Tuto Quiroga, butthurt loser

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Ladies and gentlemen, meet the loser of the recent Bolivian presidential election. He came in last, with single digits in the exit polls, which I’m sure you’ll agree is a dismal showing compared to Evo’s commanding lead. But hey! Why let a little thing like one’s own massive unpopularity deter one from uttering bitter and butthurt speculations about the undisputed winner, eh?

Exit polls proclaimed Evo Morales the victor at nearly 60% support. Last month, Tuto Quiroga announced, after learning that early polls showed six out of every ten Bolivians voting for Morales, that if it were true, he would eat his watch.

The official data up to now, with 57.4% of the votes counted, give Evo Morales the win with almost 55% support, followed by conservative businessman Samuel Doria Medina (28.6%) and Quiroga in last place, at 11.16%.

“We’ll see, there’s still time, but first let’s wait for the results,” said the opposition candidate during a press conference, assuring that he has enough tomato sauce, as well as llajua (a spicy sauce, typically Bolivian) to carry out his promise.

Now that the predictions appear to be coming true, many Bolivians are coming out with sarcasm on social media to demand that Quiroga keep his promise.

“That’s why Evo Morales wants 60%, to see me eat my watch,” said the ex-president, ironically.

On Tuesday, Quiroga also criticized the actions of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), as the organism took more than 24 hours to make public the official figures of the vote count due to technical problems and a supposed threat of computer sabotage.

Quiroga denounced the TSE as “servile” and “inefficient”, claiming that it is manipulating the results to “rob” the opposition and inflate the vote count for Morales in rural areas.

“Never in the recent democratic history of Bolivia has there been such a show of ineptitude, incapacity and inefficiency on the part of the electoral organism, which makes one think they are manipulating and ‘cooking’ the results,” maintained Quiroga.

[...]

It is the second time that Quiroga has been defeated by Morales in an election, as both leaders also contended in the elections of 2005, in which Morales became the first indigenous president of Bolivia.

Translation mine.

Poor Tuto. He’s been virtually irrelevant for the last ten years. During the 2005 election, which he lost to Evo, he resorted to scare tactics which proved to be empty. He put out ads with dramatic background music, in which actors posing as textile workers claimed that Evo’s win would scare off international buyers for their products. Nothing could be further from the truth, as Evo’s record to date has shown; even the IMF and the World Bank are praising him, which is pretty ironic since he sent them packing, figuring that homegrown solutions to reinvest gas revenues into the local economy (à la Chavecito) would do the trick better. And they did.

So now there’s nothing left for Tuto to keep himself relevant, except to snipe at Evo’s impressive results. 2005’s, for instance, was at the time the largest margin of popular support for any Bolivian presidential candidate, ever — and Evo’s support has only increased since then. And of course, to threaten to eat his watch.

Tuto, better stock up on hot sauce. And maybe a case of beer, too. You’re gonna need something to wash down those bitter, bitter words!

Estela de Carlotto in Ecuador: “We have to erase the word ‘dictatorship’ from the dictionary!”

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Guido Montoya, his grandmother Estela de Carlotto, and the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, meet at Carondelet Palace in Quito. This is the first trip abroad together for the grandmother and grandson, who are touring South America to raise awareness of the ongoing need to locate the hundreds of missing grandchildren still unaccounted for since the last Argentine dictatorship. Guido first came to light this past summer, after a DNA test identified him as Estela’s long-lost grandson. And while she was in Quito, Estela, who would know from dictatorships, had some choice words for the right-wing opposition and media who insist on calling the democratically-elected Ecuadorable One a “dictator”:

Estela de Carlotto, president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo, was received along with her grandson on Tuesday by the president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, and pointed out the democratic character of the left-wing leader’s government.

“The word ‘dictatorship’ must be erased from the dictionary as long as there exists a president and authorities elected by popular mandate, whether we like it or not,” said Carlotto, when asked by journalists whether there was a “dictatorship” in Ecuador, or “totalitarianism”, of which the opposition speaks.

“In Argentina, the media monopolies are still criticizing the media laws, the same media monopolies who put rocks in the road. Those are bad people, they’re the ones who say that what our president does is dictatorship. the word dictatorship is uprooted from the language of the Argentines, and we hope it will be forever. I was born in 1930, was born in a dictatorship, grew up in a dictatorship, and I want strong democracies to be born for the children, to be of benefit to those who have the least,” said the emblematic Argentine woman.

