Friday, April 30, 2010

Violence as virtue

Violence as virtue: when criminals become "respectable"

Volver al Cabildo- Let's retun to the Cabildo

The April 19 theme is far from over and not just because Chavez had a ludicrous military parade trying to make it a purely military element. No, there is much more to it as we celebrate our 200 year of our start to Independence. From now until July 5th 2011 we will see more scholarly works about what it means to be a Venezuelan and more brutal vehemence trying to deny what makes us a people.
Ovidio Perez Morales
One of the best articles published on April 19 is an address to President Chavez by one of the most lucid voices of Venezuela, Monsignor Ovidio Perez Morales, reminding us that for all its fault in times of troubles the church has been a powerful factor of change for the best in Latin America.

Since it is in El Nacional by subscription I am putting here the original in Spanish and the interview made by Milagros Socorro which complements it nicely, in Spanish.  Below the translation in English that was sent to me (though I did change a few words).  If you can read Spanish I suggest the original.

A few comments before you read this important positioning of the church in front of the Chavez regime.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Juan Forero describes the Venezuelan economic crisis from the hinterland of Tachira

I have to admit that this country bumpkin blogger is pickled pink when a major newspaper publishes an article about Venezuela economic crisis that does include the word "Caracas" only in the name of the university of consulted professors.  Yes, that is right, maybe because of his residence in Bogota but Juan Forero does an excellent job on describing how the economy of Tachira border state has simply collapsed due to the mismanagement of the Venezuelan economy, and the anti Colombian political whims of Chavez.  A must read article in that it describes the effect on the people and the whole country that an ideological government without viable plan, and even less capacity to implement  it, inflicts on a nation it considers its own playground.

When you read Forero you can sense how hard it was for him to keep his objectivity quoting Chavez that he did not consider a drop in GDP for 2010 anything to worry about.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Chavez naked hatred: Afiuni and Empresas Polar

We got two examples today as to how Chavez hatred clouds his judgment.  One was how judge Afiuni was mistreated in  an unjust hearing and how he directly challenged in the most vulgar terms the president of Venezuela's largest food manufacturer, the one guy that is responsible the most for stocking the shelves of Venezuela with food accessible to the humble classes.  In both cases it was a macho demonstration of someone who does things just because he can do them without anyone stopping him, even if the consequences will be devastating for the country.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eating some MUDdy crow and offering proposals: memo to the MUD

Dear MUD members

Even though I have had many reservations as to your methods I must admit that you did better than I thought you were doing.  I think that in politics all is in the timing and still today I am concerned about that part.  But at least it is clear that you were able to deliver some positive results on a daunting task, even if accompanied with worrisome facts.  Let's today celebrate that in spite of some unclear details still to be settled you have managed to bring a list of unity candidates that, if not all in all inspiring, is at least more inspiring than what chavismo will deliver in a few days.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Maria Corina wins Baruta as Primero Justicia loses it

The primary results are in, by 10 PM, faster than what the CNE ever gave them, with 98% of the votes counted (we are still waiting for the CNE 2007 final count...).  A quick round up:

Chavez idiocy of the evening

Of the evening because he already said a few ones earlier today.  Closing the PSUV congress he admitted that the Venezuelan GDP could drop this year.  things must be very bad for him to admit already that it could drop.  His words:
"¿Que el PIB cayó en el 2009?, es verdad, ¿y que volverá a caer en el 2010?, pudiera ser verdad, pero, ¿es para angustiarnos? En lo más minimo"
That the GDP dropped in 2009? It is true. And that it will fall again in 2010? it could be true, but, should we worry? Not at all!
I suppose he does not need to worry, he will always have food on his table and the army will keep his job. As for us, well, you know, life is tough, nobody said it was fair, deal with it, go away, shoo, shoo...
Let us eat cake.

What is wrong with this picture?

