Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter news in Venezuela

The news never stop, even if this blogger is busy with other activities. So, here is a quick rundown.

The hired pen scandal keeps expanding (and a blogger scores one with a main media)

El Universal has translated its Expediente on "paying for pens". Thus showing that the harsh words of Izarra are not having an effect at intimidating El Universal research work.

In his continuous battle for international recognition (or was that propaganda?) El universal states today that Patton Boggs hired in 2004 has cost a few millions to the Venezuelan state (without many results as far as I can see). And El Universal even uses a fellow blogger link to direct to the Patton Boggs summary! Good going Iruña!

Meanwhile for the next best thing...

Considering that hired pens are slow, the government was also installing restrictions to civil rights. Unfortunately people are noticing. So this Easter week we get two international organizations emitting condemnations to recent Venezuelan legislation. Human Rights Watch, now an usual critic of Chavez, points its accusatory finger at the modified penal code. The title of their English report is unambiguous: Venezuela: curbs on free expression tightened.

But to add insult to injury, Reporters without Borders chimes in. Their article title is equally unambiguous: Criminal Code amendments pose threat to press freedom.

Chavistas were not amused, as far as I could see....

And some good news too

During the holiday some people took opportunity to overthrow a corrupt and nepotistic regime in Kyrgyzstan. Apparently a president who recently claimed to have won elections with something close to 90% was suddenly on the run as the real voters would have none of it. Now parliament is trying to restore order and calling for REAL elections in June. Now that we know that the Carter Center does not cover Central Asia, the possibility of real elections might be a real possibility. And thus fall the third post soviet pseudo democracy as the people take matters in their own hands. One never knows who is next, and not necessarily in the old soviet empire.

All the goodies from a collective blog, and extensive comments from Publius Pundit.

And I cannot leave Asia without a word over the China Taiwan ethical wars, as Taiwan is edging closer and closer to declaring independence. Publius has nice pics and comments there, as I wonder what Chavez thinks of his Communist China friends showing again how undemocratic they are. Birds of a feather..........

Meanwhile back at the ranch

To end this post, a note on Val's Babalu covering yet 14 more cubans making it to Dry Tortugas.

So let's see if I get that one right: Castro is receiving enough subsidies from Chavez that he reevalautes his worthless peso by 8% while Chavez devaluates his soon to be wortheless currency by yet another 12%; Cuba is promoted as the source of all good, all health and all education, a model for Venezuela and soon more South American countries if Chavez has his way with it; and yet people risk their life again and again in spite of all the improving signs (including rice cookers now available) to reach the US. Must be the roaches at Cuban health care centers.


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