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lunes, 16 de junio de 2008

Presos y perseguidos políticos del régimen de Hugo Chavez Frias


Por Mercedes Montero - Recordemos que a todos ellos les ha sido denegada la justicia, no han tenido fórmula de juicio, ni debido proceso. Recordemos que todos sus derechos humanos les han sido violados. Recordemos que sus familias han sufrido lo insufrible. Recordemos que en múltiples oportunidades diferentes organizaciones no gubernamentales han denunciado estos casos ante la comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Organización de estados Americanos (OEA), ante la Unión Europea, ante la santa Sede, se han enviado comunicaciones a la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), pero todavía siguen presos. Recordemos principalmente que en Venezuela l estado de derecho dejó de existir, que no hay independencia de poderes, y, que sólo depende del Poder Ejecutivo. Lista de los 25 Prisioneros Políticos Venezolanos 2003 Los ocho primeros tienen cinco años presos por el caso de los sucesos del 11 de abril 2002, todavía no han sido sentenciados.
1.-Agente (PM) Erasmo Bolí¬var, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20032.-Dtgd (PM) Luis Molina Cerrada, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20033.-C/1ro (PM)Ramón Zapata Alonso, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20034.-C/1ro (PM)Arube Pérez Salazar, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20035.-S/1ro (PM)Rafael Neazoa López, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20036.-Sub.Com. (PM) Marco Hurtado, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20037.- (PM)Héctor Rovain, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 20038.-S/ Mayor. (PM) Julio Rodrí¬guez, detenido ilegalmente en Abril 19, 2003
9.-Silvio Mérida Ortiz, detenido ilegalmente en Noviembre 6, 2003, condenado injustamente por el caso de las bombas en la Embajada de España y Consulado Colombiano a 9 años, 4 meses de prisión, fue torturado. Su estado de salud es precario.
2004
10.-Raúl Dí¬az Peña, detenido ilegalmente en Febrero 25; 2004, condenado injustamente a 9 años, 4 meses de prisión por el caso de las bombas en la Embajada de España y Consulado Colombiano. Su estado de salud es precario11.-Capitán Otto Gebauer, retenido ilegalmente desde Noviembre 11, 2004 Condenado a 12 años, 3 meses de prisión, sólo por el hecho de haber visto llorar y rogar por su vida al primer mandatario nacional. 12.-Juan Bautista Guevara Pérez, retenido ilegalmente en Noviembre 20, 2004 y condenado a 30 años de cárcel por el caso del asesinato de Danilo Anderson. A pesar de que el Comisario Hernando Contreras declaró que el testimonio dado testigo estrella Giovanny Vásquez no merecía credibilidad y existía falsedad de evidencias y documentos, no se ha hecho justicia.13.-Ivan Simonovis, detenido ilegalmente en Noviembre 22, 2004, por el caso de los sucesos del 11 de Abril de 2002.sigue sin sentencia en el juicio más largo de la historia14.-Otoniel José Guevara, detenido ilegalmente en Noviembre 23, 2004, 15.-Rolando Jesús Guevara, detenido ilegalmente en Noviembre 23, 2004 Ambos hermanos fueron condenados a 27 años de prisión Les aplican las mismas observaciones que Juan Bautista Guevara Pérez.16.-Lázaro Forero, detenido ilegalmente en Diciembre 3, 2004 17.-Henry Vivas, detenido ilegalmente en Diciembre 3, 2004 Estos dos últimos ciudadanos están presos por el Caso de los sucesos del 11 de Abril de 2002. Les aplica las mismas observaciones que a Iván Simonovis. 2005
18.-Teniente Coronel Humberto Quintero, detenido ilegalmente en Enero 12, 2005 y condenado a 3 años y 8 meses de prisión, su delito captura de Rodrigo Granda, Canciller de las FARC.19.-General Felipe Rodríguez, detenido ilegalmente en Febrero 6, 2005, condenado injustamente a 10 años, 4 meses de prisión por el caso de las bombas en la Embajada de España y Consulado de Colombia. 2006
20.-General Delfí¬n Gómez Parra, detenido ilegalmente en Diciembre 3, 2006, declara; “ No he podido entender aún cuales son las razones por las cuales se empeñan en seguir acusándome por hechos que no he cometido, no me he apropiado de dinero que no es mío, no he robado a la Nación , no he cobrado utilidades que no me pertenecen y sólo Dios sabe que lo que estoy diciendo es cierto, sólo estoy a la espera de la Justicia Divina que esa es imparable e implacable”21.-Coronel Ricardo Alfonso Cedeño, detenido ilegalmente en Diciembre 3, 2006, declara22.-Eligio Cedeño, retenido ilegalmente desde Febrero 8, 2007. Comenzó el juicio. Todos sus bienes le fueron congelados. 2007
23.-Diana Mora Herrera, detenida ilegalmente desde Abril 26, 2007 acusada de terrorismo y traición a la patria.. Sigue sin juicio.24.-Luis Alberto Rodrí¬guez Villamizar, detenido ilegalmente desde Abril 26, 2007. ha sido acusado de pertenecer a un grupo financiado por la CIA que opera en Venezuela para "desestabilizar" el Gobierno, calificándolo de terrorista y traidor a la patria, además de señalar que esta "convicto" y "confeso". ¡Todavía no han sido juzgados!.25.-José Rafael Ramírez, detenido ilegalmente desde Abril 26, 2006. Detenido por presunta extorsión al empresario Wilmer Ruperti. Un Juez le dictó medida cautelar: destituyeron al Juez y él sigue en prisión26- José Alberto Sánchez Montiel (Comisario Mazuco), tiene siete meses preso, todas las acciones llevadas a cabo por su defensa han sido convenientemente descalificadas, su caso que debía ser conocido en Maracaibo – Estado Zulia, fue trasladado a caracas. 2008
El periodista Leocenis García, quién ha venido denunciando las irregularidades administrativas en la estatal petrolera PDVSA, es el último preso político del régimen.
Tal y como siempre lo expreso Dios mueve montañas, estoy segura que la luz del sol volverá a brillar para Venezuela y estos seres que tan caro han pagado el hecho de disentir o de haber cumplido con su deber profesional, ciudadano o humano se les hará justicia y saldrán en libertad.
Sólo me resta pedirles a mis compatriotas que no olvidemos a los presos y perseguidos políticos, que mostremos solidaridad con ellos y sus respectivas familias, que apoyemos las acciones de denuncia que se lleven a cabo para su defensa, que oremos para que mantengan su ánimo fortalecido, porque de todos nosotros a ellos les ha tocado llevar una carga muy pesada sobre su hombros.

El gobierno venezolano busca información financiera de opositores


Por: CASTO OCANDO - El presidente venezolano Hugo Chavez (L) junto al ex ministro de Defensa General Raúl Isaias Baduel. Entre las personas cuyas cuentas bancarias el gobierno quiere investigar está el disidente general Baduel, crítico del gobierno chavista, cuya influencia en el sector militar venezolano es motivo de preocupación de la administració n del presidente Hugo Chávez. Anuncian reunión Uribe-Chávez Ex esposa de Chávez será candidata a alcaldía en Venezuela Un nuevo e inesperado método de presión podría ampliar el cerco del gobierno venezolano contra opositores y sectores de la clase media de Venezuela, que se oponen a las políticas chavistas: la revisión de cuentas bancarias privadas.
De acuerdo con documentos y decisiones oficiales recientes, funcionarios del gobierno chavista están buscando reunir información detallada de personas con cuentas, tarjetas de crédito u otros instrumentos financieros que movilicen cantidades superiores a los 200,000 bolívares fuertes (alrededor de $93,000 al cambio oficial) mensuales. Adicionalmente, el gobierno quiere saber detalles de las operaciones de movimientos financieros realizados entre enero del 2005 y diciembre del 2007 por la misma cantidad, una decisión que algunas entidades financieras están viendo con preocupación. La petición, que no es nueva, podría ser revocada por las nuevas autoridades financieras nombradas esta semana por el mandatario venezolano. Sin embargo, en los últimos dos años el gobierno mostró su intención de procesar datos de cuentahabientes con movimientos superiores a los 400,000 bolívares fuertes. Entre las personas cuyas cuentas bancarias el gobierno quiere investigar está el disidente general Raúl Baduel, ex ministro de la Defensa y crítico del gobierno chavista, cuya influencia en el sector militar venezolano es motivo de preocupación de la administració n del presidente Hugo Chávez. Según un comunicado firmado en mayo pasado por el Superintendente de Bancos (SUDEBAN) Trino Alcides Díaz, considerado un marxista radical, dirigido a todos los bancos y entidades financieras, se solicitó que envíen a la agencia tributaria del país, el SENIAT, "un listado de clientes que presenten saldos mensuales en montos superioreS a 200,000 bolívares fuertes en los distintos instrumentos financieros tales como cuentas corrientes, de ahorro, fondos de activos líquidos, tarjetas de crédito y cualquier instrumento movilizable mediante chequera o tarjeta electrónica'' . La exigencia incluye además "el número de cédula o registro de información fiscal (FIR), las fechas y montos de las transacciones superiores a 200,000 bolívares fuertes, y los saldos a cierre de cada mes''. La medida podría ser revocada debido a la salida de Trino Díaz de SUDEBAN. "Este requerimiento viola el derecho a la intimidad y a la confidencialidad de nuestros clientes'', cuestionó el banquero Oscar García Mendoza, presidente del Banco Venezolano de Crédito, y abierto opositor al gobierno chavista. Según García Mendoza, el gobierno podría ampliar su exigencia de información confidencial, lo cual "puede exponer a nuestros clientes a riesgos innecesarios, pues no hay garantías que una vez entregada la información ésta sea debidamente salvaguardada' ', según escribió en un comunicado dirigido a los clientes del banco el 28 de mayo pasado. Una lista de personas con capacidad financiera podría filtrarse al público y crear problemas de secuestros, advirtió el economista independiente Orlando Ochoa. "Aquí todas las bases de datos con información sensible se venden y se expone al secuestro a gente con estos recursos'', indicó Ochoa. La información también podría ser utilizada para presionar a adversarios políticos. Esta semana, la Superintendencia remitió un memorando a todas las entidades bancarias y financieras para que informen sobre "la relación de las cuentas bancarias que aparezcan reflejadas en esa entidad bancaria, entidad de ahorro y préstamo, institución financiera o instituto, a nombre del ciudadano Raúl Isaías Baduel'', y detalla que la información debe ser enviada a la Fiscalía Militar Tercero Nacional, donde se le sigue una causa al ex ministro de Defensa. La investigación de las cuentas bancarias de Baduel forma parte de un procedimiento solicitado por la diputada chavista Iris Varela, que acusó en abril pasado al general retirado de vínculos con narcotraficantes, y de recibir dinero de la National Endowment for Democracy (NED), un organismo patrocinado por el congreso norteamericano. Varela dijo que Hermágoras González, acusado de narcotraficante y actualmente detenido, recibió $2 millones en septiembre de 2007 por parte del NED, mientras que Baduel recibió $1.22 millones dos meses después por el mismo organismo norteamericano. La parlamentaria aseguró tener pruebas que demuestran la conexión entre Baduel y el narcotraficante, entre ellas, un recibo bancario de noviembre de 2007 por más de $1 millón que González presuntamente depositó a Baduel en una cuenta personal. El ex ministro de la Defensa y fuerte opositor al presidente Chávez calificó la denuncia como una "tramoya'' para coaccionarlo a bajar el tono de sus denuncias o a desistir. En la actualidad, Baduel encabeza las encuestas de los candidatos a gobernador del estado Aragua, desde cuyo fuerte militar ayudó a Chávez a recuperar la presidencia en abril del 2002. "Así como algunos diputados y diputadas, validos de su inmunidad parlamentaria, hacen temerarias acusaciones, sin importar los sustentos ni el curso que puedan tomar, eso no me amilanará. Eso será una motivación para seguir luchando por la democracia'' , dijo Baduel en una declaración.

