So I would like to second the article posted in Vcrisis.com. After looking in the Economist.com "from the web" section out of 30 articles 20 are from Vheadline or Venezuelanalysis. So I guess the MOI in Venezuela is true to his word that he is trying to counter the bad press by giving good lip service to the Venezuelan dictatorship. I have not taken the time to read how beautiful the revolution is but based on the headlines they all say pretty much say the samething. "Bush Bad", "US wanting to invade Venezuela", "Chavez is finally bringing justice and change", blah, blah. There is always the saying: Actions speak louder than words. So far the only thing that comes out of Miraflores are words.
Monday, February 28, 2005
It's a little old, but I like what Stratfor publishes.
Colombia's New 'Bounty Hunter' Tactic
January 14, 2005 2000 GMT
Colombia's government has invited foreign bounty hunters into the country to capture rebel leaders for millionaire-size cash rewards. The "bounty hunter" explanation, however, is not credible, as the evidence indicates Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez has sanctioned government intelligence and abduction operations against Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia leaders outside the country.
Posted by KA at 11:44 PM
Sunday, February 27, 2005
I have to write a paper for my Economics class, the paper deals with Brazil and the soybean industry and the use of genetically modified soybeans, known as GM or GMO soybeans. These soybeans have had their genetic material altered so they are resistant to herbicides, so a farmer can spray their land and not have to worry about killing their crops. So I would like to do an informal (non-statistical) survey to all my readers.
Would you be willing to consume GM foods?
Thanks for your help, after I write the paper I will post some info I find on the subject.
Posted by KA at 5:53 PM
Friday, February 25, 2005
This is one of the main headlines on www.CNN.com. Just think for CNN to be putting this on there website you know the media no longer supports Chavez and is not fooled by him or his lackies. I guess the Minister of Information will not be getting much sleep these days to counter all the bad press. I find it amazing how stupid the Chavez govt. is, the MOI says he will begin a campaign against the international media. I say go ahead, this is one fight Chavez will lose, as much as you may hate the media you don't mess with it or you are fuc***. BTW the CNN article gets better:
"Chavez's public support for socialism recalled Castro's defining announcement in the early 1960s that his 1959 Cuban Revolution was 'socialist.' " - and we all know how that turned out.
If only the world heard the opposition years ago when the Venezuelan people were yelling and screaming "WE ARE ON THE ROAD TO COMMUNISM" but it always fell on deaf ears. I guess it is better late than never. Now the question is how do we get rid of Chavez?
Posted by KA at 10:53 PM
Thursday, February 24, 2005
So I had the great opportunity to give a presentation in front of about 30 people on Venezuela, most of whom know little to nothing about Venezuela, which made it all the better. Essentially part of the presentation gave a historical timeline of major events from 1958 to the present. Information on the referendum and human rights was presented then the last 2/3 was on Chavez and his potential threat to regional security. In this segment Carlos the Jackal, weapons purchases, ties to Evo Morales, and finally the FARC were presented. Overall I would say it went well, there were Chavistas (some Chavista-lights) and one hardcore, an American (retired Physicist). I did have some some Venezuelan supporters to cheer me on and back me up, which was very nice. I guess the main comment was that it seemed biased. This struck me as a little odd since the info presented was factual and considering the topic of the talk (Chavez and regional security) it is hard to talk about anything other than Chavez, this compounded by the fact I only had about 20min (but it ended up being about 40) to present. As I knew and was advised by readers of my blog the American left are so blinded by there hate for Bush that they will support the likes of Chavez, not knowing or caring what Chavez stands for. The prime example is the supposed educated physicist (~70 years of age). Below are some of the discussions that were exchanged:
Chavista: Do you have references for all this information?
Me: Yes, I do!
C: says something under his breath
Me: If you would like I can give them to you, actually I have it all on my computer so I can give them to you right after the presentation.
C: says nothing, never asks me for them at the end
After the presentation
C: Chavez has increased the literacy rate of Venezuela
Me: literacy was already 95% before Chavez and hasn't gotten better
C: (quietly) but he has improved it
C: What about the popular clinics, those never existed.
Me: Actually something similar did exist. They are good but mismanaged and at the expense of hospitals. I gave a description of the current state of hospitals.
C: do you have pictures or references of the hospitals
Me: I can find them for you, better yet I invite you to go to Venezuela to see them
C: If you buy my ticket I will go.
C: Cuban medicine is great
Me: I have family that have been to Cuban hospitals and they are not that great.
But what annoyed me the most were a few comments by some of the students saying "As if our (US) elections were transparent". I only wish these people could really see what it is like to not have fair elections, Americans really have no idea how well things work here or appreciate what they have.
