Summit of the Americas: Venezuelan fascists and Che’s murderer get precedence over their own victims’ families

Lt. Yendry Velázquez, 36, widow of a Venezuelan soldier murdered during last year’s guarimbas, confronts Lilian Tintori outside the Americas Summit in Panama City. “Your husband is still living, mine is dead thanks to yours,” she says.

And that’s not the only outrage going down at the forum right now. Here’s a backgrounder, via Aporrea:

Members of the Committee of Victims of the Guarimbas clashed on Thursday in Panama with Lilian Tintori, wife of Leopoldo López, leader of the ultra-right party, Voluntad Popular (“Popular Will”) and intellectual author of the fascist activities which took place in Venezuela between February and May 2014.

According to Telesur, while Tintori was outside the forum parallel to the Summit of the Americas, agitating for the freeing of her husband, victims’ families were not allowed to participate in this activity, even though their accreditation had been previously confirmed.

February 12, 2015 marked the one-year anniversary of the demonstration known as “La Salida” (The Exit), a putschist plan activated by the Venezuelan far-right and supported by the US government, whose objective was to undermine peace and institutional order in Venezuela. During the violence that followed, 43 persons died and 878 were injured.

Translation mine.

And speaking of fascists and outrage, get a load of who else was roaming free in Panama City, much to the disgust of HIS victims:

The children of Argentine-Cuban guerrilla leader Ernesto “Che” Guevara rejected the presence of Félix Rodríguez Mentigutía in Panama City on Thursday, at the summit of the Americas. Rodríguez, 73, a former Cuban agent of the CIA, was a key participant in the capture and killing of their father in Bolivia in October 1967.

“One might forget the past and present of one who has not stopped boasting of having lent his services toward imprisoning and later killing Che Guevara in Bolivia. Perhaps those who invited them or organized the symposium didn’t know that he was and is a servile slave of the Yankee powers,” reads a note published in Havana. The note was signed by Aleida, Celia, Camilo and Ernesto Guevara March.

In the late 1980s, Rodríguez wrote a memoir, Shadow Warrior, in which he tells of the CIA’s operations in Latin America and of the final hours of Che. Rodríguez has publicly acknowledged that he ordered the Bolivian soldiers to kill Guevara and appears in a photo alongside him after he was captured.

An official delegation of Cuban civil society members travelled to Panama to participate in parallel forums, and to denounce the presence of Rodríguez and “dissidents”, whom they accused of being Washington’s mercenaries. On Thursday, Cuban television transmitted images of a violent clash between Cubans of both delegations, who were separated by Panamanian police.

Translation, again, mine.

This is going to prove extremely awkward for His Barackness, in light of the much-vaunted defrosting of Cuban-US relations. Not only because old CIA assassins are apparently roaming free in Panama, but also because so are the putschists who are trying to destabilize Cuba’s greatest ally (and architect of all the improved inter-American relations), Venezuela.

And just to add to the awkwardness, those putschists are the forces in Venezuela with which Obama’s government has stupidly decided to align itself. Yes, that’s right…they’re favoring blatant lawbreakers, fascists and violent assassins, over democratically elected, popular socialist leaders. In other words, business as usual for the US government.

If I were Raúl Castro, I’d have an awful lot of trouble keeping a civil tongue in my head. After all, Che was his and Fidel’s dear friend, way back in the day. And Nicolás Maduro, whom Washington’s toadies keep trying to topple, IS their friend, here and now.

Posted in A Man, A Plan, A Canal, Cuba, Libre (de los Yanquis), Fascism Without Swastikas, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't It Ironic?, Isn't That Illegal?, Obamarama!, Spooks, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Summit of the Americas: Venezuelan fascists and Che’s murderer get precedence over their own victims’ families »

Venezuelan TV host fired for racist slurs against Michelle Obama

If you ever wondered just how disgusting and inane Spanish-language talk shows can get, watch the clip above. An alert blogger captured this video of a Venezuelan talking head (on the left-hand side of the screen) shooting his mouth off just a bit too high. And if you can’t understand Spanish, don’t worry — Aporrea has the lowdown:

Venezuelan TV host Rodner Figueroa, 42, was fired by Univisión for a racist comment about US first lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday.

