Posts Tagged ‘Ukraine’

Venezuela: Not “a slow news week”

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Not “a slow news week” at all.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday where the guest complained of it being “a slow news week”. Dude! The federal government is trying to unleash the FCC on the TV and cable networks here in the US, Ukraine is burning (here’s a before-and-after) in no small part thanks to Olympic host Putin,

and five people have been killed in Venezuela (a country that provides 10-15% of the USA’s oil, who supports Iran, and is directed from Cuba) by unofficial chavista shock troops and the “colectivos“, after two weeks of escalating protests over soaring inflation, rampant crime, and chronic shortages, and you call this “a slow news week”??

Some of it has to do with the mainstream media ignoring the Venezuelan story; a Venezuelan Journalist Rightly Wonders Why American Media Ignores Unfolding Crisis. Some has to do with Latin America’s Complicit Silence in Venezuela. Indeed, it is right to ask, Are the Americas turning a blind eye to chaos in Venezuela? Add to that,

Seeing that Ukraine and Venezuela are now aflame, joining his other diplomatic successes in the Middle East and North Africa, Kerry has decided to focus his languorous “energy” on the greatest threat of all, “global climate change.”

But, Dude, it’s happening, and Ukraine And Venezuela: This Ain’t No Velvet Revolution

In their protests, Venezuelans seem to be counting on a Velvet Revolution against these Cuban communists who, remember, didn’t fall during the real Velvet Revolution that took down a string of communist regimes in 1989. They seem to believe the Chavista regime, faced with massive peaceful protests, will melt away in shame, leaving office to let the good guys take over.

But here’s the irony: Over in the real land of Velvet Revolutions — Eastern Europe — there are no such illusions. Nobody in Ukraine thinks there will be any Velvet Revolutions there.
That’s why that uprising is a far more consequential pitched battle against a regime that clings to power at all costs because its fundamental control over the government and the people is now seriously endangered.

In fact, Cuban backups have landed to help the regime squash the opposition. This is No Venezuelan Spring: 4500 Cuban Military on Venezuelan Soil: $10B Annual US Subsidy at Stake – and the 4,500 does not include the 60,000 or so personnel imported from Cuba as “doctors”, etc.

Leopoldo López’s wife tweeted for him, since he’s in prison,

Maduro, stop the lies and fantasies. I do not negotiate, nor will I negotiate, with dictators. I presented myself on my own terms.


Venezuela’s Revolution Will Be Tweeted

Twitter has become especially valuable as a platform for political expression as Maduro has cracked down on independent and opposition news outlets (a paper shortage in the country hasn’t helped matters). Last week, the Venezuelan president blocked access to NTN24, a Colombia-based news channel, after it broadcast live coverage of the country’s violent protests (as the pseudonymous Venezuelan blogger Daniel Duquenal puts it, all “airborne media” is censored in the country). Now, the government is moving to squash social media, even as it harnesses the same platforms to advance its own agenda. Twitter recently reported that Venezuelan authorities had blocked users’ access to images from demonstrations, and protesters claim that police are confiscating their cell phones.

As López told Venezuelans in a video he recorded in the event of his arrest, “I invite you to become your own media outlet.”

After CNN reporter Karl Penhaul and his crew were assaulted by police in Caracas for doing their job, Chavez’ Heir Threatens to Expel CNN From Venezuela “if it does not “rectify” its coverage of political turmoil in the Latin American country.”

There’s the nature of the story itself: Alek Boyd (whose own blog, Infodio, has been censored since 16 Jan 2014) writes,

Events in Venezuela are happening at a speed that makes impossible for traditional media to keep tabs. Protests are not taking place only in Caracas, the entire country is up against chavismo. Opposition leaders have called for a demonstration tomorrow, which is likely to turn into hundreds of thousands of people across the country taking to the streets to support students protests and to decry the deaths, injured, torture and the horrible economic situation.

Nice Try, Venezuela, But Your Censorship Backfired

Students are getting more organized. While Protests Continue, Government Creates Third fx Market, effectively devaluing the currency again, and clamps down: Shock Troops Target Protesters

The protesters will have to persevere – the question remains, will the military take their side? There are some signs it may.

Yes, The left has a blind spot on Venezuela. When will it acknowledge that Chavez’s socialist dream has turned into a nightmare?.

So Dude, what’s your excuse?

Linked to by Maggie’s Notebook. Thank you!

Journalists under fire covering protests in Venezuela

Venezuela orders troops into border city amid fierce clashes
Objects placed by opposition protesters block a road in the Altamira neighborhood of Caracas, Venezuela
Paratroopers sent into San Cristobal in the border state of Tachira and an internet blackout imposed, as residents say they are living in a ‘war zone’

This week at Da Tech Guy Blog

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

my latest article, Venezuela vs Ukraine: Why we won’t see the protests in Caracas

Gaddafi ain’t going nowhere but his nurse is pregnant

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Looks like Gaddafi’s not leaving…for now.

