Archive for March, 2003

Tyromaniac on our Minsiter of the Interior and Justice

March 28, 2003

Tyromaniac on the brilliance of our Minsiter of Interior and Justice, also known as “the big Liar”:

Today on radio I heard General Lucas Rincon, he was the highest ranking general in the army and the guy who announced Chávez resignation last April, which was either a lie or something more sinister. Currently he is the Minister of Security and National Affairs. While talking about Colombian guerillas moving freely in venezuelan territory, he said: “Venezuela has more than 2000 kilometers of borders, it is impossible to watch every inch, and that is what the venezuelan military has been doing for years”. Doing the impossible year after year, How is that for a motto? Eat that marines!… What an asshole!

Caracas Chronicles on excellence and Government

March 27, 2003

Very good article by Francisco Toro about a seminar he went to where everyone grasped the basics of the country’s wealth and corruption…..except the anti-corruption Head of the National Assembly. For some reason I can’t link to the story itself, I get the previous one. I love its main point, that excellence has no power in Venezuela. In fact, from day one I mistrusted Chavez precisely because of the fact that he was surrounded by anything but excellence in every field.

Salam Pax on NBC news tonight

March 27, 2003

NBC Nightly news talks about blogging tonight, shows Salam’s screen and talks to a reporter that is searching for Salam Pax. I would prefer if he waited for the whole thing to be over with, for Salam’s sake. Here is the link to NBC with a list of warblogs, but the story is not the one they talked about on the new tonight, in which Salam was mentioned.

Most stupid revolutionary idea so far

March 27, 2003


The Chavez administration has issued a decree which changes the Columbus Day holiday, called in Spanish “Race Day” or Dia de la Raza, on October 12th. to “Day of Indigenous Resistance”. Now, this has got to be one of the stupidest idea of this incompetent and inefficient Government. As Forrest Gump used to say: “Stupid is, stupid does”. First of all, October 12th. commemorates Columbus’ arrival to America, as far as any historian has been able to determine, no Indian attempted to resist, resisted or said he would resist Columbus and his companions on that Oct. 12th. or any other October 12th. , so replacing one holiday for another is truly stupid. If anything, as suggested by a local historian, it could be called “Surprise or Amazement Day” because that was the main effect that October 12th. of 1942 on the indigenous population of San Salvador, which by the way never fought or attempted to fight the invaders? If the Government wanted to celebrate something, they could have picked a day that was a symbol of “indigenous resistance’ if such a historic day could be pinpointed. After all, the Caribes, Caribs or Arawaks were not precisely known for the art of war, were quiet peaceful and were obliterated quite rapidly by the conquistadors. So it will be difficult to teach to young people what this resistance was all about. Thus, once again the Chavez Government wastes its time in meaningless revolutionary imagery of no consequence, but what else is new. Perhaps, the words of Teodoro Petkoff in his daily Tal Cual Editorial playing on the name “Dia de la Raza” saying “Dia de la Risa” or laughing day, saying:


“For years we have been hearing the falsely heroic speeches, having to hear a false epical rhetoric, behind which there is nothing. One hears the flaming verb of Chavez and would believe that he is in one of the Yenan caves, directing like a resuscitated Mao, the epic of the Great March or transmutated into a Cronstand sailor, taking by assault the Winter Palace of Saint Petersburg, if not, dirty and with a beard, overlooking from the Andean peaks the displacement of the semi-naked men of Bolivar in the plains. But it happens that the man is speaking from a sugar processing plant, paralyzed by official neglect and from which the diligent bureaucrats of the Vth. Republic have stolen even the nails. Full of hot air. While the corners of Caracas are full of Warao Indian mothers, carrying their children, begging, Aristobulo (the Minisiter of Education) issues a decree that gives them no bread, no roof, no jobs, but the pathetic consolation that October 12th. will be the day of indigenous resistance. All hot air, empty words, useless rhetoric. Bullshitting”

This is Venezuela presentation

March 26, 2003

Louisa F. from San Diego, California, points out this presentation about our protests called “This is Venezuela” by Vicente Behrens (has sound!). Even if you don’t speak Spanish, the images are excellent and powerful, mostly from last April 11th. (my favorite word lately).

Chavez micromanages the economy: Markets rattled

March 26, 2003


Venezuelan sovereign debt markets were rattled today by a speech by Hugo Chavez in which he suggested that the country’s debt needed to be restructured. Arguing that Venezuela has made all debt payments in the last four years and will continue to do so, Chavez indicated that the debt load is too heavy and needs to be restructured. Blaming the strike for all of the Government’s woes, Chavez said that the Government had to scrape bottom in order to be able to pay salaries and that some institutions are still owed funds for salaries.

