Monday, January 29, 2007

There is no escaping Chavez!

In this South American capital where your intrepid blogger is working, the news from Venezuela are never too far behind. In fact, my efforts at escaping the drudgery of Chavez hysterical are not rewarded as my hotel radio this morning belched the latest. It seems that foreign media now have discovered that Venezuela needs to be covered only on Sundays as the rest of the week will develop according to whatever announcement, or inanity, Chavez made during his Alo Presidente. So this morning I was shaken from a nice slow wake up at 6 AM by Chavez insulting Mexico's Calderon.

See, about a couple of weeks ago, Calderon said that all investors that did not like the nationalization tunes of Venezuela would be welcome in Mexico. Well, imagine that, Chavez is not pleased that Calderon is "bullying" investors and other countries, and went as far as saying that Calderon was following the path of Fox, "cachorro del imperio" (the Empire's puppy dog). I think that Chavez in fact was miffed because, well, you know, Calderon simply stated the obvious: investors are going to stampede out of Venezuela and he wants his share (like other more discreet but who certainly will seek to get some of the money that has stopped, or will stop flowing to Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Nicaragua and even Argentina up to a point.

Once when breakfast was over and I could turn up my notebook I sought a link, but did not find it. On the other hand I found some other gems.

The Miami Herald has an excellent summary of the evolution of the media in Venezuela, something that the well informed readers of this blog have known for a long time. The two first paragraphs are worth quoting (my emphasis):

On a typical night on Venezolana de Televisión, the government's principal TV channel, viewers can catch interviews of a Cabinet minister and a pro-government community leader as well as a late-night talkshow host taking rhetorical jabs at the opposition. In between, there's a constant barrage of pro-government ads, one of which proclaims VTV is ``the channel of all Venezuelans.''

For many Venezuelans, VTV, as it's known, is the preferred alternative to private channels they consider poisoned by political and business interests whose sole aim is to topple President Hugo Chávez. For others, VTV is propaganda, more befitting of the old Soviet Union than modern Latin America. For all, VTV may be the future.


The next gem is that apparently Chavez had to spend part of his Sunday show undoing his words from the previous Sunday show. Now, apparently we are told that the government is not after folks secondary homes and Humvee and yachts. Apparently someone must have told Chavez that the big Humvee that threaten us in Caracas narrow streets, or biggest and newest yachts docking the yacht clubs piers are owned by supporters of the regime. The opposition rich, you know, have long stopped renewing their fleet, preferring to stash money away, just in case, probably in Mexico for some.

El Universal reports some interesting gossip. Apparently Lula has warned Chavez not too weaken democratic institutions (seriously Lula, point to me a democratic institution left in Venezuela; it is kind of late, you know). And Kirchner would have told Chavez that nationalizations were "been there, done that, hated it" thing that he would be well advised to forget about.


-The end-

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