mover

mover

miércoles, 11 de junio de 2008

Oración



Te suplicamos, Jesús, por todos nuestros parientes y seres queridos y te pedimos estar siempre dispuesto a rogar por ellos. Condúcelos a la luz de la verdad, consérvalos siempre en esa Verdad, si por dicha ya la poseen; guárdalos en estado de gracia y concédeles el don de la perseverancia. Te pedimos por nuestros parientes, padres y Madres; por nuestros hijos, por cada uno de ellos; en particular; por nuestros primos y toda nuestra parentela; por nuestros amigos más íntimos; por nuestros maestros y alumnos; por nuestros jefes y patrones, por nuestros servidores y trabajadores; por nuestros socios y compañeros de trabajo; por nuestros vecinos y por nuestros superiores; por todos aquellos que nos quieren bien y por los que no nos quieren; por nuestros enemigos; por nuestros competidores y rivales; por los que nos insultan y calumnian. Te pedimos por ellos, no sólo en esta vida, sino también en su muerte, para que tengan la dicha de morir en gracia de Dios, para que Dios se digne reducir el tiempo de su expiación y admitirlos a su presencia.

Amén.

SOMOS ANGELES DE UNA SOLA ALA, Y SOLO PODEMOS VOLAR ABRAZADOS UNOS A OTROS
Publicado por Marilin en Megaresistencia

La lengua de los caraqueños


Por: Eloi Yagüe Jarque - Contaba el destacado filólogo Ángel Rosenblat en su libro Buenas y malas palabras, que cualquier extranjero que viniera a Caracas se sorprendería y hasta se sentiría desconcertado por nuestra forma de hablar, así fuera hispano parlante. Por ejemplo, se asustaría si alguien lo invitara a caerse a palos sin aclararle que de lo que se trata no es de pelear sino de tomarse unos tragos. Lo cierto es que la lengua de los caraqueños está hecha de muchos préstamos debido a que la ciudad es un sitio de paso de gentes de múltiples procedencias. Así tenemos que para un visitante extranjero que venga por primera vez a nuestra capital le será muy difícil entendernos si alguien no lo ayuda. Eso pasó el otro día con mi amigo Peter, un joven neoyorkino estudiante de español, a quien tuve que ayudar para sacarlo de ciertas dificultades en que se metió. La primera fue cuando quiso comprar un CD's a un buhonero. Preguntó el precio y el vendedor informal le respondió: 'Dos lucas, papá'. Yo, que estaba a su lado viendo CD's, salí en ayuda de un Peter desconcertado que consultaba su diccionario de bolsillo donde, por supuesto, no halló lo que buscaba. Le expliqué que 'lucas' son miles, mientras que 'tablas' significa centenas de miles, y 'biyuyo', dinero en general. Y 'papá' es un trato familiar que se ha extendido entre los ciudadanos más confianzudos. Contento con la adquisición de sus nuevas palabras, las empezó a usar con entusiasmo. Tanto que al intentar sacar plata de un telecajero le dijo a un individuo que tenía detrás: 'Saqué tres tablas. Chévere de pinga!!'. Y el individuo, ni corto ni perezoso, le dijo: 'Bájate de la mula o te quiebro'. Como el gringo no lo entendió se dispuso a seguir su camino. Entonces el malandro le dijo: 'Quédate quieto o te clavo un chuzo'. Para su fortuna, por ahí pasaron unos policías en moto y al verlos el choro se piró. Peter, que al final comprendió que estuvo a punto de ser atracado, les dio las gracias, pero ellos también le pidieron que se bajara de la mula. Al ver que no comprendía ni papa lo dejaron tranquilo. Eso se llama 'matraca' -le expliqué días después, cuando me contó el episodio. Por supuesto también le expliqué que 'choro' significa ladrón, al igual que 'malandro', y que a los policías los llamamos 'tombos'. A partir de ese momento cada vez que nos veíamos anotaba en una libretica lo que significaban las palabras caraqueñas que noaparecen en los diccionarios oficiales del idioma y menos en el de la Academia de la Lengua. En eso estaba cuando me di cuenta de la dificultad de explicarle por ejemplo el uso de la palabra 'vaina' y todas sus variantes: 'una vaina': una cosa; 'echar vaina': bromear;'ni de vaina': ni por casualidad, por nada del mundo; 'de vainita': por un pelo; 'qué vaina': expresión que se usa para lamentarse de una situación desagradable. Fue difícil que entendiera que era muy diferente decir: 'te voy a echar vaina' a 'te voy a echar una vaina', pues en el primer caso se trata de bromear mientras que en el segundo es una amenaza. Se reía el gringo al ver nuestra forma de encarar los tamaños de las cosas y las diferencias entre vainita, vaina y vainón. Pero también fue trabajoso hacerlo comprender que para nosotros 'poco' es mucho. Por ejemplo: 'en la cola había un poco de carros', mientras que 'pocotón' es muchísimo: 'había un pocotón de gente saliendo del Metro'. También traté de explicarle que 'burda' es mucho o aumentativo. Por ejemplo: 'fulano y yo somos panas burda'; 'ese señor es burda'e viejo'. Peter se rascaba la cabeza y decía 'yo no entender nada'. 'Piano, piano', le decía yo, y tenía que aclararle que no me refería al instrumento musical sino a la expresión de que poco a poco se llegalejos. 'Vamos a tomarnos unas birras y te sigo explicando', le dije y le aclaré el significado de la palabra 'birra', o sea cerveza. Una de las cosas que más lo divertía es nuestra manía de los diminutivos. Una mañana lo invité a desayunar y se rió mucho cuando pedí pastelitos, cafecitos, y cuarticos de jugo. Al principio no los usaba bien puesdecía cosas como 'me voy en metrico', o 'me comí un perrocalentico', pero poco a poco fue aprendiendo el uso correcto que, por lo demás, es totalmente arbitrario. Luego tuve que hablarle de las frutas, ya que le gustan mucho, y explicarle que patilla no es el pelo que nos dejamos debajo de las orejas sino la sandía, y que la parchita es lo que en gringolandia llaman 'passion fruit' y en Brasil 'maracuyá' , y que plátano es...bueno, el plátano pues! El otro día lo vi manejando una motico china por las calles de Caracas. Se veía feliz. ¡Qué pasó, chamo!. Me costó tres palos' dijo muy orondo. Había descubierto la mejor forma de conocer la ciudad: sobre dos ruedas. Pero mi sorpresa fue mayor cuando sonó en aquel momento un celular y Peter se disculpó conmigo. Su conversación fue más o menos así: 'Marico, la jeba me embarcó. Qué raya. Yo que la tenía cuadrada. Iba a recogerla para ir a la rumba en Las Mercedes pero me dejó el pelero. Yahora me está pidiendo cacao. Qué va pana, no me la calo más'. Mi sorpresa fue en aumento a medida que escuchaba la conversación. Peter ya se había aclimatado lingüísticamente. Pero la consagración de la primavera llegó cuando alguien se acercó a pedirme una dirección y Peter hizo lo que cualquier caraqueño haría: responder aunque no le hubieran preguntado a él. Y ahí, montado en su moto y sin despegar el celular de su oreja, le indicó al solicitante frunciendo los labios yseñalando con ellos. Así me di cuenta de que aunque no hubiera nacido en Caracas, Peter ya merecía el título de hijo adoptivo de la ciudad. Definitivamente los caraqueños deberíamos emprender la tarea colectiva de hacer un diccionario que registre nuestra forma de hablar ya que, si seguimos así, ni siquiera nos entenderemos entre nosotros mismos.
_____________________
"Diccionario del habla actual de Venezuela"(1) por Rocío Núñez y Francisco Javier Pérez, editado por el Centro de Investigaciones Lingüísticas y Literarias de la UCAB, ISBN 980-244-097- 3, año 2005

