The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 30

prism-snowden

“PRISM. Coups d’état. Data of non-allied governments. Data of allied governments. Presidential intimacies. Narco-information. Global passwords. Hyper-Trojan viruses. Bombing co-ordinates. Secret bases. Infiltrated agents. Double agents. Counter-triple-agent double agents. Transactions. Social networks. Lottery results.”

Welcome to the 30th installment of VenOpIronía! Lots of hilarious ironies to wade through today, kiddies, so let’s get to it. First up, a little message from the Vatican to the oppos, and to their supporters in the church hierarchy…namely, a cease-and-desist order:

During a recent trip to the Vatican by the Apostolic Nuncio to Venezuela, Pietro Parolini, Pope Francis asked him to tell the Venezuelan ecclesiastical hierarchy not to mix itself up in politics, nor to take sides.

Pope Francis also asked Parolini to use his good offices to intervene so that the student opposition members who are still camped up in the Apostolic Nunciature in a “hunger strike” leave the place. “The Nunciature cannot continue to be used by any political partisans of Venezuela. This is not our role as church of Christ, which must serve toward reconciliation,” said the Pontifex to his representative in Venezuela.

Immediately upon his return to Venezuela, Parolini expressed his disagreement with the “hunger strike” held by student and opposition leaders of the University of Los Andes, during his speech in the 100th Venezuelan Episcopal Assembly, in Caracas. Another surprising detail is the invitation from the Nuncio to the Minister of the Interior, Justice and Peace, Rodríguez Torres, to attend the assembly.

It is known that Pietro Parolini has already informed of the Pope’s wishes to the rest of the ecclesiastic hierarchy in the land, and asked the students who are still in the Nunciature to abandon the seat and end the protest, seeking out dialogue with the national government to solve the crisis, which has pitted university authorities of opposition tendencies against the government of President Nicolás Maduro.

Last April, during the Regina Caeli oration, Pope Francis asked the violent protesters of Venezuela to seek the “path of peace”, and exhorted politicians and the populace to “reject firmly any type of violence, and establish a dialogue based in truth, in mutual recognition.”

Translation mine.

And when you have a pope with such a sniffy reptutation for his activities (or lack of same) during the ugly days of the Argentine Junta saying that, you know that something has turned. This is the same Venezuelan apostolic nunciature that has shielded cop-raping thugs like Nixon Moreno from Venezuelan justice in the past, without so much as a peep of protest from Rome. And the archbishops and cardinals of Venezuela have long been in the pocket of the anti-Chavista oligarchy. The last two popes tolerated and indulged their putschism; this one has made it known that he won’t. (Perhaps he learned something from Argentina’s past? Let us pray…)

So, it looks as though the oligarchy has been taken down a peg by the topmost tier of the church hierarchy…the same that for the past ten years or more has been supporting them tacitly while the Venezuelan archbishops have been supporting them openly. I had no hope of anything changing before this, so this was kind of a nice surprise. Looks like Pope Francis might just be good for something besides talk, after all.

Meanwhile, at Boing Boing, there’s an oppo sneering at Edward Snowden’s choice of Venezuela as a place of refuge, and kvetching about how she and her mother had one of their little putschist bitch sessions wiretap-recorded and played back to the public on TV. She makes out like they’re just ordinary citizens being spied on irrationally by a paranoid government out to “get” them, but read down far enough, and you’ll see that they most certainly are not:

My mother, Maruja Tarre, was an outspoken critic of the Chavez government and she is often on television commenting on Venezuelan foreign policy. She is a columnist for the country’s oldest newspaper, El Universal, and is followed by thousands on Twitter. What happened to us would be like if a Fox News talk show acquired and then aired a tape of Donna Brazile telling her daughter the Democratic Party strategy seems to be failing.

Nice attempt to co-opt the Dems and make out like VTV is FUX Snooze there, Isabel Lara. But it’s not only disingenuous, it’s utterly full of shit. The real FUX Snooze of Venezuela is Globovisión, a privately owned opposition channel, and the paper Maruja Tarre writes for, El Universal, is a far-right rag in the same vein as that station, and the Washington Times. A more apt comparison is if a group of Republican conspirators against Barack Obama were exposed in all their whiny glory on PBS.

And yes, I have heard those bitch sessions myself on both La Hojilla and Dando y Dando, and they did not sound like they were “edited to ridicule” anyone. They were placed in context, and if the speakers sounded ridiculous, it’s because they just ARE. Opposition marches against Chávez were invariably flaccid and poorly attended; the popular support was never there, and these two knew it. And they were pissed off at the fact. Even in Washington, where there’s far more sympathy for their viewpoint than there is in Caracas, these people come off as petulant rich brats who throw periodic tantrums and are still not terribly convincing. There are only so many times you can threaten to hold your breath and turn blue, after all. And their racism is well known to the world at large, and unlikely to be appreciated by a US president who, like Chavecito, is of mixed race.

