viernes, 30 de noviembre de 2007


LULA, the politician.

*Will Brazil join OPEC within the next ten years? Not likely.

From Washington DC.

In the euphoria immediately following the Brazilian Tupi offshore discovery President Lula said that he “could not wait to join OPEC”. Many believed him to be talking about an immediate decision. However, apart from the dubious strategic value of such a move by Brazil, the facts indicate that this possibility could only be duly considered, in the best of cases, in 10 or more years. By this time Lula will not be the one calling the shots. Tupi needs at least 10 years and $5-7 billion in investments to produce at peak capability. Estimates of how much it will be able to produce can only be very tentative at this point, since not enough data exists about the reservoirs, but a reasonable estimate would be some 500,000 barrels per day at its peak and no more than 300,000 barrels per day in the average. This certainly would represent a major increase in Brazil’s production capacity and would allow the country to start exporting modest volumes of petroleum, but not enough to become a long-term supplier of significance.
To join OPEC a country has to be a net exporter of petroleum. Furthermore, to have real influence within OPEC the exporting capacity should be significant. Ecuador, for example, has no role to play within OPEC, except as a satellite of the Venezuela-Iran hawkish axis. I am sure that this is not the role Brazil would like to play in the organization.
To belong to OPEC, on the other hand, imposes a limit on the flexibility with which a country can manage its energy policy. OPEC's main stated objective is to promote the stability of oil market and prices but, in practice, the organization is a hot bed of political intrigue and tensions. For many years now the Arab exporters have controlled it, while the other members have had to comply with strategies dictated by the more powerful members of the organization.
GABRIELLI, the technocrat.

Brazil has followed an energy policy that deviates greatly from the extreme nationalism of other producers such as Venezuela . Petrobras has private partners, excellent technocratic management and has attained a level of efficiency that is light-years apart from the tragic deterioration suffered by Petroleos de Venezuela since Hugo Chavez arrived in power. To maintain these policies and strategies Brazil needs to remain, like other significant producers such as Mexico, the U.K. and Russia, independent from OPEC. This would allow Brazil to have most or all of the benefits of being a significant oil producer and, eventually, exporter without the limitations of belonging to a cartel.


Reuters' five "facts" about Chavez.
by Gustavo Coronel and Pedro M. Burelli
The news agency Reuters has just published a curious description of Hugo Chavez under what turns out to be a deceitful heading: FACTBOX : Five facts about Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. It is unsigned, comes just before the Sunday Venezuelan referendum and seems obviously designed to promote sympathy for the uncouth and authoritarian president, who is trying to push a constitutional reform that would convert the country into a socialist, dictatorial state. The five "facts" about Chavez, are the following with our requisite commentary:
"Chavez spent much of his later military career conspiring with other leftist officials to overthrow the country's corrupt political order. Chavez led a 1992 coup that failed but made him famous and propelled him toward the presidency".
This "fact" falls short of the truth. The government he tried to overthrow in the bloody and inept military rebellions of 1992 was as democratically elected as his and in hindsight has proven to have been much less corrupt and divisive. It was the benign nature of Venezuela's prior political order that saw Lt. Colonel Chávez released from jail with full political rights despite his direct responsibility in the death of scores of Venezuelans.
"Opposition politicians and dissident military officers led a coup against Chavez in 2002, but supporters and loyal soldiers swept him back into power in less than two days".
This "fact" falls even shorter from the truth. In April 2002 the largest popular demonstration ever seen in Venezuela, some 700,000 strong marched in the direction of the Venezuelan Presidential Palace, only to be shot at by Chavez's snipers. Earlier in the day Chavez ordered the armed force to repress the marchers the military refused and, instead, asked him for his resignation. Chávez opted to step down and asked for forgiveness from his senior officers and accepted that he had erred in the handling of the demonstration and was therefore responsible for the consequences – more dead people under his belt. Three high ranking Catholic bishops witnessed all of this and guaranteed his well being, that alone might explain the continuing attacks on the church hierarchy. The army General Lucas Rincon, who announced to the country on National TV that Chavez had resigned, was later named Minister of the Interior and Justice, and is now Chavez's ambassador in Lisbon. Chavez was put back in power, not by a popular reaction but thanks to the eventual intervention of General Raul Baduel, who had been relegated by a transition government that then failed to uphold the Constitution. That same General, until recently the Minister of Defense, has now turned against Chavez, claiming that his proposed constitutional reform is in effect a coup d'etat.
"Chavez has won the backing of the poor majority with massive social spending that has expanded health and education programs. He has also cultivated support by openly confronting the United States…"
This is a dangerous "truth". Chavez has not engaged in structural health and education programs. He has spent billions of dollars in massive handouts, not to be confused with plans to attack the structural roots of poverty, illness and ignorance. He distributes fish but does not teach the people to fish. As a result poor Venezuelans are more dependent than ever on the paternalistic, populist and vindictive leader. The entire health, educational and commerce infrastructure has been decimated due to incompetence and corruption. The state of the most major hospitals is deplorable and thousands of patients are flown every year to be operated in Venezuelan funded hospitals in Cuba. Chavez' support domestically has not been increased by his attacks on the U.S. In fact, most Venezuelans reject those attacks, as shown by all credible polls.
"Born to a poor family in Venezuela's plains Chavez once aspired to be a painter and later dreamed of being a professional baseball player…"
This is true but is not the whole truth. Today the Chavez family is among the richest in Venezuela. All of Chavez brothers, as well as his father hold important government positions and manage, with little transparency, significant public monies. They now have very large landholdings in Venezuela and are said to own important food distribution companies through middlemen that do flourishing business with the government. The Chavez family rules over the insatiably wealthy and paradoxical new elite commonly referred to as the "Boliburgesia".
"Chavez has a folksy Caribbean style and is famous for his long-winded speeches…"
To define Chavez's rhetoric as "folksy Caribbean" is a distortion and an insult to many. Chavez is a loutish and belligerent speaker who bases his arguments on personal and indefensible insults against his adversaries (he calls them enemies and traitors). This is not folksy but indecent. He flavors his speeches with abundant racist and machista comments, all of which has been abundantly documented.
It is unfortunate that Reuters has tried to present the Venezuelan dictator in a favorable light, defining him and his bad habits as "famous". He is not famous like Mother Theresa or Albert Einstein, just notorious like Paris Hilton or O.J. Simpson.

Original publication follows:
FACTBOX: Five facts about Venezuela's Hugo Chavez
Wed Nov 28, 2007 12:27pm EST
(Reuters) - Venezuela holds a referendum on Sunday on President Hugo Chavez's controversial proposal for constitutional reforms that would allow him to stay in office for as long as he keeps winning elections.
Here are five facts about Chavez:
* A former lieutenant colonel, Chavez spent much of his later military career conspiring with other leftist officials to overthrow the country's corrupt political order. He led a 1992 coup that failed but made him famous and propelled him toward the presidency.
* Chavez won power at a presidential election in 1998 and took office the following year. Opposition politicians and dissident military officers led a coup against Chavez in 2002, but supporters and loyal soldiers swept him back into power in less than two days. Chavez accuses Washington of supporting the putsch.
* Chavez has won the backing of the poor majority with massive social spending that has expanded health and education programs. He has also cultivated support by openly confronting the United States, which he describes as a decadent empire.
* Born to a poor family in Venezuela's plains, Chavez once aspired to be a painter and later dreamed of being a professional baseball player. To this day he explains politics through baseball metaphors, frequently referencing his "pig's tail" curveball.
* Chavez has a folksy Caribbean style and is famous for his long-winded speeches that often drag on into the early morning. His weekly Sunday talk show has gone on as long as eight hours.
© Reuters 2006. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.
Reuters journalists are subject to the Reuters Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.

miércoles, 28 de noviembre de 2007


Desde Washington DC. Martes 27 de noviembre, 2007.

*La Conferencia sobre Reforma Constitucional en América Latina llevada a cabo en la OEA, con la presencia y participación del Secretario General, constituyó una rotunda condena para los golpes de estado que intentan Chávez y Morales en Venezuela y Bolivia y para el que ya ha comenzado a planificar Correa en el Ecuador.

Confieso que asistí a la OEA esta tarde preparado para oir la acostumbrada retórica cautelosa y hasta zalamera que los representantes de los gobiernos de América Latina han ejercitado cada vez que les toca hablar de Hugo Chávez y de sus desafueros.
Pero me llevé una agradabilísima sorpresa. Tres de los cuatro panelistas eran juristas independientes de Bolivia, Venezuela y Ecuador, no alineados con los gobiernos de sus países, y el cuarto, embajador de su país, nos habló de la reforma que se llevará a cabo en la República Dominicana, la cuál si tiene una fisonomía decididamente democrática.