Reglas de Nuestro Castellano

Leísmo, laísmo, loísmo
Había muchas personas, ha habido quejas, hubo problemas
Hubieron
Habemos
Se venden casas, Se buscan actores frente a Se busca a los culpables
Detrás de mí, encima de mí, al lado mío
Dobles participios: imprimido/impreso, freído/frito, proveído/provisto
Doble negación: no vino nadie, no hice nada, no tengo ninguna
Infinitivo por imperativo
El agua, esta agua, mucha agua
Ir por agua o ir a por agua
Sustantivo + a + infinitivo: temas a tratar, problemas a resolver, etc.
Mayor / más mayor
Palabras clave o palabras claves, copias pirata o copias piratas
La mayoría de los manifestantes, el resto de los alumnos, la mitad de los presentes, etc. + verbo
Veintiuna personas, veintiuno por ciento
Veintiuna mil personas o veintiún mil personas
Los miles de personas
Los ciudadanos y las ciudadanas, los niños y las niñas
India o la India, de Perú o del Perú
Plural de las siglas: las ONG, unos DVD
Tilde en las mayúsculas
Tilde en solo
Tilde en los demostrativos este, ese, aquel, etc.
Tilde en las formas verbales con pronombres átonos: deme, estate, mirándolo, etc.
Tilde en adónde, cómo, cuál, cuán, cuándo, cuánto, dónde, qué y quién
Porqué / porque / por qué / por que
A ver / haber
Has / haz
Halla / haya / aya
Echo, echa, echas / hecho, hecha, hechas
El abecedario y los dígrafos ch, ll y rr
Mayúscula o minúscula en los meses, los días de la semana y las estaciones del año
Escritura de prefijos y elementos compositivos
Ortografía de los signos de interrogación y exclamación
Cambio de la y copulativa en e
Cambio de la o disyuntiva en u
División silábica y ortográfica de palabras con tl
De 2007 o del 2007

Frase del día

"El que no considera lo que tiene como la riqueza más grande, es desdichado, aunque sea dueño del mundo."
Epicuro

