Archive for June, 2006

Mision Matusalen by amieres (Mission Methuselah)

June 25, 2006


One of our
readers, amieres, has been analyzing the Electoral Registry (REP) and found
numerous interesting things that should be made public in detail. I invited him
to write a post on it and he was gracious enough to accept my invitation and
here is the post with all the details. This goes right to the heart of the
question why the CNE does not want a good audit of the REP made, it would show
all of these inconsistencies. Only today El Nacional showed how there are more
people above the age of 45 registered to vote that the National Institute for
Statistics (INE) says there exist in that age group. This incredible
inconsistency is why the three universities rejected by the CNE to perform the
audit wanted a wider audit that would include demographics. Now wonder the CNE
does not want this!

Mision Matusalen by amieres (Mission Methuselah by amieres)

First some background

In March
2004 when the Presidential Recall Referendum (RR) process was in its way the
Electoral Registry (RE) had 12,394,109 voters. In a multi-tiered campaign that
Chavez called “Batalla de Santa Ines” a big push was made to add new
voters to the RE. That’s how the Misiones were created: Mision Robinson, Mision
Ribas, Mision Vuelvan Caras, Mision Barrio
Adentro, Mercal, Mision Milagro, Mision Identidad, Mision Zamora, etc. http://www.gobiernoenlinea.ve/miscelaneas/misiones.html.
A variety of public assistance efforts offering anything from food, health
care, education, land, temporary jobs and of course money.

Particularly
Mision Identidad offered foreigners living in Venezuela a fast-track
nationalization, no questions asked, as long as they showed support for Chavez.
Everyone that benefited from the ‘misiones’ was registered in the Maisanta
database and if they were not already part of the RE they were immediately
entered in a joint effort between the CNE and the ONI-DEX (the National Identification
Office). By July 2004 the RE had grown to 14,037,900 an incredible 1,643,791
new voters or 13% in just 4 months.

In August
15th, 2004 Chavez won a widely denounced Referendum with 60%-40% advantage that
in the exit polls showed as 40%-60% against him.

The Lists

The
Maisanta list
, a by-product of the RR, was created by the chavistas by merging
the infamous Tascon list with the RE of March 2004 and complementing it with
the information from the Misiones and the Reparos. It is a tool that serves the
double purpose of identifying, pressuring and discriminating against those that
opposed Chavez but also to identify, keep track and pressure those that have
benefited from the Misiones. Last year, Maisanta was leaked into the public and
it was being sold by street vendors for Bs 15000 (about 8 dollars). It quickly
found its way into the internet where it can be downloaded.

Following
the lead of Adolfo Fabregat I also downloaded the official RE of January 2006
from the CNE website (http://www.cne.gov.ve/int_generacion_re/html/index.html)
and combined it with the Maisanta list. That allowed me to compare the changes in
the RE between March 2004 and January 2006. By January 2006 the REP had grown
to 14,849,127 adding 811,227 more since August 2004.

The first
thing to note, is that the RE is full of irregularities, practically everywhere
you look you can find something wrong with it.

Several of
the discrepancies have already been denounced:

- The
amazing Gonzalez family
.

- The one
letter names and last names
.

- The
duplicate entries.

- The
extraordinaire longevity of Venezuelans

Partly, I
wanted to verify these findings myself, which I did and so and now I can attest
to their veracity and give you specific instances of those cases.

The Analysis

Based on
the information reported in the TV and newspapers my general belief was that
most new entries to the RE would be from foreigners hastily nationalized, youth
that recently have reached the voting age of 18th and to a much lesser degree
of people that had never voted previously but benefited from the ‘Misiones’.
Thus my expectation was to find only a few new entries with old identity card
numbers, which are lower.

By using a
query that would bring only the new entries that were not present in the 2004
RE the first surprise came when I found so many new entries that had low
Identity card numbers. I expected most new entries to have new ID numbers
around the 20,000,000 figure. But there were thousands with very low numbers,
and I mean very, very low as low as 10. Could it be that so many people had
never bothered to vote until now? Could all of them be beneficiaries of the
Misiones?

Here is a
sample of new voters with low id numbers that I found:

Nac.

Id

Name

Voting
Center

Date of
Birth

Age (2006)