El 2008, un trampolín


Todos contra todos. Cada uno tiene su juego - Aramis, 16 de junio de 2008 - Cada quien tiene sus esperanzas, unos las de avanzar, otros las de llegar y alguno las de seguir con el coroto, … las de perpetuarse, pues. Cada quien tiene su juego, su propio juego, y a él se ciñe sin mirar a los lados, puñal en mano, dispuesto a aniquilar a quien se les enfrente. Cada uno pone zancadillas, levanta brazos, quiere sus candidatos para evitar la sombra de posibles nuevos contendores. La cosa está clara, la pelea es por el 2012, nada antes, todo después. Las elecciones del 2008 son sólo un trampolín, un bache más que hay que saltar. Y cada quién quiere hacerlo sin embarrarse, y en lo posible ubicar a sus leales, a ampliar su radio de acción, a no perder lo ya ganado. Ninguno puede quedar “colgado de la brocha”. Allí es donde entra Rufián, la Corte de Ali-Babá y la “Tibi ” y sus muchachos Allí es donde entran las Alcaldías y Gobernaciones, por una parte, y el sillón presidencial por la otra, todo ello es poder, caja chica, prebendas y demás. Quedar fuera de juego en el 2008 es quedar eliminado para la final del 2012. Los demás, los que queremos regresar cuanto antes a la normalidad, simplemente estamos “pintados en la pared”. Como ya antes mencioné. No somos más que invitados de piedra que sólo servimos de comparsas. A ninguno de los contrincantes le interesa adelantar las fechas, uno porque ya está montado, otros porque les falta desarrollarse un poco más, adquirir currículo en puestos de mayor relevancia donde proyecten mejor imagen. Hay algunos tontos que creen que pueden seguir después del 2008 así se rebajen a bajar de escalafón, o pretendiendo manejar los hilos con títeres de primera línea. No hay títeres en la oposición, todos pretenden lo mismo. ¿Quiénes son los presidenciables del 2012? - En primer lugar el que ya está y pretende seguir. Luego, los que vienen avanzando desde atrás y ya le laten en la cueva: Leopoldo López y Henrique Capriles. A ellos es a quien le teme verdaderamente el nuevo Reculo. Detrás quedan otros: Julio Borges y Manuel Rosales, par de tigres amansados, que creen manejar los hilos, que creen en títeres preñados, y ese es su mayor error. Ellos no van pal’baile, a menos que corten cabezas de manera temprana. Su tiempo ya paso. Por último, están dos “emergentes” a quienes todos los anteriores pretenden ponerles tantas piedras como puedan: Enrique Mendoza y Liliana Hernández, es por ello que ambos luchan por quedar posicionados este próximo mes de noviembre. Cada uno de ellos maneja sus fichas, sus dados, sus cartas en este Monopolio amañado que todos juegan sordos, ciegos, pero no mudos. Todos juegan con dados cargados. El sordomudo soy Yo. Pero no soy ciego - La Jugada Maestra de Chávez, ¿A quienes conviene? - Hoy Hugo Chávez maneja los hilos, es el verdadero titiritero. Los títeres: El Rufián, La Corte de Ali-Babá, el Patio Trasero de la Asamblea, y, por último, a la Tibi y sus esbirros, incluyendo a quien dice no ser pero que es. El problema es que HChF sólo ha servido para manejar una pulpería, no calza los puntos para hilar muy fino o para tirar de los hilos sin enredarlo todo. De ser un papagallo ya se le habría enredado en los cables de la electricidad de allá de Sabaneta de los Llanos, de donde nunca debió salir. La trampa está montada, utilizó al Rufián para ello, pero ¿Cómo hacer?, cómo tirar para que el beneficiado final sea él. El problema es el siguiente: Si continúa con lo de las inhabilitaciones, elimina a Leopoldo López y a Enrique Mendoza, pero le abre campo a Henrique Capriles. Una posibilidad. Pero ya siente al electorado en contra. Un futuro recule le sería nefasto. Si las inhabilitaciones las declara ilegales, gana puntos con el electorado, elimina a Henrique Capriles a favor de Enrique Mendoza, mejor posicionado en Miranda y un peligroso emergente. Y lo peor para él, suelta los “diablos” de Leopoldo López, ganador definitivo de la Alcaldía Mayor , el Propio latiéndole en la cueva, en pleno ascenso mientras él mismo se siente en retirada. La jugada maestra no sería otra que tomar “El Camino del Medio”, y para ello necesita a la Corte de Ali-Babá, que tome con pinzas las barbaridades del Rufián y haga una obra de ingeniería legal: Unos sí, otros no. Suelta a Enrique Mendoza y elimina a Leopoldo, y así mata tres pájaros de una sola pedrada. Es preferible lidiar sólo con Enrique Mendoza y no con Leopoldo López y Henrique Capriles juntos. De paso le corta la cabeza a Diosdado. Para nada he nombrado a Julio Borges y Manuel Rosales, dos de los tres “tristes” tigres, que al igual que el tercero, siguen creyendo en pajaritos preñados. Al final le ganaron el juego los “chamos” de ayer. Sólo me falta mencionar a Liliana Hernández, a quien todos quieren fuera, de allí la “metida de pata” de Leopoldo al levantarle la mano a Graterón, un ilustre desconocido. Fue demasiado evidente. Lo de Uzcátegui fue o al menos así lo pareció, un poco más disimulado. Si Liliana logra la Alcaldía de Chacao, y lo hace bien, seguro se mete en juego. Si Leopoldo López Logra la Alcaldía Mayor , está a unos metros de Miraflores. Si Henrique Capriles ayuda a cortarle la cabeza a Enrique Mendoza, …¡¡No sé!!!. Si Enrique Mendoza logra la Gobernación de Miranda, queda de lo mejor, pero le echa una mano a Chávez muy de refilón, ..¡¡Adiós Diosdado!! Si Chávez hala los hilos mal, .. pierde, Si pierde a uno solo de sus títeres, … pierde. Si Diosdado, al igual que el gordo y el policía, siente que lo dejan como la guayabera, .. No sé si pierde, pero seguro aumenta la lista de sus enemigos. En fin, y por último, si el CNE decide esta vez actuar honestamente, Chávez pierde. Si Chávez pierde en noviembre, le va a ser muy difícil llegar a comer hallacas esta navidad. Sordomudo pero no ciego.

Acuerdo urgente


EL IMPULSO - fecha de publicación: 16/06/2008 - El temor a otra "pírrica" victoria en las elecciones regionales de noviembre por parte de la disidencia venezolana, que podría imponer sus candidatos en diez estados, o quizá más, tiene sumido al héroe del Museo Militar en la nada edificante tarea de desdoblarse, en el truco de partirse en dos mitades, una de las cuales niega trágicamente a la otra. Es éste, sin lugar a dudas, el más grotesco de todos sus malabarismos. Ya no se trata de falsificar la historia, como lo ha hecho, para perpetrar desmanes en el nombre de Bolívar, defenestrar a Páez luego de bautizar una de las misiones con su legendario "Vuelvan caras", y rescatar de los pantanos a Zamora. Ahora va más allá. Más allá de desmentir y prohibir la realidad, suplantándola con sus ruinosos delirios y colchas de doctrinas dispersas y superadas. Va incluso más allá del "hombre nuevo", que él promete engendrar, en serie, resignado, con viejas cadenas y grillos hincados en los pies. Esta vez reniega de sí mismo. Al menos pretende hacernos creer que también él detesta ese lado suyo que ha obrado, ya, durante casi una década, con intolerable bellaquería y comprobada mala fe. Tomemos dos botones, que bastan como muestras del carácter bipolar al cual aludimos. Una de las caras de su personalidad afirmó el 11 de enero de este año, en la Asamblea Nacional , y lo repitió, como es sabido, hasta el cansancio, que "las FARC y el ELN no son terroristas, son verdaderos ejércitos y hay que darles reconocimiento". Y, ¿qué dijo el 8 de junio, es decir, hace apenas ocho días? Veamos: "Yo creo que llegó la hora de que las FARC liberen a todos los que tienen allá en la montaña, a cambio de nada. En este tiempo no se justifican los movimientos guerrilleros en América Latina". En unas semanas la guerrilla colombiana pasó de ser un "verdadero ejército", a la triste condición de turba desalmada y anacrónica. Alguno de sus dos lados, quién sabe cuál, voceó el 31 de mayo, en el Teatro Teresa Carreño, horas después de firmar con alardes la Ley del Sistema Nacional de Inteligencia y Contrainteligencia: "Vamos a salir a defender esa ley antiimperialista, de seguridad para el país. ¡Es antiterrorista! (…) Ayer, los grandes titulares de los diarios y las televisoras, atacando la ley, tratando de confundir al pueblo, afirmando que la ley va a permitir la represión". Pero esto alegó a través de su costado embaucador, este martes 10, en Miraflores: "Aquí metieron algo, esto, los artículos, el 20 por ejemplo, la legalidad de la prueba. Es inconveniente. No sólo es inconveniente, es en verdad contrario al espíritu que a nosotros nos mueve. Es contrario a la Constitución, no tengo duda en decirlo". ¿Qué cuento es ése de que "nos metieron" unos artículos indeseados? ¿Aquí se ha llegado a tal grado de irracionalidad que un Presidente "sale a defender" leyes tan delicadas y gravemente atentatorias, habiéndose consumado su promulgación y publicación en Gaceta Oficial, sin siquiera leerlas ni detenerse a analizar? Ya no funciona que el mandamás apele a la argucia de exhibir el lado "inocente" de su temperamento cada vez que algo le ha salido mal. De nada vale descubrir en estos momentos cuál de los ámbitos de su compleja personalidad tiene a los militares gritando "patria, socialismo o muerte". Ni, tampoco, cuál de sus lados ha amputado la democracia, envilecido las instituciones, fomentado la hostilidad social, y criminalizado el pensar distinto. Sería una lástima que la oposición no repare en la lectura que estos signos de decadencia oficialista plantea. En Lara, al menos, no se sienten los aires estimulantes que se respiran en otras entidades. Como nos ha dicho alguien, aquí se puede ganar pero se está perdiendo. Es hora aún de rectificar. Pero esa hora toca a su fin. Combatir a un régimen sin asegurar aportes ciertos a un acuerdo unitario, y confiable, que, por los datos que se conocen, luce urgente, inaplazable, sería tan condenable como aquella otra manifestación de bipolaridad.

