I am back finally from the edge of the world, but more, much more about that later. Right now trying to catch up with the news I detected three things worth passing along.
So Santa Cruz held its "illegal" referendum and more than 80% voted in favor. What do the Evo and Hugo of the world do? Say that the NO vote plus the abstention vote imply that the referendum failed!!! I kid you not, you can read about it, for example, at the official propaganda site Venezuelanalaysis a loving detailed account of some of the abstention figures. The irony of this is that the National Assembly of Venezuela, which was elected with barely a 15% of the vote is deemed perfectly legal and legitimate for a wholesale change of the constitution, but a referendum where more than 50% of the people voted is not. I wonder if these people EVER get a sense of ridicule... Meanwhile to get a more real view of the situation and of the characters at play you could do much worse than read the great summary form a WaPo editorial or the attack on a voting station narrated by Rory Caroll of the Guardian.
By the way, Evo might have said such things about abstention, but the next thing he did was to try to reopen "negotiations" before things get worse for him.
On the road to Mandalay
Elsewhere in Burma a deadly typhoon has probably killed at least 100 000 people. The response of the military junta in power for decades? If they do not control the international foreign aid, that one will not reach the victims!!!!! Does anyone remembers when Chavez refused the US help after the Venezuelan Vargas disaster? The road that the Americans from the Evil Empire offered to build for free is still not satisfactorily completed by the Venezuelan government who has still half the sea shore laying in ruins...
Any similitude between a ruthless military junta and an extremely democratic and loving president is purely coincidental. Any similitude as to the use of free/state goodies during an electoral campaign (as it is the more likely aim of the Burmese Junta facing a referendum in a few days) is also coincidental. You draw your own conclusions as to whether Venezuela is headed toward a new Mandalay of the XXI century.
Good deed of the day
You could do much worse than putting down your name under this petition. It is always good to remember that the totalitarian state most admired by Chavez is Cuba where political prisoners are languishing for decades in jail.