Venezuela isn’t Charlie, either.

And that’s a good thing, too:

venezuela-not-charlie

“No to murder, no to violence, no to terrorism, no to xenophobia, no to extremism, no to fascism…Look, I’m not Charlie.”

And that’s how you do freedom of speech right…by NOT going along with the blind herd. ¿Entiende?

Posted in Huguito Chavecito, Newspeak is Nospeak. Comments Off »

OMG I WANT THIS SO MUCH WHERE DO I GET ONE…

evo-bobblehead

Ahem. Sorry for the ALL FUCKING CAPS header, but really, can you blame me for wanting one of these?

Hair parted down the middle, big smile, merry eyes, and the index finger pointing forward are some characteristics of “Evo Presidente”, the first of the dolls from the collection by Suri Electronics, which took advantage of the popularity of the Bolivian presidento to export the product to the US and Spain.

“Analyzing all the international selection of bobblehead dolls, we saw that almost all the important personages of the world had their dolls…Our country is at the stage of making things that there already are all over the world. What better than to start with a personage whom everyone on the planet knows?” said the proprietor of Suri Electronics, Gyula Pareja, one of the designers of the satirical figure of Morales, which went on the market in Bolivia a month ago.

The 24-year-old from La Paz started the project with three other partners in June of last year, when they began a series of tests to make the “Evo Presidentes” out of potter’s clay. Now, the products are made from a polyglycine base (a mixture of porcelain and plastic).

“Because we wanted it to come out perfect and with all the details, we worked on the figure for three months. Later we looked for some artisans who could do the job; however, we couldn’t find anyone in Bolivia who could make the quantities we were asking for. That’s why we ordered the doll to be made in China,” where its fabrication took two more months, said the businessman.

The dolls are made by hand thanks to the moldable polyglycine. “Each one of them has small variations which are imperceptible to the naked eye, and they’re painted by hand,” Pareja said.

10,000 exemplars were made, of which 70% are for exportation and 30% for domestic sale. The US and Spain are there is the most demand for these products. Already 1,100 have been sold in Bolivia. “We are patenting the doll, and we are the only producers,” said Pareja, Who added that Suri is now negotiating the exportation of “Evo Presidente” to Argentina.

“We found more acceptance in the international market. Here,” in Bolivia, their sales “are still seen as a political action…we want to emphasize that we are not playing politics, we only want to give the people a bit of humor, and what better way to do it than with a personage so well known in the land?”

Each one is about 20 centimetres (8 inches) high, weighs roughly 250 grams (half a pound) and costs 140 bolivianos locally (a little over $20 US). “75% of that price covers the investment in each doll, and the rest is our profit.” With current sales, the company is “just one step away from recovering what was invested in the entire project.”

Suri Electronics is looking into the possibility of creating a new figure of the president, but in another facet of his life. “We are looking through his childhood photos to copy them and create his caricature,” Pareja added.

Soccer players, artists and this or that other politician, all on the national level, will be sources of inspiration for the next designs. “The international market has gigures of many artists, but none from here. We’re looking at ways of making dolls of artists, but we won’t make them on a large scale, because it would be more difficult to sell them,” said Pareja. He added that the local music group, Awatiñas, is interested in being immortalized. Their interest is still under consideration.

Russian president Vladimir Putin might be interested in Suri Electronics designing a doll after him, said Pareja. “Language is a problem for us. Communicating is complicated, but we are making contact amid our possibilities, and we will do it,” he said.

Translation mine.

Srsly, this thing is right up there with the Chavecito doll on the list of Things I Will NEVER Get Too Old For. And it’s a great likeness, too. Right down to the dimples.

Now, where the hell do I go to buy one? I’m Canadian, I’m good for it! Just take my damn money, already.

Economics for Dummies: The truth about those “dropping” oil prices

oil-price-suppression

“Dude…and to think there are people who call this a ‘drop’ in the price of oil!”

On the upside, though, this is terrible news for anyone who wants to despoil the Arctic, contribute to the mess that is Mordor (in Alberta), and frack up the US countryside. Because with oil prices down the way they are, it’s going to be highly unprofitable to do any of those things. Ha, ha.

