Praying for Hugo in Manhattan

September 22, 2011

I am still a little confused by these images from the prayer service for Hugo Chavez held in Manhattan. Are we to believe now that Maduro has become a believer? And how about Sean Penn? And you have to wonder about a church whose claim to fame was that Fidel Castro the agnostic visited once.

But it is the images that I wonder about.  The word “cursi” comes to mind (Corny in English?). But in the end who were they aimed at?

Look at the invitation:

Chavez’ pose is reminiscent of the “good” Chavez days. It looks airy, almost super natural. Very religious. The question is who are they trying to canonize? Hugo?

Or is the picture below, is that of the soon to be anointed Son and the Spirit under him?:

Is a message being sent? To whom? The Vatican or the Venezuelan people?

Or was this just another corny Chavista show?

(Note the Sixtine Chapel like shades on the purple image of Hugo!)

325 Responses to “Praying for Hugo in Manhattan”

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  2. […] of heart for Maduro, who had been acting in roles beyond that of Foreign Minister, including being the main speaker at a service held for Hugo Chavez in Manhattan and being part of the commission studying the […]

  3. […] change of heart for Maduro, who had been acting in roles beyond that of Foreign Minister, including being the main speaker at a service held for Hugo Chavez in Manhattan and being part of the commission studying the […]

  4. LamuzNick Says:

    Exact phrase

  5. captainccs Says:

    Boca is a G2, CIA, SMERSH, Mossad triple agent but don’t tell anyone. If you ask him, he’ll deny it. Boca is big on denial. :rofl:

  6. Charly Says:

    Sean Penn praying in church? Thatès pretty hilarious.

    • Syd Says:

      No matter what one’s beliefs are, Charly, there are no barriers against entering most houses of worship, be they churches, synagogues, mosques, or buddhist or hindu temples.

      I think Penn attended the prayer service in New York for a number of reasons. For one, there was likely a political thread to his interest, and perhaps because after a few visits to Venezuela, where Ch fawned over him, Penn may have developed a true affection for the big guy.

      As far as that website is concerned, frankly, it’s silly.

  7. firepigette Says:


    I am not a religious person but have studied comparative religions, and can say that basically except for Buddhism, or the religion of Science( as opposed to true science) , are based on a similar premise, being the transference of energy.

    So at times of crisis someone who believes in one essentially can believe in another.The religion of nature, the religion of animism , Catholicism, all believe that there is a power than can be bestowed upon an individual from without, and heal him.

    The interesting thing is, is that it matters not in the end, if the religion is true or false, because what can happen is with a strong belief, a person can heal himself.

    Chavez looks like he is on his last legs, but one never knows,because the power of the mind to work “miracles” is legend. and the belief that someone can intercede on his behalf activates the power of HIS mind.

    • Mike Says:


      Thanks for the lecture, and I mean this in a positive way, because you are presenting a lot of interesting info.

      However, my post was NOT meant to be predominantly religious or spiritual, although when reading it again, I can see that it comes across this way.

      I simply wanted to present another piece of the puzzle and proof to doubters that 1) HCh’s illness is anything but a charade and 2) Mario Moronta is NOT a Chavista, quite the contrary, he is center right politically.

      MM is Chavez’ go to guy when he needs spiritual advise (that Fidel can not give him). MM is in total disagreement with HCh politically and specially when it comes to human rights. MM would NEVER play games when it comes to catholic sacraments. But what we don’t know is which “level” of “Anointing of the sick” was given.

      I agree with you, FP, re the power of the mind, but again, my intended point was, worded differently, that I dare say that, in any Catholic’s mind, “last rites” equals death is close. It also confirms that HCh is scared.

      I know all of this doesn’t answer any new specifics, it is just further proof that this whole matter is extremely serious.

      • firepigette Says:

        Agreed…Chavez is searching for cures, and it looks real to me too.

      • Syd Says:

        As per his own comment, about a week ago, HCh is aware of what’s being said about him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he puts 2 and 2 together, as far as where all this is leading. Bruto no es. Especially on his favourite topic: himself and the perpetuation of his power.

        Positive thinking is a marvellous concept. And HCh travelled on this road, early on, by reading (the illustrated version of?) Nietzsche’s “Thus Spake Zarathustra”, and by informing one and all – perhaps even to convince himself, that he had no more cancer. (“All gone!”)

        But beautiful philosophies can only do so much to reverse entrenched damages. And that baseball-sized tumour — if true — was not the start of the irreversible decline.

        I don’t see any way out for HCh. You don’t go around with a balloon-like face (too smooth to be the cause of fat deposits) to a profile perspective that looks like the whole head has been expanding (after his 2nd chemo treatment?), without realizing that there is no turning back.

        If this is one evolution of Kaposi’s Sarcoma, I can see why the type of cancer was never mentioned, especially in a largely homophobic country that is Venezuela. The general public does not need to be privy to Fulano’s type of cancer. But I think the rules change, when Fulano is president of a country, moreover, one that never ceases to opine and tie the broadcasting airwaves on that account.

        End of my optics. (Por ahora.)

  8. Mike Says:

    It’s a bit late in this thread, but nobody commented on this:

    I believe it’s quite relevant since during this ceremony (mass actually), HCh received last rites from Monsignor Mario Moronta, while not exactly the ones for somebody that will die in the next 15 minutes (there are several within this sacrament), but last rites nevertheless, the type usually given to very sick people. So the NY official and pompous church prayer service was actually not the first one.

    Now, Deanna commented towards the beginning of this thread “that some Venezuelan prelates (example Msgr. Mario Moronta)” support Chaves. I have information from a 100% reliable source that Mario Moronta does NOT support HCh, or in other words MM is not a Chavista. He also wrote an essay “Jesus was no socialist…), see:

    They have known each other from before HCh was president and now Monsignor Moronta supports him in the function of a PRIEST which is his duty. And Chavez for some reason trusts him. 

    As a result of the absolution that goes with the application of this last rites or “Anointing of the Sick” sacrament, it was conditioned to him freeing some of the ill political prisoners, which he reluctantly did.

    • Carolina Says:

      Mike, don’t you think that if Monseñor Moronta is only doing his duty as a priest, he shouldn’t be putting conditions to the application of the last rites, which is a sacrament?
      I don’t think that’s right.

    • Syd Says:

      Interesting, Mike. Thank you. As for the information on the conditions posed prior to administering last rights, sometimes you have to take that information with a grain of salt. Were the conditions mandatory, prior to the application of last rights? (I would doubt that.) Or was it more a case of discussion and moral back-and-forths between MMM and HCh? That would seem more in keeping with what one normally expects from priests. Instead, if this nuance is true, it wouldn’t make as good a copy as would the exaggerations.

      • Mike Says:

        Carolina and Syd,

        Sorry for the misunderstanding, I should have used different wording.

        Last rites come with absolution of the persons sins, just like a confession, and usually the priest for instance askes the person to pray e.g. 3 Lords prayers and 5 Hail Marys and / or whatever.

        Catholics call it the “penitencia” in Spanish and of course it is not a “condition” or “mandatory” per se, but it’s imposed or suggested for the person to make amends and show thankfulness to God for having forgiven ones sins.

        Just imagine an unconscious person, he / she would equally receive the last rites.

        How exactly it went down is of course a secret but I know for absolutely sure that it was Mario Moronta’s influence to free quite a few of these sick prisioners, who also have cancer.

        More info here. Look at the timeline…

  9. Bocaranda has clearly had a good source on this subject. I take pride in that I was the first one to note Chavez had more than a knee ailment. I had a source, and this person told me Chavez was sick, unfortunately this source stopped having good info quite a while ago and did not come from Dictors. Bocaranda on the other hand has been right on the money since then. Who knows what the source is?

    • Syd Says:

      Regarding information leaks … normally, a patient’s medical chart is not only accessible to the attending physician(s). In hospital, the information on the chart has to be recorded with utmost precision (ie., 2 cc’s of XYZ at 14:03) by both physician and rotating nurses. Any other type of staff member could have pulled out his/her cellphone to photograph what he/she could not understand then, only to pass that information along — perhaps for some cash – for third party interpretation. A patient’s chart can get quite voluminous, in and out of the hospital, as it details and follows a patient’s history. So who knows who else viewed the information on Chavez’ condition, and passed it along.

      Bocaranda was earlier saying colon cancer, if memory serves.

    • JMA Says:

      Since this is not a normal situation and certainly not a common patient, I very much doubt that his chart is not heavily protected. I can imagine that in this case, very few selected people would have access to his chart, and exactly like when you go into a Federal Building in the U.S., no electronic device would be allowed in the premises. I even doubt that nurses are allowed to view the patient’s progress notes. Total secrecy would be so easy to implement that overall I doubt we are even close to the truth, except for what we can see.

      Regarding Bocaranda, sorry, but I beg to differ. He has been wrong many times. And being who he is and what he does, I can’t imagine for the love of God, Chavez security not keeping him at bay. Why would there be disagreement between doctors about giving chemo or not? Is as simple as this: if metabolically he can take it (and lab parameters would provide the objective data to make an informed decision) and metastasis is spreading, then he gets it. If he can’t take it, then they wait until his metabolical parameters normalize somewhat. Either way, if MTs prove resistant to treatment, they simply throw the towel so as not to cause more damage, and begin palliative therapy.

      But, this is a somewhat moot discussion. It is quite possible that MTs are so widespread that there is little doctors can do for him. The fact that his whole head is edematous makes his illness almost terminal. I can imagine him also receiving radiotherapy to decrease MTs size and prolong his life. If it succeeds, that is only what they would get: prolong his life … a bit. Having said all of this, the moment that he gets a brain MT is game over.

      • Syd Says:

        Yes, I started to think about the heightened security aspects, after what I earlier wrote. For one, most of the treatments have occurred in Cuba, likely under very heavy security. Then there’s the hospital militar in CCS. So, not your normal everyday patient environment.

        As for Bocaranda, I find some of the things he writes entertaining. As for the rest, I can’t interpret it, for I no longer have the frames of reference. When MIguel said Boca was on the money, I wondered how that squared with his now-abandoned rumour that Ch was suffering from colon cancer.

        • JMA Says:

          The G2 being such as experienced intelligence service forged in the years of the cold war (go figure), makes it hard to believe that they are not on top of things and in total control of what info does and does not get out. And, this is really critical to the Castro regime, is it not? I mean, we are their lifeline. As long as Chavez is alive, they are in control, and very likely nursing Chavez’ successor, whomever he may be. To me, it is even harder to believe that Bocaranda has found a way to bypass the G2 and get real info about Chavez’ condition. The could be possible in a comic book world. Reality presents us with a very different picture.

        • JMA Says:

          That could be possible in ….

  10. JMA Says:

    I’d take his rumors with a grain of salt. After all, I imagine the G2 is very capable of controlling what info gets out, don’t you think? At this point in time, I am pretty sure Bocaranda writes whatever the G2 wants or whatever he imagines the truth is just to keep people reading his pieces. There is something called patient confidentiality. I have a hard time believing that Chavez’ Venezuelan doctors would breach it just to keep Bocaranda informed or anyone else for that matter, and it would be very easy to know who leaked the info since I am sure only a handful of physicians are privy of Chavez’ medical history. Moreover, if you breach that confidentiality, you are legally liable and could even go to prison.

  11. Bocaranda says Chavez has had five, not four chemo treatments and that he went to Cuba, because Venezuelan doctors did not think he could take a fifth one given his immunological condition

  12. firepigette Says:


    I am not limiting your freedom of speech, I am warning you of the consequences of hypocritical aggression .It is always your choice.

    You ‘re the kind of gal who seems to love to catch people in compromising situations and scolding children for their table manners.

    Maybe somebody may notice you’re wearing dirty underwear, or that you have spinach stuck to your teeth, or worse even, get caught out as a hypocrite.

    It seems your main function on these blogs is to make some people miserable with your criticism and carping and whining about how you suffer from the purity of your thoughts and the refinement of your tastes…

    Perhaps your talents would be better appreciated by those who share the exact same attributes: The American Convention for the Holier Than Thou.

    and remember Syd: NOT being a perfectionist could actually save your life.

