Archive for March 18th, 2007

Here and there in the revolution

March 18, 2007

Lots of stuff happening, but so little time, but here and there in the revolution in the last few days:

—In a sign of increasing intolerance, daily protests on regular issues are being criminalized and the media does not even talk about it. Free speech, sure…

—And speaking of intolerance, Chavez tells Podemos, Patria para Todos (PPT) and the Communist Party that he does not want allies like them for his “Partido Unico” after all three have balked about joining it. Thus the single party (PUS) will be called Partido Unico, but it might as well be called Movimiento Quinta Republica. Once again Chavez’ democratic vocation is nowhere to be found…for the autocrat, either you are with him 100%, or you are his enemy.

—And how about this plan to give the poor…..military, more benefits and perks. Five funds to give them more perks that normal Venezuelans don’t have. Lifetime medical benefits. 100% pension after 20 years. If you rejoin the military by Presidential grace, you will get all these benefits retroactively, a sure way to make the revolutionary officers that were kicked out for violating the law in the 1992 coup get all of these new perks. Someone should make a movie entitled “How the military stole Venezuela”.

—And how about funn yman Jose Vicente Rangel denouncing corruption in the second episode of his Sunday interview program in TV station Televen! He gave us nicknames for the corrupt, not names. It’s a real pity he was never named to any important positions during the last eight years, where he could have fought corruption….What?… Really? ….It’s the same guy?… The former Minister of Defense? ….The former Vice-President? Well, I am sure he has some sort of explanation.

—In defense of the Government, it is not true that Chavez has spent billions abroad. Not all of it gets spent. Ask the Uruguayans who have yet to see a penny of the more than US$ 600 million promised by the autocrat almost a year ago. The “La Teja” refinery has not received a penny of the money promised to expand it, the cheap oil never arrived and the not so cheap oil turns out to be expensive.

—And how about the solidarity of the Government with the workers of Electricidad de Caracas? The soon to be taken over company had negotiated a new contract with the union and the Government stopped the signing of the contract.

—And how about that other funny man, the Governor of Aragua State Didalco Bolivar who all of a sudden has discovered the Electoral Board (CNE) does not play fair. Daniel has covered the issue extensively, but I have to wonder where Didalco was when the CNE played all the dirty tricks with the recall referendum petition and the CNE’s magnus opus of deceit on August 14th. 2004? What is he so surprised about?

—And how about the Government’s proposal to create an “OPEC of gas exporters”. Wasn’t that already created under the name Gas Exporters Forum in 2001 and Venezuela is a member of it? Did we not pay the dues? Or was it that we never went to a meeting? Or is it simply a matter of lack of institutional memory?

—And isn’t it nice that now that Chavismo has discovered that a recall vote against Manuel Rosales would not work, the National Assembly, in its democratic spirit, is asking the Prosecutor to investigate him for using resources for something different that what they were assigned to? If you investigated all Government officials for this, we would be left without any Government. Hey, that sounds so good all of a sudden!

—And how about architect Fruto Vivas elegantly blasting Chavez over and over in today’s El Nacional: Of the La Carlota project that Chavez said he had commission the project to him, Vivas says it never happened. Of his housing project for the poor he presented in 2000, Vivas says it was discarded when the Director of CONAVI was changed. On health care, Vivas says what is being done is “pretty” but hospitals have no medicines and sheets. Vivas closes by saying he does not believe in half of Venezuela trying to solve the country’s problems. Ouch!