Habló Insulza y metió un tremendo gol!.
El evento comenzó con una breve intervención del Secretario General de la OEA, José Miguél Insulza. El secretario general fue preciso. Dijo que aunque la reforma constitucional es algo que debe ser decidido por los ciudadanos de cada país, no es menos cierto que la Carta Democrática Interamericana ofrece una guía para asegurar que el contrato social que se derive de la reforma no sea para el beneficio de un autócrata sino para el beneficio colectivo. Agregó Insulza que la Carta Interamericana estipula que la sola elección no es suficiente para definir una democracia. Es necesaria la separación efectiva de poderes y el ejercicio de un gobierno amplio para que exista verdadera democracia. El poder no puede estar concentrado en una sola persona o un pequeño grupo. Además, dijo que una reforma no es necesariamente mala, siempre y cuando sea democrática y reversible, es decir, que pueda ser cambiada posteriormente, sin adquirir características inmutables. Insulza ofreció, sin mencionarlo, un convincente retrato hablado de Hugo Chávez.
Los ponentes de Bolivia, Venezuela y Ecuador.

Jaime Aparicio, el ponente sobre la reforma constitucional que se pretende en Bolivia, describió como la Asamblea Constituyente se había reunido en un cuartel, con solo los miembros del oficialismo, para aprobar sin discusión una nueva constitución que nadie ha leído y la cuál, entre otras lindezas, propone la re-elección indefinidad del presidente y del vice-presidente (Morales y García Linera). La Constituyente de Morales se ha auto-definido como originaria, es decir, hábil para intervenir en toos los aspectos de la vida del país y no solo para escribir una nueva constitución. La descripción de Aparicio fue muy ilustrativa y no dejó duda entre la audiencia de que en Bolivia se está llevando a cabo un golpe de estado.. El gobierno de Evo Morales ha impuesto cambios a los mecanismos de la Constituyente, tales como el de la aprobación por mayoría simple, que han hecho posible ese intento de golpe. Frente a esta iniciativa anti-democrática de Morales, el pueblo Boliviano ha reaccionado con energía. Morales parece encaminado a llevar a Bolivia a una guerra civil, con el apoyo de un sector del ejército que ha sido comprado con los dineros enviados por Hugo Chávez. Más de la mitad del país está en su contra, precisamente las áreas donde se genera la riqueza Boliviana, así como la gente de Sucre, a la cuál Morales pretende quitarle su condición de ciudad capital.

Gerardo Fernández, un experto en derecho Constitucional Venezolano, definió la reforma constitucional que intenta Hugo Chávez como un fraude a la democracia y un atentado contra los derechos humanos. Es un fraude procedimental, dijo, por la manera como ha sido introducida ante el Consejo Nacional Electoral, por su carencia de discusión, porque la gente ignora en que consiste y porque viola los principios de la constitución vigente. Es nula en su esencia. Además, agregó, es un fraude en su contenido, ya que ha sido concebida como instrumento para mantenerse en el poder, para controlar el poder y para controlar a los ciudadanos. La reforma pretende convertir la democracia venezolana en un estado socialista, excluyente, en el cuál solo sería posible la promoción de una sola ideología. Destruye la descentralización, mata la democracia participativa al arrebatarle al pueblo la facultad de decidir y la reemplaza por la voluntad de un hombre, institucionaliza el adoctrinamiento ideológico, termina con la autonomía del Banco Central, propone la re-elección presidencial indefinida, atenta contra la propiedad privada. En fin, de iguál manera que en Bolivia, se evidenció ante la audiencia que la pretensión de Hugo Chávez constituye un golpe de estado. Fernández añadió que todas las encuestas apuntan a una derrota de esta reforma pero que el pueblo estará votando sin garantías, debido al ventajismo gubernamental y al control que Hugo Chávez ejerce sobre el Consejo Nacional Electoral.
Valeria Merino,la ponente,enfatizó la tradicional tolerancia de los Ecuatorianos y la inestabilidad política que ha predominado en el Ecuador por hace ya varios años. El país, dijo, quiso buscar otras vías de salida para su crónica crisis política y ello ha llevado a la Asamblea Constituyente. Sin embargo, este cuerpo, donde predominan los miembros del Presidente Correa, ha comenzado a extralimitarse en sus funciones, al pretender destituir a los Congresantes y enviarlos a prisión. Segun Merino la Asamblea Constituyente ya ha comenzado a inquietar a los Ecuatorianos porque resulta aparente que no está allí para resolver sus problemas sino para constituirse en una herramienta de poder político. Esta lucha en Ecuador y en el hemisferio, añadió Merino, no es entre izquierdas y derechas sino entre democracia y autoritarismo.
República Dominicana.
El ponente, Flavio Espinal, Embajador de República Dominicana en los Estados Unidos, es también un experto en Derecho Constitucional. Sus noticias fueron excelentes, después de los desastres Bolivianos y Venezolanos y de la creciente tormenta política que se incuba en Ecuador. En la República Dominicana se contempla una reforma para afirmar y vigorizar los componentes democráticos del sistema y minimizar los componentes autoritarios y presidencialistas que permanecen en el sistema político del país, el cuál fue objeto de regímenes dictatoriales y autoritarios en el pasado aún reciente.

Después de las presentaciones vinieron las protestas de los representantes de Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador y hasta de Nicaragua.
Las protestas de los representantes de Chávez, Morales, Correa y Ortega no se hicieron esperar. El representante de Hugo Chávez, quien había sido aleccionado con anterioridad por un asesor que le cuchicheó al oído por largos minutos, hizo formal protesta de lo que consideró un evento politicizado, extemporáneo, el cuál había sido protestado por Venezuela antes de llevarse a cabo, por coincidir con el referendo en el país. Se le recordó que ese evento había sido programado con anterioridad y que se había invitado a Jorge Valero, jefe del representante en la OEA, a participar. Ese funcionario del régimen Venezolano rehusó hacerlo, a pesar de estar en Washington. Sectores bien informados reportan que su negativa tuvo que ver con su creencia de que la reforma es indefensible y que se encuentra avergonzado de lo que su regímen está tratando de hacer. Si ello fuese así es preciso recordarle que la renuncia, no el silencio, es la vía que la gente íntelectualmente honesta prefiere utilizar en estos casos.
El representante de Chávez dijo que la victoria de Chávez en Diciembre 2006 le daba el mandato para convertir a Venezuela en un estado socialista. Sugirió que eso era lo que la mayoría significaba: poder hacer lo que le viniera en gana (esas no fueron sus palabras pero si fue el mensaje). El tono altanero y arrogante del funcionario de Chávez enacajó muy bien con la actitud que exhibe Hugo Chávez y contrastó con la moderación de los ponentes.
Otras protestas.
Los representantes de los otros gobiernos aludidos trataron de hacer críticas moderadas, hasta dolidas, de las ponencias. Solo el representante de Nicaragua, un espontáneo en el ruedo, atacó a Fernández definiendo su ponencia como “pobre desde el punto de vista técnico”, aunque fue la que mas prolijamente describió los aspectos legales y políticos de la reforma planteada.

El significado de esta conferencia.
La celebración de esta conferencia que resultó tan rotundamente condenatoria de los regímenes de Bolivia, Venezuela y Ecuador, su realización en el edificio principal de la OEA, con asistencia y participación del Secretario general de la organización refleja, sin dudas, un cambio en la posición de la OEA frente a los regímenes autoritarios de Hugo Chávez, Evo Morales y Rafaél Correa. Aunque no sería dable esperar una iniciativa dramática de esta organización frente a los desmanes que se cometen en algunos de los países miembros, si es posible esperar que la organización pueda tomar algunas iniciativas, como sería una Misión de Observación enviada por la Secretaría General a esos países. Claro que la visita de estas misiones no puede llevarse a cabo sin el consentimiento de los regímenes de esos países pero, al menos, se les puede obligar a negarse, lo cuál constituiría una derrota ante los ojos de la comunidad internacional.
Lo cierto es que la Carta Democrática Interamericana ha sido violada por los regímenes que imperan actualmente en Bolivia y Venezuela y podría llegar a serlo por Correa en el Ecuador. La OEA, en la conferencia que reseñamos, envió un claro mensaje de apoyo a quienes están luchando por la democracia y la libertad en esos países, un mensaje que marca el inicio de una posición más firme contra los regímenes autoritarios de América Latina. Bien lo dijo Merino: el problema del hemisferio no es de izquierdas y derechas sino de defensa de la democracia contra el autoritarismo.

lunes, 26 de noviembre de 2007


Golpes de Estado en marcha en América Latina: hoy Chávez, Morales, mañana Correa?