Hugo Chávez: Portrait of A Man With Many Faces


By Milton Coleman Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, June 11, 2008; CARACAS, Venezuela - He worked the crowd like a master politician, shaking hands, gazing into women's eyes, glad-handing the American visitors who'd just heard him fulminate against his enemies du jour. He'd been venomous, long-winded, dismissive -- just like the caricature the United States knows so well. And yet here was President Hugo Chávez working a crowd of foreign journalists as if we were his old friends. Something about me caught his attention. He looked me up and down, taking full measure of this tall, dark-skinned American before him. He squared his shoulders. Then, a sheepish grin spread across his face as if he weren't sure he could get away with the greeting he wanted to give me. But he did it anyway, saying "Black power" and extending his hand for a shake. It took me aback. Not at all what I expected from the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. "Black power," I said, almost reflexively. I grinned back at the amused president and chuckled softly at this strange and unexpected encounter. That's Chávez. You never know which character you're going to get. The lectern-pounding revolutionary? The petro-populist? The crooning romantic? Chávez was a mystery to me. What was he really all about? How much substance, how much style, how much, even, sheer stupidity? No easy call, I was learning. And even after watching his performance at a three-hour news conference (short by Chávez standards) as part of my visit with a delegation from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, he seemed more complicated than even I had presumed. A country boy whose rough edges were never smoothed, Chávez, 53, is a career army commander who catapulted into Venezuela's power elite. He relishes his outsider status. Though his critics paint him as a buffoon, he is seriously and unapologetically trying to change his country's ruptured society from the bottom up. Hugo Chávez may be many things -- and the United States believes he's a danger to stability in Latin America. But one thing he is not: a joke. The label Chávez detests most is "dictator." That is how his critics portray him: He controls all three branches of government; he's amended the constitution to impose his will; he muzzles his critics in the media; he harasses the business establishment. What's more, they say, he pretends to be a man of the people but is a big spender who tolerates corruption. He lavishes the nation's windfall petrobucks on revolution abroad and patronage at home. He is a sometimes foulmouthed egomaniac on a power trip, and an acknowledged disciple of Fidel Castro of communist Cuba. Chávez's retort? Get over it! Who's winning the elections? Who has the mandate? To the victor go the spoils. Chávez first tried to become president in 1992 by masterminding a military coup d'etat. But he blew it. The coup failed. He spent two years in prison, basking at times in his new heroic image. Four years out of jail, he was elected president -- then reelected twice. In 2002, he survived a coup attempt by opponents in the military and in business. Turnabout apparently is fair play in Venezuelan politics. And in 2004, an attempt to recall him came up far short. Our 19-member delegation spent nine hours in Miraflores, the presidential palace, caught in Chávez's peculiar world -- waiting for him for hours, witnessing his strange news conference performance art, and having a coffee klatch that stretched from a planned 15 minutes to nearly two hours. As I said: The man changes but does not tire, not least when he has a captive audience. Reporters and editors snapped to their feet, news cameras rolled and still cameras flashed as Chávez entered the room, wearing a red T-shirt and olive-colored jacket in proper populist-chic fashion. He took his seat behind a bulky black desk. Simón Bolívar, the Liberator, peered over his shoulder from a large portrait, as if to say, "Don't worry. I got your back." And Chávez would need it, for he was under siege. Reports that day out of Colombia confirmed the authenticity of computer files linking Chávez to the FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The data were seized from a camp of the communist insurgents who are seeking to oust Colombian President Álvaro Uribe. The files were voluminous: 37,000 written documents, 8,000 e-mail addresses, 210,000 images and more. "No one can ever question whether or not the Colombian government tampered with the seized FARC computers," proclaimedRonald K. Noble, the Interpol secretary general. No one, that is, except Chávez. In some other place, with some other president, one might expect officials to counter with their own technical data, expert opinions or even political spin. Chávez left that to his ministers and diplomats. His style was this: After first complimenting the beautiful eyes of a Spanish reporter, Chávez curled his lips, frowned and scornfully declared that the Interpol news conference, "this show organized by these clowns," did "not deserve a single serious comment." Then he commented ad infinitum in an hour-long counterattack. There was guilt by association and character assassination. He called Noble, a former U.S. law enforcement official, "disgusting, " "immoral," "corrupt," "irresponsible, " "shameful" and "Dick Tracy, the super-cop," and a "gringo cop" at that. There were theater and faux magic. He used a mock card trick (he said he learned it from Castro) to help dramatize how he thought the incriminating data had wound up on the computers. He scribbled a note, stepped into the audience and showed it to a reporter. Then he walked over and planted it on one of his ministers sitting in the front row -- just as he believed the files would have been planted on the computers. And finally, he threw in a little reasonable doubt. If Interpol didn't get the computers until 10 days after they were seized, who knows what might have happened in the meantime? In the end, Chávez concluded, Interpol could find no evidence that the files had been tampered with. But it also could not prove that they had not. It was a remarkable defense, certainly unlike anything to be expected at the White House. But then who could imagine an American president taking time at a news conference to sing to a reporter. In what became a presser extraordinaire, he serenaded a blond journalist from Colombia with more than a few bars of the classic ode to her home town, "Mi Cali Bella" ("My Beautiful Cali"). Burgundy drapes climbed halfway up the white walls to a ceiling at least 20 feet high, which seemed to rest on light blue half-columns protruding from the walls. Triads of flame-shaped bulbs glowed from the ornate sconces trimmed in gold. We, the American editors, had entered El Despacho Presidencial, the Venezuelan equivalent of the Oval Office, for our impromptu private audience with the president, in a setting of splendor befitting Bolivarian glory. And there was the Liberator, starring down on us yet again, this time full-length and large as life. Though he'd just finished the "gringo cop" caper and had referred to the United States snidely as "the empire," Chávez lowered his rhetorical guns and changed his tone. Another Chávez was speaking to us. A kinder and gentler Chávez? Certainly not the one who only a couple of years ago addressed the United Nations General Assembly a day after President Bush and said, "The devil came here yesterday, and it smells of sulfur still today." He asked us to tell the people back home a different story -- that his problem is not with Yanquis in general. "I beg for a pardon from them. I beg forgiveness if, in my words, I've hurt any feelings back in the States," he said, in a mild, measured voice. "When I speak about the United States, I do not refer to the people, to the citizens. I refer to the elite that is governing the United States. And I am not even referring to all of the elite. "We have friends among the elite governing the United States. The economic elite, we have friends. We have friends among the cultural elite of the United States. . . . Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey came over here. Sean Penn. Those are my friends, close friends, and they are very critical as well." Palace staffers served demitasse as Professor Chávez continued the lesson. Even though his presidency has more or less coincided with Bush's, two amigos they are not -- even though Venezuela provides about 12 percent of America's oil and the United States buys half of Venezuela's exports. "I remember when I met George Bush for the first time," Chávez recalled. "It was in Canada at the Summit of the Americas [in April 2001]. We shook hands, and I said to him with a lot of spontaneity and sincerity -- and I know very little English, but I said this --'I want to be your friend." But it never happened, despite what he describes as attempts at mediation by other countries. The chill is so deep that he said, when asked, that yes, he has "a genuine concern" that the United States might someday invade Venezuela. "We have evidence of plans that exist in this sense." "I do think that the main reason to invade Iraq was the oil. And the main cause of the threats against us is, again, oil." Paranoid? Perhaps. But let's face it: Chávez has spent time in the cross hairs of those out to topple him, a taste of his own medicine. It was in this very room, he told us, that he was held on the night that he was betrayed, the night of the putsch in April 2002 when the infidels tried in vain to force him to resign the presidency. And that was the night, he recalled, when Castro called and implored him: Chávez, whatever happens, whatever you decide to do, "you cannot die tonight." Without a doubt, Castro is his Main Man -- the one, he said, who tutored him on how to calculate and utilize Venezuela's cash reserves; who schooled him on using the counterattack as a form of defense, as he'd done earlier in the day in discussing the FARC files; the one who has sent 30,000 Cuban doctors to help Chávez extend health care to Venezuela's plentiful poor, his core constituency. Castro considers him "a brother and a son," Chávez said. "I truly love him as a father, and it doesn't bother me to say so. An older brother, no. He's a father, and I think he sees me as a son. "Forgive me if what I am about to say sounds like an exaggeration. But if the world were to elect a president -- a president who could address the problems of the world, a president to lead the world, a president with the powers to do that -- Fidel would be the man." With his airport motorcade awaiting him outside the palace, Chávez signed autographs and posed with the visitors for a group picture beneath that gigantic portrait of the Liberator. "Todo mi amor," all my love, he wrote to a female visitor, the only other African American in the group. Along with his name and the date, he closed the message: "Tu hermano "-- your brother. That is how he sees himself -- a brother to people of color. Many Americans would call Chávez black, Afro-Latino. He's actually pardo, a Venezuelan mixed-race group with primarily African and Indian roots. I am certain it is the reason he greeted me that day with a "black power" salutation. It had now been nine hours since my arrival at Miraflores. The room had almost emptied, and Chávez was about to exit. But he had left behind the small blue cross he told us he has always carried since it was thrust into his hand that night of the coup six years ago as he feared imminent death. "Señor Presidente," I called out to him and pointed to the cross on the coffee table. He retrieved it, and took a moment to show me something else he carries with him -- a tiny blue booklet version of the Venezuelan constitution. We exchanged smiles, handshakes and farewells. He had the last word. "Adios," he said, pausing slightly, smiling and adding, "Hermano."