The declarations came after the Ecuadorian president received Estela de Carlotto and her grandson, Guido Montoya, at the government palace. Montoya recovered his identity 37 years after his disappearance during the Argentine dictatorship. Both are in Quito and other touristic cities for a week, according to the Ecuadorian foreign ministry. It is Estela de Carlotto’s first international trip along with her grandson, who was identified last August.

During her visit to the government palace, Estela de Carlotto presented President Correa with a T-shirt bearing the legend: “We are all Guido, 37 years x identity.”

Guido, “Grandchild 114″ of those who recovered their identities, is the son of Laura Carlotto, who was kidnapped when she was three months pregnant, and later killed by the Argentine dictatorship. His father is Oscar Montoya, also killed, and buried in a common grave until his remains were identified.

“When President Rafael Correa realized that this woman had found her grandson, as did the people of Argentina, he didn’t hesitate to invite us. I won’t abandon this struggle as long as I’m alive, because there are still grandchildren to be found. In Ecuador we found a commitment to memory, truth and justice,” Guido Montoya said.

The grandson of the president of the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo turned up voluntarily to have his DNA tested because he had doubts about his identity. He was torn from his mother’s arms five hours after his birth in June 1978, and was registered under the name of Ignacio Hurbán as the son of a farming couple.

Guido said that he was very pleased with the invitation and with the show of solidarity with the more than 400 still-missing grandchildren.

Estela de Carlotto praised the Latin American unity expressed in organizations such as the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR). “The found grandchildren, the grandmothers, all of us are striving for Latin American unity. We rejoice in being in countries which recently began their journey toward the truth. Don’t slack off, don’t let your arms fall,” she concluded.

Translation mine.

So there you have it. A dictatorship? In Ecuador? Try and find it!

But then again, for the fascists of the world, the irony is that they can never accept democracy, as long as it keeps electing popular, progressive leaders. Which is why, in so many countries (including those of South America), they keep trying to stage coups d’état against leaders they call “dictators”. Fortunately, they are failing badly at that — and the reason is simple. The people, not being stupid, can see right through that rhetoric, down to its ironic bone.

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Fuck Columbus, and fuck the plague-ridden ships he rode in on. The natives are taking their country back, peacefully and democratically. And in yesterday’s presidential elections, Bolivia made that abundantly clear:

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I believe this is what’s known as a LANDSLIDE.

Viva Evo PRESIDENTE, carajo.

EDIT: The landslide is even bigger than it looked yesterday. Here’s the latest:

The Bolivian president was re-elected for the second consecutive time, according to an exit poll by the Mori firm, published last night by the newspaper El Deber, of Santa Cruz de la Sierra.

According to the poll, the president won in eight of nine Bolivian departments [provinces], and carries the support of at least 25 senators and 86 deputies, which approaches control of two-thirds of both chambers.

His closest follower, Samuel Doria Molina, received 24% of the vote, according to exit polls. Meanwhile, former president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga took 9.6.%.

Although presidents of Bolivia can only take two consecutive terms, Evo Morales was able to run a third time, since the Constitutional Tribunal considers that his first term took place before the refoundation of the land in 2009, and for that reason, doesn’t count.

In 2005 Evo Morales won more than 50% of the vote, and in 2009 he increased his support to more than 60%. More than 5 million Bolivians went to the polls, and not only in Bolivia, since, for the first time, Bolivians residing in 33 foreign countries were able to exercise their right to vote as well.

Thousands gathered today to celebrate the president’s victory. Murillo Square, near Quemado Palace, the seat of the Legislative Assembly and the Foreign Ministry, was filled with people cheering their president.

An emotional Evo Morales called out hurrahs to all the Bolivian departments amid the jubilation of the people, who were carrying flags in the blue-and-white colors of the Movement Toward Socialism (MAS).

“I want to tell you, after hearing the news of the results of these elections, in my own name and that of my brother the vice-president [Álvaro García Linera], and of those who fought alongside us for our freedom, thank you for this great support.

“Many thanks, brothers and sisters, for this new triumph of the Bolivian people. In all departments, we have grown and in eight departments, we have won. There could still be a surprise in one department [Beni, the only one not won by MAS]. The fight is neck-and-neck,” Morales pointed out.

Morales also recalled that there is “a feeling of liberation for our peoples. How much longer will we be under the thumb of the North American empire and capitalism? This triumph belongs to the anti-imperialists and the anti-capitalists. It belongs to the Bolivian people.”

