Friday, March 11, 2011

Less despondent in Caracas

I am in Caracas for a few days and that trip started well with the news that the French government has recognized the Libyan rebels as legitimate interlocutors.  In fact the French are about to send an ambassador to Benghazi, a position that few people in the world these days are crazy enough to wish for...

So Sarkozy is the first one and he created a lot of resentment among his much slower moving European partners though it seems that Cameron is willing to follow with the UK (not to mention that the US is looking more and more decided to do something).

Well, about time as Qaddafi seems able to strike back at the "rebels".  By the way, how can you be a rebel of a government that was never legitimately constructed and which has plundered the country for 41 years under a reign of terror?

At any rate, let me savor for a moment that my second country is taking the higher road, though I am not kidding myself that it might be a bold gambit to refurbish the tarnished image of France's government after the Tunisia fiasco, and a way to edge out Italy in Libya.  Quite a nice contrast with the president of my other country, crudely defending Qaddafi either himself or though paid pseudo intellectuals.


  1. This is great,and the fact that Le France did it first makes it even better.

    But Daniel, i thought you were Venezuelan-Canadian not Venezuelan-French.

    Correct me!

  2. Not that there would any shame in being Franco-Canadian, but I also hold a European Union passport.

  3. "not to mention that the US is looking more and more decided to do something"

    Que verguensa! I remember a time, when my county used to lead the world, not just blow whichever way the wind blows.

  4. 1979 Boat People8:39 AM

    Japan BIG tsunami-->an unfortunate event for the Libyan rebels as the World will diverse some resources to help out this tsunami affected countries.

  5. Presumably, the NATO countries are orchestrating these steps. It would never do, for example, for either Italy or the US to be the first recognizers, for colonial and neo-colonial reasons. Why hand Gaddafi a propaganda coup?

  6. Obama is in a tough spot on this one. The US simply can't engage in another military conflict, but the moment he expends recognition to rebels (much as they may deserve it), the "let's go to war" (or more accurately, the "let's send someone else to war") crowd will up their demands for active intervention.

  7. "Not that there would any shame in being Franco-Canadian..."


  8. Of course, no shame in being Franco-Canadian

    Le Pilote

  9. The only way the Rebels are going to win is with a lot of Air Support. So basically the future of Libya is in the hands of NATO and associated nations.

    ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing.’

  10. Anonymous4:07 PM

    I guess I must have missed the news about Libya attacking a NATO country.

    Which country did Libya attack?

    A no fly zone won't stop tanks, infantry or artillery.

    A no fly zone will lead to a military invasion, which is what certain powers want to happen.

    Nato's objective is two fold. 1) Keep the oil flowing. 2) Keep the Libyans in Libya and out of Europe.

    Let the Libyans settle this one way or another. Otherwise it will turn into another Afghanistan, Iraq disaster.

    Let all the armchair heros sign up for service in Libya, give them a rifle and put them on a barge to Benghazi.

    Blood is cheap to spill when it isn't yours!

  11. Last anonymous

    writing a silly message like that one without even bothering to create a pen name is the best way to self-discredit.

    when you want a serious reply, please, write a serious message.

  12. Charly6:05 PM

    Hum! Anonymous must be Pat Buchanan.

  13. Anonymous6:59 PM

    The EU has to stand as one men and not like Sarkozy play the leader we have the Afro- and Arab states to confess the need of a no-fly zone. Remember his visit to Hugo on the liberation of Betancourt?

    A union should behave like a union to force the Qaddafi-clan to stop their attaques on the Libyan people
    they wish to keep their victory in their own hands.


  14. Last Anonymous7:40 PM

    To: Daniel.
    From: Last Anonymous.

    My post was dead serious!

    Your flippant reply, as to me not having a pen name, thereby making my post somehow invalid, is what is silly.

    If an oppinion is considered invalid due to the lack of a pen name, it looks very much like an oppinion that you are not able to refute.

    When one can not refute the point, one attempts to sidetrack the argument to something like pen names.

    Will spelling errors be the next reason for you declaring oppinions invalid?

  15. Hillary Clinton apparently does not believe in the effectiveness of a 'No Fly Zone'.She gave some examples of cases in which it was not sufficient to protect the people and that the only way to stop the dictator was by the use of ground forces.In addition to this, the US military which has both Iraq and Afghanistan on its plate, is particularly reluctant to expose itself to "mission creep" requiring ground forces.

    NATO is making preparations but won't act without a UN endorsement that is unlikely to come.Decisive help probably won't arrive on time to save the rebels.

    Although the cause of the rebels is just,there might be some officials who believe that saving them is not worth the cost in resources and lives.Some might even argue that if Qadaffi reimposes himself with a blood bath, this might cool the aspirations towards revolutions in other Arab countries, and lead to more stability- at least in the short run.It would be unfortunate if this shortsighted viewpoint prevailed.

