Manuel Zelaya speaks out: “The president of Honduras is John Kerry”

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This man is the last true democratically elected president Honduras has had. Five years ago, he was deposed in a violent military putsch, backed to the hilt by Washington. Manuel Zelaya was sent into exile, very much against his will, and even more so against the will of the Honduran people. Ever since then, there’s been a campaign to silence all critics of the US-imposed puppet régimes (there have been three so far) in the wake of the coup. Sham elections have not been enough to buy off the populace, and criticism has been growing. This year, things came to a head when child refugees from Central America, thousands of them, began arriving at the border with Mexico, unaccompanied by adults, but often in possession of their birth certificates and other documents identifying them and their countries of origin. Honduras is heavily represented among those lands, and if you wonder why, let the last real president of the land explain it all to you:

A short time after the fifth anniversary of the coup d’état that brought down his government, former Honduran president Manuel Zelaya spoke with Miradas al Sur about the current situation in Honduras and Latin America.


Manuel Zelaya only began to be affectionately called “Mel” by large parts of the population of Honduras in the second half of his mandate as president there. Until then, and for a good part of the peoples of Latin America, he had only been the progressive face of the Honduran Liberal Party, one of the traditional axes of power in the Central American country. But as of 2008, his way of wielding power began to turn toward the creation of a state closer to the humble folk, and more disposed toward solidarity with the popular sectors not only of his own land, but of all the Caribbean. Zelaya put conservative noses out of joint, and even those of his own comrades, upon confirming the leftward turn of his government, with a 60% minimum wage increase and an explicit turn toward 20th-century socialism. That same year, and hand in hand with Hugo Chávez’s Venezuela, Honduras formally entered into Petrocaribe and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). “Petrocaribe is a commercial alliance. ALBA is an alliance of Latin American integration. I entered into both. Those countries who want to establish another system for a world which is still possible, must join ALBA. Not just Petrocaribe. That is more for business dealings,” Zelaya explained.

But while a good part of Latin America and the Caribbean was drawing closer to “Mel”, there were some in Honduras and the United States who grieved for politicians like Zelaya, and even more for those who preceded him. So it was that on June 28, 2009, the armed forces, backed by the supreme court of the nation, carried out a coup d’état which did away with the progressive profile of Honduras. “The result of the coup was that the security apparatus or the economic apparatus or the economic system began to be 99% directed by policies designed in Washington,” said the former president. “And, lamentably, they are policies of the most reactionary right-wing elements in the United States, very sectarian groups of the far right. After the coup, narcotrafficking and crime increased. The exploitation of the transnational mining firms is deepening, the privatization of all public services such as roadways, ports, telecommunications. They’ve even privatized things that belong to civil society and the state, such as collecting customs duties. And one of the most classic forms that the North American right has for controlling our countries is militarism. Now, here, soldiers have been substituted for the police. They’re substituting for the powers of the state in all matters and have given them extraordinary powers, as if we were living in a de facto dictatorial state. The separation of powers disappeared. There’s just one power of state, which the president wields over the military. If we review all the indicators of the land, we will find that everything has deteriorated from the coup to the present. The internal and external debt has quintupled. In five years, they’ve managed to indebt the country like it was in the 1960s, and it’s the largest debt in our history. The murder rate has converted us into the most violent country on the planet. We were a small and peaceful country. We are the poorest society in Latin America. We have always been at some level of poverty, but never like it is now. The president of Honduras is not Juan Orlando Hernández; he was imposed by way of a fraud. The presidnet of Honduras is named John Kerry, and his policies are those of the United States.”

Following his removal from office, and after several months in exile, Zelaya joined the National Front of Popular Resistance, which became the party of Freedom and Refoundation (LIBRE), over which he presides today. In November of 2013, LIBRE participated in the presidential elections with Xiomara Castro, Zelaya’s wife, as candidate, reaching second place and breaking up the historic bipartisanism of the National Party and the Liberals.

A few weeks ago, Zelaya himself denounced that he had been repressed, along with all his party, at the doors of the National Congress.