Who is Charles Bentley? A short investigation

Hey! Remember when I wrote about Maricori’s little friend from the US Embassy, the one who appeared in this video, taken the day she was charged with conspiring against the Venezuelan government?

Well, guess what. Maricori’s little friend has a lot of big friends. Some of them with names you might recognize…

Charles Bentley, the US diplomat who “accompanied” María Corina Machado on December 3 when she was indicted for conspiracy by a Venezuelan prosecutor, is an “expert” in social media networks and is closely linked to Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft.

The functionary, who uses a photo of Caracas on his Twitter profile, is a regular collaborator on Bill and Melinda Gates’s official blog, www.impatientoptimists.org, where he has published more than a dozen entries promoting the use of the Web and social networks to mobilize users in so-called “global causes” and the common good.

Bentley, who was caught on video during Machado’s appearance before the Public Ministry, is the founder and editor of Armchair Advocates, dedicated to sharing, connecting and analyzing the tendencies of the “social good” in an ever more digitized age.

Before coming to Venezuela, Bentley worked for USAID, according to his LinkedIn profile. USAID is known for financing plans against legitimately elected governments, especially in regions such as Latin America. He has worked there from May 2009 to October of this year. He was also a member of the political section of the US State Department.

This is not the first time that Bentley has appeared in public openly supporting opposition groups in Venezuela. On September 30, he turned up alongside Lilian Tintori Parra in a judicial hearing against her spouse, Leopoldo López, director of the “Voluntad Popular” opposition party, who was accused of promoting street violence in February.

Translation mine. Links added.

Just like so many other US State Dept. and USAID functionaries, Charles Bentley really gets around…at least where the disloyal opposition is concerned. Remember Bolivia? Yup, that happened. Nice to see the State Dept. and USAID up to their same old tricks, and nicer still to see those same old tricks exposed and failing in the predictable epic way.

Here’s a picture of Bentley with Leo’s wife, Lilian:

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Bentley’s the suit, Lilian Tintori is the gloomy-looking blonde.

And in case you’re wondering just how much our charming young Charlie actually gets around, here’s a rather amusing look at how he tried to winkle his way into the confidences of one ardent Chavista, who writes for a well-known Venezuelan socialist website:

Diario VEA informed of Bentley’s interest in this year’s PSUV party congress:

“Cordial greetings. My name is Charles Bentley, functionary of the political section of the US Embassy. I just read your article today (“Venezuela: Aristóbulo smoked crack* at the PSUV Congress”) — super interesting! I don’t know if you’re interested, but I would love to meet for a chat and talk more about your perspectives and point of view…especially your opinions over 2014, the political panorama in Venezuela, and the PSUV Congress”, he wrote in an e-mail to Arturo Ramos, who writes articles for the website Aporrea.

The message was forwarded to this newspaper by Ramos, with the following message: “Dear friends of VEA: The attached e-mails were sent to me by Charles Bentley, a functionary of the US Embassy. They are a clear interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. You are the first ones to see them in a public manner. Please explain, if you decide to publish them, that I did not give any information to the Embassy.”

Arturo Ramos responded to Bentley with the following message: “Thank you for your interest in my article. For reasons of time and work, it would be very complicated for me to take up your kind invitation at this moment. However, if you wish, we could exchange impressions this way.”

Days later, the US functionary replied: “I understand completely that it is a very busy/complicated time of the year. Nothing will happen.” He added: “I would like to know your perspectives on the United Socialist Party of Venezuela during this year. What do you think are the objectives of the party for 2014? What are your impressions of the PSUV Congress and the Great Patriotic Pole, which are to take place this year? I imagine it will be super interesting and important for the party and the Bolivarian Revolution.”

Translation mine; linkage added.

Isn’t it funny (peculiar AND ha-ha) how a US embassy functionary’s presence could be catnip to the opposition, but poison to a loyal PSUV member, even when the latter wrote a critical article about a long-time government minister and the bad footing on which the last PSUV party congress got off? Guess young Master Bentley was hoping to exert a little behind-the-scenes influence on a local opinion shaper. Unfortunately for him, Arturo Ramos is a loyal Venezuelan, and a loyal PSUV member. Be it here noted that the PSUV, far from being monolithic (as it is often portrayed in the commie-mad US media), is quite tolerant of dissenting opinions from within the ranks; in fact, it’s rife with them. And what’s more, within Venezuela (and the PSUV in particular, at least), there is a strong climate of informational and journalistic openness. So that means that when one opinion columnist gets wise to a US diplomat’s attempts to poke his nose in, the entire country will hear the sniffing.

