Archive for November 5th, 2007

Former Chavez Defense Minister calls reform fraudulent a coup d’etat if approved and encourages people to vote against it

November 5, 2007


Chavez’
former Minister of Defense Raul Baduel, the man that single-handedly brought
Chavez back to power in April 2002, came
out today
to voice his strong opposition to the proposed reform, which “if
approved would consummate in practice a coup d’etat in Venezuela”

Baduel did not mince words
saying “unnecessarily and trampling over procedures, using fraudulent
procedures they want to impose a proposal that requires a wide consultation
process via a Constituent assembly”

“Any Constitution that
reduces regulation (on the Government) and takes away limits to power must be
viewed with suspicion”

Baduel called on
Venezuelans to inform themselves and defense their rights and “not allow their
power to be taken away from them” and on the Armed Forces to be alert about the
content of the articles approved.

“This is not a
Constitutional Reform, it is not a revision…it is a transformation of the
State, thus it should have been assumed by a National Constituent Assembly”
u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\>“At this moment, both the Executive Power asnwell as the Legislative Power are taking power away from the people alteringntheir values, the principles and structure of the State without having the abilitynto do so”u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\>Thus, Baduel concluded that he wanted to publiclynmanifest his rejection to the proposal; because it was regressive one which reducesnthe advances achieved in constitutional rights since 1999 and urged people tonvote NO on the proposal. u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\>This is a very interesting development. Baduelncoincides with the view that this is simply a coup against the VenezuelannConstitution and raises all of the relevant issues abut the illegality of thenproposed reform. His words are too strong for this to be some sort of trick. Itnwill be interesting to see the Government’s reactions and whether othernvoices join him. u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\> u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”3″ faceu003d”Times New Roman”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:12.0pt”\>The downside is that Baduel has personal ambitions, isnalso former military and who knows what he wants…u003c/span>\u003c/font>\u003c/p>\nn\u003cp>\u003cfont sizeu003d”2″ faceu003d”Arial”\>u003cspan langu003d”EN-US” styleu003d”font-size:10.0pt;font-family:Arial”\>”,1]
);

//–>

“At this moment, both the
Executive Power as well as the Legislative Power are taking power away from the
people altering their values, the principles and structure of the State without
having the ability to do so”

Thus, Baduel concluded
that he wanted to publicly manifest his rejection to the proposal; because it was
regressive one which reduces the advances achieved in constitutional rights
since 1999 and urged people to vote NO on the proposal.

This is a very interesting
development. Baduel coincides with the view that this is simply a coup against
the Venezuelan Constitution and raises all of the relevant issues abut the
illegality of the proposed reform. His words are too strong for this to be some
sort of trick. It will be interesting to see the Government’s reactions and
whether other voices join him.

The downside is that
Baduel has personal ambitions, was a strong collaborator in many abuses of this
Government and has his own personal political agenda, he is also former
military and who knows what he wants…In fact. his announcement even comes with
the creation of his blog with
a statement on his position on the reform.

What does Baduel really
want? Stay tuned…

Chavez’ democratic wisdom at its best

November 5, 2007

The democratic wisdom
and goodwill of autocrat/dictator Hugo Chavez when referring to those that
disagree with him
yesterday during his rally pro reform of the Constitution:

On the
middle class that lives in the east of
Caracas:

“Imagine a
million people marching towards the East of Caracas burning palm trees and other
trees. We would be that million, not you, because you don’t even reach one
million. There would no stone left of this oligarchy without a fatherland”

On the
church that has opposed the proposed Constitutional Reform:

“The
Cardinal and the bishops are leaving the same pile of shit. Mr. Cardinal you
continue with the same pile of shit. Ali Primera used to say, don’t look for
the Cardinal because God is happy with the revolution”

On student
marches:

“Next time
you have to evaluate if you give them the permit to march, because you are
going to give it to them so that they can come and burn downtown
Caracas. What Government can be so weak to
give a permit to some fascists that are threatening to burn cars with people inside?”

On the
leaders of the protests:

“I have
ordered to open case file on them…Barreto, open cases against them…because they are
looking for a dead body… what happened at the CNE was planned. I am sure they
were sorry nothing bad happened, but they want a bloody show. Don’t let
yourselves (the students) be used to march like peasants to a bloodshed”

On the
media:

“What is
this Conatel? What is this Barreto, Rodriguez and Bernal? Jesse Chacon
(Minister of Telecommunications). The TV stations call for a march with no
point of return (sic) and nothing happens. Apply the law. And if you don’t dare
do it, I sign it. Each of us has to assume his own responsibility.”

On what may
happen if he loses

“I prefer a
peaceful outcome, but if for any reason I fail, I would go to the mountains of
Falcon, the plains of Portuguesa, Lara and the South of the
Orinoco. Is that what they want? If I have to
grab a rifle, I have no problem in ending my life like that”

Spoken like
a true democrat, no?

Dumb, dumber and…dumbest

November 5, 2007

One of the things that has always
amazed me about the silly revolution is the ability of its members and
supporters to believe that anyone can do anything. Thus, Mathematicians
are named Ministers of Finance, Doctors who treat varicose veins
Ministers of Health and people with no managerial experience are put in
charge of complex institutions.
 