V

10

RIERA
FORTIQUE GREGORIO JOSE

190502001

1886/12/08

120

V

14

PIMENTEL
PARILLI ENRIQUE

131601051

1894/07/24

112

V

37

ESTEVA
RIOS LINO GUILLERMO

10101008

1912/09/23

94

V

56

CONTRERAS
UNDA FELIPE

30601015

1911/11/11

95

V

66

SUAREZ
MANTILLA HERNAN

131901011

1916/07/25

90

V

88

CA-IZALES
VILLEGAS DARIO EDECIO

130102002

1918/02/18

88

V

111

HERNANDEZ
GARCIA RENE

191502001

1895/04/28

111

V

117

GONZALEZ
PADILLA ELOY GUILLERMO

101501001

1873/06/25

133

V

123

HERNANDEZ
GUTIERREZ MELECIO

71201016

1872/02/12

134

V

126

LUCIANI
LOERO ROBERTO

21401001

1895/02/14

111

V

134

MARCANO
BETANCOURT IGNACIO

70101006

1879/11/27

127

V

163

PEREZ
ALCANTARA FRANCISCO

120201002

1879/03/07

127

V

167

BARRIENTOS SANTIAGO

240111010

1909/05/23

97

V

176

MERCADO
RAMOS RAQUEL DE STURIK

190701006

1926/04/24

80

V

196

BOUQUET
HIDALGO JOSE ESTANISLAO

211803020

1906/10/12

100

V

222

DELIMA
DELIMA ANTONIO JOSE

160804003

1906/12/15

100

V

223

ARMADA
RODRIGUEZ ANTONIO

190506005

1898/04/08

108

V

231

MADRID
ROJAS ALFREDO

180501001

1883/02/14

123

V

552

MARTINEZ
OQUENDO RUBEN

21702002

1907/04/20

99

V

596

GIFFONI
CASTILLO FRANCISCO

130501011

1903/07/15

103

V

667

COBOS JUAN BAUTISTA

210605003

1903/08/29

103

V

731

LANDER
LUGO PEDRO TOMAS

190706001

1882/02/14

124

V

1010

SCANNONE
LAPADULA ANTONIO

201201010

1876/09/06

130

V

1223

PERNIA
CASIQUE NARCISO

240101012

1891/10/29

115

V

1263

CORDERO
SUTIL OSCAR

21401006

1895/05/17

111

V

1270

CARRASCO PEDRO

210901009

1883/05/19

123

V

1290

LEON
ARELLANO BUSTAMANTE ANTONIO JOSE

70301007

1908/09/13

98

V

1359

MATHEUS
FUENMAYOR FRANCISCO JOSE

130901111

1914/09/22

92

V

1467

RODRIGUEZ
GUEVARA OSCAR

190303004

1912/06/11

94

V

1474

RIVAS
SU-E HIPOLITA

50210005

1890/08/22

116

V

1486

ELIAS
PEREZ FRANCISCO

51001002

1924/11/02

82

V

1535

FLORES
HERNANDEZ ANTONIO

160301037

1900/08/24

106

V

1665

LANDAETA
CARRILLO DANIEL

60109004

1900/07/21

106

V

1713

CARBONELL
RAMOS NESTOR

131001010

1904/10/20

102

V

1765

FOMBONA
PACHANO JACINTO

51102002

1901/05/19

105

V

2080

DIAZ
ALONZO AURELIANO

130901096

1898/06/16

108

V

3245

MAIZO ACISCLO

150101006

1967/11/17

39

V

3333

HENRIQUEZ
CUBILLAN LUIS

211301001

1914/08/26

92

V

3407

LANDA
MORALES CARLOS ALBERTO

21401006

1901/09/16

105

V

3520

GARCIA
SUCRE LUIS ENRIQUE

131101032

1919/08/28

87

V

4343

CASTILLO
VILLASMIL RAFAEL ANGEL

10112003

1902/10/24

104

V

4364

STEINER
STEINER ESTEBAN RODOLFO

30601013

1906/12/09

100

V

4444

DELFINO
WILCKELMANN ALFREDO ELIAS

41701011

1891/07/20

115

V

5559

NOVELLINO
GARRIDO ITALO

211902002

1916/04/18

90

V

6999

GARCIA
DELEPIANI PEDRO JOSE

131501004

1904/02/22

102

V

9084

ALVARADO JUAN

121602001

1892/05/27

114

V

10000

VARGAS
CARDENAS MARIO RICARDO

210704005

1913/05/29

93

V

10104

GOMEZ
FIGUERA ANIBAL

120405001

1912/03/14

94

V

10168

LOPEZ FRANCISCO

180805002

1900/10/10

106

V

10467

ARISTEIGUIETA TORRES FELIPE

170903016

1885/05/01

121


But the
really big surprise came when I noted the ages. It had already been reported that
there were many entries in the RE of people older than 100 years old. Those can
easily be attributed to a carelessly maintained database where deceased were
not removed appropriately. But this is different, this are NEW ENTRIES! People
who were not registered to vote before 2004!

Here is a
sample of the 50 oldest NEW voters.

Nac.

