Archive for November 16th, 2003

This is my orchid room/greenhouse

November 16, 2003

People ask what my orchid room/greenhouse looks like. Well, since most readers are from the US or Canada, this will not help much in their growing. Caracas is  3000 feet above sea level. Temperatures year around go from 60 F to no more than 95 F. Humidity is not too high and is usually above 50%, but gets into the 30-40% level in the dry season (March-May). Thus my greenhouse is open air, no walls. I live in an apartment and the greenhouse is on  the terrace. You can see it in the picture below

You can see it’s very simple, a metallic structure holds a tempered glass roof that has chicken wire inside. I have curtains on two sides to prevent the sun from hitting the plants directly during the day, there is a wall on another side and is open air in the side where the sun goes up in the morning. (In the picture one curtain is up) I have plants on tables, hanging, as well as on the wall on the side, depending on the watering or shade conditions each plant prefers. In the forefront you can see two huge Grammatophyllums as well as my doberman “Chupeta”.

Dissecting the manipulation in the movie The Revolution will not be televised

November 16, 2003

Extensive article in today’s El Universal about two Venezuelan moviemakers who are making a documentary themselves showing all of the inconsistencies and manipulations of the movie: “The revolution will not be televised”. The article is divided in three parts: A description of what they have done, a summary of the main inconsistencies of the film and a reply to a writer who claimed the opposition censored the movie by pressuring Amnesty Inetrnational into withdrawing it from a film festival. (The petition did not do such a thing, it only asked that the details of what the movie purported to show be investiagted). I can not reproduce the whole thing, but here is a summary of the specific cases in which the movie distorts or manipulates the truth:

-Revolutionary populace: When it claims to be showing the presence of the populace in front of the Presidential Palace in the morning of April 11th. 2002 the movie uses images of a demonstration which took place in a different city and on a different day.

-Split Image: The moviemakers ignored the nationwide broadcast by Chavez forcing all radio and TV stations to carry his speech beteen 3:45 PM and 5:27 PM, where he spoke during more than two hours while around the Presidential Palace more than 21 Venezuelans were shot dead and more than 150 were injured, all by bullets. In the middle of this speech, private TV stations decided to divide the screen in two, to show the tragic events and then the Government shut off the broadcast by all these stations.

-Resignation: In the movie the thesis that Chavez never resigned is emphasized. However, the Cheifs of Staff, led by the Commander in Chief Lucas Rincon, issued a declaration at 3:20 AM on April 12th., saying that they had asked the President for his resignation and he had accepted. This is never shown in the movie (Retired General Lucas Rincon is currently a member of Chavez’ Cabinet as Minister of the Interior and Justice).

-Tanks: The tanks that moved towards the Presidential Palace were not going there to attack Chavez, but they were ordered to go there by Chavez himself to protect him. The film intends to show that with those tanks a traditional coup d’ etat was achieved.

-Racial war: The racial composition of Venezuela is multi-ethnic, but the film aims to show that Chavizmo is dark skinned and the opposition is white and well off. (As I have said here many times, if 70% of the people are against Chavez and Chavez says (not true) that 80% of the people are poor, something does not add up in these arguments. Moreover, racially only 20% of Venezuelans are white)

-Altered timelines: The manipulation of images, dates and wrong hours is present throughout the movie. As an example, the moviemakers took the care of using pro-Chavez images taken from Febraury 2000, when Chavez support by the people was unquestionable.

-Communicational project: The distortion of time is particularly bad in the sequences corresponding to April 11, 12 and 13th. There, the movie changes with total irresponsability the times of the events with the objective of constructing a story subordinated to its communicational project, which is to sell the idea that an “oligrachic coup backed by the US took place”.

Another Day, Another Trick

November 16, 2003

The Consejo Nacional Electoral decided yesterday that those living abroad will not be able to particpate in the petition drive for Chavez’ recall. The excuse? That the logistics were too complex and it would be difficult to supervise. Now, since the country has dozens of Embassies and over one hundred Consulates, I still do not see what the problem is. Don’t these consulates notarized documents everyday? Are those suspect too? In fact, in all previous elections, including the union elections (They live abroad, but belong to a local union?), Venezuelans were allowed to vote at the consulates abroad, so the only real reason for this is that the Government wipes out a significant number of anti-Chavez signers with one stroke. The CNE vote was three to two, with the three pro-Chavez members voting together. What else is new? My concern is, what other tricks are awaiting for us in the future? These people have no scruples and can justify anything with legal or pseudo-legal arguments anytime they want. This implies the opposition has to gather over four million signatures to insure that they will not disqualify, lose, mutilate or misplace a sufficient number so that the recall is not succesful. So far, they have intimidated public workers, all members of the military and disqualified all Venezuelans living abroad. All of this together may be around one million signatures already……