Es verdaderamente increíble lo que está pasando en América Latina bajo la prominente nariz de José Miguél Insulza. Chávez está tratando de dar un golpe de estado en Venezuela. Evo Morales acaba de dar uno en Bolivia, encerrando en un cuartel a sus adeptos de la Constituyente a fin de aprobar sumariamente una Constitución donde él se podrá re-elegir indefinidamente. Falta por actuar de manera similar el pichón de dictador Ecuatoriano, Rafaél Correa, pero todo indica que ya se apresta a intentarlo.
Chávez, como dice el Presidente Uribe, de Colombia, pretende pegarle candela al hemisferio. Ese miserable está dispuesto a ver morir a los Venezolanos para tratar de imponer su egolatría. Su reforma está derrotada en todas las encuestas y es imposible que pueda obtener la victoria porque, aún cuando obtuviera una victoria estrecha, ella no podría legitimar una reforma como la que pretende el patán, la cuál equivale a convertir a Venezuela de democracia en dictadura.
Enfrentado con encuestas adversas el patán ha ordenado suprimirlas. Desde hoy Lunes 26 de Noviembre no se puede hablar de encuestas en Venezuela. Solo podrán mencionarlas algunas agencias de noticias internacionales como Prensa Latina y algunas otras que están compradas por Chávez. Estos mercenarios tratarán de torcer el clima de opinión que se ha formado contra la reforma para darle al fraude que intentará Chávez el próximo dos de Diciembre una fisonomía de credibilidad.
Pero confiamos en que el pueblo venezolano no lo permitirá esta vez. Ya basta de fraudes, abusos de poder y egolatría desenfrenada. Venezuela se rebelará contrra el tirano.
Para ello los Venezolanos debemos seguir el ejemplo de los Bolivianos de Santa Cruz y otras provincias. Los Bolivianos están dispuestos a no permitir la salvaje agresión fascista de Evo Morales, ahora apoyado por un sector del ejército que ha sido comprado por Chávez. Como los generales Mexicanos de antaño, hay militares Bolivianos que no han podido aguantar un cañonazo de 20.000 dólares. Pero en cinco o seis de las provincias de Bolivia existe una mayoría ciudadana que no está dispuesta a dejar que la barbarie fascista de Morales se salga con las suyas.He visitado recientemente a Bolivia y sé que los Bolivianos democráticos y amantes de la libertad tienen a Morales en jaque perpetuo y consideran a Chávez como un invasor. Estos Bolivianos derrotarán al fascista Morales.
Hay que vigilar al Ecuador. En ese país Rafaél Correa ha emergido como el aprendiz más aventajado de Chávez. Es mucho más educado que Morales aunque ha comenzado a actuar con la vulgaridad de Chávez. Ha atacado al Banco Central y va a eliminar el Congreso. No nos engañemos con Correa: este es tan peligroso como los otros dos y encuentra una oposición débil y atemorizada.
En América Latina se encuentra en marcha un incendio fascista de proporciones considerables.Mucha gente morirá antes de que los burócratas de la OEA, pensando en sus agendas políticas personales, piensen en mover un dedo. Mientras el incendio fascista toma cuerpo en, al menos, tres países de la región, José Miguél Insulza piensa contantemente en su candidatura para presidente de Chile y ya está en campaña. Su pasividad ante la tragedia de la democracia en Venezuela, Bolivia y Ecuador raya ya en lo criminal.
México, Chile, El Salvador, Costa Rica, USA, Perú, Brasil tienen que actuar en la OEA antes de que sea demasiado tarde. Cada minuto que vacilan en actuar puede cobrar una vida.

domingo, 25 de noviembre de 2007


Red Star.

In and other websites of a similar tendency, including his own, an article by James Petras: “Venezuela: between Ballots and Bullets” clearly shows how the senior extremist lies, in order to make his point in defense of the Chavez dictatorial regime. The support of the Chavez regime by Petras and other U.S. leftist intellectuals is perplexing, as the Venezuelan left, much better informed about Chavez, is unanimously opposed to the putative son of Castro, since they see him as a typical fascist ruler, in the same mold of Mussolini and Mugabe.
Petras lies when he defines the Venezuelan students opposed to the Chavez regime as “privileged upper and middle class”. In the first place we should ask Petras what is wrong with belonging to the middle class. Being an emeritus sociology professor from the State University of New York Petras must belong to the upper-middle class he so resents. Petras lies about the Venezuelan students since they come from all social strata. Most, in fact, come from the working classes. The Venezuelan student rebellion represents a major headache for Chavez precisely because they represent a traditional sector opposed to dictatorships and abuse of power in our country. Chavez does not know how to repress them effectively because many of them are relatives of his own bureaucracy, including ministers and military commanders. What many of their pro-Chavez parents have already lost, in the way of decency and honor, they have kept intact helped by their youthfulness and their love of freedom.
The Venezuelan students have been protesting against the fascist leader and will continue to protest peacefully. Chavez has been insulting them and Petras repeats the insults like a red parrot: “privileged, rich, oligarchs”. Chavez has claimed that students “drug themselves before going on the streets”. Sad to say this is precisely what he does to the crowds he pays to support him. Those are mostly made up of paid public employees who are given a kit for the day where rum and cash figure prominently and are brought to the meeting places by hundreds of buses that can be seen parked in neighboring streets. This is the other side of the coin that Petras completely ignores, probably because he has never witnessed these events first hand.
Petras attacks former Minister of Defense, Raul Baduel, for publicly defining the attempted constitutional reform of Chavez as a coup d’etat. But this is clearly what it is, although Baduel does not have the moral authority to accuse Chavez, since he is the military gorilla who brought him back in April 2002, after the people had expelled him from power. The legitimate voices of the opposition are the students, the Catholic Church, the democratic left, the conservatives, the labor unions, the industrial sector and most of civil society. All polls indicate that 60% or more of the population rejects the reform. As a sociologist Petras should know that a social contract is not something to be approved by 40% or even 50% of the voters but it needs an overwhelming majority to be legitimate. This is especially true since the reform pretends to change Venezuela from a democracy into a fascist-socialist-military dictatorship. The reform is already dead, Mr. Petras.
Chavez has a lot of money, stolen from the people, and he can certainly afford the best intellectual gunslingers money can buy. They once worked for Castro, later for the sandinistas, now for Chavez. This, in a nutshell, is the Petras story.
He predicted correctly the incident between the King
and the Joker!


Lista parcial de los alegres viajeros

Chávez se llevó unas 250 personas para Arabia Saudita.

El reciente viaje de Hugo Chávez a Francia, a Arabia Saudita, La Habana y Lisboa se llevó a cabo en un avión Ruso propiedad de los Cubanos. Los numerosos aviones que tiene el dictador parecían estar todos en reparación o carecían de tripulación. Este viaje debe ser comparado con los viajes aquellos de la cuarta república, que sirvieron de justificación para la victoria chavista en 1998. Las colitas de PDVSA, se decía, eran inmorales, e ilustraban la descomposición de la democracia puntofijista. En efecto, las colitas a familiares y amigotes del funcionario de turno no eran lo más elegantes y no se justificaban, aunque su frecuencia era relativamente baja.
Pero ahora, que sucede? Hugo Chávez metió en un avión a unas 250 personas para ir a Arabia Saudita a pedir la politización de la OPEP y que el dólar deje de ser la moneda para las transacciones de la organización. Como también sucedió en Santiago, allá en Arabia Saudita un rey lo mandó a callar.
Que harían en Arabia Saudita unas 250 personas que no tienen idea de lo que es la OPEP? En el avión iban los hijos y otros familiares de Chávez: Hugo Jr., María, Rosa Virginia, Rosa Inés, Gabriela, y Manuél. En que ocuparían su tiempo allá? Cuanto costaría el alojamiento para ellos, que no tienen idea de que hacer mientras papi pone la torta?
Quienes serían los expertos petroleros que iban en ese avión, los asesores del Sr. Chávez? Cuantos asesores petroleros necesitaría Chávez para decir las pachotadas que fue a decir? El único pasajero que me suena como experto petrolero es Johnny Márquez, a quien creo recordar de otras épocas (mi sentido pésame, Johnny). De resto, puedo mencionar a Ali Rodríguez Araque, a quien algo se le debe haber pegado por haber estado en Viena y en la OPEP, aunque sus credenciales petroleras para ser Secretario General de esa organización fueran mucho más frágiles que su experiencia como terrorista.
El resto de los pasajeros son ilustres desconocidos para los venezolanos que no pertenezcan a los círculos íntimos del dictador, con excepción de Nicolás Maduro Moros, quien ya lleva más de un año manejando sin frenos la cancillería, de Jorge Valero y de Jacinto Pérez Arcay, ninguno de quienes puede aportar valor agregado alguno a una actuación de Chávez en la OPEP.
El grueso de los pasajeros tenía nombres que estarían prohibidos por los registros civiles de la futura Venezuela socialista. Oigan ustedes: Gean, Carolai, Luznayris, Kervin, Rosarys, Josmar, Elurys, Yosmal, Audio, Vanexsa, Raymer, Wuillians, Ghendy, Joralcy, Ayerim, dos Lenín y Cliburn Heidelberg. Huelgan los comentarios.
Hay que recordar que antes de ir a Arabia Saudita el Sr. Chávez fue a París. Se llevaría toda esa gente para allá o regresó a Caracas a buscarlos? Y a que hoteles llegaría ese contingente? Estuvo en Lisboa, con todo ese gentío a bordo? Estuvo en la Habana, también con el cargamento completo?
Cuanto costaría este despliegue obsceno de familiares, guardaespaldas y jarrones chinos viajando por tres continentes y esperando en hoteles, restaurantes o bares mientras el Sr. Chávez decía lo que tenía que decir, que no era para tanto?
Este arroz con mango no tendría ninguna importancia si el viaje hubiese sido hecho por Britney Spears o por Paris Hilton, quienes pagan (o quedan debiendo) el flete del avión y las cuentas de hotel de su propio bolsillo. Pero se trata del viaje de trabajo de un funcionario público Venezolano, un país de gente pobre. El funcionario público Chávez debería tener como deber primordial el sensato manejo de los dineros públicos.
Si el Sr. Chávez hubiese ido a sus reuniones acompañado de la gente realmente necesaria solo hubiese sido requerido una nave más pequeña y mucho menos ostentosa que ese Ilushyn, que no es muy de fiar para empezar. El avión fletado tiene un tamaño parecido al de un B-767, es un verdadero platanote. Usarlo para lo que hizo Chávez, ir a hablar en privado con Sarkozy o ir a la OPEP a decir cuatro estupideces para que nadie le hiciera caso, es un vulgar derroche. Más que derroche es corrupción, porque a nadie le está permitido despilfarrar el dinero de los venezolanos de esa manera tan impúdica. Hugo Chávez es un corrupto, por comisión y omisión, y es necesario sacarlo del poder, a fin de salvaguardar el decoro de la sociedad venezolana.