Even worse, if
the fact that even when they fail to understand how the system they
have imposed works, revolutionaries want to be in the limelight and are
willing to make statements about things that they clearly do not have
even the most basic grasp on.
 
Case in point was
the interview in today’s El Nacional with none other than Deputy Simon
Escalona, Vice President of the Finance Committee of the National
Assembly, who looks dumb, dumber and dumbest with the statements he
made.
 
Just the beginning of the interview is priceless:
 
 “For us, the parallel (foreign exchange) market does not exist”.
 
Wow,
I am not sure who “us” is, but he is definitely very much out of a
loop, as the Government has spent US$ 12 billion in trying to lower
this non-existent parallel market dollar rate and in fact, will sell
another US$ 1.5 billion bonds with that goal next week. Moreover, over
the last two years the Government sold more than US$ 8 billion directly
into that market, with no transparency and making millionaires of quite
a few bankers and commisionists, But I guess Escalona was not told.
 
But let’s continue it, when he says:
 
“This is mostly a mediatic thing”
 
Jeez,
I love the standard explanation of blaming it on a “mediatic” thing. As
I was talking about with a fellow blogger today, we are not even sure
exactly what that means, but when something does not work in Venezuela
it is always some sort of “mediatic” conspiracy, never Government
incompetence. \u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>Deputy Escalona then asks\u003ci\>: “Tell me, where I can find this market… those that do it are committing a crime”\u003c/i\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>Well, he could first go and ask the Ministry of Finance who it has sold structured notes or Argentinean bonds to or he could go to the Government banks which placed so many illegal orders in the last Bono del Sur III and ask them who and where they sell the dollars obtained from it. He could also go to the many new brokers in Caracas, dozens of them brand new and devoted only to this phantom market,, but I imagine nobody would like to work with him given his PEP (Politically Exposed Person) category.\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>As for it being a crime, the law approved by the same Finance Committee of the National Assembly that he is part of, explicitly says that securities markets are exempt from it. What is illegal is to trade currency, bills, checks and the like.\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>Then, he comes in the area of dumber and dumbest when he says:\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>\u003ci\>“We are going to put in the law that merchants will have to place a sign saying, “These products were acquired with dollars at the official rate of exchange””\u003c/i\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>What if they weren’t? Is he aware of the delays in Cadivi in handing out foreign currency? Or the fact that not everything is in the list to obtain foreign currency? Or is he saying that products not purchased with CADIVI dollars can not be imported? Try that, the country will come to a standstill.\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>In fact, he recognizes the existence of this market and how positive they can be, when he says:\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>\u003ci\> \u003c/i\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>\u003ci\>“ There is no shortage of Scotch Whisky”\u003c/i\>\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>And that is true; shortages occur when you regulate products or restrict foreign currency for them. That is why there is no milk, black beans and the like, these products are both controlled in price and access via CADIVI is cumbersome and bureaucratic. In contracts, Scotch whisky, by order of his Latin American autocratic idol, receives no dollars from the exchange control office and its prices are not regulated. Thus much like caviar, champagne, imported cereals and candies and the like, you can find shelves at supermarkets stuffed with them. “,1]
);

//–>

 
Deputy Escalona then asks: “Tell me, where I can find this market… those that do it are committing a crime”
 
Well,
he could first go and ask the Ministry of Finance who it has sold
structured notes or Argentinean bonds to or he could go to the
Government banks which placed so many illegal orders in the last Bono
del Sur III and ask them who and where they sell the dollars obtained
from it. He could also go to the many new brokers in Caracas, dozens of
them brand new and devoted only to this phantom market,, but I imagine
nobody would like to work with him given his PEP (Politically Exposed
Person) category.
 
As for it being a crime, the
law approved by the same Finance Committee of the National Assembly
that he is part of, explicitly says that securities markets are exempt
from it. What is illegal is to trade currency, bills, checks and the
like.
 
Then, he comes in the area of dumber and dumbest when he says:
 
“We
are going to put in the law that merchants will have to place a sign
saying, “These products were acquired with dollars at the official rate
of exchange””
 
What if they weren’t? Is he
aware of the delays in Cadivi in handing out foreign currency? Or the
fact that not everything is in the list to obtain foreign currency? Or
is he saying that products not purchased with CADIVI dollars can not be
imported? Try that, the country will come to a standstill.
 
In fact, he recognizes the existence of this market and how positive they can be, when he says:
 
“ There is no shortage of Scotch Whisky”
 
And
that is true; shortages occur when you regulate products or restrict
foreign currency for them. That is why there is no milk, black beans
and the like, these products are both controlled in price and access
via CADIVI is cumbersome and bureaucratic. In contrast, Scotch whisky,
by order of his Latin American autocratic idol, receives no dollars
from the exchange control office and its prices are not regulated. Thus
much like caviar, champagne, imported cereals and candies and the like,
you can find shelves at supermarkets stuffed with them. \u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>It’s called free markets…\u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\> \u003c/div\>\u003cdiv\>But that is s lesson that dumb and dumber will never be able to understand. \u003c/div\>\u003c/div\>”,0]
);
D(["ce"]);

//–>

 
It’s called free markets…
 
But that is s lesson that dumb, dumber and dumbest will never be able to understand.

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