Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Masochist Felipe Gonzalez goes to Venezuela (and he has followers)

And he certainly found all the sadist he can wish for inside chavismo. Since Gonzalez announced he will volunteer to be in the defense team of Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma the improprieties thrown at him, live on television preferably, can only be matched by the constant character assassination on these two prisoners.
With Europe behind?

It is indeed rather horrendous to watch on Venezuelan state TV how these people are excoriated, without any right to reply, not even with the courtesy of having a journalist exposing distortedly their point of view. In fact it is going to the point that RT (Russia Today) and TeleSur make joint "documentaries" on the world aggression against Venezuela and Russia. Forget Glasnost, welcome back Der schwarze Kanal.

The source of all that anger is that ex premier Gonzalez of Spain, the one that did the most to bring Spain tot he XXI century standards has decided to join the defense team of Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma (and by implication of all political prisoners). And he has been joined by other heavy weights already: former Brazil president Cardoso, former Peru president Garcia, former Mandela's lawyer and Canadian justice minister Colter. I suspect the list will grow.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Preparing the OAS Panama summit, at Raul's good will

Now, before anyone says anything I am a great fan of Andres Oppenheimer from the Miami Herald whose columns and books on Latin America are a must read. But his latest OpEd piece has a je ne sais quoi off.

At first glance his argument is impeccable; Obama should use the next variety of meetings in the Americas to start a rapprochement with some of the countries in difficulty, mainly ailing Brazil (the biggie is OAS in Panama April 10) . Certainly since September 11 the US has been distracted from Latin America and others have step in to pick up the slack, namely China buying and pushing up the commodities market.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The renovated Tascon list

I know, I know...  It has been over a week I have not written, all sorts of things happening.  But I have other preoccupations and, at any rate, the dice have been thrown, we are waiting to see where will they roll to. Besides, in case you forgot, a blog is not a source of news but an informed source of opinion, at best.

I could tell you about my ordeal to find medication for 4 different treatments I am supposed to take. I had to look for them in about a dozen pharmacies in Caracas and about half a dozen in San Felipe. In the end I could sort of put together with substitutes and incompletes three of them, Fortunately none was vital, one was preventive and one "just in case" otherwise I probably would not be typing today.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A thank you note to President Barak Obama and Senator Marco Rubio

I suppose that it will seem weird to read that I am thanking at the same time both sides of US political divide. Or that, for that matter, I am picking Senator Rubio over, say, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. But please, bear with me, those will be, at the end, mere details.

What you have achieved in Venezuela, the Senator and his allies by forcing passage of a sanction law against Human Rights violators in Venezuela, and the President by finally applying it to 7 serious cases (and more to come?), is quite remarkable even if right now the casual observer may think it to be a diplomatic disaster for the US. Like many an historical good and well intentioned initiative from the US this one came out in a rather clunky presentation and on the surface seems to have united Latin America around its atavic anti US posture. Some even say that Maduro is reinforced, that the opposition received a patriotic blow that could endanger the electoral results of this year. All this is irrelevant.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Frontal, primitive, homophobia inside chavismo: Bernal as poster boy

I have been telling you that chavismo is homophobic, strongly homophobic, as are all these authoritarian to neo-totalitarian systems. Today the words of representative Bernal would have him resign within 24 hours from his public positions in any civilized country. Of course, in Russia or Iran those words could be considered as wise, I suppose. But in Venezuela unfortunately it may not go further than the twitter storm tonight.
Bernal (left) is not the lone
homophobe inside chavismo

Freddy Bernal, former mayor of Caracas and now one of its National Assembly representatives, has always been a violent character, from his previous support to coup mongers like Chavez, to organizing the "colectivos" of Caracas which are nothing but an armed thug militia. Under his 8 years tenure Caracas went, of course, from bad to worse, but the regime did establish a firm rein on the political activities within. Now, for example, an opposition politician cannot go publicly to Bolivar square downtown for some wreath laying ceremony.

To add insult to injury Bernal is also a former cop, of the corrupt type. And now he is in charge of some commission to restructure police in Caracas. Whatever, the man has no credibility outside the groups that need dirty jobs done at which he seems to excel. Unfortunately he is a public figure, an elected representative and as such his position would require a minimum of self control. One thing is to insult Obama and the US for political expediency, another one is to admit that gay Venezuelans are second class citizens. Let's look at his words. In an interview today at pro regime Globovision he said the following:

Friday, March 13, 2015

That South African feeling...

Unfuckingbeleivably there are those among the opposition that actually think we should condemn the US for the "sanctions" against a whole brunch of crooks and criminals. Apparently that opposition light, which I shall not mention at this time so embarrassed I am by them, would want us to support the regime in this particular issue, brandishing useless arguments like "avoiding" an enabling law that would "give more power" to Maduro. Apparently there are people that still are not aware we live under a dictatorship, a new type of course, but a tyranny nevertheless.

That a portion of the opposition is unable/unwilling to make a campaign stating the obvious, that the sanctions ARE NOT AGAINST Venezuelans, just against corrupt/human rights abusers Venezuelan officials, has to be considered as either mental laziness, sheer stupidity or outright corruption.

I am reminded that once upon a time there was that argument in favor of limiting sanctions against the apartheid government of South Africa, that the people would suffer more than the whites, etc. Eventually it was ANC and the people that demanded tougher sanctions, that they were willing to put up with the consequences in the search for freedom. That was a courageous people! And in the end they won.

I would hate to compare Venezuela to South Africa, their epic being of a different nature. But comparison points abound. The Venezuelan regime is based on a political apartheid. Only those associated with the regime benefit from it. There is no justice for any side, which is an obvious suffering for the opposing side but also visible for the regime side as none inside can express any criticism under the risk of a worse fate than the actual opposition critic. The differences are also notable: at least the Afrikaners did run a solid economy that took years to be affected by the sanctions. Corruption in Venezuela goes beyond the pale as I cannot think of any regime in the past century that has been as corrupt as the Venezuelan one today.