Venezuela no puede aceptar el costo de tener a Hugo Chávez en el poder.
Pienso que hay solo cuatro gremios que pueden ayudar a la sociedad venezolana a expulsar a este irresponsable del poder y a ellos les hago un llamado: los abogados, los psiquiatras, los sacerdotes y los militares.
Los abogados pueden ayudar mediante la elaboración de múltiples demandas contra el irresponsable, basadas rn las evidencias de despilfarro de fondos públicos, abuso de poder, violaciones a la constitución, nepotismo y crueldad extrema (sadismo) al encadenar los medios por horas para hablar necedades.
Los psiquiatras nos pueden ayudar certificando el desquilibrio mental del personaje. Si para manejar un vehículo se exige un certificado de normalidad psiquiátrica, como no exigirlo para ser presidente del país? Hasta yo, como simple geólogo, he podido establecer que Chávez no las tiene todas consigo en la azotea. Como es posible que Jorge Rodríguez o Edmundo Chirinos no lo puedan hacer con mayor propiedad? Que se los impide? El juramento hipocrático les ordena no aceptar un bozal de arepas.
Los sacerdotes nos pueden ayudar elevando sus plegarias al señor. También nos pueden ayudar aquí en la tierra, si todos exhiben el guáramo que tuvo mi admirado amigo, el gran Rosalio Castillo Lara. No incluyo en este grupo al Padre Palmar porque también parece estar tocado de la cabeza ni al Obispo Moronta, quien merecería apellidarse Moronta Frías. Hablo del rector Luis Ugalde, del Obispo Lukert, de Ovidio Perez Morales, de mi apreciado Arzobispo Baltazar Porras, (donde estarán el brillante Padre Arturo Sosa S.J.y el combativo Mikel de Viana?) todos estos héroes de la Iglesia en plan de activa defensa de la libertad.
Los militares nos pueden ayudar defendiendo la constitución y las leyes, negándose a prostituirse con griticos o pintas de “Patria, Socialismo o Muerte” , interviniendo para defender a los ciudadanos sujetos a la brutal represión de las pandillas chavistas y pidiéndole la renuncia al dictador, tal como lo hizo Lucas Rincón en 2002, paradojicamente ahora cantando fado en Lisboa.
Si estos cuatro gremios hacen causa común con los estudiantes y profesores universitarios, con los empresarios, con los sindicatos, con la Gente del Petróleo, con los partidos de oposición, con los chavistas arrepentidos, con los colegios profesionales, con las asociaciones de vecinos, con los grupos de opinión política, con las amas de casa, con la gente que es víctima de la escasez de los alimentos más esenciales mientras los payasos payasean en países remotos, entonces ese hombre va pa’fuera.
Hugo Chávez no podrá aguantar la presión de una sociedad decidida a hacerse respetar.

sábado, 24 de noviembre de 2007


He posed as an American Indian. He was lying.


Eva Golinger, one of the early specimens collected by Hugo Chavez for the expanding U.S./U.K. section of his menagerie, proudly announced the arrival in Caracas of the newest exhibit: Ward Churchill. This new specimen arrived after Chavez had already collected Kevin Spacey, Noemi Campbell, Sean Penn and the lucky receiver of a $20 million donation, Danny Glover. Past acquisitions have included London’s red Mayor Ken Livingstone (given gasoline by Chavez), Don King (the wrong King), Jesse Jackson (decorated by Chavez), Cindy Sheehan (kissed by Chavez), Joseph Kennedy (given fuel oil by Chavez), Harry Belafonte and Bill Fletcher (from TransAfrica forum), Ramsey Clark (Hussein’s lawyer) and minor catches such as Kathleen Cleaver, former wife of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver (she kept the name) and poets Amiri and wife Amina Baraka (a.k.a Lydia Robinson). This bunch occupies an impressive hall of exhibits, close to the African Hall, led by Robert Mugabe, the Asian Hall led by Kim IL Sung and the Middle Eastern Hall led by Ahmadinejad.

Venezuelans have a proverb: “God creates them and they come together”. The rogue and red president of Venezuela can only hope to attract very odd specimens to his side. Ward Churchill is a case in point.
He appears to be a U.S. Indian but he is not. He is an impostor. He claimed to be a member of the Ketoowah Cherokee tribe but this proved to be a lie. The Indian movement ousted him because of his lie and he retaliated by assaulting its leader, Carol Standing Elk, spitting on her face while an accomplice broke her wrist. A genealogical study made on Churchill revealed that he did not have any Indian blood although he pretended to be called Kenis, a Ketoowah Indian name. The tribe has exposed him as a liar.
Churchill graduated with a degree in “Communications” around 1978 from a university called Sangamon State, an experimental, radical university in Illinois that opened only in 1970. Churchill seems to have been one of its earliest graduates. This university had to be taken over by the University of Illinois in 1995 so it could gain some respectability.
Hate of America has become Churchill’s life task. As a professor at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, he maintained that 9/11 was a positive event although he “lamented that it proved insufficient to accomplish the destruction of the United States”. He added: “What the hell? It was worth a try”. He called the victims of 9/11 “little Eichmans”.
In addition to a soul full of hate he is dishonest. The University of Colorado Board of Regents voted to fire him for plagiarism and general academic misconduct. He is an impostor, as proven not only for his posing as an American Indian but also by his chronic attempts at appropriating work by other professors such as Fay Cohen.
This is the ideal specimen to join Chavez’s gang in Venezuela. He will feel at home surrounded by specimens as macabre he is. He was in Caracas to talk about the topic: “Is revolution possible in the United States?” The view he shared with the other specimens: Yes, but I it needs some massive stimulation.
Obviously he hopes that enough stimulation can be furnished by Chavez’s oil money and, no doubt, he would be prepared to act as Chavez’s agent in the U.S. What a nasty piece of work!

martes, 20 de noviembre de 2007



6 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

In an unprecedented step the Deans of Law of all Venezuelan universities are asking the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice to declare the nullity of the proposed constitutional reform that Hugo Chavez pretends to impose on the Venezuelan people.
The basis for the legal action by the deans is that they consider that the Venezuelan National Electoral Council, CNE, ‘has not fulfilled its proper role as an autonomous and constitutional entity”. This is so because the Council limited its participation to accepting the text of the reform as “a subordinate and instrumental agency” rather than doing its job of analyzing the contents and nature of the reform o verify its constitutional validity. If they done so, the Deans add, they would have been able to see that the proposed reform is illegitimate and vitiated since “it attempts to redefine the nature of the Venezuelan State”. “By trying to include a new fundamental principle of constitutional order such as Socialism” the deans stated, “the proposal goes beyond a [minor] reform and will have a deep influence in Venezuelan social, political and economic life” The deans demand the suspension of the referendum slated for December 2 until the substantive legal matters are resolved.
If the Supreme Tribunal of Justice did its job properly it would move immediately to suspend the referendum and, eventually, to declare the proposed reform illegal. I have many doubts that they will do this. They are a bunch of marionettes with personal agendas to advance and economic interests at stake.
But, who knows? It’s close to Christmas and miracles happen at around this time of the year.


The Ambassador and friends from TransAfrica Forum (Archive).

Chavez Ambassador to the U.S. speaks in defense of Chavez proposed coup d’etat.

**Chavez’s Ambassador to Washington told his audience that Thomas Jefferson would have approved the need for a Venezuelan Constitutional reform.

