Archive for the ‘Hugo Chavez’ Category

Venezuela: A voice from the grave? UPDATED

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

This turned up in Venezuela, purportedly an audio of Hugo Chavez calling his brother on September 16th.

“Hugo” forgot to mention what year.

It made the news, but nobody fell for it, and, of course, Maduro blamed the opposition:
Hugo Chávez ‘voice from the grave’ clip dismissed by Venezuela president
Nicolás Maduro accuses rivals of fabricating audio file imitating late leader saying he was betrayed and is being held captive

The recording’s veracity was firmly denied by Adan Chávez. “This disgusting montage has prompted some to believe that Chávez didn’t die and that he is hiding. Others think that this recording was done before his death. It is all a great lie.

“Hugo Chávez was buried alongside the love of his loyal and revolutionary people, and he never sent me a message of this type.”

When it comes to impersonations, though, Gustavo Rios does a better job of impersonating both Maduro and Chavez:

Jaime Bayly posits (in Spanish) that this audio was most likely recorded in 2011,

If it was, who recorded it? Was Adan Chavez’s phone bugged? Who released it now?

If it’s true that Maduro had to rush back from China for fear of an internal coup, who has the most to gain from this distraction?

Because, no matter what, this is a distraction from the rolling disaster Venezuela has become.

Argentina: Creditors say “no”

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

Another default coming up, since the creditors don’t want to settle for 14 cents on the dollar,

Holdout creditors on Friday rejected Argentina’s proposal to pay them about 20 cents on every U.S. dollar of bonds they own, leaving a U.S. appeals court to decide how to enforce a ruling that may push Argentina into a new default.

“Not only are the details of Argentina’s proposal unacceptable and unresponsive; Argentina fails even to provide this court with meaningful ‘assurances’ that it will actually comply with its own proposal,” said Theodore Olson, a lawyer for the holdouts, in a brief filed Friday.

Argentina’s own math values the offer at $210 million, less than 15% of the $1.47 billion that holdouts were owed on their defaulted bonds as of March 1, according to the brief.

You may be thinking, “what the hey do I care?” The judges’ decision could be seen as a precedent for sovereign restructurings around the world. Additionally,

Many analysts, including Mr. Werning, think the court will come down in favor of the holdouts. Under that scenario, Argentina would likely miss payments on its performing bonds until it is able to find a payment mechanism beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

You can count on that.

In other Argentina news, Argentina Freezes Gas Prices for 6 Months
Argentina has locked gasoline prices at April 9 levels in another bid to tame rampant inflation.

Over in Venezuela, Cristina visited Hugo’s grave,

[Post re-edited to correct html.]

Venezuela: Maduro wins

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Official results:

The electoral board announcement was pushed back over and over, with the TV anchors talking on and on. Venevision even showed their entire crew.

By 11:10PM (10:40 Caracas time), Globovision said that no announcement could be made until the number of uncounted votes was smaller than the difference between the candidates, which, at that late hour pointed to a close election.

Finally, almost at midnight, after repeated appeals for calm, the announcement, as I predicted.

Venezuela’s Cuban Election
The Castro regime wasn’t going to allow an easy victory for the opposition candidate who has pledged to stop sending oil to Havana.

Over 370,000 null votes, and have not added overseas votes,

@NoticiasCaracol tweeted “Maduro got 7,505,338 votes, 50.66%, 234,935 more than opposition candidate Henrique Capriles, who got 7,270,403.”

Linked by Hot Air. Thank you!

A word on elected Latin American dictators

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Former Ecuadorian president Osvaldo Hurtado writes in his book, Dictaduras Del Siglo XXI El Caso Ecuatoriano (21st Century Dictatorships: The Case of Ecuador), on how the self-named “leaders of the 21st century socialist revolutions” take over and destroy the democratic institutions in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.

These 21st century dictatorships hold elections after instituting mechanisms, procedures and restrictions, and establishing advantages, which are all anti-democratic by eliminating the level ground for the election to take place.

As I have mentioned many times over the last 9 nine years, Hugo Chavez’s rule focused on concentrating all power on himself. After his death, Maduro became acting president, against the provisions of the Venezuelan Constitution, in order for him to run as incumbent. That way he has full control of the entire electoral process, the media, and all Venezuelan institutions.

