Archive for October 21st, 2006

Anti-Chavez banner in Unare, Anzoategui, Venezuela

October 21, 2006

Anti-Chavez banner at Rosales rally in Unare, Anzoategui State, Venezuela

What a cretin!
After you made us fight brother against brother, father against children and Venezuelans against Venezuelans, you ask for my vote for love. What balls! Because I am pissed I will not give it to you. Vote Popular Force

The eeerily absentee revolutionaries

October 21, 2006


Things
have turned certainly strange in Venezuela in the last few days. First, where is Chavez?
For a man running for President he has been almost invisible all week, as rain and mudslides have caused havoc in most of the country. Add to that
rumors that the Governor of Merida state, a Chavista, is not allowing Chavez to
campaign there, as well as reports that Chavez is traveling to destinations unknown, as he
has been essentially invisible for three days, while Rosales marches on.

But even
stranger is the behavior of the Armed Forces, particularly the Minister of
Defense, who in the face of scandal after scandal, involving the Armed Forces,
whenever he shows up to make a statement, it is a more about the imaginary
pseudo asymmetrical war Chavez is staging now against the world. Because now
they seem to be mad at former allies such as Spain,
since the announcement that not only is that country not voting for Venezuela, but it will not provide Venezuela with
the military planes it wanted. You
would think that would be it, but instead Baduell says he wants a letter from
the Spanish Government confirming the announcement.

And Baduell
shows up again to make a statement. Everyone wonders: Is it about the 26 kilos
of gold missing (stolen?) from La Paragua? Is it about the
displacement and deaths
of Venezuelans in Alto Apure by the Colombian
guerrillas? Or is it about the artisan fisherman injured in the port of Guiria.

Surprisingly,
it is none of the above, Baduell is
replying
to the Head of the South Command of the US, saying the General’s comments
were out of place. Very important indeed!

So, whatever happened to these people that cared so much for Venezuelans and “el
pueblo”? Are they so isolated that they do not even notice these things?The 26
kilos of gold were stolen by military from common miners, not precisely
oligarchs or Chavez’ enemies. But nobody seems to care. Yeah, some lowly
soldiers have been jailed for the killings, but as of yet, the gold has been missing
for three weeks, is still missing and nobody seems to care and it is not being investigated by anyone, least of all the military.

Same thing
with the Alto Apure murders and displacements. As far as I am concerned the
only possible role of the military in a poor country like Venezuela
should be protecting its borders and maintaining internal order. Well, we hear the
FARC and the ELN are coming into Venezuela, killing people,
displacing people, abusing people, and nothing is said or done. The missionary
groups that denounced the latest case have not even been contacted by the
military! What is going on here?

Curiously,
whenever the military Generals are asked about Venezuela spending so much money
for military equipment always reply that it is all for internal use, but
whenever there is an internal “problem” it seems that it is largely ignored or
the weapons are used to repress Venezuelans.

The
Venezuelan military toy soldiers seem to care more about the Bolivian border,
where Venezuela is financing
and building 2, 10 or 20 border posts, depending on who you talk, than the
daily kidnappings along the border or the regular incursions by guerrilla
groups into Venezuela.
So much for the revolution even defending our sovereignty

And in
Guiria
, truly ordinary citizens, most of them former Chavistas, are
repressed by the National Guard on orders from the Chavista Governor, who
accuses the oligarchs from wanting to generate unrest in order to muddy up the
upcoming Presidential election. Some oligarchs! I guess the revolution has been
so successful that poor artisan fisherman who live in the poorest region of the
country are now considered oligarchs!

The truth
is that what is happening in Guiria is simply a fight between the ideologues of
the Vth. Republic, who want the ports concession
revoked and the boli
bourgeois who want it revoked so they can take it over and
get richer. The result? Seven poor fishermen hurt by the National Guard, the
port is shutdown by the fishermen who now block its entrance and after 17
fishermen are hurt, all the Minister of Defense does is to tell the military assigned there “not to be provoked by the protests”. I guess it would be really scary, given the
repression that has taken place and they have yet to be provoked.

