Archive for January 25th, 2006

Chavez’ hot air, or is it gas?

January 25, 2006

This simply goes to show how Chavez is simply full of gas:

President Hugo Chavez says the pipeline is a central part of his
efforts to reduce dependence on the United States and its pressure for
free market policies known as the Washington Consensus.

It’s “the beginning of the South American consensus,” Chavez has said. “This pipeline is vital for us.”

Roberto Smeraldi of the Friends of the Earth-Brazil said the short timetable seemed unworkable.

government like Brazil’s can’t do similar studies for projects covering
(310 miles) after 10 years of discussion, and now they are going to
manage in-depth studies for a (5,000-mile) project in six months?” he

Venezuelan leader estimated the pipeline would cost $20 billion to $25
billion, but Smeraldi said strict adherence to Brazil’s tough
environmental laws would double the cost.

also questioned the economic wisdom of the plan, especially after
Brazil’s government-run oil company announced it would invest $18
billion to develop the country’s natural gas fields.

Brazil and Argentina have gas fields large enough to cover their own
domestic demands. I don’t see why they would like to undertake this
hugely costly project, with money they don’t have, not to mention
environment costs,” said Norman Gall, executive director of the Fernand
Braudel Institute of World Economy.”

What our cynical VP used to say about attempts at CENSORSHIP only eight years ago

January 25, 2006

I had to
translate and post this great quote from the Editorial in today’s Tal Cual from none other than now Vice-President
Jose Vicente Rangel, the Chief cynic of the Chavez administration. The same man
who spent his life as a reporter criticizing corruption and any attempt,
however small, to violate the right of free speech and now is completely silent
on both and has cozied up with the same military he used to blast and call the
most corrupt sector of Venezuelan society.

This was
what he said about censorship in another era, seemingly long ago, when he was
far from the power he never achieved via the ballot box, but that he is so
close to now. This is the same cynic who in April 12th. 2002 said he would go
back quietly to being a reporter. Definitely a very pitiful figure of this fake
revolution. The same man that was twice the Presidential candidate of the
Venezuelan left, the defender of the democracy, of human rights, of freedom of
speech. Today on the side of the same censorship he once blasted:

Veracity of

The topic is
on the table.

It is broached
systematically by the Government in a way that has to be qualified as suspicious.
Why? Because Governments whenever they treat the question of information and
when it has to do with freedom of speech, do it in an interested way. With
purposes that are not quite clear. They proclaim, constantly, that freedom of
speech is being respected, but in practice there are omissions, suspicious
pressures and manipulations of various sorts. When is it the Executive branch
that affects freedom of information? When is it the Judicial branch? When are
there connections between one and the other and when are the hostile tendencies
towards freedom of speech intertwined?

José Vicente
Rangel on July 27 th. 1997 in El Universal

Paradoxes of the revolution

January 25, 2006

–One of
the police officials accused of the forced disappearances in Guarico state is
now a Deputy of the National Assembly and will join the Human Rights Committee
of that legislative body.

–It is
unfair to say Hugo Chavez spends money only abroad; he just approved US$ 46
million in funds to overhaul and arm the country’s submarines, which will
clearly benefit the ___________ population. (Fill in your choice)

for maintenance of the viaduct disappeared from the national budget in 1999, Chavez’
first year in office, according to Sunday’s El Nacional.

went down 2.1% to 8.9% last year, thanks to two miracles: First, not a single
Venezuelan started looking for a job for the first time in his/her life in
2005, down from some 400,000 new job seekers per year in the previous years.
Second, 228 thousand Venezuelans gave up looking for a job. Do I foresee zero
unemployment in Venezuela
in a few years?

–In the
upcoming Caribbean Baseball Series, Venezuelan teams will be discriminated
against as foreign teams will be able to advertise alcoholic drinks but the
local team will not, according to the decree published in January 6th.
2006 in the Official Gazette. Whatever happened to Art. 21 of the Chavez-promoted

Venezuelan banks continue to make money hand over fist, the largest state-owned
bank, Banco Industrial de Venezuela, lost BS. 12.6 billion in the second half
of 2005. Don’t worry, its Board is taking appropriate measures to reverse this,
it will open a branch in Bolivia
in the next quarter.