Archive for September 16th, 2006

Pictures of an exhibition

September 16, 2006

This weekend was the orchid exhibit of the Miranda State society of orchids. This typically takes place at the end of September, but for reasons of availability of the locale (which is free), it took place two weeks ahead of the usual time which I think went against the event, because most people did not have too many plants in flower.

The good part was that I took my camera and tripod and went at opening time, before there were crowds. This allowed me to take much better pictures despite the fact that there was very poor ligthing in some spots and lots of breeze. Below a collage of 16 plants.

I only had three plants that were exhibition quality, two Dendrobum species and a Cattleya Jenmanii. One of the Dendrobium won second place in its class and the Cattleya Jenmanii won second place too. My cousing also went with me and took three plants along and one of his plants, a Dendrobium Spectabile, won first place in its class (dendrobium species) and first place in its group (All Dendrobiums). He was extremely pleased. Below, some of the plants I liked the most (from left to right for each row):

Catasetum, Laelia Anceps, Schomburkia undulata alba and Leilocattleya

Cyrropetalum hybrid, my cousin’s Dendrobium Spectabile that won 1st prize,Phragmipedium hybrid and Oncidium hybrid

Cattelya  Giga alba, Cattleya Lueddemanniana (Best national flower of the exhibit), Phalenopsis and Cattleya Percivaliana.

Hybrid, two pictures from different angles of a spectacular Stanhopea and the Dendrobium Formosum which gave me second prize.

Chavez’ campaign list only shows his agenda

September 16, 2006

Yesterday
pro-Chavez newspaper Vea had the Head of Chavez’ campaign, Francisco Ameliach, who
“revealed” a list of the eight aspects that the opposition will use
to “attack and discredit the Government and candidate Hugo Chavez”.
Let’s look at it:

1.- Chavez is giving away the country
2.- Chavez aligns with and collaborates with terrorism
3.- Crime and corruption prevail in Venezuela as a result of the ineffectiveness of this Government
4.- Venezuela ahs a dictatorial Government which does not respect human rights
5.- Chavez wants to bring Venezuela to war with the US
6.- Chavez is buying votes with the people’s wealth for Venezuela to get a seat
at the UN’s Security Council
7.- Chavez intervenes in other country’s internal affairs
8.- The Chavez Government does not have respect for private property.

Now, I think the list can be looked upon in two different ways: What is true in
the list and what the opposition will use or not in its campaign.

Of the eight items seven are obviously true and need no discussion: Chavez is
indeed giving away the country’s money, ask London, Uruguay, Argentina and the like,
Chavez does align the country’s foreign policy with country’s like Iran,
Hussein’s Iraq before he was deposed, Syria and its buddies. Crime and corruption have
increased n-fold during these eight terrible years, homicides are up three fold
nationwide and the evidence and results of corruption are out there for all to see. Human rights
are not respected and institutions like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty
International have clearly said so. We have all seen Chavez kissing butt all over the
world to buy votes for the Security Council. As for interfering with other
country’s affairs, ask Mexico,
Peru, Bolivia and
more to come soon. Finally, to say that this Government is respectful of
private property is a real laugher, the Constitution is not even followed when properties are expropriated or threatened with expropriation.

Now, the only item I disagree with is saying that Chavez wants war with the US or this will be a campaign issue. While
keeping his anti-Yankee, anti-Bush, anti-Condoleezza policy, Chavez has done little to provoke a war, nor does he seem to want it. In fact, even
today he is looking for some sort of meeting in Washington DC,
which he has desired and sought for ever since he became President.

What I think is stupid is to think that Rosales’ campaign will make an issue
of many of these topics. I don’t think Rosales is going to talk about Chavez’ autocratic
friends or his intervention into other country’s affairs or even talk much
about Chavez
buying votes for the Security Council. Rosales is clearly emphasizing all local issues: helping
the poor, crime, unemployment, investment and inflation. Remarkably only two of the these are in the list.

This simply means that, in the end, Rosales will make a big issue of only three of
the eight items in the list above: Giving away the people’s money, crime and security and property
rights. The rest are the issues that Chavez gives priority in his agenda, but
so far Rosales has been very good at not allowing Chavez to set his.

By election day, food inflation will have gone up nearly 40% for the year and if Chavez’ campaign thinks that this will not be the focus of Rosales campaign, then they are more out of touch than I previously believed.

What the list does show is that truly the Government is thinking too much about
Chavez’ international agenda, which most Venezuelans could care the least
about. Note that five of the eight items are part of Chavez’ international
agenda or issues that are not part of the day to day concerns of the average
Venezuelans, suggesting that even the strategy is an out of touch strategy
which may backfire is these are the issues the Chavez campaign will emphasize.

Chavez much like his arch-enemy George W. is now emphasizing his international agenda over local problems, a curious and common trait about ambitious leaders. But Venezuelans could care less. In the end it is day to day matters that count. I am pretty sure that within a month Chavez will no longer be travelling much and that the above list will be changed dramatically, unless his campaign is ready to make a colossal mistake.

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