And in this case, it’s chuckling once more at the transparent ineptitude of the gringo rube.

*The Venezuelan expression fumarse una lumpia was used. It figuratively means that someone is delusional or out of their mind. To me, it suggests drug-induced hallucinations, so I used “smoked crack”, in the colloquial sense, in my translation. As far as I know, however, Aristóbulo Istúriz is not a drug abuser, and there is no intent on my part or that of Arturo Ramos to imply that he actually smoked anything during the PSUV congress. But I’ll bet that Charles Bentley doesn’t realize that, which may be why he found Ramos’s article so “super interesting”!

Economics for Dummies: The real reasons for the lifting of the Cuba blockade?

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This is Puerto Mariel, Cuba. It looks pretty sleepy from the air right now, but don’t be fooled. What you’re looking at there is actually a sleeping giant with the potential to shake markets as far away as New York, if Telesur’s report (via Contrainjerencia) has anything to say. And if it reawakens before the Yanks come in with their suitcases full of money…

Mariel was built by Brazil and Cuba, during the government of Dilma Rousseff, with an investment of 957 million dollars, meaning that Brazil would become Cuba’s greatest economic partner.

In 2011, Brazil and Cuba obtained a combined market of $571 million, which surpassed the markets of China and Venezuela.

The port, which received $682 million from the National Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) is considered to be one of the most modern ports, compared to those of Kingston (Jamaica) and Freeport (Bahamas). It has the capacity to receive large ships of the “Super Post Panamax” class.

Another benefit of the expected economic improvement of the Caribbean island, and especially for Brazil, is the geographic zone, which lies near the coast of the US, just 150 kilometres away; and it is from there that Brazilian companies could export to the US.

Translation mine.

Could this be what put a fire under the gringos’ butts? Oh, possibly. And if not that, there’s always a good chance that it would be that sweet, sweet, offshore Cuban crude oil that’s got them thinking that maybe, just maybe, an ideologically motivated anti-socialist blockade might not the the best thing for their capitalism, either:

Under the current embargo, Cuba cannot access U.S. oilfield equipment for both drilling and environmental protection. The embargo prohibits the exporting and re-exporting of items that contain more than 10 percent American components under the De Minimus Rule under Sections 734.4 and 736.2 (b)(2) of the Export Administration Regulations (EAR). What is particularly interesting about the embargo is the fact that Washington refued to allow an exemption for U.S. oil spill prevention and response companies even though the Obama Administration was very concerned about potential oil spills from drilling operations located relatively close to the U.S. – Cuba maritime boundary in 2012.   

Of course, with Venezuela firing up a plan to help Cuba exploit that oil itself, and with PDVSA’s significant presence in Cuba already, and with their access to equipment not of US provenance, well…that would put quite the crimp in the US’s blockade, not to mention any hopes Gringolandia’s oilmen might have of a future right to exploit those considerable offshore reserves!

And with Chavecito’s ALBA being nearly ten years old now, that means there’s been plenty of time for Cuba to strike up good mutual economic relations with not only Venezuela, but a number of other Latin American countries as well.

No wonder Gringolandia is out in the cold when it comes to the oilfields. And no wonder they want in now, before big, bad, socialistic-progressive Brazil and other Latin American countries gobble up all of that yummy, yummy Cuban economic pie.

So, THIS happened.

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Cuban students celebrating the release of the remaining three members of the Cuban Five — Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino and Antonio Guerrero — who were freed and arrived on the island today. They are now with their families, and according to all local reports, are well and enjoying an emotional reunion. Two others, René González and Fernando González (no relations), have already been released — the former in 2011, when he was paroled, and the latter in February of this year, when he completed his sentence.