Venezuela: traición sin límites


Por: Gral.Division (Ej.) Oswaldo Sujú Raffo - No es posible tanta indiferencia y tanta complicidad, por lo que actualmente sucede en nuestro territorio esequibo. No menciono al gobierno, porque es el responsable de lo que pasa en ese territorio patrio, por el delito de alta traición que comete el presidente ó El Supremo y su ignara Cancillería, al entregar ese pedazo de Venezuela al régimen guyanés. No menciono a los partidos políticos , porque su interés actual es la carnestolenda electoral y sus "cuadres" con el régimen , (salvo COPEI que se pronunció sobre el latrocinio del esequibo ) y no nombro a las FAN, porque los que las "comandan", son más responsables y cómplices que el mismo gobierno , por la simple razón de incumplir el sagrado juramento de su propia existencia institucional. ..¡Defender la Patria a consta de perder la vida!
No se había visto en nuestra Historia tan alta traición a la Patria. Solo haré énfasis en ese territorio de 160.000 kms2, reconocido por Inglaterra en 1824 y usurpado por ella misma en 1899, después de un írrito, tramposo y pérfido laudo arbitral, al conocer las inmensas riquezas que atesoraba . El gobierno de Venezuela, en 1962, inició la reclamación de nuestro esequibo, ante la O.N.U de manera unilateral, sin ninguna "presión del Imperio" y no como dijo el ignaro y deslenguado El Supremo. En 1966 logramos que Inglaterra, Irlanda y su Colonia La Guayana Inglesa, firmaran con Venezuela el Acuerdo de Ginebra , para buscar por la vía pacífica la solución a la contención venezolana . Los gobiernos democráticos posteriores, mantuvieron una cohesión y continuidad en la reclamación, sin lograrse acuerdos definitivos por la intransigencia y terquedad de los gobernantes de Guyana, que dejó ser colonia en ese mismo año de 1966..¡Qué pérfida Albión! Con la llegada de El Supremo al poder y en medio de su fantasía socialista roja rojita, entre los aplausos del CARICOM y las consejas de bandidos de baja extirpe, pendientes solo de las "comisiones", el régimen en la voz del propio "comandante-presiden te" dió luz verde para que Guyana, usurpara abiertamente nuestro territorio esequibo, explotara nuestras riquezas y arrinconara a Venezuela en el este atlántico. Para todos los compatriotas, civiles y militares, que aún les duele la Patria mencionaré algunos proyectos conocidos, que adelantan Guyana y el Brasil, en nuestro territorio esequibo : 1- Carretera Boa Vista-Bonfin- Lethem-Georgetown. 2- Puente sobre el río Esequibo. 3-Puente sobre el río Mazaruní. 4- Puente sobre el río Cuyuní. 5-Puerto de aguas profundas, en el atlántico venezolano. 6-Complejo hidroeléctrico en el Alto Mazaruni, con lineas de transmisión hasta Boa Vista e incluye una planta de fundición de aluminio. 7- Planta hidroeléctrica de Amalia, sobre el río Potaro. 8- Puente sobre el río Tukutú .9- Múltiples concesiones para la explotación de maderas, de minerales preciosos a empresas mundiales ( Russol, Goleen Star, Vanessa Venture Ltd, etc) y la exploración de hidrocarburos en nuestras aguas nacionales en el Atlántico...¿Y cuantas otras cosas desconocidas hasta ahora ? Tanto este régimen dizque "nacionalista" como los otros Estados usurpadores, deberán responder mañana por el latrocinio que cometen en nuestro suelo esequibo . Es necesario hacer cumplir la ley en esta Venezuela que es tuya, mía y nuestra. La Patria es primero y lo demanda ¡Hasta luego!