El significado de la Bendición


Cuando alguien te dice "Que Dios te bendiga" no solo te está deseandolo mejor para ti, sino que también esta actuando en favor suyo, pues cuando Bendices a alguien también atraes el favor de Dios hacia ti. El efecto de la Bendición es multiplicador, ya que es dado por Dios a sus Hijos. La bendición invoca el apoyo activo de Dios para el bienestar de la persona, habla del agradecimiento, confiere prosperidad y felicidad en la persona que recibe buenos deseos de nuestra parte. La bendición comienza en el hogar, en las relaciones de padres e hijos. Los niños que reciben el regalo de la bendición de parte de sus padres, tienen un buen comienzo espiritual y emocional en la vida. Reciben un firme fundamento de amor y aceptación. Este principio también se aplica a la íntima relación de pareja. Las amistades se profundizan y fortalecen, la hermandad de las Iglesias se incrementa trayendo compañerismo, sanidad y esperanza a muchos que nunca han recibido una palabra de bendición. El poder de la vida y la muerte está en La Palabra. Al bendecir, se otorga vida no sólo al que recibe la bendición sino también al que la da. Por eso, hoy te bendigo, mi bendición va para ti, porque al bendecirte de todo corazón, me bendigo a mí mismo. Reparte bendiciones donde vayas, no sólo de palabras, sino de hechos. Ellas volverán a ti, cuando menos lo esperes. En general, la persona que vive en la presencia de Dios, amándole y obedeciéndole, goza de la bendición divina siempre.

Un Abrazo y que Dios te Bendiga

Un pedazo de pastel


Una joven le dice a su madre como todo le ha salido mal; No salió bien en el exámen de Matemáticas, su novio resolvió terminar con ella y su mejor amiga está de paseo en otra ciudad. En horas de amargura, una madre sabe qué puede agradar a su hija le preparará un sabroso pastel. En aquel momento tan dificil, abrazó a su hija y la llevó a la cocina, consiguiendo arrancar de su rostro una sonrisa. Luego que la madre separó los utensilios e ingredientes que usaría, los colocó en la mesa y preguntó a su hija: -Querida ¿Quieres un pedazo de pastel? - Claro Má, sabes que me encanta el pastel. -Está bien, respondió la madre. Bebe un poco de ese aceite que está en la cocina!. Asustada, la hija respondió: - ¿Cómo dices? ¡Jamás!. ¿Que tal si te comes un huevo crudo? - Nunca, Madre. - ¿Quieres comer un poco de harina de Trigo o Bicarbonato de Sodio? - Madre, eso no me agrada, me enfermaría!. La Madre le respondió: - Es verdad, todas esas cosas están crudas y son feas separadas... pero cuando las colocamos juntas, en su justa medida... ellas hacen un delicioso pastel. Dios trabaja de forma similar. La gente se pregunta, ¿Por qué Él permite que pasemos por momentos difíciles?. No saben que cuando Él permite que todas esas cosas entren en el orden perfecto, siempre será para hacer una obra perfecta en nuestra vida. No necesitas conformarte con ingredientes crudos, deja TODO en sus manos... y se tornarán en algo fantástico. Dios se preocupa tanto por ti que te envia flores todas las Primaveras, hace nacer el Sol todas las mañanas y siempre que quieras conversar, Él está dispuesto a escucharte. Él puede vivir en cualquier lugar del universo, pero escogió vivir en tu Corazón.
Que pases un Feliz Día.

La Popularidad


Por: Jorge Suarez - 1.- Cuando Lusinchi entrego el gobierno, tenia el 60% de popularidad, osea que si hubiese podido reelegirse nadie le podia presentar pelea a la eleccion presidencial, esto nos indica que la popularidad de un gobernante, no es sinonimo de apoyo a su gestion de gobierno, por que el gobernante es un solo individuo, pero la gestion de gobierno lo constituyen un equipo, que deberian ser expertos cada uno en su area, quienes han sido escogidos por el presidente (con muy poca fortuna por cierto) y son los que a fin de cuenta logran que un gobierno sea eficiente, y de su desempeño depende que una gestion de gobierno sea valorada como exitosa, cosa que en este gobierno, con puros enroques solo cambian para que todo siga igual. 2.- Todos no somos tan iguales, por que el mismo presidente dice que solo Él puede gobernar a Vzla. Entonces ¿Que hacemos? lo que se predica, o lo seguimos el ejemplo de sus actos. (Bipolaridad). Hagan lo que les digo, no lo que hago, je je je. 3.- El gobierno funda su accion electoral, en la ignorancia del pueblo, y esto solo se puede combatir con educación, por eso es que la población tiene poco chance ante la avasallante propaganda publicitaria oficial, solo podemos contar con el ingenio, el valor, la paciencia y la constancia. 4.- ¿Sabes cual es la mayor ofensa para un militar? Respuesta: Que lo llames CIVIL, si, preguntale a cualquier militar y te dira que es así como llaman a los recien ingresados a las escuelas militares y al servicio militar, es la forma de expresar la mayor ofensa verbal un ser humano(Así lo hacen sentir) inculcando un sentimiento de superioridad del militar sobre el civil. Esto es bueno entenderlo, para estar claros en donde estamos ante los ultimas acciones de los organismos del estados antes las recientes marchas.

