Archive for December, 2007

Maletagate shows the lack of ethics and the levels of corruption in the Bolivarian revolution.

December 21, 2007

One
of the things I have found to be most remarkable in the Maletagate
scandal is the reaction by Argentinean and Venezuelan politicians to
the detention of the four men in Miami accused of being agents for the
Government of Venezuela. Remarkable, because it shows little common
sense or criteria to react the way they have done.

To
begin with, the focus has been on the fact that the men accused of
being unregistered agents mentioned the fact that the money was going
to a candidate, unnamed, who could lose the election if this was
revealed. While it is obvious that they are referring to Mrs. Kirchner,
that is not the point of the accusation at all. But somehow they have
managed to revive that issue to the point that the Argentinean Congress
is back to investigation the case and today the prosecutor in that
country actually said that none other than Mr. Antonini, the $800,000
man, was at the Argentinean Presidential Palace
two days after being stopped at customs and at a time when both
President Chávez and Kirchner were there together. I tend not to
believe in such things being coincidental.

President
Hugo Chavez in particular was a little bit loose with his tongue also,
when he said that he had infiltrated US intelligence services, but the
men jailed were not part of this. Jeez, he is thus saying his
Government is guilty of having unregistered agents but as far as the
President of Venezuela knows (he can’t know them all, no?) these are
not his. Not precisely a good defense. On the contrary the US
Prosecutor could use Chavez’ statements to back up his case.
Then
there is the Argentinean Government from Mrs. Kirchner to the Foreign
Minister overreacting. Mrs. Kirchner was dumb to play ignorant and
blame the “Empire” and so was Mr. Kirchner who had promised not to be
too visible to speak out in the case. But it is even worse to call on
the US Ambassador when they don’t know yet all of what will be shown in
the videos ad tapes on the case. So far, it has been quite juicy and
when the trial begins it will be something out of a Bourne identity
movie from the sounds of it so far.

Amazingly,
no explanation is given to the early details of the $800,000 in cash.
They were in a suitcase, carried by Antonini, in a plane chartered by a
joint oil venture between the two countries. Such venture has yet to
don anything but it affords jet planes from Buenos Aires to Caracas.
Such flights are regular and filled with high Government and PDVSA
officials. The flights land in the middle of the night at a national
airport. Antonini is caught with a suitcase with US$ 800,000 in cash,
but leaves all the money behind. And Argentinean authorities don’t ask
him any questions and allow him to leave three days later. And of
course, there is the infamous visit to the Presidential Palace.

But
none of the above needs explanation it is part of the daily operations
of these Governments. If you saw this in a movie, it would seem to far
fetched.

But then there is the fact that
those accusing the US of setting these people up have ignored all
ethical bounds. First of all, the men charged are some of the leading
nouveau rich of the Boli bourgeois, heavily rumored to be associated to
the Government, from which they have derived their newfound wealth.
They are far from being revolutionaries, living it up in Miami, owning
very expensive homes, jets and cars, with many being active
participants in car racing. Not exactly the spitting image of Che
Guevara fighting for the revolution in the jungle.

Even
worse, while these men have also dealt with the sale of weapons to the
Venezuelan military and police, a business not famous for being too
clean and certainly full of commissions, where the biggest corruption
scandals in the country’s history have taken place.

Thus, it was certainly amazing to see the Governor of Cojedes Johnny Yanez Rangel, protesting in front of the US embassy the judicial terrorism of the United States.

Yanes
was supposedly defending the “self-determination” of the people, and
referred to those detained as legitimate businessmen who are his
personal friends. Which shows that the Governor has little idea about
what ethics and common sense tell you he should behave.

Governor
Yanez says these are his friends. That’s fine. But then, it turns out
these friends have contracted repeatedly with his Governorship for
police weapons, something that Gov. Yanez seems to see no conflict of
interest with. Furthermore, Mr. Kauffman, his friend and contractor,
happens to have paid Mr. Yanez’ vacation last August at the fancy Llao
Llao Hotel in Bariloche, Argentina, where Mr. Yanez was spending what
he surely believes were well deserved vacation days. But he does not
seem to see the violation of all ethical rules in having his “friend”
and his “contractor” Carlos Kauffman paying for his room and those of
his kids as well as the nanny taking care of them. You have to love
these revolutionaries, who promote cooperatives, community spirit and
sacrifice, while traveling the world in the lap of luxury, paid by the
people who just happen to participate in contracts with your state.

