Archive for October, 2006

Chavez asking for debate in ’98: Who is not sure about ideas now?

October 31, 2006

Chavez publicly calling for a debate with Irene Saez in 1998:

Washington Post discovers Chavez’ autocracy

October 30, 2006

Well, Yesterday Smartmatic, today it was none other than Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez prominently in the international news as the Washington Post had an article on the Anderson case. For Venezuelans what the article says is nothing new, what is new is that somebody outside is paying attention. Any of these paragraphs tells what we have been saying for the last couple of years:

“Unfortunately, few outside Venezuela paid attention to what happened next: Opposition journalists began digging into the case and found a very different story. Anderson, it turned out, was living far beyond his means and had a huge stash of cash in his home. He was alleged to have participated in an extortion racket that included lawyers, government prosecutors and judges — a conspiracy that was said to touch Chavez’s vice president, José Vicente Rangel. Ten days after the bombing, a lawyer suspected of involvement was shot dead by police; three former policemen with links to the lawyer were arrested, convicted of carrying out Anderson’s murder and sentenced to 27 to 30 years in prison.”

Yes. Outright murder of “suspects” in this so called democracy, followed by quickie justice for others, as the case remains unexplained to this day.

Or

“Chavez’s minister (actually Prosecutor) reacted by obtaining a court order prohibiting the media from reporting about Vasquez. Yet even outright censorship didn’t work. In August one of the journalists, Laura Weffer of the newspaper El Nacional, tracked down and interviewed Vásquez, who broke with the government after he was charged in an unrelated case of domestic violence. A chagrined Rodriguez at last was forced to concede to the paper that he had been “deceived” by his witness.

Yes, censorship and outright lying by the man in charge of Justice in Venezuela has been the rule of the day. If not, ask the mayor of Chacao who has 26 cases berought against him. Or the fact that Rodriguez wrote a book on the matter. Talk about conflict of interest.

And then the nail on the autocracy charge:

“What this shows is that an independent judiciary is essential in a democratic country. And we don’t have that. What we have is a man who is determined to monopolize power.

Yes, democracy is a state of mind, not elections every x years…

Smartmatic is found out?

October 28, 2006

According to The New York Times the US Congress wants to investigate the relation between the current owners of voting machine company Sequoia and the Venezuelan Government. You see, after Smartmatic got paid a sweet amount for the machines, and probably more, used in the Recall Referendum of 2004 in Venezuela, they decided to expand. Since in the US you have to pass some, fairly trivial, tests. They took a shortcut, they bought a company (Sequoia) that had already pass the tests. Now, congressional leaders are wary of the relation between Hugo Chavez government and the Smartmatic/Sequoia company. The Venezuelan ambassador in the US denies any relation (Why does he do it?) and some expert believes that the Venezuelan government would be incapable of trying to subvert the US election. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

(Not Miguel, Not Jorge, just another Ghost Blogger)

Sugary humor

October 28, 2006

A Chilean producer of artificial sugar made a commercial
with an image of Bush kissing Chavez. There was an oil field in the background
and the slogan: “We got the impossible, we reinvented sugar”.

El
Universal
reports that the new appointed Venezuelan ambassador in Chile
was not amused and made a formal complaint.

No complaints from the US
Ambassador; the Americans seem to have a better sense of humor.

Reporting from cyberspace,

Jorge Arena
Invited Ghost.

Note: Since I cannot upload the picture in Miguel’s system,
you can see
it here
for the time being.

Is this bad faith or incompetence?

October 28, 2006

Venezuela stops issuing visas to Israeli citizens

(IsraelNN.com) Venezuela,
which recently has forged closer ties with Iran, has announced it no longer
will issue visas to Israeli tourists. A Venezuelan official insisted the
cessation of allowing visits was a technical problem and that they would be
resumed after a top diplomat returns to Israel. He has been absent for
more than two months and there is no indication if and when he will return.

A sign of President Hugo Chavez’s increasingly anti-Israel sentiments was his
recent accusation that Israel
was guilty of genocide in the retaliation against Hizbullah terrorists last
summer.

Travelling

October 26, 2006

I will be going away next week on a family trip, I will try to post if I have access, taking the server somewhere else so that it the lights go out it does not stop me from posting. I may post something before I leave. Thanks!

Rosales’ Electoral Coordinator

October 25, 2006

I just heard an interview with Rosales’ Electoral. Eliseo Fermin, coordinator on the details of how the voting is supposed to take place on dec. 3d., which I thought it would be useful to convey to the readers.