All five men were accused and convicted of espionage, although none of them were what one could properly call spies; all were antiterrorist agents of the Cuban government, and had uncovered terrorist plotting on the part of right-wing anti-Castro organizations in Miami. Rather than receive their shared information with the gratitude it deserved, the FBI colluded with the wrong side, and sent them to prison instead. It was one of the worst miscarriages of justice in international history, and today it was finally put right. The US has straight-up admitted that its anti-communist Cuba policy has been an epic failure, and is now seeking normalized relations with its island neighbor. Hence the freeing of the three remaining members of the Five, in exchange for Cuba releasing USAID agent Alan Gross, who has been imprisoned there for five years. It’s a nice goodwill gesture on both parts, and one dares hope it will lead to a whole lot more in future. (I, for one, would really love to see the permanent closure of Gitmo. Get on it, you guys!)

Meanwhile, actual spies and terrorists who have never been punished are still walking free. Chief among them is an ugly old coot named Luis Posada Carriles, a.k.a. the CubanaBomber. Before September 11, 2001, he was the author of the worst airline terrorist incident in history, along with the late Orlando Bosch; together, they planted a bomb on a Cubana jetliner that killed 73 civilians. Posada is still stinking up the gutters of Miami, despite being in the US illegally. He remains a national embarrassment, and one that’s gone studiously unaddressed by at least two administrations. Will he now be handed over to Venezuela or Cuba, both of whom want him for crimes against humanity? No word yet; stay tuned. If His Barackness is smart, he’ll hand the old motherfucker over. Two countries have been waiting long enough to finally bring him to justice, so here’s hoping he picks one. (I’m guessing he’ll pick Cuba, since the current policy in Washington is still to punish Venezuela by isolation and sanctions for not selling all its oil to the Texas barons for a song. Venezuela is no more isolated than Cuba — in fact, it’s been THE key player in bringing Cuba back into the Latin American fold — so this is just way too fucking funny.)

Meanwhile, in Colombia, something even more momentous has happened: The FARC have announced a unilateral, indefinite ceasefire, following the news of this sudden thaw in US-Cuban relations. Given that they’ve been at war with various more or less right-wing governments there for over 60 years, pretty much ever since the Bogotazo, this is HUGE.

Oh yeah, and did I mention that they came to this decision, and made this announcement, during a peace summit in Havana? El Narco must be steaming like a well-brewed cup of coffee, having been denied his victory in office, and having failed at his repeated putsch attempts ever since. All those paramilitaries and peasant massacres and false positives for nothing, boooooo hooooooooo.

So yes, Cuba is the big winner today, and on multiple fronts. The US has admitted that its unnaturally prolonged Cold War isolationist policy has failed. The bulk of Latin America, with one or two shameful exceptions (ahem, Colombia and Peru) has pulled behind Cuba, offering solidarity and fair trade through the ALBA alliance, as well as Mercosur. The dire climate of the post-Soviet Special Period, which the Miami mafia terrorists were hoping to capitalize on at the time the Cuban Five infiltrated their various rats’ nests, is long gone. Cuba is still surviving and thriving, albeit on a modest scale. They’re exporting doctors and educators and locally-made medicaments, and receiving Venezuelan oil (and Venezuelan oil expertise, too, as Cuba is sitting on some very promising offshore deposits that it’s looking to tap into).

Moreover, they have the political support of all the key Latin American leaders, while those who have tried to isolate Cuba remain isolated themselves, and are looking increasingly foolish for having done so. The Cuban government remains as it is, despite all US talk of “freedom” and “democracy” and “change” (note the quotes, there for a reason). Not one elected Cuban leader has been sacrificed in the making of this deal…and yes, they are all elected! This island nation will not end up like Puerto Rico, annexed and stripped of rights in exchange for — what, exactly? Creeping gringoization? The privilege of housing US naval bases? The fun of having to clean up after them, as the Puerto Ricans have had to do with Vieques?

Nope. Can’t happen. Won’t happen. The test of time has been stood. The Revolution has triumphed. Cuba is still Cuban, no matter what.

And that’s the way it’s going to stay, whatever comes next.

Venezuelan LGBTI rights activist murdered; activists seek equal rights under law

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Giniveth Soto and her spouse, Migdelis Miranda, holding their son. It will be a terribly hard holiday season now for Migdelis, as Giniveth was taken from her and their son most brutally on Saturday in the wee hours. The crime is still unsolved, and worse, it points to a lingering deficiency in Venezuelan law, too:

Giniveth Soto, lesbian, psychologist and Venezuelan activist for the human rights of the sex-diverse populatio, was brutally murdered in the early morning hours of Saturday, December 13, while working as a taxi driver to support her family.