Fidel’s Heir


The rising influence of Hugo Chávez - by Jon Lee Anderson - Venezuela’s oil money has brought better living standards for the country’s poorest citizens. It has also given Chávez the means to buy influence with his neighbors, usually at the expense of the United States. Photograph by Chris Anderson. A few years ago, when Hugo Chávez, the President of Venezuela, said that he wanted a new jet to replace the nearly thirty-year- old Boeing bequeathed to him by his predecessor, his critics raised an outcry. But Chávez went ahead with his plans. His new plane, which cost sixty-five million dollars, is a gleaming white Airbus A-319, with a white leather interior, seating for sixty passengers, and a private compartment. The folding seat-back trays have gold-colored hinges, and there is plenty of legroom. Chávez has spent more than a year altogether on trips abroad since taking office, in February, 1999, and so the jet is a kind of second home. His seat bears an embossed leather Presidential seal. Paintings of nineteenth-century Latin-American independence heroes hang on the walls, including a prominent one of Simón Bolívar, known as El Libertador. Bolívar led military campaigns to free large parts of South America from Spanish rule, and in 1819 he helped create a vast nation called Gran Colombia, which encompassed the present-day republics of Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. But political rivalries and internecine warfare frustrated Bolívar’s dream of a United States of South America, and Gran Colombia fell apart soon after his death, in 1830. Bolívar is Chávez’s political muse; Chávez quotes and invokes him constantly, and is unabashed about his desire to resuscitate Bolívar’s dream of a united Latin America. In his first year in office, Chávez held a successful referendum to draft a new constitution, which officially renamed the country the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. More remarkably, he has adopted Fidel Castro as his contemporary role model and socialism as his political ideal, and, a decade and a half after the collapse of the Soviet Union, is leading a left-wing revival across Latin America. Chávez’s hemispheric ambitions have made him one of the most compelling, audacious, and polarizing figures in the world—one of a number of post-Cold War leaders trying to form regional power blocs. A generation ago, Castro sought to undermine United States authority by supporting armed guerrilla forces; Chávez has pursued that goal mainly by using money—thanks, in large measure, to U.S. oil purchases. Venezuela is the fifth-largest supplier of oil to the U. S., providing around a million barrels a day, and its proved oil reserves are among the world’s largest. One recent Sunday, I flew with Chávez to La Faja del Orinoco, an oil-rich belt of land in eastern Venezuela. In May, 2007, Chávez ordered the nationalization of pumping and refining facilities in La Faja owned by foreign oil companies. The move was one of a series of measures that Chávez had taken to increase Venezuela’s share of oil revenues, including increases in royalty payments from 16.6 per cent to 33.3 per cent, and its ownership stake from around forty to at least sixty per cent. (As recently as 2004, these companies were paying royalties of one per cent of the oil’s value.) Most of the oil companies, including Chevron and B.P., agreed to the terms; Conoco Phillips and ExxonMobil did not, and pulled out. ExxonMobil had been pumping as many as a hundred and twenty thousand barrels a day out of La Faja. Seeking compensation, the company secured injunctions from judges in the United States, Great Britain, and the Netherlands that froze up to twelve billion dollars in overseas assets of Venezuela’s state oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., or P.D.V.S.A. Chávez, decrying “imperialist aggression,” threatened to cut off all oil sales to the United States. Analysts estimate that if he should ever make good on that threat the price, which has already risen vertiginously, would spiral even farther upward. (A London court later overturned the British injunction, in what was seen as a major victory for Chávez, but the legal fight continues. ExxonMobil will not say publicly how much it asked for, except that the sum is “multiple billions of dollars.”). On the plane to La Faja were several of Chávez’s ministers and aides, along with a dozen or so bodyguards and three Cuban doctors, who travel with him everywhere. Just after boarding, Chávez pushed through the curtains from his compartment to the main cabin and greeted everyone. He joked that the Cuban doctors must be guerrillas on an “internationalist mission.” Halfway through the hour-long flight, I joined Chávez in his compartment. Chávez, who is about five feet seven, is a youthful-looking fifty-three, and has a thick neck and chest. He introduced me to General Gustavo Rangel, his Defense Minister, and René Vargas, Ecuador’s Ambassador to Venezuela. Chávez began our conversation by asking, “Tell us, why didn’t Saddam put up more of a fight when the Yankees invaded?” Before I could reply, General Rangel said that the Americans had successfully degraded Iraq’s air-defense system in the run-up to the war. Chávez looked at me for confirmation, and when I agreed he smiled, and said that, just in case the Americans were thinking of doing anything similar to Venezuela, he had bought an air-defense system from Belarus. (In the past four years, Venezuela has spent four billion dollars on foreign arms purchases, mostly from Russia.) The Belarusian system probably wasn’t the most sophisticated in the world, Chávez said, but it was what Venezuela could get: “We do what we can to defend ourselves.” Chávez campaigned for the Presidency, in 1998, with promises to bring radical change, but, for a time after he won, it was unclear whether he could deliver much more than symbolism and oratory. When he took office, oil was at a mere ten dollars a barrel, and his first government budget was seven billion dollars; last year, as oil approached a hundred dollars a barrel (by last week, it was a hundred and thirty-six dollars), the budget rose to fifty-four billion. The oil money has allowed Chávez to triple spending on social programs. Even though many of these “missions,” as they’re known, have foundered or have proved inadequate, the volume of revenues has meant an improvement in living standards for the country’s poorest citizens, who are, unsurprisingly, Chávez’s strongest supporters. It has also given him the means to buy influence with his neighbors, usually at the expense of the United States. Chavez’s relationship with the United States, which was strained from the start, became openly hostile after a short-lived military coup, in 2002, that seemed to have the blessing of the Bush Administration. Chávez discontinued long-standing military ties and ended Venezuela’s coöperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration, while Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, before he left office, compared Chávez to Adolf Hitler. In 2006, the State Department placed Venezuela on a list of nations that it described as “uncoöperative” in the war on terror. Despite the harsh language, unofficial U.S. policy in the past few years has generally been to ignore Chávez, in order to avoid being drawn into a confrontation. This reflects a broader disengagement from the region during the Bush Administration. Since 2001, the United States has been distracted from Latin America by the war on terror and by Iraq, and that has given Chávez room to operate. Venezuela outspends the United States in foreign aid to the rest of Latin America by a factor of at least five. Last year, U.S. aid amounted to $1.6 billion, a third of which went to Colombia, mainly to fund Plan Colombia, a drug-eradication program administered by the U.S. security contractor DynCorp. Chávez, meanwhile, pledged $8.8 billion for the region. This included subsidized oil for Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia; the purchase of public debt in Argentina; and development projects in Haiti. (Chávez has, in addition, provided discounted heating oil to poor Americans through Citgo, the Venzuelan state oil company’s U.S. subsidiary.) There is also evidence that Chávez has fostered a relationship with the Colombian Marxist guerrilla organization Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia, or FARC. The FARC operates along Venezuela’s border with Colombia and holds hundreds of hostages—civilians, soldiers, and politicians—in secret camps. Chávez has, at times, publicly distanced himself from the FARC, most recently last week, but the group’s espousal of Bolivarian ideals, and its strategic position, appears to have tempted him into seeing the organization as a means, if only by proxy, of confronting the U.S.; Colombia is one of America’s closest allies in the region. The present in Latin America may be analogous to the nineteen-sixties, when the U.S. was mired in Vietnam and deeply unpopular internationally, and Fidel Castro and Che Guevara (another hero of Chávez’s) saw an opportunity to foment guerrilla insurgencies elsewhere—“one, two, three, many Vietnams,” as Che said—by which U.S. strength could be sapped. Cris Arcos, who was, until recently, President Bush’s Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for International Affairs, told me he feared that the moment had passed for the U.S. to do much to contain Chávez. “The problem with the war on terror is that the Pentagon can’t engage anywhere else—it’s tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Arcos said. “Our foreign policy is all about China and the war on terror, so where does that leave Latin America?” In Latin America, Arcos said, “the political left has lost its fear of the gringos and the right has lost its respect for the U.S. Why? Ironically, because both expected the U.S. to smash the left, especially now that it is the sole superpower.” He continued, “The U.S. predictably considers Chávez to be annoying and crude, and thinks that he behaves inappropriately for a head of state. His cavorting with Iranians and other pariahs is alarming to the U.S., yet it’s not taken seriously by his South American neighbors.” Their tolerance for Chávez, he said, was “evidence of the U.S.’s eroding influence in the region.” Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico, first met Chávez in 1999, when, as President Clinton’s Energy Secretary, he represented the United States at Chávez’s inauguration. (He brought him a baseball glove as a swearing-in gift.) Richardson told me, “I am concerned that, because of our policy to isolate Chávez, we may have created a vacuum in Latin America, where he already outvotes us on certain issues. I am not saying that this means we have to go along with him, but there may be ways we can establish a working relationship with him. Isolating him is not in our interest.” Richardson said, “I question whether we would be wise to brand Chávez a state sponsor of terror”—a move that the Administration has considered—“because of our energy needs, and our energy relationship with Venezuela.” The old ExxonMobil station in La Faja was immaculate, all swept gravel and pristinely painted structures. Chávez, who has a regular live Sunday television show, “Aló Presidente,” planned to broadcast from the facility that day. It was humid but pleasant. An advance team had set up several hundred folding chairs outside the refining station, and a plank floor had been laid down as a stage, with a desk for Chávez, furnished with maps, notepads, and books (including a Spanish edition of Joseph Stiglitz’s “The Roaring Nineties”). Young aides in red T-shirts emblazoned with Chávez’s image and the words “Democracia en Revolución” (“Democracy Within Revolution”) and matching red baseball caps dispensed coffee and bottles of water. Chávez was dressed in a red guayabera and black jeans. His bodyguards and many of his ministers wore similar red guayaberas. By the time Chávez sat down at the desk, he had been on the air for more than an hour, walking through the facility, followed by cameramen, with his daughter María Gabriela. She is a wide-faced young woman with a toothy smile. As they made their way, he explained what they were seeing, for the benefit of the television audience. Periodically, he stopped to hug or kiss her. She, her sister, Rosa Virginia, and a brother, Hugo Rafael, all in their twenties, are Chávez’s children with his first wife, Nancy Colmenares, whom he divorced in the early nineties. Chávez also has a ten-year-old daughter, Rosinés, with his second wife, Marisabel Rodríguez. Rodríguez left him in 2002, and has since married a tennis instructor. Recently, she has begun speaking out publicly against Chávez, accusing him of being obsessed with power, and hinting that she would like to run for the Presidency herself. Sitting at the desk, Chávez began with a long pep talk for his supporters. When the camera cut away for a short, sharply critical film about ExxonMobil—it opened with a montage of images of Hitler, oil spills, and John D. Rockefeller—an aide held up a large white screen to shield Chávez while a young woman applied powder to his face. Another aide poured him espresso from a thermos, which he carried in a black leather briefcase.Back on the air, Chávez spoke scornfully of the students known as los chamos (“the kids”), who, in demonstrations last year, rallied considerable public opposition to him. Some of the leaders of los chamos have expressed interest in running against Chávez’s candidates in mayoral and gubernatorial elections scheduled for November; Chávez called out to those who might “throw themselves” into the race, “Go ahead, jump!” He then added, “Better put on parachutes.”Chávez has a gospel preacher’s deftness with language and an actor’s ability to evoke emotions. Within a single soliloquy, he comes up with rhymes, breaks into song, riffs on his own words, gets angry, cracks jokes, and loops back to where he started. His speeches can be highly entertaining, but it is sometimes difficult to know if he means what he says or has simply been carried away by his own oratory. A couple of years ago, at the United Nations General Assembly, he announced that he smelled “sulfur” at the lectern. The stench, he said, had been left by President Bush, who had spoken the day before, and was “the Devil.” (Chávez has a repertoire of colorful labels for Bush, including “coward,” “donkey,” “drunkard,” and “Mr. Danger.”) At a summit meeting in Chile last November, Chávez repeatedly interrupted Spain’s Prime Minister, until Juan Carlos, Spain’s king, snapped, “¿Porque no te callas?”—“Why don’t you shut up?” The King’s rebuke became an instant YouTube sensation. In Spain alone, more than half a million people downloaded it as a cell-phone ring tone. Chávez, sitting at the stage desk, drew a diagram on a large white card, and, holding it up to the “Aló Presidente” cameras, told viewers that he’d been thinking about a new “windfall profits” tax on oil companies. He called out to Rafael Ramírez, the president of P.D.V.S.A.