Chesimard is believed to be one of dozens of American fugitives living in Cuba, many of them one-time members of U.S. militant groups.
attends government functions in Cuba and her standard of living is higher than most in the country, officials said.
Which makes the higher reward tempting,
Officials have also doubled the reward, to $2 million, for the capture of Chesimard. The state is adding its own $1 million on top of the million dollars already offered by the FBI for her capture and return.
After Tuesday’s shameful assault at the National Assembly, people are trying to identify the man who punched Julio Borges.
Opposition assemblymen Maria Corina Machado and Julio Borges
Nancy Asencio broke Maria Corina Machado’s nose in four places; that much is clear.
What’s not totally clear is the identity of the man who punched out Borges. Two men have been identified: Michel Milán Reyes, Cuban who is currently a junior assemblyman in Venezuela while apparently also being president of a municipal assembly in Cuba,
or another man, a Venezuelan named Michael Leeroy Reyes Argote, who was identified in this photo,
Jaime Bayly named Milán Reyes as the perpetrator in his Tuesday show; the man who assaulted Borges stood behind a Chavista spokesman during the press conference following the altercation (4:05 into the video):
National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello is not content with not allowing the opposition assemblymen to speak (unless they recognize Maduro as “legitimate”, or so he says). Now Cabello unleashes thugs to assault and punch the assemblymen:
The real danger in Venezuela is not that an Obama administration unwilling to provide leadership in Syria would make any serious attempt to prevent Mr. Maduro’s consolidation of power. It is that Mr. Maduro will follow up on his jailing of an innocent American with a full-scale crackdown on the opposition.
Yesterday, the Castro regime carried out its usual Sunday of violent repression against members of Cuba’s peaceful human rights group the Ladies in White when they joined together for Sunday church services as they do every Sunday. As the women stepped out of the church after Sunday mass in the town of Palma Soriano, they were met by Castro State Security agents who began to viciously punch them and beat them with umbrellas before placing them under arrest.
Among the Ladies in White victimized by the violence of the Castro dictatorship was Belkis Cantillo, a Lady in White who just a week ago was in Brussels to take part in the long overdue acceptance of the Sakharov Prize the group had won in 2005. Ms. Cantillo was one of the women who was beaten and arrested by the Castro political police before being arrested and taken away. As of this morning, her physical condition and whereabouts are unknown.
Venezuelan authorities said Thursday they arrested a U.S. citizen they accused of trying to spark a civil war in the country with the aid of alleged right-wing youth groups following the contested April 14 presidential election.
Interior and Justice Minister Miguel Rodriguez alleged that 35-year-old Timothy Hallett Tracy was trained as a spy by an unspecified intelligence agency and was involved with right-wing youth groups that investigators say were trying to stoke clashes between government supporters and opposition backers.
Curious about the country’s highly charged political situation, he had decided to see what was happening for himself. In the few months he had lived in Caracas, Tracy met and filmed Venezuelan students who form part of the country’s broad anti-Chavez movement, not an unusual activity for filmmakers or journalists.
And he remained in Caracas for much of the recent political crisis that began after Chavez’s battle with cancer took a turn for the worse in December.
racy had been detained at least twice before by Venezuela’s SEBIN intelligence police. The last time was five days before the April 14 presidential election when he was taking video of a pro-government rally in the port city of Puerto Cabello, said an associate who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to endanger people inside Venezuela.
The U.S. Embassy in Caracas declined immediate comment, citing citizen privacy.
In Washington, State Department spokesman William Ostick said U.S consular officials in Venezuela are attempting to meet and speak with Tracy. He declined to discuss details of the man’s arrest.
Last week, Florida’s Sun Sentinel reported that “after spending nearly $700 million during a decade, energy companies from around the world have all but abandoned their search for oil in deep waters off the north coast of Cuba near Florida.” Separately, CubaStandard.com reported on Friday that “the shallow-water drilling platform used by Russian oil company OAO Zarubezhneft will leave Cuban waters June 1, to be redeployed to Asia.”
