Archive for February, 2003

Neighbors defend Perez Osuna

February 28, 2003

Neighbors of reporter Nitu Perez Osuna, surrounded both her house and patrol cars in order to sto the cops from reportedly detaining her. It has not been confirmed whether there is or not an order to capture her, but the pot banging around her house went on until the early hours of the morning.

Order to capture reporter

February 27, 2003

Tonight, TV station Globovision showed an interview with the Head of the Federation of workers union Carlos Ortega who has been hiding since a detention orders was issued against him last Thursday. Well, reportedly the Government has now issued an order to detain the female reporter who did the inteview. Her name is Nitu Perez Osuna. Are we all going to jail now?

Trumped up charges or incompetence?

February 27, 2003

Uups, before I forget, let me tell you one last story. The Government supposedly carried out an investigation in order to charge the leadership of the striking oil workers and have the judge order their detention. Well, in the end only six of the seven were eventually charged. The reason, simple: The Attorney General’s office did not have either the national identity number or the address of the labor relations leaders of the oil union. Thus, he was not charged. Interestingly, when a Venezuelan man was caught at Gatwick airport last week with a grenade, the Government immediately provided all the details about the man, including the fact that his ID number was fake. Incompetence? Rush Job? Hatchet job? You be the judge……

Off the air for Carnival

February 27, 2003

I started this blog last August because I wanted to learn about the blog world that my brother was so crazy about and wanted to tell many stories. Since then, Venezuela has become for me the story and a number of people have come to rely on my writing for Venezuela news and commentary. Since August I have only taken a few days off. Well, next Monday and Tuesday are Carnival holidays in Venezuela and I plan to get away, turn my brain off as much as possible, read some really banal novels, including the latest Grisham and enjoy the beach and the sun. Hope to forget about the tension and stress here.  I hope where I am going there is no Internet, but I doubt it. In any case, I will not report till next Wednesday unless some emergency arises. Somehow, I hope it does!!

Washington Times Editorial

February 27, 2003

With this Editorial, it is now the Washington Times that appears to “get it” about  what is going on in Venezuela. All of a sudden the international media seems to have seen the light. Why? I can’t help but think it might be US Government pressure, but this simply translates the question: Why does the US Government get it now?

El Palito refinery damaged

February 27, 2003

PDVSA’s fired workers are reporting that the El Palito refinery was halted yesterady when an emergency developed in the catalytic regenerator in the cracking unit used to make gasoline. According to the source the yellow smoke seen in the chimmney is typical of this type of accident and such smoke was seen coming out of the refinery. Interestingly enough, the manager of the refinery reported after the accident that the refinery would be halted in March for maintanance. Why didn’t they do it while it was not working in January?

Government once again a no-show at the negotiation table

February 27, 2003

The representatives of the Chavez administration once again failed to show up at the negotiation table. The reason given this time: The presence of roughly thirty university students, many in PDVSA progams, who went to present OAS Secretary General with a document, who according to the Government made the site “unsafe”. My wife was there she said the thirty student number may even be too large. The students have not been paid their scholarships (not the reason for the protest). Since PDVSA’s SAP system is still down, that might be the reason. I wonder how the Government will find any place in the country safe for them? What cynics!

Mug shot of Judge Maikel Moreno

February 27, 2003

Another picture of the not so honorable Judge Maikel Moreno, whose previous bouts with law led the Chavez administration to name him as a judge in order to “clean up” the Venezuelan judicial system. Twice imprisoned for homicide, once convicted, Judge Moreno was the one who ordered the two most important leaders of the opposition jailed last week at the request of the Attorney General’s office. Of course, the law says he can’t be a judge, but you can’t pay attention to such details in the midst of a revolution.

US tells Chavez Government Venezuela is unreliable

February 27, 2003

In another Associated Press story, reportedly the US Government told the Minister of Energy and Mines and the President of PDVSA that Venezuela is an unreliable oil supplier due to its political problems.

Now, do you think they really care after they have done to the oil industry? They have fired 17,000 people, ordered the detention of the seven leaders of the oil union and another worker’s organization, unnecessarily reduced the company’s cash flow to one third, hired foreign workers at outrageous salaries (how nationalistic, no?), imported gasoline and stopped all refining in the country, all in the name of the revolution. Do you think they care if the US calls us unreliable?They might even conisidr that an honor.  Only if Cuba called them unreliable they would mind. In fact, Venezuela at no time during the strike has failed to deliver subsidized oil supplies to Cuba, despite the fact that Cuba is not paying. Long live the revolution!

A Stupid Headline

February 27, 2003

The Boston Globe has this headline about yesterday’s refusal by the Government to attend the negotiation table:

Anti-Chavez protesters block diplomatic talks in Venezuela

This is incredible stupid from the Associated Press, the march did not “force” the cancellation, the Government used this as an excuse. The march did not even go near the Hotel where the talks are being held, as a matter of fact its path was quite far and giiven that it was a working day, the march was not the usual huge one. Moeover, it was over by nightfall, so they could have easily gone at that time if the had someting to fear or cared about the negotiations. The Government reagularly fails to attend the negotiations, sometimes not even calling to say they are not going. .