Archive for February 22nd, 2010

Strong confrontation between Uribe and Chavez

February 22, 2010

Reportedly at the meeting in Cancun to create a new organization of Latin American unity, Hugo Chavez and Alvaro Uribe got into a strong confrontation. As the two Presidents argued about Venezuela’s commercial boycott of Colombia, Chavez sen Uribe to Hell (Vete pa’l carajo) and when Chavez threatened to leave Uribe told him to be a man and stay to argue face to face (sea varon y quedese a discutir de frente). (In English here)

There is never unity when Hugo is involved, if you are not with him, you are against him.

The far reach of Chavista incompetence in financial matters touches Uruguay

February 22, 2010

The ability of Chavismo to waste money due to sheer incompetence and idiotic idealism is simply remarkable. Not content with wasting money in nationalizing companies that now give losses, or wasting money in nationalizing banks in Venezuela, the latest failure of Chavista management reaches now Uruguay and unfortunately, those responsible for this silly investment remain today in positions of power in the Government’s financial system.

The story begins in 2006 when Uruguayan coop bank Cofac went under and Venezuela’s development bank Bandes decided to take over the institution which had about 35 branches and some 120,000 depositors. You may wonder what Venezuela is doing helping a country with a higher GDP per capita than Venezuela and little poverty, but that is one of the mysteries of Chavismo, the ability to waste money abroad when people suffer at home, but I digress.

So, some genius at Bandes (more on whom later) decided to save this coop bank in Uruguay, rather than use the money here. It was a time of higher (relative) oil prices and Chavismo spreading around Latin America and the world. Bandes financed the institution, taking over all of its workers and assuming all deposits. Bandes Venezuela created Bandes Uruguay to help small industries in that country in a bank with “solidarity” at the core of its basic concept.

Except that four years later Chavista management, the same one that lost Banco Industrial’s capital three times in eleven years managed (surprise, surprise!) to lose in 2009 alone US$ 22.5 million while the banks’ capital is US$ 30 million. The bank also lost money in 2007 and 2008, what did you expect?

By now, Uruguayan authorities are talking, once again, about Venezuela capitalizing the bank (The alternative is bankruptcy). Of course, it does not look like the bank will do well in the future anyway.

And who, you may wonder, was the man (military, of course!) at Bandes that decided on this strategy of helping Uruguay with this investment? None other that Captain Hernandez Behrens, then President of Bandes and who has been Superintendent of Banks for almost two years presiding over the demise of eleven banks. Moreover, reportedly Chavez decided to eat his financial bolibourgeois class to save Hernandez Behren’ behind.

Maybe it wasn’t worth it…

Cuban doctors sue Venezuela and Cuba for “modern slavery”

February 22, 2010

Seven Cuban Doctors and a nurse sued Cuba, Venezuela and PDVSA in a US Court for conspiring to force them to work as “modern slaves” as payment for the oil that the Venezuelan Government provides that country.

Those being sued “willfully and arbitrarily” placed these medical doctors and the nurse under “conditions of servilism for debt” turning them into economic slaves and converting them into political promoters according to the suit.

The suit allegs that they travelled to Venezuela under false pretenses and threats and were forced to work without time limits in Chávez’ Barrio Adentro program. The suit alleges that “free and innocent people ” were placed under contidions of forced labor, captivity and as servants in exchaneg for payment of the country’s debt.  The suit also accuses the Venezuelan Government of persecuting, threatening and forcing the doctors to return to Cuba, blocking them from moving to other countries. They also said they practiced medicine illgeally in Venezuela in violation of the country’s laws (Sovereignty anyone?)

Another wonderful tale of the robolution, including PDVSA, Hugo “who cares so much for the people” Chávez and the bearded devil from Cuba.

(Note: The article notes that there is a precedent of Cuban citizens forced to work for a company to pay Cuba’s debt, who were awarded US$ 80 million)

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