Archive for May 25th, 2008

On its first year anniversay of the RCTV shutdown, we will not forget those that deny us our rights

May 25, 2008

Today is the one year Anniversary of the illegal and arbitrary shutdown
of TV station RCTV by the Chavez Government. The act was very costly
for Chavez as it not only showed his true colors to the world, but it
also upset his own supporters when he removed one of the few sources of
entertainment they had.

While foolish and imbecile pro-Chavez supporters still attempt to
defend the decision, the truth is that Chavez trampled all over the
country’s laws with that despicable act. Not only did he appoint
himself as telecom regulator, but he had the Courts take over and
confiscate RCTV’s equipment, which has received no compensation.

The equipment was given to the Government (surprise, surprise!) and so
was the broadcast frequency owned by RCTV. Chavez and his cheerleaders
claimed that the new Government channel, named TVES would easily
replace RCTV, but to this day, TVES has less than 2% of the viewer
rating, dismally below what RCTV used to have.

At the same time, the decision has been a windfall for cable and
satellite TV companies as the less affluent have gone to theses systems
and at least in the case of Direct TV, RCTV has become the number one
program, even if the company still loses money.

Because what the Government has really done is not only to restrict
free speech by illegally shutting down RCTV, but to increase its
control over all media. Venevision has become bland and neutral for
fear of being shut down. And VTV has become the voice of Chavez’ PSUV
party. Not only does it broadcast Chavez speeches and programs, but it
simply DOES NOT broadcast any opposing view to the Government. VTV used
to be the Government’s TV station, but it never was the party’s TV

Last week, a woman that claims to be a reporter, Vanessa Davies, but is
now a member of the Board of Chavez’ party PSUV , announced on her TV
program on TV, that viewers would have the chance to be presented and
“debate” on VTV their positions. Funny how Ms. Davies, a one time human
rights defender and denouncer, can now “forget” that to have a debate
you need two sides. Because no opposition figure can dare ask for time
on VTV, it is just not done, while Globovision does show what VTV is
saying and interviews pro-Government politicians and Government

But Ms. Davies will one day find out what “reporters” found in the
former Soviet Union, that it is not as easy to switch positions when
the house comes crumbling down and that those whose rights have been
abused and denied, tend to have very long memories.

And there are just too many of us…

Active General goes to Court to strike “Patria, Socialismo o Muerte” from military facilities

May 25, 2008

Last week, General Angel Vivas Perdomo, went to the Venezuelan Supreme
Court and introduced an injunction against the use of the slogan
“Patria, Socialismo o Muerte” (Fatherland, Socialism or Death) within
the military. Venezuelan forts and facilities now have this slogan on
their fronts and soldiers are being forced to say this out loud daily.

The General’s arguments go from the fact that this is a violation of
the Venezuelan Constitution, which says the military is a professional
institution and is not political to the fact that the voters in
December rejected Chavez’ proposal to turn Venezuela into a “socialist”

Vivas should certainly be commended for doing this, he is a braver than
most of his colleagues that mumble “Patria, Socialismo o Muerte” even
if they don’t like him. Vivas Perdomo is actually an active General,
beven if he has not official job function.

Vivas Perdomo has been in the doghouse since 2007, when he became
Director General of Engineering of the Venezuelan Army and decided to
open an investigation of the man that preceded him in the position.
Someone did not like Vivas’ independence and he was soon removed from
his position and never assigned a job since then.

Vivas Perdomo will retire on July 5th. 2008 and while Chavez has never
refused to give any General a pension, that is precisely what Vivas
Perdomo was risking by his daring to go to the Supreme Court.

Chavez and Marulanda’s death: Damn if he knew it, damn if he didn’t

May 25, 2008

Even in death, the Head of the FARC, Marulanda, seems to be
playing games with Hugo Chavez. You see, much like in his negotiations with the
FARC, that organization, not know for its clarity or sincerity, has not precisely
played along with Chavez’ interests. When Chavez’ buddy Piedad Cordoba says that neither she,
nor Chavez, knew that Marulanda had died, it shows once again that the FARC has
not dealt Chavez with a clean hand. This is much like when the kid Enmanuel was
said not to be in the hands of the FARC by Uribe, which was laughed at by
Venezuelan authorities, only to find out later that the FARC knew all long,
despite announcing they were about to release the kid, his mother and another

So, for Chavez it is a case of damn if you knew it, damn if
you didn’t, because clearly the FARC either told him and he kept it quiet, or
kept him from him, so what credibility does he have as negotiator with the
FARC? Does he really know Ingrid Betancourt’s stats or is he being led by the
FARC all the time?

Because one thing that comes through from the Reyes
documents is that the FARC feel that Chavez is competing with him and in the
end he has no business in Colombia as far as they are concerned.

Fortunately for Chavez, the Venezuelan Government had no
time to say much before the FARC confirmed the information given by Colombia’s
Minister of Defense Santos.

But one thing you can say, in this war of announcements and
accusations, the Colombian Government has proven to be absolutely reliable in
its announcements, while Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro is still arguing
whether Colombia neither did or not violate the country’s borders, which
Colombia denies.

Curiously, the US admitted that a US aircraft did violate
Venezuela’s airspace by mistake as it flew near the island of La Orchila. As a
reader points out in the comments and had been suggested to me before, could it
be that FARC Commander Ivan Marquez is being protected there by Chavez? In the same interview
in which Minister Santos said Marulanda was dead, he drew a parallel between
Reyes being in Ecuador and Marquez being in Venezuela, saying that they have told
the Venezuelan Government many times where Marquez is.

Would the Colombians dare to go to La Orchila and capture

Maybe they will wait until Mr. O gives them a hand on it.

It’s Purpurata time, time for great pictures!!!

May 25, 2008

Took some pictures right after watering today, which always gives a nice appearance to the plants. The Laelia Purpuratas from Brazil have started flowering, they are not only spectacular, but they are incredibly photogenic as seen below.

An overall view of Laelia Purpurata Carnea on the loeft and a single flower on the right. Love them!


I love these Laelia Purpurata Werkhauseri, they are so elegant and the sun gave them an almost spectral quality.

A very nice Catlleya Jenmanii, this one is Color x Kathy, looks a lot like the other one I have, but this is a first flowering

Eduardo M. sends a bunch!

May 25, 2008

Eduardo sent a whole bunch of pictures, from his rochid room to his plants:

On the lfet his orchid, room, no wonder he sends so many flowers, on the right a specimen of Cattleya Gaskelliana concolor, magnificent!

On the left Cattleya Dowiana, I seem to kill it, on the right Den. Globuliferum

On the left, Akermania. On the right, Meryacylum Tenuifolium

On the left Cattleya Violacea, on the right Cattleya Violacea Icabaru.

On the left Cattleya Lobata from Brazil, on the right a very nice Cattleya Warnerii coerulea from Brazil

On the left, a flower of Masdevalia Tenuifolia, on the right a Vanda.