Above all, though, I’m laughing at them for their inability to recognize the tremendous irony inherent in their whole pitiyanki stance. They hate their own country, and worship the United States; it’s their idea of a capitalist paradise of freedom of speech, association, guns, overpriced (and surprisingly shoddy) healthcare and education, and general farcical insanity. And yet, there too, they were indubitably being wiretapped, spied on, and having their privacy invaded nine ways till Friday. Nobody was, or is, exempt. The NSA spied on Chavecito for several years, and the CIA is well known to have supported every opposition “protest”, including the ones that led up to the failed coup of ’02. The US is not merely another police state; it’s a global police EMPIRE.

And yet this ridiculous twit, Isabel Lara, thinks Venezuela is the “surveillance state”, when its authorities were only doing due diligence on a group of known right-wing putschists with US ties, who repeatedly tried to murder President Chávez, and who are now trying to do the same to President Maduro — under the same old “protest” smokescreen as ever?

No, I don’t expect them to understand THAT irony, either.

The ironies of the Venezuelan opposition, part 1

capriles-radonski

Well, hi there, Majunche Capriles Radonsky! So nice to see you looking so perky. Bet you think you’ve got an easy victory ahead of you now that your true rival is in his coffin. And you’re no doubt grinning because you’ve got all of Washington and Miami and all the appropriate CIA stations behind you, too. Well, don’t get too smug, little Majunche. I’m gonna translate some things that will show people in the English-speaking parts of the world a thing or two they wouldn’t see otherwise. Namely, just what hollowness and ugliness is behind that cute little monkey grin of yours. And a few of the ironies of your soon-to-be-failed rerun of your presidential campaign, too. Get ready, Majunche, because here comes the first:

On Twitter, as well as by way of the opposition media, such as Noticias24.com, the organizers of the campaign of Henrique Capriles Radonski, candidate for the presidency of Venezuela on behalf of the régime of Barack Obama and the “Democratic Unity Table” (MUD), announced Tuesday that the command of their campaign will be called “Comando Simón Bolívar”.

Not only the name of the command has been inspired by ideas derived from and driven by Chavismo, but the director himself is an old “Chavista” and the current governor of Lara state, Henry Falcón.

The idea may have been conceived in the US during the recent trip there by Capriles, who was there to meet with authorities of the Obama régime and plan a possible “régime change” in Venezuela.

The name of the command surprised many, given the fact that the opposition removed from the presidential office in Miraflores Palace a portrait of the Liberator, Simón Bolívar, shortly after executing the coup d’état against Hugo Chávez on April 11, 2002.

One of the first measures taken by the opposition supported by Capriles, on April 12, 2002, was to remove the word “Bolivarian” from the name of the Republic.

Also, unanimously, the leaders rejected the placement of the eighth star on the national flag, which the Liberator, Simón Bolívar, himself had solicited.

Following the Washington line on how to touch the sensibilities of Chávez’s followers, the director of the opposition campaign, Henry Falcón, said today that “the best tribute to the memory of Hugo Chávez is to act with truthfulness and respect.”

The original program of the government of Washington’s candidate announced a supposed continuation of all the social missions created by the late president, Hugo Chávez.

The function of the command was equally inspired by North American ideas. Just like the US, where every state has its own laws and functions independently, “this will be a completely decentralized campaign,” announced Falcón.

Isn’t that funny, Majunche? You and your chef de mission, Henry Falsón, as he’s come to be known for reasons good, just can’t seem to beat Bolivarianism. So you have to JOIN it. After 14-odd years of rejecting Bolívar, suddenly you’re kneeling at his feet like a couple of penitents seeking absolution. Chavecito is having a good laugh at you from the grave, and he’s not even buried yet! Meanwhile, here’s how you and your “commando” treated their namesake 11 years ago, when you pulled that coup:

bolivar-bathroom

I always wanted a portrait of Bolívar for in the john, myself.

And that’s not all. Yesterday I found that Globomojón is up for sale. Guess it’s lost its sense of purpose now that the object of all its hate is no longer there for it to kick around. You’d think that the triumph of the forces of evil, sorry, CAPITALISM would be celebrating this victory with a huge upsurge in stock prices and profits and all that crap. But no, the air’s all gone out of that particular bubble, with nothing left to go pop:

The private channel, Globovisión, “did everything” so that the opposition would win the presidential election of October 7, 2012, which was won by the revolutionary (and now deceased) candidate, Hugo Chávez.