  13. CharlesC Says:

    If he dies, or doesn’t anytime soon…the goal remains the same.
    A rebuilt Venezuela- better than this. I hope we all stay
    focused and together.
    A few days ago someone criticized bloggers here for writing and
    talking, and at times I have wished for drastic actions, however,
    I have received much valuable information and support for my
    feelings as well as constructive criticism too. I sleep well at night
    knowing there are others smarter than myself or not-who care
    deeply in some ways more than I about different topics. Thank
    you for “being here” everyone.

  14. 280 comments! wow I am impressed!

  15. LD Says:

    I see the same, HCh self told he had had pain in a leg and also was imposible to move at a moment. Also he told a radiotherapy was in consideration. This point to a metastasis and the treatment looks not exactly as a success.
    I think the strategy is to show a “healthy” Chavez dying suddendly. It creates a heroe-feeling and maybe some votes for the PSUV.

  16. JMA Says:

    Up to some point in time, the changes that he underwent were perhaps not sufficient to really believe that he was very sick. But, Jesus! he now looks almost terminally ill.

    The fact that worries me is that from this point on anything can happen to him. He could die suddenly from a myriad of acute complications that would be too long to post here, or from a longer protracted course lasting no more than several weeks or a few months. After seeing that photo, I have trouble believing that come December he will still be alive. If my above speculation proves correct, then the origin of his cancer does not matter anymore. I’ll bet his doctors would be now trying to avoid or treat the wide variety of complications caused by metastatic disease.

    In light of these considerations, it may very well be possible that shortly the country is plunged into a severe crisis.

  17. JMA Says:

    It looks like this guy is in a far worse condition than he has let us known or we have been speculating. I have been thinking on why if he is on dialysis his HEAD looks so amazingly edematous. After all, when a patient is dialyzed, the machine extracts all excess liquid from the body. That, plus diuretics, should and do take care of edema (retention of liquids). I increased the size and resolution of the photo I just posted, and I was spooked by what I saw. He looks so bloated that his facial features are outright deformed. This man is definitively gravely ill, and that speculation that he has a lifespan between 18 and 48 months seems quite unlikely. Both facial expressions, that of him and of Raul, are telling.

    Regarding that humungous head, it dawned on me that the reason for it could be, of course, metastatic disease. It is quite evident that the venous return from his head and neck could have been blocked from metastasis lodged near important tributary vessels. Conversely, his lymphatic system could also be blocked by the same. Thus, if this guy has widespread metastasis, it is difficult for me to think that he has more than weeks or a few months of life left in him. I hope the MUD is considering that possibility.

    Photo was posted originally on Don Gustavo Coronel’s blog.

    • Syd Says:

      I agree with you. I’m even more pessimistic than Miguel Octavio. Without having sufficient information, I can only guess that it’s a matter of a few weeks, hate to write it down here. That head has been expanding for some time, lately it’s gone overboard. That certainly is not normal. Hasta me da lástima.

    • Mike Says:

      Gustavo published it on the 25th, but actually, I had a link to this photo on Sep. 24 approx. 9 am, when El Universo (Ecuador newspaper ) published it and was under the impression you commented on it at that time, specifically about his skin color. You mentioned that the “dirty-like” color is likely due to renal failure etc.

      Get’s confusing after almost 300 posts!

      • JMA Says:

        I actually was referring to a front view photo in which he didn’t look as bad as this one. You could not see it in your iPad because it was in Flash format. However, this one was really shocking to me. There is even a clear sign of edema in his scalp! Even know, the possibility of renal failure takes somewhat a back seat to this because it is indicative of widespread metastatic disease. This guy will be dead soon.

        • This one?

          to insert a pic in a comment, use:

          img src=” ”

          put the http location of the picture between ” ” and add brackets both sides of the expression

          • JMA Says:

            Yep. This one. it looks so real, I don’t think Hollywood make-up artists could have done it. As I said, I enhanced the photo, and what I saw was shocking. I am even beginning to doubt that we will ever see him again in public if this keeps progressing. He would be too gross to watch even for his followers, and I think it wouldn’t make a sound electoral strategy!

            That is edema, right there. Either from superior vena cava syndrome (head and neck venous return blocked by metastasis) or from a blocked lymphatic circulation, or … both. You never see a patient with renal failure looking like that, because dialysis removes the excess liquid. As for his skin discoloration, it could be either from hepatic, renal, or hematological involvement, or a mix.

          • JMA Says:

            And, come October 7th, he certainly will not be the candidate if elections are held.

        • Mike Says:

          Appreciate the clarification and yes, you are of course right re Flash not on the iPad. So I’m gonna have to jailbreak it and get Frash, because, while I’m addicted to the iPad, I’m tired of not being able to see stuff, because S. Jobs has some beef with Adobe.

          • ErneX Says:

            You aren’t missing much by no having Flash on your iPad.

            • Mike Says:

              I know, but sometimes I wish embedded flash videos, particularly on news sites, would play. I have a workaround app however, “Skyfire”, which is a browser that detects flash videos, converts them an plays them.
              Sorry, I know this is OT, but it may be useful info for somebody experiencing the same problem.
              I sure don’t have the small font problem however, because with the 2 finger spread movement, the font can instantly be made as big as I want. 🙂

  18. JMA Says:

    Look at this photo:

    Holy cow! Ok, I am sold! LOL.

  19. Deanna Says:

    What really made me curious about Chavez’s last visit to Cuba was the very long (5 hours, according to news reports) “despedida” with the Castro brothers. Was it to say goodby forever or last minute instructions on how to deal with the Venezuelan situation so that the Castros can continue milking the cash cow??? Or was it a tactical strategy meeting as to who would succeed HRCF in a worst-case scenario?

  20. JMA Says:

    P.S.: Due to life circumstances, I had the opportunity to go to San Pedro Alejandrino about twenty years ago, and take a long look at the room where Bolivar died. I can assure you it was and is the lowliest room in the whole hacienda, like the maid room, pues. He preferred to be there just because it was well ventilated. He didn’t care about anything else. I am not ashamed in the least to say that tears flowed down my eyes for quite some time. I have yet to be aware of another grand figure in history to have died in such a most humble setting. So much for ego.

  21. JMA Says:


    I am gonna start from the end of your post. Yes, I have read what Marx had to say about Bolivar, and IMHO it is totally worthless as is almost everything he wrote. You are right. Economists should read his theories, but just to learn how someone can produce something that does not work at all. Some people argue that his ideas only worked in his time and just got outdated. Tell that to Adam Smith.

    What is the problem with Bolivar wanting to be known as El Libertador, my friend? As I said before, that is a fact. Again, yes, he had a healthy ego. Well, that is a very desirable trait in a leader, is it not? The man wasn’t perfect, and he did not ever presume to be reaching for perfection. Hadn’t he existed, would Venezuela be independent? Most probably, yes, out of the fact that Spain was a decadent Empire. But, that is just a futile exercise in speculation. The liberty of the former Latin American colonies came about mostly because of Spain’s serious weakness at the time. That was an opportunity that just couldn’t be missed. See, during our own independence war, Spain was fighting hers. If Spain had been able to throw all its might against the revolutionaries, well, let’s say, probably we all wouldn’t be needing a visa to go there. Believe it. They were the ones who created the Spanish Tercios – in their time – the most fearsome war corps in Europe, bar none.

    When I state that Bolivar single-handedly liberated half a continent, I wasn’t claiming that he did it by himself. See, George Washington did not fight the British by himself armed with just a Swiss army knife. And, he also wasn’t perfect. In fact, when he was a colonel, he lost a contingent of soldiers to the British out of … fear! That’s right, future General George Washington ran with his tail tucked between his legs. Yes, Bolivar got a lot of help from the British, thank them for that. But, guess who helped old good George and the 13 colonies: the French! Now, Bolivar needed the British for very good reasons. At the time, the mob – like today – was siding with the wrong side. Bolivar knew quite rightly that the political institutions of decadent monarchic Spain could not work in the colonies any longer. And, witnessed how the new republic north of the Rio Grande was rapidly becoming a new power broker, thanks to the fact that they widely acknowledged that power had to be shared. It was truly an example to follow.

    I don’t understand why it is a problem that we had to pay the British for the arms we acquired from them. I don’t think it would have been likely that we had got them for free. It’s part of the price of freedom, don’t you think?

    Regarding Bolivar’s “obsession” to march down the continent, I must say that he was well learned in history, especially, military history. You don’t defeat the enemy “ a medias.” You beat the hell out of them and kick them out of your turf for good. That is how it has been done for millennia, and he didn’t need to change that. Bolivar, being a man of his time, couldn’t be expected to do less.

    Finally, I must repeat again what I have said before. Simon Bolivar was not perfect, and probably committed many mistakes, some of which we cannot be aware. But, he was a man of his time, so we have to judge him in his context, one infinitely more difficult than ours to be sure. In my small opinion, he has passed the test of time with honors. I know that is also Manuel Caballero’s opinion, may he rest in peace. Not exactly what we can say of Cesar or Napoleon.

    On a lighter note, I would like to inform you all that I have requested the FBI to arrest Miguel Octavio for failing to prevent the blood reaching the river in many instances in this record-breaking post. Punishment is expected to be bestowed in the following manner: the convict will be forced to witness a musical from 9:00 pm today to 9:00 pm tomorrow, performed by Luisa Estella Morales, La Fosforito, La Fiscal, La Defensora del Puesto, Vanessa Davies, and Blanca Eckhout. Permission to eat, sleep, or even go to the bathroom is denied.

    • Syd Says:

      Wow. Nice recap of history — from a human perspective. Bravo, profe. Y gracias.

    • Kepler Says:

      The problem were not the weapons. But as I said: hadn’t it been for the mercenaries Bolívar and others bought, he wouldn’t have been able to make it at all. So far for a brilliant military. Besides: several of the big battles won were actually won by people Bolívar later just got rid of – “para mantener la disciplina y con mucho pesar”.

      What happened in Venezuela – by orders of Bolívar – was worse than elsewhere: the new military got most of the usable lands and thus power (and he insisted on that and that was the way he got their support). If you compare the rolle the military played in Venezuela with the rest of South America you will see that they were then much more present.
      Bolívar in his last years also started to carry out actual persecutions of liberals (another meaning back then) and other groups.

      Again: you are forgetting Mexico survived even if Spaniards were in Cuba. From there they could have attacked Mexico and Central America, more easily than from Peru in times when the movements of troops was so hard through those terrains.

      Again: Bolívar was an important figure, but in the end our idolatry for him more of a burden.

      As for him having died in a small chamber: so what proves that? Perhaps it had better ventilation, after all. Why wouldn’t you believe his words just then?

      If I had a “heroe” in Venezuela, it would be people like
      or like

      It is no speculation Venezuela would have become liberated without Bolívar.
      He even was one of the main causes for the fall of the first republic.
      We don’t have to say he is the main cause of all the ill in Venezuela, but you seem to be saying that everything ill came because people did not do as the suppossed “dream” of Bolívar said…which reminds me of the present time.

      I stop it here. Have you read what Manuel Caballero has written on Bolívar?

  22. It seems as if the Riverside Church is mostly a business:

    • Syd Says:

      is there catering on the premises, too?
      You’re right it’s a business. Then again, aren’t all religions, grosso modo? As for the fancy schmanzy theatre, it’ll provide an ideal venue for the Manhattan premiere of Chavez the Opera.