Id

Name

Voting Center

Date of Birth

Age (2006)

V

1212277

ESPINOZA PEDRO JUAN

140706020

1870/06/29

136

V

22598

VARGAS JOAQUIN

80201012

1870/08/16

136

V

18728

ANDRADE SEGUNDO

130401023

1870/05/13

136

V

11291

SILVA
BLANCO JUAN BAUTISTA

211803020

1870/01/30

136

V

1572011

SANDOVAL
BARRIENTOS JOSE ANTONIO

211001001

1872/04/21

134

V

47594

CASANOVA
DE LOSSADA MARIA ANTONIA

210513015

1872/01/03

134

V

22645

MEZA MEZA
JOSE DE JESUS

180803009

1872/03/19

134

V

13048

DURAN
CHACON BENIGNO

110205006

1872/02/13

134

V

123

HERNANDEZ
GUTIERREZ MELECIO

71201016

1872/02/12

134

V

11892786

DOMINGUEZ
GUERRERO GLORIA BENITA

211401010

1873/07/18

133

V

18204

LAREYAH
DE CASES CADEN

140402005

1873/04/18

133

V

18016

MANZANILLA
RIVAS MANUEL MARIA

30101002

1873/09/07

133

V

17778

JIMENEZ
HERNANDEZ TIBURCIO

71401011

1873/03/22

133

V

117

GONZALEZ
PADILLA ELOY GUILLERMO

101501001

1873/06/25

133

V

20440996

OLIVERO
OLIVERO EDICSO SEGUNDO

211805009

1874/03/03

132

V

22120

MONTEVERDE
MAC-CLONG EDUARDO

211805013

1874/06/17

132

V

1012790

ESPINOZA
ABREU EDUVINO

191301004

1875/10/17

131

V

941366

MARTINEZ
DE HERNANDEZ MARIA GUILLERMINA ELO

240108004

1875/06/25

131

V

22640

GONZALEZ
PEREZ JESUS MARIA

180804005

1875/02/18

131

V

18741

SENIOR
LOPEZ HENRIQUEZ JACOBO ISAAC

210513001

1875/09/14

131

V

209582

LOPEZ
RODRIGUEZ ANA

20901006

1876/10/27

130

V

1010

SCANNONE
LAPADULA ANTONIO

201201010

1876/09/06

130

V

1371898

RIERA
ORTEGA RAMONA

212001005

1877/01/25

129

V

318567

ORAMAS
DELGADO PABLO

10104025

1877/06/18

129

V

174163

CARRERO MARIA SACRAMENTO

160601034

1877/09/06

129

V

195371

VALERO
BAEZ VICTOR

10107020

1878/12/23

128

V

174340

SALAZAR
CACERES CONCEPCION

160801018

1878/06/06

128

V

18374

PEREZ DE
RODRIGUEZ ISABEL

210303009

1878/11/08

128

V

15954

VASQUEZ
MELENDEZ RENATO

220104001

1878/09/20

128

V

14137

ANDERSON
GARCIA MANUEL

211805023

1878/01/13

128

V

14103036

QUINTERO
CAMACHO YIRELYS YELITZA

70801008

1879/07/19

127

V

14015657

DIAZ
RAMOS YSMERYS DEL VALLE

10111013

1879/04/04

127

V

12384486

ROYER
ESPINOZA ROMA MICHELE

40107014

1879/06/10

127

V

11552731

MEDINA
CARVAJAL DAYDEE MILAGROS

130901059

1879/12/15

127

V

10847209

ZAMBRANO
HERNANDEZ HUMBERTO GREGORIO

110202023

1879/03/24

127

V

10727961

BOZA QUEVEDO
FELIDICTA MARGOT

160301001

1879/07/09

127

V

10560837

ARIAS SELENNE ISABEL

50207006

1879/07/18

127

V

1004406

BRICE-O
PEREZ JOSE IGNACIO

230101002

1879/11/06

127

V

725563

GONZALEZ BARTOLO

10118003

1879/08/10

127

V

23232

SEMAH
VALENCIA LOPEZ PE-A JULIA DELIA

10101010

1879/01/03

127

V

18183

VELASQUEZ BORRA MATIAS

130401021

1879/02/24

127

V

163

PEREZ
ALCANTARA FRANCISCO

120201002

1879/03/07

127

V

134

MARCANO
BETANCOURT IGNACIO

70101006

1879/11/27

127

V

24369789

FERNANDEZ MONTI
MINERVA

210203002

1880/11/02

126

V

21087130

CASTILLO
PEREZ NELSON

220103001

1880/07/06

126

V

19181123

QUEIPO
SALAS SONIA DEL CARMEN

80101004

1880/08/13

126

V

19108503

PIEDRAHITA
VIVEROS ELISA

70203013

1880/02/02

126

V

14230500

SOTO
GALINDEZ YAQUELIN ROSMARY

40108007

1880/07/14

126

V

14015246

MARIN PEREZ
YESENIA CAROLINA

110203003

1880/05/17

126

V

11092813

DELGADO FELIX ANTONIO

40601004

1880/10/06

126


What does it mean?

Some of
the impossibly old ages could be attributed to typographical errors while
registering new voters due to the sloppy and rushed process of the Mision
Identidad (like in the case of FERNANDEZ
MONTI MINERVA CI: V-24,369,789
DOB 1879/11/27)

But that
explanation falls short when considering someone with ID numbers V-10 or V-14
or V-117 or V-123. How did their information find its way into the RE. They
didn’t register themselves, we know that much. That information could only have
come from the ONI-DEX, the government agency in charge of issuing the Identity
cards and could only have been entered into the RE by someone in the CNE as
they are the sole custodians of that database. This is incontrovertible proof
that the RE was tampered by the CNE.