—a tall, blue-eyed man who resembles Tim Robbins—and he promptly stood up and began taking notes, nodding furiously. This was not a rehearsed moment; to an unusual degree, “Aló Presidente” is Chávez’s government in action, and it is a government that Chávez does not so much administer as perform live. A couple of Chávez’s younger advisers told me that they frequently felt like supporting actors in Venezuela’s own “Truman Show.”The show went on for five hours. At one point, Chávez spoke darkly about an assassination plot against him involving Colombian and American agents. He blamed Venezuela’s private companies for shortages of food—milk, for instance, had become extremely scarce. Chávez informed his audience that, a few hours earlier, a cargo of powdered milk from Belarus had been unloaded at a Venezuelan port. He elicited a round of applause, as if the mere fact of the milk’s arrival were a feat worth saluting, and pointed out a delegation of Belarusian officials in the audience. Chávez talks incessantly about building an alliance of nations that can challenge the United States; he has sought out relationships with Iran (and had earlier sought one with Saddam Hussein), China, Russia (Chávez has called Putin one of his “buenos amigos”), and, of course, Belarus. The show cut away by satellite to a group of Belarusians and Venezuelans at the site of a joint seismic-mapping project. After a few minutes of pleasantries exchanged through an interpreter, Chávez remarked, “That translator, from the sound of things, is Cuban, for sure.” He smiled. “Cuba all over the place!”Then Chávez turned to the camera and, looking directly at it, asked, in English, “How are you, Fidel?”Fidel Castro, who will turn eighty-two this summer, has been sick since July, 2006, when he vanished from view after returning from a trip to Argentina with Chávez. Despite rumors that he had cancer, it appears that Castro was suffering from diverticulitis, a severe intestinal disorder, which nearly killed him, and from which he has not entirely recovered. He has not appeared in public since, but photographs and video footage have offered glimpses of a diminished man. In all this time, Chávez has been one of the few people outside Castro’s immediate family who are allowed to see him. He has taken it upon himself to visit the Old Man regularly and to cheer him up. “For me, Fidel is like a father. Like a beacon. Fidel is, I believe, irreplaceable,” Chávez told me. “He is a giant of the twentieth century, and, just as he entered its history, he has also entered into that of the twenty-first. And there he is, even now, doing everything he can to keep on fighting what he calls the battle of ideas, until his last breath.”The deep friendship between Chávez and Castro began well before Chávez took office. In 1979, when Chávez was a young lieutenant in the Venezuelan Army, he and other junior officers began talking about a revolution. Their plans became more serious in 1989, after the Caracazo, a three-day riot that began when the government of Carlos Andrés Pérez implemented International Monetary Fund reforms, resulting in a spike in the cost of gasoline and public transportation; the Army was called into the streets, and hundreds of civilians were shot dead. Three years later, in 1992, Chávez, then a lieutenant colonel, led a military rebellion. But he surrendered when it became clear that his men were outnumbered, and that continuing would only mean further bloodshed. (At least twenty people died.) Allowed to appear on television, he said that the coup was over, but only “por ahora”—for now. The bombast, and the implicit threat of Chávez’s words, captivated Venezuelans, and launched his political career.Chávez was imprisoned, along with his co-conspirators. They were released two years later, in 1994, after Pérez was impeached for corruption, and the criminal charges against them were dismissed. One of the first things Chávez did was go to Havana and meet Fidel Castro. Castro received him warmly, and treated him like a head of state. When, five years later, Chávez came to power, he returned to Havana and paid his respects to Castro.Chávez told me that while he was in jail he had read an interview with Castro that impressed him deeply. At the time, the Cuban economy had all but collapsed, owing to the abrupt end of Soviet subsidies. “Fidel said, ‘There will be a new wave, sooner or later. The people of Latin America will awaken and there will be a new wave, and it will have to be seen,’ ” Chávez said. “Now, as for the new wave, it’s here”—he slapped the arm of his chair—“and if someone can’t see it, it’s because he’s blind, and if he can’t feel it, it’s because he’s dead.” Since 2001, Cuba has received shipments of subsidized Venezuelan oil, estimated to be worth $2.5 billion a year, in exchange for the services of thousands of Cuban teachers, sports instructors, and doctors, who work in Venezuela’s slums and rural areas. Thousands of Venezuelans are studying in Cuba, and more than a hundred thousand Venezuelans with eye problems have been sent to Cuba for specialized medical treatment. In 2004, Chávez and Castro signed a sweeping trade deal that eliminated tariffs between their countries, and simultaneously committed themselves to Chávez’s Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, or ALBA, which means “dawn” in Spanish. ALBA is intended to counter the “neoliberal” trading bloc envisaged under the U.S.-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas. (Bolivia, Nicaragua, and the small Caribbean island nation of Dominica have since joined ALBA.) Chávez has become Cuba’s primary benefactor while positioning himself as the inheritor of Fidel’s mantle. In February, Castro released a letter saying that he was giving up his post as Cuba’s President. “Fidel hasn’t resigned from anything,” Chávez, loyally, told reporters. “He’s just stepped aside for others.” (Fidel’s younger brother Raúl replaced him as President.) Chávez promised to “continue fighting” at Fidel’s side. Teodoro Petkoff, who ran against Chávez in the 2006 Presidential election campaign and is one of his leading critics on the center-left, told me that Castro had been “a moderating influence” on Chávez—a source for level-headed and pragmatic consultation for the younger man. He thought that Castro’s departure from active politics had, in that sense, hurt Chávez. “Chávez doesn’t have anyone to talk to, and there’s no one who can argue with him; the people around him are all mediocre personalities,” he told me. “The relationship with Fidel is key, because Chávez has a kind of adolescent devotion to him.”I was reminded of something that Román Ortiz, a security-affairs analyst with a Bogotá think tank, told me: “Chávez and his plans don’t fit into the minds of those who read and believed in Fukuyama and thought we were all going to be liberals. They don’t really grasp that he has a political project, one that shares certain elements with the FARC, which is to rebuild Gran Colombia.” Ortiz added, “He will have to be contained in order for war to be avoided. Chávez is more dangerous and unpredictable than Fidel Castro. In this scenario, we are going to miss Castro.” The nature of Chávez’s relationship with the FARC, which has been fighting to overthrow the Colombian government for more than forty years, is one of the most controversial questions about him. The FARC occupies large areas of the remote jungle of southern and eastern Colombia and finances itself by taxing illicit coca farmers and cocaine processors and traffickers. Chávez’s perceived support of the guerrillas has alienated even some of his natural allies and, since last year, has been the focus of a dispute between him and his Colombian counterpart, Álvaro Uribe, that has taken on increasingly bizarre dimensions.Last August, Uribe asked for Chávez’s help in negotiating with the FARC for the release of hostages, some of whom have been held for as long as a decade. Chávez agreed. Then, in late November, Uribe, after learning that Chávez had spoken with the commander of the Colombian Army without first asking his permission, abruptly cut Chávez out. Chávez responded, in one tirade after another, by calling Uribe a “mafia boss,” a “coward,” and a “liar.”Uribe does have a problematic background. In a 1991 U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency document, he is described as being a “close personal friend of Pablo Escobar,” the late drug lord. As a regional governor, Uribe helped establish a civilian vigilante organization, CONVIVIR, that metamorphosed into an armed paramilitary network. Colombia’s right-wing paramilitary forces have fought a vicious war against the country’s leftist guerrillas and their sympathizers, killing thousands of civilians. And, like the FARC, they became involved in the drug trade. In the complex web of relationships that characterize Colombian society, however, few politicians can claim never to have had a relationship with a narcotraficante, a guerrilla commander, or a paramilitary warlord. During the past five years, thousands of paramilitaries have given up their weapons in a demobilization deal that has been criticized by human-rights groups as amounting to amnesty, but Uribe has been unwilling to broker a similar deal with the FARC. In the early nineteen-nineties, his father was killed during an attempt by the FARC to kidnap him.In his attacks on Uribe, Chávez also claimed that the United States was using Colombia as a staging ground to plot his overthrow and assassination. In response, a senior U.S. diplomat in Caracas told me, “The things President Chávez accuses the United States of are just implausible. The United States has three citizens in the FARC’s hands in Colombia. We, in fact, supported President Chávez’s initial role as an arbitrator.”Chávez continued to negotiate with the FARC on his own, and, in midJanuary, he secured the release of two women. One of them, Clara Rojas, had been the campaign manager for Ingrid Betancourt, who was kidnapped in 2002 while running for President, and is the best known of the hostages. The episode had all the melodrama of a telenovela, as Rojas was reunited with her three-year-old son, Emmanuel, to whom she had given birth in the jungle, and whose father was a FARC guerrilla. Her captors had taken Emmanuel from her, and he had ended up in an orphanage. The women told of hostages being held in inhumane conditions—some were kept chained to trees. Chávez, however, chose that moment to urge Colombia to recognize the FARC as a “belligerent party,” which would give it diplomatic legitimacy, and to call on foreign governments to stop listing it as a terrorist organization. Chávez’s statements left him isolated. In February, some four million Colombians demonstrated to repudiate the FARC; many were also critical of Chávez. Gustavo Petro is an outspoken leftist Colombian senator who is well known for his opposition to Uribe, but last year he publicly condemned the FARC for its drug trafficking and its human-rights abuses. He attributed Chávez’s position to naïveté. “The FARC has latched on to Chávez and his good will because it is in need of political varnish,” he told me. “It behaves like an occupation force, and has abandoned attempts to win over a base of support among the civilians. It actually kills more indigenous Colombians than any other armed group in the country today. Chávez doesn’t accept any of this. He is a romantic. If he sees people he thinks are ‘revolutionaries,’ Chávez salutes them and says, ‘At your service!’ ” In official circles in Caracas, I found a near-total disconnect with the mood in Colombia. Venezuela’s Foreign Minister, Nicolás Maduro, dismissed the public’s support for Uribe as the product of “a media dictatorship, with the means of communication in the hands of the most rancid, racist, retrograde oligarchy on the continent.” A few hours after I spoke to Maduro, I was summoned to meet Venezuela’s reclusive Interior Minister, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, a former naval captain. He was a participant in Chávez’s abortive coup, and, like him, served two years in prison. More recently, Rodríguez Chacín has been Chávez’s personal emissary to the FARC. It was widely noted in Colombia that, in television coverage of a recent hostage release, he hugged the guerrillas and urged them to “keep up the struggle.” I met Rodríguez Chacín at night in a remote part of Fuerte Tiuna, the Venezuelan Army’s headquarters, in the mountains on the outskirts of Caracas. A small man in jeans and a red windbreaker, with a stubbly shaved head, he was waiting in a large, bunkerlike room. There were piles of military gear, a desk with half a dozen telephones on it, an exercise bike, and a cot. On a low table I saw the “Selected Works of V. I. Lenin” and “The Diary of a Snail,” by Günter Grass. We went outside to talk. The lights of the city appeared far below us like stars in an upside-down sky. Periodically, bursts of automatic gunfire could be heard. Rodríguez Chacín said that a military firing range was situated on the side of the mountain. “Sometimes they miss, so it’s unwise to go too near the edge when they’re shooting.”He told me that he was negotiating the release of four more Colombian hostages—members of parliament who had been kidnapped six years earlier. The FARC was to bring them to a rendezvous point in the jungle; he alone would be informed of the exact location, he said. He was just waiting for the word. (The hostages were in fact released, four days later.) Rodríguez Chacín said that the FARC wanted peace, “but a different kind of peace from what Colombia’s oligarchy has in mind.” Colombia, he said, was the United States’ “last bastion, practically the last secure beachhead it has in Latin America. So the real enemy, behind this whole circumstance, even more so than the Colombian oligarchy, is the Empire.” (In Bolivarian Venezuela, “the Empire” is the United States.) At the entrance to a grimy traffic tunnel in downtown Caracas stands a statue of Simón Bolívar. One day, I saw a handwritten sign there, reminiscent of the revelatory messages on placards sometimes seen in front of the White House. It carried an admonition, in Spanish, saying, “Barack Obama will be the Beast, and the last President of the United States.” The apocalyptic message was somehow fitting. Caracas is, in many respects, a failed city, and it looks and feels like a place that has spun out of control. The crime rate is shockingly high; there were an estimated five hundred and fifty murders in the first three months of this year. Indigents live openly in the public parks and along the embankments of the city’s sewage trough of a river, the Guaire. Here and there are skyscrapers built in the boom years of the sixties and seventies, their concrete carcasses discolored and crumbling. Hundreds of thousands of shanties scar the surrounding green mountains. Garbage lies uncollected, and the streets are choked with traffic—and, since Venezuela is flush with oil money, there are brand-new cars everywhere. Four hundred and fifty thousand new vehicles were sold last year. Wealthy Venezuelans, meanwhile, live in gated communities and secure apartment buildings on hilltops with panoramic views over Caracas; a nouveau-riche class has emerged from the official ranks and is known, disparagingly, as the boliburguesia, for Bolivarian bourgeoisie. Five years ago, Chávez took direct control of the state oil company, P.D.V.S.A., after sitting out a two-month strike by its union. He fired more than eighteen thousand employees, replacing many of them with his supporters. Since then, he has used P.D.V.S.A.’s revenues to fund his most revolutionary schemes, which include the so-called missions to Venezuela’s poor. Rafael Ramírez, the P.D.V.S.A. chief, told me that Chávez intended to use P.D.V.S.A. as the vehicle for transforming Venezuela from an “oil sultanate to a productive society within a socialist framework.” Like a state within a state, the oil company has begun to replicate or supersede many of the functions of the national government. New P.D.V.S.A. branches oversee everything from agriculture to shipping, construction, and food distribution. “The plan is to make P.D.V.S.A. like Gazprom,” Ramírez told me, referring to the Russian energy giant, “but with a social role.” Venezuela has a complex and volatile economy, with rampant corruption and high rates of unemployment and oil-fuelled inflation. A prominent Venezuelan economist, Orlando Ochoa, blamed Chávez’s policies and the inefficiency of his government for many of these problems. He described the situation to me as a “perfect economic storm.” He said, “No price of oil can forestall the rate of inflation and its social consequences.” But Ochoa acknowledged that, as long as oil prices remained high, the government could probably stave off collapse indefinitely.Chávez’s current term ends in 2013. Last year, he held a referendum to amend the constitution and remove provisions that would prevent him from running for a third term. He let it be known that he would like to stay in power until 2050, when he would be ninety-six years old. The referendum was narrowly defeated; it was his first loss at the polls since becoming President, and it reinvigorated the political opposition. Petkoff, who campaigned against Chávez in 2006, told me, “Chávez is a charismatic leader, and he understood that the result of the referendum meant that his popularity with the people had been somewhat eroded. He needed to find a way to reconnect more directly with the people, and so he has turned everything into a kind of personal ‘They’re coming for me’ drama.” Petkoff added, “Chávez is bipolar, really. One side of his brain is Girondin, and the other is Jacobin. He is prudent, and he is also radical.”Petkoff’s wife, a psychologist, who was listening to us, demurred: “He’s a psychopath, in my opinion.”Petkoff replied, “Yes, maybe, but a psychopath with a mission.”José Vicente Rangel, who served as Chávez’s Vice-President from 2002 until 2007, said he thought that Chávez’s “infatuation” with foreign affairs and his neglect of Venezuela’s domestic problems had contributed to the referendum’s defeat. “Public insecurity is the scourge of Venezuelans, but Chávez never comprehended it,” Rangel said. “He sees the crime rate as a product of poverty, a social issue, and this is because he believes in a mythology of poverty in which all the poor are good, and it just isn’t that way; the poor are criminals, too.” Rangel said that the rebuke to his government was something Chávez took seriously—“He’s in a period of deep reflection.” The loss had shattered Chávez’s “myth of invincibility,” Rangel said, “and that has damaged us.”In the early hours of March 1st, two days after the release of the four parliamentarian hostages, Colombian troops crossed into Ecuadoran territory and destroyed a FARC camp there. The FARC’s second-in-command, Raúl Reyes, was killed, along with twenty-four others. Uribe telephoned Ecuador’s President, Rafael Correa, to apologize for the incursion, but said that it had been done in self-defense—FARC fighters had fired on Colombian troops from the Ecuadoran side of the border. On the next day’s “Aló Presidente,” which was broadcast from a plaza in Caracas, Chávez referred angrily to the “cowardly murder” of Reyes, whom he called a “good revolutionary,” and he said that the incident could be “the start of a war in South America.” Looking straight into the cameras, he added, “Try that here, President Uribe, and I will send you some Sukhois!” (Venezuela recently bought twenty-four Sukhoi fighter jets from Russia.) Then Chávez turned to his Defense Minister, General Rangel, who was in the audience. Rangel stood up and snapped to