Archive for August 20th, 2007

Political tuna for Peruvian tragedy

August 20, 2007

Jeez, I can’t believe I may be about to defend Hugo Chavez. You see, Peruvian newspaper El Expreso accused Chavez today of taking advantage of the Peruvian earthquake tragedy to distribute cans of tuna like the shown below, with a picture of Peruvian opposition leader Ollanta Humala and one of Hugo Chavez, with the text:

“In the face of looting, blockades, desperation and chaos. Solidarity with our countrymen”

“In the face of the natural disaster that shook Peru and particularly our region Ica, the Nationalist Peruvian Party with our leader Ollanta is present among you, together with our sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, whose President is our brother Hugo Chavez, because the Peruvian Government acts in an inefficient, slow and heartless manner, without caring for the pain of the victims and leaving them at the will of hunger, thirst and hoodlums”

To me the language sounds very local, maybe it was financed by Hugo and that is why he is mentioned, but this sounds too specific and provincial to make me believe this came and originated from Venezuela.

Wonderful Species from Santos

August 20, 2007

Only had a couple of my own plants this weekend, but I have such a backlog of Santos’ pictures to show that mine can wait. Here only species, some incredibly nice ones.

Above left Cattleya Loddigessi from Brazil. On the right above a very rare Cattleya Lawrenceana concolor “Diana” from Venezuela.

Above left Cattleya Gaskelliana semi-alba. On the right Microphila Brysiana from Cayman Islands and Jamaica.

above left, Gongora Nigropunctata from Colombia and Ecuador. On the right Laelia Purpurata Werkhauseri from Brazil.

Thanks again Santos!

When Guaraira Repano, artificial islands and Chavez’ immortal autocracy take precedence over the people’s needs

August 20, 2007

Looking through the proposed Constitutional Reform, one of the most remarkable things is how irrelevant what is being proposed is for the average Venezuelan. How little the proposals have to do with the most important problems facing Venezuelans today. How irrelevant the whole exercise is going to be.

When Venezuelans are asked what their main problems are, they mention crime, employment and inflation in that particular order. Neither of these is tackled even indirectly, in the new proposed Constitution. If anything, one could say that inflation may be endangered by removing the independence of the Venezuelan Central Bank as it gives Chavez direct control over the country’s money supply and international reserves.

People always talk about how Chavez talks to the people and communicates with them. But does the average Venezuelan really care about the our sovereignty over the Caribbean Sea? Unless Chavez has plans to walk on water between his artificial islands, it would appear basically irrelevant.

Or do they really care about “the geo-human cells of the territory”, which will define a new vaporous concept labeled by Chavez as the “commune”? As Chavez’ old Miniser of the Interior would say about ONG’s, what do you eat those things with?

Or how about taking so much time and space in the proposal for the capital city of Caracas, which they are supposed to refer from now on as Bolivar’s crib or the more arcane “Queen of the Guaraira Repano” the name given to the Avila mountain by the Indians? In fact, my own personal poll shows that among educated Venezuelans, less than half admitted knowing what the term referred to before Chavez’ speech.

Or can the average Venezuelan really give a damn about the fact that the proposal will return Government financing for political parties, something Chavez himself removed from his 2000 Constitution and is now magnanimously returning because he now controls everything and can thus give this morsel away.? But wait, Chavistas know Chavez’ new political party PSUV is the only game in town and there will be plenty of money for its activities, so only opposition voters could believe this is a positive, But the latter just cringe at the idea of Chavez forever, so forget their votes!

And then of course is that proposed beauty of reducing the work day to six hours, as if the country was immersed in a productivity binge rather than the other way around. Or the fact that there is now a law forbidding the firing of anyone. So there is no chance the private sector will go on a hiring spree to compensate for the six hour day. More likely, those employed will now benefit from the overtime pay, costs will go up and only in the public sector will more people be hired to compensate for it. Thus, we can expect the number of public workers to increase from three to four million short trem, making a full sixth of the country’s population under the employment of an already inefficient Government. This is a sure recipe for failure and bankruptcy of our beloved country as the unproductive sector of the economy, i.e. the public sector, will draw most of the resources guaranteeing that when the price of oil comes down, there will be no money left for anything else.

And then what does the average Venezuelan, who owns very little personal property, care about the new and improved multiple definitions of property from public to social, from mixed to collective or the more sophisticated refinements of direct social property and indirect social property? And yes, there will be “private” property restricted to legitimately obtained goods, which can be easily be expropriated by the Government just to make sure you behave.

How does all this really affect the average Venezuelan who is more concerned with where the next meal is going to come from, that he or she may be mugged when he/she gets to the barrio and where the money will come to pay for the medicine the doctor ordered be taken?

But as prices go up daily, food shortages become the rule of the day and the much promised house/job/land is always given to your activist relative and not to you, you come to the end of the proposal and see that Chavez may be reelected indefinitely under the proposed Constitutional changes.

At least one thing guarantees that nothing, absolutely nothing, will change: The autocrat will be around forever, mismanaging, lying and promising the world to everyone.

After all, things could change for the worse, so more of the same may even give the average Venezuelan a sense of relief.

And who knows, Chavez may even promise that he will walk on the water between his artificial islands, in which case there will actually be two things in the Constitutional proposal that will at least keep the people entertained in the next few years.