How important is it?

How much
damage can a couple of thousand deceased cause?

The fact
is that we don’t know how many people were added fraudulently into the
database. What made it obvious in this case is their impossibly old ages, but
there could be hundreds of thousands more for all we know.

Look at
the distribution of new voters based on their ages (only Venezuelans):

Less than 20

143,122

between 20 and 29

1,762,709

between 30 and 39

525,913

between 40 and 49

140,263

between 50 and 59

78,957

between 60 and 69

32,600

between 70 and 79

11,284

between 80 and 89


2,341

between 90 and 99


461

between 100 and 109


619

between 110 and 119


175

between 120 and 129


163

between 130 and 139


22

Total

2,698,629


And based
on their ID card numbers (only Venezuelans):


less than 1,000,000

983

between 1,000,000 and 1,999,999

1,191

between 2,000,000 and 2,999,999

1,298

between 3,000,000 and 3,999,999

1,312

between 4,000,000 and 4,999,999

1,557

between 5,000,000 and 5,999,999

3,274

between 6,000,000 and 6,999,999

12,654

between 7,000,000 and 7,999,999

12,968

between 8,000,000 and 8,999,999

14,625

between 9,000,000 and 9,999,999

23,455

between 10,000,000 and 10,999,999

50,395

between 11,000,000 and 11,999,999

83,752

between 12,000,000 and 12,999,999

126,160

between 13,000,000 and 13,999,999

157,665

between 14,000,000 and 14,999,999

194,420

between 15,000,000 and 15,999,999

290,386

between 16,000,000 and 16,999,999

395,826

between 17,000,000 and 17,999,999

462,864

between 18,000,000 and 18,999,999

301,823

between 19,000,000 and 19,999,999

117,330

between 20,000,000 and 20,999,999

46,998

between 21,000,000 and 21,999,999

38,314

between 22,000,000 and 22,999,999

213,110

between 23,000,000 and 23,999,999

80,901

between 24,000,000 and 24,999,999

59,511

between 25,000,000 and 25,999,999

5,857

On the
other hand if they added deceased people, what would stop them from adding
non-existent people with new ID card numbers? Remember Mision Identidad? That may
explain why the CNE doesn’t want to release the voters addresses, virtual
voters simply don’t have real addresses.
But why do it?

In 2004
Chavez started the ‘Misiones’ and he desperately needed to show enough new
voters to be able to swing the result. My guess is they didn’t get as many new voters
as he needed, so they started creating new ones. The same seems to be happening
now when Chavez boasts about winning the December elections with 10,000,000
votes, which is a ridiculous figure. Considering what he allegedly got in the
RR after all the tricks and manipulations.

By adding
their own virtual voters they can ensure a minimum of votes whenever they need
them as long as the ballots are not counted. Also, by inflating the RE the CNE
can make any result hard to audit because anything that falls outside the
historical pattern can always be argued saying that is because of all the new
voters that are in favor of Chavez.

This makes
it so much clearer why the CNE doesn’t want a thorough audit of the RE. This is
really incriminating evidence. If this much can be found by a few individuals
working in their free time, just imagine what a team of dedicated specialists may
find.

Letter to my fellow Venezuelans who want change

June 23, 2006


My fellow
Venezuelans in the opposition:

I hope I
can catch your attention for a few minutes now that the first stage of the
futbol World Cup is over and before you immerse yourself in the next stage with
the same passion, joy and dedication that you did in the first. I must say that
I find such passion remarkable, given that the event is one month long, that
Venezuela did not qualify and that futbol, as we call soccer in Venezuela, is
not as much of an integral part of our heritage or our competence, as other sports
are.


And I am
impressed by the passion, I have seen cars and motorcycles with as many as four
flags from different countries, I have seen stores in the streets with crowds
watching on the plasma TV’s that have become ubiquitous both in stores and food
places, whether areperas or fancy restaurants. I have also noticed how the
horrible Caracas
traffic simply dies out during games; buses run empty at those times and there
as fewer people in the streets.


However, I
would like to call your attention to a number of concerns:

First of
all, while you were watching the Iran-Angola match, the CNE appointed the most
mediocre universities in the country to audit the REP rejecting more
prestigious and capable ones, Chavez dressed in military uniform and caressed
the first 30,000 Kalashnikov rifles to arrive in Venezuela, the CNE ordered an
additional 4,000 fingerprint capture machines for the December elections, the National Assembly threatened to impose
even more ferrous controls over NGO’s that are already in place, Chavez said he
would visit North Korea (and North Vietnam!), the Ministry of Finance bought U$
242 million more of Argentinean bonds and 660 homicides occurred since the
World Cup began.