  23. A_Antonio Says:

    Someone have a comment about the post? You really look quiet ! . 😉

  24. Kepler Says:


    Bolívar had good and bad things, like hundreds of others in South America at that time.
    This is the thing: it is a fact Bolívar insisted in being called Libertador. He himself – this is history – introduced the Orden del Libertador – it was called slightly different, but it was “del Libertador”. Had he not been born, had he died in the Ocean coming back from Europe, had a ray fallen on him, Venezuela would have got its independence at the same time, a little bit earlier or a little bit later. So did Mexico. So did Central America. So did Argentina and Chile and Uruguay. He did no shit single-handedly. Hadn’t it been for the British mercenaries – and there were plenty of them – we would have lost in battle after battle – including the Carabobo one. We kept paying Britain for decades for the weapons we got. And his obsessions with letting Venezuelans go down to Bolivia as soon as possible and lead the way was one of the main reasons why we lost the best of the best and those who survived ended up owning huge amounts of Venezuela – because Bolívar himself promised them those lands and transformed them into feudal lords. In his last couple of years he had become a dictator and not precisely a very liberal one. Liberator? Venezuela was liberated by the hundreds of thousands who died in the fields. He didn’t. As I said: Costa Rica, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay were not liberated under his leadership.
    Leadership my foot. He was a big figure, no doubt about that. He supported some values we cherish – and he was not the only one or the first one to do so. I recommend reading historian Manuel Caballero.
    Actually: have you read Karl Marx’s biography of Bolívar? It is not so far from reality.

    • Ira Says:

      Hey, if you’re so smart, how come you never learned to make paragraph breaks?

      My God–you LOVE to talk, don’t you? Whether you have anything of value to say or NOT…huh???

      You’re quoting Karl Max here? Do you realize that it’s now 2011, and that he is totally irrelevant in our modern times?

      I mean, what precisely is wrong with you mindset and grip on modern reality?

      You are a comical figure here, and if you wish to be so, keep posting!!!

      • Kepler Says:

        Whatever I say, you are going to claim I am anti-Semite and start to cry.

        Karl Marx had a bad proposal to solve the problem. That’s about it. If you haven’t read what he wrote on that, just abstain from giving your opinion. One doesn’t have to sympathize for socialism or communism to read and refer to some of his points. If you read that very communist magazine called The Economist you will see that even they make reference to him.
        I suppose you have the same attitude as actor Ronald Reagan who said whoever read something like that was a communist.
        Whatever. I don’t know what you do here. You should go to a blog to support Likud.

        • Ira Says:

          Who the hell is crying, as you say? I’m not crying at all: I’m just calling you out for the ignorant fool that you are.

          And please explain this brilliant comment of yours:

          “Whatever. I don’t know what you do here. You should go to a blog to support Likud.”

          You don’t know what I “do” here? And what the hell do YOU do here?

          Kepler–as said before, by me and others, you come across as a pompous jerk.

        • Mike Says:

          In your attempt to smear President Ronald Reagan, one of the greatest statesmen ever and the exterminator of communism as we knew it, at least quote exactly what he said and in context:

          “How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin.”

          Please take your hatred of the US to the appropriate blog(s).

          • Kepler Says:

            Reagan a statesman? What a joke, man! He was an actor, that’s it.

            Communism crumbled for other reasons – because of the economics of it, because of Glasnost’, because of oil prices and the arms race and more-, but then you would have to read and write more than conservative US newspaper to grasp that.

            • Mike Says:

              There you go again, you have no argument and start your post with a personal attack and repeat a very cheap shot.

              So let me repeat also what I said: President Ronald Reagan was one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th century.

              Now specifically to your comments re why communist fell (thanks by the way, you made my point by mentioning them).

              Glasnost: was an effect, not a cause. Economics, oil prices and arms race: and who do you think was behind all that, specifically “Star Wars”? Reagan of course, the latter mostly being a bluff that the Soviets bought and collapsed because they knew they couldn’t compete.

              Then btw, my congratulations for being able to read my mind about what I read.

              Kepler, your schtick is up. More and more people on this board can finally see what you are about and come forward and say it. You are not the only educated or multilingual person on the boards and personal attacks are your weapon of choice, when somebody disagrees with you.

              Maybe an anger management class, combined with education about tolerance would be an appropriate way to go for you.


      • Syd Says:

        Ira, you seem to have limited education if you don’t realize that the reading/studying of Das Kapital forms part of studies in both Political Science and Economics. As for irrelevancy in modern times, does that apply to all history? You come across as quite ridiculous and high strung. Has Kepler stepped on any toes?

        • firepigette Says:

          Salon intellectuality Syd?

        • Syd Says:

          No, FP, there’s nothing intellectual about Das Kapital. It was Marx’s psychological profile of those who study of astrology — with comiquitas. You mean you haven’t read it?

          • firepigette Says:

            If I read it or not, does this make me intellectual Syd?I was referring to your statement to Ira.Your knowledge does not impress.I have no need to come on these blogs , naming books and authors to back up any idea I might have.

            “Ira, you seem to have limited education if you don’t realize that the reading/studying of Das Kapital forms part of studies in both Political Science and Economics”

            Your willingness to criticize someone’s education without even knowing them in the tone you do, smirks of Salon Intellectuality.

            And yes, Kepler steps on other people’s toes all the time with his cheap arrogance, as do you.

            Tone down your mouth Syd, or I will take my considerable talent for humorous parody and give you some of your own cheap medicine.

            And just so you don’t have a critical moment of the mouth….it was a joke.I do not write horoscopes…

        • Syd Says:

          calm down, FP. Ira was becoming hysterical towards Kepler, using a ridiculous argument regarding communism, historical irrelancy that had no validity, some personal epithets (not that Kepler doesn’t deserve some), and a whole lot of exclamation points. I countered some of that. I suggest that you read the posts to grasp the thread. As for your criticism of me or anyone else, you’re welcome to dish out whatever you want, whether it is one of your pseudo-psychological observations, or a more general one. These are free boards for comments. And no, FP, I will not be toning down my “mouth” to make you feel less threatened. But you’re welcome to give out your own perceived talent for humorous parody. Frankly, it would be a welcome change from the cheap psychology with which you grace us.

    • Ira Says:

      Who, in their right mind, would read Karl Marx’s biography of Bolivar?

      I mean, do you actually believe there’s any knowledge or insight to be gained from this medieval nonsense?

      You seem to be easily influenced by worthless literature, and you think that it’s true, just because you read it.

      Here’s a hint for you, Einstein:

      Everything you read isn’t true. And that the fact that you’re quoting Marx shows that you’ve totally lost all grip on reality.

      COME ON! You’re not THAT stupid, are you?

      Quoting a book by Marx?


      • Kepler Says:

        Only idiots read exclusively things that agree with their wee view. Marx was pretty wrong with his proposal, as I said. Still, almost any decent economist – and many other people interested in economy- has read at least some of his writing, even if they despise communism. One thing is not to read it out of interest, but only thick bigots are afraid of reading things from people who think differently.

        By the way: Einstein was a brilliant scientist, but he was a fool when it came to Stalinism. Should we dismise anything he said because of his support for Stalin?
        What a bigot you are!

        Come on, just go and visit the Likud site. You don’t have anything to say about Venezuela.

        • Ira Says:

          “Only idiots read exclusively things that agree with their wee view? “(By the way, for proper English, you should have juxtaposed “read” and “exclusively” there. )

          I feel totally vindicated not giving a shit about what Marx thought about Bolivar, or what he thought about anything else. Nor giving a shit about what Einstein thought about Stalinism. But I can’t believe how your point makes no sense at its most basic level:

          Only a fool would care what Einstein believes that goes beyond physics, and only a bigger fool would care about ANYTHING that Marx has ever written.

          And a quick search here will show you my MANY posts hee about VZ, so what was the point of THAT worthless comment?

          Kepler, you’re losing it–and I’m sorry to break your illusion that you’re some kind of an intellectually superior Superman.

          Because believe me, you sure “ain’t”:

          You just usually TYPE more than anyone else here.

        • firepigette Says:

          “What a bigot you are!”

          There we go again.Insulting instead of using your adult words.

  25. captainccs Says:

    >>>ok, you’re into denial.

    Syd, listen to some of the speakers at the Durban Watch Conference. Skip the Jewish ones — they are in denial. Skip the Christian ones too. Just listen to the Muslims:

    Simon Deng — Sudanese Human Rights Activist
    Zuhdi Jasser — President, American Islamic Forum for Democracy
    Khaled Abu Toameh — Veteran Award Winning Journalist
    Wafa Sultan — One of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People

    And listen to the black man who presents a superbly interesting idea
    Shelby Steele — Hoover Institution Fellow and National Humanities Medal Recipient


    • CharlesC Says:

      Wow! THese are some very intelligent fellows! I like the jokes by
      Zuhdi Jasser about Amandingodork.-
      and “the UN practicing No Dictator Left Behind”

      • CharlesC Says:

        Actually-this UN meeting was rather lackluster-
        no dictators giving speeches…
        What I noticed often was- self-aggrandizement first.
        ie.lots of bragging -and finger pointing about what others
        are not doing..Example- Turkey- sounds like they are perfectly
        fixing problems everywhere from Somalia to ME just
        being their best and everyone else is screwed up..

        • CharlesC Says:

          What a relief for Venezuela- not having
          nutjob (Chavez) getting on stage and
          spouting nonsense before the whole world.

          • captainccs Says:

            The Arab Spring Cleaning has already thrown some of them in the trash can (not enough yet). Let’s hope it’s not Islamists who take over. That would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

            Kadafi sent a note saying he was busy hiding… 😉
            Assad sent his regrets saying he was busy butchering fellow arabs.

    • Syd Says:

      cc, you closed the conversation, yesterday, when you purposely ignored answering the question as to why the Holocaust has become manipulated to avoid dealing with the millions of non-Jews who also were brutalized and killed by the Nazis.

      I’m not interested in propaganda. When you put on your long pants and can discuss rationally an issue to needs attention, then I’ll be pleased to listen to the suasion.

    • firepigette Says:

      Mike, If is hard to Photoshop the color of cancer, which is quite distinctive….and chemotherapy can cause fluid retention, not to mention his complications with bipolar disease .

      Personally however I think there has been way too much speculation about this….energetically it takes us away from seeing the underlying strategies operant :

      1. If he has cancer we are not sure he will die
      2.if he doesn’t have cancer we are not sure what he has
      3. if he doesn’t have cancer we don’t know exactly why he pretends to
      4. he if doesn’t have cancer he could have something else
      5. or if he does have something else we don’t know what

      But most importantly why we are worrying and wondering and puuzled, Chavismo is using every publicity stunt they can to make some feel sorry for him, others see him as a Saint, and others go nuts till they find out the truth

      In the meantime we lose opportunities to debunk his opportunism whether it be real or fake.

      This is the biggest attention grabber ever: a Mystery.Once a Mystery has been resolved people will lose interest…right now all the attention is towards him, not in a productive way, but in a way that causes us to lose power.

      Chavez has played us like a fiddle and he continues to.

      • Not really, while we may be discussing it, the MUD ignores him, which I think it’s good. But more importantly, Chavez’ popularity has not moved up since he got sick. This means either that there is no increase because of sympathy or the increase was compensated with the decrease due to the fact that things are getting worse and worse.

        I still think that a Chavez unable to campaign loses the election. That’s what he is good at, no amount of money can compensate for his constant presence. He has appeared three times in three weeks, only one of those was extended. Bodes badly for him.

        • JMA Says:

          Exactly. It’s becoming increasingly clear that there was nothing that he could really gain from this. Having the type of personality that he has, the fact that he is unable to be the focus of attention must depress him as much as his very illness.

        • firepigette Says:

          Interesting Miguel, However I have gotten some different messages….My family in the barrios say that there were many who were down on Chavez just a while ago but now feel sorry for him and have decided to vote for him despite what is going on in the country…of course I imagine this is only among those who already tended towards Chavismo……I mean those who already sympathized with him might be preventing his popularity from dropping even further.

          You might be correct that he will have trouble campaigning….but I think a lot will depend on the play up of ” spirituality” , cult interests etc etc..Even if he chooses a successor, belief in the transformation of energy could influence many people.

          Still we would be better off in terms of possibly winning the elections.

    • JMA Says:

      Well, two signs point to the fact that he is experiencing illness:

      1. The bloating of his face. This could be moon facies due to high doses of steroids or to edema (liquid retention in tissues) that would be caused by renal failure brought about by chemo and partially intractable despite diuretics and dialysis.

      2. The skin discoloration. Many conditions cause changes in skin color. In his case, a yellowish skin color may be due to hepatic problems or a blood disorder, both as a result of his purported malignancy. However, he appears to have a more “dirt-like” color in his skin. This is typical in patients with chronic renal failure, and once it’s there, it never disappears.