Giniveth, who was also the niece of National Assembly deputy Fernando Soto Rojas, had married Migdelis Miranda a year and a half ago in Argentina. Together, they conceived a son with the help of artificial insemination, and he was born three and a half months ago, also in Argentina. The decision to marry, as well as to conceive a son who was born in a country other than their own were difficult decisions, but part of a clear and radical struggle for recognition of the dignity of loving relationships between persons of the same sex and/or gender, as well as legality and full inclusion for families formed by gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, transsexuals, and intersex people (LGBTI) in Venezuela.

In Argentina, as of 2010, same-sex marriage is possible, for non-resident foreigners as well; also, Uruguay and Brazil, both members of Mercosur, have advanced significantly in the dignification of the citizenships and humanities of all persons, guaranteeing them equal rights, impacted by the leadership of Venezuela in a process of significant changes which has resulted in more than 15 years of full social inclusion.

The Bolivarian Revolution is based in the essential goal of defending and promoting the development of persons and respect for their dignity, guaranteeing the progressivity and pre-eminence of human rights, equality without discrimination, no subordination of any kind, social justice, and equality as basis for the construction of a just, egalitarian and peace-loving society. However, human rights for the LGBTI population have been rendered invisible by a system dominated by functionaries in service of a lay state, who use the Bible instead of the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela to make decisions and justify discrimination, for which reason they must be removed from office.

With great bravery and courage, Giniveth militated in AC Venezuela Igualitaria, which represented the struggle in which she, along with her beloved spouse, joined, demanding that Venezuela recognize the right to register their Argentine marriage, and that the birth of their son be registered recognizing the maternity of both women, as expressed by Argentine authorities upon the birth of the boy in their land, as well as legislation in favor of the right for any two people who love one another to marry freely and with consent and live together without regard for their sexual orientation or gender identity. And she believed, with revolutionary consciousness, that these changes would only be possible under a Bolivarian socialist doctrine which promotes decolonization and depatriarchalization as key motors of a cultural change which would permit the cultivation of a truly egalitarian and just society.

However, she was not able to see these changes become reality. Under the Bolivarian government, there was evidently a process of discrimination and of profound psychological and moral violence, as regards requests made for social protection for her family, across the silence which pervaded between the decisions of the institutions of the state and her demands, a situation which repeates itself for thousands of Venezuelan families who cannot access the rights which seem to be privileges for certain models of family.

It is important to emphasize that when the Principal Registry Office and the National Electoral Council do not give positive responses to the requests for registration of the marriage of Giniveth and Migdelis, or for the registration of the birth of their son, they are exposing the juridical non-recognition of the Venezuelan citizenry of their son, and the non-protection of her spouse by rights which the institution of marriage awards to married couples (such as community property), leaving them only the protection of the laws of the Republic of Argentina, a country where they are subjects of full rights.

Her spouse Migdelis, demoralized and in tears during the wake, said: “Giniveth was right, we homosexuals are second-class citizens. I’m painted on the wall here; nothing I think or decide matters to anyone.” Meanwhile, Giniveth’s family decided to cremate a body which was the victim of a murder, and take away the ashes without consulting her spouse, at the same time as they said they understood and completely respected the relationship between the two women.

It is urgent to solve the murder of our valiant and unstoppable activist. A crime may not remain unpunished, and more so still if it is a crime that painfully afflicts the bases of the struggle for the defence of human rights of the Venezuelan sex-diverse population. It is imperative to do justice, but also it is critical to strengthen our public powers to guarantee the effective exercise of the right to live in freedom and equality, without discrimination or stigmas based in atavistic Judeo-Christian prejudices, without psychological or moral violence as consequences of a heterosexist, sexist and machista culture, in order to thus begin in Venezuela the socio-cultural change so longed for by her, developing concrete public policies such as the approval of the Equal Civil Marriage Law.

Translation mine.