“That incident is just one more proof of the militarization of the land, and its absorption in neoliberal politics,” Zelaya pointed out. And with respect to this point, he emphasized that “we have to get back to calling it neoliberalism. Because neoliberalism in itself was the monetary and fiscal control of a society, but now it has advanced in military politics, in looting and exploitation, in diseases, epidemics, pestilence, death. Now it’s a neoliberalism of disaster which is being applied here. We were expelled from the congress at bayonet-point, and with tear gas, because one of the characteristics of the governments of force is that they don’t accept the opposition. For them, the opposition has to disappear, and for that reason, they have to limit our access to the media. There is an exaggerated media blockade today in Honduras. We have no option to defend ourselves practically in any media outlet. Everything is against us. But we ourselves have grown stronger. We are much stronger than before, especially because the popular consciousness has grown in recognizing what affects us. We understand that the United States won’t go away; what we need is to have honest, respectful relations with them. Which is what we don’t have right now, because those currently governing [in Honduras] are those who duck their heads and bow down to serve Washington’s orders.”

In effect, as well as having an enormous weight in Honduran internal politics, the United STates are now the centre of a very deep international debate which affects Central American societies. In the last months, the phenomenon of child migration toward the northern country has taken on a worrisome importance, to the point where the affected countries are trying to begin joint actions to deal with it. In June alone, it is estimated that 2,000 Salvadoran, Honduran and Mexican children crossed the border into the United States every week.

“The problem is that the great powers were born of migration, but don’t want to recognize the migrants of the 20th and 21st centuries,” said Zelaya. “They are products of migration, but they close themselves off in an anti-historical nationalism because emigrating is a right, not a crime. We all have that right because we were born in a world which is shared among all, in one human race. Those who managed to get to those nations are telling them to take their children. And now they’re hunting those children without pity. Now the powers are on display before the world. Because first they deny their parents the right to be legalized, and now they’re persecuting the children. Just as at the time when Jesus was born, they’re ordering them to kill all the children who were born then so that no messiah can emerge. Worse than the persecutions of the holocaust. They’re persecuting children, torturing them, denying them the right to reunite with their families. This is not a humanitarian crisis, it’s a humanitarian crime of the neoliberal model against the poor of Latin America and Africa.”

Translation mine.

I have to admit that Mel Zelaya didn’t really appear on my radar until he joined the ALBA, which is the late Chavecito’s baby and which has been going from strength to strength even now, after his death. At first Mel seemed like just another too-conservative-for-my-liking leader, but when he began to demonstrate that his heart was in the right place and his feet were headed in a good direction, I was sold. Not only was Mel the last real president of Honduras, he was also unequivocally the best. Under him, the socioeconomic profile of that poor little country was beginning to rise. Poor people were getting access to social services that had been denied them before: doctors, schools, hospitals. Literacy was going up; poverty rates were beginning to fall. And all that, which should have been terrific news, was greeted by Washington in the kind of doomsday-prophet tones you’d expect in the advent of a Category 5 hurricane about to make landfall along the eastern seaboard.

Which, of course, the ALBA was. A hurricane of promise, hope and rapid improvement. A hurricane of mutual aid and regional autonomy. Countries that used to rely abjectly on foreign “aid” from the US and elsewhere began to stand up on their own feet, and walk unassisted. That was bad news for those who used to turn obscene profits from the poverty and dependency of those little Latin American lands. They were used to taking advantage of those poor, ill-educated, highly dependent folks — as cheap labor, cannon fodder for proxy wars, and houseboys to the empire. The fact that those same people were now becoming aware that they could be so much more than that did not sit well with Washington. Hence, the coup.

It gives me no satisfaction to see blowback arriving in the form it has taken. Child refugees are the most helpless and vulnerable of them all. Along the way, who knows how many have been robbed, raped, beaten and killed? The ones we hear about arriving in Texas and Arizona are the lucky ones, the ones that made it through in one piece.

Honduras is embroiled in a civil war, although the US media won’t report that. And the death squads that we thought had died out with the evil 1980s? They’re back with a vengeance. That’s why so many desperate Central American parents are sending their kids to the country which, in a massive and humorless irony, is the author of their misfortunes.

When will it all end? When democracy is restored in Honduras, of course. But for that to happen, first the sham “democracy” installed by Washington must be trashed and kicked to the curb. The last real president of the land has not finished his mandate, and the three impostors who were tapped to “replace” him know this full well.