Mr. Bernardo Alvarez, Chavez Ambassador in Washington, made a presentation at the Center for Strategic and International studies, CSIS, in Washington DC, in which he defended the “reform” proposed by Chavez to the Venezuelan Constitution and described the Venezuelan political regime as a democracy.
He started his presentation by saying that Thomas Jefferson would have approved of what is going on in Venezuela at this moment. Jefferson, he said, once suggested that the Constitution “ should be changed in every generation, this is, every 19 years”. He glossed over the fact that the U.S Constitution has never been replaced but only modified in a very cautious manner, while Venezuela has had 26 constitutions. He also failed to explain why the Venezuelan Constitution, labeled by Chavez as the best in the world in 1999, requires a major revamp only after nine years, half a generation later.
If I were a follower of Hugo Chavez I would have been very disappointed at Mr. Alvarez’s presentation. It was weak, rambling and left unanswered most of the concerns of the audience about the undemocratic nature of the proposed reform. Since I oppose Chavez the presentation by the Ambassador reinforced my impression that the Chavez bureaucracy is very inept. He further reinforced my belief when he said that the only reason he was sent to the U.S. as ambassador was “because he spoke some English” since his colleagues in government had not had “a chance to educate themselves abroad”.
Some of the remarks made by Mr. Alvarez were simply false.
1. He claimed that 78% of Venezuelans were well informed about the reform. Obviously he is not one of them because he went on to say that the reform would be voted in two blocks: one containing the proposals of the president and the other containing the proposals of the National Assembly. This is wrong. The so-called Block A contains 46 articles to be modified, a mixture of 33 president’s proposals and 13 National Assembly proposals. It was evident that the Ambassador had not been properly briefed. All polls by credible Venezuelan agencies: Datanalysis, Mercal and Hinterlaces, show that only 28% of Venezuelans said that they were informed about the reform.
2. He also claimed that the proposed reform had been duly debated in the assembly. Again, he was wrong. The proposals added by the National Assembly did not receive the required three discussions. Of course the discussions would have been a mere formality in an Assembly dominated completely by Chavez’s followers but the “ legislators” did not even keep the pretenses of doing things legally.
3. He claimed that the National Assembly had received 80,000 telephone calls in 47 days from Venezuelan citizens asking about the details of the reform and offering comments on the proposed reforms or even suggesting reforms of their own. This statement sounded like prepared by a U.S. contractor on behalf of the Embassy, since in the U.S. this is precisely what would be expected. In Venezuela this is not what the people do. What the Ambassador claimed, the existence of such a significant number of calls without giving the audience any proof or details of this “massive” operation, sounded more like one of the celebrated Jerry Lewis telethons in U.S. TV than a Venezuelan electoral consult. Assuming a 15-minute talk in the average (a minimum time to talk intelligently about such a complex matter) the Assembly should have received about 20,000 hours of calls during the 47 days. They would have needed about 20 telephone operators working around the clock, 24 by 7, but since Venezuelans would only call within working hours and the assembly is rarely working, we must assume that they received calls, at the most, for six hours a day (to be generous). That would have required about 80 telephone operators, all of them experts in the reform, explaining to people the details of the articles to be reformed, working seven days a week for 47 days. Knowing what the National Assembly looks like in the inside and how poorly they operate, and knowing how the Venezuelan people behave, I think this a lot of bull. My doubts are reinforced by the results of the polls mentioned above that state that the Venezuelan public remains largely ignorant of what the reform is all about.
The Ambassador made a vague, sugary, description of the reforms proposed.
He said the reform was required to “modernize” the constitution, so that it would fit the current situation in the country. He forgot to say that the proposed reform is illegitimate since it violates articles 2, 4 and 6 of the current constitution that determines that Venezuela shall always be democratic, that it will always allow plural political expressions and alternance in the presidency. The Chavez reform pretends to transform the country into a socialistic, authoritarian state, where only socialism can be promoted and where the president can be re-elected an unlimited amount of times (under the supervision/guidance of a corrupt Electoral Council).
Among others the following democratic features would be eliminated from the constitution (these are excerpts of a very detailed analysis which I have in my possession):
Administrative and political Decentralization
Intellectual property guarantees
Freedom to engage in economic pursuit
The guarantee of private property
The autonomy of the Central Bank
The independence of regional comptrollers
Regional control of ports and airports
The authority by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice to judge top military brass
The non-political nature of the armed forces
The right to due process of the law, even in cases of national emergency

The following features, among many others, would be added to the reformed constitution:
The authority of the president to name regional vice-presidents
The authority of the president to create new cities, regional provinces and districts
State authority to promote mechanisms for the utilization of the free time of workers
State authority to occupy private property prior to any legal expropriation process
Presidential authority to use international monetary reserves and to regulate monetary policy
President authority to promote armed force officers
State authority to finance political parties
Armed forces to be popular and anti-imperialistic organizations
Popular participation will be allowed only if oriented to promote a socialist society
Leadership of the so-called Popular Power main will be named by the president
The president could be re-elected indefinitely and his period will be extended to seven years
Work hours would be shortened to six hours per day

Contrary to what the Ambassador claims, this is not a democratic reform; this is a coup d’ etat. What would a likely political scenario be under these conditions?
An unlimited presidential re-election under the supervision of a corrupt and regime-controlled electoral system, the elimination of political plurality, the promotion of a socialist, military-driven society, the elimination of administrative decentralization, the excessive power of the president, the elimination of the autonomy of the Central Bank, among other features, all add up to a change from liberal democracy to a socialist-fascist dictatorship. This is what the Chavez regime pretends to bring to a vote. A considerable amount of Venezuelans refuse to go to vote, even if it is against this pretension, because they feel that the proposal is essentially illegitimate, since it violates the laws of the country and the constitution and because they distrust National Electoral Council controlled by the regime. Another portion of Venezuelans feel that they should vote, even under these unfavorable conditions, because they think that this is their only option to defeat the reform. A significant portion of the population believe that they are facing a coup d’ etat and blame Chavez for leading Venezuelan society to possible civil war. They think that a new constitution that changes the nature of the Venezuelan state, from democratic to dictatorial, cannot legally be approved by a fragile majority, which is all Chavez, in the best of cases, would expect to get. They feel that if the Chavez “ victory” is too narrow or violates the electoral rules of the game there is a probability that a major social and political upheaval should take place in Venezuela, they would rebel.
Who will be in the rebel camp, when the time comes?
Surprisingly, not only Venezuelans who have always opposed Chavez would rebel, but also many who have previously followed him. PODEMOS, a party led by Ismael Garcia has abandoned the Chavez coalition. Former Minister of Defense Raul Baduel, the man who brought Chavez back to the presidency after he had been ousted by a popular rebellion in 2002, has gone on record to define the reform as a “ coup d’ etat”, calling the people and the armed forces to resist this attempt. Chavez’s former wife also went on record against the reform, for all this is worth. Several high profile governors such as Ramon Martinez and Didalco Bolivar have abandoned Chavez. The University students have formed a formidable anti-Chavez front and the university professors and professional organizations such as the Engineering, Medical and Legal Colleges back them. The Catholic Church is openly challenging Chavez’s authority. Political parties and dozens of civil society groups are lining up against Chavez. Some sectors of the armed forces are showing increasing signs of unrest.
While it is true that few of these organization and individuals have any firepower to speak of, it is also true that a strong anti-Chavez mood is emerging in Venezuela. This mood has been fueled by the blunders and the loutish behavior of Chavez in the international scene, including his pretensions of forming one single country with Cuba; his vulgar show at the Ibero American Presidential Summit in Santiago de Chile, where he was ordered to shut up by the King of Spain; his call for the politicization of OPEC, rebuked strongly by Saudi Arabia; his obscene money handouts to the Bolivian military and his pretensions of becoming president for life. The combination of domestic authoritarianism and foreign aggressiveness shown by Chavez is contributing to a major, global, mood that could contribute to cut his presidency short or could plunge Venezuela into a civil war of tragic consequences.
Some notable remarks made by the Chavez Ambassador during his talk.
Among the remarks made by the Chavez Ambassador I remember the following:
1. “There is effective separation of powers in Venezuela”. Such a statement calls for considerable impudence. It is obvious to the most casual observer that in Venezuela the separation of powers does not exist. The Legislative, Judicial, Electoral and “Moral” powers are all subordinated to Chavez in the most shameless manner. The persons holding these posts are Chavez ‘s mouthpieces and they don’t care who knows it. Last month the Venezuelan Ombudsman, the man who should protect the Venezuelan people from the abuses of power of the State, came to Washington to defend the reform, all expenses paid by the regime.
2. “You should go to visit the Supreme Tribunal of Justice. You would be amazed not only at the beautiful building but at how well they work”. If you go, you will find a group of magistrates who, with one or two exceptions, kowtow to the president in the most abject fashion. Only last year, dressed in full regalia, they got up in public to chant: “ Uh, ah. Chavez is never going”. One of them, Luis Velazquez Alvaray, is indicted of theft but has not been put in prison. He has claimed that many of his colleagues are drug traffickers and control judicial mafias, including one called the “dwarves”. Some time ago, one of them, Fernando Vegas, came to the U.S. on a speaking tour of several cities paid by the regime, to tell very meager U.S. audiences how wonderful Chavez was.
3. “ Latinobarometro, a respected polling agency from Chile, said that Venezuelans were most satisfied with democracy in our country”. This was some three years ago. The most recent poll of Latinobarometro reveals that Hugo Chavez is the most disliked political leader in Latin America (together with President Bush).
4. “ I am not going to debate with you. You can search for some private person to debate with. I can give you some names”. This was in answer to my challenge to debate him, publicly, on the Venezuelan general situation. I believe that an Ambassador, a public servant, should be responsive to the desires of Venezuelan citizens to exchange views with him or members of his staff on what is going on in the country. But he has refused to do so. Trying to debate with the regime is like pissing on cotton. Three times he or his staff has left me waiting: once at Harvard (he did not accept the invitation); once at American University (where they withdrew at the last minute) and once at the Voice of America (where they also withdrew). He realizes he does not have the arguments on his side and that he can get trounced. However, by refusing to debate he is proving right those who say that he represents a dictatorial regime.
Democracy is open debate and exchange of views. Refusing the debate is authoritarianism
I wish a Washington DC based think tank, university or organization could sponsor a panel in which an open debate on Venezuela could be had, with the participation of representatives of the Chavez regime and of Venezuelan citizens who oppose the regime. I would not agree to debate with a non-Venezuelan mercenary, one of those hired guns they have in the payroll. I know that this is what the regime would prefer to do but I think they, the regime's bureaucrats, should be the ones to respond to our challenge.