The presenter of the show “Salt and Pepper”, and known as the network’s fashionista, Figueroa made vulgar comments about the appearance of the first lady, and said that she looked like she had come from the film Planet of the Apes.

“There is no space for racist commentaries on Univisión,” said a high-level executive of the network in an exclusive interview with People en Español.

Translation mine.

The only thing truly surprising about this is that finally, a Venezuelan TV host got fired by a major media corporation for being an overt racist. These are the same goose-stepping idiots who launched racist attacks against Chavecito, Evo and other non-white progressive Latino leaders for years with total impunity. Chavecito, in particular, had to put up with this species of right-wing jackasses in overpriced suits calling him a monkey from the moment he began campaigning for office in the late 1990s. Pretty much every Spanish-language media corporation let such slurs pass unedited and unremarked.

But then again, Chavecito was not the president of the United States of Amnesia. Michelle Obama, by contrast, is first lady there. And it’s against corporate policy to criticize the gringo leadership, because all these so-called Latino channels actually have pledged allegiance to Washington and Miami. So, of course, this particular bit of racism wasn’t allowed to slide.

Rodner Figueroa is out on his ass, and he’s the rare exception. The fact that he felt comfortable saying shit like that clearly shows that a climate of overt racism is the norm at Univisión and other Latin American corporate broadcasters. Had there actually been a corporate policy against any kind of racism, I doubt very much that he would have spouted that unoriginal simian comparison as blithely as he did.

Posted in Crapaganda Whores (and PIMPS), Fascism Without Swastikas, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't That Racist?, Newspeak is Nospeak, Obamarama!, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Venezuelan TV host fired for racist slurs against Michelle Obama »

Venezuela putsch: Maduro denounces “interfering” US document

Further to my last post, here it is in no uncertain terms: There IS indeed another coup d’état underway in Venezuela. And here, to denounce it, is none other than the president himself:

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro denounced the contents of an “interfering, lying” document published by the National Security Agency of the US government, and denounced that they are trying to menace Venezuela with the Inter-American Charter with bald-faced lies about Bolivarian democracy in order to justify a direct intervention that will enable them to bring down the Venezuelan government.

“I denounce this new aggression, I reject the document of ‘national security strategy’ from the US government of interfering character, and hereby ratify my urgent call to the governments and people of South America and CELAC, to support the people and government of Venezuela in rejecting the conspiracy which is being directed against our democracy from the United States,” Maduro said, during a press conference in Miraflores Palace.

“I hereby denounce, maintain, and call upon our people for maximum awareness to continue defeating conspiracies,” said Maduro, as he displayed the contents of a document over the “risks” of democracy in Venezuela.

“I respect President Obama, and with respect for him and the US as a country, it’s because I have the morals and ethics to demand respect for Venezuela,” said Maduro, decrying the grotesque lies which the document, published on Friday in the US, contains.

“There is a coup d’état going on in Venezuela, which is being supported by all the agencies of the US. It’s up to you [to stop it]!” Maduro said, addressing his US counterpart.

He then read part of the document, on page 28, where it states that “we support the citizens of countries in which the full exercise of democracy is at risk, such as Venezuela.”

“When one of their documents says that, it’s a direct order for groups to go berserk and launch themselves into toppling the government,” Maduro warned, recalling that if a country is at supposed risk, the US always assumes the right to support mercenaries to bring down the government of that land. There are plenty of examples in the world where the US has supported them with money and even weapons.

“In the end, the Inter-American Charter will be the instrument for an attempt to intervene in Venezuela,” Maduro added.

“Big mistake, President Obama,” he said, recalling for his US counterpart that in Venezuela the only risk to democracy are the right-wing groups which permanently conspire, and who are allies of the transnational corporations of the US.