Reliable reader Anzoategui, for lack of a better pseudo in this non creative moment, sent me this picture he took today at the "terminal" of Barcelona of a parking car (1).  I know, I know, there is a gazillion of perfectly "logical" reasons why a PDVSA official tag for an official use PDVSA vehicle would sport the Cuban flag.  But in Cuba, NOT in Venezuela.  Or maybe it is one of these guys that travels all the time between Havana and Puerto La Cruz, you know, those that bring Raul his monthly allowance so he can kill of starvation more political prisoners........  Whatever it is, I am sure he is not going to get his car towed for illegal parking.  By the way, if Cubans are teaching how to repair tank radios in the Venezuelan army, what are they repairing in PDVSA facilities?  Phone tapping systems?

PDVSA official Cuban car?
1) Terminal: bus station in Venezuela, where you go to take your bus to anywhere else in the country.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Chavez and his toy soldiers

While the opposition organize its meager primaries, what goes on within chavismo and Chavez sick mind?  More barely contained violence, as if that small display of democracy was already too much to stand for the autocrat Fidel wanna-be.  His Alo Presidente of today was in full military regalia with many of his toy soldiers in front of him.  I say "toy soldier" on purpose because according to Chavez we had to wait for the Cubans to come to teach us how to repair radios in tanks, store compasses and other such garbage.  Does he really believe what he says?  And anyway, what war in what past year is he getting ready to fight?

The fact of the matter is that his nonsense today, his attacks on General Rivero and his bad rerun of April 13 and 19 only indicate one thing: he is scared of his own army!  Be it because he thinks it will turn against him or because it is really that incompetent, it does not matter.  No wonder he decided to do the only things he knows to do: try to scare people with his toy army and buy loyalty at any price.  Thus he gave all officers in the army a pay raise of 40%.  We wonder how will it get paid, but that is another story. 

PS: Incidentally what will those civilians who only get a 25% pay raise this year think?  Never mind that they got it in two installments, the second portion in September, while the military apparently will get it in one chunk.  Another hint that Chavez does not care about electoral results to retain his office?  I have a friend that reports on Alo Presidente as Alo Delincuente.  She was particularly on target today.

The 2010 opposition primaries

UPDATE 2: see results in this post.

UPDATE 1:  voting time has been extended by two hours because, well, people went out to vote in larger numbers than expected.   And what does Chaevz think of this?  See post above.
The opposition is voting in the few districts it chose to hold primaries.  To be noted: Caracas district 1 which covers popular districts of Sucre/Catia and El Junquito is also in the voting.  There are lines to vote, not huge lines but lines nevertheless.  What is important in that district where chavismo is strong is that the mere act of voting risks to brand you as an anti Chavez person, with all the possible consequences that come in a coutnry where the Tascon list still is in use.  I write it down as an excellent sign that chavismo fortunes are ebbing that Catia is voting signficantly.

Elsewhere nothing much to report.  Thus no election day continuous post as for other elections.  Just an update tonight as results come.

Hot predictions for the September election!

So, finally, the opposition MUD gave its official nominations.  There are good stuff such as Jose Molina running for circuit 5 in Caracas and bad stuff such as the always defeated William Davila in Merida lone safe seat.  But I will wait for the results of the primary elections tomorrow, and the PSUV ones, before I start the long and arduous work of judging as many races as possible (I cannot deal with the 160 races but I will try to have a reasonable opinion on half of them, though it will take weeks).  Still, today, for fun, I did a first evaluation of the next National Assembly composition.  How I came to this is written below the graph, and note, I was rather optimistic.  Also, the total of seats is not exact as, e.g. I did not included the Native seats.  Enjoy.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

MUD as the mouse that roared

The worst statue is the opposition
Despondency is the word today.  The opposition negotiation device, MUD, is never finishing up its list of candidates, allegedly representing unity.  We are going from postponement of the announcement to further postponement and as I type there is no guarantee that we will see the MUD respect its latest of the latest deadlines after the previous one have been unmet and unmet.  And from the extra-official news, we can be nonplussed at the underwhelming list of candidates offered.  Barboza for Zulia main seat while Goicochea is relegated to a third place in Parlatino?  Ever the eternal loser William Davila again in Merida for the only safe seat there?

Rayma's cartoon is right and to the point.  The opposition seems to believe that the election of September is won and it is afraid to make any move, any wave that could change the present status quo.  A few days ago I was hoping that the glacial response to the country's reality by the MUD was starting to shift some when the MUD put the military debate in the political debate reminding the army that it was not there to serve the president ambition.  But that was that and what matters the most, an impacting list of bright candidates, is not coming through, leaving the field to a lot of recycled garbage of proven failures.