And
that is the most bothersome thing, that these people don’t seem to see
the inconsistencies and incoherence between what they preach and what
they do. There is nothing defensible at how these men charged in the US
have become super rich in the last eight years. These guys have so much
money that they open five year CD’s with a US bank for US$ 25 million!
They have mansions with docks in Key Biscayne, Ferraris’ and Citation
jets which cost 4 or 5 million dollars and who knows how much to
maintain each month.

And these silly revolutionaries want to defend them as honest Venezuelan businessmen!!!

What
goes on then at lower levels? If the ethical guidelines from the top
are lacking, what can one expect from those below? For example, when
Gov. Yanez goes on his official trips abroad, does he get unlimited
stipends from the State at the official rate of exchange? And does he
pay back the amount not spent with local currency, pocketing the
difference? And other than his claim that he is a great speaker, much
in demand, why does the Governor of a small and backwards state like
Cojedes need to travel so much?

I could go on
and on, but you get the picture. In a country with no visible checks
and balances, those in power see no conflicts of interest in all this.
It is the evil Empire that is to blame.

Sadly,
the Evil Empire has little to do with this. The fault goes directly
with Chavez’ attitude towards all this. Despite making corruption the
focus of his 1998 campaign he has allowed levels of corruption unseen
in the country’s history, which seemed hard to beat. The Comptroller
was recently reelected for another seven years despite not bringing to
Court any of the mayor corruption cases, some of which were so obvious
that anyone could see them. He has also allowed the rise of the corrupt
boli bourgeois, which not only have accumulated remarkable wealth, but
who flaunt it both here and abroad. Thus, the “old” oligarchy is being
slowly replaced by these new guys, who are moving into Country Club and
who have accumulated fortunes which are orders of magnitudes above
those of the traditional Venezuelan oligarchy. And anytime anyone is
caught because of their arrogant and careless behavior, the result is
total denial at all levels.

By now, even the most ardent cheerleaders of the revolution have begun to smell how rotten the whole thing is. What they fail to understand is that in the past it was checks and balances that maintained corruption in check, even if it had to be fought everywhere all the time. Chavez, much like some leaders of the IVth. Republic, has not imposed the ethical line needed from above. In the absence of any watchdogs and with the autocrat asking for total loyalty, we have reached a new low level in ethical standards and corruption levels have reached previously unimaginable magnitudes.

All in the name of the poor and the silly revolution.

As Maletagate involves the Government more, Maletage II shows the depth of corruption in Venezuela

December 19, 2007

The Maletagate case gets ever more interesting despite the denials, charges of “infamy” and “agression” by Venezuela and Argentina. The truth is that the case gets more sordid by the minute and denials only get the two Governments in deeper in the mud, for lackof a dirtier word that Chavez likes, of the cesspool of corruption they created.

Among the most recent developments:

—The fifth man which was not captured by the FBI Antonio Canchica, is a member of Venezuela’s intelligence police DISIP. At least one more of the men captured had DISIP credentials when detained by the FBI.

—The most important charge was the fact that they were acting as agents of a foreign country, Venezuela, without registering with the authorities. A very undiplomatic and politically incorrect Hugo Chavez said he had agents spying for him in the US, but none of the ones captured were his “people”. Thus, he is admitting the crime these people are being charged with is correct, in that Venezuela has unregistered foreign agents in the US. I guess Chavez did not know about these ones then.

—The Governor of Cojedes State, Jhony Yanes, held a press conference at which he said this was terror by the US and that Antonini did not commit any crime by bringing in the suitcase into Argentina. I guess he has not read the Foreign Exchange Illegalities Bill, old or new, which does classify exporting from Venezuela more than US$ 10,000 as a crime. Yanez did not comment on the coincidence that it was Carlos Kaufmann, detained in Miami, that paid his vacation at the Llao Llao Hotel in August as proven by reporter Leocenis Garcia.