Excelente Artículo - Venezuela: Rich Dictator, Poor People


By Cristal Montañéz - Energy Tribune Posted on Jun. 10, 2008 - I am a former Miss Venezuela, and although a naturalized U.S. citizen, I feel a deep responsibility for and commitment to my country of origin. Today, I condemn the disaster that has befallen my country since Hugo Chávez took office, and continue to denounce it to let the world know the current reality of Venezuela. This is a personal account juxtaposed by political and social events. In 1977 when I received my crown, my country was an enticing paradise and a lucrative place for business. Venezuela’s inviting tropical climate mirrored the fun, fresh personality of her people. During my career as an international model, I always felt proud to represent Venezuela. Even though its system was not perfect, my country was a peaceful, exotic melting pot. It was considered an example of democracy and a political model to be imitated in Latin America, characterized by the separation of power and respect for the Constitution and the rule of law. Those were years of development and growth, excellent international relations, and recognition for Venezuela. I remember with pride the creation of PDVSA (1975), the inauguration of the Caracas Metro (1983), and the Grand Mariscal de Ayacucho, a scholarship program that educated so many of our petroleum engineers. There were food programs for the schools, internationalization of the oil industry, and the construction of the Teresa Carreno Art Center, among many other triumphs. All that, was before Hugo Chávez came to power. I also remember my first experience as a political activist during the 1978 presidential campaign. That year, when I placed my ballot in the box for the first time, I had the confidence my vote would be secret and respected. Today, Venezuelans face an irregular electoral registry, and their ballots are manipulated by fraudulent electronic machines. The Vargas Tragedy Many of my fondest memories are of driving with friends and family to Vargas State, the region I represented, on weekends to enjoy some of the most stunning beaches on the northern Caribbean coast. Vargas was a popular (and profitable) tourist stop. Home to the country’s large seaport, La Guaira, and the principal airport in Venezuela, its unique blend of beauty and Caribbean charisma attracted people from all over the world. Unfortunately, that has changed during the Chávez regime. Now, increased crime and violence discourage tourists from traveling to Venezuela. A few days before the 1999 referendum for a new constitution, meteorologists advised President Chávez’s government that some 16 inches of heavy rains were expected in Vargas and recommended that the scheduled election be postponed. Chávez ignored the warning, demanding that all go to the polls and commanding them to “fight against nature” if necessary. Chávez called upon the armed forces to fully monitor the referendum process instead of calling for the affected area to be evacuated. Hence, few soldiers were available to help in the disaster areas. My father was a military man, and I grew up with great respect for soldiers who dedicate their lives in defense of the state. Even though the Venezuelan constitution established that the armed forces “are at the exclusive service of the nation, and in no case at the service of any person or political partisanship,” Chávez has converted them into his own political appendage and ensured that the military serves his interests. The Venezuelan military now includes reserves and territorial guards, whose main purpose is to spread political ideology and serve as “local resistance before an internal aggression or invasion of foreign forces.” After the torrential rains, it took days for the Venezuelan military to take action in Vargas. The rainfall reached some 48 inches and mudslides resulted in a loss of lives that could have been prevented. Approximately 30,000 people died and thousands were airlifted out of the disaster area to other states. Six months after the tragedy I traveled to Vargas, leading a group of young ambassadors representing Bear Hugs for Venezuela, a UNICEF program for the children affected run in conjunction with the Venezuelan Red Cross. The devastation was heart-wrenching: the beautiful beaches I had enjoyed so much were destroyed and abandoned as dirty mud marshes. Mud covered buildings up to their fourth floor. Brick homes had been destroyed by the landslides, displacing all remnants of normal life. Horrible smells and flies infected the area. The air was thick and filthy, and the reigning misery overpowered every breath. Those who had no place to go dug holes above their buried homes, cleared the waste inside, and molded a pit with room enough to sleep. The shelters were not equipped with the basics necessary for sleeping, cooking, and eating. The area was totally unsanitary, and people felt abandoned with no hope, no future. This is the true story of an oil-producing country once considered the jewel of the Caribbean. In the midst of this misery, Chávez’s government refused much-needed equipment that was offered by the U.S. Why? The Chavistas claimed any U.S. help would be a front for a military invasion. Chávez has prevented the resuscitation of Vargas by limiting the ability to open a viable road network. He has also ignored the need for reconstruction in the region. Today, nearly a decade after the tragedy, I’m appalled to see how the government has failed to create the infrastructure needed to rebuild Vargas and promote economic development. Thousands of displaced poor people are still waiting for the government to fulfill its promise to rebuild their homes. There are no resources allocated for rebuilding Vargas. However, Chávez, who insists that “being rich is bad,” spent $65 million on a private jet for his personal use while the poor people of Vargas remain in dire need of basic housing. The Savior of the Poor? Chávez has claimed to be the savior of the poor. In reality, he has used them as a political tool to gain power. His neo-communist and militarist model continues to be funded by oil wealth that belongs to all Venezuelans. While PDVSA plays a major role in the Chávez revolution in Venezuela, Citgo is used as his political instrument in the U.S. The PDVSA and Citgo profits are then used by Chávez to buy political loyalty. Before Chávez took over in 1999, when oil was selling for about $10 per barrel, PDVSA was the world’s second-largest energy company and one of the leading foreign suppliers of crude oil and refined petroleum products to the U.S. Under Chávez, with oil selling for over $100, Venezuelan oil production has fallen almost 50 percent. Never in Venezuela’s history has there been such rampant and shameless corruption. According to Domingo Maza Zavala, former director of the Central Bank of Venezuela, “Now, in Venezuela, there is more poverty than there was before Chávez.” There are also serious problems in the healthcare system. From the 1960s to the ’80s, my mother worked for the Instituto Venezolano de Seguro Sociales (I.V.S.S.), the public healthcare system. Even though it faced problems before Chávez took office, the I.V.S.S. was able to serve its constituency and offered outpatient medical services, surgery, and hospitalization, as well as free prescriptions. While far from perfect, the agency was innovative. My mother used to get excited about the new technology and equipment purchased by the I.V.S.S. to provide better and faster service. In March 2003, the Chávez government adopted what they called “socialist” innovations in healthcare, but completely failed to maintain basic medical functions. Instead of supporting the existing public health programs, Chávez built a parallel health program, Barrio Adentro, which features 11,000 community modules (one-room clinics) staffed mainly by Cuban doctors. The system diverts resources and equipment from the I.V.S.S. public hospitals, where the public still goes for emergency and maternity care and for most major and elective surgeries. There are not enough beds for patients, and often two patients share a bed. Two or three newborns may share the same incubator. Supplies are no longer available, and fewer doctors work for the public system due to low wages. Patients are required to bring their own sheets and bandages. According to UNICEF, since the mid-1990s the childbirth mortality rate has risen 18 percent, to 59 in every 100,000 deliveries. Between 1998 (the year before Chávez took office) and 2007, cases of malaria nearly doubled. Today, Venezuela’s public health system is fatally deteriorating due to lack of resources and corrupt accounting. The finances of Barrio Adentro are mismanaged and disorganized, making it impossible to determine its efficiency. Meanwhile, the once-amicable climate of cooperation among the Venezuelan people is being extinguished by violence, a consequence of the lack of rule of law. Today the air is thick with fear as brainwashed Chavistas now differentiate among skin colors. It horrifies me to see racism and hatred dividing families where friends and family once felt free to hold different opinions and political views. It used to be we could passionately support opposing campaigns and still enjoy a meal together. This is no longer the case, as Chávez’s goal of imposing “his revolution” infects the country. I regret that my grown children cannot experience the same beauty and serenity that up to a decade ago I was so proud of. When I was growing up I remember walking to school every morning, book-bag in hand, laughing with my friends. My biggest concern was getting to school on time. Today, children cannot step outside without worrying about being assaulted, losing a leg or even their lives over a $60 pair of Nikes. My school days were filled with assignments that encouraged creative thought. Through projects, plays, books, and foundational literature like Moral y Luces, I learned traditional subjects infused with respect and love for my country. Today, Chávez imposes his Bolivarian curriculum, which intends to promote Chavista ideology and eliminate the democratic history of Venezuela. Instead of focusing on educational standards, schools today are becoming miniature military boot camps. It is no surprise that literacy rates are dropping. Children with green uniforms and red berets are handling guns and shouting, “Fatherland, Socialism or Death.” This horrifying phenomenon is fueled by Chávez’s determination to condition the Venezuelan youth into believing his own skewed interpretation of history, through which they will likely become little soldiers for his cause. The Future In November, the Chávez regime will allow political parties to receive public financing to promote the campaigns leading up to the gubernatorial and mayoral elections. That will likely mean that some opposition politicians will be elected. And that will allow Chávez to declare that he is a democrat and that the opposition is governing with him. But next year Chávez is expected to bring in regional vice presidents (established in the constitutional reform rejected in the December 2007 referendum) to exert control over the newly elected opposition governors and mayors. Indeed, as long as Chávez controls the electoral system, he will stay in power. If you don’t believe that, take a look at his adviser, Fidel Castro. . Cristal Montañéz is the international coordinator for RECIVEX, Resistencia Civil de Venezolanos en al Exterior.