lunes, 19 de noviembre de 2007


Harlan Ellison’s imagination generated a collection of stories about a future war between the humans and the machines. With the humans winning, the machines decided to send a “terminator” to the past to kill the woman who would give birth to the leader of the humans. By killing this woman, the machines figured, they would be destroying the leader of the humans in the future. These works were put in film and Harold Schwarzenegger was excellent in the role of the robot sent back in time to terminate with the woman. With efficient enthusiasm he started killing all women with the name of his target.
The films about the terminator are good to watch. The robot is very difficult to get rid of. When he appears done for, his skeleton rises again, until he finally succumbs and the humans go on to prevail in the future.
This terminator, conceived by Ellison as the ultimate agent of destruction, pales in comparison to Hugo Chavez. He is not a robot although he sometimes sounds pre-programmed, being capable of talking for eight hours non-stop. He is a populist, authoritarian, fascist leader with an anti-Midas touch. Everything valuable he touches is converted into rubbish.
This terminator started by destroying democracy in his own country. Venezuela used to be, during the 1960’s and 1970’s a model democracy. The deterioration of the democratic political leadership during the 1980’s and 1990’s led to the emergence of Hugo Chavez, who became president in 1999, on the assumption that change would be for the better. But it was for the worse. Today Venezuela is politically and socially in shambles and under the imminent danger of becoming a new Cuba.
The ability shown by Hugo Chavez for destruction has proven almost limitless. He finished the Group of Three, formed by Colombia, Mexico and Venezuela, because he felt that both President Uribe of Colombia and President Fox of Mexico were not his cup of tea. Becoming president he found an Andean Community of Nations in modest but persistent growth but he quickly started to undermine it. Even as he became the chairman of the Community he continued his attacks until he finally decided to take Venezuela out of the Group. In doing so he announced he would try to join MercoSur, surely a much better organization. In spite of the fact that Venezuela is in the north and the rest of the countries of MercoSur are in the south, he felt he would be much happier there than with his Andean neighbors. As a result of his initiative, the last two years have become a nightmare for MercoSur. The original members have started fighting among each other and every time Chavez’s envoys attend a meeting of the organization it ends in dispute and recriminations, since Chavez tries to change the internal rules and objectives of the organization. The Congresses in Brazil, Uruguay and Paraguay now oppose Chavez’s entry into the organization.
When President Bush decided to go on a Latin American tour Chavez decided he would also have his shadow tour. As Bush spoke in Uruguay he brought together a paid audience of Buenos Aires “piqueteros” coordinated by Luis D’Elias and Heda Bonafini to listen to his insults against the U.S. president. This caused much indignation against President Kirchner and generated a rift between the president and his wife, now the “presidenta” and, apparently, determined to stay away from the terminator.
In 2006 he went to the General Assembly of the U.N. and gave the now famous “sulfur smell” speech where he spoke of Bush as the devil in front of dozens of amused and/or shocked delegates. In this speech he also proposed to move the headquarters of the organization away from New York, ideally to Venezuela. As a result he lost his opportunity to join the Security Council and the Venezuelan nation pilfered about one billion dollars he spent in trying to win votes for the U.N. seat.
Wherever he travels he brings discord and acrimony, or even natural disasters: earthquakes in Iran and Chile have taken place in his wake and great floods coincided with his recent visits to Bolivia. The year of his presidential inauguration was marked by the worst natural disaster in Venezuelan history, one that took more than 40,000 lives. His visit to Sadam Hussein started the dictator on a fatal slide. After visiting Brazil Lula became entangled in a major corruption scandal that almost cost him his presidency. One of his visits to China came just before a severe drought that had the Chinese government thinking of importing water. He paid a brief visit to France that coincided with the most severe riots in Paris in years. His visit to Putin in 2005 came just before Putin’s electoral defeat in the Ukraine. When he went to see Castro the poor guy came crashing down fracturing arm and ribs and he has not been the same ever since. Too many coincidences, say Venezuelan experts in the mysteries of the “evil eye” and voodoo. Chavez has earned a reputation for being jinxed (“pavoso” is the Venezuelan term).
In Santiago de Chile a few days ago he practically annihilated the Ibero- American Presidential Summit, all but guaranteeing its disappearance, when he insisted in talking out of turn. This loutish behavior led the King of Spain, the most senior member of this gathering, to tell him in clear and royal voice: “Why don’t you shut up?” This shot was also heard around the world, even more so than Bobby Thomson’s home run, because it was heard in countries where baseball is not known but dictators are. He also took some time to attack Chilean President Bachelet’s ideas on “social cohesion” as humbug.
After creating a couple of serious political crises in Chile and Spain he moved, undaunted, to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he arrived in an aircraft of Cubana de Aviacion, the Cuban airlines. His Airbus 319, bought for $70 million some years ago has not been seen for some weeks now and Chavez has been traveling in older or borrowed aircraft, leading to rumors that the crew of the airplane could have deserted. In OPEC Chavez used his allotted time, and more, to attack and threaten the U.S. with cutting off Venezuelan oil supplies if they dared to attack Iran. He also asked to eliminate the dollar as the monetary unit for oil transactions by the organization and to convert OPEC into a socialist oriented organization. This brought immediate response from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, a conservative head of state, who said: “Oil is for development, not a tool for conflict and emotions”. Algerian Minister of Energy Chakib Khelil, a good friend from the days in which he worked with the World Bank, said: “We would like to see a stable dollar”, closing the door on Chavez’s pretensions. With his antics Chavez could well be on his way to destroy OPEC.
In route to Saudi Arabia Chavez made a stop in Lisbon, reasons unknown. He was shown leaving the Cuban plane wearing a pair of Michael Jackson’s type shoes. Could it be a coincidence that Michael Jackson is having such a rough time? Research should be done to establishsince when has this association been going on, in order to get a more accurate bearing on Chavez true powers as a terminator.
Former Venezuelan President Romulo Betancourt, not quite so verbose but certainly wittier than Chavez, once said: “I do not believe in witches but they sure can fly”. I think of this whenever I see Chavez’s face appearing on the TV screen, especially when he wears his favorite combinationof scarlet red jacket and white socks, a combination guaranteed to attract the evil spirits. No wonder he is being reduced to preaching in the desert.

domingo, 18 de noviembre de 2007



“El Registro Electoral Venezolano es totalmente apto para la realización del Referendo…ha sido objeto de múltiples auditorías”.
Sandra Oblitas, Rectora del CNE.

“El Registro Electoral está podrido”
Ezequiél Zamora, ex-Rector del CNE.

El sistema electoral Venezolano que pretende regular las votaciones en nuestro país es una cloaca repleta de irregularidades que configuran un insulto a la inteligencia de los venezolanos.
El ejercicio válido del derecho al voto requiere la existencia de tres principios fundamentales: (a), Imparcialidad, (b) Transparencia, y, (c), Confianza.
El CNE actual no es ni imparcial, ni transparente ni confiable porque sus directivos no lo son, porque las máquinas utilizadas para votar no lo son, porque las fuerzas armadas que cuidan las boletas de votación no lo son y porque el Registro Electoral está profundamente contaminado y, por lo tanto, no ofrece confianza alguna al electorado.
Los observadores Europeos del evento electoral de Diciembre 2006 lo dijeron: “Solo uno de los cinco rectores del CNE es desafecto al oficialismo”. Es decir, los otros cuatro son fichas de Chávez. El CNE, por lo tanto, no garantiza el derecho de vigilancia y sus directores le han permitido al régimen una posición de total control interno de la organización. Es necesario decir, en este punto, que la observación internacional tiene severas limitaciones para hacer un trabajo que, por lo demás, no ha tratado de hacer. El trabajo que sería necesario consiste en evaluar el comportamiento de las máquinas antes, durante y después de las elecciones. Esa auditoría no se ha hecho ni se va a hacer porque el régimen no la permite. La observación internacional que se limita a recorrer los centros de votación, observar las mesas y hablar con algunos votantes no es suficiente para detectar el fraude.