      But I have to say that what struck me of this photo, was his facial expression. Like that of someone that deep down is very scared because he has come to grips with the fact that he is gravely sick, and that needs the sympathy of anyone interested in his wellbeing. As the dictator that he really is, I wouldn’t care at all. As a human being, I feel for him and do not wish him much suffering.

    • CharlesC Says:

      What Raul is really thinking is-Nobody will ever know that
      Chavez got AIDS from me…
      Raul does not call Chavez “Bro” he’s called “Ho”

    • island canuck Says:

      I agree that dead or alive we must move forward.

      He says that he’s fine – that he has no cancer, etc.

      Until advised otherwise we should be attacking him & his policies at every turn without mercy.

      Daniel has opened a post on the new control of prices and earnings law which is probably one of the stupidest ideas to ever come out of Chavismo.

      The MUD should be attacking this law without mercy. It is doomed to failure & will hurt many businesses & professionals in Venezuela. It can not be allowed to be implemented although my personal view is that businesses will just ignore it & they have no way to police it.

  26. CharlesC Says:

    THis video from the party last week at Miraflores
    (leaked by anonymous source)

  27. Miguel Octavio Says:

    That isprecisely why I called it a prayer service. Which leads to the question: Why do a bunch of Catholics use a Baptist Church for this?

    The answer: No church would have them for this show.

    • firepigette Says:

      Not sure Miguel…could be true how ever this particular church is more or less interdenominational .

      • captainccs Says:

        About the Riverside Church:

        “The Church commits itself to welcoming all persons, celebrating the diversity found in a Congregation broadly inclusive of persons from different backgrounds of characteristics, including race, economic class, religion, culture, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, family status and physical and mental abilities.”

        That would include anyone we saw in the pictures.

        • Deanna Says:

          I’ve always known Riverside Church to be an interdenominational church, not Baptist. I worked for 8 years in the Interchurch Center which is practically next to it.

  28. Tony Says:

    Why do people say a “misa”, if this was in a Baptist church. Baptists don’t have “misas”. And this “ecumenical prayer service” had nothing to do with the Catholic church. This is a case of culpable misinformation.

  29. Kepler Says:

    Oh, my God!
    People used to say “no, it can’t get that far, we are the connection between South America and the rest of the world” but at least when it comes to personality cult it seems to go towards North Korean standards and the
    “Eternal Leader”. Did you know who the president of that country actually is?
    Kim Jong-il is the Supreme Leader but late Kim Il-sung, his daddy, is still the “Eternal President”

    I was reading some history of Venezuela recently, written by a non-Venezuelan. He gave very fascinating details about how Páez and others started to strengthen the personality cult to Bolívar as a form to keep the country “from falling apart”…well, the tendency was already there: Bolívar himself insisted like mad to be called Libertador. If you see the official documents of the veinties of the XIX century you would see El LIBERTADOR anunció que blablabla. This goes alone the lines…
    but now with the ESPÍRITUS DE LA SABANA.

    • CharlesC Says:

      Fits nicely with Chavez’s plan to pass power to his daughter in
      2031-Chavez would remain “eternal micommandante”, though…
      What a *(&&%^nightmare.

    • JMA Says:

      I really do have trouble with the notion that Bolivar stimulated a personality cult around him. That is not to say that he was without an ego, and he wanted everyone to know what he had achieved through hard work and many sacrifices. There is a reason he was called “culo de fierro.” However, please, the man, almost single-handledly completed a feat hardly matched in the history of the world. But, a lone man, a nation does not make. I don’t know if he insisted or not in being called El Libertador, but on the bright side who the hell can dispute that. Having said that, I certainly do not think of him as a god or a demi-god. He was not without failings, thank god, the most notorious one, perhaps, being the episode with our own Generalisimo, the excellent in almost all sense Don Francisco de Miranda. But he certainly showed us the path on how to be free, all-inclusive, republics. That we have not done so is our own exclusive responsibility. Time to live up to his legacy.

      • captainccs Says:

        The Spanish historian Salvador de Madariaga wrote an excellent biography about Bolivar. At the time I read the book I also I read about the disagreement between the Sociedad Bolivariana and Madariaga. The dispute centers on their diverging views. While the Sociedad Bolivariana saw Bolivar as a demi-god, Madariaga held that he was very much a man and no god. Madariaga held that Bolivar did not want “to liberate America,” that he wanted to be “the Liberator of America.” A subtle distinction.

        • JMA Says:

          Distrust clerics. Their authoritarian vein, very well nursed over the centuries, make them believe that they are the owners of truth. Of course Bolivar wasn’t a god and probably had an ego to match. But to me, such distinction didn’t exist. He wanted both.

          • captainccs Says:

            >>>Distrust clerics.

            I most certainly do. I did enjoy the book when I read it but it was such a long time ago that I don’t recall any details. Still, I found the quip: “to liberate America” vs. “the Liberator of America” quite apt.

            A man without a giant ego could not have accomplished what Bolivar did. Lucky for us when the ego works for us. With Chavez the ego is working against us. With any luck it will stop working soon.

            • JMA Says:

              “A man without a giant ego could not have accomplished what Bolivar did. Lucky for us when the ego works for us. With Chavez the ego is working against us. With any luck it will stop working soon.”

              Very well said. Note, though, that Bolivar’s ego was a healthy trait. No narcissist would have gone to all the trouble and sacrifices that Bolivar experienced. You can write that in stone. A narcissist is inherently a coward; at this point, it’s common sense. The little Fuhrer tucked himself in the military museum on February 4th, 1992, comes to mind.

      • captainccs Says:

        When I visited the New London Submarine Museum I discovered that they had named a Benjamin Franklin class ballistic missile submarine USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641). There were only two latino names in the fleet of twelve:

        USS Benjamin Franklin (SSBN-640)
        USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN-641)
        USS Kamehameha (SSBN-642)
        USS George Bancroft (SSBN-643)
        USS Lewis and Clark (SSBN-644)
        USS James K. Polk (SSBN-645)
        USS George C. Marshall (SSBN-654)
        USS Henry L. Stimson (SSBN-655)
        USS George Washington Carver (SSBN-656)
        USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN-657)
        USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658)
        USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659)

        Being a fervent admirer of Bolivar, I was filled with pride.

  30. Mike Says:

    Covering all basesón-del-presidente-Chávez.html

  31. firepigette Says:

    Consdemo posted that on Daniel’s blog….

    doesn’t impress me….they use everything to their advantage, only this time it is way way below board

    • Syd Says:

      qué horror. but revealing insofar as to where all this is going …

    • Carolina Says:

      Wow, really? Socialisms as a religion and Hugo a la Guadalupe with the shining cosmic halo rays (not too sure hiw to call them) coming out of him?
      Why I have the feeling that when he dies, some groups are going to as for his canonization?
      This whole situation is really getting very absurd. Moliere se quedo pendejo.

  32. You guys are really into this post, 180 comments, new record…

  33. Syd Says:

    Pardon me for broaching an arena for which I have zero training, and for extrapolating information based on the rumour Juan heard ( But here’s a small segment of the report that may or may not be relevant:
    The location and size of the tumor, its relationship to adjacent organs, presence or absence of local extension, relationship to and/or involvement of major vascular structures, as well as the presence of normal anatomic variants and anomalies of major abdominal arteries and veins, are all crucial pieces of information that need to be provided. Since resection of one kidney is not uncommon, any radiographic evidence of unilateral renal dysfunction involving the kidney that is not adjacent to the tumor should be relayed to the surgical team. While it may be unavoidable that the patient will be left with a single poorly functioning kidney, the surgeon must be provided with all relevant information prior to attempted tumor resection.

  34. extorres Says:

    Windows IE: Ctrl+ to zoom in, Ctrl- to zoom out, and Ctrl0 to go to no zooming.

  35. firepigette Says:


    kidney complications…..that explains the swelling…looks bad

  36. Bill S. Says:

    It sure looks like a funeral service to me. I suspect we will witness the real thing within a year.

    • Bill: Just for shock value, I have been taking bets that he will not be around on my next birthday in April, people take notice when I say that. It’s not hate or spite, I just think the evidence has been there.

      • captainccs Says:


        How is the oppo getting ready for this eventful day? It would be a damn shame if they messed it up like the Carmona fiasco in Miraflores. What tells me that the April 11 events were not planed was that the oppo was totally unprepared to take command in Miraflores. They messed up so badly that the military had to bring Hugo back.

        I’m sure that Chavistas are not just praying but getting ready to take over, by force if need be, the day HRCF is gone. It was announced by Adan Chávez so it should not come as a surprise.

      • firepigette Says:

        I trust you might be right.His skin color is so bad….like advanced cancer.

      • GWEH Says:

        Miguel, first time I hear a timeframe from you… that coincides with mine!!!

        I said it first

  37. And the visit by the Iranian President that Chavez himself announced a week ago, will not take place:

    • CharlesC Says:

      ” I don’t know what these goofballs think cozying up to a bunch of Shiiteheads is gonna profit them” quote from Yahoo article.
      Point is – how does “el pueblo” make or have any connection
      with Iran? Obviously-Amazingjerk is not visiting “el pueblo”, either.
      This is strictly another example of Chavez out ON HIS OWN doing
      whatever he pleases -not benefitting Venezuela.

    • JMA Says:

      Careful with this “report.” Dialysis cannot be done on a daily basis. Usually it is done every other day, and most frequently just three times a week.

      “Chavez could be suffering from a version of Kaposi’s sarcoma, which causes complications in the prostate.”

      In the Western world, Kaposi’s is almost exclusively seen in AIDS patients. Its classic or sporadic form is very rare in immunocompetent patients, occurs primarily in elderly men of Mediterranean and Eastern European background, and takes between 10-15 years to develop. The prostate? I don’t know what the “gimnasia” has to do with the “magnesia.”

    • Mike Says:

      He looks terrible in this picture. Pain, depressed, fake smile and on and on…
      I have a feeling that the Chavez we know is no more and he can’t lie away his real state of health for much longer. They may be able to prep him up with morphin and who knows what in ever longer intervals, but I say it doesn’t look good.

  38. bruni Says:

    Not only affected, I feel that the physical change from chemo #3 is worrysome.

  39. bruni Says:

    He looks really affected by the chemo. Moreover, in one of the things that he said from Cuba he said it was the chemo of the day. It means that he is receiving chemo everyday….

    All this praying makes me feel that this is really serious.

    • Glad you are coming around, I have always said this is very serious. Chavez almost died in June, he does not have the best care in the world, which he could have, he tried to keep up the pace (He can’t any more, noticed that he has made only three appearances in three weeks?)I can’t believe some people think this is fake.

      • Syd Says:

        Miguel, I wonder if it really matters what kind of care Chavez receives, since being diagnosed. After all, money is no object. And in Cuba, he’s had intervention from oncologists far and wide. In the final analysis, it boils down to Chavez’ inability to care for himself, and the lifestyle he chose to lead — with impunity, I might add.

        Btw, I’ve known Kaposi’s Sarcoma to be largely AIDS related. In fact, I first heard the term in the early 1970’s, if memory serves, upon the death of a physician I once knew, though not well, and who was known to be bi-.

        • I think it matters, I am sure he would be better off in Sao Paulo or in your country, where he could have gone without any problem about going to the “Empire”. You can have the best doctors, but not really, the best dont necessarily to Cuba, they are busy. Th easiest way to get good care is to go to where the doctors are. Recently, the CEO of one of Brazil’s largest industrial groups (Votorantim) died of cancer, he was treated at the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in Sao Paulo, I am sure Chavez would have been better off there.

        • Syd Says:

          But Miguel, that’s my point. A top CEO in Brazil died, irrespective of the best care he received through the S-L Hospital in Sao Paulo. Cancer is cancer. And if you don’t look after yourself, before its onset, and the diagnosis is tardy (of a medium or high grade cancer), then it doesn’t matter so much where you receive treatment. Otherwise, I would agree with you. It’s best to follow the oncologist, rather than have the oncologist follow you.