attention. “Mr. Defense Minister, send ten battalions to the border with Colombia immediately,” Chávez said. “Tank battalions.”In ordering the movement of troops on live TV, Chávez reinforced the unconventional aspect of his Presidency, in which statecraft is also a reality show. He then told viewers that he was closing the Venezuelan Embassy in Bogotá. The next day, the chief of Colombia’s national police, General Oscar Naranjo, announced that three laptops and several hard drives had been seized during the raid on the FARC camp. According to General Naranjo, e-mail exchanges found on Reyes’s computer indicated that Chávez had offered the FARC three hundred million dollars; one e-mail message, allegedly from a FARC official, suggested that Rodríguez Chacín had asked the FARC to help train Venezuelans in “guerrilla warfare.” (There were also murky references to an attempt by the FARC to buy uranium for a “dirty bomb,” although these seemed less credible.)Chávez dismissed the e-mails as fabrications. Uribe said that he intended to seek an indictment against Chávez before the International Criminal Court, for what he called “the patronage and financing of genocidists.” Uribe’s approval ratings soared to eighty-four per cent, while Chávez was viewed unfavorably by ninety per cent of Colombians.Suddenly, there was talk of regional war. Television broadcasts showed Venezuelan tanks moving toward Colombia’s borders; trade between the two countries ground to a halt, and diplomats were expelled. One Latin-American diplomat told me he feared that the situation could easily escalate into a larger armed conflict. “Chávez is using this incident to divert public attention from his internal problems,” he said. “And I think he is also trying to demonstrate that he is the leader of the region’s popular forces. It is a very risky calculation.” A few days after Chávez ordered his tanks to the Colombian border, I interviewed him at Miraflores, the Presidential palace. We sat under a large portrait of Simón Bolívar. Chávez was wearing black jeans, a green military jacket, and a red T-shirt. The next day, he was to fly to Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, where some twenty Latin-American leaders were gathering for a summit, which would address the crisis. He intended to confront Uribe there. I asked Chávez if his dispute with Colombia was getting out of hand. He replied, “If you look at the situation clearly, the reality is that you have an anti-imperialist revolutionary country here and, over there, a counterrevolutionar y, pro-imperialist country. It’s an explosive contradiction.” Over the years, he said, he had mostly managed to maintain good relations with Uribe. He mentioned a dispute involving a FARC emissary kidnapped in Caracas at the direction of Colombian agents. On that occasion, Chávez had been about to break off diplomatic relations when Uribe asked Fidel Castro to intercede. “Fidel called me, and so we found a solution,” Chávez said. “All this garbage is going to come back and fall on Uribe himself,” he said. “First of all, just to clarify, the mobilization of troops on the border, that’s all defensive—eminently defensive. Because we are faced with a government, the Colombian government, that has publicly assumed the Bush doctrine—preventive war, preëmptive attack.”He expressed understanding for the FARC. When, during a ceasefire in the mid-eighties, the FARC established a political party, thousands of its members were murdered, Chávez said. He said that he couldn’t “dismiss the possibility that a group of guerrillas can cross the border—ours with Colombia is more than two thousand kilometres long—and install themselves, as occurred with Ecuador, here.” He went on, “Anyone would understand that I was obliged to reinforce the border. I had to warn Uribe that he should not dare to do here in Venezuela what he did in Ecuador.”As for Uribe’s accusations and his threat to bring him before the International Criminal Court, “I laugh at them—they are risible.” Uribe was the one who should be investigated for genocide, Chávez said. “There are documents detailing the massacres by the paramilitaries in Colombia. It’s a horrible thing. They burn people, they cut them into pieces—into pieces! And Uribe supported that.” He added, “Uribe says I will be accused? Well, to paraphrase Fidel, who once said that history will absolve him, history has already condemned Álvaro Uribe.”I asked Chávez if he believed that a confrontation with the United States was inevitable.“Look, once, when I was a boy, I nearly drowned in a river,” Chávez said. “The current took me. Friends saved me when I was swept into a rock. Imagine if I had not been saved, and I had drowned at fifteen. This would have happened anyway. . . . If the oligarchies of this continent, directed by the United States and that group of extreme right-wing fascists with their imperial strategies of war who are in the White House, try to stop this revolution, Latin America will go up in flames.”Chávez said that it was not his intention, as some said, “to be the leader of a continental revolution. Nor do we plan to export the Bolivarian revolution. It is a process that is happening—it is the people who are doing it. . . . Now, does this project necessarily have to confront the United States?” He paused. “I would say yes—not the United States as such but the imperial line of the United States. Confrontation is inevitable.” Chávez’s jet took off for the Dominican Republic the next afternoon—“Hola, guerrilleros!” he called out to his Cuban doctors as we boarded. Maduro, the Foreign Minister, said, smiling, “Let’s go confront the Empire.”The summit began the next morning, in a convention center set among the resort hotels and casinos on Santo Domingo’s seafront. At Chávez’s suggestion, I was given a lapel pin identifying me as a member of the Venezuelan delegation so that I could get into the Presidents’ session, which was closed to the press. President Uribe, a pale, small, trim-looking man, was the first head of state to enter the hall, followed by Chávez and Daniel Ortega, Nicaragua’s President. Ortega wore a suède jacket and jeans; all the other leaders, including Chávez, wore suits. (Ortega, the former Sandinista leader, was reëlected President last year, in spite of an unending series of scandals, and has begun to restore his image, thanks in part to Chávez’s financial and political largesse.) Chávez and Uribe ignored one another. The Dominican President, Leonel Fernández, opened the meeting and gave Rafael Correa, of Ecuador, the floor. “The government of Colombia bombed my country,” Correa began. Ecuador, he said, was prepared to pursue its grievances to their “final consequences.” Looking at Uribe, Correa said, “Your insolence offends us even more than your murderous bombs.” Chávez and the rest of the Venezuelan delegation gave Correa a standing ovation. Uribe spoke next. He described Raúl Reyes, the FARC leader killed in the raid, as “one of the most frightening terrorists in the history of humanity.” (A Chávez adviser next to me rolled his eyes.) He conceded that his troops had bombed the camp in Ecuador—but said that the bombs had been launched from Colombian territory. As for the guerrillas who were killed, “they weren’t there preparing for Easter festivities.” At one point, Daniel Ortega got up, walked behind Correa, and stared hard at Uribe, looking like a man spoiling for a fight. When Uribe suggested that he sit down, Ortega said, “I am not your son! Who do you think you are?” After a while, he sauntered back to his seat.Following Uribe’s remarks, Correa said that Uribe would bomb the Dominican Republic if he suspected that it harbored another Raúl Reyes. “Don’t inflict on me the cynicism of those who are nostalgic for Communism,” Uribe interrupted.Correa, continuing, raised his arms. “These hands are clean and free of blood.” The session seemed close to breaking down. Then Chávez spoke. He began by telling stories, goading the others and drawing them in. In the nineties, he said, he had been accused of giving arms to Bolivia’s President, Evo Morales, who was then a cocalero activist and a congressman, and to another indigenous Bolivian leader, Felipe Quispe. Chávez said to Morales, “Evo—I think Quispe’s even more radical than you.” Morales smiled modestly. Chávez said he found ironic the accusation that he was providing three hundred million dollars to the FARC, since he had recently financed a three-hundred- million-dollar gas pipeline for Colombia—he and Uribe had attended the groundbreaking together. Chávez looked across at Cristina Kirchner, the President of Argentina, whose populist, left-of-center government is supportive of his. “Witness the infamy that was invented that I had sent suitcases full of dollars to Cristina.” (Last August, a Venezuelan-American businessman travelling to Buenos Aires was found to be carrying eight hundred thousand dollars in undeclared cash in his suitcase. Although Chávez has denied it, the widespread assumption is that he was secretly financing Kirchner’s Presidential campaign.) “And now it’s suitcases in the jungle!” By now, many of the leaders were laughing. Chávez had created an atmosphere of entente cordiale, and momentarily blunted Uribe’s charges against him. “I could have sent plenty of rifles to the FARC,” Chávez said. “I could have sent them plenty of dollars—I will not do it, ever.” Chávez then had a surprise: the FARC, he said, had just informed him that it was prepared to release six more hostages. Uribe spoke in urgent whispers with his aides. Chávez asked President Fernández if protocol could be broken to allow the mother of Ingrid Betancourt to come into the hall. After some commotion, Betancourt’s mother, Yolanda Pulecio, an elegant woman in her late sixties (and a former Miss Colombia), entered. With her was Piedad Córdoba, a flamboyant left-wing Colombian senator who has worked with Chávez in negotiations with the FARC, and who was wearing a white turban. Uribe looked furious; Chávez was showing that he, not Uribe, was the one who could save the hostages’ lives. By now, some eight hours had gone by, and waiters brought the leaders plates of food while they talked. Finally, an agreement was worked out, as part of which Uribe promised, reluctantly, not to conduct new cross-border raids. Fernández asked Uribe and Correa to embrace. After some hesitation, they shook hands. Chávez walked up to Uribe and greeted him, too, and the crisis seemed to be at an end. Then, moments later, Correa began berating Uribe, who bristled. The other leaders in the room looked alarmed. Chávez swiftly spoke in mollifying tones to Uribe, who relaxed. I walked out with Piedad Córdoba and Yolanda Pulecio. Córdoba was gleeful. She said that she and Chávez and Cristina Kirchner had planned everything in detail—the revelation about the new hostages, and Pulecio’s dramatic appearance. Chávez had shown himself capable of sparking a regional confrontation and then, by defusing it, appearing as the peacemaker. It was similar to the moment in 1992 when he called off his coup attempt. Uribe understood that he had been temporarily outmaneuvered, and had responded to Chávez’s gesture. Both leaders, to an extent, could declare victory, although it was clear that this was just a skirmish in an ongoing conflict.We were boarding the flight that was to take us back to Caracas when Chávez announced that he had changed his mind: the plane was going to Cuba instead. A wave of elation swept through the delegation. When we arrived in Havana, it was nearly midnight. Raúl Castro, wearing a military uniform, a brimmed hat, and large glasses, which gave him an owlish appearance, was waiting to greet Chávez as he got off the plane. Chávez was exuberant, and called me over to introduce me to Raúl, who looked me up and down with a cautious smile and shook my hand. As the rest of the delegation headed to a state-run hotel, Chávez disappeared with Raúl. The next day, Raúl saw Chávez off at the airport. As we taxied away, Chávez came to the rear of the plane. He was beaming. He had spent three hours with Fidel, who was “just fine.” He added, “Fidel asked me to say hello to all of you for him!” Afterward, a senior Latin-American diplomat told me he learned that Chávez had lowered the tension with Uribe at the summit “because Fidel advised him to.”In mid-May, the Interpol team investigating the captured FARC laptops announced that the hard drives had not been tampered with since their discovery. The investigators cautioned that they did not verify the authorship or the accuracy of the e-mails, but the report was damning. Chávez responded by deriding the investigators, calling Interpol’s secretary general, an American, an “international vagabond.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Shannon said that he was “surprised” at Chávez’s flippant reaction. Two days after the release of the report, on May 17th, a U.S. Navy jet strayed into Venezuelan airspace, owing to what the Pentagon said was a navigation error. Defense Minister Rangel called the incident a “provocation.” A series of embarrassments and setbacks for Chávez followed. A decree law, intended to bolster the country’s intelligence in case of “imperialist attacks,” passed on May 28th and came under immediate and widespread criticism; many Venezuelans feared that it would require them to inform on one another. Ten days later, on June 7th, the Colombian government announced the arrest of a Venezuelan officer whom they accused of smuggling forty thousand AK-47 bullets to the FARC. Chávez’s government said that it was investigating. Adding to the sense of disarray, the FARC was forced to confirm reports that its legendary leader, Manuel Marulanda, had died of a heart attack.Chávez seemed to realize that he had gone too far. The day of the smuggling arrest, he announced that he would suspend the new intelligence law, saying, “There is no dictatorship here.” Then, on his June 8th “Aló Presidente” broadcast, he unexpectedly called on the FARC to give up its armed struggle and let its hostages go, saying that guerrillas did not have a place in today’s world. Chávez appeared—for now—to be withdrawing from the battlefield he had helped to create, pragmatically cutting his losses. Above all, he had shown the strength of his instincts as a survivor.Whether his call to the FARC was more than a tactical ploy remains to be seen. “Those were very useful words,” Assistant Secretary Shannon said at a talk in Miami. “That does not mean we aren’t aware of what is happening, and the kind of relationship that has been built over time between some members of the Venezuelan government and the FARC.” The question is, Shannon said, will the Venezuelan government “use that relationship in an effort to get the FARC to come in out of the cold and end a four-decade conflict? Or will it continue to conspire against a democratic neighbor? . . . That, I think, is what everybody in the region is waiting for: how Venezuela will define itself.”Bill Richardson said that, in April, he had travelled to Caracas to speak to Chávez on behalf of the families of three American defense contractors being held by the FARC. Chávez had been effusive and friendly—Richardson is Mexican-American, and they spoke for an hour and a half in Spanish. He told Richardson that he did not comprehend the Bush Administration’s hostility toward him: “He told me he didn’t like being demonized.” When Richardson asked him if he would get in touch with the FARC about the American contractors, Chávez said, “Sí, te ayudo”—“Yes, I will help you.” Richardson said, “We need to establish some lines of communication with him, and this—coöperation on the hostage negotiations—is a possible way to start. I think we should keep a stable relationship with Venezuela; it’s in our interest to do so.” On June 7th, Chávez had also said, “Whoever is the next President of the United States, I’d like to start preparing the way to start working together.” When I asked Ana Navarro, an adviser to Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, about the offer, she said, “Senator McCain thinks that Chávez is a charlatan and a thug. The Senator doesn’t trust Chávez, and does not think it worth getting into a back-and-forth with him.” Last year, Senator Barack Obama was asked in a debate if he would be willing to meet with leaders who are hostile to the United States—Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Chávez, and Castro—“without precondition.” Obama answered that he would, prompting Senators McCain and Hillary Clinton to suggest that he was naïve. Obama subsequently said that high on his agenda in any talks with Chávez would be addressing “the fomentation of anti-American sentiment in Latin America,” and “his support of the FARC in Colombia,” which, he said, was “not acceptable.” I asked Richardson if he had carried a message to Chávez on behalf of Senator Obama, whose candidacy he endorsed after dropping out of the Presidential race himself. Richardson said that he hadn’t, but that the thought had seemed to occur to Chávez, too. “He said that he had noticed my endorsement. And he said, ‘We could use better treatment from the United States.’ But I don’t think he sees me as a representative of Obama, but as a fellow Latin-American,” Richardson said. “His message to me was ‘Take me seriously, and treat me better.’ ” ♦
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/06/23/080623fa_fact_anderson/