—Today in Argentina’s Parliament, Deputies from the opposition were asking who authorized these flights to arrive in the middle of the night from abroad. According to them, that airport is never used for these international flights and its use could only be justified to hide their purpose.

—And in the most explosive charge today, the Secretary of Claudio Uberti, the Czar of toll roads in Argentina, who was considered to be a second parallel Argentinean Ambassador to Venezuela and who came on the plane with Antonini and the suitcase, reportedly testified that on August 6th.two days after the suitcase was discovered, Antonini went to Argentina’s Casa Rosada. The Casa Rosada is the Presidential Palace and this lady claims that she saw Antonini there at teh same time that Nestor Kirchner and Hugo Chavez were holding a small ceremony to celebrate the signing of a gas agreement. The son of the PDVSA President David Uzcategui, who was also on the plane was also reported to be there. Uberti is the only Government official of either country who has been removed.

The video:

www.Tu.tv

—And now we have Maletagate II, the military officer and Bandes official who jumped from a Venezuelan military airplane in Bolivia with a suitcase which had over US$ 800,000 in cash, in another sign of the levels of corruption in Venezuela. The man claimed that the money was for “development projects”.

Here is the video

www.Tu.tv

For now… by Elides J. Rojas

December 19, 2007

Elides Rojas of El Universal has a very acid sense of humor which is probably why I like what he writes and was willing to translate today´s piece by him, which was not easy. Enjoy!

For now… by Elides J. Rojas L. in El Universal

For
nine years each triumph was followed by a celebration march. And
another one a year later to celebrate the triumph from the previous
year. And tons of rallies to celebrate the anniversary of the February
coup, disguised as a gesture for freedom. And the march of the march
for the march on the birthday of the first triumph in 1998. And the
party of the party for the party to commemorate the triumph of the
legitimacy. The year that we eliminated Frijolito I. The year we maimed
Frijolito II. The year we crushed Frijolito III. In 2007, tatarata,
tatarata, tatata the bugle sounds, the super victory of dignity. The
triumph of courage. The year in which even Chavez became opposition.

It
is the beginning of the era in which votes don’t count. What counts now
is courage and dignity, as Fidel Castro usually tells Cubans, in the
middle of a historic famine that sells it as a triumph to people used
to living in the best of defeats. Suffering and with hunger, but with
revolutionary dignity. Way to go!

As
usual, a fiery speech. Theatrical thunder. I am glad I did not hear the
King talking to me. If I had heard him who knows what may have
happened. We did not win. We did not lose. We simply reedited the for
now of the day that we staged the coup, that we betrayed our oath, that
we used the weapons against our own people and to finish off that
illustrious epic, it fell on me the honor of surrendering with glory,
dignity and with our moral at the highest level. They all know by now
that I am impressionable. Mi favorite Minister said it, that
philologist lent to the arms. For now there will be no milk, nor eggs,
nor cheese. For now there is no meat, tuna and sardines. For now there
are gas and gasoline shortages. For now we have plenty of crime and
criminals. For now enjoy the sucking up, so as not to use the dignified
language of the revolution. There are no losers here. For now get up
real early and stand in line at the exchange control office CADIVI to
gather the scraps of dollars that we hand over to the unconscious,
immature and treacherous people. For now, the large bundles travel in
suitcases and in airplanes to other dignified valiant people. For now,
you bunch of ungrateful people; it is not that we are going to reform
the Constitution to take away your cars and apartments. What we are
going to do is to increase interest rates until the revolutionary moral
and dignity drowns you and you lose even the last capitalist junk you
own. You are stupid and bon vivants. All you do is ask. Missions, easy
university degrees, students scholarships, trips to the Caracas
marches, free t-shirts and caps, 150 thousand Bolívars per march.
People don’t know what they have until they lose it, you bunch of
ignorant fools. For now, go to the Mega mercales, Mercal and little
Mercales. For now, you pack of immature people; I will have to leave
in 2013. Please don’t cry or stamp your feet. I am leaving. You lost;
you bunch of lazy people, vagabonds. For now, tighten that spirit
comrades.

