Thursday, September 15, 2005

Venezuela round up

I have been a little bit overwhelmed with work and the amount of telling news that have been happening these past few days. No major news in a way, nothing that has not happened since Chavez in office even though the brazenness and intensity seems to indicate something else.

Tonight I found enough articles in English in El Universal to make a quick all English language round up on all of the subjects that if I were a paid for blogging or as a journalist I should be covering non stop. Alas, as I must work for a living, a quick round up will have to suffice. It is too bad that I am not like Sumate who got 107 002 USD from the NED. It is brave from them to accept that in the present situation. But it also demonstrates that they are sure of their legal right no matter what the official line will be. Meanwhile, I was wondering if I could get some grant too, as I really need a vacation.

If I need a vacation it looks like Chavez is not getting his off-Broadway own show in his planned New York vacation. Apparently the US embassy was deluged with the visa request of all of these anti American bolibananarian revolutionaries who seem to only dream of going to the Big Apple. Since they all request diplomatic passports and visas (looks fancy, allows you to skip immigration lines that this blogger must do) I can imagine the mess that the usual revolutionary improvisation must have caused. The Caracas Embassy has just claimed "delays" and I am willing to believe them. Diplomacy being what it is we only hear Chavez complaining that the visas are denied, that they are not letting in his medical staff (he travels with more than one doctor?) and his bodyguards (who needs body guards in New York these days, when the UN block is probably the safest block in the Americas during the UN summit?) Or was it that there was not parking space left at the Airport for his magnificent Airbus?

But there might be other reasons. Chavez might actually be quite happy to have an excuse to skip New York. Apparently it would have been difficult to make the show he wanted to make at the UN. But also he had to make a show at home. Besides the land seizures, there was also the need to settle securely the issue of who will run for the legislative elections of December. Happily all was settled without primaries of any sort, Chavez deciding it all. His satisfied (?) supporters through a rather bitchy Diosdado Cabello on TV are not afraid to declare that they will take all of the 167 seats as the opposition seems unable to reach an agreement. But you see, there is democracy inside the opposition where nominations are at least openly discussed whereas in chavismo all offered their neck to the beloved leader (including 27 seating members of parliament who were denied the right to run for reelection by Chavez). Even Lina Ron was left outside: if there is one chavista that can be elected on her own, without the help of Chavez, it is Ms. Ron. Or is that what she was denied a nomination? Nah! I am such a ill intended blogger!

And in that show Chavez also announced that the new Assembly will have to modify the constitution. So again we will elect an assembly for constitutional amendments that will not be discussed during the campaign. But the readers of this blog are lucky, as this blogger is pretty sure which are the coming amendments: reelection ad infinitum of Chavez, suppression of article 350 for the right of civil disobedience, modification if not suppression of private property to welcome the XX1 century socialism, and a few other gems, including Recall Elections stricter standards.

While we are talking of private property, it looks that Chavez will not be able to wait for an amendment. Even FEDECAMARAS who was playing footsy with the administration since the Recall Election is rearing its head again. Also desperate to cut down the ratings of Globovision (who lately receives an inordinate amount of chavista callers complaining, of all things, of other chavistas not doing their jobs) Conatel wants to take back some of the airwaves allocated to private media. Censorship advances. In spite of the "gag" law, economic pressure, reaching a pact with Cisneros to silence Venevision, buying off Televen, projecting forced governmental propaganda for free, forcing cable to give up 8 lines for free, people are still not watching the TV networks with the ratings that are revolutionary desirable. In other words, under the lame excuse to reorganize the airwaves to give more room to Telesur and other monstrosities, the government will try to remove some of the networks from some provincial slots, and more if possible. The excuse of Conatel: airwaves belong to the public (that is, Chavez?)

So here we are, on the well traveled road to autocracy, just waiting for the next shoe to drop.


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