So said the president of the channel, Guillermo Zuloaga, in a letter sent to all the workers of the television enterprise, to inform them that there is an offer to buy the channel.

“Last year, I took the decision to do everything in our power, at the risk of the capital of the shareholders and aware of the implications this attitude could carry, to ensure that the opposition would win the elections in October,” wrote Zuloaga in the missive, published by the channel’s website.

“At Globovisión we did everything extraordinarily well, and we almost succeeded; but the opposition lost,” wrote Zuloaga. (Could it be that they are not of the opposition?)

Zuloaga, a fugitive from Venezuelan justice, said that Globovisión had become “an inviable business”. (Undoubtedly the business is inviable wherever one looks, above all when it comes to ethical solvency.)

Zuloaga said that in this situation, “they have oblliged me to seek possible solutions to our dilemma. I’ve met with various persons and groups, without success, and three weeks ago, I was contacted by Dr. Juan Domingo Cordero.”

Zuloaga writes that Cordero made him “a proposition, which while not what the shareholders would have hoped for, I am obliged to accept since it permits a solution so that Globovisión will stay on the air and be able to maintain our payroll of nearly 500 persons.”

He indicated that the negotiation is ready to close this week, but before the announcement that there would be a presidential election on April 14, “I took the decision to make the firm and irrevocable condition that the turnover would take place after the election.”

Zuloaga is wanted by the authorities for usury and criminal conspiracy, following a finding by police on May 21, 2009, that there were several vehicles at his home whose presence there could not be justified.

Some backgrounder is necessary here. Besides being president of Venezuela’s equivalent of FUX Snooze, Guillermo Zuloaga is also the country’s sole importer for Toyota, and the owner of several Toyota sales concerns. The “usury” in question refers to his illegal storage of dozens of Toyotas in his home garage, where they were being hidden so that the few sitting for sale on his car lots would become artificially expensive. It’s a cheesy form of speculation, basically. And it’s something that I’m sure the Japanese owners of the Toyota corporation must be frowning on, as it keeps their merchandise from selling in a timely manner and in that sense, is holding up the production line. Not to mention the profits it’s costing them. If I were sitting in Toyota’s head office right now, and this came across my desk, I’d be on the horn to Venezuela this minute, and what I’d have to say would be unprintable. What major automotive corporation wants a crook heading up the local importer, after all? That shit’s bad for business. Especially since Chavecito’s Venezuela is one where more people can afford cars now that the oil wealth has finally begun to trickle down in earnest. Who’s gonna buy Toyotas if it’s known that Venezuela’s importer of that make is a crook and a putschist?

And therein lies another of the ironies of the opposition. Socialism has been good for their business, but rather than just count the money, shrug and be glad, they’re actively cutting off their noses to spite their faces. And all because they don’t own the country outright, to ruin as they please, and then fuck off to Miami when it gets truly unbearable in Caracas, Maracaibo, or wherever they squat. Anything but admit that Chavecito was right, and that his reign was very, VERY good for Venezuela.

Well, if you want to go on being wrong, guys, have at it. I’m not going anywhere. I’m just gonna sit here totting up the ironies as they cross my line of sight, and grinning, and waiting for the 14th, when President Maduro (whom I will have to give a good nickname) takes office in earnest…and drives his campaign bus right over the backs of Zuloaga, Majunche and anyone else who tries to get in the way.

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Clip ‘n’ Save: Some maps that explain a lot

The Koch Bros are getting desperate, I see.

When they have to take out ads for crapaganda sites like this, you know that Big Oil’s corrupting influence barons are running scared. And is that a tip of the hand as to which side of the recent election they were supporting? Betcha.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: Who’s got numbers to kill for?

Riddle me this: Who’s got approval ratings that either one of the US presidential candidates would kill for?

Give up yet?

It’s this guy:

And here’s the story, from Contrainjerencia:

The Bolivian president, Evo Morales, has a 64.2% approval rating, according to a poll published by several media outlets in that country on the 30th anniversary of the interruption of democracy in Bolivia.

The results of the Study on Political Culture and Democracy in Bolivia, Americas Barometer 2012 of the Latin America Public Opinion Project (LAPOP) reflect the fact that the Bolivian head of state has the support of the majority, which considers his leadership very good since he arrived at Palacio Quemado in early 2006.

The study, which was conducted by Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found that 52.4 percent of the population believes that the government protects and promotes the rights of indigenous peoples.

The same study also reports that 47.8 percent consider that Morales succeeds in the politics of the protection of Pachamama, or Mother Earth. Also, 45% of respondents view the president’s economic leadership favorably.

48 percent of Bolivians support the work of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly and the Electoral Commission of Bolivia.

In the anti-drug fight, only 37.5 percent consider the government’s leadership effective, despite its battle against illegal coca plantations throughout the country.

