Archive for October 23rd, 2007

Another shameful day in Venezuela’s democracy

October 23, 2007

It was typical of the discrimination and repression that has characterized this Government during the last eight years as student marched to the National Assembly today to present their comments on the proposed Constitutional reform and ask that the process be delayed so that the reform can be discussed and modified to satisfy the largest possible percentage of Venezuelans.

But you can not even find democracy in the country’s Parliament. Despite the rain (top left) and their buses being detained outside Caracas by the National Guard, students marched massively. They had the required permits to march all the way to the Esquina de Sociedad near the National Assembly, but pro-Chavez groups (not students) who had no permits were allowed to gather all morning near the Capitol building as the police set up a barricade to block the students from even reaching the end of their authorized march. (Top right).

The cops were very ready to repress (Middle left) and for a while there was a stand off, but the students had sworn that they would not allow their rights to be violated and if blocked they would push thru (Middle right), which they managed to do because of the sheer size of the crowd (Bottom left) and as they went thru, both cops and Chavistas ran back (Bottom Right). Later, to insure the safety of the students, the National Guard had to transport the delegation with their documents to the Capitol building  in an armored car. Thus, only the safety and the voices of pro-Chavez supporters can be guaranteed in this fake revolution and empty democracy.

To make matters even worse, the pro-Chavez groups blocking the way included a couple of Deputies of the National Assembly, demonstrating that democracy is not alive and well in Venezuela. As the representatives of the students went into the Capitol building, only the pro-Chavez media was allowed in and even more remarkably a group of pro-Chavez “students” who had nothing to do with the march were also allowed in. Deputy Calixto Ortega won the day in terms of shame, when he said he did not understand why these students required “special” treatment, since the reform has been discussed extensively (!!!) and the students were getting “too much coverage” from the press. I guess the right to express yourself has now become a “special right” in Venezuela.

Truly a shameful day for the country’s democracy.

Still Flowering!!!

October 23, 2007

Yes, I still collect orchids, it is just that between a bad floweering September, the Red Sox and work I haven´t had time to post much, but here they are!!!

Cattelay Jenmanii Gran Sabana x Rubra on the left and Cattleya Jenmanii Castro x Rosa on the right

Two Cattleya Percivalianas, on the left is a variety called ¨Gabriela¨, no name on the right

On the left Cattleya Gaskelliana Labio Solido x (Mimi x Aida). On the right Cattleya Warnerii from Brazil

On the left, my faithful Cattleya Violacea, which is blooming three time a year. Not only that, but each time it sends a shoot with as many flowers as the previous time or one more. It’s up to five! On the right spectacular Blc. Ronald Hauserman.

Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Ann on the left, magnificent, no? On the right a close up of its complicated reproductive structure.

Another Cirrhopetalum, not sure which one. On the right a close up.

Media blamed for shortages, as they persist

October 23, 2007

So, while there was no Alo Presidente
because the autocrat had a cold, Chavez had the time to call up a
program sponsored by his political party PSUV on the official TV
channel VTV to blast the church and once again suggest that the media
has invented a campaign to make it look as if there are shortages of
foodstuffs in the country.

Demonstrating the
despicable style that has characterized him, Chavez criticized former
Cardinal Castillo Lara, showing his disrespect towards an honorable
Venezuelan even in death. The Government failed to even note the passing
of this distinguished Venezuelan who held the highest positions in the
Vatican hierarchy. But instead of praising this, Chavez recalled “how
wrong” the Cardinal had been in his latter years.

And
then he went on onto the “mediatic campaign” to make it appear as if
there are food shortages in the country. But let’s review the evidence:

—Datanalisis
polls supermarkets and markets and find that many products are not even
available in half of them. The most absent? Milk, present in only 25%
of them.

—The Government holds a Megamercal,
a huge market where you can get controlled products and people show up
at six in the morning to see if they can get some milk. According to
pro-Government newspaper Ultimas Noticias (by subscription) people were
complaining that they show up at 6 AM and have to stand in line until
noon, because there are lines both outside and inside the market. At
the end, when you finally get to the head of the line you can buy a
limited amount of stuff: one kilo of milk, 2 kilos of sugar and two
chickens.

—And speaking of “mediatic
campaigns”, the Minister of Feeding, Rafael Oropeza, reiterated that
there is plenty of milk (!!!), despite the “worldwide seasonal
shortage” of the product. I guess my poll the other day about the
availability of milk where the readers are must have been in a
different “season”.
 \u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>Meanwhile, my sources report that despite his cold, Chavez went to Cuba again today, probably to get some advise from Castro on what material to use in making the new Che Guevara monument to replace the one shattered by bullets in Pico El Aguila. Meanwhile, the National Assembly approves some more of the articles proposed y Chavez, some of the ones sneaked in three weeks ago and why not, some new ones, because form is certainly more\u003cspan\> \u003c/span\>important than substance in the robolution.\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>And speaking of substance, the subway was on strike this afternoon which has not been reported by the media in this country with total free press, as \u003ca href\u003d\”http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid\u003d68543\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>a transportation strike is set to start at midnight\u003c/a\> and university students \u003ca href\u003d\”http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid\u003d68593\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>warn\u003c/a\> that they will not be stopped from either joining the main protest in Caracas tomorrow or reaching the National Assembly or else, \u003ca href\u003d\”http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid\u003d68453&clave\u003da%3A1%3A%7Bi%3A0%3Bs%3A11%3A%22estudiantes%22%3B%7D\” target\u003d\”_blank\” onclick\u003d\”return top.js.OpenExtLink(window,event,this)\”\>as pro-Chavez students say\u003c/a\> they will “wait for them at the Assembly”. \u003c/div\>\u003c/div\>”,0]
);

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Meanwhile,
my sources report that despite his cold, Chavez went to Cuba again
today, probably to get some advise from Castro on what material to use
in making the new Che Guevara monument to replace the one shattered by
bullets in Pico El Aguila. Meanwhile, the National Assembly approves
some more of the articles proposed y Chavez, some of the ones sneaked
in three weeks ago and why not, some new ones, because form is
certainly more important than substance in the robolution.

And
speaking of substance, the subway was on strike this afternoon which
has not been reported by the media in this country with total free
press, as a transportation strike is set to start at midnight and university students warn
that they will not be stopped from either joining the main protest in
Caracas tomorrow or reaching the National Assembly or else, as pro-Chavez students say they will “wait for them at the Assembly”.

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