El crecimiento grosero del número de electores.
Al anularse el control opositor el CNE oficialista estableció un programa masivo de identificación y de inscripción electoral que ha hecho crecer el Registro Electoral de 10.7 millones de electores en Diciembre de 1998 a 16.1 millones en 2007. Solo entre 2004 y 2006 este registro creció en casi dos millones de electores, sin que existiera ningún control independiente de este asombroso crecimiento, totalmente improbable desde el punto de vista demográfico.La única manera de comprobar si este crecimiento corresponde a la realidad es mediante la “dirección de cada elector”, de acuerdo a lo dispuesto en el artículo 95 de la Ley que regula los procesos electorales en Venezuela. Pero después del referendo de 2004 el CNE “mudó”, sin autorización a más de dos millones de electores, sin que existiese ninguna razón para ello y sin que los electores lo hubiesen pedido. Ello sirvió para llenar las mesas vacíadas por la mudanza con electores nuevos no verificados, cuyas direcciónes no se conocen. De igual manera se desconoce si los nuevos inscritos poseen los requisitos demandados por la ley para ser incorporados al registro.
Desde el 2004 en adelante el CNE ha manejado el Registro Electoral de una manera prostituída. No es posible llamar la Lista de Tascón de otra manera, lista que fue entregada por el CNE al diputado Tascón por pedido expreso de Hugo Chávez, para los innobles fines de retaliación política, para instituir un verdadero“apartheid” político y social en nuestro país.
El fraude del referendo de 2004 está bien documentado desde el punto de vista estadístico, ya que fue imposible obtener acceso a los documentos oficiales. Los estudios de Febres Cordero y Márquez, así como los de Sansó y Prado, Perichi y Torres, Delfino y Salas y del grupo de la Universidad Simón Bolívar oordinado por Freddy Malpica, han ilustrado de manera convincente la manipulación electoral , la cuál creó votos virtuales a favor del gobierno y limitó los votos en su contra.
La podredumbre en el registro Electoral.
La matriz de desconfianza creada por estas manipulaciomes fraudulentas en el seno del CNE es lo que ha motivado el alto nivel de abstención en eventos posteriores, hasta llegar a la altísima abstención del 4 de Diciembre de 2005. Es revelador que el CNE aún no haya dado más que resultados “preliminares” de ese evento.
En 2006 el ciudadano Uruguayo residente en USA, Gustavo Adolfo Fabregat, detectó infinidad de irregularidades, trabajando solo con una computadora portátil en su casa. El dijo que solo había ‘escarbado la superficie de lo que allí podía encontrarse”. Entre lo que encontró destaca lo siguiente:
1. El incremento en el número de votantes entre 2003 y 2006 es 10 veces mayor al incremento de los tres años anteriores y nadie sabe quienes son.
2. 39.000 electores tenían más de 100 años. En los Estados Unidos solo hay 49.000 personas mayores de cien años en una población de más de 300 millones. 17.000 votantes nacieron, según el registro, en el siglo XIX y había una señora nacida en 1831,(de vaina no conoció a Bolívar). La señora, además, estaba afiliada al Seguro Social.
3. Según el registro había 631 personas nacidas el primero de Enero de 1900, lo cuál es estadísticamente más que improbable.
4. En casi todos los estados del país la fecha de nacmiento más “popular” era el primero de Enero de cada año, lo cuál es estadísticamente más que improbable.
5. 300 votantes aparecían como nacidos el 00/00/0000.
6. En el Zulia, de los 24.000 nacidos en marzo 1974, 19.000 nacieron el día 15 del mes, es decir, concebidos en Julio de 1973. Que pasaría en el Zulia alrededor del 15 de Julio de 1973 para generar tanta lujuria?
7. Existían miles de personas con doble cédula, así como casos de personas que tenían los dos únicos nombres iguales en los 14 millones de votantes y nacieron exactamente en la misma fecha (no serían la misma persona?). Ejemplo: el señor Abou Ammar Essam. Según Fabregat, había 24.000 casos como este, lo cuál es estadísticamente imposible.
A las universidades con credibilidad, la Simón Bolívar, Andrés Bello y Central de Venezuela, no se les permitió participar en la auditoría del Registro Electoral. Ello llevó a decir a Ezequiél Zamora: “el Registro Electoral está podrido”. Y al pre-candidato presidencial Teodoro Petkoff a exclamar: “Aquí el gobierno paga y se dá el vuelto”.
En esa oportunidad Sandra Oblitas, la misma que ahora elogia al registro, dijo que la “auditoría se lleva a cabo con toda normalidad”. Pareciera que la tienen allí para eso.

Más información sobre el fraude contenido en el Registro Electoral.
Con la carta que las organizaciones IVCD (International Venezuelan Council For democracy) y RECEIVEX (Resistencia Civil de Venezolanos en el Exterior) presentaron a la OEA la semana pasada (el suscrito entregó el documento personalmente), se anexó una copia de la Infraestructura de las Mesas y Centros de votación utilizada por el CNE en Diciembre 2006, la cuál difiere de la que el CNE le entregara previamente a la OEA Estas mismas pruebas fueron entregadas en Costa Rica al Sr. José Thompson, Director del Centro de Asesoría y Promoción Electoral (CAPEL), del Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos. Doble contabilidad?
En estos días quien firma Swaroski en ha publicado algunos ejemplos de la prostitución del Registro Electoral que hacen quedar a la Sra. Oblitas como la tía mayor de Pinocho.
Swaroski dice:
· Cuantos Pedro José Romero Romero existen en el Registro? Hay seis, y cinco de ellos nacieron el mismo día, el cinco de enero de 1962. Todos tienen cédulas diferentes.
· Cuantos Howard Enrique Rojas existen en el Registro? Hay cuatro. Todos nacieron el mismo día, el 11 de Mayo de 1973. Todos tienen cédulas y direcciones diferentes.
· Cuantos José Ramón Zambrano Mora hay en el Registro? Hay Cuatro. Todos nacieron el mimo día, el 30 de Junio de 1942. Y, por supuesto, todos tienen cédulas diferentes.
· Cuantas Leydi Carolina Caucho Cisneros hay en el registro? Hay cuatro. Todas nacieron el mismo día, el 17 de Agosto de 1985. Todas tienen cédulas diferentes.
· Cuantas Maria Benigna Arias existen en el registro? Tres. Todas nacieron el mismo día y todas tienen cédulas diferentes.
Y hay muchas más “personas” múltiples como estas, miles de ellas. De la misma forma el registro contiene o contenía (porque solo el régimen lo puede manipular) un señor llamado José Gregorio Rodríguez Gonzalez, quien aparecía la bicoca de 62 veces, con diferentes cédulas, apto para votar en 62 diferentes centros electorales.
Quienes quieran ver más detalles sobre el fraude electoral venezolano, favor entrar a, un extraordinario trabajo elaborado por técnicos venezolanos que ilustra los diferentes aspectos de esa cloaca que es el CNE. La información que se entregó a la OEAen Washington DC incluye a ciudadanos poseedores de múltiples cédulas de identidad, municipios con más electores que habitantes, lista de electores mayores de cien años, así como la denuncia de Ana Mercedes Díaz sobre la infraestructura del Consejo Nacional Electoral para el 3-12-2006.
Somos demasiado pasivos los Venezolanos o vamos a reaccionar como se lo merece el aspirante a dictador?
No es mi intención opinar en este escrito sobre quienes desean votar o quienes desean abstenerse de votar en el referendo que se avecina sobre la inmoral reforma. Esta es una decisión que queda para la conciencia de cada quien. Mi objetivo es mostrar a los venezolanos que el sistema electoral Venezolano es una cloaca y dejar que cada uno de los lectores saque sus propias conclusiones.
Se impone un Gran Frente Democrático Contra la Reforma, pero yá!.
Lo ideal sería que esta reforma, concebida por un desquilibrado mental con mucho dinero en el bolsillo y apoyada por una pandilla de forajidos enquistado en el poder, nunca llegara a la votación. Esto sería posible si la sociedad venezolana se rebelara ya contra el forajido con pretensiones de dictador y contra el golpe de estado que piensa dar. Se impone un gran Frente contra la Reforma, el cuál aglutine todos los venezolanos democráticos. Este frente debe publicar en la prensa nacional un manifiesto de rechazo al engendro de no más de unas 2000 palabras, firmado por todas las organizaciones e individuos que se adhieran, a ser pagado con la contribución de todos. Desde ahora me comprometo a contribuir para pagar ese remitido con el equivalente en bolívares de $100 y que lo coordine CEDICE, la Gente del Petróleo o alguna otra organización similar. Vamos a darle!
Lo que deseo decirles a mis compatriotas es que, para bien o para mál, querámoslo o no, esta es una batalla que ya comenzó.

No hay diálogo ni reconciliación posible con el pichón de dictador, como lo pide el Obispo Mario Moronta. Esta será una batalla que podría parecer desigual al comienzo pero les garantizo que, así como el hielo se derrite rapidamente en Maracaibo, así se derretirá el poder abusivo e ilegítimo de Hugo Chávez. Los venezolanos no somos esclavos y tendremos oportunidad de demostrarlo.

Nota sobre la información utilizada.
* He usado en este escrito información contenida en el documento: “La sistemática aniquilación del derecho a elegir en Venezuela”, publicado por “Venezolanos por la Transparencia Electoral”, Caracas, Abril 2007, así como información derivada de Gustavo Adolfo Fabregat en y de Swaroski,

sábado, 17 de noviembre de 2007


La "" biquina" en "El Anillo de los Ombligudos".
tiene pena y dolor... no conoce el amor.