Ever since Morales took power, and following the country’s exit from co-operation with the US DEA, the government has logged record figures in the destruction of illegal coca plantations, and in the confiscation of narcotics. In the first months of 2012, the Bolivian Special Forces against narcotrafficking have confiscated more than 460 tonnes of drugs. Eight percent of this was cocaine in various forms, including hydrochloride and base paste. The rest was marijuana.

Thanks to the launching of the state-run Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales Bolivianos, re-founded as part of the nationalization of hydrocarbon resources, controlled single-digit inflation is one of the successes of Morales’s monetary policy.

The finest political moment for Morales, including the time he led the coca-growers’ unions in the Chaparé during the 1980s, is the strong growth of the GDP, from $9 billion US in 2005, to nearly $26 billion US in 2011.

Translation mine.

Heavens. If I were His Barackness — or Mittens, for that matter — I’d be putting out feelers toward Evo, and finding out how he does all that. Just 30 years ago, Bolivia was a miserable dictatorship, and just 10 years ago, it was a weak, poor, and unstable democracy, riddled with corruption, drugs and debt. Now it’s well on its way to showing the US a thing or two on how to reconcile regional differences, fight drugs and corruption, and kick up the economy. Not to mention rewriting its constitution to better serve the people and the planet, instead of permitting it to go on being abused by big capitalist interests.

It’s still very much a work in progress, but at least Bolivia is moving forward. I’m not at all sure about the direction of the United States of Amnesia, though.

Festive Left Friday Blogging: In which one fine-ass dude disses a smarmy git

This is Tom Morello. Like Barack Obama, he’s part Kenyan. Unlike him, he’s a bona-fide, actual Marxist. And he takes hilarious exception to a certain vice-presidential candidate who is clearly missing something in the sense-of-irony department:

I wonder what Ryan’s favorite Rage song is? Is it the one where we condemn the genocide of Native Americans? The one lambasting American imperialism? Our cover of “Fuck the Police”? Or is it the one where we call on the people to seize the means of production? So many excellent choices to jam out to at Young Republican meetings!

Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

There you have it, folks. Quote of the day. And a gentle reminder to pay attention to those lyric sheets that come with your CDs.

Clip ‘n’ Save: Nope, no government help here!

Clip ‘n’ Save: How to tell off a teabag

How NOT to win friends and influence people

I don’t know how much attention His Barackness pays to opinion polls, surveys and the like…but if I were in his shoes, I’d realize that this is very much an election year, and this is very much an election issue:

The Obama administration’s increasing use of unmanned drone strikes to kill terror suspects is widely opposed around the world, according to a Pew Research Center survey on the U.S. image abroad.

In 17 out of 21 countries surveyed, more than half of the people disapproved of U.S. drone attacks targeting extremist leaders and groups in nations such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, Pew said Wednesday.

But in the United States, a majority, or 62 per cent, approved the drone campaign.

“There remains a widespread perception that the U.S. acts unilaterally and does not consider the interests of other countries,” the study authors said, especially in predominantly Muslim nations, where American anti-terrorism efforts are “still widely unpopular.”

Well, DUH. What was anyone expecting of the international community? Nobody wants to be on the receiving end of a drone strike, even if it IS meant to take out that guy next door, the one you didn’t realize was a terrorist. (Or just branded as such by an imperialistic US administration that brooks no opposition in countries where pipelines and resource control are at stake. Same difference.)

I guess international perceptions of the pre-emptive Nobel Peace Prize winner are now officially in the toilet. Hearts and minds = piss and shit.

‘Course, I guess it would matter more to the POTUS if this were a “real” war, and his opponent were an anti-war socialist type who hauled out all the collateral damage for the benighted folk of the Fruited Plain to see, like it was back in the days when bloody awful things still received nightly coverage on the news, soldiers were fragging their superiors, and Dan Rather was still a real journalist. This could so easily have turned into another Vietnam, if only drones were shown in their true colors. And if only there were real anti-war candidates still to be found.

Good thing for Hopey, then, that his only real challenger is Mittens, who is even more rabidly pro-war. And who no doubt is counting on 62% of the Amurrican Sheeple remaining this fucking stupid about the rest of the world.

And good thing for the Military-Industrial Complex that it owns the media outright, and has both parties beholden to it. That explains the ridiculous ignorance of that 62%. After all, all they ever hear is that drone strikes are “surgical” and that the War on Terra is “working” — instead of the awful truth, which is that drones can and do go astray, and the world is only turning more against the US, with good cause. And that the war will never be won, which will only mean more “terrorists” to send the robo-bombers after. And more insane profits for the MIC.

In other words, yay drones.

Clip ‘n’ Save: A portable Mitt Romney debunker