          And I wouldn’t be so sure about cancer treatment in Canada, where imaging delays are notorious in some parts of the country.

          • Mike Says:

            Well, maybe that’s why we are coming around full circle. Conventional treatment doesn’t work anymore and suddenly people find God, incl. Prayer service and all.
            I don’t go to church, except on Christmas, for weddings and baptisms, but I am a Christian and believe in God. Yes, I’m a right winger, but not a radical RELIGIOUS one, so some of you here, don’t even try…
            I don’t care what people believe in and certainly will never try to convert anybody to anything. Religion generally is a taboo subject for me.
            But I’d like to see all the proud aetheists here when their time comes. It tends to change people and for many, God suddenly becomes the straw to hold on to.

          • bruni Says:

            Syd, I have been a cancer patient in Québec, and I received the best treatment available in a timely manner. Chávez could have come to the Cancer Segal Center at the Jewish General Hospital where I was treated and receive the best possible cancer care available today. On top of that, he could have learned one or two things about implementing an efficient socialized medical system.

          • Syd Says:

            glad you were promptly attended to, Bruni. Not everyone is so lucky.

  40. firepigette Says:

    thanks Ira

  41. firepigette Says:

    that will help, thanks!

    • Ira Says:

      Did you figure it out in Firefox? It’s easy:

      Got to Prefs, then the Content tab up top, then to the right of “Fonts,” click Advanced. And you can select a minimum font size.

      • Syd Says:

        Hello Ira,
        Is there a cure for that too-small nested font while using IE 9 ?

      • Caracola Says:

        I quickly checked my firefox but couldn’t find anything – I was also in the middle of somerhing else so left it there.
        Fortunately – I guess Miguel changed something in the settings of the blog- the responses stay the same size so no I can read them all.
        Thanks Miguel. Now I’m not thinking I have to go change my progressive glasses so quickly, LOL.
        I still nedd to figure out how to type properly with the iPad, but that seems to be beyond my capabilities.

    • island canuck Says:

      Ira, don’t you think in the long run it would just be best to fix the problem?

      There are many 1st time readers here that might not read all these instructions.

      • captainccs Says:

        >>>Ira, don’t you think in the long run it would just be best to fix the problem?

        Not Ira. Sure, a permanent fix would be great but you might as well customize your browser to your liking in the meanwhile. 😉

        I have a problem with small fonts on many sites so I just set my defaults to my liking. With CSS you can create style sheets to override any website’s styles. In Safari it’s right under the font size setting.

    • island canuck Says:

      In Chrome go to options, “under the hood”, customize fonts & set the minimum fort size to whatever your eyesight will allow. I set mine on 12 pt.

      • NicaCat56 Says:

        This is a few days later, but, thanks, IC! I use Chrome, but couldn’t figure out how to fix the problem! It works!! YAY!!

  42. It must depend on the particular layout they use. I can’t change the nesting with ever smaller fonts. What I did was limit the level of nesting to six comments, so that it does not get smaller than a certain level.

    • island canuck Says:

      Miguel, I also emailed you some info from WordPress on how to cure the problem.

      • I know, thanks, it tells me that I have to edit the code for the template I use (What they call the CSS), the chances of me getting that right even if I understood the issue is very small. I didnt even know the comments were template specific and have a hard time understanding even the discussion or the code.

  43. firepigette Says:

    Miguel, the replies are also impossible for me to read…well not impossible but I have to struggle very hard to do so. I use Firefox and Chrome.

  44. Mick Says:

    So, is it really true that Chavez was the champion of the stupid US hikers who were kidnapped by the border and convicted as spies. How wonderful that he was able to pull this off almost alone!

  45. Carolina Says:

    JMA – I can’t write nor read that super chiquitico., so I’m replying here:

    Sorry, my bad, I confused Caterina with her daughter Mary. Not much to discuss about her serious psychological issues after beheading half the people in the name of religion. Oh bloody Mary…

    • captainccs Says:

      Your browser should have a setting (preferences) for the smallest font it is to use. In Safari it’s under Advanced: Universal Access. It overrides the tiny font setting of the blog replies.

    • JMA Says:

      Fair enough dear.

      I actually feel a lot for her. Yes, she executed about 300 people in her 5 year reign. However, that really pales in comparison to the amount of people executed by her father. And, right or wrong (well, of course, wrong) she did it because she truly wanted to restore Catholicism in England.

      It says a lot about the state of affairs in a country when someone who executed 300 people gets to be branded Bloody Mary forever, while someone who executed 76,000+ is just know as … well … Henry the VIII.

    • JMA Says:

      And, if I may, she favored burning much more than beheading … you know … because of the purifying effect of fire on the soul.

  46. Kepler Says:

    If Chávez said his fourth chemiotherapy round finished now, what results should we be expecting when if we were to believe what he claims?

    • CharlesC Says:

      what results should we be expecting –
      Chavez will look like Rip Taylor and
      be a contestant on the Dating Game show.

    • GWEH Says:

      Kepler, if this is true, I came to the conclusion that they where trying to prolong his life because the chemo dosages where not consistent with live saving treatment that would have him down on his ass not running around like he is

  47. firepigette Says:


    Israel includes Israeli Arabs, Christians, black Ethiopian Jews,different brown skinned Sephardi from Arab countries- all participating in Democracy.It is a multicultural society.

    You cannot compare that to a white -only dictatorship in a country with a majority of black Africans.

    • Ira Says:

      And as a matter of fact, the population of Israel is only 75% Jewish.

      But to best demonstrate the never-ending anti-semitism of our times, when there was a major Ethiopian famine back in the late 70s (might have been the early 80s–have to check), Israel sent planes in to evacuate and save black Ethiopian Jews from certain death.

      Well, what happened later???

      The Arab world CONDEMNED Israel for only saving Jews–yet not a single one of these despot countries did a THING to save ANYONE. In other words, in the world these people live in–including Kepler–Jews aren’t even allowed to save other JEWS!

      Two states…two peoples…security for both…with no right of return:

      What is so complicated about this for the Palestinian leadership and Jew-haters to understand!!!

      The biggest kick in the ass about this whole thing is hearing Abbas make this worthless speech today about creating his “Islam Palestine,” yet for years, complaining about a ZIONIST state in Israel, as if Islam is superior to Judaism.

      • Syd Says:

        Since we’re having a discussion on religion in politics or politics in religion (aren’t they inextricably linked?), and every belief is on the table for dissection, I’d like to say that that old anti-semitic schtick or mask tends to be manipulative and tiresome when one is trying to have a discourse pro and con.

        So does invoking the Holocaust, a generic term, that has, through a great deal of suasion, become associated with 6 million Jews. Never mind the millions of non-Jews, that also succumbed to torture and death at the hands of Nazis. They’re more irrelevant than “The Chosen”. A perfect example is the Holocaust exhibit at the Imperial War Museum in London. You have to wade through many Jewish stories before getting to a brief mention of a by the way, others also perished. What’s with that?

        Mormonism also has this edict of labelling its followers as “The Chosen”. Not a good thing, mentally speaking.

        • firepigette Says:

          Syd, I don’t agree with that ” chosen thing” either.

          My step father is a non- Jew German and his parents had to flee Nazi Germany persecution as well- And just think about the Jehovah’s witnesses ?

          However do think however that there has been a long tradition of Antisemitism in Europe for quite some time.

          • firepigette Says:

            Sorry …typos…I am half blind…meant to say that there has been a long tradition of anti antisemitism in Europe.

        • captainccs Says:

          >>>I’d like to say that that old anti-semitic schtick or mask tends to be manipulative and tiresome when one is trying to have a discourse pro and con.

          I have to agree that “schtick” is tiresome. I’m tired of the old Islamic schtick “Allah-u-Akbar! If you don’t think like I think I’m going to kill you.” It’s damn tiresome. Unfortunately they are not going to convince us and we are not going to convince them. What then is the option? Survival?

          Historically the West has beaten back Islam on at least three occasions: Tours, Lepanto, and Vienna. If and when push comes to shove, you better bet that the West makes the score four to zero as otherwise you’ll be living under sharia law. I’m told that adult circumcision is painful as hell.

          You guys might want to listen to Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, explain why America is behind Israel

        • Syd Says:

          that’s right. Deflect. Don’t reflect. Oh and btw, no te escondes, don’t hide from broaching the exclusionary stance on the Holocaust, which I earlier mentioned.
          And just to set your mind at ease, captain, I don’t favour one group or another. I’m an equal opportunity critic. But not you.

          it seems you’re completely blind and deaf to the transgressions of Israel. What’s with that? You have no problem discussing chavista transgressions, or those of the Venezuelan oppo, where criticism is deserved. Why are you so selectively blind?

          Oh wait, must be on account of your Holocaust survival…

          • captainccs Says:

            >>>Oh wait, must be on account of your Holocaust survival…

            Yes, you are exactly right. No one in Venezuela, my adopted country, has tried to kill me. I can’t say the same thing for Hitler’s NAZIs. I survived because I refused to stay in a Catholic school. My brother liked it there. It cost him his life. Holocaust surviver means the difference between life and death, not some Hollywood plot.

            Yes, I’m highly biased when it comes to my life. We can talk philosophically abut Masada if you wish but not about the Holocaust, not about the Iranian Holocaust denier and not about the Palestinians who have stated they want a Jew free state.

            And it gets worse. The friend of my enemy is my enemy.

            I don’t have a problem stating I’m biased in my favor of my life. And you?

          • Syd Says:

            ok, you’re into denial.
            I’m in favour of all life, cc, not just my own. And I’m disgusted by the way the memory of millions of non-Jews, that did not survive the Holocaust, has been squashed in favour of one group — for political or other reasons. It’s revealing. So’s your skirting of this issue.

            I’m sorry to hear about your brother. And I’m glad you were able to survive a virulent scourge in history. I know that if I had lived during that time, I’d be shot, no question. (I have a big mouth.)

        • Ira Says:

          First, I never said, “The Chosen People”–the Old and New Testaments do. I happen to be an atheist and believe in NONE of it.

          Second, I never mentioned the Holocaust either, but the reason Jews get so much attention re the Holocaust is because besides the Gypsies, no other ethnic group was targeted for cleansing. And while Hitler killed innumerable Christian slavs, that fell more under the category of domination of the country than ethnic cleansing. Other Christians weren’t targeted solely because they were Christian. (See the difference?)

          Finally, the fatal point of your argument is labeling it “the old anti-semitic shtick”–because it isn’t old at all. As a matter of fact, where I live in Florida, up until the mid-60s, Jews weren’t allowed in many hotels. Plus, to say there hasn’t been a serious uprising in anti-semitism in parts of Eastern Europe is simply to ignore the facts–and no one can deny that the Israel situation hasn’t contributed to anti-semitism worldwide. (For instance, many, many, MANY in the U.S. believe that all of our problems with radical Islam have to do with our support for Israel. It’s an interesting argument, stupid as it might be.)

          I guess some folks believe that serious and harmful anti-Jewish, anti-black, anti-other feelings have vanished from the world. And some believe they haven’t–but that the Jews have no right to complain about it and they should just “take it.” Or maybe they’re so annoyed by it because Jews are so well-educated and good at bringing it to the forefront of geopolitical discussions:

          In other words, we have a great PR department!

    • Kepler Says:

      Oh, no. In the case of Israel guys like Dayan and others saw to it that a lot of ethnic cleansing took place so as to get rid of as many Arabs as possible (unlike what Exodus from Leon Uris said). The Afrikaners could not do that so easily, also it was a much bigger country.

      It is no coincidence the state of Israel colaborated so closely with the Apartheid regime – with intelligence, with weapons of all kind, including intelligence for the use of nuclear weapons, economically.

      Arabs are treated as second class citizens in Israel. Jews claim they have more rights to that territory because they claim to be “purer” descendants of the guys who were there 2000 years ago (which is historical rubbish, as a much larger proportion of them have actually European haplogroups, pure biology showing this)

      Turkey is a very dysfunctional democracy and yet it is not less of a “democracy” as Israel now, with its clear discrimination against non Jews.

      Thankfully, very few still keep swallowing the eternal story of “poor us, poor us, they are so evil anti-Semitic”.