Also, Morales considers that “it has been important to seek the integration and unity of the Bolivian people. Once more we have ratified that in Bolivia there is no “Media Luna” ["Half Moon", a reference to the departments who tried to break away during the failed coup of 2009], but a Full Moon!

“Now, with more than 60 percent, nationalization has won,” said an emotional Morales, as the people chanted his name.

“Your efforts, those of your comrades and base directors, and the commitment of the national directors, of CONALCAM [the National Confederation for Change] and the Bolivian Workers’ Central, of the ministers, the institutions, has not been in vain,” Morales insisted.

“I want to say to the people of La Paz and Bolivia that we must always think of the great and the small. When we talk about satellites, some said that that was for the United States and Europe. And now we have a satellite,” Morales recounted.

Morales also emphasized that “when we say we want atomic energy for peaceful purposes they said that that was for developed countries. And we will have it, we will think of the great. And we will be the energy centre of South America.

“I am amazed and this class of results will commit us much more to keep fighting for the Bolivian people. In these elections solidarity has won, unity and sovereignty of the Bolivian people have won, and this triumph will be dedicated to all the peoples of Latin America and the world who fight against capitalism and imperialism. This triumph is dedicated to Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, may he rest in peace,” Morales concluded.

Translation mine.

So, there you have it. Definitive proof that Bolivia has arrived in the 21st century. And thanks to Evo’s already impressive achievements, it’s going nowhere but up. This is a big fuck-you not only to the conquistadors of 500 years ago, but their wanna-be emulators of 2009, whose misadventures I’ve documented here. Remember how those foreign mercenaries came to grief when half the Bolivian provinces tried to break away, taking the oil and gas with them, so that the privatizers could keep their loot? Yeah, this is a fuck-you to THEM, too. And one they could not deserve more. And it was handed to them, not from above in La Paz, but from below, by the people of all of Bolivia.

¡¡¡VIVA EVO PRESIDENTE, CARAJO!!!

Music for a Sunday: Trying not to look so young and miserable

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Wankers of the Week: Ebola on a Plane!

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Crappy weekend, everyone! And a very crappy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians. And a crappy Indigenous People’s Day, too. Not flying? Good, because the last thing you want is to be stuck in a plane with someone with Ebola fever. Or even some cranky jokester who only claims he has it. (Dude is lucky that no air marshals shot him, if you ask me.) And here are some other people that I wouldn’t want to be on a plane with:

1. Brian Fucking Hamilton. When you pull someone over during a traffic stop, you’re supposed to be policing their driving, not their religion. And you’re supposed to read them their rights, not wave church pamphlets under their noses. If you can’t do the job you were hired to do, then lose the badge and let someone else do it.

2. Jordan Fucking Owen. Everything’s a conspiracy, even totally normal English language constructions! They’re hipmatism! HIPMATISM, I tellz ya! Dude, why can’t you just admit that you got nothin’ on Anita Sarkeesian, and cut your damn losses already? It would cost you a buttload less effort than you’re currently expending on trying (and failing) to prove that she’s some kind of sinister manipulator.

3. Davis Fucking Aurini. Meanwhile, #2’s partner in conspiracy kookery has decided that all women are truly bitches. Fickle, flitting bitches. Who clearly don’t recognize a good thing when they see it. Except that we totally do, and we just don’t see it in HIM, because he fairly exudes slimy douchitude. And that sort of thing just makes us all want to flit the hell away.

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4. Satya Fucking Nadella. Women in tech, listen to your guru: Lean out! Don’t ask for raises. Don’t ask for any kind of recognition of your talents and contributions at all. Go home, go back to your kitchen, and make somebody a sandwich. And if it’s this guy, don’t forget to take your chocolate Ex-Lax and be sure to spread the resulting “Nutella” carefully on the bread. PS: Or you could just sign this.

5. Hank Fucking Greenberg. Basically, what Jon Stewart said. Fuck you, and fuck the $184 billion bailout you rode in on.

6. John Fucking Hembling. Oh, oh. What have we here? A drama llama pooping on the living room carpet? Infighting at A Voice For Mangry Morons? Sure smells like it. And suddenly, just like that, John the Bother is out of the He-Man Woman Haters’ Club treehouse. Ha, ha.

7. Chaim Fucking Weiss. If you wonder why nobody likes Israel anymore, just look at what kind of supporters they have. This one decided to disrupt midnight prayers at the local mosque with loud music. In the name of Israel, of course. And now he’s a convicted crook. Shabbat Shalom, you little shit.