Yo soy un Reaccionario


Por: Víctor R. Azuaje - En ese sentido, debo admitir, si reaccionario es el que reacciona, que somos profundamente reaccionarios. Pero la nuestra es una reacción ante la injusticia, y nuestro orden, no es el orden de la violencia, sino de la restauración del amor sobre las cosas que merecen ser amadas y defendidas. Juan Pablo Vitali. En esta era de lo políticamente correcto, de la "tolerancia" y el "progreso", hay muchas cosas que son mal vistas y muchos prejuicios insuperables, o más bien prejuicios mantenidos de forma premeditada, ser de derecha es mal visto, ser tradicionalista o conservador es anticuado o antiprogresista, poner lo moral por encima de lo económico es "atraso", no estar de acuerdo con las aberraciones sexuales es intolerancia, defender los valores, oponerse al genocidio abortista, a la destrucción de la familia, a la destrucción del derecho a la propiedad, a la globalización igualitarista y destructora de las identidades nacionales es reaccionario. Pues bien yo soy reaccionario, pues todas esas patrañas que nos venden como progreso no son más que falacias baratas, yo soy reaccionario porque no puedo permanecer inmóvil ante la destrucción de todo lo que amo, frente a la injusticia reacciono, frente al crimen reacciono, frente al caos reacciono buscando restaurar el orden, en un mundo sumergido en el caos ¿como no se podría reaccionar? ¿Permanecer inmóvil, frente a las injusticias de gobiernos que imponen su voluntad por encima de los pueblos es progreso?, ¿permanecer inerte frente a la decadencia moral y física de nuestros pueblos es tolerancia?, ciertamente muchos quisieran verme doblegado, sentado en un sillón frente al televisor cómodo en casa, sin opinar, ni actuar viendo el show, eso es lo que quisieran quienes gobiernan, que el hombre abandonara sus ideas, que los pueblos se vuelvan estupidos y dejen de reaccionar cuando son pisoteados. Si hay algo reaccionario es el Orden y la justicia, no existen para nosotros por separado. Igualar lo desigual es darle poder a una burocracia, liberal o marxista, no importa. Nuestra justicia social está siempre referida a un orden de responsabilidad y merecimientos somos reaccionarios, la revolución odia a los reaccionarios, pues ella necesita a los dóciles para imponer su yugo, el reaccionario jamás aceptaría sin luchar la derrota de su patria, el reaccionario es la ultima muralla contra la destrucción revolucionaria. Yo soy reaccionario y orgulloso me siento de ser tal, pues mientras otros prefieren estar inertes frente a lo que ocurre, yo reacciono y enfrento siempre dispuesto a luchar contra todo lo que atenta "sobre las cosas que merecen ser amadas y defendidas".

