Archive for the ‘Fausta’s blog’ Category

Brazil: Welcome to Usama’s!

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014


faustaMy latest article at Da Tech Guy Blog, Brazil: Welcome to Usama’s!, is up. Please read it and leave a comment.

Garcia Marquez’s black eye: Vargas Llosa ain’t telling

Sunday, April 27th, 2014

A post for us, lit geeks:

On Valentine’s Day, 1976, in Mexico City, Gabriel García Márquez was photographed showing off a shiner (and possibly a broken nose?):

What is known:
On February 12, 1976,

in a Mexico City movie theater packed with people attending the premiere of a film about the plane crash survivors in the Andes who turned to cannibalism.

At one point Mr. Vargas Llosa rushes up to Mr. García Márquez, who innocently tries to embrace him. Instead Mr. Vargas Llosa decks him, Mr. García Márquez’s blood gushing everywhere.

Of course, there’s plenty of speculation as to why. Photographer Rodrigo Moya, who took the above photo, said in 2007

Some had surmised that the fight may have been over politics, since Mr. García Márquez has always been on the left and Mr. Vargas Llosa at the time had begun to migrate to the right. (He later made an unsuccessful attempt to run for president of Peru in 1990 as a free marketeer.) But, as Mr. Moya explains, the cause was a woman, specifically, Mr. Vargas Llosa’s wife, whom Mr. García Márquez consoled during a difficult period in the marriage.

When I first heard of this, I thought the lady in question was Julia Urquidi, the Aunt Julia of Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, who was the first Mrs. Vargas Llosa, but it must have been the second Mrs. Vargas Llosa, cousin Patricia Llosa (also mentioned in Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter), who has been married to him since 1965.

No matter:
Peru’s Vargas Llosa to take secret of Garcia Marquez spat to grave

“There’s a pact between Garcia Marquez and myself (not to talk about it),” Vargas Llosa, 78, said at a meeting of right-wing intellectuals in Caracas when a journalist popped the inevitable question following the Colombian’s death last week.

“He respected it until his death, and I will do the same. Let’s leave it to our biographers, if we deserve them, to investigate that issue.”

Which shows you one can throw a punch, be a great writer, and still come out as a gentleman.

And,
Yes, being pro-democracy and civil rights makes you “right-ring”, in the eyes of Reuters.

UPDATE:
Linked to by Babalu. Thank you!

Venezuela: American arrested for murder

Friday, April 25th, 2014

American Arrested in Venezuela on Murder Charges. The Miami Herald has more: Venezuela accuses U.S. man of arms trafficking, attempted murder

A criminal court in the Venezuelan border state of Táchira on Wednesday ordered the detention of a U.S. citizen pending investigation into allegations of arms trafficking, criminal association and attempted homicide, the Ministry of Information reported.

The ministry said that Todd Michael Leininger, who authorities have described as a 32-year-old from Florida, was detained after allegedly shooting and injuring Jorge Santos Sandoval. Leininger’s Florida hometown was not released.

Authorities said Leininger was detained on Monday and that they recovered five weapons from his home, including two handguns and three rifles. One of the rifles had a telescopic site. Authorities said they also confiscated eight “camouflage” uniforms.

Leininger’s mom, who lives in Miami, asserts her son acted in self-defense when the intruder broke into the house.

“Positive discrimination”

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

My latest at Da Tech Guy, “Positive discrimination”,

But I pose to Justice Sotomayor this question, does race matter when Asian (East Asian and Indian) students are denied admission to top colleges because quotas favor a different minority?

Go read the whole thing.

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

A blessed and happy Easter to you and your loved ones,

UPDATE:
Easter Thoughts from Roger Kimball.

Venezuela: more censorship, in “one of the most democratic nations on Earth”

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

American leftist websites proclaim that “Venezuela is one of the most democratic nations on Earth.” So democratic, that now the government may censor crossword puzzles:
Venezuelan newspaper accused of devising revolutionary crossword clues
Delcy Rodríguez, minister of information, calls for investigation of El Aragueño for allegedly printing anti-government puzzle

She tweeted that beaut, after which dozens of Venezuelans tweeted back mocking her. Some even made up a crossword (no hay means “there isn’t any”) listing shortages of staples – sugar, rice, milk, meat – and “what supermarkets have”, number 15 across, is “shortage”:

Here’s the crossword they’re sending Delcy Rodríguez

Let’s point out that Twitter and other social media have not been successfully blocked by the government – unlike print, radio and TV. Which, of course, the Left can’t believe because Mark Weisbrot says it ain’t so, just as they believe that Chavez “improved the economy drastically and ameliorated poverty drastically”:

This in NOT a demonstration, this is a line to buy food in Venezuela. The result of 15 years of Chavismo.

Those who believe that Chavez “improved the economy drastically and ameliorated poverty drastically”, on the other hand, will affirm that he had nothing to do with shortages, no matter what the Venezuelans themselves have been saying on the matter for the past four years.

Over in Miami, Thor Halvorssen of the Human Rights Foundation filed a lawsuit accusing the president of Venezuela’s National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, of receiving at least $50 million in bribes from Derwick Associates for kickbacks on electric plants.

Alek Boyd posts on Diosdado Cabello & Wikileaks

 Wikileaks provides examples of how American authorities perceive Cabello, and so it is relevant to showcase these opinions, to get a measure of the man. I have chosen a few, among the 116 cables (2003-2010) that mention Cabello.

Go to his blog Infodio more.

If you check Alek’s twitter feed, you’ll see that he posts links specifically for Venezuela that bypass the government’s censorship, which of course Mark will have you believe doesn’t exist – no matter that Alek was banned in Caracas,

 It seems, though, as if Infodio has been rocking a few too many boats - a few weeks ago, the site was banned in Venezuela.