So do the people of Honduras, and they are absolutely furious that their will has been trampled under the boots of a fascism that everyone except the “freedom-loving”, “democratic” country behind it is willing to call by its right name. Little wonder that they are willing to give up even their own children to place the problem back at the door of its source!

Happy 60th, Chavecito…

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‘Scuse me while I miss this guy. Chavecito would have been 60 today. He lives on…not only in the hearts of Venezuelans, but mine too.

Te amamos, Comandante Eterno.

Posted in Huguito Chavecito. Comments Off »

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 54

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Behold, a white horse. And a pale rider.

Good morning, and welcome to today’s installment of VenOpIronía. Today, we have a very special guest from Miami, where all the flotsam and jetsam of corrupt and failed Latin American right-wing political hackery has a funny way of washing ashore. Please give it up for yet another failed Venezuelan presidential candidate…this one having the unfortunate honor of being the first man to lose the presidential elections to Chavecito himself:

Henrique Salas Römer, ex-governor of the state of Carabobo and fugitive from Venezuelan justice, stated in an interview on a Miami channel that the “Exit” was a movement dreamed up by Leopoldo López, whom he called erratic and politically hasty.

Salas also confirmed that Henrique Capriles Radonski, if he had won the presidential elections, would not have been able to efficiently govern the country, and relegated the most minimal commentary to María Corina Machado, whom he only referred to as a “special” person. In Salas Römer’s words, political inexperience and bad time management have taken their toll on these three personages.

“Capriles is behind the wave, and it overthrew Leopoldo, and María Corina is a very special being,” was the ex-governor’s observation in describing the current situation of the most renowned directors of the the MUD.

Of Capriles, Salas says that he “was lucky, because he has been very fortunate in political life in not having won”, because he would not have been able to accurately exercise the presidency. That would have provoked the immediate loss of his followers and the confidence of an important sector of the citizenry in the opposition.

Salas Römer explained that the “Exit” was Leopoldo López’s initiative. “He took it because there was something which was called “La Movida” (The Happening)…They [Machado and López] were switching from one day to the next, changing the term “La Movida” to “La Salida” (The Exit), which I consider to have been a bit hasty.”

Finally, the fugitive Salas reiterated that he had no part in “The Exit”, as an extremist and radical movement, although he was in agreement with the protest as a means of opposition to the Bolivarian Revolution.

There is no doubt that Leopoldo López, national director of the terrorist cells of Voluntad Popular (Popular Will) is growing more isolated every day in the Venezuelan political panorama.

Translation mine.

You’ll notice in the picture at that top that Salas is mounted on a white horse. That was taken in 1998, during his flopped presidential campaign against Chavecito. Salas is trying hard to look, if not exactly youthful (to compete with handsome young Chavecito, who was quite the hottie in ’98), then at least macho and still relevant. Unfortunately for him, the gambit didn’t pay off. For one thing, a chubby old man waving his cowboy hat on a white horse is still just a chubby old man on a horse. For another, the horse’s name was Frijolito (Little Bean) — not exactly a dignified name for a great leader’s trusty steed. And last but certainly not least, Frijolito — sorry, Salas — was already tainted by virtue of being a member of the old Venezuelan political establishment. The same that the Bolivarian Revolution was then on the verge of sweeping out for good. But Salas, bless his heart, was blissfully unaware that Venezuelan politics had moved beyond clownish, superficial displays by then. And just as blissfully unaware that being a member of the political establishment was not enough to get the vote anymore. On the contrary, it was working against him, as he found out during his trouncing at the polls later that year.

That’s why it’s ironic and hilarious to hear him criticizing these young whippersnappers. All of them are just as much products of the old Punto Fijo/Fourth Republic political establishment as Salas himself, and all of them, no doubt, want the same things as he: an end to all this pesky socialism, and progress, and rich people like themselves being made to pay their taxes, and so on. Salas isn’t objecting to their silly anti-progressive agenda, but rather to their haste. As though a great leap backward could be accomplished by plodding. He’s totally clueless to the fact that these leaders all failed not just by being “hasty” (or “special”, in the case of that specialest of snowflakes Maricori), but because they are all right-wing, and because Venezuela is sick and tired of their shit. Sick of old-order politics-as-usual, in which votes were bought with cans of paint and bags of groceries in the poor neighborhoods; sicker still of neo-fascist putschism, and 24/7/365 hatemongering, violence and death. And sickest of all when it comes to all these talking heads bla-bla-blathering away, proposing “movements” and “happenings” and “exits” that are never going to get off the ground, no matter how many people have to die on either side. For them, Henrique Salas Römer is just a reanimated political corpse, and one that should have been buried long ago. The fact that he has to go to Miami to be taken seriously by a talk-show host should tell you all you need to know.