The Powder Keg That is Venezuela


- Energy Tribune - Posted on Jun. 10, 2008 - The Powder Keg That is Venezuela - Hugo Chávez is in a free-fall, and the uncertain transition that will follow him bodes ill for the stability of the country with the Western Hemisphere’s largest oil reserves. The signs that started appearing last year, when he lost the referendum that would have prolonged his power, have become quite pronounced, and were evident in my recent cursory visit to the country. Chávez’s ascent was not surprising. After years of failed and corrupt governments dominated by the Venezuelan elite, he came to power because of the populism that is still attractive in South America, where Che Guevara is a cult hero and Fidel Castro remains an admired leader. Nor was it unique. Others such as Vladimir Putin in Russia and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran ride sentiments loaded with empty nationalism and class warfare. Anti-Americanism is essential to rally the people, tapping on their thinly disguised jealousy and frustration at their failure to absorb modernity and development. Dissatisfaction with the Anglo-Saxon dominance of international business and pop culture sometimes takes whimsical turns. Support for the regime becomes the face of inferiority complexes, with a vengeance. Chávez would be a comical figure were it not for $100-plus oil prices, which have papered over his shortcomings and prolong the eventual day of reckoning. The trouble with ideology and fanaticism is that they are not particularly suited for running countries. Venezuela has perhaps the unhealthiest economy in South America. All productive sectors have been thwarted. Nationalization has been used to strip companies of any profitability. After national oil company PDVSA was usurped (the only enterprise that could afford it, though barely) telecommunications and utilities were next. But Chávez didn’t stop there, continuing on to the cement and steel industries. Lands have been confiscated and artificial price and wage controls are imposed on everything. Food shortages are epidemic and, not surprisingly, people are hoarding. There is virtually no investment in infrastructure and deterioration is evident everywhere. What is not obvious to many Venezuelans is that current government actions will take decades to remedy, even if Chávez were to leave tomorrow. To bolster the regime, services are given away, and at a time of sky-high oil prices, gasoline sells for $0.02 to $0.05 per liter (less than $0.20 per gallon). The national currency, the Bolivar, just shed three zeros to become the Bolivar “fuerte.” The official exchange rate is 2.15 Bolivars to the dollar, but nobody in the country seems to buy that. All over the Caracas airport, people accost passengers, offering 4 to the dollar. The Bolivar dropped to as low as 6.5 and then climbed a bit after a massive infusion of dollars by the Venezuelan Central Bank. The actual rate is probably 7 Bolivars (or more) to the dollar. The country’s economic predicament may not be the worst part. Even more palpable is the social animosity. Chávez has directed such a venomous attack on the middle class that it has led to a counter-reaction. The polarization between Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. pales compared to that between Chavistas and their opponents. Few leaders are as reviled by their citizens as is Chávez in Venezuela. But what is far more worrisome is the hatred now nurtured by the none-too-political middle class towards Chávez and the Chavistas. Anticipation of the regime’s unavoidable unraveling is countered by uncertainty over the alternative. Some of the more thoughtful anti-Chavistas reluctantly admit that it may be better to wait until the presumed end of the nightmare, four years from now. Any crisis (such as a small drop in oil prices due to a U.S. or global recession, or food riots) could lead to the frightening possibility of a decimated and unprepared opposition filling the vacuum. Chavismo is such an anachronistic version of socialism that, after the monumental collapse of social engineering (in the U.S.S.R.) and the end of the Cold War more than two decades ago, one would have thought it could not resurface. By equating government support with patriotism, Chávez has practically eliminated the possibility for any smooth transition. That’s why one anti-Chavista hoping for a smooth exit asked pessimistically, “Can you imagine Chávez voluntarily passing the presidential sash to anybody else?” .