Hugo Chavez fights the ghosts of the empire and the windmills in his mind, while digging the bones of the Liberator

December 17, 2007

Hugo Chavez is nothing short of remarkable. After his referendum defeat, the
autocrat waited little time before beginning his favorite form of
governing when he has problems: He left the country. While away, few of
the problems facing the country were attacked or even discussed. Now
the autocrat is back and he spends his whole speech on the
commemoration of the anniversary of Simon Bolivar’s death, talking about the oligarchy killing the Liberator
and not tuberculosis, like history books tell us. Damn the country’s
problems, who cares about them, after all, he does not feel them!

The
thing is, in contrast with problems like shortages or inflation of
which he is clueless, Chavez does have a plan on how to find out how
Bolivar died, his theory being that he was assassinated by the
Colombian and Venezuelan oligarchy. Thus, Chavez ordered that Bolivar’s
remains be exhumed and first a test be performed in order to determine
if the bones are truly those of Venezuela’s Liberator.

Saying
the oligarchies hated Bolivar, Chavez blamed not only the oligarchies,
but also all historians, cheating the people and distorting and
falsifying the truth. But it is through people like him, dedicated
students of history that the truth will be revealed.

Chavez
also said that soon after Bolivar’s death, the US Empire arrived,
buying lands, corporations and even people (verbatim!). The gringos
even changed history, accusing Bolivar of attempting to be named King.
But this was all fake, part of the gringos psychological warfare.
(Yeap!, we are supposed to believe it all started way back then)

On
and on the man went for almost four hours. Little mention was made of
the problems facing the country, from shortages to inflation; these
were simply ignored as he concentrated in his peculiar form of
historical revisionism and obsession. Since he does not even go to
Cabinet meetings, you have to wonder who is running this country!

And then the autocrat moved to another “relevant” topic calling the case against the Venezuelans in Miami an infamy
against the Argentinean President. Which only goes to show why
corruption runs rampant in our countries, as the case now has become
political. What a difference between the way Brazil dealt with its
corruption scandal and the way Venezuela, Argentina and now Uruguay are
dealing with Maletagate. It is so easy to blame the US, to call it a
conspiracy, but really, in the four months since the now infamous
suitcase arrived in Buenos Aires full of one hundred dollar bills,
little has been done by any of the three countries to deal with the
problem.

Yes, Argentina asked for Antonini to
be extradited and one Government official was removed, but none of this
has ever been explained:

–Why did the joint
oil venture between Venezuela and Argentina rented a jet plane to go from
Buenos Aires to Caracas and back? Why the urgency? Why those
passengers, in either direction?

–What was Antonini doing on that flight since he had no relationship with either company? Why was he allowed to go through without the money and then to leave Argentina two days later?

–What
was the son of a PDVSA’s VP in that plane? Why did PDVSA say the
man had resigned, which was not true and why has PDVSA yet to
investigate the case? Whatever happened to PDVSA´s investigation of the case_

–Where did the $800,000
in cash come from in a country with exchange controls? What was their
purpose? How many times similar trips been carried out? How did they
get through customs here? Why didn´t the National Assembly investigate this?

–Why were there high Argentinean Government officials (not related to oil either) in the flight?

–Why
did Antonini flee to Uruguay? Who was there? Why didn’t he just go back
to the US? How many similar trips (and suitcases!) did Antonini take?

And now we can also ask a bunch of new questions:

–Are the US tapes then supposed to be fake?

–Are
we to believe that Kauffman and Duran have become millionaires in less
than eight year’s doing an honest day’s work? Did they lie about their
high Venezuelan Government connections, which they obviously have? Or were the
threats against Antonini’s family empty threats? What about the 2 million dollar
bribe? Who ordered it? Who was going to pay for it?

Because if in the end if
the US$ 800,000 suitcase was not meant for Mrs. Kirchner’s campaign, it
must have had another propose, which was as fishy and dirty as the first
one and it is clear that neither of the two Governments wants to get to
the bottom of it.

In fact, there is no better
or alternative explanation to the one given by the US authorities which
is backed by tapes of Kauffman and Duran saying the money was meant for
Mrs. Kirchner’s campaign and the two Government would like Antonini to
say the money was his.

