Archive for October 14th, 2003

Another delay due to over regulation

October 14, 2003


The effects of over regulating the petition drive for signatures for the recall referenda is being felt already. One month after the more than three million signatures were rejected by the Consejo Nacional Electoral on technicalities, we are still nowhere close to being able to gather them again. As told today by one of the members of the CNE, it will be at least another month before the petition drive can even take place. The reason is simply bureaucracy. If the gathering of the signatures had been the responsibility of the opposition, we would have done it two weeks ago. However, now we have the “design” of the forms to get the signatures, the forms “need” bar-coding, they “have” to be printed by the Government and they have to be “controlled” by the CNE. Thus add another month to the long drawn out process.

Of course these very important issues are being considered, while others are being put aside, like the fact that the voting has to be automated. I am sure that they will find a way to postpone the actual recall even longer if we ever get to that point (I doubt it). These people have no scruples and no belief in democracy; they have kidnapped the system without saying it explicitly. Look for more excuses to postpone the petition drive knows as the “Reafirmazo”, if we gather the signatures the signal to the world will be very clear, Chavez can not afford to lbe whipped in an election.

Flimsy accusations on bombings

October 14, 2003

The irresponsability of the Chavez adminsitration is such that for the last two days, the Head of the investigative police and the Minister of Justice have been making accusations against opposition personalities without exhibiting a single iota of proof. In both cases they accuse the Head of Security of Altamira Square, where dissenting military have been for almsot a year, as well as two of the Generals from that group, of placing the bombs at La Carlota airport and Fuerte Tiuna two weeks ago. The Minisster even said that seven people had been detained. But curiously, the prosecutor in the case said afterwards that he had no knowledge of anyone in detention for the case, as required by law. Thus, the infamous Minister who told Venezuela in April 2002 that Chavez had resigned, appears to be saying he has detained people illegally. In his usual confusing ways, the Minister then said that those in jail were not directly realted to these cases, but older ones, as if it would make any difference……

Long live Sitting Bull!

October 14, 2003

Watching Hugo Chavez in his weekly TV program can be surreal. I usually can’t stand it so that I simply watch the recap later on TV of the most “significant” things he said. Sometimes as I watch, I am not sure whether I am seeing the real thing or a parody of our President. It is not easy to transmit the style to those that have never seen Hugo Chavez in action. A week ago it really seemed like a parody as Chavez spoke and sang Christmas songs laughing at the opposition. I thought hard about trying to convey what I had seen, but did not think it would get through. This Sunday I had the same feeling, this is impossible to explain, convey or communicate. But I will simply reproduce what Chavez said on October 12th., what US citizens call “Columbus Day” and we had called “Day of Races” until Hugo Chavez changed the name to “Day of indigenous resistance”. Here is my recap:

He said Columbus reaching the Americas, unleashed a genocide which lasted 150 years in the hands of conquistadors who were worse than Hitler. He called what happened the worst genocide in the history of mankind. He said the conquistadors, be it Spanish, Portuguese or British, killed one native every ten minutes for 150 years, exterminating 97 million people. He saluted Sitting Bull explaining the story of Custer and the screamed Long live Sitting Bull! (Toro Sentado in Spanish)

Now, this was all carefully prepared and staged (the numbers had to be given to him prior to the program) and there were massacres and abuses that nobody can question in the conquest of the Americas. But Chavez sounded like he was talking about the present. Venezuela was probably one of the countries with the smallest population and the most backward natives of the region, but he made it sound like ity all happened right here and he actually personally suffered from it and without it our native population would have developed a better country. But when he said Long live Sitting Bull!, it became so theatrical and infantile that is was simply absurd. Like so much in this country……..