Honestly, Frijolito the horse stands a better chance of being taken seriously as an opposition political candidate. If he weren’t already tainted by an unfortunate association with Salas’s ass, that is.

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 53

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“United to push Venezuela along the road to destruction…” That looks about right, eh?

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to VenOpIronía!

Yes, I realize it’s been quiet on this front here lately. Mainly because the oppos have failed in their latest bid for a coup d’état, and the embarrassed silence from them has been deafening…until now. Yup, Majunche’s back, sorta…or at least, he’s back to shooting off his mouth. And what just popped out is doubly humiliating, not just for him, but for Prettyboy Leo and MariCori, ha ha:

The governor of the state of Miranda, and twice-failed opposition presidential candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski, has declared that the project to put an end to the Bolivarian Republic, called “La Salida” (The Exit), proposed by María Corina Machado and Leopoldo López, is a failure.

“The opposition lost,” Capriles said, underscoring the contradictions and confirming the internal divisions in the MUD coalition.

The opposition ex-leader recognized that the so-called “Exit” was rejected by 89% of Venezuelans, according to surveys. This, according to Capriles, could only benefit the Maduro government.

“The only one benefiting was the ruling [PSUV] party…in places where the people are in need, they fear the opposition discourse, they believe it wants to set the country on fire,” Capriles said.

However, it is a public and published fact that the governor of Miranda took part in political rallies in favor of López’s radical proposal, accompanied by López’s wife, Lilian Tintori, and speaking alongside María Corina Machado of the need to emphatically warn the national executive, especially President Nicolás Maduro. His famous phrase was “I will make Miraflores [Palace] tremble”, spoken on Francisco de Miranda Avenue, at the Unicentro el Marqués shopping centre, before a public debate between opposition leaders and the political high command of the Revolution.

Translation mine.

Yup, nothing like the solidarity and unity of the aptly named MUD coalition. When all you’ve got to tie you together is an urge to divide and conquer, you shouldn’t be too surprised when the divided and conquered party turns out to be yours.

Ah well. Maybe another good ol’-fashioned racist lynching will serve to rally the opposition troops. When they get done shivving each other from behind, that is.

Sorry-not-sorry, MariCori!

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“Take this, so the Venezuelans end up eating shit!”

“Don’t worry, Doctor…I already have them accustomed to that!”

Remember that time MariCori went to Colombia, with a phony whiplash collar on to make it look like she was some kind of victim, and to stir up sympathy where it made no difference anyway? Looks like she won’t be able to get away with THAT again:

María Corina Machado will not be able to leave Venezuela, since the 16th Control Tribunal of Caracas has prohibited her from doing so.

Judge Adriana López heard the petition, made by the Public Ministry.

The order has already been received by the Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Foreign Travel (SAIME), according to sources from the organism.

The decision was sustained in the possibility that Machado could flee the land.

Last Monday, Machado spent eight hours in a hearing with the Public Ministry due to an investigation of an assassination plan in Venezuela.

Translation mine.

Recall that MariCori has long been involved in right-wing putschist activities in Venezuela. She signed the infamous Carmona declaration of 2002, the same that abolished ALL of Venezuela’s democratic institutions and guarantees. Later, she stupidly claimed she thought it was just a sign-in sheet. Which begs the question: Are all rich twits in Venezuela functionally illiterate? Or is it just the fascist opposition leaders who are that dumb…when they’re not busy thinking that everyone else is, too?

Oh well, whatever. At least now, she can’t escape justice. Pity they couldn’t have stopped her before she made an ass of herself in Panama’s seat at the OAS, or on Parliament Hill up here.

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 52

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Howdy, folks, and welcome to another episode of “As the Irony Burns”. In today’s installment, Prettyboy Leo’s got some apologizing to do. To whom? Well, Jesus Christ, for one. And Gandhi. And Nelson Mandela. And oh yeah…Chavecito’s ghost, too, since he ironically owes him big-time for what he’s proposing here:

Extremist opposition leader Leopoldo López said in an interview that his situation is similar to that lived by such historic personages as Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and the disciples of Jesus.

