign territory is not an exclusive phenomenon of Venezuela. We have them in all of the countries of the Continent and even further”


 


What do you think Minister of Justice Chacon will say tomorrow when asked about this:


 


1)      Who is Rodrigo Granda?


2)      We understand there are FARC guerrillas in the US


3)      Colombia has a serious guerrilla problem that it has to solve.


4)      I did not say yesterday there were no FARC guerrillas in Venezuela.


5)      Who has more credibility, Granda or me?


6)      We can not investigate what happens in other countries.


7)      I talked to Mr. Granda today and he denies making those comments.


8)      Granda is great! Granda is good!


9)      We are hoping President Uribe will apologize for Granda’s statements


10)  We are waiting to receive the video with Mr. Granda’s words.


11)  You talking to me?

Quotes of the week: Granda versus Chacon

February 2, 2005


FARC Foreign Misniter Rodrigo Granda today:


“The occasional presence of members of the FARC in foreign territory is not an exclusive phenomenon of Venezuela. We have them in all of the countries of the Continent and even further”


 


What do you think Minister of Justice Chacon will say tomorrow when asked about this:


 


1)      Who is Rodrigo Granda?


2)      We understand there are FARC guerrillas in the US


3)      Colombia has a serious guerrilla problem that it has to solve.


4)      I did not say yesterday there were no FARC guerrillas in Venezuela.


5)      Who has more credibility, Granda or me?


6)      We can not investigate what happens in other countries.


7)      I talked to Mr. Granda today and he denies making those comments.


8)      Granda is great! Granda is good!


9)      We are hoping President Uribe will apologize for Granda’s statements


10)  We are waiting to receive the video with Mr. Granda’s words.


11)  You talking to me?

The academic qualifications of the new honorable President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court

February 2, 2005

How do you describe the career of the new President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, without incurring in crimes that may be typified in the changes of the new penal code?


Easy, you have a blog and remember that you quoted an article by Manuel Caballero in which the Venezuelan historian (and one may say black humorist) described the qualifications of those that were named to be part of the new Court last year. At the time, I only quoted the conclusions of that article, today I will translate Caballero’s description of the man who was elected by the new loaded Supreme Court as its new President:


 


“There is another neo-Justice so important, that it is said, he is barking at the cave of the impish Rincon (the outgoing President) in his Maracucho sofa. According to his CV, after twenty three years of having become a teacher at the School of Administration FACES (He has never taught law), he had barely reached the level of Assistant Professor, and that with a research piece whose adviser was his comrade in the cause Omar Mezza, recently deceased and hard core member of the “process”. So that the readers have something to compare with, let us recall that the highest category in the academic ladder, that of Full Professor can be reached in ten years, with the condition that you should have a Doctorate, that this Guy does not have.


 


In this almost quarter of a century of teaching, his only publication was an article about administrative topics in a non-referee journal. That is, edited by him and without any scientific qualification: he collected the money and gave himself the change.”


 


There you have it, Caballero’s opinion’s, not myself’s. I simply don’t know the guy, nor do I want to.

Petkoff and Poleo blast Venezuela’s Attorney General

February 2, 2005

Today, Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff was called to testify as a witness in the case the Government is carrying against those that participated in the events of April 2002, According to Petkoff, who was visibly upset, the questions asked of him violate his Constitutional right to protect his sources as a reporter. Petkoff said he was asked about the meeting he had with Pedro Carmona in Fuerte Tiuna on April 11th., Petkoff says this :” violates the Constitutional text…the Prosecutor can not pretend that any reporter reveal his/her source, least of all force him to do it..”


Petkoff added that the statements made by the Attorney General/Prosecutor on the issue against reporter Patricia Poleo, are incorrect: “When he says that a crime has been committed when you have those documents and you reveal them, it is not true, article 78 in this case of the anticorruption law, the only thing it says is that anyone that alters, breaks, retains a public document is committing a crime, but this is not the case because here we have a person that received photocopies…even reporter Ernesto Villegas (a Government reporter) showed the Attorney General one of those documents sitting on front of him”


 


Rodriguez keeps insisting in this point, arguing that it violates other Constitutional precepts, but he seems to have failed to understand that the Constitution in Article 28 is talking about Government property, that is documents that belong to the Government and are extracted, which is not the case.