I do not mean to be totally negative.  After all unity seems to have been reached and that is not small feat.  Also the new National Assembly cannot be composed of fresh baby faces that will be eaten alive by the chavista sharks who do not play fair, not to mention their innate ability to drag you down in the lowest of the gutter.  We need indeed some experienced fighting guys such as Ismael Garcia who deserves his place in the Aragua safe seat, to give you an example.  But William Davila?  Omar Barboza?  Not even the decency to run in a contested seat to prove their electoral worth.  Oh boy.......

The WSJ on Bush versus Obama approach on political dissent

Bari Weiss has an interesting comparison on the obvious support of Bush for political dissent under his term and the Obama approach of best wishes but tough.  And yet it is not a partisan piece in that Mr. Weiss is aware of the negative legacy of the Iraq war and how it undermines other positive actions he might have undertaken.  I bring this OpEd to your attention because there is a significant portion devoted to Marcel Granier of RCTV.  Indeed, we in Venezuela are aware that the Obama administration thinks that Chavez is a creep and his regime a neo-totalitarian concept.  But a few more energetic words would be welcome.

I would say one thing to Mr. Weiss: the US are entering the world of welfare state where business is essential to support its cost.  Europeans have thus become masters at making deals with all sorts of unsavory regimes because bills need to get paid and taxes to pay them are collected from these business deals.  The Obama administration took over a country in crisis and is using expensive means to find its way out.  Europeanization of its foreign policy is almost a given.

Maria Corina Machado for Caracas representative

I have written little on elections lately, avoided it would say certain considering my track record.  But tonight I write to endorse wholeheartedly Maria Corina Machado of SUMATE fame for the Eastern Caracas #2 Miranda district seat which will be decided in a primary next Sunday.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Antanas Mockus halcyon days coming to an end soon?

The surprise of the Colombian election is former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus.  But the surprise continues as for the first time a poll puts him winning the second round ballot!  As such poor Antanas must get ready for increasing pressure as the other guys surprised, never expecting him, are going to quickly target him, just as Tories and Labor are trying to pull a number on Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cubans train sharp shooters and snipers in the Venezuelan army

What we all knew but did not dare discuss much was finally stated clearly by someone who knows about that.  Antonio Rivero retired from the army a few days ago.  He was a general and he was in charge of the Civil Defense system of Venezuela, the one that does rescue operations and the like.  His role was not too stellar but can be excused in part as chavismo has no patience for such trivial matters as the Avila burning of last months illustrated to all.  He certainly never got the funds he needed to perform his job as it should be.  He was at least one of those few chavista public servants that one could listen to without much wincing.  Well, today in a press conference he let us know that Cubans are training sharp shooters in the Venezuelan army and that when there is a conflict, Cuban military personnel are given priority.

And thus more evidence for the status of Venezuela as a Cuban colony just when we commemorate 200 years of alleged independence.  How long until Rivero finds his way next to Oswaldo Alvarez Paz cell?

Bolivarian homophobes

I do not know what is it with these bolivarians and their complexes, but they all seem to be of the same feather.  I have long written on chavismo as the homophobic and anti-Semitic presence in its leadership (examples here).  Now it turns out that Evo Morales is another homophobe!  And, as expected, in association with ignorance.

Evo Morales declared at an "alternative climate summit" (Copenhagen was not good enough for them, it did not have feathered natives enough I suppose)  that eating chickens raised on hormones was a cause for homosexuality.  His exact words, and a video to prove it:

"El pollo que comemos está cargado de hormonas femeninas. Por eso, cuando los hombres comen esos pollos, tienen desviaciones en su ser como hombres"  The chicken we eat is loaded with feminine hormones.  That is why, when men east these chickens, they have deviations in their maleness being (or something like that).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Now you need to call in how much electricity you consume

In an electricity emergency that is fast becoming a farce of particularly bad taste, the folks who use more than 25 KVA in the states of Sucre and Anzoategui will need to call the state owned electrical company to report how much their meter reads, dailyThe official news agency, ABA, does not give further details, so we can wonder about the following:
  • have the meter readers resigned?  have the meters become suddenly all obsolete and require replacing?
  • why everyday?  what happens Sunday if you do not open for business?  is there someone at CADAFE to get your call on Sunday?
  • and what will happen if you do not report everyday?  a fine?  an outright power cut?
  • is this a pilot program?  will we be forced one day to report daily our electricity home consumption?  will we need to fine ourselves?
  • and of course: why? (as in a logical explanation I mean, I am sure that CADAFE has some fancy made up story).
As usual, the bolibanana revolution raises more questions than it gives answers...........