  16. last anonymous

    being there, done that. too many years facing rude and vulgar chavistas to be browbeaten by an immature and impolite poster.

    if you cannot understand that requiring at least a pen name is requested to simplify debate, amen for showing a modicum of respect for those who bother with a pen name, or even a number code as someone did recently, then you are not worth my time, the less so that you sound like a cryptic khaddaffy supporter, which at this point is simply unacceptable, akin as saying "there is no proof of concentration camps in nazi germany".

  17. Last Anonymous9:14 PM

    Dear Daniel,

    The last thing on earth that I am is a Khaddaffy fan.

    If he dropped dead this second, it would be fine with me.

    However, it should be remembered that not so long ago the English announced that they considered him to be rehabilitated, and ready to join the " in crowd ".

    Hypocracy know no bounds.

    When have I been impolite to you?

    Last Anonymous
    My new pen name.

  18. It's a courageous move by Sarkhozy, but it is going to backfire on him really badly unless he moves quickly; indeed it almost obligates him, and as you point out, the others that are presumeably behind this calculated gesture, to immediately extend tangible help to the 'rebels', up to and including air support

  19. amieres10:48 PM

    The difference between Egypt and Libya is that in Egypt the protesters managed to keep the protest pacific.
    The moment the Libyans took arms they went from protesters to 'rebels' and now it's a war between cities. That was a terrible mistake, possibly fatal.

    Now they require outside help (intervention) in a moment where the availability for that help is very thin.

    In Venezuela when our moment comes to follow that course let's make sure we follow Egypt's example not Libya's.

  20. ...entre los que destacan István Mészáros de Hungría, el español Alfonso Sastre, el venezolano Luis Brito García, Atilio Borón de Argentina, Alicia Alonso y Silvio Rodríguez de Cuba, Carlos Fazio de México, Hugo Moldiz de Bolivia. Ida Garberi y Alessandra Riccio de Italia, Padre Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann de Nicaragua, Hernando Calvo Ospina de Colombia, Wim Dierckxsens de Holanda, y Dick y Mirian Emanuelsson de Suecia.

    Pura joya...

  21. Kaddafi (the man who sees his name spelt a million different ways) is a despot and a clown, granted. But this rebellion, revolution, whatever you care to call it, smells to me very much of the Iranians' revolution against the Shah. What did they get in his place? Khomeyni. From the frying pan into the fire (or, for Daniel and other French speakers: de Charybde en Scylla).

    I note that the two European countries in favour of a military intervention in Libya on the side of the insurgents are Britain, so white-anted by Muslims that it now has sharia-compliant tribunals, and France, with a huge Muslim population, conservatively evaluated at 6 million, likewise but differently white-anted, so much so that it is contemplating openly financing the construction of mosques and emasculating the 1905 law on the separation of State and religion. The British bulldog and the French poodle both wagged by the tail of the camel? That's what it looks like to me.

    This reminds me of the Tar Baby of Uncle Remus's stories. The Devil help the French and the Britons if Sarkozy and Cameron are silly enough to get entangled in the Libyan Tar Baby!

    To steal the words put in the mouth of Takeda no Shingen by another Akira: "Ugoku na!" (stay put!)

    But I doubt Sarkozy is the type to stay put. At any rate, he's already said too much. Pity les Rosbifs and the Frogs.

  22. Amieres,

    It takes 2 to tango.You cannot look only at what the demonstrators do, but also what they are up against.

    The Egyptian demonstrators handled the situation of the government thugs well but they did not have to deal with the army opening fire on them.The Egyptian military were the ones who actually constrained themselves for various reasons and the fact that they get a lot of US military aid that could be potentially cut off might also have been a factor.The army ultimately made a choice to ask Mubarak to step down instead of repressing the demonstrators with fire power.

    Libya's security forces and military organizations had no such scruples-and the opposition knew that.In a situation like this you either have the option of backing down and just going home, or picking up weapons to defend your cause.The rebellion will probably be in vain precisely because of Qadaffi's lack of scruples in using deadly force - but I would not really blame them for trying to fight for their freedom.

    Not every tyrant can be gotten rid of only by pacifist means.

  23. Akira,

    France and the UK are coming forward not because your much hated Muslims are "manipulating them all". The reasons are more trivial.
    First of all: both countries have been more prone to using armies abroad, specially in Africa, for a long time.
    Secondly: they want to gain from what can come next (for instance, from projects right now going to the Italians).
    Thirdly: the ones with the right equipment to do the actual work of the no-fly zone are actually the US Americans and the Germans.
    So: they know that even if they pretend to be the "ones who move people in the right direction", the actual implementation has to go to the US Americans and the Germans.

