Sunday, February 22, 2004

Back in San Felipe

Back in San Felipe
and reading of land "redistribution" schemes in Guyana and Yaracuy...
Sunday 22, February 2004

I am back to rest for the next two days of the Carnival holiday in Venezuela. But will I be able to rest?

To begin with, this morning we had a yet unexplained power outage of 6 hours. The longest I can remember since I moved to San Felipe a few years ago. I did drive around town to look for some supplies and it was an all encompassing black out. These curiously are not becoming more frequent, but they are becoming longer and longer over the last three years. Of course when one has guests over and a fridge full of food this is not what one is looking for. I was caught mumbling something as to the Chavez's administration teaching us to live more and more Cuban style.

Back with the papers I do not get any rest. After all with no electricity there is nothing else but to read the papers with details. But the details today are worrisome. I will do the round up of EL Universal which is on line so I can refer to it.

EL Universal at least is merciful with his headline on Chavez's travel to Guyana two days ago. Guyana holds a piece of land which is more than half of its size and that Venezuela claims. Indeed, the British and the US made an "agreement" for some disputed land to which reunions Venezuelans were not even invited. This was late XIX century and the British empire did not deal with little brown men then. But there was also the Monroe doctrine, and the US of A stepped in the dispute to give the land to Britain, but it was the US giving it by arbitration, not the British taking it away. A nuance I suppose.

Needless to say that Venezuela never accepted the arbitration and all presidents since 1958 were keen on maintaining the claim alive to the point that Britain decided to give Guyana its independence instead of dealing with it. Thus now making Venezuela look bad as the big bully trying to get half a country's land. But Guyana is member of OAS and CARICOM and thus a vote there. Chavez needs ALL the help he can get as he is about to steal democracy away from the Venezuelan people. He went to Guyana and announced (which I do not know if he is indeed allowed to do so, but this is the Bolivarian Republic where anything goes) that Venezuela will not interfere in development projects in the Western side of Guyana. This is basically recognizing that Venezuela will never recover the Essequibo region since all previous governments instead of saber rattling preferred to announce that they would not recognize any investment made in Guyana. Maybe Chavez indeed made a normal courtesy visit to one of its neighbors, but opinions in Venezuela seem to think that it was a give away for a future favorable vote in the OAS. From Guyana which is not a paragon of democracy, by the way. Meanwhile, if such agreements with Guyana have indeed been signed, or will be signed, they would be good additional evidence to put Chavez behind bars once justice returns to Venezuela.

This give away was front page of El Nacional but El Universal prefers to preoccupy itself with the electoral situation. In one interview to Marisol Plaza, the "procuradora general" which is sort of the government's attorney, El Universal reader can see that she has no qualms in qualifying SUMATE of a political party and that it should be judged for betrayal to the fatherland. Really, a few kids with a whole bunch of computers... I must admit that the more chavistas attack SUMATE the more I think that SUMATE is doing something right. Incidentally, that interview is another example on how our public officials are spending our tax dollar attacking and doing character assassination of any sector that does not agree with them. If justice comes back to Venezuela, in my very modest opinion, these declarations, and many other of Ms. Plaza should be enough in any court to put her behind bars. No wonder she is like a rabid dog making sure justice will never come back.

Meanwhile the Electoral Board is doing its Hamletian debate: to annul signatures or not to annul. Though one of the non-chavista members of the board confirmed this morning that a decision will be announced next Sunday! Good luck, buddy!

And since I started with Yaracuy I might as well finish with it. The land seizure problem at Central Matilde that I discussed a few months back is about to erupt again. In spite of all the legal wrangling going on that subject, and even deaths, the government has decided to "invade" yet a few more hectares of the property. Central Matilde and not other major landowners of the area, by the way. The vendetta continues. Because it seems to be a vendetta, just in case that any of my readers would be naive enough to think that it was a justified land redistribution scheme to improve the lives of people. The only people that will be benefited there are lawyers and politicians.

And this only from one newspaper...

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