The fact is that it is
truly sad that neither country wants this to be investigated because of
political expediency. Which in the end s the reason that corruption
runs rampant in out countries and while a harebrained theory of Bolivar
being poisoned, is more important than corruption or the problems
everyday Venezuelans have.

BBC video: The trillion dollar revolutionary

December 17, 2007

This is a good video by John Sweeney of the BBC, which was
broadcast about two weeks before the referendum. The video is long,
about thirty minutes but it is worth watching, particularly those that
are from abroad.
 
It is perhaps ironic that the
couple of praises in the video for the accomplishments of the
revolution are not true. Sweeney says that Chávez now provides medical
care to most people, just on the same day
that Human Rights organization Provea said that the Government only
built 2,700 of the 8,500 Barrio Adentro modules budgeted (I wonder if
the National Assembly will ask where the money is?). Moreover, despite
the fact that the budget for Barrio Adentro is twice that of the
traditional health care system, which is the one that operates and
performs difficult diagnoses, it turns out that 62%, yes almost two
thirds of the Barrio Adentro modules, are not functional today. That means
that only 1026 barrios in Venezuela are currently enjoying Barrio
Adentro benefits, which represent very simple primary and emergency
care.
 
In another part, a teacher, clearly
pro-Chavez, talks about the lunch program and tells Sweeney that Chavez
established that program, the video also says that more kids are going
to school which is not true either. The truth is that Chavez when he
first got to power eliminated the milk programs at all
schools in Venezuela and later reestablished them and that Chávez’
Bolivarian School system is simply the renaming of schools, as Chávez
has built less than 10% of the existing schools in his eight years in
Government, worse than the average per Presidential term in the
terrible years of the IVth. Republic.
 
Sweeney
does not mention housing, but since we are there, it has been another
abysmal failure in housing again this year with only 36,000 units built, as it seems
that under Chávez the number of new housing units built goes down every
year, as if nothing has been learnt any Chavista bureaucrats in the
institutions that are in charge of housing.

In another act of revolutionary stupidity, National Assembly makes it illegal for media to divulge reality

December 16, 2007

The Venezuelan
National Assembly spent this week dealing with something urgent: Trying to hide
reality. The whole thing would be laughablem if it were not so tragic and stupid
that their first priority after the referendum was to revise the
Foreign Exchange Illicits Bill, which establishes the regulations and
penalties around the exchange controls in Venezuela.
 
The Bill,
much like the previous one, makes the “parallel” swap market absolutely legal by
excepting from the regulations all securities (Art.9) but then it wants
to hide that same reality that males it legal by prohibiting anyone (Art. 17) from
divulging what the price of the parallel market is:
 
“Anyone
that offers, announces, divulges in written, audiovisual, radio
electric, computerized or via any other media, financial information or
exchange information the price of foreign currency other than the
official one will be fined 1000 tax units (About Bs. 37 million Bs. or
US$ 18,000 at the official rate of exchange)”
 
Can they be any more stupid and control-oriented than this?
 
After all, the Venezuelan Government sold over
US$ 11.3 billion in securities during 2007 into precisely the parallel market, in order to bring the rate
down (unsuccessfully mostly!), not only recognizing its existence but
even benefiting from it by selling foreign currency at a price higher
than the officials exchange rate of Bs. 2,150 per US$.
 
Some
people think this is censorship. I think this is so ridiculous  and silly that I
will simply call it stupidity. What’s next? Prohibiting anyone from
revealing crime statistic to see if crime will go away? This follows the issuing of epidemiological bulletins to hide the reality of health issues in Venzuela.
 
The
worst part is that in the end this will simply hurt market participants,
who will have a harder time finding out what the “right” price is, as
the measure will make the price less transparent in the end. As
transparency is lost, people are likely to pay sometimes more than they
should or get less than they should, as they will have fewer reference prices to learn what the very
active parallel market is doing. This means that some sites like Veneconomia will no longer be able to publish the price of the parallel dollar. I don’t know about others like bonos venezolanos, dolar paralelo and Venezuela fx, all of which are hosted abroad and don’t reveal who is behind them.
 
