Archive for August 15th, 2006

Ten million. Sure! by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

August 15, 2006


Ten million. Sure!
by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

“It’s going to cost us a lot to get those ten millions votes”,
it was something like that, more or less, that Chavez said the day that he registered
his candidacy for President. When he gets off from that fantasy cloud, he is
going to discover that what is becoming uphill, is whether he wins or not.

The proofs of the dissatisfaction become each day more
plentiful and more conclusive all over the country. There is not a day in which
huge traffic jams are not produced in roads and highways, protests of all sorts,
through which the people each day, more disappointed than the one before,
express their discomfort and their protest.

And they don’t lack reasons. Victims of disasters that have
been waiting for years for the house promised by Chavez at those times when
Chavez called them the “dignified”. The word has disappeared from the official
lexicon, because those same people are really pissed today. Taxi and bus
drivers stop the traffic, incensed, given the inefficiency of the Government in
the fight against crime, which each day takes the life of one of them.

The inhabitants of the popular barrios shut down traffic in
avenues and roads, demanding decent public services. On the other hand, the dry
leather of the protesting Venezuela
is rising, because each day the failure of the Government in fulfilling its
most elementary duties, such as defending the right to life or property,
providing housing and public services to the population that lacks them, is
simply more visible.

What is happening with people’s personal security is simple terrifying.

The extremes reached by the combination of the uncontrolled underworld
and the official incompetence is such that almost 90% of Venezuelans believe that
, according to polls, the lack of personal security is the worst problem they
are facing. And the President, who almost never mentions the problem in his
verbose addresses to the nation, when he did, two weeks ago, he did it to complain
that “his people were getting killed” (that is those that support
him) and he does nothing. In a country overwhelmed by kidnappings, by homicides,
by robberies, by stolen cars, the only time he has expressed his concern was to
deepen the profound psychological divide that he himself has provoked in the
country: victims are his supporters, the rest don’t matter.

But in the popular barrios the fear and the fury increase, because
criminals don’t distinguish political colors and the words of the President end
up being a scorn and an insult to the pain and suffering of the thousands of
families that have lost dear ones in the unending shoot outs between gangs or
in the ineffable police executions, that just happen to be a variant of the homicidal
gangs

While the fight against crime fails or his housing policy,
he shows himself particularly threatening in his expansion for total control of
society. He can’t control crime, but he nationalizes sports, he can’t control
crime, but he pretends to control and nullify all organizations that defend
human rights, he can’t control crime, but he wants to educate kids and adolescents
with a square mindset.

But is just so happens that you can’t fool all people all
the time. That is why everyday, more people are ready to present their bill on
December 3d.

When the Government fails, blame others!

August 15, 2006

And speaking of lying populists….

Tonight President Hugo Chavez threatened to re-nationalize Verizon owned telephone company CANTV because in the words of the President “CANTV has not paid them (the retired workers) what it should for their pensions…they are paying them a miser amount, despite a decision by the Supreme Court…”

Well, this is simply cheap populism…as usual. The Supreme Court did rule that CANTV had to change the pensions, but it ordered a Court to calculate how much the workers were owed. The Court in turn asked the Venezuelan Central Bank to make the calculation based on the union contracts signed by the union and CANTV since 1992. The Central Bank came up with a number for each of the workers covered by the Supreme Court, but was not clear as to exactly the Court meant, so it sent eight different scenarios to the Court for each worhker.

Meanwhile, the company offered each of the affected workers to pay them what the company thinks it should pay, based on the Supreme Court’s decision. Some workers have accepted the offer, which is not binding. Meanwhile, the Court itself has been sitting on the eight options sent by the Central Bank for over two months, without making a ruling. Typical revolutionary incompetence.

So, whose fault is it? The company for not paying or the Court’s for not deciding? My answer is: Chavez for being so irresponsible!

Words are cheap, and that is all the revolution has going for it, the empty words of a man that promises, offers, but seldom delivers, except in its populist rhethoric.

But this is Chavez’ style, whenever his Government fails to do what it has to do, he blames others. Just don’t blame him!

Revolutionary toothpaste, made by Israeli company

August 15, 2006

A couple of days ago I had said that the MVR Deputy to the National Assembly Belkis Solis was simply lying when she said that the name of the toothpaste distributed in the Mercal chain of markets had the name “Ten million smiles” only coincidentally, as well as lying when she said it was made by a coop and equally telling a made up story when she said the name was the result of a study that said that ten million people don’t brush their teeth in Venezuela. I found this also insulting given the levels of personal care that Venezuelans at all levels have always exhibited.

Well, I had information at the time that said this was all lies and that this toothpaste was not made by a coop but by a private company. Well, today I had confirmation about this, as well as the news appearing in Tal Cual (page 6). Indeed the tootpaste is made by Tropical Degil Industries, an Israeli company, which markets it under the name “Tropical” in Venezuela and has been sued all over the place for making their tubes look like Colgate. Maybe she thought it was made at a kibbutz?

Ironic that such a revolutionary product, distributed via the revolutionary chain of markets, happens to be made by a company from the country that Chavez in his “revolutionary” fervor recently decided to break realtionships with, no? It just goes to prove how money flows in the best capitalistic style in the “pretty” revolution.

Jesse discovers corruption

August 15, 2006

So the Minister of Interior and Justice says outraged that Carlos Ortega and his mates paid the guards to allow them to escape. Yes Jesse, it is called graft, corruption and it is all over the place. You can just about buy anyone in the robolution and the prices are not even high! Didn’t you know that? Look around you. The cars, the houses, the apartments, the trips. It is all part of it. Corruption like never before. Millions of dollars, not even millions of bolivars.

Some think that this is the best guarantee that the revolution will not survive, the robolutionaries will defend their newly acquired property with their lives. They may be right, but what a sad end for the robolution.

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