Archive for January 15th, 2003

Proposal for Constitutional Amendment

January 15, 2003

I don’t want to bore foreign readers, but I can’t find a link to the proposed referendum for a Constitutional amendment which Hugo Chavez supposedly said he would find acceptable, but I am sure Venezuelans abroad (and at home!) would like to see it. So here it is:

Article 1. The candidate that obtains the absolute majority of votes will be proclaimed as President. If no candidate obtains half plus one of the votes, a second round will take place within thirty days.

Article 2. The Presidential period is four years. There is immediate reelection only once for a new period.

Article 3. If the absolute absence of the President takes place during the first two years of the presidential period there wil be a new election that will have to take place within ninety days.

Article 4. The temporary effects of the amendment will apply to the current presidential period, to the effects of this amendment, they will end on the date that the President assumes his position and the previous period will be considered fullfilled to the effects of presidential reelection.

Article 5. There will be call for elections within thirty days following the approval of this amendment. This election will take place within the following ninety days.

Friends of Venezuela group created

January 15, 2003

The “Friends of Venezuela” group proposed originally by Brazil and later modified by the US was formed today in Ecuador during the inaguration of the new Ecuatorian President. The group is formed by Brazil, US, Chile, Mexico, Portugal and Spain. Will link to the news when I can find one! The idea is for the group to help the Secretary Genral of the OAS to find a solution to the Venezuelan crisis.

Chavez, Petkoff and a way out

January 15, 2003

I have been reporting that there may be some light at the end of the tunnel based on events that have taken place. Today, former Presidential candidate for the Socialist party, Teodoro Petkoff, who is currently the Editor of Tal Cual, an afternoon daily, writes his impressions today from the meeting with Chavez on Saturday. The main thing he says is that Chavez would not object to a Constitutional amendment to have early elections. According to Venezuela’s new Constitution, if 15% of the registered voters asked for it, a referendum would have to be held 30 days after the signatures are handed in, and the electoral body can not “approve” or “dissaprove” whether the referendum will take place or not.

First of all, to me, it is not a matter of whether Chavez accepts or not, as in the Consultative referendum, it is also the law, so he has to accept it. But I really have to wonder, whether if the opposition had proposed such an amendment, the Government would not be playing the same game of not giving the Electoral Committe the funds or trying to have the Supreme Court rule that its members are not legal (Like it is rumored it will rule some time next week)

In fact, why doesn’t the Government simply go to the negotiations, declare a truce (things back to Nov. 30 in PDVSA and the like) and formally give the opposition until Feb. 27th. or any other date to gather (some of them already have been gathered) the 1.8 million or so signatures. Then we will have the referendum on  March 27th., if the opposition wins there are elections, if Chavez wins, he can do run PDVSA, promote his revolution etc.. This way we would get out of this perverse trap which is simply destroying the country. To me, what Chavez said is another improvisation, if not, why hasn’t he tried to solve the problem before all this wealth destruction continues to take place?

Is John Galt Venezuelan? by Thor Halvorssen

January 15, 2003

Good article about the Venzuelan situation by Thor Halvorssen in The American Enterprise online entitled “Is John Galt Venezuelan?”

More Panties, protest and soldier souvenir

January 15, 2003

Now that’s a sexy one                                             Not so sexy wearing it like that, looks like men’s shorts too

Mocking the soldiers                                                                             Leftovers

Singing the National Anthem                                    Everyone wants a souvenir of the action…

The gases, the injury and the plastic pellets

January 15, 2003

These are “humane” plastic pellets

More Pictures from Sunday (more in the Pictures section too)

January 15, 2003

Gases everywhere        Sign says “I am your grandmother soldiers, I abhor your actions, perverse hearts, do not get close to me you are traitors to your country