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8. James Fucking Wiedmann. Yup, it’s been a banner week for pickup assholes, as evidenced by the oh-so-witty dude who calls himself, laughably, “Heartiste” (FARTiste, more like it). His latest conversational gambit? When rejected by a woman, insult her in true seventh-grade fashion and feign elaborate disinterest. And, bonus: When mocked by your male betters, call them panty-sniffers. In short, project like mad. Because really, what IS a PUA if not a constant (and usually futile) seeker of ladies’ underwear as trophies?

9. Eron Fucking Gjoni. Hey! Remember that dude who sicked the howling hellhounds of 4chan on his ex-girlfriend for having the temerity to dump his ass? Well, he’s still at it. And he’s still bitter. And still not shutting up about it. He’s even gotten a bunch of his idiot supporters to crowdfund his legal fees. (Or tried to; it got taken down.) And now she’s taken out a restraining order against him, one that includes a gag clause. But is he shutting up, like any sensible person ought to? Well, in a one-word tweet, straight from the horse’s ass: “Nah”. If that’s not proof of an orchestrated harassment campaign, I don’t know what is.

10. Morgan Fucking Brittany. Hey! Remember whatsername from that old nighttime soap, Dallas? No? Thought not. Well, you’ll be happy to know that she’s still just as irrelevant as ever, and is now a right-wing dreck-scribbler. But I repeat myself.

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11. Mike Fucking Huckabee. Yes, Hucky Fudd, please do take your ball and go home. It’s not as though you’re still relevant anyhow. Not even in the Repugnican party, which is, God knows, totally irrelevant as it is.

12. Doug Fucking Ford. Here’s a pro tip, Dougie (not that you’d ever take it, but hey): When tempted to generalize about other people, of whatever religion, color or ethnicity, DON’T. Just DON’T. (And don’t try to make it out to be “respect”, either.)

13. Paul Fucking Callan. If you think that police brutality in the US doesn’t have a racist component, you have to be living under a pretty large rock. Or a pretty damn large plastic bubble. Do yourself a favor and come out from under. Admitting the nature of the problem is the first step toward actually addressing it.

14. Rob Fucking Ford. Yup, the RoFoDoFoShitShow is still on, and Tweedledee is not Frod Nation’s only wanker this week. Even though largely out of commission, Robbo has still managed to pull off a conflict of interest. One devoutly wishes these guys would go back to the business sector, where they clearly belong, and leave governing to those who can actually do the damn job, already.

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15. Mitt Fucking Romney. It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Mittens, but I’m sure you’re glad to know that HE is still wanking, too. And that he actually commited voter fraud — you know, that same thing the Repugs have been oh-so-concerned about since, oh, at least the Great Florida Election Theft of 2000?

16. The Fucking Koch Brothers. Might as well treat them as a single unit, since that’s how they act, eh? And this week, they had the temerity to try to dictate how members of the media — specifically, Rachel Maddow, who doesn’t take marching orders from anyone — are to report on their (mis)deeds. And yes, it went about as well as you’d expect it to. Which is to say, NOT AT ALL. Ha, ha.

17. Bill Fucking Maher. Kudos to Ben Affleck for handing him his ass over his (and his guests’) Islamophobia. And oh yeah, Bill? You’re also full of shit about the “dictating what you can write or draw” bit. I’ve known this for at least eight years. When are YOU gonna learn?

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18. Scott Fucking Walker. Yes, it’s been a while since I last listed Little Scotty Wanker. But since he decided to oblige me this week by insisting that you can live on $7.25 an hour, I figured that the very least I could do is oblige him right back.

19. Stephen Fucking Collins. He’s not a wholesome family-man type; he just plays one on TV. Correction: PLAYED. And now that image is forever a thing of the past, because it turns out this wholesome family-man type is, in fact, Chester the Child Molester.

20. Phyllis Fucking Schlafly. Holy fucking shit, is she ever racist. And delusional. And seriously, desperately in need of a good retirement.

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And finally, to the Fucking Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Apparently, branding everything pink “for the cure” is so much more important than, you know, actually FINDING the cure. Or, for that matter, preventing breast cancer, which is very preventable. And one surefire means of prevention? NOT DRINKING WATER CONTAMINATED WITH FRACKING CHEMICALS, FOR FUCK’S SAKE. Yes, that’s right: Komen is teaming up with water-polluting, cancer-causing frackers. “For the cure”. With drill bits covered in pink paint, which also isn’t good for the environment, or breast tissue. How the hell that is supposed to help get us any nearer a cure, I do not know. But it sure puts everyone a whole lot closer to getting cancer themselves. As I so often say: Fracking isn’t a euphemism; it’s an obscenity.

