Archive for December 24th, 2005

From stolen radioactivity to the incredibly slow CNE: two low-key news from the chavista kingdom of Venezuela.

December 24, 2005

I grew up in Venezuela, so I am quite used to amazing news and a
Macondonian way of life. However, since the arrival of President, soon
to be King, Chavez, the amazing happenings are considered non-news,
maybe because there are so many of them. This week, doing my job while
Miguel is away, I came across these two pieces of news that left me

First, let us talk about radioactivity.

The Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias reports that the State of Lara
police is desperately searching for stolen radioactive material. It
seems that a truck that belongs to a radio inspection company was stolen
in the State of Yaracuy by two individuals. There was radioactive
material left inside. Now, this naïf ghost blogger asks the following
questions: did the thieves know about the radioactive material or was it
just bad luck for them? If they knew about it, why were they interested
in it? Is it possible that radioactive material be transported without
any signs of it? Why is just the regional police of the Lara State the
one that is interested in this event? Why is there just one small
article in the ABN about this? Why is the minister of the interior not
talking about this?

A quick search on Google provides some alerts on the Internet,
particularly on environmental sites. Reuters even reports a state of
emergency called by the chief of the Defensa Civil in Venezuela. (see ) and another
search in EUD gives just this small news item
Even after these results, I am still amazed at the little importance
this very serious piece of news is been given both by the government and
the media.

The second news that I want to comment on is the incredibly slow CNE. On
December 22nd , El Nacional reported (page A4) that in a press
conference Jorge Rodríguez said that there will not be a definite
bulletin about the December 4 elections UNTIL after January 16!!! They
have not verified the “actas” of some centers in 22 states!

So this humble ghost blogger asks the following: what is the use of tens
(or is it hundreds?) of millions of dollars worth of electronic machines
if the final results are available a month and a half after the
election? Beats me!

Unless the CNE needs extra time for some creative vote counting….

Jorge Arena