 


Poleo herself today held a press conference in which she accused the Attorney General of intervening “to prevent the truth from being told”, saying that Rodriguez has “asked the Detectives that they erase testimony, throw away some of the interrogations and interviews they have made so that the scandal that finally erupted could be covered up”


 


Poleo also questioned how fast the prosecutor in her case has acted, but has failed to act in the case of the murder of Maritza Ron by Chavez; supporters in Plaza Altamira on August 16th. The people, who were detained in that case thanks to very public pictures of them shooting Mrs. Ron, have yet to be even charged for the murder. Poleo also talked about the interview Rodriguez had with Ernesto Villegas in which the Attorney General himself said that it was the person that was turning over the documents the only that was committing the crime. Poleo reiterated she will not reveal her sources.

Petkoff and Poleo blast Venezuela’s Attorney General

February 2, 2005

Today, Tal Cual Editor Teodoro Petkoff was called to testify as a witness in the case the Government is carrying against those that participated in the events of April 2002, According to Petkoff, who was visibly upset, the questions asked of him violate his Constitutional right to protect his sources as a reporter. Petkoff said he was asked about the meeting he had with Pedro Carmona in Fuerte Tiuna on April 11th., Petkoff says this :” violates the Constitutional text…the Prosecutor can not pretend that any reporter reveal his/her source, least of all force him to do it..”


Petkoff added that the statements made by the Attorney General/Prosecutor on the issue against reporter Patricia Poleo, are incorrect: “When he says that a crime has been committed when you have those documents and you reveal them, it is not true, article 78 in this case of the anticorruption law, the only thing it says is that anyone that alters, breaks, retains a public document is committing a crime, but this is not the case because here we have a person that received photocopies…even reporter Ernesto Villegas (a Government reporter) showed the Attorney General one of those documents sitting on front of him”


 


Rodriguez keeps insisting in this point, arguing that it violates other Constitutional precepts, but he seems to have failed to understand that the Constitution in Article 28 is talking about Government property, that is documents that belong to the Government and are extracted, which is not the case.


 


Poleo herself today held a press conference in which she accused the Attorney General of intervening “to prevent the truth from being told”, saying that Rodriguez has “asked the Detectives that they erase testimony, throw away some of the interrogations and interviews they have made so that the scandal that finally erupted could be covered up”


 


Poleo also questioned how fast the prosecutor in her case has acted, but has failed to act in the case of the murder of Maritza Ron by Chavez; supporters in Plaza Altamira on August 16th. The people, who were detained in that case thanks to very public pictures of them shooting Mrs. Ron, have yet to be even charged for the murder. Poleo also talked about the interview Rodriguez had with Ernesto Villegas in which the Attorney General himself said that it was the person that was turning over the documents the only that was committing the crime. Poleo reiterated she will not reveal her sources.

More on Housing

February 2, 2005

The housing problem is the type of problem that I thought this blog would be about when I started it, so I thought I would expand on what has been said in the comments after my post about the real problem of Venezuela was that it is 90% urban, and see if we can get a positive discussion going.


The number of families involved in agriculture is estimated to be around 500,000 families, contrast that with close to 4 million urban families. There is a shortage of around 1.7 million housing units for both segments. Now, let’s define this, when I say 1.7 million housing units is the number of people that do not have their own home, even if their current home is simply a shack (rancho), it does not mean a “good” home.


 


Independent of the fact that this Government is the one that has built the lowest number of housing units in any five year period of the last 46 years, the truth is that no Government in that period has made a systematic attack on the problem. By systematic I mean that there is not one single solution for the problem. The problem has to be attacked by strata. I don’t know too much about the study group that had an integrated housing project for the country, but I have heard some of the ideas. Without quoting anyone in particular, I understand it went something like this:


 


1)      Spend Government resources at the lower level of the population by having a public housing problem to build housing for those at the  poverty level. This would be a direct subsidy to those that don’t even have enough to eat or barely get by.


2)      At the next level, use the structure of municipalities to subsidize the improvement of housing in barrios. Give people living in the barrios title to their property and help them in improving their home and the infrastructure surrounding them.


3)      At the next level up, subsidize the down payment, but people would have to pay monthly payments according to their purchasing power.


4)      Finally, at the highest level, the middle class, create for them financial instruments that will make it feasible for people to finance their home, by drawing savings reviving the old mortgage bonds.


 


Unfortunately, the only level that has been attacked by this government has been 4) using the new debtor bill, which I do not think is reasonable, because it is simply a subsidy to the middle class, which is not precisely where subsidies should be focused. There has been a little activity on 2), but that is it, practically nothing on 1) and 3).

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