Archive for January 21st, 2003

Carter’s two proposals

January 21, 2003

I thought long about whether to write this or not. The Carter Center presented today two proposals to the negotiation table. I am sure they are nothing new to the negotiation table, except that Carter is here and it is news. What is new, is a different style of negotiation than Gaviria’s, more upfront, with distribution of the proposals to the press and everything. (I wonder how Gaviria feels about it). Carter said Chavez would be amenable to either, but I am not. Basically, the two proposals include an end to the strike, rehiring of PDVSA workers, commitment etc.. One proposes a recall referendum on August 19th., the second a Constitutional amendment to shorten the Presidential period to four years, allowing reelection. 

I don’t like the recall referendum. It takes too long, there has to be elections after it and, in some sense, there is nothing that is negotiated, give or take two months, that is the law. I can’t see why Chavez would like it either, he would not be able to run in the elections after it. I like the second proposal, amendment and then immediate elections. Only an electoral mandate can stabilize the country and establish some foundation for a different and peaceful Venezuela.

More pictures from the Miami rally

January 21, 2003

Mafe sent these pictures from the Miami march, if she is one of the two with the Chavez mask, more reason to put them here in my blog!!

Venezuelans mantain their sense of humor through it all

January 21, 2003

Through it all Venezuelans mantain a sense of humor. Below I show a comic strip and a link to recent humor

What are you watching. The Fight! Thats not a fight that’s Chavez! Yes he is fighting so as not to fall prey to intelligence

And then there is this link to the new salutation of the Venezuelan National Guard

The face of the paid revolution

January 21, 2003

These are pictures of the pro-Chavez crowd at yesterday’s march which ended with one death and 29 injured. Look at the crowd (Count the guns!) and then I ask two questions:

1) For those amateurs sociologists that like to explain the crisis in Venezuela in terms of rich vs. poor, black vs. white, the pictures suggest it might actually be more men vs. women. Is this just a “macho” revolution? Where are the pro-Chavez women? Taking care of the kids at home?

2) A second explanation might be that they are paid thugs and that is what the Chavez “revolution” has been reduced to, paid thugs injuring and killing the peaceful opposition, which by the way (look at all the photos in the Pictures section) is composed of both men and women and I would say there are more women than men.

What’s your choice of the two?

Microsoft shuts down Venezuela office

January 21, 2003

Microsoft is temporarily closing its office in Venezuela out of concern for security as a 50-day national strike has sparked rioting. Microsoft made the decision to ensure the safety of the 85 sales and support workers in its Caracas office, said Ricardo Adame, a Microsoft spokesman.

There is no rioting, just demonstrations, I am sure Microsoft workers are taking part in them, they will now have more time to do it!