      The Arabs have no less right to that land than Jews. And yet: Arab Israelis cannot bring their spouses to Israel – because Israel has to remain “Jewish”.
      Since 1948 Arab Israelis have not been able to build a single town in what is now Israel whereas almost every single Israeli city has been built in what were Arab cities (contrary to the myth of building it all on the desert).

      I wonder what we would say if Germany said now it has to remain pure German or Britain it has to remain pure British…right: xenophobic.

      About the black Jews: do I need to give you the right literature about the discrimination of the Beta Israelis and others?

      Jews were persecuted for centuries before – like many other groups. But now some groups within them use that ad nauseam to pretend they are on a higher moral or ethical ground than others.

      Sorry, guys, but fewer and fewer people are buying that discourse.
      Israel is no special country. It is just another country with normal people and it has to learn to behave like other people.

      The USA won’t be there forever to support whatever the right wingers want to do.

      • firepigette Says:


        It’s not just right wingers Kepler, it is most of us.Only a minority are with you on this here in the US, and as time passes our convictions only get stronger.

        Just as Europe is biased towards Palestine, we are biased in favor of Israel….of course there are exceptions.

        I think it is a matter of values.We feel we share more values with the Israelis than with the Palestinians…though that is not the only issue in this case.Your ideas on the facts and what is true or false are quite different from ours as well.

        When people share common values they tend to take the moral side of those with whom values are shared.I have seen many Europeans take the moral high ground on these issues, just as people here do.It is only natural.

        This problem will not be solved by convincing the other side of anything because it is a problem of inherent differences in culture.Something bad will probably have to happen.

      • Ira Says:

        I can’t believe that you actually have the cojones to post the ignorance that you’re posting here!

        You post this garbage that Israel doesn’t have the right to defend itself?

        And you say, “Israel is no special county.”

        Can you point out to me, to others, ONE other country who is supposed to live with thousands of rocket attacks DAILY on its territory, from a people who supposedly want to make PEACE?

        Kepler–you’re a joke. You have a big mouth and a fast computer, but you’re a total fool.

      • GWEH Says:

        Kepler, you do have a big dislike for Americans some of it ignorant. I just dont understand I don’t go around pissing in your backyard

  48. Roy Says:

    I seem to recall this photo of Chavez. If I am not mistaken, about a couple of years ago or less, Chavez was quarreling with the Vatican because he did not want to accept the Pope’s choice for Archbishop for Venezuela. He had his own selection, and there was some video and photos with his personal choice. At the time, it was staged to show his piety after having trashed the Catholic Church hierarchy all the way up to the Pope.

  49. ErneX Says:

    I’m afraid he will explode one of these days

  50. island canuck Says:

    Miguel is there no way in your blog settings to prevent the posts from disappearing?

    I had to use almost 200% magnification to read some of the posts.

    • ErneX Says:

      On the threaded replies? yeah the fonts keep getting smaller and smaller when people replies to replies of replies … etc.

    • captainccs Says:

      Your browser should have a setting (preferences) for the smallest font it is to use. In Safari it’s under Advanced: Universal Acess

      • Ira Says:

        Thank you for telling me how to repair this, although I’m on Firefox! (Which can be done in the Content…Fonts…Advanced prefs.)

        I guess every browser has a minimum font size that you can set, but this is news to me!!!

    • what is dissapearing? You mean getting small, thats the way it does it

      • Ira Says:

        Nope–you can set your browser so it keeps the same size font, no matter the level of the reply. The problem is, because of the indents the site creates for the subsequentreplies, if you pick too large a minimum font size in your browser prefs, the column gets too narrow. 10 point seems to work fine for me.

    • island canuck Says:

      Miguel I just sent you a screen shot of how the page looks in both FireFox & Chrome.

      Caracas Chronicles also uses WordPress & doesn’t have the problem.
      There must be a setting somewhere to fix this.

  51. island canuck Says:

    For what it’s worth here is a report (rumour) from a doctor(?) in one of the Caracas hospitals that Chavez has “RABDOMIOSARCOMA DEL MUSCULO PSOAS”.

    I tried to read exactly what it was but got lost in medical terminology. What I did understand was that it has only a 50% survival rate.

    This is not a news report – just a forum contributor in ND.

  52. extorres Says:

    It’s just a transition strategy from “pray for chavez” to “pray *to* chavez”. We noted the religious thing coming months ago. Doing it in USA is part of the “attacking to bring USA down from the inside” goal that this maniac has.

    • Ira Says:

      This is a fantastic analysis:

      It’s fine line between praying “for” someone and praying “to” someone.

      History is littered with similar episodes of a corrupt “people” praying for the health of their corrupt leader.

  53. Mike Says:

    He looks like a plain old idiot to me and I could imagine him in a Mexican bar, after a few too many Tequilas, looking for a fight approaching his victim asking “Que me ves guey?”.
    This assumes he speaks Spanish which is probably a stretch!

  54. firepigette Says:

    Unfortunately Sean Penn is quite image conscious,and even more unfortunate that his personality type is too primitive to include subtle intelligence without a great deal of suffering.

    Just look at his expression( his body language) -it is all there in plain sight :

    He desires to APPEAR commanding. He sees himself as outspoken, innovative, intense, daring, striking, attractive and tenderhearted.

    He likes to be in control and assert his will over others , especially over the weak. He shouts, swears, gets red in the face, pounds on and throws things. He claims not to care what other people think, yet he wants them to fear him as often as possible. He loves to protect other people, especially the underdog, then later ridicule them as weak and incompetent.

    Some of his not so hidden fears are that he will feel afraid, and that he will feel afraid of his fear of feeling afraid, or that he will be insulted by a car full of black teenagers 🙂

    When stressed out ,he falls into insane justifications for his need to control others, and may succumb to conspiracy theories or unbridled hatred of government.( Chavez hatred of the US fits in nicely with this one)…

    Sometimes he becomes infatuated with his fake ability to help others, intrude himself into a variety of highly visible charity roles, and develop self-serving stories about his desire to “give back to the community” — all the time making sure he gets a nice little kickback on the side.Notoriety being one of those:)

    • Syd Says:

      You should be writing horoscopes, FP.

    • Bloody Mary Dry Says:


      I’m more simplistic than you: I jonly can see in the picture a person how uses too much cocaine (and is missing it).

      • JMA Says:

        Actually, no he wasn’t missing it at the time. Not with Evo also there.

      • GWEH Says:

        now this is an ignorant comment

      • GWEH Says:

        Sean Penn is around 50 years old with significant musle mass, low body fat, and excellent physical conditioning… he runs and works out. This guy at 50 puts most men to shame. Whether he juices I dont care… what I do know is he’s in shape and the time and effort it takes to stay in that shape.

        You cannot be a coke head and do what Sean does. However, it he toots that’s possible and if he goes to Venezuela to party so what… Venezuela is #1 per capita consumer of cocaine forever

    • Carolina Says:

      He is just in for the bucks.

      • JMA Says:

        … and probably also the coke.

        • GWEH Says:

          JMA, California (Mexico border) has been the entry point for the majority of cocaine entering the U.S. since around 1986 when VP Bush and his drug taskforce put the radar net around south florida to detect low flying aircraft.

          This means that cocaine is cheap, pure and plentiful in Hollywood. Not in Miami.

          Trying to discredit Sean Penn with drug use is a cheap tactic akin to what chavistas would to

    • GWEH Says:

      Firepig..yes!!! but it’s about easy money…that’s the only reason Penn-dejo supports Chavez. I’m sure Sean wants Chavez to cough up as much or more than he did for El Negro de Lethal Weapon

  55. Roy Says:

    The whole spectacle is more than just a little creepy.

  56. Because they were all there for the UN General Assembly and they could invite idiot Sean:

    Wasn’t he living in Haiti taking care of children there?

  57. bruni Says:

    Why Manhattan? Why did they have to do a service there?

  58. firepigette Says:

    The bloated look Chavez has definitely looks like water retention around his eyes.

    Those taking lithium for bipolar illness can bloat so badly that they can go from a size 7 to a size 10 practically overnight -even on a strict diet . Lithium has a high sodium content.

    Of course I wouldn’t put it past Chavez to lie about his condition so we cannot be sure, but we also cannot rule out cancer just yet without sufficient precise information.

    • GWEH Says:

      kidneys failing from chemo thus bloat…he’s in bad shape and they (chavismo) in bad shape too.

      Chavez’ appearance has changed but the baggy (oversize) clothing and/or multiple layers help hide his true appearance. It’s even been said he was on the bag (while wearing track suits).

      I expect a fast deterioration of the patient soon. Patient aside, fireworks set to start Feb-March. Int’l community support key for both sides

  59. CharlesC Says:

    I am not criticizing anyone for praying (or not praying)-this fake show -itself
    a “tragedy”doesn’t make chavistas “a little more human” -this is
    lower than whaleS&*( and that is at the bottom of the ocean!
    I always said if I go back to NYCity I would like to see the art collection
    at Riverside Church- but- I will never go there now-because those
    idiots were PLAYED for fools by Chavez.
    Chavez (his minions) planned and timed this for this purpose-
    publicity- they are playing on sympathy. Which, again makes me
    wonder if everything about his health is a lie..

  60. I completely agree that people should be able to pray for what they choose. I also firmly believe that chavistas and opposition alike should pray for Huguito in his time of need. Compassion need not be absent from a desire for a more plural, respectful and participatory Venezuelan democracy. Regardless, the prayer service does leave a particularly bad taste in the mouths of many believers. Not because Chávez deserves no prayer, but because it is another example of his distasteful use of something sacred for partisan political gain. Too many misrepresentations for the sake of gaining votes starts to smack of the same abuse committed by other opressors the world over.

    Also, more personally, the hoodwinking of legitimately concerned religious people just plain makes me mad. The prayer service represents Chávez’ mocking of Riverside Church and its compassion and sacred beliefs. As one who respects the role Riverside and its clergy have played in the history of US and world peace and justice, I am gravely offended by the actions of President Hugo Chávez and his international public affairs team.

    There is no room for Chávez’ ego in God’s church. Should he leave his ego and political desires of glory at the door, bienvenido!

  61. Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

    Oh, I dunno. I think people are entitled to pray for whomever and to whomever they choose without others snickering or criticizing. Count me as one of those who thinks that if being so close to tragedy makes chavistas a little more human, then it’s all good.

    • alm44 Says:

      They can pray all they want, just as long as they don’t use state funds for this mass. But we know this is not the case.

    • Kepler Says:

      This is not religion, this is politics and they were using religion in the most vile way. Not that religion is not used for politics, it is almost always used by different groups to pursue their political-ideological aims, but this is just way too disgusting, way too much a farce.

      • Carolina Says:

        For the use of religion in politics, check out the Incas, aztecs and mayans. They were the masters.

        • Kepler Says:

          I think they could eat their hearts out on that, specially the Aztecs and Mayans, but there are other masters as well: Jews, Muslims, Catholics, Protestants, Hindus…

          • Carolina Says:


          • Kepler Says:

            Republicans are not a religion. They are a hairstyle and a mood.

            • JMA Says:

              And sometimes a certain sexual orientation …

            • Carolina Says:

              We weren’t talking about religion. We were talking about the use of religion in politics, or the use in politics in religion, whichever you prefer, even though there is a difference.
              All this show – main subject of this posting – is the perfect example.

            • Kepler Says:

              OK, I get your point and agree. I just wanted to be politically politically correct for a change.

            • Mike Says:

              …like Democrat congressman Barney Frank running a brothel from his basement with male underage pages prostitutes…
              …and Democrat VP Biden’s hair plugs looking like a freshly planted strawberry field (hairstyle)…
              …plus Democratic congressman’s Patrick Kennedy’s accident having had too much booze / Ambien and Promethazine in his system explaining he was speeding to a vote in Congress, when the last vote had happened 6 hours earlier (mood)…

              Excuse me, wasn’t this debate about Chavez’ prayer service and didn’t one of you say to take their US grudges to the appropriate blog(s)?

        • captainccs Says:

          ¿Religion in politics?