The Brazilian state-owned Petrobras PETR4.BR -0.05% had given up on deep-sea drilling in Cuban waters in 2011. Repsol REP.MC -0.60% gave up in May 2012. The deep water platform it was using was then passed to Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, which also came up empty. Venezuela’s PdVSA had no luck either. In November Cuba announced that the rig that had been in use would be heading to Asia. Last week came the end of shallow-water drilling.
The loss to the regime is not just about the foreign exchange that oil implied. The threat of spills, as well as lost opportunity for American companies, were ways for Cuba to engage the U.S. and perhaps even get the embargo lifted without having to make any human-rights concessions. Some Democrats, whose party is more often found in opposition to oil exploration, tried to help.
This also means that the Cuban Communist regime will try harder to keep those daily 100,000 barrels of Venezuelan oil coming, regardless; as you may recall, ending that gift is one of Capriles campaign promises.
And here is sweet Minister of Prisons Iris Varela, another fascistoid personality, telling Capriles not to worry that she has reserved a jail cell for him and to please stop using drugs. Definitely a worthwhile reason to hold a press conference and to have the station of the other half of Venezuelans cover it live:
There are reports of blacklisting, in the new form of depriving of electricity households that took part in last week’s cacerolazo. Additionally, this post on a Noticiero Digital forum claims that the government is distributing shirts with Capriles’s name to prospective rioters, with riots planned for tomorrow. The plan is allegedly Diosdado Cabello’s, as a coup for which Capriles will be blamed.
That will not change the results of the “election” one iota.
Just to clear any doubts, let’s hear it from CNE chief Tibisay Lucena, who told Venezuelans (my translation. If you use it, please credit me and link to this post) to,
don’t harbor false expectations since the approved audit is to show that the technological platform works perfectly well and that the results are true to the voters’ will.
Don’t believe me? Here it is in Spanish,
“no se hagan falsas expectativas ya que la auditoría aprobada es para demostrar que la plataforma tecnológica funciona perfectamente y que los resultados son fiel reflejo de la voluntad de los votantes”.
If Maduro completes his 6-year term, Venezuela would have had 20 years of Chavismo.
Yet more bizarre news from the capital: a 28-year old man named Yendri Sánchez rushed to the stage as Maduro rambled on about the Pope, yelling, “Nicolás, my name is Yendri, help me!”
The inauguration was taking place at the National Assembly, with guests of honor Presidents Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Raul Castro of Cuba and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who I’m sure would not be amused at the prospect of their own inaugurations being interrupted.
Considering the amount of security, I’m wondering if anyone (Cabello? Cuba? drug lords?) is trying to send Maduro a message by allowing this to happen.
Things are not looking good for Venezuela,
The International Monetary Fund said this week that it expects Venezuela’s economy to contract 0.1 percent this year compared to 5.5 percent growth in 2012 and to have the region’s highest inflation at 27 percent, forcing an inevitable cutback in the public spending that was key to Chavez’s popularity.
Rest assured Cuba’s slice of the Venezuelan oil pie will remain unaffected.
Details of the audit were unclear. Ms. Lucena said the revision would be electronic and wasn’t the same as a recount, which is what the opposition had demanded following the election. “This should not be interpreted as any sort of ‘scrutiny,’” she said in televised comments.
Which, from the looks of it, means that they’ll just go over some data from the electronic voting machines while ignoring the paper ballots, fingerprint data, and the voting location records.
I do not want to offer any opinion because it is a complex matter to evaluate how good the news really is. Capriles team seems happy with it so for the time being let’s roll. However I will note that the CNE is talking of 30 days of audit and who knows how many more for a final verdict. In short the regime is accepting an audit as long as it gives it time to come up with a better strategy to confront the opposition and smash it down before the result is out. At least that is my worry at this time as a one week audit should already generate enough info to see if it is worth going on.