At this point even Dilma – who is facing falling approval ratings and is not impressed with Venezuela’s government public relations b.s. – is getting tired of the regime’s shenanigans, and wants to get paid: Brazil grows wary of Venezuela under Maduro, reduces support

Rousseff is worried the Venezuelan government’s repression of recent street protests, and Maduro’s refusal to hold genuine dialogue with opposition leaders, may make the political crisis worse over time, the officials said.

Worsening turmoil could, in turn, endanger the sizeable interests of Brazilian companies in Venezuela. They include conglomerate Odebrecht SA.

Brazilian newspaper Valor Economico reported this month that Venezuelan public-sector companies already owe Brazilian companies as much as $2.5 billion in debt.

You know you’re in trouble when Odebrecht starts complaining.

UPDATE:
Linked to be Pirate’s Cove. Thank you!

Mexico’s Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Fascinating article in Popular Science on Radio Tecnico: How The Zetas Cartel Took Over Mexico With Walkie-Talkies
Inside the communications infrastructure of the ultraviolent syndicate

Why walkie-talkies? To enable communication even in locations without cellular service.

How Jose Luis Del Toro Estrada was tapped to develop the covert radio network also remains a mystery, but as his system grew, it supplied the Zetas with what’s called a command-and-control capacity. “It essentially linked all the different members of the cartel—the people doing the trafficking and the people doing the protection—so there was a communication between them,” says Pike, the DEA special agent. Armed with handheld radios, the cartel’s street-corner halcones, or hawks, could help commanders avoid arrest by alerting them whenever police set up checkpoints. A midlevel boss in Nuevo Laredo could monitor a semitruck carrying several tons of cocaine as it trundled across the border into Texas. Most crucially, Zetas gunmen could use the system to attack and seize plazas, or smuggling corridors, held by other drug gangs.

And,

The Zetas’ military training and ultraviolent tactics were crucial for propelling their rise to power, but one other factor was essential: After splitting from the Gulf Cartel, it was the Zetas who maintained control of the radio network.

Read the whole thing.

#SOSVenezuela: Maria Corina calls for protests today, Maduro Warns protesters “We are coming for you”

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

National Assemblywoman Maria Corina Machado will be leading a demonstration today at 10AM Caracas time,
Today, #March16, to the streets to defend our sovereignty and dignity! #AgainstCubanOpression and V[enezuela]‘s submission to Cuba. C[aracas] 10AM El Indio Square

The gathering will protest the presence of Cuban military in the armed forces, and student leaders fron several universities are speaking.

Yesterday, Maria Corina Machado and at least one other legislator were attacked as they were about to board a flight at Ciudad Guayana airport.

Maria Corina has more guts than most men, continuing as a true leader, after having had her nose broken at the instigation and in the presence of National Assembly head Diosdado Cabello.

The Cuban regime has ordered snipers to take positions on top of buildings in Venezuela.

Dictator Nicolas Maduro escalated his comments

exclaiming that he “won’t be bullied,” and warning “prepare yourself, we are coming for you,” if protesters don’t “go home within hours.”

  • *VENEZUELAN PROTESTERS HAVE ‘HOURS’ TO CLEAR BARRICADES: MADURO
  • *MADURO SAYS HE’LL SEND ARMED FORCES TO ‘LIBERATE’ PROTEST AREAS

With 28 dead in the last month of protests, things are very serious but as we warned previously, Maduro still enjoying the support of the poor – as EuroNews reports, it appears he is not going anywhere soonJohn Kerry also came under fire as the foreign minister called him “a “murderer of the Venezuelan people,” accusing him of encouraging the protests.

He then played John Lennon’s song ‘Give Peace a Chance’ and urged the United States to discuss “peace and sovereignty” in a high level commission mediated by the Union of South American Nations (Unasur).

Maduro, in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, seized the opportunity to speak out of both sides of his mouth, saying that

“Venezuela no necesita tener ninguna mediación… Creo que lo que requiere es colaboración”.

“Venezuela needs no mediation. . . I believe what it requires is colaboration”.

Also yesterday, in the spirit of such “collaboration,” the Communist government held an event loaded with Fascist imagery,

proving Hayek right when he said, “Fascism is the stage reached after communism has proved an illusion.”

Post re-redacted to add two links.


Venezuela: Protesting doctors, 1st foreign casualty

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Wearing their lab coats, Doctors stage protest in Venezuela as Venezuela continues to become Cubazuela:

Another victim was reported over the weekend in the western Andean city of Merida, Giselle Rubilar, a 47-year-old Chilean national.

Chile’s outgoing President Sebastian Pinera said in Santiago Monday he had asked Venezuela to investigate her death of a gunshot wound to the head.

“Apparently there was a barricade near where she was living. She approached it and that’s where she was reportedly hit by the bullet that caused her death,” Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Moreno said.

“Not only bullets kill, the lack of medicine does too,” read one sign.

The president of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, Douglas Leon, said 95 percent of hospitals have only five percent of the supplies needed to take care of patients.

“The hospitals are deteriorated, supplies aren’t available and we have to tell patients to buy their own,” medical student Caterine Acosta, 20, told AFP.

Meanwhile, at the Miraflores presidential palace, Maduro touted the 2,500 medical students who he said will graduate this year from programs in partnership with allies like Cuba.

Cuba gets 100,000 barrels of oil a day for sending 40,000 medics to Venezuela.

h/t Babalu.

Thank you Chris Muir!

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

for the Day by Day!

022414

(click to enlarge)