It
also means that newspapers and the media will not be able to have
stories on the parallel exchange rate moving one way or the other. In
my case, I will refrain from mentioning it explicitly, but if there is
something interesting to talk about, you can be sure I will fond spme
form of euphemism to discuss the parallel rate if it seems important.
 
This
is all part by the stupid frame of mind by Chavismo of controlling
everything. Their infinite belief that Government can be all powerful
and efficient and can manage to control anything. In fact, the same
Bill gives the Ministry of Finance the responsibility of enforcing the
penalties in the Bill. Funny thing is, that Ministry does not have the
personnel or ability to do that, so it will have to start a new
Department, hire people and most likely they will do little in the end.
 
Other changes to the Bill are mostly
insignificant, it increases penalties, says people can not transfer the
official dollars assigned to them, establishes that importers will
have to say in their import manifest where they obtained the foreign
currency and stores will have to post whether their products have been
bought with dollars at the official rate of exchange.
 
Meanwhile,
since the now infamous Maletagate case, the National Assembly has done
very little on it, no investigation, nobody is asking where Mr. Antonini got his US$
800,000 in cash, how he got it out of the country and what he was
planning to do with it. So much for laws, Bills and having the little
guy prove what he spent his $3,000 Internet quota, while who knows how
many suitcases full cash left Venezuela for Argentina and the National
Assembly does not even want to look into it.
 
Which
only proves how stupid the whole thing is. The recently approved Bill
will be applied to enemies and those that do not sympathize with Chavismo, while the Government’s buddies  and sympathizers are
protected and defended, while those that participate in the parallel swap market get
screwed by the Government’s prohibiting that people know what is real
and perfectly legal.
 
You got to love the stupid revolution!

A priceless moment for socialism and high fashion in revolutionary Venezuela

December 15, 2007

I was not going to show the video below, most people have seen it, until I heard a joke that I thought was perfect to post to provide a much needed light moment in the blog.

In the video, Minister of Interior an Justice is giving one of his incoherent tirades about the only way to peace, the Bible socialism and criticizing capitalism, when the reporter asks if it is not inconsistent to criticize capitalism while wearing a Louis Vuitton tie and a pair of Gucci shoes. Carreńo started sttuttering and barely managed to get an answer out as you can see below

The joke going around is this:

A Louis Vuitton tie……………150 dollars

A pair of Gucci loafers……….300 dollars

The question the reported asked……….priceless

Maletagate and the robolution are everywhere, past Vice-President or future Vice Presidents included

December 14, 2007

Corruption is so rampant in the Chavez Government, that those detained in Miami are said to have involved the current Vice-President in the ¨mission to make it look like the money was Antonini’s¨. Furthermore, one of those detained in Miami happens to be none other than the legal representative of fingerprint machine manufacturer Cogent, which sold millions of dollars in the equipment to the current Vice-President while he was at the Electoral Board. He personally was in charge of that decision and negotiation.

But then it turns out that the Vice President Jorge Rodriguez is apparently on his way out for his role in the Dec. 2nd. loss and his involvement in this case. He will be replaced by former Minister of Defense Jorge Luis Garcia Carneiro.

But wait! Who are these people inviting two years ago to the burial of “the father of our dear friend, forger of so many dreams and hopes, General in Chief Jorge Luis Garcia Carneiro…” in the invitation below published in a local paper?

Those that invite happened to be two of the defendants in the Miami Maletagate case.

You see, the problem is that Chavez has used the same people over and over again and they seemed to be all in up their necks, the Government can´t distance itself so easily from them as they are being accused of being it´s agents…that is why it’s called the robolution!!!

Miami Maletagate indictments: Just the tip of the iceberg?

December 14, 2007

I repeat the cartoon above which I first posted on Aug. 14th., because the indictment in Miami yesterday relating to Maletagate may just be simply the tip of a large iceberg.

While there has been little new or news today on Maletagate, other than the fact that those indicted were denied bail, which may be surprising in Duran´s case, given that he is also a US citizen, there is did tidbit in the report in the Financial Times on the indictment which is quite intriguing:

“Mr Hacker (the lawyer for those indicted) suggested his clients were being targeted by prosecutors because of a lawsuit they filed against a
US bank last week that alleged that it had expropriated millions of
dollars from them. The lawsuit accused the bank of closing an account
holding $25m without the individuals’ permission.”

