Archive for June 14th, 2005

Parade cancellation: The more that is explained, the more implausible it gets

June 14, 2005

Chavez confirmed
tonight

that the military parade of June 24th. was cancelled for security
reasons. According to the President, the Army detected a plan to kill
him during teh parade. He
added that this is not the first time that the parade is cancelled,
which I do not recall ever being cancelled. Chavez even said that we
have too many parades. This from the
same man that loves to play soldier, wear uniforms and hold parades as he
did during the first few years in office, when
he was not afraid to go out in public.


Well, the June 24th. parade takes place in Campo Carabobo, some 30 Kms. away from the city of Valencia, and it is a monument built in remembrance of the last
battle for the independence of Venezuelawhich
took place right there. Now, this is the most unlikely place to attempt
an assasination.
It is essentially a park with monuments, mostly open air, explicitly
delineated which could be easily sealed
and surrounded by military a couple of days before. And nothing should
happen to teh President or those participating in the parade. You can
see pictures of
Campo Carabobo here
or here.

Of course, all of the above is true unless those trying to kill Chavez
will be
the same ones that are participating in the parade. Unless they are
themselves members of his beloved military, which nobody has said.
There are many problems within the military today. Some groups are
upset over the
cubanization of Venezuela,
others at the levels of corruption reached out and within the military, others at how PDVSA has been
weakened to what they think is dangerous levels and even some others at the destruction of the
military institution and the attempt to create alternate parallel structures like the
reserves. In fact, rumors are going around that over half of the officers in
the Chiefs of Staff course have resigned because of the imposition of Fidel
Castro as the Godfather/sponsor of their graduating class by Chavez himself.
This out of no more than fifty members, the cream of the crop of each year’s
military class. By resigning, you destroy your military career, you will never
go above the level of Lieutenant and you will likely be retired anyway.

You can do so much positive spinning of the news. But the stories are
getting
too implausible to be believable. This is very dangerous, there are
some real nuts (Yes, even more than the current ones, believe it or
not!) in the Venezuelan military. Very scary indeed!

Here and there…

June 14, 2005


–“Everything
is normal” and “the press has to be more responsible” says the Government in
trying to deny unrest within the military, but the Head of the Unified Command
of the Army (CUFAN), goes
to Bolivar State
to talk to the National Guardsmen of the garrison that was
“disappeared” on Chavez’ orders. The problem seems to have been extortion by
the Guardsmen of the miner in the region. The Army came in and brutally took
over the garrison which is what has led to the protest by National Guardsmen across
the country. It is a true story, no matter how much the Government wants to
deny it.

–As
Venezuela complains about the extradition of Posada Carriles from the US to
Venezuela (Which it has
yet to request
while its leaders accuse
the US of delaying it), narco-guerrilla FARC leader Jose Maria Corredor “El
Boyaco”, escapes from jail in the Headquarters of the intelligence police. The
Minister of Justice has said that
he received help form intelligence police member that aided in the escape. The US
requested the extradition of “El Boyaco” to that country last year and in
December the Venezuelan Supreme Court approved the extradition, but the Chavez administration
had not extradited him because he could receive a sentence of more than thirty
years in jail, the longest possible term in Venezuela.

–A sub
committee of the National Assembly continued its investigation of CITGO
Petroleum. The auditor for the company said that the company had
too many “black boxes”. Meanwhile, the former Vice-President of CITGO, Captain Antonio
Rivero
gave his testimony
in which he gave a picture which in general conflicts
with the official view about the company. Rivero said that Citgo has
paid over US$ 2 billion
in dividends to PDVSA since 1998. He defended
keeping the company as a strategic investment and compared it to the problems Mexico has
placing its heavy oils because it does not have its own refining capacity. He also
described a policy of funding
travel by Deputies
from Chávez’ party out of Citgo, as well as jet
setting by Citgo and PDVSA executives and their relatives
in PDVSA’s jets.
(Didn’t Chavez say his first day in office he was going to get rid of these
jets?). Rivero defended
the profitability
of Citgo, which contrasts with the words of his mentor,
Hugo Chávez, as well as Minister Ramirez.

–Is it really International Bloggers day today, or just an excuse to party?

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