Archive for November 15th, 2006

A story of discrimination, cynicism and fascism in many acts

November 15, 2006


Act I.-Two
days ago former Presidential candidate Roberto Smith, not exactly my favorite
person in the world, gave a press
conference
to denounce a racket at the country’s customs by which private
companies would pay “intermediaries”, some of them former workers of the tax
office Seniat, so that they would be “exonerated” from paying custom duties. Smith
presented e-mails, documents and bank statements showing that at least three
people, all former workers of Seniat had managed to gain about US$ 1 million (at
the latest parallel rate) in commissions, by bilking the country some US$ 3
million.

Act II. – Yesterday,
the Superintendent of Taxes Vielma Mora, gave an improvised press conference in
the morning, standing in front of a huge painting of Hugo Chavez, in which he
was clearly furious at Smith, saying he did not believe the “charges”,
explicitly saying “we do not give credit to the charges”, “this is just a
campaign to damage the Government, the revolution and the private sector”, “emails
prove nothing”. Vielma Mora was arrogant, saying it was not his fault if he had
qualified among the top 100 most efficient managers in the country and saying
that he had a “collection of false charges” and then he called Rosales “the
losing candidate in the upcoming election” something that had no place at the
press conference.

Vielma
added that the tax office was investigating the opposition candidate, to see
where all his funds were coming from, but he failed to say whether he was investigating
Hugo Chavez, who is outspending Rosales 12 to 1, all with public funds. I guess
that is why he does not need to investigate him, he knows where the money is
coming from. Such is life in the cynical revolution.

At various
times during his very political press conference, Vielma Mora called Chavez “my
only boss”, defended the revolution and tried to paint the whole thing as an
attack on the private sector, even inviting some of the leaders of the
companies accused of corruption to be present at the press conference

Act III. A
much different Vielma Mora showed up at a different press conference in the
afternoon, when Smith showed up at Seniat headquarters, to present Vielma Mora
with folders and folders with all of the evidence he had found. In one e-mail,
one of those accused by Smith actually said to one of his partners that the
commission was not “great”(using a popular saying “No es lapa pero se come”)
at only US$ 100,000.

But it was
at this point that Vielma Mora did something that absolutely made my blood
boil: Someone handed him three pieces of paper and Vielma Mora with a staright
face proceeded to say on National TV,
that someone at his office had the Chavez/Tascon/Maisanta
list
checked and all three people being accused by Smith “are not
Bolivarian, as they all signed the petition to recall President Chavez in 2004″.

Thus, this
fascist Superintendent of Taxes had no other bright idea but to go and have the
corrupt checked to determine their revolutionary purity! He is so accustomed to
discriminating, to use what Ana
Julia Jatar has called
the XXIst Century Apartheid in her recent book, to
differentiate Venezuelans into two new classes corrupt Bolivarians and the rest
of the corrupt! How sick can you get.

Thus, we
see a new use for this abominable list, which I have described extensively in detail
here,
and Daniel ahas reviewed the details of the movie “The List” here,
with private testimonies of those fired and abused by this cynical Government. All
of this demonstrates how the use of this list, which we imagine is being
updated constantly, has become a formal policy of the Venezuelan State: Anyone
that dared to sign against allmighty Hugo Chavez is to be excluded from getting jobs,
from getting aid, from even getting a passport (My case) and if he holds a
Government position, he is to be fired, excluded and treated as a second, if
not third, class citizen. You can be corrupt and Bolivarian, but in this new interpretation,
it is much worse to be corrupt and to have signed against Chavez.

The frame
of mind of these people is simply scary and unbelievable. They think nothing of
saying they are using the list and discriminating on National TV. They think
nothing of pledging allegiance to the Supreme Being Hugo Chavez. To Hell with
corruption, if it was done by an enemy of the Government, what else could you
expect? That was not the point and Vielma never seemed to realize that all of
the corruption was taking place under his “efficient” and “Bolivarian” management,
but he appeared not to notice that it is his responsibility to stop corruption
at Seniat, whether Bolivarian or not.

Thus, the
corrupt join the ranks of the PDVSA workers (those that did not strike, but
were fired for signing the recall petition), FOGADE, Border Institute and the
42 Government institutions which Jatar has documented in her book used the
Chavez/Tascon/Maisanta list, even after the day Chavez said on National TV that
it was time to “bury” it. Some burial! Only today Veneconomy had a very good Editorial on the use of apartheid as official Government policy.

And some
people are naive enough to claim in the blogosphere that the Tascon list has
never been used against anyone! Fools!

Act IV.- The
Comptroller, that shadowy and almost invisible figure who gave a press
conference
to deny that Venezuela was among the most corrupt countries in Latin
America (What else can you do when you are in charge of stopping corruption?) comes
out (can’t find link) and recriminates that Smith rather than holding a press
conference should have presented his charges to him…Oh! I see, like in Bolivar
2000, I guess that was never investigated, how about the agreement with Cuba, I
guess nothing there either, how about the cheap CD’s sold to a local broker in
a private transaction by the Ministry of Finance, not investigated either, US$
3 billion missing from FIEM, he probably does not recall that, how about the
CAEES sugar factory where US$ 200 million is missing, Argentinean bond…well,
you get the picture.

Act V. And
finally the day of cynical statements was crowned by the man in charge, Chavez himself,
the intolerant one, the promoter of the Tascon/Maisanta list, the man that
ordered a repressive military Plan on April 11th. 2002 against those
that opposed him, the man that staged or helped stage two bloody coups in 1992,
the man that allows the hate and discrimination to take place day after day in
his Government, the one that loves to threaten us with his weapons and
soldiers, comes
out and calls on Venezuelans
“to go out and build a country in peace,
without political distinctions!

Is Chavez
being cynical or does he simply have a plan to get rid of those that oppose
him, all of us, if he wins on Dec 3d.? After all the abuses and fascism, it may
well be the only way…

The largest abuse of power, at least in size

November 15, 2006

The Government is abusing its power and resources so much, that I ahve basically stopped posting them, but I thought I had to post this, the largest and thus most evident sign of such abuses I ahve found so far, a huge sign in front of the headquarters of the country’s petrochemical company Pequiven, saying that the company is also “Roja, Rojita…” (large sign on building at the right) like the autocrat has mandated. Shame on them!

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