My point
is very simple: Yes, the World Cup is fun to watch, but by the time you watch
the final match between Germany
and England
(bold prediction from someone that knows little here), a full month would have
gone by. This means that we would have lost 30 days out of the 174 days we had
left until the December Presidential election. It may not seem like much on the
scale of the fourth time dimension implied. But it is a long time given what is
at stake and how little time there is to change the outcome of the upcoming
Presidential election.

You don’t
think the election will be fair? You don’t think we have a chance? You think it
is irrelevant? You may be right in one, two or three of these questions, I just
don’t know. But what I do believe is that we just can’t give up. Everyone has
to pitch in a little bit of his/her time, in his/her own way. You can work for
a candidate; you can work for an NGO. You can talk to someone, you can send an
e-mail. You can start your own goofball project. You can write an article.
Nobody is going to come and solve our problems, we have to do it ourselves and
we have to keep the same democratic spirit alive that we have had ever since
the autocrat was first elected. The alternative is just not acceptable.

This
Government is a gigantic failure. Yes, Chavez’s promises capture the
imagination of the have-nots, convincing them that he really cares or that he
will deliver something someday. But we all know it is all smoke and mirrors and
that all he cares about is his personal project as leader of the third world,
which is not what he was elected for. Meanwhile, he selects the unconditional but incompetent
collaborators to run things, insuring that 99% of his projects will be a
failure.

Thus, he
can be defeated, even as he cheats. He is not as popular as the Government
wants to convince us he is. His hard core support is as large as our hard core
opposition. Those in between, those that have yet to see “el queso a la
tostada” (the cheese in the sandwich) are wavering. And they need little to be
convinced that the fake revolution is a sham. They see Chavez everyday giving
away our wealth to other countries and other people before our own problems
have even been tackled, let alone solved. They see him buying weapons, spending
more than half his time abroad, reneging on almost all of his promises, they
see the revolutionaries leaders and military officers in fancy cars, corruption
rampant, security non-existent, housing starts at the lowest kevels of a decade
despite a huge oil windfall, they see an intolerant Government using
doublespeak at every turn, they see internal disputes over the bounty, they see
people going hungry, kids dying of malnutrition, tropical diseases on the increase, they see
more corruption, hospitals that don’t work, they see the poor protest, the
students protest and even the revolutionaries protest. The poor may be hopeful,
romantic, but most Venezuelans are intelligent and they realize that the
revolution has not delivered and are doubting that it ever will. Thus we have a
chance, but we have to work at it.

Thus, all
I ask is that before July 9th. when the World Cup ends, you spend
the time equivalent to the duration of a game doing something to help Venezuela
become a better country, more democratic, fairer, convince someone we need change, work for
someone campaigning for change, get involved. Once again, no magic solution
will come out of nowhere, we are the solution, and we have to work at it. You
can never have too much democracy, you can never have too much involvement, you
can never allow the autocrat and his new very rich oligarchy take over to the
extent that we are not heard, felt or controlled.

And after
July 9th. double the time you devote to this cause. If each and
everyone does that, we will surely be able to shake the ground on which the
autocrat stands. Just think, we are committed, we believe that change is
needed, but only 17% of the Chavistas are equally committed. If we all show up
to express our dissatisfaction on December 3d. even if we really are a minority,
which I don’t believe we are, we would still get more votes than the other
side. But we have to work at it! Freedom is just not a gift, sometimes you have
to earn it or fight for it

Thus, my
fellow Venezuelans, before you go back to the games of the next round, think
hard about the future, think hard about the possibilities, enjoy the games, but
save something of that passion, dedication and joy for a more important,
meaningful and higher cause.

Your friendly blogger

P.S. I hope you don’t take my prediction for the World Cup final as serious as you take my letter

(The Spanish version is over at Cuentos Intrascendentes)

Some Chavistas getting fed up with corruption and influence peddling

June 21, 2006


If things
are frustrating for us, that have always been able to see through the
revolution and oppose Chavez, imagine how supporters of the revolution who can see
from the inside how the daily cesspool gets filled with more and more filth. Most of
them remain silent, but others just can’t and risk their status within the
revolution when they speak out.

One such
man is Eustoquio Contreras, a Deputy from Movimiento Electoral del Pueblo (MEP) who is
the Vice-President of the Comptrolling Committee of the National Assembly. While
the Comptroller says everything is peachy and there has been corruption since
the times of the Romans and continues to illegally collect both his pension and
his salary; and a former Comptroller reminds him that Chavez giving Bolivia
helicopters and deciding on the spot to give money to something or other is
simply against the laws, including the anti-corruption law, Contreras says things are really getting ugly. But the former
Comptroller is not pro-Chavez, but Contreras is, and here is what he had to
say in his press conference yesterday
:

”Many
thing are happening that after seven years should not be happening: fights over
bureaucratic spaces, corruption among us, people defending the corrupt and
attacking honest people, a President that speaks and nobody listens to him,
people without a roof and without answers”