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

At a CNE/TSJ near you soon

The WaPo reports today that the last two parties in Iran that advocated political change have been banned (though there is apparently a possible judicial appeal, we ain't holding our breath).  In the second paragraph of the article you may read:  .... prevents foes of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from gaining power through elections. 

Needless to say that I am tempted to start a poll as to when will the first Venezuelan political party be banned.  You might remember that Iran has a long tradition of banning already all sorts of candidates on the flimsiest excuse, something quickly imitated by chavismo.  And to that add that Chavez is, well, monkey sees monkey does.

Charlabamos con el Presidente Chavez and other misteps of Cristina "cocotte" Fernandez de Kirchner

Yesterday was as bad as one could fear it would.  A monstrous military parade was used to celebrate a most civilian event.  All was late on schedule, all was designed to please Chavez, including him wearing his new disguise of a special military uniform.  El Tiempo de Bogota gives a deserved review of the day, Colombians not being able to even respect Venezuela yesterday.  Heck, Venezuelans did not even respect themselves, why should El Tiempo do it?  this was not Venezuela day, it was another step in Chavez personality cult with the usual hanger-ons paid for (though one wonders what was Leonel Fernandez of Dominican republic doing there?)

The speech of Argentina's president was as vapid and out of place and context as one could be afraid it would.  As a cheap Peronista of mafia like agreements with Chavez she certainly did not disappoint Chavez.  She spoke of all but Venezuela, and some of her rare historical comments were actually historically wrong.  What could you expect from a woman who in such an historical occasion says "we were chatting with President Chavez".  I mean, you certainly were at some point during the day but you do not say that at the tribune of the National Assembly of the country when you are the controversial keynote speaker of the momentous day!  But that is exactly what Chavez wanted, trivialization of the 19 de abril and people like me wasting time on the woman that Manuel Caballero justly nicknamed "cocotte", in French a silly woman that pretends to be as elegant and perfumed as possible.  It is also a double entendre as "cocotte" means stink.  Indeed, what we saw yesterday was the stench of failed leaders but successful thugs trying to find together new justifications for their hold on power at the expense of their people.

Updated: read the Simon Boccanegra today.

Monday, April 19, 2010

19 de abril as a dysfunctional holiday

Red and black phallickerry
A few weeks ago I was observing that April 19 1810 was an uncomfortable date for Chavez and his fascist movement.  My point was that 19 de abril as we call it, was a purely civilian moment where a group of wealthy and/or educated folks decided to claim autonomy from the Spanish government then represented by Joseph Bonaparte, commonly seen as an usurper by the immense majority of Spanish subjects, by they in Madrid or Santiago.  The problem for the "fascismo marginal" as Pedro Llorens qualifies Chavez rule, is how to make the date also a military date, more congruent with the whole tone of the Bolibananian Regime (1).  The equation apparently has not been solved.

The Siete Dias section of El Nacional today describes to us how some countries have been preparing for their bicentennial, also coming this year.  Everywhere public spaces are created, museums opened, literary or assay contests held, etc, etc...  And this over the whole bicentennial year.  In contrast in Venezuela we only see a general improvisation, and very late at that.  Nothing new is being built except for a ridiculous phallic symbol at Plaza El Venezolano who bears no meaning, is totally out of architectural context and sports red and black colors because we must assume a totally red obelisk was just too much even for chavismo.  Let's just say that for the French side of this blogger the Louvre Pyramid was less shocking than the red and black chavista dick.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Alas! Antanas Mockus will never be president of Venezuela!