            While the statements were typical Chavez, financial markets initially took them as a sign that Venezuela was ready to suspend payment, causing sharp losses in the prices of Venezuela’s debt prices. The Ministry of Finance had to “interpret” the President’s statements saying that the country had no plans at this time to stop external debt payments and the President’s remarks were simply a statement of fact that the country has steep payments to make in 2003 and 2004. The truth of this whole matter is that Venezuela has been trying in the last two years to either restructure its debt or issue new debt in foreign currency, but has been unable to do it, is because of the steep premium it would have to pay for issuing any new instrument. Thus, Chavez’ words probably simply reflect a recurrent discussion at the Cabinet level which simply reflects the “Chavez premium” present in international markets at this time. The truth is that Venezuela can not afford at this time to stop debt payments due to the fact that it ahs significant property in the US, through PDVSA America, which owns Citgo and a number of refineries in the US. Moreover, confidence in Venezuela as a stable supplier of oil has been severely impacted by the events of the last few months, thus declaring any form of moratorium on the country’s debt would simply hurt the country’s image further. Thus, the Government is essentially trapped by any announcement of the possibility of delaying debt payments in its own contradictions.

Top ten myths of the Iraqi war

March 26, 2003

Via Outsidethebeltaway, The top ten myths of the Iraqi war, definitely worth reading. Amazing how people believe what they read! But the blogs will set you straight!

Note added: Outsidethebeltway is right, did not see the credit to Vodkapundit at the end!

Electoral Hall decides on Electoral Commission

March 26, 2003


The Electoral Hall; of the Venezuelan Supreme Court decided today on the composition of the Electoral Commission (CNE), deciding that one of the members of the Commission, Leonardo Pizani, may not participate anymore on any decisions. The decision is a result of the now infamous decision that stopped the consultative referendum that some Chavez supporters had requested days before that referendum was to take place. According to the two to one decision, the presence of Mr. Pizani on the Electoral commission violated three articles of the Venezuelan Constitution, since his presence on the Board of the CNE did not give the trust and transparency required by the Constitution violating the Constitutional right of participation. Pizani had been elected to the CNE by the National Assembly but had presented his resignation about one year ago. His resignation was never formally accepted by the Assembly which prompted him to join the Board of the CNE in October which approved the timetable of the consultative referendum. The decision implies that any decision by the Electoral Board requires unanimity since most of his members have resigned from it and only four of them are left at this time. One of them is a Chavez supporter who objected to the celebration of the referendum despite the fact that the Supreme Court never said the referendum itself was not legal.


The dissenting Justice, said the decision does not protect the legitimate interest of voters and has neutralized the capabilities of one of the branches of power, violating due to a formality, the exercise of fundamental rights of citizen participation expressed through the request by popular initiative of the consultative referendum. 


With the earlier injunction, the Electoral Hall simply blocked the possibility of the referendum and at the time prohibited the CNE from holding any election. While that restriction appears to be lifted by this decision, if one member of the Board of the CNE opposes an election he can simply stop it. The Chavez controlled National Assembly is currently selecting the new members of the Board of the CNE, which require for its approval a two-thirds majority of the Deputies.  This will require some form of negotiation for a Board to be approved. However, regulations establish that if by a certain date the Assembly ahs been unable to choose a Board, the Supreme Court will undertake that function.

Freedom! A view by an Iraqi

March 25, 2003

Very powerful article by an Iraqi of why the war was needed. Good reading for potential human shields. Arguments are easy to understand from the point of view of the Iraqi people, at least to me.

US Embassy rejects Chavez Government’ accusations

March 25, 2003

The press secretary of the US Embassy in Caracas rejected today the statements made by Hugo Chavez and Vice President Jose Vicente Rangel, saying: “We reject such a representation of the coalition in Iraq. We believe in fact, that the countries in the coalition are acting to defend the interests of the United Nations. We are asking Iraq to fulfil its commitment to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, in November of last year the members of the security council recognized the grave danger which Iraq represents for the security of the whole world, we believe firmly that the current actions in Iraq are authorized by international law. There is no doubt that Iraq had chemical and biological weapons, inspections have demonstrated this clearly., fifteen years ago in the war with Iran it used mustard gas in at least ten opportunities, 15 years ago it used neurotoxic gases against its Kurdish population killing thousands and thousands” He also rejected the reference (made by the Vice-President) that the US will act another countries. “Some weeks ago a representative of the Iraqi Government insinuated that after the Iraqi attack there would be one on Venezuela, that is ridiculous”