Energy Tribune - June 2008 - Michael J. Economides - Robert Bryce - Sometimes the headlines out of Venezuela can only be met with a smile. For instance, in early May the government of Hugo Chávez announced that it had added 30 billion barrels of crude – the equivalent of all known U.S. oil reserves – to its proved reserves. China’s National Petroleum Corporation and Iran’s Petropars certified the new reserves, located in the Orinoco Belt. But here’s the part that requires a sense of humor: Venezuela’s energy and oil minister, Rafael Ramirez, refused to disclose how the country was defining those reserves. There’s no doubt that Venezuela has enormous oil reserves. Whether it’s 80 billion barrels or twice that number is almost irrelevant, due to the fact that crude oil output continues to decline and the country’s oil handling infrastructure is not being properly maintained. Other news coming out of Venezuela is not amusing at all. After two months of investigation, Interpol claimed in mid-May that documents extracted from computers used by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of ColombiaM(FARC), a guerrilla group, directly implicated Chávez as a funder. Chávez quickly dismissed the documents as fake, claiming they were partof an attempt by “imperialist lackeys” to discredit him. Ronald Noble, Interpol’s secretary-general, said his agency had found “no alteration of the data” by the Colombian military officials who seized the computers. One of them apparently belonged to FARC leader Raul Reyes, who was killed during the Colombians’ raid on a FARC camp in Ecuador. Both the U.S. and the European Union list FARC as a terrorist organization. It has long been implicated in cocaine trafficking and blamed for many of the Caño Limón oil pipeline bombings in Colombia. After the FARC camp raid, Chávez seemed eager to embrace his link to the group. The Miami Herald reported that he even called for a moment of silence in Venezuela to honor Reyes. Now, I’ve generally thought that Chávez was more of a flake than a menace. But if he has been supporting FARC – and it appears that he has – then Chávez is a threat to Latin American stability. That raises several questions, including: can anything be done to thwart him? What will this mean for the already-nervous oil markets? And finally, is Chávez foolish enough to instigate some type of military conflict in the region?. In this issue, writers with long histories in Venezuela provide their perspectives on their home country under Chávez. We don’t claim that these articles are objective. They aren’t written in the style that one might expect from The New York Times or The Washington Post. Instead, these are personal views on the conditions in Venezuela. Love Chávez or hate him, it appears he’s going to be around for a while. Just how long he’ll stay in power is anyone’s guess.