“What I’m suffering today is the same as what the disciples of Jesus suffered, and the freedom fighters. I draw strength from the testimonies of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Leonardo Ruiz Pineda,” said the Venezuelan neo-Nazi leader.

The director of the terrorist cells of Voluntad Popular was interviewed in his jail cell at Ramo Verde by El Nacional, following a hearing that determined that there is sufficient proof to bring him to trial for the events which occurred before, during and after February 12.

After 111 days in jail, López maintains that there are no reasons for engaging in dialogue with the government.

“I know the dialogue won’t go anywhere, and for that reason we decided not to participate…It is a conviction that we are in dictatorship and one doesn’t negotiate with dictators,” López told the newspaper.

López’s line concerning the Revolution remains clear and of radical tendency, as one can see from the following declarations:

“The streets will remain active until we come out of the dictatorship. Let no one doubt it…I hope that my comrades who fell into the trap of dialogue responsibly assume the frontal route of confronting the dictatorship until we dislodge it by the popular, democratic and constitutional way. If they close off all the institutional paths, which in effect is occurring, we’ll have to call for a constituent assembly, as the Constitution establishes.”

In addition, the far-right leader took advantage of the interview to threaten the female judge in charge of his case, Adriana López, who considers it pertinent, due to accusations and proofs presented, to place him on trial. “History will pay her back for that decision,” he said pointedly.

Translation mine.

Can you beat that? Putschist Prettyboy is actually calling for a constituent assembly, as set forth in the Venezuelan constitution. That would be the Bolivarian constitution that Chavecito put in place, and which was ratified by a direct majority vote of Venezuelans themselves. The same that the putschists are actually trying to do away with. Maybe that’s why this cartoon is so apt:

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“Comparing myself to Mandela was a bad idea; they could give me 27 years in jail!”

And that would be the one and only thing he’d have in common with the real Mandela, ironically enough.

Q. What do the Venezuelan opposition and Justin Bourque have in common?

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A. Oh, only this:

Yesterday in Moncton, a small city of about 70,000 inhabitants on the east coast of Canada, a young Canadian, 24 years old, carried out a massacre, murdering three police officers and wounding two more. While the police were searching for him — because they hadn’t been able to catch him yet — the people lived in terror, not knowing where or when he would reappear to kill someone else.

The same thing happened during the many weeks in certain cities in Venezuela during the attacks on the part of the opposition between February and May of this year, when young oppositionists took the streets, indiscriminately attacking and killing members of the security forces, and innocent people, terrorizing them.

The similarities are really suprising.

One newspaper says that the 24-year-old Canadian was in the habit of uploading photos and texts related to US militias, armed anticommunist and racist groups of the far right, in the manner of fascist political parties of the Venezuelan opposition and their armed groups. And photos of Sarah Palin, a US political leader, racist and anticommunist, of the extreme right, in the manner of Venezuelan opposition leader María Corina Machado.

But the most intriguing thing the newspaper says is that the young Canadian had it in his head that Russia was going to invade Canada. This makes no sense. Russia has no interest in invading Canada — that’s a fantasy on the part of those racist, anticommunist groups of the far right, and people like Sarah Palin — and if for any reason, the young man thought that Russia was a communist country, and wanted to invade Canada for that reason, that young man is very much mistaken.

Russia is not a communist country, and most people with half a brain know that, but due to irrational hatred for communism on the part of certain criminal groups, and extremist anticommunist racist militias, the minds of many young people are being filled with fantasies and lies, creating in them fear, panic and paranoia as well, which could change at some time — and has changed — into indiscriminate violence.

In parallel to the above, one of the most important slogans of María Corina Machado, and almost all the Venezuelan opposition, is that Cuba will invade Venezuela, and for that reason they have to get rid of this government, in whatever way they can. That’s totally illogical, it’s a fantasy invented by the Venezuelan opposition. How could a country so small, and with so few weapons, think of invading a country as large as Venezuela, which has many weapons? And why would they want to invade Venezuela if we are collaborators and allies? Could it be that the Venezuelan opposition believe that Cuba will invade Venezuela to turn it into a communist country?

