Archive for the ‘Communism’ Category

Venezuela: Deadly new illness

Friday, September 12th, 2014

El Nuevo Herald and La Patilla reports that Venezuelan doctors are on the alert for a mysterious new illness whose victims die within 72 hours and which the hospitals don’t know how to treat.

Eight people from the state of Aragua have died in the past ten days. The symptoms are general malaise, high fever, skin rash, and mouth sores that become infected, after which the patients develop internal and external bleeding.

Duglas León Natera, president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, has gone on the record saying, “we don’t know what it is.”

Happening in the middle of a health crisis in the country, the Venezuelan government has denied the reports, accusing Natera of “engaging in a campaign of rumors and terrorism.”

In other medical news, Exported to Venezuela, miserable Cuban doctors clamor to get into U.S.


55 years a slave: The new Cuba-Brazil human traffic

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

From The Economist’s Intelligence Unit,
Brazil extends contracts for 11,500 Cuban doctors

Since August 2013, Cuba has collected over US$700m from the Brazilian government in exchange for the services of 11,456 Cuban medical professionals working in over 2,700 towns and cities across the country. The Brazilian government recently announced that the programme will continue next year, with total payments amounting to US$511m.

Communist Cuba is broke, and its main source of income is selling off its citizens (emphasis added),

Currently, the sale of services abroad is Cuba’s largest source of hard currency: in 2014, the government estimates that it will collect US$8.2bn from these deals. Around 50,000 Cuban health professionals work in 66 countries worldwide, although around half of those work in Venezuela, with an additional 11,456 in Brazil. The agreements with other foreign countries are similar to the Brazilian setup, with Cuban doctors paid less than the salary of local medical staff, and the remainder of their pay being transferred to the Cuban government.

I am disgusted to read that The Economist’s Intelligence Unit ended its report with this,

The Economist Intelligence Unit is not changing its macroeconomic forecasts in light of the renewal of the programme, but it will come as a relief to the Cuban government and will help to mitigate the scaling-back of the sale of professional services to Venezuela.

As Capitol Hill Cubans correctly points out,

These government-to-dictatorship contracts, whereby Cuban doctors have absolutely no say about salary, work conditions and have their passports confiscated, have been denounced internationally — andwithin Brazil – as forced labor.

(Read here the testimony of a Cuban doctor who defected.)

They are clearly in violation of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the International Labor Organization’s (“ILO”) Convention on the Protection of Wages.

As Brazil’s National Federation of Physicians (FENAM, in Portuguese), has stated, “the contracts of the Cuban doctors have the characteristics of slave labor and only serve to finance the Cuban government.”

Meanwhile, in the island-prison,

“The USSR discovered that the best way to control its people was by keeping them standing in line all day long.”


Venezuela: Censorship vs online media

Monday, September 8th, 2014

The WSJ reports,
Venezuela’s Press Crackdown Stokes Growth of Online Media
Digital Alternatives Expand as Newspapers and Broadcasters Struggle

Using legislation, steep fines, pressure on advertisers and control of printing paper, the government during the past decade has corralled the mainstream press, says Carlos Lauria, who oversees the Americas for the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. He and other free-speech advocates say the intimidation has deepened since Mr. Maduro was narrowly elected in April 2013 after the death of his predecessor, Hugo Chávez, with dozens of reporters detained, beaten and censored, Mr. Lauria says.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders recently ranked Venezuela among the worst offenders on its press-freedom index.

The article mentions Twitter, La Patilla, Vivoplay and Prodavinci.

I also recommend these 4 Venezuelan blogs (in alphabetical order): Caracas Chronicles, Devil’s Excrement, Infodio, and Venezuela News And Views.

Venezuela: Chavista Lord’s Prayer UPDATED

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Just like cults, totalitarian states are all about the consolidation of power: material and spiritual. Take a look at the latest, complete with the Sign of the Cross,

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN THE CHAVISTA SIGN OF THE CROSS
In the name of Chávez, of Maduro, and of the sovereign people, we shall live and win
NOW TEACH YOUR LITTLE FRIENDS

Allow me to pause and say hello to my little friend,

But wait! There’s more!

“Chávez nuestro que estas en el cielo, en la tierra, en el mar y en nosotros, los y las delegadas, santificado sea tu nombre, venga a nosotros tu legado para llevarlo a los pueblos de aquí y de allá. Danos hoy tu luz para que nos guíe cada día, no nos dejes caer en la tentación del capitalismo, mas líbranos de la maldad de la oligarquía, del delito del contrabando porque de nosotros y nosotras es la patria, la paz y la vida. Por los siglos de los siglos amén. Viva Chávez”.
Our Chavez, which art in heaven, on land, on sea and in ourselves the [male] and [female] delegates, hallowed by thy name, thy legacy come to us to carry it over to people here and there. Give us this day our daily light so that it may guide us every day, do not let us fall into capitalism temptations, and protect us from the meanness of the oligarchy, from the sin of smuggling, for us is [male] and [female] the fatherland, peace and live. For ever and ever, amen. Viva Chavez.