In recognition of the need for equal rights and protection under law for Venezuelan LGBTIs, there was a demonstration this morning at 9 a.m. Activists called together by Giniveth’s group, AC Venezuela Igualitaria, as well as the Ejército Emancipador, gathered before the Legislative Palace, where the National Assembly meets, to request that National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello and the PSUV assembly members work to pass laws to protect and grant equal rights to the sex/gender-diverse community, in accordance with the principles set out by sections 2.2.4.2, 2.2.4.3, and 2.2.4.4 of the Bolivarian Constitution.

Chavecito himself said that “gays have a place in the Revolution, too”. That place cannot be secured by anything other than full equality. Otherwise, we’ll only end up hearing more stories like this, in which a same-sex spouse was shoved aside by blood relations and never consulted in the most basic matters, while a murder remains unsolved and the killer, whose motives and identity are still unknown at this hour, remains unpunished.

UPDATE: La Iguana TV reports that three parliamentarians have been designated to take on the equal-marriage legal project proposed by the activists. They are Modesto Ruíz, Dinorah Figuera and Eduardo Piñate. A petition of more than 20,000 signatures was delivered to the National Assembly last January, and it looks as though now, things are starting to speed up. Meanwhile, the Public Ministry has assigned the 48th national prosecutor, Víctor Hugo Barreto, and Caracas prosecutor Susan Ferreira, to investigate the murder of Giniveth Soto. Here’s hoping there’s plenty of action on that front, too.

Two more accused in the Serra murder case

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Robert Serra, Venezuela’s youngest parliamentarian, and his girlfriend, María Herrera. Gone, but not forgotten…and justice will soon be served again in the case of their untimely deaths. This time, to two more individuals:

The Venezuelan Public Ministry has accused Danny Salinas and Wuadyd Pacheco for their suspected involvement in the deaths of National Assembly deputy Robert Serra, and María Herrera, on October 1 in the neighborhood of La Pastora, Libertador municipality, in the Capital District.

The 55th prosecutor of the Metropolitan Caracas Area, Miguel Ángel Hernández Salazar, accused Salinas of being a co-author in the crimes of aggravated homicide of the deputy, aggravated robbery, as well as homicide with malice aforethought for futile motives in the execution of an aggravated robbery against María Herrera, and association for the purpose of committing crimes.

In addition, the prosecutor presented the accusation against Pacheco as an unnecessary accomplice in the aforementioned crimes, and as author in the crime of associating for delinquent purposes.

Both crimes are listed in the Criminal Code and in the Organic Law Against Organized Crime and Financing of Terrorism.

In the writ presented before the 9th Control Tribunal of the Metropolitan Caracas Area, the representative of the Public Ministry requested admission of the accusation, ordered the trials of Salinas and Pacheco, and that they be held in custody in the headquarters of the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN), located in El Helicoide.

Aside from these two men, others recently accused are the Caracas municipal police officers Edwin Torres, Erick Romero and Raider Espinoza, as well as Carlos Enrique García.

Also tied to the double homicide and currently in jail are Jaime Padilla, Neira Palomino, Yusmelys Meregote, and Nadis Orozco, for their relations with the Colombian, Leiva Padilla Mendoza, who was apprehended in Cartagena, Colombia, on November 2, and who is currently awaiting extradition.

Translation mine.

So, it looks like El Colombia and his band of merry miscreants are going to have some sweating to do. Let’s hope that’s all of them.

Who’s your diplomatic guest there, Maricori?

Well, well. What have we here? US “diplomats” exercising their diplomatic impunity (no, not a typo, nor a misspelling) at a legal hearing for a disgraced Venezuelan right-wing politician? Sure looks like it…

“We have questions: What were you doing there, who invited him, why was the embassy of the United States watching us and giving orders to a mouthpiece?” asked the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, upon revealing a video that shows how a functionary of the US government was there as an observer during the appearance of María Corina Machado before the Public Ministry on December 3.

“This is disrespect and interference in the affairs of this land, it is a provocation to the Venezuelan government, they think they can scare us,” commented Cabello during his weekly show, Con el Mazo Dando.

The revolutionary leader exhorted the US government to observe what is going on in Ferguson, “how their police are killing children because they don’t like the color of their skin. These are the godfathers the guarimberos have, we denounce them before the world for their interference…the US Embassy is the CIA, the Pentagon, the same who gave money to Gaby Arellano to finance violent actions,” Cabello added.

Translation mine.

