Archive for the ‘Cubazuela’ Category

Argentina: Cristina, Iran, #Nisman, and The New Yorker and The Tower reports

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

Six months ago, prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead of a bullet to the head on January 28 in his Buenos Aires apartment, on the eve of the day when he was scheduled to testify to congress on his findings regarding a civil lawsuit he had filed the week prior accusing president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of colluding with Iran to obscure the investigation into the 1994 AMIA bombing.

Nisman’s civil lawsuit was dismissed.

The investigation into his murder is still pending.

Three days ago, president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner tweeted a transcript and video of her interview with The New Yorker’s Dexter Filkins,

Cristina may have been hoping for a puff piece like Vogue magazine’s infamous profile of Asma al-Assad.

Filkins met her at the Quinta Olivos, asked questions, and let her talk (which she did – boy, did she ever, for over two hours).

Rather than a puff piece on the self-absorbed Cristina, Filkins wrote an excellent article on the Nisman case,
Death of a Prosecutor
Alberto Nisman accused Iran and Argentina of colluding to bury a terrorist attack. Did it get him killed?
This is what Filkins had to say about his conversation with Cristina,

Pesident Kirchner works in an ornate mansion in central Buenos Aires known as “the Pink House”—for the tint of its walls, once supplied by horse blood—but her official residence, in a northern suburb, is called Quinta de Olivos. Dating to the sixteenth century, Olivos, as it is known, is a white three-storied palace that resembles an enormous wedding cake.

When I met Kirchner there, two months after Nisman died, the mystery was still dominating the news. I was ushered into a wide split-level room that had been set up as a television studio. Kirchner entered a few minutes later, in a flouncy dress and heavy makeup, followed by two dozen aides, nearly all of them men. With the cameras running, Kirchner reached over, before the interview began, to fix my hair. “Is there some girl who can help him with his hair?” she asked. “We want you to be pretty.” Then she began to straighten her own. “I want to primp myself a bit,” she said. “Excuse me, I’m a woman, besides being the President: the dress, the image—”

“Divine!” one of her aides called from off the set.

While Filkins did not refute any of Cristina’s lies, his is not a puff piece at all,

Over time, Kirchner has grown more dictatorial and, according to muckraking reports, more corrupt.

The article must be read in its entirety.

Likewise, Eamonn MacDonagh reports at The Tower on Alberto Nisman’s Secret Recordings, Revealed
Before he was murdered, the Argentinian prosecutor investigating the massive 1994 Buenos Aires bombing wiretapped over 40,000 phone calls. His one question: Did the Argentinian government conspire to cover up Iran’s involvement in the attack?

An idea of the importance of the recordings can be gleaned from a February 2013 conversation between alleged Argentine government intelligence operative Ramón Héctor “Allan” Bogado and Khalil. In that call, which was widely reported in the Argentine press, Bogado told Khalil, “We have a video of the [AMIA] attack,” leading Khalil to reprimand him for not being more careful when speaking on the phone. Of course, it’s impossible to know for sure who Bogado meant by “we,” but one distinct possibility may be that the AMIA bombing was filmed by Argentina’s intelligence services, or that a video recording of it, perhaps containing vital evidence about the identity of the terrorists who carried out the attack, fell into their hands.

Both Filkins’s and MacDonagh’s articles are indispensable reading on the Nisman case.

Investigative journalist Jorge Lanata, in his show Periodismo Para Todos (Journalism For All), continues his coverage of the Nisman murder, and commissioned forensic expert Cyril Wecht for his opinion on whether Nisman’s death was a murder or a suicide. You can watch the report here.

Wecht’s interview starts 35 minutes into this YouTube; the show is in Spanish but Wecht’s portion is in English,

One of the world’s foremost forensic experts, Wecht asserts that Nisman’s death is most likely a murder.

Which comes as no surprise.

Also in Lanata’s report: The man in charge of internet security at Nisman’s apartment building has been in charge of cyber defense for Argentina’s military since January.

Tom Clancy would have had a field day.

Venezuela healthcare system approaching Cuban levels

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

One of the most tragic consequences of Venezuela’s premeditated Cubanization is the descent of its healthcare:
Venezuelans Suffer Amid Crumbling Health System
As country’s economy struggles, lack of hospital funding and widespread shortages of medicine and surgical supplies put patients at risk

For instance:

In late November, the director of cardiovascular surgery at the University Hospital sent out letters to the cardiology ward’s patients, telling them they were being discharged. The reason cited: a dearth of operating-room supplies—no catheters, no working blood-processing machine, no heart valves.