Good night, and get fucked!

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Lorent Saleh, terrorist, in his own words

Coño, what’s this? Oh, just a cute little student opposition leader from Venezuela, showing his true (terrorist) colors. ¡Qué bolas!

On the VTV show Cayendo y Corriendo, yesterday, a new video was broadcast showing Venezuelan right-winger Lorent Gómez Saleh admitting that he was a terrorist.

“My profession is terrorist,” the right-winger asserted.

As well, Gómez Saleh says in the video that he has plans to disturb the peace in the city of San Cristóbal in the state of Táchira, and that he is counting on the aid of 20 young people, Venezuelan and Colombian, calling them the “elite group”, in order to carry out this type of terrorist acts.

“And 20 is a lot, brother; we don’t need more people because these are detailed things,” he says.

“Táchira will be our bastion, there we’re going to put up a good fight. And we’ll heat up Táchira little by little, you haven’t yet seen how Táchira is catching fire…right now we’re raising the pressure bit by bit,” says Saleh.

In one part of the video, Saleh comments: “We want to hit ‘em in the pocket…We want to start a shitstorm and it’ll be simultaneous, because we can’t be starting a shitstorm today and every day.”

He also reiterated that the groups of terrorists he runs are armed.

“We have some good cellphones, some good computers, some cameras, and weaponry,” he assures.

The far-right activist also spoke of his allies in the encampments at Alfredo Sadel Square, and of the work they are doing.

“In Caracas, ‘Guerrilla’ (Ronnie, co-ordinator of the violent acts in Caracas) was the chief at Sadel. The strong arms of combat have arrived at the camp at Sadel.”

He also referred to terrorist plans to be executed in the capital.

“With 10,000 dollars we’ll plant a good sniper there in Caracas.”

In another video presented on the program, Gómez Saleh states that he will be meeting with the press representative of the NGO “Operation Freedom”, Gisela Matamoros, who works for the ex-deputy, María Corina Machado.

It bears recalling that Gómez Saleh has been photographed with various political spokespersons of the Venezuelan opposition, among them Antonio Ledezma.

Translation mine.

Antonio Ledezma, alias Grandpa Monster, is the right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas, and a key figure behind the guarimbas there.

Notice, too, that San Cristóbal is mentioned? That’s where some other guarimbas took place earlier this year, with an eye to ousting Madurito, during the epic fail known as “La Salida” (The Exit). Wouldn’t surprise me if it turned out that little Lori-Sally was in cahoots with the fascist mayor of THAT city, in addition to the aforementioned Grandpa Monster.

Oh yeah, and there’s more incriminating video, too:

In this one, Lorent Saleh is admitting that he has ties to another familiar face of the Venezuelan opposition: Maricori, a.k.a. María Corina Machado. Another prominent putschist, in other words.

Such respectable ruling-class types, these old-line Venezuelan oligarchs. And such a firm commitment to democracy, too! Why else would they be so desperate as to associate with known, and self-admitted, terrorists?

A memorial tribute to Robert Serra

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The quote from Pablo Neruda reads:

“I am with those who, one day, will come to avenge you…Let those who killed you know that they will pay with blood, that your martyrdom will not be erased, and your death. Above all, their cowards’ moon will fall…”

And since it’s from Neruda, you know it will come true. After all, Neruda is the same poet who said that Bolívar wakes every hundred years, when the people awaken. And we saw how that has come true in Venezuela…land of Bolívar, land of Chávez, and land of Robert Serra.

Posted in Huguito Chavecito, Quotable Notables. Comments Off »

Open Carry gunbunny gets jacked

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Think you’ll be safer if you’re toting a firearm in plain sight? Think again. This “open carry” gun guy got robbed of his brand-new piece…at gunpoint:

A man practicing his open carry right was robbed of the gun he was openly carrying.

William Coleman III was robbed of his Walter- brand P22 just after 2:00 a.m. October 4 in Gresham by a young man who asked him for it — and flashed his own weapon as persuasion.

Coleman, 21, was talking to his cousin in the 17200 block of NE Glisan St., after purchasing the handgun earlier that day, when a young man asked him for a cigarette, police said.

The man then asked about the gun, pulled a gun from his own waistband and said “I like your gun. Give it to me.”