And then
of course there are the very important events of the United Nations in New
York, which have become a sort of sports event for the Government, which daily
reports about the improved performance of our team, high fives at the UN by our
representatives and calls for “whipping the empire soon” as we are told we are
winning, it is just a matter of time until the “evil empire” is pressured into
not intervening, while Chavez throws around a billion dollars and a few pretty
girls that are much better looking than Ambassador Bolton to “induce” other
countries to vote for Venezuela. Yes, we are winning, much like Bush is winning the war in Iraq. (Last time I mention the US President in this blog)

It would
indeed be poetic justice if the UN vote distracts the Venezuelan Government
past the December election, Rosales wins and the deadlock is resolved then. A
man can dream, no?

Meanwhile,
I can’t help but wonder what is it that makes people in power believe they are
doing so well, that they even forget the main reason they are where they are.
The same people they used to claim they “loved” and strived for, appear now
secondary to almost every single public servant and how all Government initiatives
have little to do with the daily life and difficulties of the average
Venezuelan.

And
curiously, as the wrath of nature is once again being discharged over Venezuela and its citizens,
Government officials appear to simply have disappeared and only unknown
Antonio Rivero, the Head of Civil Defense, has shown himself around since the
crisis caused by flooding began two days ago. People dead, houses destroyed by water and mudslides
and the question, who is in charge here?- simply lingers in my mind

But nobody
seems to be in charge of the real Venezuela. While the Minister of
Defense defends the
purchase of weapons
by the Venezuelan Government, the People’s Defender talks about his initiative
to stop the sale of fireworks at Xmas time, while the Committee that
investigates the La Paragua events meets with some Ministers,
but has yet to meet with the affected miners, a recently inaugurated bridge is carried away by the flood waters in Barquisimeto and the former star
Prosecutor of Isaias Rodriguez accuses
a Justice of the Supreme Court of forging the file on the Anderson case. Way to go, Hugo!

And we go
back to where we began: where is the President. With a National tragedy six weeks
before the election, he is missing a very impacting photo opportunity. He could
go to the affected areas, kiss some baby’s, and offer some houses, food, aid comfort and the like.
Instead, he cancels his
presence and rally
in Petare in Caracas today,
where the rains have had little effect, and barely rained today, while pro-Chavez transportation workers
still
carry out
their plans for a rally all over Caracas in support of Chavez.

But not to
worry, as
a pro-Chavez weekly
says the race is 45% for Chavez, 38% Rosales, which I
would be really scared of if I was in the Government. This implies Rosales has moved up 23% in a scant two
months, with six weeks to go and Er Conde ready
to withdraw
. Do the math.

What is
clearly is that the Chavista leadership is eerily out of touch with the country for reasons
unknown. Long gone are the days of being with the people, talking about the
people and working for the people. They are all now involved in higher tasks, either promoting the autocrat,
getting rich or spending their money.

So much
for a revolution.

Nice flowering, four species, one hybrid

October 21, 2006

Flowering seems to be picking up, as my plants seem to have recovered from the wholeslae repotting I did in August. I more flowers than this, but most of the others I ahve shown before.

Top left, very nice Cattleya Percivaliana, a Venezuelan species. This is a firts flowering of a cross bettween the Amarillo Huevo and Sonia species,very nice lip, shape and stinky as usual. On the right another Cattleya Jenmanii Gran Saban x Rosea, also a first flowering, similar to the one I won second prize with three weeks ago.

Top left, a nice Cattelya Walkeriana in terms of color, but small, this is a piece of another plant with bigger flowers, so it must still be getting used to my home. I took a pictrure with drops of water and another one dry, I liked this on more. On the right, a nice Brazilian species, Cattleya Labiata, very intense purple color.

Nice alba hybrid from a plant that is at least 40 years old, no idea what it is.

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