Archive for September 22nd, 2006

Tales from the pretty revolution

September 22, 2006

—In the
2005 proposed budget for 2005, the caring revolution budgeted US$ 1.56 billion for
Defense and US$ 1.85 billion for public health. During 2005 the National
Assembly approved an additional US$ 571 million in “extraordinary” credits for
Defense, usually approved to cover insufficiencies in the budget that can not
wait, but only approved US$ 31 million for public health in similar credits. This
is a country where public hospitals are dysfunctional, have no supplies and turn back people regularly. In the end, Defense
spending was 6.6% of the budget, while public health was only 5.8%. Chavez cares so much for his weapons, no? Certainly more than for the people.

a meeting at the Argentinean Foreign Office last year, PDVSA officials and Argentinean
companies and Government offices met to discuss possible joint technology
projects. Wind power! proposed on Argentinean company. How about solar energy
for remote areas? Suggested one university. Biodiesel! Suggested the University of Santa Fe. Why don’t we develop software? Suggested Argentinean company Softlab? No, said the PDVSA representatives we
have orders from above to work in a joint project to build nuclear reactors for
the Orinoco Oil Belt. That was the only project signed during the trip. PDVSA has
no nuclear engineers or specialists.

—And how
abut the People’s Ombudsman, known in Spanish as “El Defensor del Pueblo”. He
continued his long career in simply defending Hugo Chavez when he defended this
week Chavez’ speech at the United Nations: “I think Chavez said what he had to
say in the right place” said Chavez’ Defender. He continued by defending, who
else? The government! by saying “We don’t have the levels of violence that
people want everyone to believe…I don’t know where the analysts get their numbers,
how can we think that Venezuela has more violence than Central America? Well,
Mr. Mundarain, the analysts get the numbers from official sources, which you should
know, if you were really trying to care and defend the people, instead of your
boss the autocrat. His office should be renamed “El Defensor de Chavez”

—And in another harebrained priority project of the
revolution, the National Assembly rushed through its first discussion the law
that creates the Bolivarian Aerospace Agency, jokingly referred to as the “URO”
(Unidentified Revolutionary Object). The Bill is full of truly revolutionary definitions:

Article 2. In the context of the present Law and its regulations, we define
the following:

Aerospace: It is the space formed by the terrestrial
atmosphere and the near external space or ultra terrestrial space….

Ultra terrestrial Space: It is the zone located further
than the atmospheric space which extends all the way to infinity.

You’ve to got to love the priorities and imagination of
the caring revolution. I wonder if by law, the Assembly has decided that the
Universe is indeed infinite, resolving once and for all that scientific

Ganging up against Chavez in New York and in Caracas

September 22, 2006

                 Daily News                                                                 New York Post

This is not
the devil
by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual 

Hugo Chavez is a histrion.

Up on the stage, he is delirious.

He can twist his eyes, searching for God
on the ceiling of the United

Puts his palms together, imploring. 

And then, without a warning, he can release a whole
bunch of insults, using the whole repertoire for that place-his peculiar
communism, in the name of humanity, of peace and the redemption of the humble. Venezuelans
know it: in his most pathetic occasion he had a little whistle in his mouth and
with each blow into it, he would fire someone from PDVSA, broadcast live and
direct. And nationwide over all TV stations.

He is as simple minded as the one he has
turned into his arch enemy. Both simplify and divide the world into good and
evil. For now, Chavez uses his verbal artillery, of low quality, which as Bill
Clinton himself said yesterday :” Hurts him and his country” A true and full revolutionary,
of those truly compromised with what they say and how they say it, stays away from
bullying people and from false postures like those our President adopted at the
United Nations.

Chavez requested the help of a psychiatrist to
understand the speech by the President of the United States, who spoke from the
same stage the day before. The psychiatrist could kill two birds with one stone,
without even being very skilled.

While he calls for a fairer world, his National
Assembly, a few hours later, opened its second period of sessions approving a
new credit of 43.5 billion Bolivars (US$ 20 million) so that the Ministry of
Defense could acquire “munitions of common use, 40 millimeter caliber grenades,
machine guns and pistols” This investment, explains the Ministry of Defense,
will serve to maintain and train a new military corps called “the strategic
reserve” which this peaceful revolution is incorporating to a national culture already
sprinkled with epaulettes, battles, battalions, commands, units, squadrons and
the whole militaristic  paraphernalia
that the redemptor of the World conceives as “XXIst. Century socialism”

During the same parliamentary session, we learned that billions
are still missing to pay the interest on the national debt and that it will be
necessary to reprogram the Debt Bill in order to fulfill old obligations,
acquired but never delivered.