He enumerated
some of the sins he has encounteres: “Fondafa refuses to give loans to honest people,
INTI protects large landowners, some of which are part of the Vth. Republic,
while it tramples over those that have all their paperwork in order, it is us
that are administering the wealth of the country”

“the
(election) on the 4th. of December was an electoral and political, reversal
because of a campaign conducted by people surrounding the highest levels of Government,
the Governors and the Mayors”

I could
say Eustoquio should read this blog, but no, most people that support the Government
can see this everyday, they just don’t have the guts nor the honesty to say
like Conttreras does what they feel, for fear they will be separated form the
revolution. I am sure Eustoquio will be ostracized for this, but it is
comforting to know there are still men of principles within the revolution even
if I disagree with their support of Chavez.

Brilliant cartoon by Weil on the audit of the Electoral Registry

June 21, 2006

Weil shows once again his brilliance, this time clearly understanding that the choice for the CNE was as simple as this:

(Text: You will audit the Electoral Registry)

And the rifles arrived by Ivan Olaizola

June 20, 2006

Former
Professor and University President Ivan Olaizola also had something to say
about the acquisition of the 100,000 rifles by the Venezuelan Army in today’s
Tal Cual
(by subscription). I thought it was not only good, but clever and
it would be worth translating for you all.

And the rifles arrived by Ivan Olaizola

At last the moment has arrived. Another day for the annals of the history of
the homeland. 30 thousand beautiful AK-103 rifles, specially designed by Mr. Kalashnikov for the Bolivarian revolution, pretty, armed and
peaceful. The truth is that the ceremony of the opening of the first box of
rifles, in front of a thick, truly really thick group of high military
officials of the also tall military command, headed by the Minister of Defense
himself, the thickest one of them all, and a true, a really true Admiral, with three
suns, of those that have sailed the seven seas, was something that is hard to
describe. The official announcer of the TV channel that belongs to MVRTV, had
his voice broken over, he could not contain himself in the face of such a
historical and transcendental ceremony. We heard the voice of the Minister
giving the order to some underlings, all with gloves and their mouths covered,
that they could open the first box of rifles. With care, a lot of care, because
they are the jewels of the revolution.

The Minister
raised the first specimen. Here it is my Commander in Chief, holding the first
AK-103, which weighed 4.1 Kilos. And at a cost of US$ 386.22 (something like
Bs. 850,000)

To hell with the FAL’s (the previous rifles of the Venezuelan Armed
Forces). Now get your bayonet out with care.

Beautiful
instrument of fine craftsmanship that can cut a hair in the air, as people say.
One could see in a brief glimpse the boxes which contained the two and a half
million bullets of 7.62 caliber. In the background, a dove fluttered around
during the ceremony. Those that were accompanying the Minister had misty eyes;
it was all emotion, maximum adrenalin, 120 beats per minute. And it could not
be any other way. In the remote distance the supreme leader of this process
licked his lips and rubbed his hands. Total revolutionary orgasm.

Puerto
Cabello

also paid its respects, its usually calm waters choppy with giant waves to
greet the revolutionary and pacific particiapants of the event.

But there was more.
The remainder 70 thousand AK-103 will arrive for Christmas as a present of the
God Child, not from Santa.

And our skies were cut through by 15 Russian helicopters: 6
MI17, 8 MI-35 and one MI-26 and 18 and more are on the way. But the peaceful
list does not end there. There are also orders for fighter planes, submarines,
torpedoes, missiles, bombs, grenades, mines, tanks and convoy vehicles. The
Russian ship ANYA has cargoes for a few months. Mission Peace, we could call
it. Billions of dollars for peace. Thus declared the Vice President of the
Republic. Write it down well, mister reporter, so you don’t twist the news,
noted Ministers Aristobulo and Moncada. You can write in your article that the
AK-103’s are for the revolution like pencils, notebooks, computers, desks and
books.

This revolution has provided us with beautiful days, with
shining sun and soft breeze, but I doubt any other one like this one.

Let the schools and the Bolivarian high schools and the
universities wait. Pensioned off teachers should be patient.

Potholes will be covered and bridges repaired. The victims
of natural disasters will be dignified. No more Vargas, no more viaducts.

No more kids in
the streets. There will be no more blackouts, nor water shortages, but the
lemna will indeed be gone. Healthcare for everyone. From the arsenal of the
Armed Forces in Maracay, where they
were taken to be custodied, they will be distributed to all the defenders of
the pretty and peaceful revolution with 30 cartridges per charge, so they can
fire 30 kisses of love for their fellow human beings. At the tip of ethe barrel
of each AK-103 there is a flower of hope. Mi wife whispers at mi ear: didn’t
you tell me once that someone invented a machine to cut necks with and they
tested it with him? The truth is I don’t understand, what does that have to do
with this?

