Archive for May 15th, 2006

Four from the news

May 15, 2006

Chavez won the 1998 Presidential election, the separation between Government
activities and those of Chavez’ MVR have slowly become blurred, becoming
essentially the same. At the beginning there was some pretence that there was a
difference, but these days, the Government funds that party’s activities but
nobody says anything about. The so called “moral” power is as partisan as the
guys in power, so they say nothing; they could be fired by the autocrat.

But the
differentiation has disappeared so much that that the Minister of Information
and Communication William Lara also hold the position as spokesman for Chavez’ Stalinist
party Movimiento V Republica MVR. So yesterday, he showed up at that party’s
headquarters to tell the country that MVR was unhappy with the pace of new registrations
for national ID cards and the electoral registry.

And he
kept a straight face as he spoke. But did not blame the opposition.

–If you
are a member of the opposition and were involved with April 11th. you
are disqualified, indicted and persecuted. But if you are Lucas Rincon, the man
that started it all by telling the country and the world that Chavez had
resigned that fateful day, you are named, Minister of Defense, and then Minister
of the Interior an d as of today Venezuelan Ambassador to Portugal. What a
rough life!

Why was Rincon never investigated? Or was he? Did Rincon have Chavez letter of resignation? Fishy Fishy!I don’t know, but why
is it that he has never been investigated on the matter?

–It used
to be in the pre-Chavez era, that university professors had salaries similar to
Government officials. Today, a Full
Professor makes some Bs. 3 to 4 million a month. (US$ 1,350-1,860 a month), but
after CNE Board member Sobella Mejias was pensioned off with a Bs. 22 million a
month (US$ 10,000), today we hear that the new CNE approved unanimously that
Oscar Battaglini should be pensioned off with a Bs. 20.8 million a month
package (US$ 9800 a month). Of course, he only worked at the CNE for three
years, but you see a month ago the University where he worked for 25 years
(including the three at the CNE) pensioned him off with Bs. 2 million a month
(He never made it to Full Professor), which immediately qualified him for the
new higher pension. You have to love the purity of the revolution!

By the
way, the alternate rector of the CNE, Esther Gauthier, got a Bs. 16 million
pension a month. (US$ 7441 a month)

The nice
thing is that they don’t have to worry about inflation; their pensions are
adjusted automatically to the salary at the position.

No wonder
these guys fight for these jobs!

As Chávez says: A paso de vencedores! (At the pace of winners) while the country
simple gets screwed.

–You have
seen it elsewhere either here
or here,
but I can’t help but quoting the
excellent article
by Ian Buruma:

“One of
the most vexing things for artists and intellectuals who live under the
compulsion to applaud dictators is the spectacle of colleagues from more open
societies applauding of their own free will. It adds a peculiarly nasty insult
to injury.”

All I can
say is Mr. Buruma, if you are ever in Venezuela let me know, I owe you a
bottle of wine and you can come by and it would be an honor to talk with you!

— And borrowing
freely from Francisco’s
, como debe ser, as influenced by Harry
, I am honored that the word excrement shows in google trends that Caracas
is the city where it is searched the most for, and Venezuela is the country
where it is a favorite.