A comment on the following graph: Any information on Cuba’s spending is provided by the government, and, therefore, dubious,

Read Juan Forero’s article in full, and browse through the comments.

En español: Las colas en supermercados venezolanos

Friday, March 6th, 2015

Programa de AR logró filmar lo que nadie ha podido en Venezuela. (h/t HACER)

In English:
Chavez’s Legacy: Venezuela in Shambles
Venezuelans are quickly discovering that Chavez’s promised paradise was really a ticket to hell.

Venezuela: AP does Orwell so well

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed -if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past,’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.’ And yet the past, though of its nature alterable, never had been altered. Whatever was true now was true from everlasting to everlasting. It was quite simple. All that was needed was an unending series of victories over your own memory. ‘Reality control’, they called it: in Newspeak, ‘doublethink’.

George Orwell, 1984.

AP Report on Venezuela Touts How Chronic Shortages ‘Bury Mindless Consumerism’ (also at Bizzyblog)

It’s amazing how any reporter can cover the deepening economic crisis in Venezuela without saying a word about how the country got there.

But Associated Press reporter Hannah Dreier was up to the task. In a bizarre, sickening November 20 report on how its people are having to get “creative” in the face of chronic shortages of basic goods to get by, she acted as if those shortages — and the over five decades of worse problems in Cuba — somehow just happened.

Dreier also virtually celebrated the fact that conditions in that country can be seen as the fulfillment of a fond “dream” of deceased dictator Hugo Chavez’s dreams

Among Hugo’s “dream” you could count the Bolivarian [un]sanitary napkin.

I suggest Dreier try those.

Venezuela: Beyond-the-grave nepotism

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Your country seeks a seat in the UN’s Security Council. Who better than the late dictator’s daughter, who has never held a job?

Security Council-ready!

Chávez Heir Lands First Job: U.N. Envoy
Some say María Gabriela Chávez, a daughter of Venezuela’s late Socialist leader Hugo Chávez, is unprepared to be deputy ambassador to the United Nations, as Venezuela seeks a Security Council seat on the world body.

Ms. Chávez, 34 years old, has never held a formal job and is known as a socialite—the Kardashian of Sabaneta, her father’s hometown—who posts “selfies” on social media, said former diplomats and political analysts. Unlike her older sister, Rosa Virginia Chávez, who studied international relations, the younger Ms. Chávez has demonstrated little inclination for geopolitics.

Rosa Virgina is not to be confused with her other sister, Rosinés Chávez who has demonstrated some, shall we say, unsocialistic tendencies,

while María Gabriela knows all the right people,

She’ll fit right in at the UN.

[Post corrected to add omitted text]


Cubazuela: Free healthcare for all

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Without further comment,

Cuba:
An essay on the decay of the Pedro Borras Hospital, an Art Deco landmark building which housed one of the best hospitals in the Caribbean, The Ghost of a Preventable Death (via Babalu).

Venezuela:
Life in short supply at the Hospital Universitario’s HIV department,

“There are like sixty-five thousand patients receiving treatment in the country. We receive about ten percent of them,” he says, referring to the Universitario, a public entity supported by the government. “There are normally about twenty types of antiretrovirals in the country, of about thirty that exist in the world. Most of them are now not available.”

Venezuela: Tricks for bucks, Trix from Doral

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

A roundup on the rolling disaster 21st Century Socialism has wrought:

Tricks for bucks: Sex, Dollar Bills, and the Venezuelan Black Market. Just like in Cuba,

Venezuelans are living in a two-tiered society, in which those with access to dollars can buy goods that are unavailable to others, as Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University, points out.

Trix from Doral: Shippers send more boxes of groceries from Doral to Venezuela

Companies specialized in shipping boxes to be delivered at people’s front doors in Venezuela say that boxes now carry products not usually sent to that country. Amazon books, spare parts for cars and electronic items are now being replaced with cans of tuna, rice packages, coffee, medicines and even bathing soap.

The BBC visits Hugo Chavez’s own Potemkin village, complete with Chavista tour guide.

Leopoldo Lopez was interviewed from jail. Caracas Chronicles has the story. PanamPost has more on Leopoldo López and the Death of Freedom
The Spirit of Venezuelan Freedom Fighters Will Triumph, Redeem His Sacrifice
.