Keep that in mind tonight when you see the election results.

The faces of democracy in Venezuela (in Spanish), via Alberto de la Cruz,

The Hugo Chavez bird Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Last week Venezuela’s acting president and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro officially inaugurated his campaign by publicly stating that Hugo Chavez had spoken to him in the form of a bird (but apparently not as a parrot). In the spirit of the occasion (all puns intended), and in keeping with a red Chavista shirt theme, I’m illustrating this week’s Carnival with the most famous red bird of all, the Angry Bird, instead of the usual map.

Argentina floods ‘catastrophe’ for La Plata, Buenos Aires
Emergency workers in Argentina continue to try to rescue residents stranded by flooding in Buenos Aires and La Plata

Pope Francis calls for aid for Argentina flood victims
Pope Francis has appealed for “civil and ecclesiastical institutions, as well as people of good will”, to provide help to the victims of devastating flooding in Argentina that has left dozens dead.

Fears Ease of a Default by Argentina

Colombianos manejan una red de préstamos en Santa Cruz de la Sierra

Rio Charges Three Men With Attack on American, French Visitors
Rio de Janeiro police said they have arrested a third suspect and sidelined two police officers after the rape of an American woman over the weekend.

Smoking in Latin America
Stubbed out
A bastion of tobacco addiction introduces a ban

Santos´ invisible and elitist cabinet

Religious persecution in Cuba rises in 2012

Beyonce, Jay-Z turn heads in Havana

Washington’s 51-year embargo makes it illegal for U.S. citizens to visit Cuba for mere tourism, although tens of thousands of Americans travel there each year on academic, religious, journalistic or cultural exchange licenses.

Social Security says benefits can’t be sent to Havana
The U.S. Social Security Administration makes it clear that benefits cannot be collected in Cuba.

Chevron Embargo Would Not Affect YPF Deal -Ecuador Plaintiffs
A freeze on Chevron’s funds in Argentina would not include any future investments the company would make in the country, according to a lawyer representing the Ecuadorian plaintiffs in the case behind the freeze.

Guatemala strongman trial hears litany of horrors

Are the Kaufman County Murders Connected To The Mexican Drug Cartels?


Mexico’s new president
Peña’s promising start
A lot done, and quickly, but much more still to do

Paraguay’s electoral alliances and land deals

Puerto Rico-Born Labrador Top Republican on Immigration

Puerto Rico moves to overhaul public pensions

Controversia por dura frase de presidente de Uruguay sobre Cristina Fernández
El mandatario uruguayo no se dio cuenta que los micrófonos estaban abiertos y se escuchó en la transmisión en vivo de una conferencia de prensa al sentenciar: “Esta vieja es peor que el tuerto”

Venezuela’s snap election still pretty much all about Chavez

Nicolás Maduro Decide Solamente Decir “Chávez” Hasta Que Acaben Las Elecciones

Denuncian a Maduro de ser un agente de Cuba, fotos, video y audio

The week’s posts and podcast
Venezuela: And now the Macarapana curse

Uruguay: Open-mic fail

Cuba: Beyonce’s no-no

Maduro: Cuba’s Venezuelan Pawn

Cuba: More repression

Thursday night tango and blogging

Yoani Sanchez in Jaime Bayly’s show: en español

Crazy cult campaigning in Caracas: The shrine

Venezuela: Maduro opens his campaign by saying he talked to Chavez, who is now a bird UPDATED

Uruguay: Same-sex marriage approved by Senate

Argentina: Cristina’s discomfort

Podcast: Silvio Canto‘s

Crazy cult campaigning in Caracas: The shrine

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Hugo Chavez idolatry as a campaign tactic in the 23 de Enero slum in Caracas:
Shrine to mourn and celebrate Venezuela’s Chavez,

“He is our saint of the poor,” says Eva Garcia, 45, who tends to the shrine each day after her shift at the local municipal offices as a community organizer.

As I predicted months ago, Chavez is joining Che in the Communist Idol show.

The Maduro campaign manipulates the poor’s ignorance and superstition,

To each and every visitor, Garcia hands out a copy of Chavez’s official agenda for the 2013-2019 presidential term he won’t complete. She also offers a handbill with Chavez’s last public remarks in December, in which he named Maduro his chosen successor.