–He began by talking about how the members of the electoral “mesas” were chosen. In the last few days, there have been rumors that 75% of all people manning the polling stations were pro-Chavez, while Chavez’ fiery supporter Lina Ron said that 90% were pro-Rosales. He said that this was not the case. He also said that a first list of people to man the polling stations was rejected by Rosales’ team because it clearly could not have been selected at random and a second list was generated, after a group of technical people reviewed both the software and hardware used. From their examination of the second list, they did believe it is random and that it may have a slight ‘Chavista” edge, because the law says that teachers have a special representation on the polling stations and many may be pro-Chavez only so as not to lose their jobs.

In addition to the people handling the stations, Rosales has appointed two witnesses per ‘mesa” who are being trained on their duties. On top of that Rosales has identified, as a minimum, one person at each table, who they are confident will defend his votes.

–All machines have to be disconnected all day. They can only be connected to the network, after every single tally sheet at the particular voting center has been printed and copies distributed to all sides. Once all of the President’s of each mesa meet and agree all the tally sheets have been printed and distributed, can the machines be connected to the network.

–Once the transmission is completed, the audit will begin. All of the President’s of “mesas” and in the presence of anyone from the public, will write down numbers in pieces of paper which will be put in a cup and someone from the public, not the Presidents will choose a piece of paper, another person another one, untill all “mesas” to be audited are selected.

The way the 55% works is as follows: If a center has one mesa, that mesa is audited, if it has two, one mesa is audited, it it has three or four, two mesas are audited, if it has five or six three mesas are auidted, if it has seven or eight four mesas are audited and it it has 9 or ten, 5 mesas are audited. (I hope I got this part right).

A copy of the audit tally will also be provided to each side.

–In closing, Mr. Fermin explained that when Rosales was elected Governor two years ago, the Chavistas were claiming in Zulia that the race was even. Rosales had copies of all of the tally sheets, showing a ten percentage point difference between him and Gral. Gutierrez. Rosales met with the press and invited them to look over all of the results, twenty minutes later he was declared the winner by the CNE. The same monitoring system will be deployed on Dec. 3d. He also said that the problems in the RR were the absence of a large audit, the machines were connected all day and the tally sheets were not a complete set.

Reported just as I heard it and hoping my memory did not fail me.

The gang that could not keep a story straight…and lost

October 24, 2006


Today, Foreign
Minister Nicolas Maduro, gave
a long press conference
where he clearly stated that a number of options
are being considered and that Venezuela will not desist of its candidacy unless
Guatemala withdraws first and the US “cease its gross pressure and blackmail”
as opposed I guess to Chavez’ own gross
pressure and true blackmail.

But… then
comes silly Evo Morales and announces that not only is Venezuela giving up its candidacy in favor of Bolivia’s, but that he talked “last night” to Venezuela’s Ambassador Julio
Montes (The guy that
that wants
to bleed for the Bolivian revolution, forgetting than in the
Bolivarian revolution, the only bleeders are those hat oppose it) and to Chavez
himself, who told him that since Venezuela could not get the two thirds majority, he
is giving it up in favor of Bolivia.

Thus, it
appears as if Maduro, as he was putting up a tough revolutionary face and show in front
of the press, had already been short-circuited or ignored by his boss the
almighty autocrat. It certainly appears as if Venezuela and Bolivia don’t speak the same
language, as their leaders and Ministers contradict themselves almost daily (remember the
2, 10 or 20 border forts depending on who you talked to

This is
actually a somewhat sad ending to the whole affair. Had Chavez been willing to
talk to Guatemala both countries could have withdrawn and an alternative found,
which would have given both Guatemala and Venezuela a graceful exit. Now,
Guatemala says it
is still in the race and it seems hard to believe Venezuela can endorse Bolivia
all of its votes. Thus, it looks like Guatemala will win tomorrow, taking along
the “myth” of “knee on the ground”, “defeating the empire” and Venezuela’s “independence
and “strength”. In fact, this sounds so much like that fateful night on Feb. 4th
1992, where Chavez had his “knee on the ground”, but in the end chickened out,
as he has every time things have gotten tough in his life.

What will
Maduro say tomorrow? Bet on “The Empire has been defeated”, “We fought with dignity” and “Evo misunderstood Chavez”. Sooooo predictable!

But in the end, the position was Venezuela’s to lose and clearly Chavez managed to do everything in his power to lose, by showing the same lack of respect for people and institutions that he has shown Venezuelans for the last eight years.