This is, thus, the Venezuela of Hugo Chavez,
full of dollars, but in debt.

Pacifist, but arming itself each day.

“God is with us” said Chavez at the UN, with
his eyes twisted, with his hands together, smelling the sulfur surrounding him,
with a book by Noam Chomsky in front of him. “You have the threat in your own
home” he added. And one feels like repeating the phrase around here. “You have the
threat in your own house”

Artwork for getting out the vote

September 22, 2006

Next Tuesday there will be a rally in Chacao at 4 PM where the Metro station is located, to unveil the artwork to mobilize the people to vote in the December election:

Weil strikes again

September 22, 2006

How many time can I say it: Weil is a genius!

They may say that Rosales is moving up in the polls, but I have my reserves

A Government of fools and clowns

September 22, 2006

Even if you don’t speak Spanish, this video of an interview of the pro-Chavez Governor of Carabobo state proves that there is more than one clown in this Government of fools.

With an absentee President, Rangel justifies attacks, Rosales ignores them

September 22, 2006

One of the
ironies of the current Presidential campaign is that while Chavez became President
by visiting every barrio, town and city in the country and being in touch with
the concerns and worries of the people, he has so far campaigned only by
holding rallies, where he is carefully protected from any contact with the

Manuel Rosales’ campaign is exactly the opposite. Everyday Rosales visits numerous
barrios, concentrating his campaign on attracting those whose support for Chavez
has become lukewarm to cold in the most popular barrios of the country.

has now been attacked a few times by pro-Chavez groups, some of which have
gathered hours ahead of Rosales’ scheduled stops, to attempt to block his path.
While these thugs are threatening, Rosales has refused to stop his visits and continues
his daily visits to these areas.

The day
before yesterday Vice-President Rangel, representing
the absentee President in his nth. trip in 2006, said that the attacks on
Rosales are simply a reflection of the rejection by the people of his candidacy
and that Rosales should simply go “at his own risk” into those areas.

There are
quite a number of conclusions that can be derived from this statement by the

–First of
all, this is an irresponsible and inefficient Government incapable of providing
security for its own citizens, as demonstrated not only by crime statistics, but
by the fact that it can not even provide the necessary security for people to
go out campaigning in the exercise rights guaranteed by the Constitution.

the Government assumes no responsibility if anything were to happen to the
unity candidate of the opposition, saying he is provoking the people and if he
does go in the barrios, he does at his own risk

Rangel is indirectly authorizing the aggression of a leading politician in the
country, just because he is daring to go and campaign in what apparently Rangel
believes is his own turf as if 100% of the people supported Chavez. To me, this
is simply an attempt at intimidation.

Rangel fails to see a number of ironies in all this. Yes, Rosales has been
attacked a few times, but he continues doing this day after day, attracting
large and festive crowds and in some cases, protected not only by the police
but by but Rosales’ own supporters in the barrios. Listening to the problems
the people have, talking to them, being with them.

But the
biggest irony of all this, is that Chavez does not dare campaign openly in any
barrio or even city. It is not only his intense paranoia which stops him from
doing so, but the fact that he can not tolerate the criticism, complaints and
protests that have met him when going into facilities or stages to hold
rallies. In fact, only last week, two ladies started heckling him and kept
complaining at the President during one of his staged indoor “events” and
Chavez asked them to quiet down and said that his party needed unity and not
“washing the clothes in public for everyone to see”. This from the man who
eight years ago loved crowds and went to sports and artistic events so that he
could receive the daily dose of adoration from his supporters.

He can no
longer do that and even if he did, his intolerance to dissent and discussion,
would simply make him look very bad, with his outrageous outburst and his
unhappy expressions.

That is
why Chavez prefers to campaign in Beijing,
Harlem, Buenos Aires or New York and enjoy the comforts and pleasures
of international travel, reading Chomsky and Sartre and meeting his heroes. he loves signing
agreements that nobody will ever complain to him were never completed or
fulfilled and dreaming of becoming the leader of the Third World, while failing
to fulfill his most basic campaign promises to the people of this small
country, despite the biggest oil windfall Venezuela has ever seen.