Umm, a bank holds back US$ 25 million from these guys without their permission? Just like that? There has to be more to that story. It smells like Patriot’s Act, corruption and/or money laundering. I wonder how the cheerleaders of the robolution can justify such large amounts of money being in the accounts of these people, who not only were accused of being agents for the Chavez Government, but are well known members of the new bolivarian oligarchy, with no known fortunes before 1998.

I think we are just seeing, like in the cartoon above, the tip of a large and very diverse iceberg and the robolutionaries are below it.

National Assembly appoints new immoral Moral Power in Venezuela

December 13, 2007
A “new” and “improved” moral power was elected today by the National Assembly
and really, besides the departure of that cynical man German Mundarain,
the People’s Ombudsman, who turned his back on the people in order to
defend the Chavez Government, there is little to celebrate or cheer
about.

First, Clodosbaldo Russian was
reappointed as the Comptroller, in order to see if he can beat his
inability to contain corruption in the last seven years. The last seven
years have seen the biggest corruption scandals in the country’s
history. As an example, look at Russian’s inaction on the maletagate
case and you know what I am talking about.

But
on top of that between structured notes, the Citibank building, Bolivar
2000, Argentinean bonds and placements of CD’s without auctions, there
is more than a couple of billion dollars in obvious corruption. Include
the use of Government funds for political activities of MBR2000, MVR
and PSUV and we have witnessed order of magnitudes worse corruption
than in the previous 40 years and Mundarain simply smiles.

As
a sample, look at the CV of one of those arrested two nights ago in
last night’s maletagate post and you can see exactly what I mean. Or go
to the Aeropuerto Caracas and see the multi million dollar jets of the
boli bourgeois and there is a very simple proof of what I am saying.

Then,
Isais Rodriguez, that despicable ineffective Prosecutor General, has
been replaced by his second in command Luisa Ortega, who got there by
selectively prosecuting political enemies for Rodriguez. She was a
collaborator of the political bias and of the sectarian fashion in
which that office has been managed in the last few years. It is hard to
expect any different from her.

Finally,
Gabriela Ramirez will occupy the People’s Ombudsman. I know little
about Ms. Ramirez; she does not have any well-known Human Rights track
record. But more importantly, her appointment completely and absolutely
violates both the spirit and the letter of the law.

You see, in order to be appointed the People’s Ombudsman or considered for it, the person must:

Not
have any relation within the fourth grade of consanguinity or second in
affinity or by way of marriage or have established relationships with
members of the National Assembly or the Committee considering the
candidates (No tener parentesco dentro del cuarto grado de
consaguinidad y segundo de afinidad, o vínculos por matrimonio o
relacionados en uniones estables de hecho con miembros de la Asamblea
Nacional o del Comité de Evaluación de Postulaciones)

Clearly
the intent of the legislator was that the position be occupied by
someone involved in human rights defense and not in partisan politics.
Someone who would go and defend the people and not the Government and
would not be afraid of standing up to the Government and its abuses.

Unfortunately, Ms. Ramirez does not fulfill that
because SHE WAS ELECTED TO BE A MEMBER OF THE CURRENT NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
for the Baruta District of Caracas, for which she was backed by Chavez’
MVR even if she ran as a candidate for UVE (which merged into PSUV by
sheer coincidence)

In fact, Ms. Ramirez was a
Deputy of the Assembly within 45 days of her candidacy to the position,
was visibly present at the swearing in of the Comando Zamora for the Si
vote in the referendum in October and has been seen in many recent
political rallies supporting PSUV and wearing a red shirt.

All
of this clearly violates both the spirit and the letter of the law and
Ms. Ramirez simply does not qualify for the position.

Moreover, the procedures mandated in the Constitution for the naming of the members of the Moral Power were not followed, making it simply immoral.

But the law for Chavismo is largely irrelevant, Chavez wanted her there and the lackeys simply obeyed. Like in everything else.

Another farce by the revolution!!! Another rip off in the name of the people!!!
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