Archive for March 7th, 2003

National Assembly President accused of corruption

March 7, 2003

And then there is the request by the workers of the Venezuelan National Assembly for the Supreme Court to allow charging former President of the Assembly William Lara with corruption. Lara, a member of Chavez’ MVR party was President of the Assembly until December. He is accused of using funds earmarked for salaries and violating workers rights by refusing to discuss the union contract. I agree with Chavez, such a pretty revolution!

How to buy a union

March 7, 2003

The Chavez Government uses power and money to buy people routinely, but sometimes it is just incredible. The latest effort is that of buying the unconditional support of the largest  union of oil workers, Fedepetrol, by appointing the Head of that union to the Board of PDVSA. If this is not a conflict of interest, then I don’t know what is. Of course, the Government will argue that it is good to have him on the Board to respresent the workers. Then I ask, why didn’t they name the previous President of Fedepetrol, Carlos Ortega, who is currently being persecuted by the Government and in hiding after a judge ordered his detention? Now, of course, Mr. Rosales could care less about the oil workers, after all, PDVSA has fired 17,000 workers so far and we have yet to hear a complaint from him. I guess he will now preside over the new firings and truly show his union workers that he doesn’t care for them. As a member of the Board Mr. Rosales will receive at least $150,000 a year in compensation.

US Congressmen write to Hugo Chavez

March 7, 2003

I was somewhat surprised by the letter sent to Hugo Chavez by seven US Congressmen. In it, the Representatives urge Hugo Chavez to find out who the murderers of some opposition individuals are and to end the violence against the opposition. The Congressmen also express their concern over the actions against some opposition figures. What surprised me the most about this is that the letter is signed by Massachusetts Representative Barnmey Frank who as recently as Dec. 13th. 2002 wrote to President Bush defending the Chavez Governemnt and attacking the opposition in a letter that left most freedom loving Venezuelans wondering who was advising (badly!) Rep. Frank. That letter was sent to President Bush in the days when the Chavez administration was routinely repressing peaceful opposition marches. I guess that now that Chavez is jailing opposition leaders and people are being killed and disappearing, that they are realizing who stands for democracy and human rights in Venezuela. And it ain’t Chavez.