The one nobody expected!
As a supplement of my previous post where the decision of Colombia's government to ask Colombians to avoid travel to Venezuela was discussed, I could have included the latest Colombian polls, had I known them.  The sudden rise of the Green candidate, Antanas Mockus, to the second spot in polls is throwing the election up in the air, and might be explaining some weird decisions in Bogota.  Nobody really knows what could happen in a second round ballot between Uribe's candidate, Santos, and the new darling of the green/independent vote, Mockus.

No one ever considered such a run off, always assuming that it would be between the Uribista candidate and either the Conservative (most likely) or the old Liberals or even the left Polo.  In the second round Santos was expected to breeze through, the only question here was if Uribe coat tails would be enough to carry him on the first round.  They are not.

Noemi Sanin, the Conservative candidate is sinking fast as conservatives seem to rally around Santos, though not in droves as some seem to find their way to Mockus for the time being.  Why? After all, Uribe and the Conservatives won a parliamentary majority in last months elections.  How come suddenly everyone is scrambling to confront the sudden Mockus surge?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Colombia to its citizens: do not go to Venezuela! Bonus: Samper's idiocy

In what is becoming a farcical vaudeville, dead serious but farcical nevertheless, the Colombian government issued a traveler advisory against Venezuela, a first for us and probably a first between South American countries.  Let's just say that a travel advisory warning between Venezuela and Colombia ten years ago would have been as unthinkable as a travel advisory warning between Canada and the US today.  If anything because nearly impossible to enforce.

El Chiguïre Bipolar at Canada's National Post

Chavismo has tried and tried, has subsidized and subsidized, has insulted and insulted, has charmed and charmed and yet never has it succeeded in creativity uncles you count the Uh! Ah! Chavez no se va!  To witness the recent international success of the Bipolar Capybara a.k.a. El Chiguïre Bipolar.  Now its funny cartoon satire on South American presidents Lost in an Island finds its way into the pages of Canada's National Post.

With a chavismo so dense and with most of the spark on the other side one wonders how come Chavez has lasted for 11 years of cruel mismanagement and horrendous waste.  I suppose it speaks volume about a country who in exchange of governess freebies is willing to put up with any crap.  Or maybe it is that enough people find Chavez barracks vulgarity funny?  (hat tip AM).

Coming out of that military closet

The obscene rally of yesterday at the Avenida Bolivar might have been a major image blunder for Chavez.

That Pyongyang feeling......
Pictures like this one went all around the world today and established, if any had still a doubt about it, that Chavez creation is nothing more than a military regime.  That the Bolivar avenue crowds over the years have become barely a few red specks and that the bulk in front of the central stage decorated with a gigantic image of Chavez, the beloved leader, is a military olive green crowd has been a lapsus of sorts that will haunt Chavez for the rest of his tenure.

The message from Chavez is clear here: you can do all the elections you want, I could not care less.  My power is at gun point, deal with it.

Only idiots and mercenaries can now pretend that we are in a civilian democracy dedicated to the betterment of the people.  Think about it: the latest weapons purchase to Russia is roughly equivalent to three years of the Venezuelan health budget (and even more depending on who does the math). 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Si me asesinan, barran a la burguesia

If they murder me, wipe out the bourgeoisie (stronger in Spanish)

Those were the nice words of Chavez today, in a meeting where it was for all to see how far advanced his delirium tremens is.  Or whatever delirium he suffers from in case he is a teetotaler, which does not stop one from being an addict, just not to booze.

To commemorate April 13 2002 in the continuous effort to make this a national holiday along February 2 and 27 (when will we work?) Chavez gathered what he hoped would be a show of strength that would instill fear in the opposition, but instill even more fear into the weakening chavista base in case they decided not to follow him until the bitter end.  The bolting of Lara's governor Falcon seems to have perturbed him greatly as the PPT has been excommunicated officially.

To scare us he called for his militia, all in Cuban olive green uniforms.  No need anymore for the red civilian tide of yore, the ingrates cannot even be "arreados" with buses and booze and stipends.  Now Chavez fills up his rallies with the militia which was created and is paid for such activities.  I use the term "arreados" in all conscience, which means roughly lassoed.  My S.O. was forced to go to the meeting today, staying until 4 PM, unable to wait for Chavez anymore, and sorely regretting forgetting the camera home.  But even forcing public employees to come is not enough: they come, sign up any attendance list, go to look for a drink as an excuse, and are never seen again that day.  Hence the need for a paid for militia, to make sure Chavez does not speak in a void.