Daniel observes how All is dissolving, slowly but surely

Carlos Eire’s Capt. Louis Renault moment

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Actor Claude Rains in Casablanca, playing Capt. Louis Renault,

National Book Award winner Carlos Eire, writing at Babalu,

Venezuela has been withholding funds from all airlines that service the country. How do they do it? The money paid by passengers has to go into a government account. Then that account never dispenses the funds to the airlines.

All told, they have siphoned over 4 billion dollars in this way. And the airlines are now waking up and demanding their money.

Officials in Caracastan have offered to pay a very small fraction of the money owed, and to do so in installments, over several years.

In the meantime, they are demanding that the airlines keep flying in and out of their country under the same arrangement, with the money from the passengers being funneled through a government account that never pays out.

The International Air Transport Association is shocked, shocked by this Castronoid behavior!

…. And in Caracastan, the negotiators are shocked, shocked that the IATA is crying foul!

I wonder if charter flight carrier GECA Airlines, owned by German Ferrer, son of high-ranking chavistas German Dario Ferrer and Luisa Ortega Diaz had any trouble collecting. Read more about the Ferrers in Chavistas en el Imperio.

Related:
Unfortunately, A Bleak Future For Venezuelans.

how can the Government pay its debts, when all of its operating (Not liquid, operating!) international reserves are not enough to pay the debt with the airlines?

Venezuela: Chavistas rolling in dough

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

American lefties declare to the end that “Chavez improved the economy drastically and ameliorated poverty drastically” because GDP went up and Hugo supposedly “reduced inequality”.

Only that “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others” in Hugoland:

Raúl Gorrín and Gustavo Perdomo, Globovisión owners leave socialism behind on visits to Miami

The Senate and the House of Representatives are working simultaneously on two bills to penalize corruption and human rights violations in Venezuela after the government of President Nicolás Maduro cracked down on opponents demonstrating against his regime.

The sale of Globovisión was a big blow to the Venezuelan people, for it shut down the last channel that challenged the government’s censorship of opposition media.

The news channel’s programming changed dramatically during the weeks after the sale, and prominent journalists resigned when the new owners tried to impose a gag rule.

The owners could not be reached for comment.

Gorrín, who is also the majority shareholder of the Venezuelan insurance company Seguros La Vitalicia, has made efforts to demonstrate in Venezuela that he supports the ideals of 21st century socialism, which advocates a less capitalistic and more equal society.

He once said on Globovisión that the “time has come for humanist entrepreneurs.”

“We have to go from Social Responsibility to real commitment … and our commitment is for life, like a marriage, for as long as we agree that the help should go to the needy,” he said.

His Miami lifestyle, however, is far different from the socialist rhetoric.

Gorrín and Perdomo own several properties in Cocoplum, one of South Florida’s most expensive areas, with two of them valued at more than $4 million each, according to the documents obtained by El Nuevo Herald.

One of the properties, the one used by Gorrín and his family when he visits, is located at 144 Isla Dorada Blvd. and is valued at almost $4.4 million.

The property, with five bedrooms and six baths, has access to the bay and a small berth to dock yachts.

Perdomo owns a house that’s 6,203 square feet, acquired in October 2011 for $3.5 million by Magus Holding II Corp, in which Perdomo is listed as director.

The amount of oil revenues spent in the U.S. by highly-placed chavistas boggles the mind. I have recommended Casto Ocando’s book, Chavistas en el Imperio: Secretos, Tácticas y Escándalos de la Revolución Bolivariana en Estados Unidos, which details the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Last month Javier Ceriani of the Spanish-language TV program AQP went to the locations owned by Raúl Gorrín and Gustavo Perdomo, among them the house Gorrín owns at Islands of Cocoplum in Miami. I posted the videos in Spanish here.

Yachts, Mercedeses, Maseratis, and mansions for the ones on top of the political pyramid: what socialism for the 21st century is really about.

Venezuela: No food in the shops, but 3 jets for Raul

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

It’s a matter of priorities, people!


I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings
.

Venezuela gives Cuba three aircraft to transport Raúl Castro
The aircrafts –two Dassault Falcon 50 and one Falcon 900– are worth some USD 100-110 million

The aircraft –two Dassault Falcon 50 and one Falcon 900– are worth some USD [$]100-110 million, and are regularly used for transporting ministers and even Cuban President Raúl Castro, sources said as reported by the Miami Herald reported.