The truth is that neither Chávez, nor Maduro, nor any Chavista I have ever heard speaking, has ever talked of trying to transform Venezuela into a communist state; that would be totally ridiculous. Generally, what we Chavistas want is not communism as such, and much less the Cuban style or that of the old Soviet Union, but rather a state which is more just and equitable, more feminist, and not machista; more humanistic, more empathetic, which is to say, more socialist. That’s all. And that has nothing to do with ay imaginary Cuban communism invented by brain-sick opposition leaders like María Corina Machado, or other misbegotten leaders of the Venezuelan opposition, who keep teaching lies and fantasies to young opposition menbers, creating in them as well hatred, panic and paranoia, which could turn at any moment — and has turned — into indiscriminate violence.

The similarities are truly surprising.

Just as Sarah Palin and other racist, anticommunist groups of the US far right have contaminated the soul of the young Canadian of 24 years, leading to gratuitous violence, María Corina Machado and other racist anticommunist far-right groups of the Venezuelan opposition, who make up the majority of the opposition, also follow the principles responsible for the poisoning of the spirits of many young Venezuelans, bringing them as well to that gratuitous violence.

Translation mine.

That was Oscar Heck talking, BTW. He’s of Canadian extraction himself, so he knows a thing or two about the similarities between fascists here and fascists there. His bio states: “Born to a French-Canadian father and an indigenous mother, he came to Venezuela for the first time during the 1970s, where he worked as a missionary in the barrios of Caracas and Barlovento.” In other words, he’s had four decades to observe the conditions on the ground in that country. And ample cause, considering the poverty he’s seen and worked amid, to support the Bolivarian Revolution.

And yes, I agree with him; Justin Bourque has all the hallmarks of an NRA-influenced fascist. His Facebook page shows him to be quite the paranoid gunsucker. Teaching children to fire guns, as he repeatedly endorses, is just what the Nazis did, too; they had gun-clubs in the Hitler Youth. The irony is that he came of age during the era of Stephen Harper, a head of state who couldn’t be less like Chavecito or Madurito if he tried. And whose holy crusade was to abolish the long-gun registry…thereby making it that much harder for the RCMP to know where Bourque got the guns that killed their officers. To say that the police in this country are sour on Harpo is putting it very mildly. Not because they’re such redder-than-red communists themselves, though; the RCMP has a long history of spying on anything to the left of, well, the Conservatives. Harpo’s party, that is. And for decades, they’ve made a point of infiltrating every leftish group, from environmentalists and Native activists to the various socialist parties, and even spied on Tommy Douglas himself. There’s certainly an authoritarian history in the RCMP, but it leans hard to the right, not the left. So there’s another layer of irony to this madness. The cryptofascist cop-killer wanted RCMP officers dead, but in truth, he has more in common with them, insofar as anticommunist paranoia goes, than he could ever have dreamed of.

Which brings us to the Venezuelan opposition. If you’ve been following this blog, particularly the 50-odd entries detailing their various ironies, you’ll know just how deaf they are to their own ironic fascism, and how much they ARE the very thing they claim to be against. They scream about a lack of free speech on the 95% of the nation’s media that they outright own. They call for putsches and assassinations just about daily, which is illegal here in Canada, BTW. They import paramilitary goons from neighboring Colombia to help them with their coup attempts. Their hooded thugs terrorize the streets with guns imported from the good ol’ US of A (thanks again, NRA gunsuckers!), and they have the gall to claim there’s no public safety or order there. They kill Chavistas, and they have made countless attempts on the lives of their two Bolivarian presidents, not to mention countless lesser politicians who supported them. And they have the temerity to claim they are the ones being repressed? Yeah. Spot the ironies, they are thicker than blackflies on the ass of a New Brunswick moose.

And so are the similarities between them and this guy.

Six paramilitaries caught in Venezuelan border state

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Putschists and smugglers work hand in glove in Venezuela, but the governor of one western border state isn’t taking their crimes lying down. Here’s what he had to say on the latest incident in Táchira:

The governor of Táchira state, José Gregorio Vielma Mora, informed on Wednesday of the capture of six suspected paramilitaries in the La Popa sector of Ayacucho municipality. The capture was executed by the Venezuelan army.