If Chavez tried to scare us today what he did was to increase our resolve while ridiculing himself.  And if anyone still thought that the civilian sector played a role in the bolibanana revolution, look at the picture above and be told.  That was Bolivar Avenue Tuesday 13, a few hours ago.  Olive green with only a few specks of red left.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Oh Dear....

Tal Cual cartoon today
Chavez: Whoever has a personal agenda cannot be a revolutionary (note: proyecto in chavista-speech is so loaded with meaning that translation with agenda can convey it only partially.)
Some guy in the small crowd: with you everything, without you nothing (note: Spanish mistake, sintigo, deliberate by the artist)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Chavez dysfunctional reality

Nothing but a Weil cartoon of Chavez regal bed to illustrate the dysfunction that has settled in Chavez brain.  He signed over a week ago a multi billion dollar contract for semi outdated Russian weapons.  On the other hand Planta Centro, one of the basic staples of electricity generation in the country has stood idle last week.  Why?  Because in 11 years of tenure the Chavez administration has been unable to perform the basic maintenance and probably now, pressed by the electricity crisis, forced the debilitated plant to produce more than what it was able to do.  Break down?  Or some other feel good tall tale that chavismo will try to feed us?  You know, like sabotage. 

We have been told that the situation is under control, that the government is fulfilling its objectives and yet, YET!, last week we were told at work that electricity power outs would go from 2 hours a week to 6 hours, in two shift, effectively shutting us down for two half days a week.

Yeah, right, everything under control, worry not, be happy, GDP up in 2010!

 PS: I drive in front of Planta Centro at least once a month.  In the last ten years NEVER have I seen two smokestacks working at once, even less the three of them.  Who do they think they are fooling besides the idiotic part of the chavista base?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

De abril 11 a abril 19, perdiendo nuestra independencia

Cada vez se torna mas irrelevante volver a examinar los acontecimientos que nos llevaron al 11 de abril de 2002. Sin embargo, ya que en apenas una semana también vamos a conmemorar la Independencia de Venezuela, es oportuno volver a examinar una vez más los eventos del 11 de abril para mostrar en que grado hemos perdido la libertad cuando llegamos al 19 de abril, 200 años después.

Muchos libros han sido publicados sobre los días cuando Chávez cayó brevemente hace 8 años. Y, sin embargo, todavía estamos lejos de conocer todo lo que deberíamos saber a estas alturas, como los nombres de quienes ordenaron la matanza. Como muestra tuvimos incluso un simulacro de juicio que condenó a algunas personas a 30 años de cárcel por los "crímenes" de abril de 2002 y sin embargo sólo los chavistas endurecidos aceptan el resultado de ese juicio. No es que los condenados sean inocentes o culpables, pero la forma en que el juicio fue llevado a cabo vuelve absolutamente claro que el gobierno había decidido fabricar un culpable, independientemente de la verdad.

From April 11 to April 19: losing Venezuela's independence

It is becoming lame to re-discuss the events that led to April 11 2002.  However since in barely a week we will also commemorate the Independence of Venezuela, it is fitting to revisit once more April 11 events to show how much freedom we lost as we reach 19 de abril, 200 years later.

Many books have now been published over the day when Chavez fell briefly 8 years ago.  And yet, we are still far from knowing all what we should know by now, such as the names of those who ordered the shootings.  To witness, we even had a mock trial that condemned a few people to 30 years sentence for the "crimes" of April 2002 and yet only the hardened chavista accept the result of that trial.  Not that those condemned were innocent or guilty, but the way the trial was led it was absolutely clear that the government had decided to create a guilty party, regardless of the truth.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Is it possible to write it straight on Venezuela? Is it worth it?