Who is he aiming at with his Russian rifle? By Ana Julia Jatar

June 19, 2006

The issue of crime is getting lots of press, a former General said today that this was a war, coinciding with our view last week.Meanwhile, a former Chavez Minsiter of Defense noted today that Venezuela has gone from a policy of international cooperation to one of international confrontation and denies Venezuela is being forced to buy all the military equipment it is buying. Then comes this very good article by Ana Julia Jatar in today’s El Nacional which combines these themes into a single article that I thought was worth translating:

Who is he aiming at with his Russian rifle? By Ana Julia Jatar

To see a President dressed in military garb
with a rifle in his hands provokes shivers through anybody’s spine. Last week,
President Chavez did it and he did with cruelty. As if the absolute control
that he has imposed on all public powers was not sufficient, with the dexterity
of one who was trained to kill in the armed forces, he held a recently acquired
Russian rifle and threatened us again.


As usual, the threats were directed to other supposed
allies of yanquee imperialism.

This time it was the turn of the TV broadcasting
stations.


We already know the game, under the excuse that we are going
to be invaded by the enemy from the North; this President steals our freedom,
arms himself to the teeth and allows for the inefficiency and corruption of his
Government to destroy the country.

To understand where the Venezuelan President is truly, truly
pointing at, it is sufficient to remember what he said at Fort Tiuna
in November 2004. At that time he told the Venezuela people:

“In this new stage those that are with me, are
with me and those that are not with me, are against me”. Thus, his battle is
not against the empire of the North, his war is here in Bolivar’s homeland and
his weapons are aimed at us. Besides, aiming at Venezuela should not surprise us;
he has been doing it since 1992 when he staged a coup against a democratically
elected Government.

That is why, Mr. President, who do you think
you are deceiving? You removed your mask long ago! Moreover, when you, rifle in
hand, threaten to shut down TV stations, do you think you are being original?
Don’t even think about it, we have seen that movie before in many dictatorships
and by the way the stuff with the rifle …

Only from the military and right wing at that.
Let the world of the intellectual left that you want to charm with your lies
see it: you are a soldier that is arming himself to repress the Venezuelan
people, not to defend it.


You call the broadcast media “Troy
horses of imperialism” Why? Could it be that it irritates you that we learn
through them of the stream of dissatisfaction that there exists in the country?
Perhaps you don’t even want to be reminded of a small detail; that small piece
of data missing from your equation, from your delusions of grandeur: reality.
You live happily in a miserable farce of being the people’s savior, the same
people you distance yourself more from everyday. And you know it.


You know the country is in flames. Everyday your revolutionary Government uses
force to “repress” an average of three protests against inefficiency and
corruption in your administration. Excuse me, who did you say you are arming
the military to defend us from?

Mister President, of course you have the people that protest and the broadcast
media in your sight. Everything you can’t control at your whim drives you crazy.
The broadcast media
reported during the last month dozens of protests.

For example, a protest was repressed on highway 10 that goes to Brazil because
people were asking for drinking water. Over there, in your land of Barinas
they protested the arbitrary detention by the army of 30 peasants. In Maturin, the police intervened
to control protests over to the lack of electricity. In the East of Caracas, in
Petare, and in the west, in El Paraiso, transportation drivers shut traffic
down many times because they are fed up of being killed like dogs. The students at the University of the Andes were also repressed while Minister Jesse Chacon was accusing them of destabilizing
the country. In Caracas,
Polimiranda aborted a student protest.

In Carabobo people went out in the streets frustrated by the
unfulfilled promises of housing. In Güigüe and in Caracas the same thing happened in front of
the offices of CONAVI (Housing Office). The prisoners at El Dorado went on a hunger strike while in
the El Junquito prison, three prisoners died. By the way, so far this year there
have been 117 deaths and 244 injured in our prisons. And the list of
dissatisfactions
in the last thirty days continues, but I am running out of space.

Let’s remember in closing that due to your
constant preaching of war and confrontation, this land of Bolivar
has turned into the most violent in the hemisphere, 44 Venezuelans die everyday
and many of them happen in confrontations with the police and the National
Guard. And Mr. President, I am sorry, but I still don’t understand. Who are you
arming the military to defend us from?

Few flowers, two hybrids

June 19, 2006

There should be more flowers than there are, except for the Purpuratas I have shown already, there is little new. I had a couple of interesting things but the flowers were damaged or did not have a good shape. Strangely enough, since I have so few hybrids I did have two hybrids in flower as shown below. On the left is a Dendrobium that is flowering for the first time, I really don’t know the name, it is very nice, amazing contrast between the yellow and the purple. The name should be in my files, I don’t own so many like this. On the right very waxy flowers from what I believe is called Lc. Daffodil.

Limit on comments in post below

June 18, 2006

We reached the software limit on the comments on the posts “The real war…..” below. This has happened before, but people keep posting. It has to do with a limit either in the size of the comments or the numbers of posts, I have never been able to figure out which. I have removed comments that were way off topic in order to accomodate as many as possible, but if you post a comment it will simply not appear.