    And now comes this:

    Al Jazeera

    I still know too little to have a sure opinion on what needs to be done...and besides, I can do the talking but I am not the one doing the walk.

  24. "The Arab League endorsed a no-flight zone over Libya on Saturday in an effort to end the bloody three-week conflict there. The foreign minister of Oman, Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah, said that Arab leaders meeting in Cairo had voted unanimously to ask the United Nations Security Council to impose a no-flight zone over Libya. "

  25. It is now Sunday, and I fear time may have run out. Within the next week, the 'rebels' are probably going to be crushed as the Western powers continue to dither around with the ethics of a no-fly zone (Note that all the Arab states are now begging to them for one to be imposed). Qaddafi is going to end up victorious, brutal, defiant and gloating. Friends and enemies alike in the Islamic world - and certain other nameless individuals too - are going to be pondering the obvious lessons. The West has simply lost its credibility for good. Anything that comes out of Obama's mouth (such as 'Qaddafi must step down now' or 'we are tightening the noose around his neck') will the treated with nothing more than the bemused contempt it deserves from now on, and it is also painfully obvious to them that Europe is not prepared to step up in their place and take the lead, as it should have done on this occasion. Now any military action would involve a desperate rearguard stuggle to defend Sarkhozy's hastily recognised regime. It probably ain't going to happen now. There is no time left. What a tragic farce this is turning out to be, the UK playing its cameo part after the SAS is caught with its pants down behind 'friendly' lines. Colonialism is not only dead; it is reduced now, it seems, to replaying nothing less than an effete parody of itself.

  26. Honestly Daniel, I would rather you focus more on Venezuela then what is taking place in North Africa and the Middle East. You analysis tends to be way off in terms of what is taking place there. Your belief that muslim parties were going to take over, that Syria was on the cusp of one such revolution, that everything is divided between the two muslim sects really could not be further then the truth.

    To think that this gesture is anything honest by the French is laughable. The French have been some of the biggest supporters or THE biggest supporter of some of the worst regimes and people behind genecides that have taken place in the last two decades. Your waving of the flag when they do something like this seems silly, as they are there for their intrests rather then some moral good.

    Lastly, I think it is also laughable that when Isreal has commit far greater attrocities, people like you continue to support it. If only Quadaffi was an Isrealy then the US and yourself would not have condemned the attacks as long as it was perpatrated in Palestinians. From the use of the air force to destroy entire cities, taking of land from people, the destruction of homes, the arrests without trial of countless people all is acceptable, as long as they are on "your side".

    I see no difference from what Chavez does in his silly support of Qaddafi and much of the west's support of Isreal. People supporting their allies, and refusing to back down even when they commit attrocities day after day. Or how news media in the US refuses to show what is really taking place, from bombings of shelters commited by the US, with burnt bodies of children being taken out is anything different then the next artical you write about where Chavez goes on TV and talks for hours effectively censoring media.

    Your double standards reek of hypocracy in things beyond your country. I could see why many Venezuelans prefer the lies of Chavez rather then what I've seen you judge Chavez with in recent articals about Libya. At least Chavez didn't arm an african country so they can commit genocide. While Isreal was commiting collective punishment and bombing an entire country for two soldiers, he stood up and did something when so many of the west just stayed quiet. It is easy for France to do what they did, they had no intrests in Libya that would be threatened, so I will not congradulate France for this move, as it is more self serving then anything. I am willing to congradulate them when they do something good at the cost of their purse strings.

  27. Martin, the west has never been intrested in the spread of democracy. This is just a show for their people. It would serve them better if Qaddafi was left in charge, after all he made rich, and the unchecked corruption in his goverment meant contracts that served their intrests were passed far easier then any goverment that was accountable would be able to pass.

    Russia would have no intrest in helping "rebels" against Chavez for example, but the US would be because Chavez has not help their businesses.

    France needs to make it seem that they are friendly to democracy, as they have no direct intrests in Libya unlike the Italians, so that if somehow the "rebels" win, they have an in. Relize how Italy is relatively quiet however.

    This is politics and nothing more. The only people that have any geniun intrest in the Libyan people are the Libians and some of the arab people that see Libians as no different then themselves. The rest is pure song and dance, which anyone in Venezuela should be familiar with as we watch the clown that is Chavez do it every week for hours on TV.

  28. khyber

    your criticism would carry weight if in the past your praise had been expressed in convincing terms.

  29. Last Anonymous3:41 PM

    If the Arab Defense league wants to have a "no fly zone" over Libya why in hell doesn't The Arab Defense league just do it?

    It is time for the Arabs to wipe their own asses, rather than depending on Uncle Suger playing mommy for them.

    Why in the hell sould US citizens pay for a fight between a gang of Russian Ashkanazi's and a bunch of Muslem camel jockeys?