UPDATE!!!  Apparently the WaPo editorial linked below was a mistake, an editorial that was not supposed to be published.  It did not make it tot he print edition and by mistake on line.  But we have a cache and contacts so I put the editorial, or at least a version of it, at the end of this post.
Although I find the Washington Post editorials to be on the mark on Venezuela, the latest one is somewhat off, as if the WaPo were to be taking itself into the anti Chavez self imposed trap, a skill that chavismo has long practiced with certain success.

On logic and factual merits the editorial is perfectly on target, chastising the weak Obama administration response to Human Rights violations in Venezuela coupled with obscene weapons purchased, the latest installment coming last Friday after Putin's brief visit to Caracas (1).

No stuffed turkey for Chavez

Sorry, I could not resist some sort of lame title.  But when I saw that lose canon Lieberman (Israel foreign minster) compared Erdogan (Turkey Prime minister) to Chavez and Qaddafi and that Turkey was offended, well, it made my day.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

La MUD en el fango: un nombre predestinado en inglés

Lo digo sin preámbulos: como van las cosas con los preparativos de la oposición voy a pronosticar que Chávez gana en septiembre.

No voy a enfocarme en las últimas peleas internas, sean las acciones escandalosas del clan Salas en Carabobo o la petulancia del conflicto Goicoechea/Marquina en un distrito mirandino (¿No era Marquina diputado de Carúpano en la anterior asamblea? ¿Que está haciendo en el área metropolitana de Caracas en vez de reivindicar su sillón en Sucre?)


I am coming right out here: the way things are going within the opposition preparations I am predicting a Chavez victory in September.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Thinning air in La Paz

Bolivia held local elections yesterday, a rather unusual proposal for a Latin American country to vote on Easter Sunday.  As expected Evo Morales followers won, which did not stop quite a few surprises from taking place, eerily reminding recent electoral situations in Venezuela.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Simon Romero of the New York Times next in the list of Chavez political prisoners?

Simon Romero has made a mistake.  The New York Times correspondent for the Andean region of the New York Times has listed some of the recent political prisoners of Chavez.  People these days go to jail for less than that.  Never mind him pointing out to the IACHR report on Human Rights violations in Venezuela.

As Milagros Socorro wrote the other day, it is becoming embarrassing not to be jailed in Venezuela.

Looks like Chavez has a potential friend in Afghanistan

Delusiveness is not for Chavez alone.  Seems like Karzai, bent on staying on power, is now threatening to call those who allowed him to reach office "invaders".  As if the Taliban were to forgive him.....   In this XXI century it seems that the more incompetent the leader, the more willing he is to stay in office at any price.

A particularly idiotic revolutionary week

The mind reels watching the idiocy displayed from the bolivarian revolution beloved leader and the sycophants surrounding him, literally it seems....

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Who is really helping Haiti?

In the news today we read that the UN conference on Haiti reconstruction has received more pledges than what Haiti had requested for.  The unfortunate country had asked for what is a rather modest 4 billion USD, though if well managed enough of a Marshall Plan for the country.

Now in Venezuela we are hearing that the ALBA countries pledged 2.14 billions, more than what the US or EU pledged!!!!  How can a set of poor countries held together by Chavez political ambition through his check book can pledge more that the US led by an African American president?  Let's be serious, Venezuela GDP sans oil would be like the one of Arkansas or something....  I mean what can Venezuela bring to Haiti reconstruction when Chavez cannot build enough subsidized housing for our own needs, amen on providing water and electricity to the country?

Podcast with Fausta

Internet radio is alive an well, at least for those who have access to a real broadband which is not my case, nor the case of many in Venezuela as the CANTV broadband has been going downhill steadily since Chavez nationalized the Venezuelan Telecom in 2006.  I have been too busy lately to be able to post but I did manage to talk to Fausta, editor of Fausta's Blog.  She is from Puerto Rico but long established in the US where she has carved a name among conservative blogging, all the way to the GOP Convention.  She is one of the few conservative bloggers who do not require that you call Obama a tyrant before talking to you, in addition of covering extensively Latin America, a rarity in US major blogs, and making regular podcasts with all sorts of guests.

So we did the Podcast even if I was late in logging in since Internet in Venezuela is, well, erratic.  You can listen to it there if you want, I come in after 11 minutes, after an awkward 1 minute full silence, just when Fausta had all but given up.