(Peruvians
can at least keep a secret for a while longer, as a Deputy from that country’s Congress
who supported Ollanta Humala’s candidacy revealed today,
four months after the election of Alan Garcia, that the Venezuelan Embassy gave
former Presidential candidate Ollanta Humala four million dollars for his
campaign. Chavez has always denied this, but I imagine the money came from Chavez’
pocket money and family’s wealth, no?)

From today’s news with comments

October 24, 2006


—Bolivian
Minister of Defense on
the agreement
to have Venezuela
finance and build 10 or 20 military forts: “These agreements are not to attack
anyone, nor to defend ourselves from anyone, these is related to the new times
we are living in”

Well, I
knew of military forces to attack or defend, but the only neutral army I know
is the Swiss Army, and they do defend the Pope, no? So what’s the point?

—Manuel
Rosales
challenging
Chavez to a debate: “I request of Fidel (Castro) that he give
permission and advice Chavez to accept the debate”

I guess
Rosales is busy in the campaign trail; dead men don’t give permission or argue
with anyone

—PPT
leader on a possible debate between Chavez and Rosales: “You and the country,
all of you know the characteristics of President Chavez and those of Rosales,
in a debate now, Rosales would be defeated, it would be a fight of a donkey against
a tiger”

These guys
can’t even keep their logic straight for a single sentence, if he mentions
Chavez first and Rosales second, and then says donkey versus tiger, guess who
is the donkey? I bet he does not even get it yet…

—Minister
of Communications William Lara after
the
Cabinet today: Chavez is the most democratic President of Venezuela’s
Republican life”

Two coups,
three years advocating the overthrow of the Government, does not accept debate,
never talks to the opposition, does not recognize democratically elected
Presidents that are not his friends. Ummm, did he forget to say in this
century?

—Meteorological
Service this morning (Can’t find link): “There will be rains once again this
afternoon in the Valley
of Caracas”.

It did not
rain for the first time in the last ten afternoons.

—Three
Venezuelan Deputies from the 100% controlled Chavez controlled National
Assembly participated
today in the take over
of a Coca Cola plant, threatening to expropriate the
company if they don’t pay the workers what they say they are due.

The case
has been in the Courts for years, but there has been no decision, I guess the
Deputies do not trust the Chavista overhauled Justice System.

We still have time by Laureano Marquez

October 22, 2006


And I can’t help but translate last
Friday’s
hilariously depressing article by Laureano Marquez in Tal Cual and combine it with today’s Weil cartoon:



We still have time
by Laureano Marquez in Tal Cual

That position in the Security Council is of interest
to all of us, pro-Government or opposition. One of the things that may
contribute in Venezuela
changing, is that nobody has any doubts about where we stand and what we are. For that, an important
position at the UN is vital. There is a lot that can be done there for the
cause. That is why I see no reason for dismay and crybabies, given that we
have electoral methods and strategies which have been sufficiently proven
locally.

Venezuela still
has time to win if it is capable, in the four days left before the vote is
resumed, to put in practice the same procedures that have worked so well at
home. Time is running out and what needs to be done is there to be seen:

—Install Smartmatic voting machines for the next round of the vote

—Place fingerprint capturing machines at the entrance to where the vote
is taking place and promote lines of 12 or more hours so that the ambassadors
get bored to death and leave the shit like that and don’t vote

—Place the Bolivarian circles of New
York at the gates of the UN so that they insult and
throw rocks at any ambassador that is suspected of voting against us. Little by
little their morals will be undermined up to the point that they will resign.

—Simultaneously, threaten the people at CNN so they do not make transmissions.
Sabotage their communications and kidnap their microwave transmitters.

— At this point (second day of the suspension), Tascon would be
installed with his laptop in the Great Apple, with his list perfectly
elaborated with all of the officials that should be fired and their history of
voting in similar previous events.

—On the diplomatic front, Guatemala and their candidate have
to be disqualified and accused of bribing other countries, of buying votes and
of blocking the vote. That is, of what we ourselves are doing.

—At the same time, start a plan to distribute money and bring a
briefcase full of cash, before each round of voting.

—If done right, even the US will end up voting for us. Money
kills anything as is clearly demonstrated by local politics.

—When the moment to count the votes arrives, the entrance to the tantalization
room should be restricted and the manual counting of the ballots should be
blocked.

—The results will be made known around four in the morning, when Carter
can barely stay awake

If this simple advice is followed, in four days the destiny of the world
will be in our hands and then they will know what we are capable of…

Ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja,
ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja… ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja,
ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja, ja!

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