Entrevista a Gloria Cuenca


Por ROBERTO GIUSTI - Entrevista a Gloria Cuenca, profesora de ética y legislación de la comunicación"Hugo Chávez se niega a sí mismo" - "Si fuera sincero diría como el secretario general del PCV: somos aliados de las FARC y sentimos la muerte de Tiro Fijo" Gloria advierte que "los periodistas venezolanos tenemos una larga, rica y profunda lucha por la libertad de expresión que este Gobierno no podrá borrar nunca" - EL UNIVERSAL - Por encima de sus méritos académicos, relevantes y numerosos e incluso de su dedicación a la enseñanza de la ética a generaciones de periodistas venezolanos, Gloria Cuenca se reconoce como una mujer directa, cortante y punzopenetrante. Dice lo que piensa y hace lo que dice con talante poco piadoso pero admirable porque ni ella se libra de la (auto) crítica. Confiesa que luego de una visita a la China de la Banda de los Cuatro, durante el viaje de regreso (30 horas de avión y aeropuertos) analizó con su marido, Adolfo Herrera, su militancia comunista y llegaron a la conclusión de que mantenerse ahí, ("yo que no puedo quedarme callada") era una locura. Por eso, quizás, su testimonio tiene el tono descarnado de los conversos. -Suele afirmarse que los regímenes totalitarios son muy eficaces en la utilización del aparato propagandístico. Una percepción equivocada si consideramos que el receptor no puede contrastar ese único mensaje con otro que marche en dirección contraria. ¿No tiene la gente, en Venezuela, la posibilidad de contrastar mensajes?. -Sobre la eficacia de la propaganda en los regímenes totaliatrios hay un caso muy importante: la Unión Soviética, donde luego de 70 años de control absoluto de los medios, bajo la férula del PCUS (Partido Comunista), aquello se vino abajo sin la menor resistencia. -Es decir, esa presunta eficacia era un mito. -Un mito y esa fue una linda polémica, que se dio en el Chile de Allende, entre Armand Mattelart y Camilo Tauffic. Este último afirmaba que los medios sí transformaban a la gente y Mattelart, en bellísimo artículo, le respondió que no eran otra cosa sino tigres de papel. Yo creo, como los grandes maestros de la propaganda en la URSS, Lenin y Chacotin, que la propaganda efectiva debe llegar al sentimiento de las personas. Por eso la primera etapa de este gobierno (el venezolano) era efectiva. La gente creía en lo que le decía. Pero hoy en día perdió la confianza y nadie le cree. -¿Para que un mensaje sea efectivo no debe existir un mínimo de correspondencia entre lo que se pretende propagar y la realidad?. -Así es. En el viejo libro de Vance Packard Las Formas Ocultas de la Propaganda se cita el caso de cómo la versión del carro convertible fue rechazada por los consumidores porque las mujeres americanas sentían que representaba el amante que el marido quería tener. Ellas se montaban en el carro pero al final salían de la agencia con una camioneta seis puestos. Los publicistas decidieron cambiar de estrategia: vendieron el convertible con la imagen de la familia saliendo de picnic. Pero también fracasaron. -Antes del 11A se culpaba a los dueños de los medios de un monopolio que perseguía la salida del gobierno, pero Chávez ganaba las elecciones. Hoy se dice que el gran monopolista mediático es el gobierno, pero en diciembre Chávez fue derrotado. -Los medios tienen una tarea fundamental, pero no son todopoderosos. Eso debemos comprenderlo los periodistas despojándonos del sentimiento ególatra según el cual "yo lo puedo y lo sé todo". No es verdad que los medios le pueden cambiar la mente a la gente. Esa discusión se dio en 1945, al final de la guerra, cuando Harold Lasswell (politólogo) y Paul Lazarsfeld (sociólogo), realizaron investigaciones para establecer si era posible, a través de la propaganda, convertir a un demócrata en fascista, a un fascista en comunista y a un comunista en demócrata. El resultado fue que no es posible manipular a la gente a ese extremo. De allí que un neomarxista como el alemán Hans Magnus Enzensberger diga que el problema no es el proceso de manipulación (todos manipulamos) , sino quien manipula a quien y con qué cuentas para defenderte de los procesos manipuladores. De allí que a los regímenes totalitarios no les interese un educación libre y crítica, sino un pensamiento único, adocenado, donde todos levanten la mano y aplauda como focas en el mejor estilo de este régimen. En democracia, por el contrario, todo es cuestionable. El estudiante con independencia de criterio es capaz de plantear los temas más duros y difíciles en contradicción con lo que está pasando. -Si eso es así, ¿por qué, entonces, esa disputa por el control de los medios?. -Porque los medios son fascinantes. La pasión por la comunicación, por transmitir los mensajes, por convertir en noticia los sucesos, es apasionantes. La nuestra es una de las carreras más apasionantes del Siglo XX, que en el XXI llega a niveles antes insospechados gracias al desarrollo tecnológico. Los medios le otorgan a los periodistas reconocimiento público, pero si a quienes aparecemos en televisión nos midieran los logros sociales en comparación con quien, por ejemplo, inventó la vacuna contra la lepra (Jacinto Convit), veremos que son mínimos. Nuestra ventaja es que nosotros divulgamos la obra y vida de esos personajes. Por eso se dice que la comunicación es la esencia de la ciencia. Si un descubrimiento no se divulga es como si no existiera. -Desde el ángulo político se podría, entonces, desmitificar la creencia según la cual es la dictadura mediática, y no los políticos, la que meneja las riendas del poder. -En Venezuela ocurrió un fenómeno singular. Un señor que dio un golpe de estado el 4 de febrero de 1992 aparece en la televisión dos segundos y se convierte en líder de la revuelta. Tengo entendido que él no era el ideólogo de esa revuelta, pero la fama que adquirió a través de los medios hizo que se transformara en quien es hoy, cuando sabemos que carecía de condiciones de estadista. -No sólo porque apareció sino también por lo que dijo. -La gente lo quiso en ese momento porque, se explicaba, asumió su responsabilidad, pero resulta que ahora encontramos una persona completamente diferente a aquella de 1992. El sabe que logró todo lo que tiene por esos tres segundos de televisión que erróneamente le concedieron. De allí arranca su "gloria". El es producto de esa circunstancia y por eso está obsesionado por los medios. -Esa obsesión quizás lo lleva a cometer errores como el de cobrar por la transmisión de imágenes en poder del Canal 8 o convertir a Telesur en vocero de las FARC. -Estas dos circunstancias son como un desmentido a la versión que se quiso transmitir según la cual el gobierno estaba movido por una finalidad humanitaria: recuperar los rehenes de la guerrilla. Cuando aparecen las computadoras de Reyes se pone al descubierto lo que se sabía, la connivencia del gobierno con las FARC. -Reconocida, además, por el propio Chávez. -Así es, pero siempre bajo el pretexto de la liberación de los rehenes. Gracias a los medios se divulgan en todo el mundo los alcances de esa alianza, absolutamente rechazada por la comunidad internacional. -¿No estaban conscientes de ese rechazo cuando Telesur divulga el video de Timo-shenko, que termina siendo, por la forma, el preámbulo y el final, un canto a la gloria de Marulanda y de las FARC?. -Si, como yo, alguna vez hubieras sido militante del partido comunista, sabrías cómo son esas cosas. Como el mundo está totalmente distorsionado, ellos creen una maravilla lo que hacen. Y es donde aflora la inestabilidad del Presidente porque cuando yo era comunista mi mayor orgullo era proclamarlo a los cuatro vientos. Esta hipocresía, de negar lo que es resulta lo peor de él. Si fuera sincero, ¿qué tendría que decir? Lo que dijo el secretario general del PCV (Oscar Figueras): "somos aliados de las FARC, las queremos y lamentamos la muerte de Tiro Fijo". Ellos son eso y lo dicen y lo sienten con orgullo, aun cuando no estemos de acuerdo con eso. -¿Se está negando Chávez a sí mismo?. -Se niega a sí mismo y entra en una crisis espantosa. Va para adelante y va para atrás. Después de apurruñar a sus altos panas, de mandarles dinero y cuidarlos en clínicas especiales, pone el retroceso para salvarse él y salvar su imagen. Eso crea una disociación peligrosa. Uno debe andar con mucha cabeza serena para darse cuenta de lo que está en juego. Por eso resulta importante el artículo del ex ministro del Interior de Colombia, Fernando Londoño, quien advierte que todavía no es el momento (se está organizando el expediente) de llevar el caso, como efectivamente ocurrirá, ante la Corte Penal de La Haya. -¿Es posible que el ministro Izarra haya tomado esas dos decisiones comunicacionales sin haberlo consultado con el presidente?. -No lo creo. Conozco a Izarra y sé que es una persona sin independencia de criterio. Esas fueron órdenes que le dieron y luego, al observar el impacto que produjeron, se echaron para atrás. Todo el mundo sabe que en Venezuela hay un bloqueo a la información gubernamental (las fuentes son inaccesibles) y esa es una terrible forma, inconstitucional, de limitar la libertad de información. Al intentar venderle la información a los canales privados se restringía aun más la libertad de información y eso produjo la repulsa internacional. -¿No se estaban negando ellos la posibilidad de amplificar su mensaje?. -Para ellos también era muy malo y peor aún porque, luego de criticar la noticia como mercancía, estaban siendo sujetos de su propia denuncia. -Quizás porque los medios ponen de manifiesto las contradicciones, las incoherencias y mentiras del gobierno con la información proveniente del canal 8. -Cuando Globovisión repite 20 veces a Chávez diciendo que come pasta de coca, obviamente no les gusta. Pero también está el uso absolutamente informativo de los contenidos en todos los canales privados.

Frase del día

Nadie puede defender lo que desconoce ni combatir aquello que ignora.
Debemos aspirar a conocer y defender la verdad y, en consecuencia, a combatir los errores que se le oponen.