But in the end the big difference is that we have a spineless leadership that is willing to put up with a lot as long as they can keep some of the chips. And a populace that the regime has learned to control though hand outs, something that the apartheid never truly could manage  because of its "racial superiority ideology" rather than the plain scoundrel ideology that drives our locals...

Today the opposition should be in unison demanding that more and more Venezuelan corrupt officials be pointed, no matter what the repressive risks are. Instead there is either a deafening silence or an actual support. Few have the guts to speak out, clear and loud. As long as we have leaders like Ramos Allup of Henri Falcon, and even Capriles that seems to wake up a little bit lately, but too late, we will never get rid of the tyranny. As long as the populace is willing to accommodate itself with long lines, murdered students, lack of medicine while refusing to talk real principles of universal equality, we have the fate we deserve.

I admire more than ever Mandela and his people.

PS: I, for one, thank Obama`s administration and demand that the whole list of sanctions is made public and expanded. I wish he had started earlier, but at least he has started.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Bloomberg goes to the core of US sanctions to Venezuelan Officials

I was planning on translating the earlier post in Spanish over Obama's sanctions and the regime's reply. But the core of that entry was the message that the US sent to the rest of LatAm and Bloomberg makes a superb article on that. I certainly could not do better and it shows you that outside of the spineless opposition and brain dead but vicious chavismo there are people that clearly can see the bigger issues. Please read : Obama's wake up call to Venezuela's neighbors.ailities

There is only one thing I need to add, for the sake of avoiding extra posts.

Habilitando las sanciones al palo de gallinero

El anuncio de Obama ayer sobre sanciones a 7 abusadores de DDHH y el anuncio de una habilitante por Nicolás Maburro Maduro me ha sorprendido más por la reacción de algunos opositores que por la noticia en si. Para ellos es un error porque le da más argumentos y fuerza a Maduro. ¡De bolas! Claro, ¡ESO ES EL OBJETIVO! ¡Que el chavismo termine de enredarse en sus patrañas de una buena vez!

Vamos a ir por parte para que entiendan bien.

1- la habilitante. La rapidez de Maduro en anunciar anoche que iban a pedir una habilitante es porque ya la tenían lista. Que Obama les haya dado la oportunidad de hacerlo es irrelevante. El gobierno que sabe que perderá las elecciones de este año tiene meses trabajando en anular los efectos de una muy posible Asamblea adversa. Ya coparon todos los poderes con arrastrados. Lo único que le faltaba era una habilitante para controlar la nueva asamblea por un par de años, por lo menos. ¿O es que ustedes se olvidaron ya que eso fue lo que hizo Chávez en el 2009 previendo que no tendría el 2/3?

En otras palabras, ¡con o sin Obama, con la habilitante me resteo!

Another day, another US sanction against Venezuelan apparatchicks

There was a small surprise of sorts today: an executive order from the White House removing visa to a few Venezuelan officials, with possible sanctions to follow of a strictly material nature. That is right, 7 Venezuelans folks who are accused justifiedly of human rights violations have had their travel visas to the US revoked. And they are under investigation for possible assets in the US that will be frozen. That is all, nothing much really, considering that today few chavistas should have significant assets in the US after the Carvajal affair.

Still, that was enough to make chavismo hyperventilate, reaching paroxysms such at Telesur which has totally forgotten what international media is supposed to be all about. I translate for you the tile of an article there: Threatening Venezuela, Obama declares war on the continent.

Just like that.

Monday, March 09, 2015

The extraordinary failure of UNASUR

I was going to write a scathing post in Spanish about the visit of a UNASUR delegation to Caracas yesterday but reading Twitter this week end I realized that no one in Venezuela was fooled. No need to write in Spanish to add water to the mill.  My criticism of Ernesto Samper and Maria Angela Holguin would be more useful in English.

For those that can be excused not to know about UNASUR, this organization is limited to countries in South America. It was the brain child of Lula as a way for Brazil to 1) exclude the US from that region (and weaken OAS, always a potential problem for rogue regimes) 2) be an instrument for Brazil to control the rest of the subcontinent, if anything due to its sheer size now that there would be no US counterweight and 3) shoulder up the leftists regimes getting into place in the area. Of course, such an organization set up in the interest of some political groups rather than the interests of nations was doomed from the start. Chavez joined in eagerly as he thought it a mean to lead in South America. Lula allowed him to believe he was doing so when in fact Chavez was doing Brazil's dirty work, etc. That Colombia and Paraguay joined in reluctantly did not help, but I suppose that they thought it was better to monitor these creeps from inside than from outside.

Thursday, March 05, 2015


The free fall of the currency continues in Venezuela. On February 25 the black market value crossed the psychological line at 200. Today on March 5 we have reached 283:

That is a 10 Bs depreciation every day since February 25, 1 dollar a day at the official 6,3 exchange rate which has become a fiction since last year.

There is no way around it: hyperinflation is here. January is reported to be 10%. The government has stopped SIMADI. There is no word from CENCOEX and SICAD. In other words we do not know for sure whether Dollars are still being exchanged (a little bit still do, some particulars on occasion let us know that a small portion of their dollar debt has finally been approved for payment, never more than 10% of their total debt).

Draw your won conclusions. Mine is that the promised financial collapse predicted for April may have already started,

Sunday, March 01, 2015

"See if I care News and Views"

This is hopeless, Maduro keeps trying tree after tree to see on which one he would hang best (French expression for which I do not know an equivalent off hand).