Daniel Duquenal:

I do not know if this is a provocation, an excessively elaborated prank (I wish it so, make it be so My Lord) or if these people have finally reached the deep end.

Here’s a video of the “prayer”:

The “prayer” closed a five-day workshop on “designing the socialist formation [i.e., indoctrination] system” and Maduro, most of his Cabinet and several governors were in attendance, so I assume it’s not a prank.

Lord almighty.

UPDATE:

Look at the mural: Simón Bolívar, Jesus and Hugo Chávez under a sign that reads, “Against imperialism, g*ddammit!” The tweet reads, “Have you seen more shameless and immoral crap than this?

Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Twitter hashtag #ChavezNuestro

Biometrics and the police state

Friday, August 22nd, 2014

My latest, Biometrics and the police state, is up at Da Tech guy Blog.

Please read it, comment, and hit da tip jar!

Is Populism beatable?

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Today is question day: Is Populism beatable?

Populism has been the driving force behind both our political landscape and our economic misfortunes. This trait has marked the misguided economic policies of several administrations, with Chavismo just exacerbating the problem. Because, in essence chavismo repeats a well’worn recipe: continue to fuel the spending binge, among other insane policies, with an unprecedented oil boom backing this profligate party.

Indeed,

Populism thrives in societies where the rule of law is undermined or non-existent, with sky-high economic inequalities, a weak institutional framework, and polarization among other contributing factors.

Carlos Rangel’s post offers a start, but my question is, can totalitarian Communism be ousted from Venezuela at this point?

Socialism: making it harder to get a drink since 1848*

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

First we hear that producers of cheap Malbec are getting squeezed by inflation. Now this,
Venezuela Sips More Local Rum, Less Pricey Whiskey
Lagging Economy Pushes Consumers Away From Expensive Scotches
.

 

At fancy steakhouses and Spanish-style tascas, Scotch is served the Venezuelan way: poured to the brim in a highball glass with ice.

Let’s hope they don’t do that to any of these.

Regardless, $5 says the chavistas are still getting their Buchanan’s and Chivas.

*1848: Karl Marx puts out the Communist Manifesto.


Venezuela: El Pollo as big fish

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Mary O’Grady on today’s WSJ:
A Terrorist Big Fish Gets Away
The Netherlands refuses to extradite FARC ally Hugo Carvajal Barrios to the U.S.

While O’Grady contradicts herself on the criminals’ intent, saying, on the one hand, “America’s voracious appetite for illegal drugs has allowed violent political actors to create powerful transnational criminal organizations”, while on the other hand stating, “All of this terror is done in the name of social justice for Colombians,” the effect of current U.S. foreign policy is clear: The bottom line? (emphasis added)

Yet it’s not surprising that the Netherlands decided it would be less costly to be on the good side of the bad guys than to be on the bad side of the good guys. After six years of the Obama global retreat, any leader would be crazy to expect the U.S. to go to the mat for an ally, even one that stuck its neck out for Uncle Sam. So when Venezuela threatened military and economic retribution at the Netherlands Antilles if Carvajal was extradited, the Dutch foreign affairs minister relented.

Read the whole thing here.

Venezuela: Derwick in the news

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

In the WSJ:
American Agencies Probe Venezuelan Energy Company
Federal and New York City law-enforcement authorities are investigating Derwick Associates, which became one of Venezuela’s leading builders of electricity plants during the Chávez administration.

Manhattan prosecutors are investigating Derwick and ProEnergy for possible violations of New York banking law, people familiar with the matter said.

Meanwhile, people familiar with the matter said prosecutors in the Justice Department’s criminal fraud section are reviewing the actions of Derwick and ProEnergy for possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits offering foreign government officials improper payments in exchange for a business advantage.

Federal prosecutors are scrutinizing the difference between the prices ProEnergy charged Derwick for its equipment and the prices Derwick ultimately charged the Venezuelan government, one person familiar with the matter said. The person said that in some past FCPA cases, excessive margins have been used to conceal bribes to foreign officials.

Casto Ocando, in his book Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos (page 224), estimates that the Chavez government awarded Derwick contracts of nearly a billion dollars (plus $400 million overruns) between 2009-2010.

Alek Boyd has been writing about Derwick since 2012; in today’s post he explains that

Derwick Associates never won “competitive bids”. In the multiple occasions that Batiz and Ultimas Noticias asked Derwick Associates to reveal details of the contracts it had gotten from the Venezuelan State -bold added with the purpose of highlighting the fact that this is public money we are talking about- the company refused, repeatedly, to come clean. Derwick Associates has never been a “transparent company”. Quite the opposite in fact.

Read Alek’s post here.


Pope Francis reinstates Marxist to the priesthood

Friday, August 8th, 2014

My latest, Pope Francis reinstates Marxist to the priesthood, is up at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Yes, the guy who accused Israel of genocide is now back saying Mass; that Miguel D’Escoto.

Related:
Nicaragua: A reminder on the sandinistas