Coleman handed over the gun and the man fled on foot.

I’m guessing that the thief was NOT an Open Carrier. In that regard, he was smarter than his quarry.

So much for the idea that “an armed society is a safe society”, eh?

Assassination: CONFIRMED.

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Venezuelan justice minister Miguel Rodríguez Torres talks about the Serra case on his radio show. See that bar across the screen? It reads “Assassination Confirmed”. Meaning, the murder of deputy Robert Serra and his girlfriend, María Herrera, was NOT part of a botched robbery or any “ordinary” violent crime. Here are the details, courtesy VTV:

The Popular Power minster for Interior Relations, Justice and Peace, Major-General Miguel Rodríguez Torres, announced that according to investigations of the killings of Robert Serra and María Herrera, there was detailed planning involved.

During his radio show, the minister explained that it was a planned crime. The Scientific, Criminal, and Penal Investigations Service (CICPC) has collected sufficient elements to make possible a reconstruction of the incident. The hypothesis includes the number of individuals involved, how they entered, and how they exited.

“What happened that day, without a doubt, was the doing of someone who wanted to end the life of this important young leader of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela,” Rodríguez Torres said.

He assured that “there had been a previous stakeout, in order to know exactly what was Robert Serra’s routine, and that of those who accompanied him.” Rodríguez Torres did not specify further details, in order not to alert the criminals.

He also ruled out robbery as a motive for the homicide: “We are 95% certain that they did not come to rob Robert Serra, but exclusively to kill him, because they didn’t steal anything. They didn’t touch his briefcase with his laptop and tablet, and that is an element of value for a normal thief.”

As well, Rodríguez Torres stated that the pronouncements of opposition leaders with regard to the case were self-serving, to “make us see that this crime is imputable to citizen insecurity as common crimes. [They are] trying to justify the unjustifiable.”

Rodríguez Torres recounted all the paramilitary actions that have taken place in Venezuela, planned by sectors of the Venezuelan and Colombian right wing.

He pointed out that the violent acts originated by the Venezuelan opposition began “coincidentally” after Álvaro Uribe Vélez won the Colombian presidential elections in 2002. From that moment, “Henrique Capriles Radonski and Leopoldo López made contact with Uribe to receive advice, directions, blessings and maybe a few other things as well.”

“That same year, López asked Uribe to be his security advisor, and the former mayor of Chacao, Emilio Graterol, contracted his services as police advisor to José Obdulio Gaviria, who is a cousin of [notorious Colombian drug lord] Pablo Escobar Gaviria.”

Rodríguez Torres also recounted how a series of violent events in April 2002 were planned and organized at Plaza Altamira, among them the placing of C4 explosives at the consulates of Colombia and Spain. There were several persons injured, and damage to the infrastructure. “There was participation from the right-wing political sector, and it was a purely terrorist action,” the minister said.

In 2004, 150 Colombian paramilitaries resided at the Daktari ranch, located between the municipalities of Baruta and Hatillo, with protection by local police. “They were led by Comandante Lucas, an assassin for the paramilitary Salvatore Mancuso, who testified in the United States that these Colombians were in Venezuela on the orders of Álvaro Uribe Vélez,” the minister explained.

“This case clearly demonstrates the presence of militarism in our country as a means of trying to rise to power. I name them case by case to remind you of the right-wing leaders and the barbarities they have wrought in this land,” Rodríguez Torres said.

Translation mine. Here’s the video of the minister’s radio appearance:

So we can see that all the key players of the Venezuelan and Colombian far right are involved in this assassination, as they were in the attempt on the life of Nicolás Maduro earlier this year, and in the attempt on Chavecito’s life as well, in April 2002.

Colombian interference in Venezuelan politics goes back at least that far; further, probably, if we examine the life of El Narco more closely, since his own involvement in the far-right politics of his land, and his use of paramilitary terrorism in it, goes back very far indeed. Remember, he’s an old friend of Pablo Escobar, the infamous drug lord killed by the DEA. And as governor of the Colombian province of Antioquia, he signed off on flight permits for Escobar’s drug runners, enabling them to get their wares to market out of country. Since Venezuela was, at that time, very much a point of transit for Colombian cocaine, it’s quite reasonable to assume that a great many of Escobar’s pilots were flying into Venezuela, offloading their drugs at local airports like Maiquetía to be transferred to international flights and ships, and returning to Colombia to repeat the process countless times.