“In which country is there more democracy, Venezuela or the US? Where are there more people in power, where are there more political freedoms? Where do the people govern, and not the transnationals?” Maduro asked.

Maduro reminded Obama that in Venezuela, in 2002, there was a coup which was publicly supported by George Bush (Junior). “It’s up to you to distance yourself, to rectify in time the mistaken policies against the Bolivarian Revolution, or else stop making chaos with failed US policies against Venezuela! For that, I’ve called upon UNASUR and CELAC, and for that reason I’m denouncing all of this.”

Maduro publicly addressed Obama, warning him that nobody is fooled by manipulated reports.

“You, President Obama, don’t believe the lies that the war lobbies which you criticized so often, the imperial lobbies which lie so much about Venezuela.

“The lobbies who are preparing these reports are the same that said that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction — which you criticized so much,” Maduro said, recalling the lies that were admitted by the US after it had invaded and occupied Iraq illegally in order to supposedly defend itself against those weapons.

“They justify everything in the world with lies,” denounced Maduro.

“Also, President Obama, you should know that we are in another world, and you should know that Latin America and the Caribbean are not the US’s backyard, and Venezuela is now no longer the oil colony that used to belong to the US.”

Maduro reminded Obama that he was obliged to recognize the failure of the illegal and criminal blockade against Cuba, and precisely now, 53 years after that illegal measure began, how much suffering the Cuban people went through as a result of that financial persecution, which still continues.

“I have told you, and I believe this: You can do one of two things. Go down in history as the president who changed relations between the US and all the countries in the Americas and the Caribbean, or as the president who committed the same errors as George Bush, Ronald Reagan, and company.”

Maduro stated that he would soon write a personal letter to Obama, restating the position of the dignified and independent people of Venezuela.

“Venezuela is a country with dignity, deserving respect. I demand respect for Venezuela, for our homeland,” Maduro emphasized.

Translation mine.

Of course, the jackals are circling already. And if you hear any yammering, yodeling and yawping about how the president of Venezuela is a crazy madman and a dangerous dictator who must be toppled immediately, because kooky conspiracy theories and tight tinfoil and yadda yadda, well, you know. Same shit, ‘nother day. They tried this with the last one too, and no one in Venezuela believed them…except of course the conspiracy kooks of the right, whose too-tight tinfoil hats had them blaming Chavecito for everything from toothaches to hangnails. It’s like a nasty feedback loop with them: Whatever the Washington Empire says, they repeat back, louder and crazier. And vice versa.

Posted in Crapaganda Whores (and PIMPS), Cuba, Libre (de los Yanquis), Fascism Without Swastikas, Huguito Chavecito, Isn't That Illegal?, Obamarama!, Spooks, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on Venezuela putsch: Maduro denounces “interfering” US document »

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.

Happy Human Rights Day!

human-rights-sanctions.jpg

“We will impose sanctions on those who defend human rights!” Once more, a Venezuelan cartoonist — this time, it’s Uncas — hits the nail on the head.

And in honor of Human Rights Day, here’s another fine example of how the US doesn’t lead when it comes to human rights, it just crushes them underfoot, like Orwell’s boot stomping on a human face forever:

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence today released the executive summary of its long-awaited “Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program,” describing in more than 500 pages a dysfunctional agency so unprepared to handle suspected terrorist detainees after 9/11, that the CIA bought into private contractors’ proposals for torture, and then lied to Congress, President Bush, the Justice Department, the public, and to itself about the purported effectiveness of the program.

The Senate release includes a 6-page foreword by committee chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), a 19-page list of 20 specific Findings and Conclusions, and a 499-page Executive Summary which details the development of the torture program after 9/11. The longest single section of the Summary, from page 172 to page 400, eviscerates the CIA’s “eight primary CIA effectiveness representations” along with 12 “secondary” ones by showing either there was “no relationship” between the cited success and detainee information “during or after” the CIA’s use of torture, or that such information was otherwise available and even obtained prior to the use of torture.

Translation: TORTURE DOESN’T FUCKING WORK.

