Thursday, November 25, 2004

An agitated newsy day in Venezuela

Quite a lot of activity today. And not much time to discuss them in detail. So there I go, in no particular order of importance.

The human touch

The killed lawyer yesterday, Mr. Lopez, happened to be the son of a long ago prominent politician in Venezuela, Haydee Castillo, the first woman finance minister, and a senator for Copei. This was in the 1968-1973 period of Caldera. Well, as the body of her son laid in an ardent chapel, she was taken with her husband for declarations about some explosives found in her house (her son was a known weapon supporter, NRA style it seems). I am not sure if the old couple that was walking in grief the stairs to the tribunal was playing Arsenic and Old Lace, but Public Relation wise I hope for the government that they are indeed guilty of complicity with their son weapon manipulations . Because the spectacle of an elderly couple kept away from their son's coffin will remain in the minds of many, as quite an abuse of power. Incidentally, there are already questions about how the search was done, without a prosecutor present, no witness for quite along time, enough to seed the joint. We'll see.

The Anderson's assassination investigation and other after shocks

A lot of stuff going on. I will write on that again at a later date once I have processed some of the information. Suffice to say that it is quite a circus as far as I can tell.

The gag law approved

Well, that is, the "gag law" has finally been approved with the nay vote of all the opposition. On the good side it will not be approved immediately since it requires a rule book to be voted by the National Assembly within 6 months. Conceivably the opposition could gather a few % signatures to ask for a referendum to overturn the law before it is actually applied. After the bitter experience of a totally biased CNE last year one wonders who will have the stomach to face the scorn and abuse of Jorge Rodriguez (who by the way in the VTV TV show of Vanessa Davies this week gave an ample demonstration of what a jerk he is as even Vanessa sort of wondered aloud about his excesses, which he promptly dismissed. I never cease to be amazed at Rodriguez ability to dig an ever deeper hole for himself).

But there is a tiny little bit of a shadow today on the celebrations by chavismo. Human Rights Watch issued a communiqué to condemn that new "gag law". It does not appear on the web site of HRW yet, but the declarations of Vivanco ensure that something will come out soon, along the declarations on the Darfur violence, homophobia in Jamaica, or a petition to Caterpillar to stop selling tractors to Israel.

Chavez in Libya

And the vacation trip continues (because as it goes it looks more and more like a summer holiday field trip than any serious business).

The Spanish affair is leaving more aftershocks behind. Spanish papers are taken sides and usually against the chavista adventure as Zapatero takes a beating. Other observers commented that nobody did quite notice that Chavez was after all given the very minimum treatment possible, in particular compared to previous Venezuelan presidents visit: no king visit, the shortest possible meeting with Zapatero, a detour to all sorts of side activities to distract him. In other words, Zapatero government gave him the lowest possible care avoiding rudeness. Humm...

Today Chavez was in Libya receiving the Gaddafi human rights awards. Yes, I kid you not. Even Mandela received it but he had reasons as Libya did help him quite a lot when he was jailed by apartheid. Really, there is nothing much to say about that trip that borders the ridicule. But it does make for a good cadena to the glories of El Supremo. Not to mention that he will go there a few months after Blair went and a few hours before Chirac shows up. Gaddafi is hot again, the rewards of finally negotiating with the Empire. Maybe he will Chavez know about the ways to do that.

And I leave you with a picture that does not need caption, courtesy of Yahoo.



1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

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