Vielma Mora stated that the subjects were arrested as part of Operation Secure Border, and that they had four rifles in their possession, as well as fragmentation grenades, two pistols, and bulletproof vests. “There were no deaths,” he added.

“These paramilitaries were highly dangerous, for which reason they were transferred to the Military Processing Centre in Caracas. We are thoroughly searching the terrain of said groups,” Vielma Mora said.

He reiterated that the government is working to protect the border region: “We are intensifying operations day and night to minimize smuggling and combat crime. Yesterday, gasoline-smugglers from the Colombian side were firing at the Venezuelan side, there were no injuries or deaths because the border was closed.”

Vielma Mora added that there was also an attempt to close the border yesterday in Boca de Grita, García de Hevia, due to the fact that “smuggling of gasoline and foods is worsening, [so] we are going to go on intensifying these operations.”

“We also found three cellars full of foods which were being destined for the neighboring country [Colombia]. We are determined to reduce that to its minimal expression, and smuggling of foods, gasoline, energy and more, toward our sister republic, Colombia,” Vielma Mora said.

Seven paratroop, marine and special-unit infantry battalions are stationed in the municipalities of Pedro María Ureña, Bolívar, Junín, Ayacucho, García de Hevia, and Panamericano, he explained.

Vielma Mora added that in the 18 months of his government, there have been no kidnappings in Táchira, “we have been impeccable against kidnappers, criminal bands, and paramilitaries.”

Translation mine.

And meanwhile, the opposition is eternally kvetching about oil going to Cuba and locals not being able to find this, that or the other foodstuff in Venezuela. Gee, maybe all this would be less of a problem if their own weren’t stealing shit and diverting it into Colombia in exchange for terrorist paramilitaries to help them bring down the duly elected government, eh?

Chavecito, the Movie?

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Yet another Chavista legacy that’s absolutely huge: the Villa del Cine, the national film studio complex. Without Chavecito, it never would have gotten built.

Chavecito was always larger than life. And now, he’s about to get a major film tribute, as the head of the Venezuelan national film production company has announced:

José Antonio Gómez, the president of the Venezuelan national film production company, Villa del Cine, highlighted the support the revolutionary government has given to the nation’s cinematic production via the state company, which celebrated its eighth anniversary on Tuesday.

“The State has participated with so much force in re-impulsing national production to the point where it has become simply huge, more than any other film-making country,” Gómez said during an interview on the VTV show Zurda Konducta.

On June 3, 2003, President Hugo Chávez ordered the creation of a cinematographic complex which, with government financing, would boost the creations of young filmmakers and creatives throughout the land.

“Chávez made possible the dreams of many people who make films, but with much difficulty. The filmmaker of 15 years ago had to sell his apartment, give up his car, and still not complete the film. Today it’s real, it exists, knock on the door and you can make your movie,” Gómez said.

Gómez also said that now two and a half million moviegoers have enjoyed the national cinema, a figure he expects will double during this year. “This would never have happened, it’s an amazing number. Before, we didn’t have that, because we didn’t have films either,” Gómez emphasized.

Gómez also informed that the production phase of the film “Maisanta” has begun, which will be directed by César Bolívar. “It will show us a Maisanta who, during his lifetime, was being shaped by the politico-social surroundings in which he lived, which brought him to leave the family home to defend the Revolution, as his father had done, as Ezequiel Zamora did,” Gómez said.

[...]

Gómez also said that as of Tuesday, the state production company will begin the process of collecting scripts for a film on Comandante Hugo Chávez.

“You can send your scripts to the Villa del Cine right away, we’ll have our page up until next Monday so you can send them to us in digital form,” Gómez announced.

Translation mine.

Maisanta is Pedro Pérez Delgado, Chavecito’s great-grandfather. He was the son of Colonel Pedro Pérez Pérez, an officer in the army of Ezequiel Zamora during the days of the Federal War. He began his fateful career at the age of 16 after killing an army colonel who had refused to take responsibility for impregnating Petra, his sister. Family honor and his late father’s name avenged, at a cost: He had to run for his life. Along the way, he stumbled across a troop of revolutionary guerrillas, whom he joined, as he had no other way of surviving as a young fugitive. He became a powerful guerrilla leader, famed for his war cry of “Madre Santa” (Holy Mother), which, in his plainsman’s dialect, got crunched into “Maisanta”, his nom de guerre. He died a prisoner in the dungeons of the infamous and brutal dictator, Juan Vicente Gómez…the first of many Venezuelan caudillos to sell out the country and its oilfields to the Yanks.