The red canonization continues,

The Maternity & Children’s Hospital in the Western Caracas neighborhood of El Valle (seen in the picture left) is set to finally be opened to the public after 23 years in construction (14 of them under current management).

If they followed the old custom and named it after the leader who started the job, they’d call it the Maternidad Carlos Andres Pérez Rodríguez Hospital. Ermm…no chance of that.

Can you guess the new name they’ve when it opens? Yup: Comandante Supremo Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

Meanwhile, Roy Chaderton, Venezuela’s Ambassador to the OAS, is bellyaching about the opposition’s unfair advantage in the campaign.

No birds were harmed in the writing of this post.

Venezuela: Maduro opens his campaign by saying he talked to Chavez, who is now a bird UPDATE

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Here is Venezuela’s acting president and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro (in Spanish), along with bird whistles and sound effects,

You can’t make this corny, stupid, silly stuff up:

Maduro Says Chavez as a Bird Blessed His Bid to Head Venezuela

“I felt his spirit,” Maduro said in a televised speech broadcast from Chavez’s former home in the town of Sabaneta. “I felt him there as though he were giving us a blessing, saying to us: ‘Today the battle begins. Onwards to victory. You have our blessing.’”

Maduro may be trying too hard to build a cult of adoration and making people believe that from the grave Chavez directs his people to vote for Maduro, so he’s not paying attention to how crazy that sounds to non-Chavistas.

In case you think Maduro’s little bird doesn’t sound crazy to Latin Americans, I guarantee you that, to other Latin Americans he sounds like he’s flying over the cuckoo’s nest – as we mentioned in yesterday’s podcast (audio starts right away). To Venezuelans, Caracas Chronicles stated,

In the last couple of weeks, it has become increasingly clear that the Maduro campaign has bought a one-way ticket on the Mental Express.

It took no time for Jaime Bayly to riff on it,

Venezuelan political satire website El Chiguirre Bipolar threw the towel and declared they can’t come up with a better joke.

So, it’s one of two things:
Either Maduro is so certain that the April 14 election outcome will not be affected by crazy talk,
Or, Maduro’s panicking.

Time will tell.


Linked by HACER. Thank you!

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Argentina’s Cristina Kirchner rips British rule of the Falklands in Twitter tirade

A Bit of 1984: Biometriics Used in #Argentina Today (h/t McNorman).

China and Brazil sign $30bn currency swap agreement
China and Brazil have signed a currency swap deal, designed to safeguard against future global financial crises.

Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon up 26 pct, via Gates of Vienna

Rio 2016 stadium escapes demolition
The Joao Havelange stadium, which was due to host the Rio 2016 Olympics, will not be demolished, despite structural problems that led to its closure.

Chile ex-president Bachelet to run for re-election

Students and police clash in Chile
Thousands of Chilean students clash with police on the streets of the capital, Santiago, during a protest calling for education reforms.

Colombia Kills Leader of ELN Guerrilla Group During Military Operation, Omar,

The deceased ELN leader was a member of the guerrilla group for 17 years and was purportedly heavily involved in the group’s extortion racket and cocaine production.

Cuban Bullies at the U.N.
By Mary Anastasia O’Grady
Cuba’s military dictatorship tries—and fails–to put the kibosh on dissident Yoani Sánchez’s press conference at the U.N.

Eating a cable: Internet access still elusive in the island – by Yoani Sánchez

Cuba Harbors and Supports Terrorists. It Will Remain on the U.S. State Sponsors of Terrorism List. End of Story.

The State of Cuba in 2013

Barack Obama called ‘a hypocrite and a coward’ over Falklands betrayal – BBC audience applauds

A Bleak Picture
Employment among U.S. Citizens in States Represented by Gang of Eight

Bill Whittle,

“Imagine a country where not only are the borders secured by armed guards, but once you entered the country, if you even spoke about politics — at all — if you even mentioned anything politically, you would be deported. Imagine a country where everyone is required to be tracked all the time. Where all of these immigrants are constantly monitored. Imagine where the idea of immigrants even having a word on the internal politics of a country would be enough to get them deported.”

“I can imagine a country like that. That country is Mexico.”