Verdades Absolutas



Para evitar hijos, haga el amor con las cuñadas. Solo nacen sobrinos!
Todas las setas son comestibles. Algunas solo una vez.
Sea amable con sus hijos. Son ellos los que van a elegir el geriátrico.
Nací pelado, desnudo y sin dientes. Todo lo que venga, es lucro!
Los amigos vienen y van, los enemigos se acumulan...
Si el amor es ciego, es necesario palpar...
Si la mujer fuese buena, Dios tendría una. Y si fuese de confianza, el diablo no tendría cuernos...
Saben porque el pan se quema, la leche se corta, y la mujer embaraza? Porque no se retira a tiempo...
Algunos hombres aman tanto a sus mujeres, que para no gastarlas, prefieren usar las de los amigos...
Peor que una piedra en el zapato es un grano de arena en el preservativo...
Y si un día te sientes inútil o deprimido, acordate de esto: hubo un día en que fuiste el espermatozoide más rápido del grupo!!!
Los trabajadores más inútiles son sistemáticamente promovidos para el lugar donde pueden causar menos daños: la jefatura...
Los jefes son como las nubes, cuando desaparecen queda un día lindo...
Que lleva a los hombres a perseguir mujeres con las que no tienen intención de casarse? El mismo impulso que lleva a los perros a perseguir coches que no tienen intención de conducir...
Las jerarquías militares son como los estantes, cuanto más altas más inútiles !
Tu futuro depende de tus sueños. No pierdas tiempo... anda a dormir!
El amor es como la gripe, se pesca en la calle, y se cura en la cama...
Los hombres mentirían mucho menos, si las mujeres no preguntasen tanto!

¿Será que nos merecemos lo que tenemos?. ¡No, mil veces no!


Por: Romulo E. Lander Hoffmann - El ministro del Interior y Justicia, Ramón Rodríguez Chacín, confirmó en rueda de prensa que Manuel Agudo Escalona, quien el sábado pasado fue detenido en la frontera con Colombia por la policía de ese país, es un sargento mayor de segunda del Ejército venezolano y señaló que éste fue llevado bajo engaño a vender armas a las FARC. Rodríguez Chacín indicó que a Agudo Escalona "lo abordó una persona que le pidió cometer un delito y que fuera uniformado”, y especificó que el trabajo que debía hacer era el de “acompañar a esta persona, porque quería pasar 500 millones de bolívares y le dio un millón de bolívares de pago adelanto y le ofreció 100 millones". El ministro puso especial énfasis en la rapidez con la que las autoridades neogranadinas interceptaron al sargento, pues indicó que Agudo Escalona aseguró haber abordado una embarcación en el lado venezolano y que un grupo de personas colocó municiones en ella, pero que, inmediatamente después de cruzar hacia Colombia, apareció una comisión del Gobierno de ese país. Será que al final de este cuento tendremos que aceptar aquella lapidaria frase de que “NOS MERECEMOS EL GOBIERNO, Y LOS GOBERNANTES QUE TENEMOS?” No! Y mil veces no! Me niego a aceptarlo. ¿Es que nadie va a aparecer diciéndole al IMBECIL* que tenemos por ministro (difícil saber cual no?) que no importa un mismísimo, que da lo mismo que el ayudante del sátrapa haya cruzado la frontera para ayudar (! SI LUIS!) a pasar 500 milloncitos de los nuevos, o sea, 200 milloncitos de dolarcitos chico!. O sea, unas 15 veces más de la cantidad por la que juzgaron a CAP. Y que a mi entender costo no solo el inicio de su rodada, sino la del país hasta donde hoy se encuentra, que el haber cruzado la frontera para venderle armas y municiones a la guerrilla colombiana. ¿Que delito es delito, y que es absolutamente inaceptable; moral y éticamente inaceptable defender este tipo de satrapias? ¿Hasta cuando en nuestro continente se va a seguir convalidando, en aras de proyectos personales, las barbaridades de Chávez? ¿Hasta cuando los países de nuestro continente van a entender que sacarle provecho al imbecil de turno de Venezuela solo les traerá, y muy pronto, mas desgracia, más pobreza, más movimientos subversivos, y finalmente más destrucción de nuestras sociedades; elemento imprescindible para este proyecto supranacional y sobre todo Jurasico?. Triste, pero evidente realidad... El Imbecil del ministro y el no menos imbecil de nuestro presidente, quien lo avala con su silencio, nuevamente nos quiere ver la cara de bolsas, que fácil es actuar así cuando se tiene el poder y el dinero en las manos y que diferente a su actuación en el museo. Vuelven estos sátiros a utilizar el mismo vil argumento que usaron cuando felizmente para la humanidad liquidaron al asesino REYES.: “Lo importante no es que el maldito haya asesinado a miles de inocentes; contados niños, ancianos y mujeres embarazadas entre ellos, (TOTAL EL FIN JUSTIFICA LOS MEDIOS), sino que el pobrecito soldadito de plomo en su estulticia, fue engañado por los malvados imperialistas” y para mas remate, con un reforzamiento argumentativo digno de un tonto supino; “el pobre bichito, solo iba a ayudar a lavar y contrabandear unos milloncitos, cosa sin importancia pues!”. Espero que ahora entendamos lo de las maletas de Antonini y sus verdaderas implicaciones en el envilecimiento que el sátrapa pretende para todo el continente, y espero que los congresistas de Estados Unidos acaben de entender, que al final, el mantener los negocios con Chávez solo los va a llevar a gastar en un futuro muy cercano miles de millones de dollares, cuando este termine de incendiarles el patio trasero y lo llamo patio trasero no en sentido de pertenencia, porque ese patio es absolutamente nuestro; de cada uno de los Latinoamericanos que vivimos en este sub continente y no de ningún otro país y/o gobernante ME ESCUCHAS Huguito? Tu podrás tener las mejores intenciones, (!si Luis otra vez!) pero no eres ni la décima parte de lo patriota que soy yo, o que cualquiera de los millones de venezolanos que en mala hora creyeron en tu maldito y disfrazado discurso barato. No termino de entender como ante las múltiples muestras de insanidad mental de Chávez nos quedamos impávidos asistiendo al sainete montado por el bufón mayor y sus bufoncitos adláteres. ¿Es que no basto con un Bucaram, o un Castro en America? Aparentemente no… No nos equivoquemos con el SIMULADO comportamiento “democratico” del satrapa. Este, es solo un paso atras para coger mas impulso. Se nota que se leyo la historia politica de Lenin. Segunda acepción *2 coloquial [persona] Que se comporta con poca inteligencia: decía Balzac que “un imbécil que no tiene más que una idea en la cabeza es más fuerte y mas peligroso que un hombre de talento que tiene millares”. Amanecerá y Veremos. http://www.romulolander.com/

Hugo Chávez, New and Improved


It turns out that Hugo Chávez is an adaptable man. The Venezuelan president, who has championed — and almost certainly helped arm — Colombia’s FARC rebels, called last week for the rebels to lay down their weapons and unconditionally surrender their hostages. We suspect this change of heart has been driven more by self-interest than conviction. Mr. Chávez is increasingly unpopular at home and increasingly isolated abroad, especially as evidence has mounted of his meddling in Colombia. The change nevertheless is welcome and well timed. The FARC, which long ago chose drug trafficking over liberation, has been under assault from Colombia’s Army and looks as if it is unraveling. The United States, Colombia and all of Venezuela’s neighbors should press Mr. Chávez to use all of his influence to get the rebels to demobilize. There is good news inside Venezuela too. On the same weekend that Mr. Chávez turned on the FARC, he suspended a chilling new law he had enacted by decree that would have forced Venezuelans to cooperate with the intelligence services or go to jail. He has also withdrawn a school curriculum that blasted capitalism as a force to subjugate the people. With Venezuela’s economy slowing and its inflation rate the highest in Latin America, Mr. Chávez’s approval rating has plunged since December, when he narrowly lost a referendum that would have given him even more power and allowed him to run for re-election indefinitely. With gubernatorial elections coming in November, he apparently decided he needed a political makeover. Mr. Chávez has a lot further to go. He must stop all aid to the FARC. He must stop using the levers of the state to harass his political opposition at home. And he must stop trying to seize by decree powers that voters denied him in December’s referendum. Venezuela’s voters and its neighbors should use all of their influence to persuade Mr. Chávez that real change is good. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/15/opinion/15sun2.html

Las cosas no son siempre lo que parecen


Dos Angeles viajeros se pararon para pasar la noche en el hogar de una familia muy adinerada. La familia era ruda y no quiso permitirle a los Angeles que se quedaran en la habitación de huéspedes de la mansión. En vez de ser así, a los Angeles le dieron un espacio pequeño en el frío sótano de la casa. A medida que ellos preparaban sus camas en el duro piso, el Angel más viejo vio un hueco en la pared y lo reparó. Cuando el Angel más joven preguntó ¿por qué?, el Angel más viejo le respondió, "Las Cosas no siempre son lo que parecen". La siguiente noche, el par de Angeles vino a descansar en la casa de un señor y una señora, muy pobres, pero el señor y su esposa eran muy hospitalarios. Después de compartir la poca comida que la familia pobre tenía, la pareja le permitió a los Angeles que durmieran en su cama donde ellos podrían tener una buena noche de descanso. Cuando amaneció, al siguiente día, los Angeles encontraron bañados en lágrimas al Señor y a su Esposa. La única vaca que tenían, cuya leche había sido su única entrada de dinero, yacía muerta en el campo. El Angel más joven estaba furioso y preguntó al Angel más viejo, ¿cómo pudiste permitir que esto hubiera pasado? El primer hombre lo tenía todo, sin embargo tú lo ayudaste; El Angel más joven le acusaba. La segunda familia tenía muy poco, pero estaba dispuesta a compartirlo todo, y tú permitiste que la vaca muriera. "Las Cosas no siempre son lo que parecen," le replicó el Angel más viejo. "Cuando estábamos en aquel sótano de la inmensa mansión, yo noté que había oro almacenado en aquel hueco de la pared. Debido a que el propietario estaba tan obsesionado con avaricia y no dispuesto a compartir su buena fortuna, yo sellé el hueco, de manera tal que nunca lo encontraría". "Luego, anoche mientras dormíamos en la cama de la familia pobre, el ángel de la muerte vino en busca de la esposa del agricultor. Y yo le di a la vaca en su lugar. “Las Cosas no siempre son lo que parecen". Algunas veces, eso es exactamente lo que pasa cuando las cosas no salen como uno espera que salgan. Si tú tienes fe, solamente necesitas confiar en que cualesquiera que fueran las cosas que vengan, serán siempre para tu ventaja. Y podrías no saber esto hasta un poco más tarde.

¿Será que podremos aprender de este video?

¿Será que podremos aprender?.
No lo creo.
Sinceramente, no lo creo.
Neve Shalom - Wahat As-Salam
(Oásis de paz - en árabe y en hebreo).

Frase del día

"La belleza del cuerpo es un viajero que pasa; pero la del alma es un amigo que queda."
Saavedra Fajardo