  30. I agree with Martin and Khyber.
    Kazakhstan someone? For Goodness sake: Congo someone? Any idea what is happening there?


    Fisk was predicting last week exactly what is happening in Bahrein right now. He was telling us: mind Saudi Arabia. A lot will depend on them now. Hell, a lot of the most fundamentalist tendencies around today depend on the money from the Saudi government, the same government the West still flirts with.
    The US, France, Britain, Germany, etc: everybody is sleeping with the devil, whether painted in red or in another colour.

    At most we can decide to go for the leasdt evil...but be very cautious and always question the current supporty to anyone, absolutely anyone.

  31. Last anonymous

    you suffer of the delusion that the US can stay out of it. it cannot, just as in 1940 no matter what the linberghs of that day did, it could not avoid WW2.

    your choice is to pay now but under your terms or pay later but under the other guys term.

    your pick.

  32. Last Anonymous10:07 PM

    Dear Daniel,

    Your delusion is that the USA can't stay out, and that the USA has some sort of abiding moral interest in pip squeek Libya.

    The USA could and should easily stay out.

    The USA should simply ignore it.

    Who in the hell gave the authority or the duty to the USA to fight against all the wrongs in the world?

    Why was this moral duty not bestowed on Iceland?

    The folks that want the USA to shed its blood and money in misbegotten endless wars are not the friends of the USA.

    Screw them!

    Let them do all of the fighting, paying, and bleeding for a change.

    Then we will see just how humanitarian the cheering cheap skate folks, that are now sitting in the free seats, are!

    My guess is that the rah, rah, humanitarian stadium will get real quiet, real fast.

    As they say from where I come from," If you got a $ 100 mouth you better have a $ 100 ass.

    Hypocracy knows no limit.

  33. Daniel,

    "Your criticism would carry weight if in the past your praise had been expressed in convincing terms."

    Poor show Daniel. I guess next time I praise you I have to be more convincing. I'll make sure I even do it on the other blogs where I praised you and . I often only post to critisize or ask questions normally, because on the topic of Venezuela, even though I live here, I am no where near as informed and in touch with what is taking place as you are or some of the other readers are.

    I guess addressing the fact that you've shown as much hipocracy as Chavez has in his support of "democracy" and Qadaffi was too much and it was easier to reply the way your commandante replies, insult, discredit by simply saying the person is from the other side, and go off on a tangent. Not to mention your lack of knowledge on the subject yet need to talk about it. I forget now if it was caracaschronicals or devil's that I responded to this outragous fear that muslim fundamentalists were going to take over Egypt after they overthrew their dictator, but I saw the same comments expressed here. I didn't write here as well because I didn't feel I needed to repeat myself in every blog. Where you guys get your information is beyond me. You were right in one thing, these new democratic arab countries, if they truely become modern democracies are going to be anti Isreal. And no, that is not an Islamic thing, it is an arab thing, christians, nationalists, islamics, across the board you will find that most arabs have a problem with Isreal's rights to Palestine due to some 2000+ year kingdom they once possessed, and some rights to it in some religious texts. How do you justify supporting Isreal and not supporting Chavez?

    As for your flag waving, you yourself question the motives yet continue to wave the flag. You know as well as I that France has a horrendous history of supporting very bad people for their profit. Doing good for selfish reasons is still selfish. They would be supporting Chavez if Chavez had given them a bone, much like Spain is doing right now. So why wave the flag? Sspecially since it is nothing more then a song and dance like Chavez does several times a week on T.V.

    I expected more from you. Your comments to Last Anonymos also seem poor. I disagree with everything he wrote, but I would still have addressed it. Your refusal to address them because he had "anonymos" when he posted is poor form. Much like anything any capitalist says is not valid because they are a capitalist according to Chavez. I guess the man is rubbing off on you.

  34. Last Anonymous,

    Must be nice to support dictatorships then wash your hands off them when they do things that you knew they would do.

    Why should american's put some of their own lives to help out the Libians? Because you helped him get his weapons which he is using against his people is the biggest thing that comes to mind.

  35. last anonymous

    you are putting meanings to my words that those did not carry. since i never suggested what you wrote last i feel under no compulsion to reply to your latest entry. besides, not only it would mean repeating myself without the certainty that you would understand this time around, but other people are replying to you very clearly and thus saving me the trouble.

  36. the question i have here is how come khyber and last anonymous use both the word "hypocracy" which does not exist in my dictionaries.... there is on the web a "urban" meaning but that one does not apply as i think it was intended in both cases.

    oh well.....

  37. Last Anonymous5:48 AM

    Dear Daniel,

    I said, in a previous post, that it wouldn't take you very long to become a spelling nazi.

    I was correct.


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