Archive for February 24th, 2006

Carnival calls

February 24, 2006

I will be going away for the Carnival holidays. I am not sure whether I will have efficient access to the Internet where I am going. In any case, Jorge Arena, star ghost blogger, will be ready to fill in when necessary and hopefully I will have some sort of connection with the world. If not, take care and if you are in Venezuela or any other country that does celebrate Carnival, enjoy yourself, rest, and as we say here, don’t do anything I would not do. This gives you ample room for action!

A new list, or is it two?

February 24, 2006

The distinguished President of the National Assembly’s comittee on the family, women and youth sent the Heads of all public institutions a letter asking that they collect signatures for a petition entitled “For Life and Peace, no to the war in Iraq” demaninding from the US Government that the invasion of Iraq cease. This petition includes the name and ID number of those signing as well as their signature.

The petition is being circulated in earnest in public offices where people are being told, in no uncertain terms taht they are expected to sign this, whether they agree with it or not. The petition will be handed in to the US Ambassador at a demonstration agaisnt the war in Iraq that will take place on March 8th.

Thus, once again teh rights of Venezuelans are being violated by pressuring them into signing something they may not agree with. Moreover, there is an implied threat that if they do not sign it will be notes.

Thus, one wonders whether two new lists will arise from this petition:

One, the list made by the Chavez Government of those that refused to sign against the Empire and Mr Danger.
Two, the list the US Governmnet will have of those that are against it, which according to the Patriots Act may be a reason to not allow you into the US under any circumstances.

Not a pretty picture…

Further proof that the more things change, the more they are the same.

February 24, 2006


The “People’s”
Defender or Ombudsman German Mundarain continued doing the only thing he has
done since assuming that position: Defend the Government. He said the US is trying to overwhelm Venezuela with a campaign showing that human
rights are not respected in the country and that the US is preparing a campaign against
the Venezuelan Government. All of this in response to the State Department’s human rights report on Venezuela. He appears not to understand yet, that he is an independent
power and should stop spending all his time defending Chavez and his
Government and devoting time to defending the righst of all Venezuelans, which he actually spends very little time doing.

Interestingly
enough, Tal Cual carried today this article in page 2 called “Invisible Rights”, which is quite relevant to the charge by the Ombudsman that the US Human Rights report is simply an unjustified attack on the Chavez Government:

The
Venezuelan Government is upset because of the State Department’s report on
human rights in or country. The same thing happens every time. The same thing
with the media, anytime there is a charge, they are attacked, whether it is
true, or even if it has yet to be processed. It is not the gringo origin that
validates or not the report. It is the Venezuelan reality the one that backs
it. The novelty is that, for the first time, in the case of Venezuela, the USA
gathers an inordinate number of charges against judges, police organizations,
the Prosecutor’s office, deputies, councilmen, parties, unions, gathered from
diverse reports by NGO’s, by Amnesty International always questioned by the Government
and the by the people that appeal to the media. The official bureaucrats
already decided about the report by the US: it is generic, imprecise, out
of context. This is used to avoid the real problem. This is nothing but that
all of what is contained in the document is true.

When was this written? 1997

The
author? Jose Vicente Rangel, the current
Vice-President of Venezuela

The more
things change, the more they are the same.

A day in the life of the Venezuelan assymetric robolution

February 24, 2006


Bizarro
country continued today as things got more convoluted and asymmetric today than
ever:


-After the Prosecutor General suggested that members of Colombia’s DAS were
involved in the murder of Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, the DAS first said that
they had never had any formal request from Venezuela’s Prosecutor, which was
later followed by
a request
for “proof” that there were DAS agents involved. My
recommendation to the DAS: Sit and wait, because you will get nothing. This is
an asymmetric revolution, you accuse but never prove.

-Three cops are
caught
in Yaracuy state with almost three kilos of C-4 and some jerk from
the police on TV says that former Governors Enrique Mendoza and Salas Romer
have visited that state too often recently. Wow! Using that logic we would have
hundreds of thousands of suspects, including Chavistas. Of course, they never
explain how come the C-4 which is in the hands of the military ends up in the
hands of the opposition. But I guess for the military everything is for sale at
a price, they are the leaders of this asymmetric robolution.

-Remarkable logic on the part of a Government incapable of building housing
units in sufficient quantities: Let’s expropriate those buildings that have
been rented for over ten years and give the apartments to the owners. That is
certainly an unsustainable model, pay for an already built housing unit in a
country with a shortage of 2 million units. Of course, that one should be used
in infrastructure, decaying hospitals and the like, but these guys have no clue
as to what they are doing anyway. How stupid can they be!

-And as part of its asymmetrical war with the US,
the Venezuelan Government suspends the flights of Delta airlines, Continental
airlines and reduces the number of flights to Venezuela by American Airlines. The
argument? That the US
treats Venezuelan airlines unfairly because they don’t have the required safety
standards and they want reciprocity. Sure, until the next accident by a
Venezuelan airline. In the meantime, screw tourism and make life for
Venezuelans to go abroad really hard. 87% of passengers in US airlines coming to Venezuela are…Venezuelans! And by
now they are 50% boli bourgeois and 50% old oligarchy anyway! Some asymmetry!

-And you have to love the
asymmetry of the testimony in the Assembly by Captain Franklin Castillo
yesterday
. Let’s see, among other pearls he said that he cashed a check
under his name for Bs. 27 million, a decision made by the then Head of the
sugar complex Albarran, who was fired as Minister of Agriculture two days ago.
Given the precedent a few months later he cashed a check for Bs. 30 million to
“pay” the workers (no receipts!). He also paid the check for Bs. 55
million to buy a car for Generals’ Parra’s brother. He admitted that there was
no accounting for any expenses, there was never any audit and checks were
issued without any knowledge of what the money was going to be used for,
because he “trusted” his mates. And then in the most asymmetric
moment he was asked: “How do you rate your performance?” His answer:
“Excellent” Obviously these guys have no clue whatsoever about ethics
and proper procedures. Long live the military and their contribution to the
robolution!

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