Also, THE CIA IS THE SAME EVIL BAND OF JACKALS AS IT WAS WHEN IT PLOTTED TO KILL JFK. IT HASN’T CHANGED ONE FUCKING IOTA.

And in addition to that, CAPITALISM + TORTURE = REALLY FUCKING EXPENSIVE MURDER MACHINE THAT DOESN’T EVEN FUCKING WORK.

Oh yeah, and on top of that, LIES, LIES AND MORE FUCKING LIES:

Including 2,725 footnotes to specific CIA documents, the Senate report shows a pattern of repeated factual inaccuracies by CIA in communications with the Justice Department (to get legal cover for the program), with the White House (including false information inserted in the President’s Daily Brief and one of President Bush’s major speeches), with the Congress (Appendix 3 starting on page 462 provides more than 30 pages of false statements in testimony by former CIA director Michael Hayden), and even inside the Agency itself.

THIRTY FUCKING PAGES OF BULLSHIT FROM MICHAEL FUCKING HAYDEN ALONE, PEOPLE. And it doesn’t end with him, either:

The report cites CIA documents showing CIA officers at the secret detention sites repeatedly protested the torture program — one interrogator called the program a “train wreak” [sic] and wrote “I intend to get the hell off the train before it happens.” But higher-ups, including CIA directors George Tenet, Porter Goss, and Hayden, overruled objections and kept the program going until President Obama ended it in 2009. The head of CIA counterterrorism operations, Jose Rodriguez, even reprimanded CIA officers at one site for their protests, warning them to refrain from using “speculative language as to the legality of given activities” in CIA cables.

It’s not a question of who fucked up, at this point; the list of those who didn’t fuck up is infinitely shorter.

Of course, none of this comes as any great surprise to me; BushCo was a veritable fuck-up factory. It churned ’em out assembly-line style, from start to finish. There is nothing that Weak ‘n’ Stupid touched that didn’t turn to ca-ca. Appropriately, for someone descended from royalty, ol’ Dubya sure does have the reverse Midas touch.

And there is no doubt in my mind that every torturer-jack of them belongs in The Hague, and locked up shortly after. But don’t take MY word for it…

A U.N. human rights expert said a report that the U.S. Senate released on Tuesday revealed a “clear policy orchestrated at a high level within the Bush administration” and called for prosecution of U.S. officials who ordered crimes, including torture, against detainees.

Ben Emmerson, United Nations special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, said senior Bush administration officials who planned and authorized crimes must be prosecuted, along with as CIA and other U.S. government officials who committed torture such as waterboarding.

“As a matter of international law, the U.S. is legally obliged to bring those responsible to justice,” Emmerson said in a statement issued in Geneva. “The U.S. Attorney General is under a legal duty to bring criminal charges against those responsible.”

Unfortunately, THAT’s not going to happen. Practically the first thing His Barackness did upon setting foot in the Oval Office was to amnesty all these war criminals, torturers and murderers. Translation: NO HOPE OF A FUCKING PROSECUTION EVER. And, by the way, that’s illegal:

International law prohibits granting immunity to public officials who have engaged in acts of torture, he said.

“The fact that the policies revealed in this report were authorized at a high level within the U.S. government provides no excuse whatsoever. Indeed, it reinforces the need for criminal accountability,” Emmerson said.

Torture is an international crime and perpetrators may be prosecuted by any other country to which they might travel, he added.

Incidentally, that’s the very reason Henry Fucking Kissinger no longer sets foot outside of US soil. There’s an international warrant out for his arrest, for war crimes dating all the way back to the Vietnam War.

His Barackness would be well advised to reverse that amnesty now, if he doesn’t want to become complicit — and a war criminal, and suffer the same fate — himself. But — oops! — it’s already way too late for that.

Happy Human Rights Day, indeed, my US friends. How does it feel to live in a country where that phrase has become totally meaningless?

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

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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.

maduro-bus.jpg

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

Posted in Clip 'n' Save, Isn't That Racist?, Obamarama!, The United States of Amnesia. Comments Off on 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.