I said diplomatic impunity, not immunity, for a reason. The reason is simply this: US diplomats have a long and storied history of interfering in the internal affairs of countries where they are stationed. Cabello isn’t talking out his ass here; he’s simply stating what every Latin American already knows, and what Venezuelans know all too well. Philip Agee made that clear decades ago when he revealed that the CIA operates out of US embassies and diplomatic installations all over the globe, influencing local politics by covertly “supporting” (really, bribing and influence-peddling) local political parties and NGOs. Not only are they immune from prosecution for what can only rightly be termed crimes, they will never be punished. After all, they’re just following orders…

Was Philip Goldberg punished for trying to balkanize Bolivia, by fomenting a coup aimed not only at unseating Evo Morales, but KILLING him? Nope. He just got reassigned. And promptly fell up when it was his time to get his sorry ass promoted. Once a Company man, always a Company man. The Company takes good care of its loyal employees.

And this unnamed flunkie, whoever he is? Betcha he’ll get a plummy new job too. Having his cover blown on Venezuelan national TV is just a feather in the ol’ fedora for him. They have so much chutzpah, they don’t even care that they’ve been caught red-handed feeding their local trolls, of which Maricori is just one of several. Look for him soon at a CIA station near you.

And it hardly serves to intimidate the Venezuelan government if the CIA’s men-in-country blatantly spy on legal hearings, either. After all, this hearing was a public matter, and was announced several days in advance in the local press. If they think they can paint Venezuelan justice as some kind of star chamber, lacking in transparency, they can think again. These proceedings are all aboveboard.

And in any case, the CIA and the US government have nothing to say about the way justice gets done in Venezuela. After all, it’s not their fucking backyard.

It never was.

Maricori charged with conspiracy to commit treason

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“Deputy colleagues, I propose that we eliminate ordinary parliamentary sessions because I don’t mix with ordinary people.” Well said, Maricori…because where you’re going, you won’t be mixing with anyone for a good long time.

Finally, after more than a decade of relentless putschist machinations, a poor little rich girl is getting her just deserts. Maricori, who was barred from her seat in the Venezuelan National Assembly earlier this year due to participation in yet another coup attempt against an elected head of state, is now facing some serious jail time…

On Wednesday, December 3, the Venezuelan Public Ministry charged former parliamentary deputy María Corina Machado Parisca, 47, with having ties to a plan to disturb the peace and assassinate the president of the republic, Nicolás Maduro Moros.

The charges were laid at the 20th national prosecutor’s office, under the charge Katherine Harington, located in the Public Ministry’s head office on Urdaneta Avenue.

During the proceeding, the prosecutor charged Machado with the crime of conspiracy, established and sanctioned in Article 132 of the Penal Code.

According to the article, “anyone who, within or outside of national territory, conspires to destroy the republican political form of the nation, shall be punished with imprisonment of eight to sixteen years.”

Furthermore, the same article explains that “the same penalty applies to any Venezuelan who solicits foreign intervention in the interior politics of Venezuela, or requests that it occur in order to disturb the peace of the Republic, or that before its functionaries, or through publications made in the foreign press, would incite civil war in the Republic or defame its president, or assail any diplomatic representative or consular functionaries of Venezuela, for reasons of their funtions, in the country in which the act is committed.”

With the charges, Machado acquires the rights contemplated in Article 49 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Article 125 of the Organic Penal Process Code, concerning due process and the rights of the accused.

For these same crimes there are also arrest orders out for Henrique Salas Römer, Diego Arria Salicetti, Ricardo Emilio Koesling Nava, Gustavo Terre Briceño, Pedro Mario Burelli Briceño, and Robert Alonso Bustillo.

The Public Ministry has been conducting this investigation since March of this year, following denunciations by several parliamentarians of the National Assembly and one particular, who called for the opening of an investigation to determine penal responsibilities with respect to a plan to assassinate the President.

Translation mine.

Notice, too, that there’s a veritable rogues’ gallery of other leading opposition figures listed here. All of them are well-known far-right putschists who have openly called for the murders of two elected presidents. They are long overdue for criminal charges and trial. But first, they are all long overdue for confiscation of their passports. After all, we wouldn’t want to see them end up in Bogotá or Miami, would we?