Archive for September 23rd, 2005

IBD blasts Jimmy Carter!

September 23, 2005

I must say it gives me a sense of satisfaction when the press in the US
blasts Jimmy Carter, more so if they remind him of his system failure
in the Venezuelan recall vote, as well as his flirting with
totalitarian leaders over the years. An excerpt from the Editorial in Investor’s Business Daily:

“But then we’ve known that. Carter, a Nobel Peace Prize
winner, has traveled abroad for years as an official observer,
habitually legitimizing the elections of dictators and other unsavory
characters, most recently Hugo Chavez last year in Venezuela.”

I just love it!

The Chavez praying mantis effect is alive and well!

September 23, 2005

If you think Chavez is tough and intolerant with his
enemies, he has always been worse when it comes time to get back at his friends
and staunch supporters Chavez is not only intolerant, a trait from his military
background, but simply has to have absolute and total loyalty, which has led me
to coin the term the “Chavez praying mantis effect”, he simply eats his own,
once they have done the job for him. There is a long list of those that have been
eaten by Chavez of which Miquilena, Arias Cardenas, Urdaneta, Uson and Rosendo
are just but a few.

This week the effect was back and with a vengeance, demonstrating
that Chavez ahs no loyalties than to himself and that he is as intolerant and ruthless
as they get.

While there were incidents involving Luis Tascon, promoter
and executor of the infamous Tascon fascist list, Lina Ron, the fiery and aggressive
communal leader who has defended Chavze at every step and union leader Ramon
Machuca for joining a protest against Chavez, no case has had the resonance and
impact of TV announcer Walter Martinez, which Tal Cual has dubbed “Waltergate”.

is a veteran TV reporter and announcer who sided with Chávez in 1998 and had
become prominent in the Government TV station VTV. Martinez has been a rapid promoter of the revolution
and Chavez via his program “Dossier”. Everything was fine and dandy until this
week Martinez charged
that there were too many people betting at “Chavismo without Chávez” and that he
had proof that there were Government officials who wore red berets in order to make
a buck. This did not set well with the Minister of Information and
Communication Pimentel who took him off the air and reportedly was told that he
would not go back on the air until he provided the proof.

This has led to rallies in favor of Martinez outside the TV stations
headquarters, graffiti in his support all over the walls of the station and constant
crowds and chanting almost every hour of the day. Two TV announcers from the TV
channel were removed from their jobs fir refusing to read a communiqué asking Martinez to make his accusations to the Prosecutor’s
office and Martinez
also had to stop his radio program. But Martinez,
who says he is a solider of the revolution, did not get the backing he expected
from the President. Showing how much the President pays attention to the minutiae
of politics, the President himself called a TV program where he attacked Martinez rather than defend
him. Chavez defended Martinez’
suspension saying “people have to be humble and not let themselves be driven by
their effort to be protagonists”. With that, it was clear that Martinez was dispensable. You just don’t accuse
this “pure” revolution of corruption. Chavez will do nothing against it because
it helps him achieve his political goals.

Thus, the soldier of the revolution awaiting for
orders from the Supreme being found today himself without support, victim of
the revolution and the corruption that surrounds it and may be eating it from

Savage Socialism by Teodoro Petkoff

September 23, 2005

Socialism by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

Chavez placed in orbit his concept of “socialism for the XXIst. Century”, after
a number of years of his frenetic political relationship with Cuba, he could
not help but awaken in some Venezuelans-including many of his supporters among
the common people-the strong apprehension that his idea about the matter approximates
to what exists in Cuba. When the everyday Venezuelan hears the word “socialism”
he inevitably associates the term with Cuba
and with the USSR and not
with Sweden.
Nobody knows better the negative weight of the anti-communist prejudices than
the democratic people on the left and how much it costs to dissipate the
equating that many people make between totalitarian dictatorships like the
soviet and the Cuban ones and socialism. .

if in a game of word associations you say “socialism”, the other responds
without thinking “Cuba”.
And Cuba,
with its long life-time dictatorship, which has already lasted 46 years and
with its overwhelming economic and social failure, no longer gets anyone enthusiastic
about it. Nobody in good mental health, unless he is a fanatic that does not reason,
could look to Cuba
for a project for social change of an advanced nature. In fact, Chavez himself has
been forced, once in a while, to say that neither the USSR nor Cuba are models to be copied. But
words can do little in the face of facts and what is being perceived is that
the relationship with the island is so close that it seems that it is in Cuba that Chavez
is thinking when he speaks of “socialism”.

But as if
this was not enough, in his most recent speeches he is adding fuel to the fire,
when he gets involved in the rugged paths of socio-economic digressions. As if
the famous polemic in Cuba, between “moral incentives” and “material incentives“
for the workers, as mechanisms to stimulate production, had not been resolved
by reality, in favor of those like, against those like Che Guevara, held that
need for the second option. Chavez now pretends that members of coops forget
about earnings, because “production can not become part of the mercantile
bloodstream” but that earnings have to be devoted to pay society back, “even
with donations”. If these criteria whose ingenious faith matches well the ignorance
that they are impregnated with, imposed themselves, coops would go straight to
bankruptcy and the ruin of its members.

Chavez complains about collective bargaining and of those union leaders “ that
are looking for a few bucks” as well as the exaggerated salary demands of the
state companies, he suggests the idea (of which Lenin laughed at in his time)
that the working class, that is revolutionary in itself, can not have contradictions
with his state employer and that in the name of the revolution, unions should
represent the state and not the workers. “XXIst Century socialism“ supposes
then, as far as we can see, the elimination of autonomous unions and the
absolute subordination of the workers movement to the designs of the state, the
Government and the party. That is the way it was in the USSR that is the way it is in Cuba and, is that what Chavez is proposing for Venezuela?

There are reasons
to be concerned. Will the pro-Chavez union leaders of the UNT reflect on this?