          The divine right of kings
          Islam is a theocracy

          • Kepler Says:

            Not only Islam, Captain. Read Israel Finkelstein’s work on the Bible and how that applies to “Judea and Samaria”, etc.

            • captainccs Says:

              Yes, but I’m sure you must have noticed a certain difference in the treatment of human rights between Iran and Israel. Yes, the rabbis have way too much power but Israel is still a democracy. Show me a democratic Islamic country.

              I have zero interest in the bible. As to the Palestinian issue, they are the enemy, make no mistake about it. If it were up to me I’d build more Jewish homes all over Israel, specially in Jerusalem and in the West bank.

            • Kepler Says:

              They are your enemy, not mine.
              This is OT, but basically the Jews are behaving right now like the racist Afrikaners. You just lack the historical knowledge about the whole issue.
              Read this
              even if Bibi would tell you Bin Laden recommended it.

            • captainccs Says:

              >>>You just lack the historical knowledge about the whole issue.

              As a holocaust surviver, I don’t think so.

            • Kepler Says:

              And I am a direct descendant of אהרן and have a superior authority to anyone for ever and ever.
              How pathetic of you to use that!

            • captainccs Says:

              >>>How pathetic of you to use that!

              End of conversation.

            • Syd Says:

              well, it’s good to identify the promoters of discord, outside Israel. All Palestinians are the enemy, captain? Israelis don’t antagonize through illegal acts of occupation?

            • Mike Says:

              Right on, captainccs.
              There is not much to discuss with enemies that surround you and their stated ultimate goal is to exterminate you.

          • JMA Says:

            That nice old chap, The VIII Henry, comes to mind.

            • Kepler Says:

              That’s the bloke who lost his wives’ heads, wasn’t he? The one of the flashy armour?

              He would tell you it was all the Pope’s fault, his was a matter of love.
              “Por amor”

            • JMA Says:

              Well, not all of them to be fair. Two of them weren’t tasteful enough to deliver boys. The first one, he couldn’t get rid off, let’s say, by more expeditious means, but cancer took care of her – the bitch. Besides, he wasn’t in a position to risk war with Spain, being the daughter of Fernando and Isabella. The second one was much easier. He just accused her of having sex with everyone, except, perhaps, the royal cook, and off with her head. However, we can thank both for Elizabeth. The third one did give him a boy, but died of puerperal sepsis, as many women had a habit to do at the time. I am telling you – women! The fourth one was – get this – the most beautiful and gracious of the lot, but he didn’t like her, so he sent her packing (I can still hear the sigh of relief). The fifth one was essentially a kid, but had the bad idea of falling in love with a king’s groom. I mean, how can a young girl prefer a young boy instead of a 50+ year old, grossly obese, diabetic, and cojo (due to and old justing injury that ended up in chronic osteomyelitis). After all, chequera mata galan, no? And, the last one, who was a very smart and educated lady, almost got it, but after having a close brush with his majesty’s minions, decided to shut up for the remainder of Henry’s life, sadly only to die a few years later of … puerperal sepsis. Again, I am telling you … women!

            • Carolina Says:

              Cool brief JMA. But you forgot the most important thing: he really lost his head (not literally) over Anne Boleyn and created a whole new religion, detaching from the catholic church, in order to get a divorce from Maria. Anne waited about 7 years to marry him and to actually give him something! I guess she holds the title of most “calienta-tu-sabes-que” of all.
              Then she got crazy trying to get pregnant with a boy….and her head is history.
              Now, I am not too sure how to call that: politics in religion, religion in politics, lust in politics and religion, a combination of all?

            • JMA Says:


              His first wife was Catherine of Aragon, one of the two extraordinary Spanish born queens that England had. The other being Leonor. The big difference here is that it seems that Leonor was truly loved by her husband, and when she died, the man never recovered. I am telling you – women! Both queens were extremely popular. But Henry really mistreated Catherine … and their daughter. I don’t doubt Mary had serious psychological issues as a result of his father’s treatment, from which Elizabeth was better shielded.

              Regarding Anne, I am not so sure he loved her. I don’t doubt for a second that he was infatuated with her … and with the prospect of getting a shot at having a male heir, something that proved impossible for Catherine. Anne was very outspoken, and that was a no, no with Henry. This behavior of Anne really irritated Henry. He was, of course, the quintessential narcissist, and it was very dangerous to contradict him. Proof of this was the 76,000+ souls that he sent to heaven. To me, the fact that Anne could also not produce a male heir to the throne, was the main reason to chop her head off. So, IMHO, it was politics as usual … at the time.

    • Kepler Says:

      “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. ”
      That’s Matthew.

      I definitely saw there was something wrong with organized religion when, as a child, I saw the priest in Valencia’s cathedral, turning on the air co when the governor arrived with la creme de la creme of the city.
      There were many such actions. Shows of pretending to be something one is not are disgusting, they can be human but not humane.

      • Syd Says:

        Wnat a barnburner on a religion? Try Jon Krakauer’s well written, well researched “Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith.” It’s about the rise of Mormonism in the U.S.

      • firepigette Says:

        Hypocrisy is a part of but not central to organized religion,and it is even more rampant in politics… hypocrisy is everywhere for God’s sakes Kepler.

        Why condemn organized religion just for that ?

        I don’t believe in organized religion myself,though I don’t condemn it- not because it is worse than anything else, but because I simply do not believe in God…Lately it has become quite fashionable to harp on organized religion in a snide superior tone , winning us all kinds of brownie points for newly formed alternative moral majority 🙂

      • Juan Cristóbal Nagel Says:

        Turning on the air conditioning makes one disgusting? More like the opposite.

        • Kepler Says:

          Juan: the air conditioning at the Valencia Cathedral was something just for the front and they never ever turned that on.

          It was the traditional behaviour of the higher up in church with the ones in power in Venezuela.

          I know you are Catholic, but it is really no surprise that the traditional high society in Venezuela and the Catholic church – specially the key figures – had a particularly strong relationship and it’s no wonder the poorer did not.
          Cuestión de no revertir el orden que Dios nos ha dado.
          One thing was the priest in Gran Sabana or Southern Valencia and another the arzobispo, etc.

          • Syd Says:

            Don’t ALL religions bestow favours on the ones in power, politically or monetarily? After all, the very existence and the financial strength of that religion depends, not on saying alms for the poor. Like folks in business or other social circles, those cloaked in religious garb know how to follow the money.

            (Pardon the cynicism, dear Juan. But with Katy in your household, I’m sure you’re used to it.)

    • la_roche Says:

      I pray not for his recovery but for justice, which is what HC has denied so many.

  62. Bill Says:

    It looks as if the gates of Hell will open soon and welcome its favorite son Hugo.

  63. captainccs Says:

    Just remember that Lucifer was an angel.

    It’s Venezuela that needs a full recovery. Hugo can go join Lucifer.

  64. Artemisa Says:

    Tanto que Chavez metio la mano en el caldo hasta que se puso morado…

  65. la_roche Says:

    Anybody see the movie “Fair Game”?

    The thought of Sean Penn, playing the valiant Joe Wilson, the former ambassador who against all odds helped dismantle the notion that Iraq was about weapons of mass destruction, is enough to make me vomit.

    I did see it. Penn is a fine actor. Yet masking the sheer hypocrisy of a Chavez supporter espousing democratic values of openness and accountability in government is impossible for me.

    • GWEH Says:

      Penn gets donations and financing in exchange for his appearances. Penn is about Penn. He’s would be a great dictator.

      Penn got money from Chavez for his Haiti drug project… Penn wants to film in Venezuela and probably wants Chavez to pay… those are just two examples of the tit for tat.

      Penn also makes comments and remarks to media or on Late Night with Dave about Chavez winning all his elections blah blah blah

  66. Sure two appearances in three weeks and it is a charade, just when he is losing points in pollls.

    See you at the funeral

  67. metodex Says:

    i don’t know why you people,including physicians argue wether he is sick or not. Chill out.

    The man is not sick at all, this is all a charade, and a show that proves how immensely stupid people is. I am sick but i am i cadenas and have weird cancer treatment and i don’t even reveal what kind of cancer i have.

    They also prove it everytime they say Cuba is the sea of happiness, and that people die there of laughter induced heart attacks.

    I’m sick of all this,it’s ridiculous. He is not sick,again, a charade to boost his ego and fanaticism amongst the fans.

    The only thing that will change my mind is his death.

    • Ira Says:

      Come on:

      There is no reason or benefit for him to fake something like this. Do you also believe Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks?

      There are times when we have to get a grip on reality.

      • Roy Says:

        “Do you also believe Bush orchestrated the 9/11 attacks?”

        That is what Iran’s Akminadajerk implied (very thinly veiled) in an interview today.

  68. Charly Says:

    Complete recovery of president Hugo Chavez? No way, his brain is irremediably fucked.

  69. Review of the Prayer Service

    The prayer service for the health of President Hugo Chávez was quite disturbing. Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said absolutely nothing, as usual. The Cuban Foreign Minister was the most offensive and bold-faced in his grins, grimaces and expressions. Evo Morales was calm and short-winded, despite being more celebrated than the rest (by the press corps anyway). Maduro and Evo both used translation devices for all the English language portions of the service.

    Attendance was poor despite the row (at least) of half-empty buses bringing people from Washington, DC and other further-off destinations. One woman–strangely–waved an Argentine flag throughout much of the evening. Sean Penn left 10 minutes after the service started, without apparent reason.

    The church was less-than well informed or connected regarding the event, evidenced by the preacher’s introduction of “community leaders” (pause). “It says here that there are some community leaders present who would like to say a few words (longer pause).” This indicates to me a certain level of ignorance as opposed to outright complicity on the part of Riverside Church. While one should not excuse them for failing to do due diligence, it seems they were suckered (fooled, tricked) into being part of a political event.

    More photos from the Embassy photographer:

    The Venezuelan State was clearly in control of the event. While all private and independent media were relegated to a roped-off corner, VTV (Venezolana de Televisión) aka Telesur had free reign to set up several cameras in advantageous positions. CNN and others were treated particularly poorly, both by Venezuelan embassy personnel managing media and by a well-meaning Riverside Church staff member.

    Regarding the appropriateness of such an event, or the mixture of politics and religion, I have mixed feelings. While I see the value and legitimacy of a Martin Luther King, Jr. anti-war speech against the US war in Vietnam, Chávez appropriation of the sacred space for his own well-being certainly seems like foul play (or at least somewhat stinky). King had a legitimate and universally supported message of peace and humanity and had been working for justice in real, tangible ways for many years. Chávez, on the other hand, has made no significant progress in terms of peace in justice in Venezuela or elsewhere in the world. His greatest achievement–in terms of peace and justice–has been the mastery of utilizing peace and justice rhetoric to further an authoritarian, divisive and power-grabbing form of governance.

    Merely taking into consideration the massive amounts of weapons Chávez has purchased from Russia and others in the past 12 years firmly places him outside the peacemaker category the prayer service intended to brand him with. Reverend King and Riverside Church would surely blush (if not cry) should they learn of the billions of dollars (USD) in arms continuously flooding into the streets of Caracas and other Venezuelan cities. It is difficult to imagine how they might respond to a request for such an event by the Venezuelan Embassy after living the Venezuelan reality for a few months or years. But just as Oliver Stone refused to accept Leopoldo López’ challenge to live in Venezuela and see for himself (see HuffingtonPost), neither Riverside Church clergy nor Sean Penn nor the few hundred pro-Chávez US Americans in attendance will ever do so.

    It should not be overlooked that in terms of public relations, the event’s date is not insignificant. Aside from being the International Day of Peace, US President Barack Obama gave his address to the UN General Assembly on the same day. Being sick and stuck in Havana, it is no surprise Chávez held a PR side show of his own this week in New York City. He has long appreciated the world stage UN General Assembly meetings can provide.

    As an additional personal anecdote, the Venezuelan I attended with was so disgusted and offended by the event (mostly from a religious perspective) that he left after a mere 20 minutes. He didn’t even know about Chávez’ virtual attendance (via telephone and loudspeaker while broadcasting video from the service on Venezuelan State TV) until I told him an hour later.

