Archive for February 1st, 2003

Another strange anecdote of the negotiatons

February 1, 2003

Many times, the negotiators for the Government have not shwon up at the negotiaton table for scheduled meetings, which Venezuelans in the opposition interpret as the lack of interest by the Chavez administration to find a solution to the crisis. Well, last night they did not show up to meet with the six Vice-chancellors who were here. Thier excuse “it was not safe” due to the opposition’s march. Humm! interesting. this is the Government saying that! What can the opposition say then…..

One for the skeptics on both sides

February 1, 2003

Here is one for the skeptics on both sides: The pictures below show a jeep (left) with a person on top shooting at the opposition march. The one on the right shows a gunman in gray (in the middle) who in videos is seen shooting at least twelve times to the opossition march on Januray 19th. where 1 person died and 29 were injured.  This jeep was even protected by the local (pro-Chavez) police.

To the pro-Chavez skeptics: Today the police identified the man on the left as Rafael Simon Navas Carrasco, a leader of the pro-Chavez “Bolivarian Circles” who has a criminal record. The man on top of the jeep is Joel Andres Montoya, a local chavista activist according to the police, who also has a record and is known as “Garlic Lollipop”. The driver and owner of the jeep is Rafael David Castillo, who also has a criminal record but the police did not say if he was a Chavista or not.

To the opposition skeptics (including myself!): The Attorney General’s office has actually ordered the capture of all three men, who have now dissapeared. Note that there has been 48 people dead and 804 injured in marches and demonstrations during the last year. Of these, three shooters caught on video firing at the opposition march are in jail*. One man is in jail for the deaths in Plaza Altamira on Dec. 6th.(caught by the local municipal police that day) and now these three are sought by the police. Tha’s it! Thus, it is significant that these three  are being sought by the police at the request of the Attorney General’s office, at least it is a change in attitude.

*Note that these three, one an MVR City Councilman and the other two workers for the that city, when initially jailed, were freed by a judge, despite the video showing their guilt, but the Venezuelan Supreme Court ordered them captured and demoted the judge for her behavior. She was hired the next day as a lawyer by the pro-Chavez Mayor of the Libertador District of Caracas, where the three worked.

Strike to ease

February 1, 2003

The Democratic Coordinator said yesterday and ratified today that it will allow the general strike to become more “flexible” starting next week as a “gesture” to the Group of Friends visiting Caracas. I suspect the real reason is that after two months of the strike, too many companies were on the verge of bankruptcy and they were ready to open. In my opinion, this means we failed, we started out with the strike to have a referendum, but we will not have one. In my opinion, the negotiation table is our last hope. If it does not reach an agreement I truly believe there will be no free elections in Venezuela, neither in August, nor when Hugo Chavez’ term ends. Just like it is being done with the increase in the number of Supreme Court Justices, Chavez will find a “legal” way to avoid elections, whatever it takes. So, let’s hope the negotiations yield an electoral solution, I doubt it, the Government continues to send signals that it will not negotiate and that the destruction of PDVSA is an ongoing project.

Juan Ramon sends two good ones

February 1, 2003

C.lueddemanniana “Veronica’ from Venezuela, very nice color and shape  C. Intermedia Aquinni, very strong flaring.

Cattleya Aclandie from my collection

February 1, 2003

Very dark form of Cattleya Aclandie from Brazil, first flowering of the plant after many years with me. Right: C. Loddigessi “Tony Boss”