Open debate on electoral registry audit enrages Minister

June 18, 2006


Interesting
debate in today’s newspapers and the news about the so called audit of the
Electoral Registry being performed by the CNE. First, in El Nacional there is a
face of between the President (Rector in Venezuela) of Universidad Simon
Bolivar and the Rector of Universidad Romulo Gallegos. This open debate, which shoudl be part of any democracy, simply enraged the Minister of Communications, who called it  them a campaign to disqualify the audit. He is wrong, the CNE did that when it structured  the auidt it the way it did.

The Head
of Simon Bolivar University Benjamin Sharifker, probably the best internationally
known academic to reach that post,  in
his statements is sharply critical of the CNE techniques calling them XIX th.
Century, but does try to leave a door open to have the universities that are
participating in the process join the audit. Sharifker actually gets combative,
saying that the group of which his university is part has not made any statements
or proposals of auditing border municipalities, which leads him to suggest that
this is something that is feared within CNE. Basically Sharifker says that the
audit needs to have demographics in it and that rather than making it just a
random sample, you hovel to use modern techniques that optimize the possibility
of finding problems with it.  

In
contrast, Luis Gallardo, the Rector of Romulo Gallegos University, who was
named to the position, gives vary vague assurances about the audit in what is essentially
a political statement. He does say something which is incorrect that there will
be a demographic study, yes there will be a demographic study, but it will not
look outside of the electoral registry into the database of the National
Identification System like proposed by the universities which are not participating.
 

Finally, there is
an interview in El Universal
with Central University
math and statistics Professor Ricardo Rios, which the reporter chose to
highlight with a headline that says “Even the country’s Liberators will be able
to vote in the election”. Rios is none other than the man that designed the so
called “Kino” in the elections for representatives to the Constituent Assembly
in 1999, which allowed Chavez to have 96 of the 100 members of that Assembly,
which was a violating of the Venezuelan Constitution which guaranteed
proportional participation. In the interview Rios actually acknowledges that he
came up with the idea which led everyone to think that he was pro-Chavez. But
he defines himself as not pro-Chavez, left wing and suggests this is a
totalitarian Government, not left wing but simply a military Government.

Rios
begins by saying that even the audit being carried out without their participation
has not really started because there are problems 9n the databases that make
comparisons between the current and prior registries problematic. He claims
that 80to 90% of the registry is fine, but the question is then whether the
part that is not right can be used to change the outcome of an election. He
notes the inordinate amount of old people in the registry, including what he
calls the “immortals”, the close to 40,000 Venezuelans of age over 100 that
vote and will be able to vote in the December election. He suggests that they have
found other anomalies, such as very anomalous distributions of the last digit
in electoral centers, as an example of strange things in the registry. Thus, he
concludes only by being able to do a comparative sample with the data of the electoral
registry and the national ID registry would one know whether the registry is
valid or not. By the way, he blames the bad state of the registry on the “Mision
Identidad” which bypassed procedures and validatiosn in order to carry out its
goal.

The
touchiness of the Government with the subject became once again obvious when
Minister of Communication William Lara, found the time in between  soccer matches (Chavez cancelled his Alo
Presidente because it coincided with the time of the Brazil-Australia match) to come
out and blast
Sharifker and Rios. Lara, who has yet to realize that there
is an ethical problem and a conflict of interest in being the spokesman for the
Ministry and for Chavez’ MVR party at the same time, said he was representing the
party. He called these interviews “the instrumentation of a campaign to
disqualify in advance the audit being preformed on the registry”. He called Sharifker
and Rios part of the “recalcitrant opposition” (He did not call Gallardo a Government
puppet though) saying that Sharifker was using his position as President of
Simon Bolivar University to “disqualify automatic voting in Venezuela”.
Amazing how Lara can come up with these things given his unethical status
whenever he says anything as both Minister and spokesman for Chavez’ political
party. 

He also
took advantage of the opportunity to blast the media for participating in this campaign
and obviously even suggested there was a transnational strategy against the country
in all this.  

Clearly
the manipulation of the way in which the audit is being performed did not go as
well as they expected and they are quite sensitive about it. To top it all,
Sharifker announced they will hold a seminar at Simon
Bolivar University
on the subject and will invite the best researchers in the area outside Venezuela to participate.
This is what Lara is actually afraid of, that the charade of an audit the
Government put together with the institutions it controls will be openly
revealed and even ratified by these international academics who are the true
experts in audits which involve voting rolls and demographics.

Brazil, Roraima and Oscar D’Leon make for a light Sunday for now

June 18, 2006

It is Sunday, Brazil is playing, time for something light, below left a spectacular picture of the Roraima mountain in Guayana published in today’s El Nacional (page E-1). Below on the right, a better picture from last week’s Oscar D’Leon concert than the crummy one I posted taken with my cellphone. I took it from sin flash, where you can see many more.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 11,599 other followers