So you can see that Chavecito wasn’t just some jumped-up little nobody out of nowhere, as the oligarchy like to paint him, but a revolutionary who literally had it in his blood, and who took very seriously the history lessons too many of his schoolmates were obliged to forget. And who had more than just a passing physical resemblance to his great-grandfather, who was still remembered by the old folks of the great plains where he was born and raised. Maisanta, too, was surrounded by all kinds of oligarchic lies and slander, the main one being that he was nothing more than a common bandit who killed for fun. Chavecito himself pointed out, in my favorite scene from The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, that nothing could have been further from the truth. Maisanta is a national hero, a rebel democrat who took on a dictator…and so is his great-grandson.

A more fitting subject for a movie would be hard to imagine, in either of the two. And there is no doubt that the writerly talents of Venezuela will be more than happy to oblige with all kinds of scripts. There’s only one real problem that I can see: Finding an actor both uniquely handsome and charismatic enough to play Chavecito. It’s the same bugaboo that anyone making a movie about Che Guevara faces: The real guy was invariably better looking than anyone cast in his role (with the possible exception of Omar Sharif). And he always had better lines, too.

Still, I don’t think I’ve been this excited to anticipate a movie since…well, EVER. And I can hardly wait to see what comes next.

Twit abdicates so junior twit can replace him

juan-carlos-franco.jpg

A young king with an old dictator, Spain, 40-odd years ago.

Really. How else would YOU title this story?

The king of Spain, Juan Carlos I, has decided to renounce the throne, prime minister Mariano Rajoy announced today.

“King Juan Carlos just communicated his intention to renounce the throne,” Rajoy told journalists, gathered this morning with urgency.

Named by dictator Francisco Franco, Juan Carlos will cede the throne and the leadership of the state to his son, the prince of Asturias.

Once the process for the transfer of the crown, outlined by Article 57 of the Spanish constitution, is completed, he will become King Felipe IV of Spain.

Rajoy did not explain the motives for the monarch’s decision to the nation.

“His Majesty wishes to communicate his motives to the citizens personally this morning.”

The prime minister only indicated that he “met with the king [who is] convinced that this is the moment when the change in the head of state and the transfer of the crown to the prince of Asturias can take place with all normality.”

With respect to this process, Rajoy expressed his certainty that “a process of institutional stability will develop in a climate of normality and as one more show of the maturity of our democracy.”

Meanwhile, in all the squares of Spain, demonstrations were called for 8:00 pm with the slogan: “Let’s throw out the Prince as well!”, according to the republican website, Insurgente.org.

“After a 39-year reign, the same as Franco, the heir of the most criminal Dictator known to the history of the people of the Spanish state abdicates for his son Felipe. They said he did it to salvage a Monarchy sunken in the swamp of discredit and corruption that sit in the dock with the king’s daughter, his son-in-law, and the secretary of the infantas, for money-laundering, fiscal crimes, and embezzling of public funds,” reported the site.

The abdication comes at an especially delicate time for Spain and its monarchy as well, affected by a corruption scandal which taints the king’s daughter, the Infanta Cristina.

Translation mine.

So you can see why I said they’re twits, eh? They think they can pull the wool over the people’s eyes with this show of bogus “normality”. Meanwhile, demos have been called for in every town square in Spain against the transfer of this crooked, corrupt, discredited-before-it-began monarchy. A reign that has its roots in the Franco dictatorship that brought down the Spanish Republic during a brutal civil war where the world’s much-vaunted “democracies” stood aside and twiddled their thumbs while the fascists murdered the only real democracy in Europe.

And yet that other fucking fascist twit, Rajoy, has the nerve to talk about the “maturity of our democracy”. WHAT fucking democracy? demand the Spanish people, and so do I.

I think I’ll just let these Venezuelan guys do the talking for me from here on in:

Oh yeah, that’s right: This is the same fucking twit who had the nerve to tell Chavecito to shut up. A legitimate, popular, clean, democratically-elected head of state…unlike himself.

The irony is just too precious, is it not?