Hace unos días leí una crónica en un diario Caraqueño sobre el concierto que dió la Orquesta Sinfónica Juvenil de Venezuela en Carnegie Hall, bajo la dirección de Gustavo Dudamel. El concierto fue un rotundo éxito pero la crónica no. Hablaba de "La caravana Romana" de Berlioz (El carnaval Romano), del mambo de Berstein (Bernstein) y del "sabor venezolano" de la segunda parte (no se tocó ninguna composición de autoría venezolana). En líneas generales, un verdadero desastre.

La música clásica proporciona una fuerte indigestión a quienes no la cultivan con perseverancia, a quienes solo se echan un bañito rápido de cultura musical. "Chúber me encanta", me decía una señora en Los Teques, "sobretodo cuando toca el saxofón", confundiéndolo seguramente con Bill Clinton.

Mi amigo José Bergher, ex-cellista de la OSV, me comentaba que lo de la caravana incluía posiblemente un paseo en "gandola" por Venecia y me envió una lista de composiciones "creadas" por estos indigestos de la música clásica:

"La Fuerza del Intestino" de Verdi; "Los Penes de Roma", de Respighi; "El Anillo de los Ombligudos", de Wagner; "Las Bolas de Fígaro" de Mozart . A la lista de José le agrego el "Concierto para Ano y Orquesta" de Gliere y "El Bolero" de Raquél. Según los pseudo expertos, he averiguado posteriormente, "El Anillo de los Ombligudos" se dividía en cuatro partes: Los Loros del Rín; La Biquina; Servando y Florentino y, Los Dioses Apocados.

Estos indigestos,entre quienes se encuentra uno que otro jefe de estado, generalmente piensan que Bach era tímido porque compuso la "Tocatta y Fuga", que Stravinsky era un sátiro por lo del "Pájaro de Fuego" o que "Chuber" fue impotente por aquello de la "Sinfonía Inconclusa". Lo de Bach era, más bien y por lo que sabemos de su vida, Tocata, Introducción y Allegro con brio.
Seguramente nuestros pseudo expertos han estudiado cultura musical en la Universidad Bolivariana, en Bello Monte, con post-grado en la Universidad de Moruy.

viernes, 16 de noviembre de 2007


El Circo del Otoño, foto de Christopher Burkett

photograph taken by Rebecca Krauss, en Ashburn, Virginia.

Ayudado en las últimas dos semanas por varios días de persistente lluvia, quizás arribando un poco tarde en Noviembre, pero no por ello menos glorioso, se ha presentado el otoño en nuestra región de Virginia. La belleza del paisaje es indescriptible. Quizás lo que más se le pudiera parecer en Venezuela sería el poder ver centenares o miles de araguayenes y apamates en plena floración, muy estrechamente agrupados. Nunca he visto esto en Venezuela pero creo que una coalición araguanéyíca-apamática sería lo único que pudiera competir con la avasallante belleza del otoño en el norte.
El otoño no es de las flores sino de las hojas. El milagro que da vida a los paisajes más extraordinarios es un simple proceso de oxidación. Las hojas se tornan anaranjadas, violetas, rojas sangre, amarillas limón, rosadas, una variedad infinita de matices que dan origen a lo que un fotógrafo extraordinario, Christopher Burkett, ha llamado el circo del otoño, para titular una de sus estupendas fotografías, la cuál anexo como ilustración de esta nota.
El placer que se experimenta al ver este paisaje es algo así como un nueve en la escala de diez. Recuerdo pocos placeres tan intensos: uno, la puesta de sol vista desde Juan Griego, un proceso de unos 20 minutos, mientras las gaviotas aterrizaban suavemente en la popa de nuestra embarcación. Otro, el ver volar miles de loros multicolores de las selvas guayanesas al paso de nuestro helicóptero. Un tercero, una mañana brumosa vista desde el camino que sube desde a los Andes desde Bailadores. Un cuarto, la estación de mangos de Sabana del Medio, en Carabobo, o, un quinto, caminar entre los cerezos en flor en los abriles de Washington DC.
El otoño de Virginia es una visión de epifanía, entendida como una manifestación de la divinidad. Es la belleza que nos hace pensar que detrás de ella tiene que existir un diseño inteligente del universo. La visión del otoño me llena de alegría de vivir y de gratitud por poderla admirar. Después de contemplarlo ya no nos quedan ambiciones insatisfechas. Foto de Christopher Burkett.

jueves, 15 de noviembre de 2007


martes, 13 de noviembre de 2007


Shameless former Venezuelan Vice-president Jose Vicente Rangel recently quoted in his TV program a phantom polling company called North American Opinion Research, as predicting a victory for Hugo Chavez in the referendum that would be made December 2, 2007, to decide if Chavez dictatorial pretensions are confirmed by the people. According to this “company” Chavez would get 52% of the votes and the opposition 32% of the votes, with only a 16% of the voters abstaining. Rangel has already lost all remaining prestige and credibility in Venezuela, due to his cynical and dishonest attitudes during the period he served Chavez’s regime. The company he quotes is a murky outfit owned by two gentlemen called Julio Makaren and Ricardo Valbuena, financial contributors to the Chavez regime and, in exchange, contractors of PDVSA and other government agencies through companies such as PetroTulsa and North American Opinion Research. Although owned by these two Venezuelans the polling company calls itself an “American” company and gives a Florida address that is apparently shared with the oil contractor PetroTulsa, according to Alek Boyd’s analysis, 02-18, 2006):
“As it turns out NAOR was registered on 03/02/2004 by Alirio Valbuena (FEI Number 201163145). Kaysa Makarem appears to be NAOR's secretary, the company operates from address 1549 NE 123 ST, NORTH MIAMI FL 33161. Kaysa Makarem, presumably with his brother Julio Makaren (note different ending in last names), are the registered officers of PETROTULSA R.L. CORP., which operates from the very same address 1549 NE 123 ST, NORTH MIAMI FL 33161.”
Among other “successes” this company predicted an overwhelming victory for…. Ollanta Humala in Peru, where the electoral fraud could not be made, in spite of the dedication of Jorge Rodriguez. As a result Humala was defeated. The company also shares an office in Caracas with PetroTulsa where, TAL CUAL reported in 2002, friends of the regime hang out. TALCUAL speaks of Valbuena and Makaren as two dealers in previous governments, now riding the Chavez bandwagon. Boyd says this:
“Not only do NAOR and Petrotulsa share offices in Florida. In Caracas they share telephone lines, and obviously offices too. Ergo it does not surprise that a company -Petrotulsa- planning to construct a $2 billion oil refinery, and whose officials share responsibilities in its sister polling company NAOR, predicted 'successfully' the recall referendum results, and are now suggesting that 6 out of 10 Venezuelans will vote for Hugo Chavez in the next election, as reported by EFE. We're talking about $2 billion ladies and gents.”
A Venezuelan proverb says: “God creates them and they get together”. Rangel, Valbuena and Makaren are made for each other.

Valbuena and Makaren published a newspaper ad, full page, accusing us of attacking them. We have only reported the facts about these modern Vikings.



Mr. President:
I just read a report in El Universal of Caracas, dated November 11, 2007 (“Correa proposed to Chavez the elimination of the autonomy of the Venezuelan Central Bank”), in which you feel proud of selling Chavez this course of action. I think you have made three serious errors.
The first error is to admit publicly that you intervene in Venezuelan internal policy-making. This is something that we suspected but now we know. We do not need your advice. Please concentrate your efforts in solving the problems of your people and refrain from imitating the impudent interventionism of Hugo Chavez in Bolivia and in your own country. Do your work in Ecuador within democratic rules and leave vulgar and arrogant behavior to louts like Hugo Chavez or Daniel Ortega.
Your second error is to claim publicly that you have “influenced” Hugo Chavez. This will bring you real trouble because Chavez is a narcissist who resents being told what to do by lesser mortals. You have offended Chavez and he will retaliate because you cannot minimize his ego and get away with it unscathed.
Your third error is political. Ecuador has a Central Bank and now everyone should expect you to do with it what Chavez has done to our Central Bank: raid its international reserves, eliminate its autonomy and convert it into a political tool. You should know that all civilized countries have a Central Bank with a certain degree of autonomy without which the institution would be a puppet of whoever occupies the presidency of the country. Monetary policy cannot be left to ignorant leaders because that amounts to putting a machine gun in the hands of a chimpanzee. Chavez has already said that he would like to replace Venezuelan currency for “local” money designed for barter, money that, as in Zimbabwe, would be valid only for a short time. Mercenary Marxist Heinz Dieterich has advised Chavez to follow Socialism for the XXI Century, including the replacement of money with the “work hour”. He claims that the “work hour” of a street cleaner has exactly the same value than the “work hour” of a neurosurgeon (he also claims that street cleaners are more beneficial to society than neurosurgeons). This is the type of Socialism of the XXI Century you are also advocating. Forty-seven countries (I have the list) have gone down the drain in history for following similar recipes. Venezuela and Ecuador are now in the same path, thanks to an ignorant paratrooper and his spontaneous advisers.
Mr. President. Please, do not help us!