Archive for the ‘Venezuela’ Category
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:
More photos at Noticias24. One of the assemblymen even put on his motorcycle helmet.
As far as I could ascertain, the man in the jogging suit is not an assemblyman and has not been detained.
Cabello watched and laughed. The assemblyman who was speaking went on talking.
All of this was timed to coincide with a cadena, so the radio and TV media were tied up and wouldn’t have been able to report live, had they dared.
Two days ago, the Washington Post was foretelling,
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.
Venezuela’s democratic movement is being violently shoved into the kind of underground resistance it never envisioned for itself, never sought, isn’t well prepared to take on, and never actually wanted.
Today many May Day demonstrations are scheduled, with Henrique Capriles encouraging the people to participate. The melee at the National Assembly is only a warning.
Congressional midterm elections are set for October and the kirchneristas are desperate to win a majority so that they can change the law to allow the president to run for a third term. To reach that goal, the government decided that more cooperation from the courts is in order.
Mrs. Kirchner’s government drafted and Congress has now approved a law that, among other things, does away with existing rules for picking members of the magistrate council, the body that chooses and can impeach federal judges. Those rules ensured that the council would be made up of a politically mixed group of individuals chosen by politicians, judges, lawyers and academics.
In their place, the reform stipulates that the council will be elected by popular vote in the same election that chooses the president—raising the likelihood that the executive will control the judiciary. If 51% of voters want judges who will strip the other 49% of their property, so be it. The reform also limits to six months any injunction against a government policy, conveniently destroying the protection that Clarin now enjoys. There will also be new appellate courts with judges appointed by the council.
US tries new aerial tools in Caribbean drug fight (H/T DP)
The week’s posts and podcast:
Venezuela: Maduro has US citizen arrested
In Silvio Canto’s podcast, talking to Jon Perdue.
Timothy Hallett Tracy is under arrest in Venezuela by Maduro’s order.
On video: “I have ordered that he be detained immediately” (at the 0:27 mark),
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.
Chavismo is sounding more hysteric every day:
Venezuela’s parliament launches probe into Capriles
Venezuela’s government-controlled parliament on Wednesday set up an inquiry into violence over its disputed election that authorities blame on opposition leader Henrique Capriles.
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.
Capriles continues to ask people to keep the peace, and is planning a demonstration on May 1,
Nosotros propusimos a nuestro Pueblo un aumento general del 40% y vamos a luchar por eso!El 1 de Mayo a movilizar todo el país!
— Henrique Capriles R. (@hcapriles) April 24, 2013
Chavismo has lost any democratic character, not that it ever did.
As announced last week, Venezuela’s electoral council (CNE) is going to self-audit.
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.
In a better world such repression would have provoked objections from the Organization of American States. Its Democratic Charter is a pledge by all members to stand up for democratic principles throughout the hemisphere. Yet since the charter was ratified in 2001, the OAS has done nothing to stop the destruction of institutional checks and balances by left-wing caudillos like Chávez. It has used its power, under the leadership of Secretary-General Miguel Insulza (a Chilean socialist) since 2005, to beat up on countries that push back against what Chávez called “21st century socialism.”
Santos announces stimulus package
Video from HACER: Amigos de la Libertad: Carlos Alberto Montaner (in Spanish)
The week’s posts and podcast,
Fonseca flash mob on Times Square!
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.
Venezuela Vote Faces Review, namely, the CNE (the electoral council) will wait until after Maduro’s inaugurated, and
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.
Do keep in mind that all Venezuelan institutions are 100% chavista-controlled.
Daniel Duquenal is equally skeptical,
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.
Over in Peru, Chavez’s brainchild UNASUR stands by Maduro, which comes as no surprise.
Or, is it a recount? Read the post and comments at Devil’s Excrement.
Venezuela’s Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected calls for a recount of the country’s disputed presidential vote, even as the opposition submitted reports of thousands of alleged irregularities and the U.S. government reiterated its call for a new tally of ballots.
The opposition was given no chance to present evidence
And as the military has been pressuring Maduro to allow a recount, the Impostor-President had none other than the President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court, Luisa Estela Morales, issue her already formed opinion, once again without the legal arguments being presented at the time in her Court.
Over in Rome, Venezuela’s ambassador to Italy, Julián Isaías Rodríguez Díaz, posed for the cameras holding the Cuban flag,