    Note: I have photographs and some video and audio from the event that I will be putting up on the blog soon:

    • Syd Says:

      Thank you Roberto for your full and Incisive report, backed up by some good photography. Very attractive church. Too bad the attendees — Evo in particular – were, for the most part, craning their necks to view the camera lens. They’ll do anything for a photo opp. At least Madurito was a little more circumspect. Give him credit. (Though he may have organized the entire shebang.) The worst were the red shirted idiots that made a power-to-the-people fist, inside the church. Qué cuerda de desgraciados!

    • Ira Says:

      A wonderful, insightful report! Thanks!

  70. Deanna Says:

    Sick or not, this whole thing disgusts me. I’m surprised that Riverside Church actually allowed this and to think that this church was started with Rockefeller money (a great capitalist). They must really need some of the petrodollars from Chavez, as well as free heating oil during the winter. Of course, one must also consider that some Venezuelan prelates (example Msgr. Mario Moronta) actually support Chavez and I’m sure are also praying for his health. For the so-called Marxists in the Chavez camp, including HRCF himself, this is just plain hypocrisy, since Marxists/communists don’t really believe in God and religion.

    • Carolina Says:

      That’s the thing Deanna. They are not praying. They are putting up a show for the masses that pray and truly believe. It’s about his image, not about his health or his religion.

  71. Carolina Says:

    I just had a picture in my mind of Chavez, dressed in Dior, singing “Don’t cry for me Venezuela” from el balcon, gesturing like Madonna.
    That’s the next one….

  72. bobthebuilder Says:

    But, pray tell, why are they servicing him when he says he is cancer free now?

  73. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Depending on whom you wish to believe, Hugo Chavez is completing his 3rd or 4rth chemotherapy treatment today in Havana. The ‘last’ treatments are usually the worst. The church service last night strikes me as being very spooky. Why? A church service? Now? I tend to agree with Carolina,….Hugo Chavez must be very, very sick.

  74. Kepler Says:

    I think there is no signal about compañerito Maduro’s annointment. If you were sitting in front of the bus driver you will see the hands less clearly in his direction. It is the perspective.

    Either Hugo’s really very very sick or he is not sick at all.
    Doctor JMA, what do you think?

    • JMA Says:

      You know, my friend, at this point I don’t know what to think anymore. A lot of people, including myself, have been speculating about his condition with essentially no data to support any argument, only his physical appearance.

      Having said that, it is very strange that he has not lost a lot of weight if he really has an advanced cancer. As I said before, cancers produce mediators that suppress appetite and also feed from the patient’s energy reserves. But I have reviewed the photographic “evidence” of his appearance, and I cannot find such a dramatic degree of weight loss that is a common occurrence in advanced cancer patients.

      Regarding his appearance, many have speculated that he is bloated because of steroids. He does in fact appear bloated but it doesn’t have to be because of steroids. There are other causes. And, he still is fat. Steroids deposit fat in very selective locations of your body. I have seen patients with hypercortisolism (excess steroids in your bloodstream) that weight no more than 100 lb. This guy looks like his fat tissue is very well distributed over his entire body.

      I an older comment I essentially ruled out several cancers based on what I have seen of and heard from him. But, I cannot rule out that he has been lying all the time about his illness. And that is the problem, speculation has been going on based on what he says and looks like. It is just not enough to make an informed report.

      So, at this point, he may:

      1. Indeed be gravely ill with an advancer cancer. There is speculation about a muscle-invasive bladder cancer, whose primary cause is smoking. He said surgeons removed a tumor the size of a baseball. If this is the case, he is essentially dead, and will be watching the election from hell. The bloating seen could be due to chemotherapy-induced renal failure that leads to generalized edema, hence the bloating. Renal failure is in itself something very bad to have; it can kill you easily or result in another condition that can kill you, and the list is very long.

      Others have argued in favor of a psoas (thigh) muscle sarcoma, but this is mainly a tumor that appears in children. I have thought myself of a lymphoma, either Hodgkin or No-Hodgkin, because their treatment regimens include steroids.

      2. Knowing this guy, I don’t discount this is all a charade, although it seems less likely today than before. The point to remember here is that he is a psychopath. These guys are capable of anything.

      3. This possibility is also very plausible. He may have a non-malignant immunological condition – say, some rheumatological disorder, which may have a very severe course – and he is using it to his advantage making it appear as he has a terminal disorder that he would eventually defeat, reinforcing that religious sentiment among his followers about him. Since the severe forms of several rheumatological conditions require steroids, this would explain his appearance.

      But, at this point, this is all idle speculation. Only time will tell. Cheers.

      • Kepler Says:

        Your speculations are exactle the same to another physician I know, living in Venezuela.

      • Syd Says:

        I have trouble believing that whatever ails HC has to do with renal issues. For his eyes don’t look like they’re hurting. And in my direct personal experience, even a minor chronic kidney issue — especially untreated — will cause eyes that look like they’re in pain. HC’s eyes don’t give me that impression.

      • Roy Says:


        Thank you for laying it all out in such an informative manner. Your speculations are at least grounded and informed.

      • GWEH Says:

        he lost 30-40 pounds of mass and has added another few in water. This guy has cancer and the life prolonging treatment was just that

      • GWEH Says:

        I have not heard the steroid bloat theory which is ridiculous shile prednisone is good guess but not for cancer of the ass

      • GWEH Says:

        JMA, very straightforward but he’s walking dead man. There are other non-chavez-appearance indicators that I factor. I gave him 12 months and I still have to abide by that but he may stick around for more.

        The regime was basically caught completely unprepared and now they are devising post chavez transition plans.

    • Syd Says:

      Never underestimate the rules of graphic arts. These deal with the positionoing of elements, and come into more dynamic play when considering psycho-social cues. Then keep in mind the underlying dynamics of a theatrical performance from the subject.
      True, there’s some perspective issues, but these are minor. In general, the hands, graphically posted below the speaker, are pointing up. Keep in mind, that the chosen photo-opp, the lead photo is what you see, irrespective of the rules of perspective.

  75. Syd Says:

    my observations:
    1. mythomania underway for Chávez.
    2. signal to the world and visual annointment (check the direction of the praying hands) of Maduro as the inheritor of Chávez’ mantle.
    3. invitation requested rsvp’s. I take it, the general public was not permitted to attend this supposedly private misa?

  76. Alejandro Says:

    By the way, for those that worship and are lead by Chavez he’s genuine, truthful, and certain; thus legitimate. It might be the case that you don’t; but, and that is a big BUT some do. And thats precisely what they intend to do; look for unity amidst “terminal” circumstances around Chavez and his posse.

  77. Alejandro Says:

    Go ahead, face up to this reality with a dictionary! And take with you the Constitution! Where have you been in the last 13 years?

  78. Evo Says:

    And EVO will be there?! as a guest of honor!! what a disgrace! EVO has order to kill all the indigenous who are opposing to the construction of a major highway that will split a sanctuary in Bolivia, Sanctuary that no longer is as such because it is already invaded by the COCA farmers and all they want now is to have better access to their “catos” (coca farm lands) EVO in a church! what a disgrace!

  79. Bloody Mary Dry Says:

    Sorry, I totally disagree with you regarding legitimacy scope (I copied the Real Academia Española definition below)

    legítimo, ma.
    (Del lat. legitĭmus).
    1. adj. Conforme a las leyes.
    2. adj. lícito (‖ justo).
    3. adj. Cierto, genuino y verdadero en cualquier línea.

    Here in Venezuela there are not place for any “sort of legitimacy”.

  80. JMA Says:

    What can be seen, Maduro’s facial expression (a poem) and Chavez’ face with joined palms superimposed over an image of the Sixtine Chapel is the script that we can see. However, one wonders at the real cause and intention of this production. Is Chavez really that gravely sick and is preparing the way for Maduro to pick up the mantle? or, does he want to reinforce that mystical aura implanted in the minds of his supporters in “el pueblo.”

    Unfortunately, all we can do is to speculate, because the unpredictability of this people comes from their brutish nature. With them, it’s all a mix of bad planning and improvisation.

    Of course, it may all be nothing more than Thugo wanting to have his ego massaged to improve his mood.

    BTW, one can only wonder of how orgasmic it is for Maduro, a bus driver, and Morales, a coca planter, to be regaled with a “His Excellency” title. Eat your heart out Simon Bolivar!

  81. george Says:

    how much did the church receive for letting them use their facilities?

  82. george Says:

    as a christian i am more than a little offended. all of the pictures are of hugo who is a bigger image to worship than the person they are supposedly praying to. why pray to God when they have Hugo, cant he save himself?
    christianity and santaria are completely the opposite so you cant pray to God and then invoke the spirit of the evil one to heal you. guess he is covering all the bases.
    allow everything, forget God but when it is convenient or a aprovechar lets use him.

  83. Alejandro Says:

    Alrhough you might disapprove this, it’s none the less political. People, supporters, are willing to pray, show support, for a “good” Chavez. Although the right, the empire and me despises him for what he stands for; some don’t, they actually worship him, and that is some sort of legitimacy. A legitimacy that opens the door for anything, a good example is Mugabe, or. Gadafi, or Peron.


    • Carolina Says:

      You can worship whoever you want as long you don’t do it with the money that we paid with our taxes.
      It’s obvious they are working hard and paying big bucks to make him a martyr. He must be very, very sick.

  84. Mom2mateo Says:

    “cursi” translates to tacky. This is tacky.

  85. Bloody Mary Dry Says:

    The act is clearly aimed for the channel 8’s audience.
    The message: Huguito is “so essential for the new world” that even in NY (nothing less than the capital of the world) people, including superstar Sean Penn (Danny Glover missed this juicy deal), are praying for him.
    Why this is so corny? because of the audience (just see the quality of the images that are daily broadcast by the channel 8).
    So the answer is: Yes, just another Chavista show, a little more expensive than usual. Again, Hugo is a poor victim harassed by an evil. This time a “tumor”.
    Does it work? Yessss, just look how many chavistas remain after 12 years of bullshit.
    How is the mastermind of this opera buffa? I guess el chacalcito Andrés.

  86. island canuck Says:

    That wants to make me vomit.
    This AH with his hands praying – what a jerk.

    Makes you wonder just how sick he is with all this praying & santeras.
    I hope that he’s really in bad shape for making such a farce in front of people who really believe, right or wrong.

  87. Carolina Says:

    Oooh thanks Miguel. Now I just feel I’m going to puke my breakfast.
    This soap opera is getting worse and worse by the minute. It really makes me sad that some people actually engage in these shows, because that’s all they are. If this is to pray for his recovery, imagine how his funeral will be. All done with taxpayers’ money.

    • JMA Says:

      Why, nice of you to ask. It will be a procession with several praying stations that will end up at the National Pantheon, where his coffin will be placed next to SBs. LOL!

      • Carolina Says:

        Now that you mention, have you guys seen the project for the new Bolivar’s mausoleum? It’s a “bodrio” completely out of scale for the area. Maybe the dying pharaoh order a pyramid bigger and grater for himself, as you say.

        (Sorry, the link is to a chavista page but it had more images)

        • JMA Says:

          OMG! “Bodrio” indeed. But on the bright side, it will have lots of space to fit in Hugo.

        • HalfEmpty Says:

          That’s gonna be a hell of a skateboard park.

        • capitankane Says:

          Wow! every day I catch a camionetta past the back of the panteon and I was wondering what the hell they could be building. I thought it was a bridge or elevation for new metro lines. Guess I was wrong! Does anyone else think that ramp will look absolutely ridiculous, maybe even a little phallic? Someone must be compensating for something. I wonder if they will paint it all that same gaudy pink colour as the main panteon also.

          Strategically just around 50-70 metres away they have just built 2 blocks of apartments for the mission gran vivienda and they have already moved people in to fill up their mini balconies with crap and break the windows. There will be lots of sweeping shots I bet at the inauguaration of the new panteon penis going to 48 of the houses promised (getting thrashed).

  88. Kepler Says:

    Oh, my!
    Miguel, that was photoshopped, wasn’t it? Please, tell me it was.

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