Chavecito’s election in 1998 spelled the end for that, as he was not tame to the interests of the drug cartels or the US. And worse, Chavecito was hostile to the CIA…which we now know, thanks to the great investigative reporting of Gary Webb, was actually behind the crack-cocaine epidemic in the poor neighborhoods (predominantly black) in the US. And of course, the CIA was behind every right-wing “leader” in Latin America, whether “elected” (note the quotes) or simply imposed by coup. So of course it stood to reason that when El Narco rose to the rank of Colombian president in 2002, one of his first acts, however unofficial, would be to send paramilitaries to neighboring Venezuela to “help” the old political ruling classes there regain the power they were about to lose for good. And their role in the April coup of that year is getting harder and harder to dispute, as more evidence arises that they were involved in every act of political unrest that followed on the heels of Chávez becoming president.

We can also see clearly that there are ties between paramilitarism and Chavecito’s last would-be political rival, Henrique “Majunche” Capriles Radonski, as well as Leopoldo López and María Corina Machado. All of them would never be freely elected by the Venezuelan people, so of course they rely on manufactured riots, insecurity, instability and product shortages created by organized hoarding. Which they then crassly blame on the PSUV government. The fact that nobody is really convinced is a major strike against them, and means they will remain unelectable for as long as they live.

It also means that they will go on resorting to criminality, right up to and including murder, in their attempts to bring a legitimate government down.

Little wonder, then, that Robert Serra named them all as intellectual authors of what was to be his own murder, just days before it happened.

Robert Serra names his assassins

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Who says dead men tell no tales? Not I. And not the Argentine journalist Fernando Vicente Prieto, who wrote the following article for the Correo del Orinoco about the recently slain young Venezuelan deputy, Robert Serra:

It’s been 48 hours since they killed Robert Serra and, in the same criminal operation, María Herrera. Robert was a kid, a Venezuelan boy. He was a deputy for four years, and he was only 27. He was the youngest parliamentarian in Venezuela. His killers knew of his unwavering commitment, his firm and potent voice, because he represented the best of a revolutionary youth, prepared to go the full distance.

They thought they killed him completely in that cruel and, at the same time, perfectly rational act. They wanted to kill in him a generation, called by Hugo Chávez to the most difficult and beautiful task. But Robert Serra continues to speak after his death and from there, he points in his eternal gesture at the assassins. They wanted to kill him again and again, and on October 1 — sadly — they succeeded. But not completely.

Even though they killed him 48 hours ago in La Pastora, I turn on the TV and there’s Robert, talking again, and this time of his own death. He’s conversing on the show Zurda Konducta with other guys like him, some dressed like journalists. Robert is waving his hands and speaking clearly. He’s analyzing the moment of the Revolution, describing the job taken on by the youth after Chávez, and suddenly he begins to tell who assassinated him, why, and in what context.

“The country should observe what’s going on. Why was Álvaro Uribe Vélez the first one to come out in defence of Lorent Saleh? Because there are interests directly related, between the paramilitaries he personally directed and still directs in Colombia, and these despicable acts.”

“If we look retroactively at the fallen during the last guarimbas, [we see] a well-aimed shot to the head, with 9mm or high calibre bullets. A well-aimed shot. Not just any shooter has the ability to do that,” says Robert. “Let’s remember what happened in April 2002, with the coup against Comandante Chávez.”

And from that context, he comes back to talking about the present: “And look at this shameless Lorent Saleh, who says: ‘we have the diplomatic façade with this Operation Freedom’.” He is eloquently referring to the leader of Operation Freedom, one of the “peaceful students against Maduro”, as the private media call them.

“He says that, straight up, that crook says ‘we have the diplomatic façade of the altars of the defence of human rights’. And you see how when our state security corps come out to guarantee peace in the land, they are the ones who get converted into victimizers by the opinion shapers. I want to see CNN replay these videos that are coming out now. I want to see that woman-abuser Fernando del Rincón replaying that. I want to see Patricia Janiot. I want to see all of those who have initiated a media campaign against our country,” Robert insists.

He doesn’t stop; he keeps pointing out tactics and responsible parties. He recalls how the paramilitary groups planned to attack discos and bars in San Cristóbal: “Even their own guys,” he exclaims, “so that the social breakdown would be much greater.”

Later, he directly addresses Antonio Ledezma, the right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas. “I know you must be watching me,” he tells him. And reads one of many tweets Ledezma immediately put out to defend the paramilitary group.