For starters, as Andy McCarthy points out,

We understand neither whom we are fighting for nor the consequences of invading a Muslim country. To apprehend these things requires a rudimentary grasp of sharia. You don’t need a doctorate in Islamic jurisprudence. As I contend in The Grand Jihad, the basics will more than suffice. The problem is that, since the World Trade Center was first bombed in 1993, the government has been telling us that Islam has nothing to do with the jihadist campaign against us, so we have studiously avoided informing ourselves about Islam and its law.
It has come to light in just the last few days that commanders of the “rebels” (you know, those secular freedom fighters who are supposedly better for us than Qaddafi) include one Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi. And, I’ll be darned, it turns out that Hasadi is a jihadist who fought the United States in Afghanistan, and was detained for years until our forces turned him over to Libya. That was during the Bush years, when, through democracy-project alchemy, Qaddafi was transformed into a valuable U.S. ally against terrorism. Our new friend Qaddafi promptly . . . released him in 2008, in a deal designed to appease his Islamist opposition — a common practice in the Middle East, where, because Islam dominates life, even dictators must alternately court and repress jihadists in order to hang on.

Then there’s the fact that Obama’s ruled out killing him,
Barack Obama to lawmakers: We won’t kill Qadhafi, but we’ll sue him instead,

The president told lawmakers that NATO has begun proceedings against Qadhafi at the international court at The Hague, according to a GOP aide briefed on the call. He also said that the U.S. mission has always been humanitarian — to stop Qadhafi from slaughtering his own people — the aide said.

Do they expect Muammar to just step down?

And now for a deja vu moment: Remember when Reagan bombed Libya and Gaddafi posed with a dead baby, claiming Reagan had killed his daughter? There may be more of that coming up soon,

Gaddafi/Qadhafi’s nurse is saying she wants to go to Papa,

Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s Ukrainian nurse has reportedly said she believes he will put down the uprising in Libya and that she will be back by his side in a matter of weeks.

Noticias 24 was saying today that Papa knocked her up and she wants to be by his side when the baby’s born.

That, and she wants her $3,500/month salary back.

Apparently the first to report the baby news was Ukrainian daily Komsomolskaya Pravda v Ukraine, which says 38-year old Galina Kolotnitska is not saying who the father is, but she is pregnant and wants to return to Libya.

Wouldn’t surprise me if she does.

Mr Bingley says, Sing it!


Putin: Mr Freeze

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Via RWN, The day the sea froze: Temperature plunges to MINUS 12C and forecasters say it won’t warm up until Sunday

Temperatures plunged so low today that the sea actually began to freeze as Arctic conditions continued to grip the UK.

In the exclusive enclave of Sandbanks in Poole, Dorset the surf had frozen solid as the waves lapping the shore began to frost over.

A half-mile stretch along the shoreline reaching about 20 yards out to sea is covered in ice on the expensive peninsula.

In southern England, normally immune to the worst of the cold weather in winter, temperatures fell as low as -12C – and the chill will go on for several days according to forecasters.

Benson in Oxfordshire and Chesham in Bucks were both close to -12C and the UK’s coldest areas, with other large parts of the south also recording -9C and -10C.

My iPod newsfeed from Le Monde has a slide show of “Europe under the snow”, saying “the heart of Europe is under a cold wave, from Berlin to Belgrade”, “Switzerland announced record lows of – 26c”, and northern Italy is under a blanket of snow.

Here’s a guy cross-country skiing at the port of Marseille:

Just in time, Putin steps in and halts natural gas to Europe: Exports of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine appear to have completely stopped amid a dispute over gas supplies between the two countries.

Heating systems shut down in some parts of central Europe, as outdoor temperatures plunged to -10C or lower.

The EU depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80% of which is pumped through Ukraine.

The list of countries that have reported a total halt of Russian supplies via Ukraine includes Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Serbia, and Austria.

The Financial Times writes about the battle of oligarchs while Europe freezes.

Via the Baron, Cold war! EU gives Russia 24 hours to switch pipeline back on after 12 countries left without power

Russia today shut off all gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, leaving 12 countries without fuel in freezing winter conditions.

As millions of people struggled to cope in sub-zero temperatures, the European Union said the continent had effectively been ‘taken hostage’ by a trade dispute.

The Commission subsequently issued an ultimatum giving Russia and Ukraine a 24-hour deadline to resolve the situation or face an intervention.

What are they going to do? Invade? Send a strongly-worded letter?

Moscow pulled the plug on three major pipelines after a pricing dispute with Ukraine.

Supplies have dwindled throughout this week and today Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic confirmed their pipelines were empty.

Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey are already out of gas.

Italy suffered a 90 per cent plunge, France was down 70 per cent and Germany was affected for the first time.

Britain, however, is unlikely to run out of gas as only two per cent of supplies come from Russia which can be replaced from other sources if necessary.

Britain only has capacity to store enough gas for 16 days, France has enough for 88 days and Germany 77.

Europe receives about 20 per cent of its gas from Russia, via the Ukraine pipelines.

Maybe, maybe it’s time we start thinking here in the USA what we need to do to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. We have plenty of natural gas, shale, and coal, while we’re the only country in the world that prevents itself from exploring and exploiting our own energy sources.

Fountains frozed


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