HACER’s News Highlights of the week

Latins Rally to Restore Human Rights Panel

Growing Population Of Muslims Calling Tijuana Home, via Gates of Vienna

Enrique Peña Nieto’s reforms
One hundred days of solidarity

Peru intensifies currency fight

Puerto Rico Creates Tax Shelters in Appeal to the Rich

Trinidad’s gov’t official subject of US criminal probe
National Security Minister Jack Warner is the subject of a U.S. criminal probe, a local newspaper in the twin-island nation reported.

Hugo Chavez’s Legacy of Conflict and Propaganda
What the death of Chavez means for Venezuela and the U.S.

Rest in Peace Hugo Chávez, Says a Mural in Paris Filled with Portraits of Venezuela’s Caudillo


Is SICAD A Radical Change In How The Economy Is Managed??

The week’s posts:
Peru’s definitely not Cyprus

BBC’s Book of the Week: Comandante

Obama heading to Mexico and Costa Rica

Meanwhile, over in the country with the strictest gun control laws in our hemisphere,

Venezuela: Maduro vs Lechuga

The fighting cholitas hit the mainstream

Hezbollah agent issued Venezuelan diplomatic passport

Argentina: Feed a regime, starve a media

BBC’s Book of the Week: Comandante

Friday, March 29th, 2013

Abridged and available right now. Via Caracas Chronicle, who says

It’s a great chance to hear Rory’s book read by a professional, but hurry: they don’t leave these online forever.

You can also purchase the book through the Amazon link above.

The Pope Francis Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, March 18th, 2013

LatinAmerWelcome to the Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean. This week’s big story: Pope Francis, the first Latin American Pope.

Behind the Campaign to Smear the Pope
Argentines who want their country to be the next Venezuela see Francis as an obstacle.


Pope Francis appears for first angelus
Pope Francis appeared before more than 100,000 people massed in St Peter’s Square on Sunday for his first Angelus prayer and asked the faithful to pray for him.

Muchas gracias for a ‘triple first’ of a Pope

Popes and Dopes
Some journalists are remarkably ignorant–or at least think their readers are.

Vatican denies Dirty War allegations
The Vatican has denied that Pope Francis failed to speak out against human rights abuses during military rule in his native Argentina.

Video: Will Pope Francis go left on economics?

Jaime Bayly on the Pope (in Spanish)

Earth to Evo Morales

Brazil’s oil royalties
Counting the barrels

Presidential elections in Costa Rica, El Salvador and Panama

Exhumation of Pablo Neruda’s remains set for 8 April
A court in Chile has set a date for the exhumation of the remains of the Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda, as part of an inquest into his death.

National Science Foundation Celebrates Inauguration of Atacama Large Millimeter/Submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile

Colombia’s Peace Process Sans Chávez

In First U.S. Trip, Cuban Dissident Yoani Sanchez Vows To Turn Up The Heat

Report Grand Jury Investigating Robert Menendez

Ecuador preacher sentenced for homophobic comments
The former Ecuadorean presidential candidate Nelson Zavala has had his political rights suspended for a year and been fined for homophobic comments.

The Falklands referendum
Loud and clear
The islanders seek to sway world opinion by voting to stay British

British Media Focus on Bergoglio’s Falklands Remarks

This Map Helps Explain the Falklands Dust-Up

Chicken and avocado stuffed naan

Chavez’s legacy is worse than Calderon’s

Spicy, Spicy

Mexico’s Education Breakthrough
Why February 2013 may be remembered as a turning point for Mexican schools.


Contrary to prior reports, Paulson Not Planning a Move to Puerto Rico

Body of Chavez makes final journey
The body of Venezuela’s late president Hugo Chavez is being escorted to its resting place in a Caracas museum.
For now, that is.

Chavez madcap wake

Venezuela says permanently embalming Hugo Chávez’s body faces ‘technical’ difficulties

Latin America after Chávez

The Narrative of the Dead

Lukoil learns the hard way

ROS-LEHTINEN: Venezuela after Chavez: What comes next?
U.S. dithering won’t encourage democracy

The week’s posts and podcasts:
Yoani Sanchez in NYC

Crazy in Venezuela

At BlogHer, Francis I: The First Latin American Pope

Pope Francis I loves tango

BREAKING: New Pope elected – an Argentinian porteño

Falklands: The votes are in, but Cristina can’t believe it

Hugo’s mummy

Silvio Canto’s

Willie Lawson’s