He also reads out a tweet by María Corina Machado, which cynically affirms that “everybody knows what awaits Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles at the hands of the régime”. And Robert accuses: “No! Not everybody knows. You know it, shameless person, because you’re in the plan! You know it, Antonio Ledezma knows it, Leopoldo López knows it, and and Álvaro Uribe knows it, because they’re the ones who are in on the plan to destabilize our democracy. Now many of us know it.”

Robert looks into the camera. With his short, scrubby hairstyle, as always, and his neighborhood boy’s face, intelligent and naughty. Profound. Chavista. With all his life ahead of him. He thumps his chest and warns:

“And I’m certain, I’m certain, that in that macabre list I could be one of the names. Fine, let them do it. But it doesn’t matter. I’m certain that they plan to hold collectives and social movements responsible. What for? To generate the reaction that tells CNN that there is a ‘dogfight’ going on that they have set in motion for the gringos and other countries of the world to demonstrate that there is no governability here, that Nicolás Maduro doesn’t guarantee peace, and so the world’s police, the blessed gringos, have to intervene.”

And Robert goes on explaining, dead now but with his voice full of life: “We have to get to the root of this, my dear comrades. This was born at a party. I have the migratory register of many of them: how they came through Costa Rica, through Colombia, from where we denounce the so-called Mexican party. And what was the Mexican party? A party held in Mexico by a group of Venezuelan ex-bankers, fugitives from Venezuelan justice, who circulated instructions via a political operator named Gustavo Tovar Arroyo to unleash violence in our land.”

“I am convinced that they will banalize this denunciation tomorrow,” Robert continues. “They want to see the body of the president so they can say ‘Ah yes, the Chavistas were right’. And how will they banalize it? They’ll say that this is a smokescreen to cover up the problems of the land.”

The end of the program draws near. I hear [them read out] a tweet from a young right-winger which says: “I wish I had a pistol so I could shoot down all of those guys from Zurda Konducta.” Robert nods as if to say “exactly!” and says: “You see? This is a product of the hatred the right-wing has instilled.”

He adds: “Today history proves Nicolas Maduro to be right when he said: ‘Gentlemen, behind all of this lies the empire, and the hand of Álvaro Uribe’, who is thirsting for blood in Venezuela, a product of his failure in Colombia. He wants to destroy peace in our land and he has absolutely nothing to lose, because he doesn’t even have morality.”

Robert says goodbye. He talks about the importance of the 2015 legislative elections, in which the right-wing will try to take the majority so as later to deal a parliamentary coup, as in Honduras and Paraguay. “To win is to win well. Let’s build a majority with our people. What is at stake for us in the coming year will be the peace and the democracy of our land. Let us carry on the legacy of Hugo Chávez. If they ask this generation what our objective is, it’s not a term in office, comrade. It is to make irreversible the dreams of Hugo Chávez and his legacy in this homeland he built for us.”

Robert Serra. 27 years old. Young Chavista deputy. A revolutionary who never will be silent. Those who have ears to hear, let them listen. Because Robert is still speaking loud and clear.

Translation mine.

So we can see that there is, indeed, a veritable rogues’ gallery of usual suspects behind Serra’s death: El Narco Uribe, the failed ex-president of Colombia, and head of the paramilitary death squads to which Lorent Saleh and Gabriel Valles are now well known to have belonged. Antonio Ledezma, alias “Grandpa Monster”, the reviled right-wing metropolitan mayor of Caracas, and a well-known collaborator in all the violent opposition guarimbas there. And the bottom-feeding right-wing “leaders”, María Corina Machado, alias Maricori, and Leopoldo López, the pretty boy who’s still sitting in jail, safe and sound, awaiting trial for his part in the recent failed putsch against Madurito. And a bunch of bankers, fugitives from justice all, who absconded with money belonging by rights to the Venezuelan people, who are currently squatting in Mexico. Serra names them all. The only person he doesn’t name is the one who pulled the trigger on him. But it hardly matters. He knows who wanted him dead. And he knows that they had the power and the cash to hire a very cold, clever sharpshooter to do their dirty work, too.

And if you wonder why I’m still writing about him in the present tense, it’s because Robert Serra, like Chavecito before him and Che Guevara before him, is the kind of person who never really dies. He left so much of himself behind, even in his short existence on Earth, that it doesn’t matter anymore where his body is. His spirit is the kind that won’t be silenced so soon. And that irony will be the final joke on his killers, because they will fade from existence as nonentities, even though they succeeded — but only partially, as the author of the piece says — in killing him.