Afterwards I spoke with a couple of professors who seemed very interested and appeared to relate or at least understand the situation to some degree. I also had a couple of students say it was informative and thank you. I figure my presentation was a success so long as a couple of new people see Chavez for what he is and show an interest in Venezuela. As for the those who sing the praises of Chavez, well I will never convince them otherwise, nor will I try, since it's like talking to a wall.
Sadly no one took me up on the offer for the references, maybe they will try to find them themselves.
I will try to find a way to put my presentation on the web for people to download, any suggestions how to do this?
A fellow blogger wrote a very good words about presidence day and one of americas great leaders G. Washington, I invite you to visit and read it at the link on the right "papachongo" or ( http://papachongo.blogspot.com/ )
In other news I will be giving another presentation Tuesday March 1 at 7pm at La Casa Latina, at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
Posted by KA at 9:53 AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
On Feb. 24 the Carter Center, J. McCoy and F. Diaz, will be visiting Caracas to try and build dialoge between the various government officials, media, political groups, and social groups (sociedad civil). I wonder if they are going to try to fix the mess they made in Aug? probably not. So my advice to the CC, stay out of Veneuzela you already have done enough damage and no one cares what you have to say.
Posted by KA at 2:36 PM
Saturday, February 19, 2005
All those people living in the Washington D.C. area should go and protest at the OAS.
Organization of American States
VENEZUELAN MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS TO VISIT OAS
February 18, 2005
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Alí Rodríguez Araque, will speak at the Organization of American States (OAS) on Wednesday. Following his remarks to a Special Session of the OAS Permanent Council, Rodríguez will hold a press conference.
WHAT: Venezuela’s Minister of Foreign Affairs addresses OAS Permanent Council
WHEN: Wednesday, February 23, 2005
11: 00 a.m.
WHERE: OAS Headquarters
17th Street & Constitution Ave., NW
(Special Session of the Permanent Council- Hall of the Americas
Press Conference- Guerrero Room)
Both events will be webcast live, over the Internet (www.oas.org)
The Permanent Mission of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the OAS will provide a light lunch after the press conference.
Posted by KA at 7:37 PM
So after reading an article about Chavez (read here http://globalpolitician.com/articles.asp?ID=350 or here www.vcrisis.com) I was going to write something about the comments that I read about the article, but I decided not to waste my time. In particular since the people who read my blog probably already know the typical pro-Chavez / pro-Communist discourse (the USA is evil, Bush is the devil, blah, blah, blah... NOTE to those pro-Commies move to Cuba I don't want you to enjoy my democracy) enough said.
As I have been putting together my presentation I came across a web page from someone who used the company "Global Exchange" to visit Venezuela. Sadly he is from my alma mater as is Mark Weisbrot, at least the school didn't fail me. It pains me to provide the link since I don't want to give him the web traffic but here it is (http://www-personal.umich.edu/~bgoodsel/venezuelatalk.htm). In short the person is an admitted socialist/communist and had a wonderful time in Venezuela. Why wouldn't this person have a good time, he was taken around Venezuela with 16 other people on a guided tour. He got to visit Chavez ministers and government officials, got to visit Channel 8 (govt. tv station), was interviewed, got a tour of the National Assembly. The most reprehensible comment is when the person says "Of course, they are miserable living under Chavez, as you can see in these pictures:" showing pictures of people smiling.
I find it amazing how people are so easily fooled or allow themselves to be fooled. Having been to Zimbabwe on vacation I can say the same things as this person said about Venezuela. Although I didn't get the TV station tour, interviews, or meet Chavez ministers, which would have been rather nice. The people of Zimbabwe treated us wonderfully, they seemed happy always smiling, the country seemed peaceful, and doing quite well under Robert Mugabe. However, after chipping away at the facade of smiles and happiness you quickly see the hardships that the people of Zimbabwe have to suffer through under their "democracy". I guess the "global exchange" crowd feel that the lack of food and health care is secondary to cops driving around in brand new Mercedes-Benz cop cars.
For those of you who don't know "Global Exchange" is a political tour comapany, www.vcrisis.com has reported on it in the past.
Posted by KA at 5:42 PM
Saturday, February 12, 2005
In Vargas state the rain seems to have stopped you can see photos here, click on "fotos de Caracas bajo la lluvia"
The rains seem to have affected much of the coast line, the road to Puerto La Cruz (de Oriente) I am not sure if it is destroyed in some regions near El Guapo. Some of my family had to take the el Llanos highway.
Puerto Cabello was affected and Carabobo state but apparently every thing is under control now. Currently South West Falcon state is getting worse, and the situation in Merida and Tachira are not very good and possibly some regions of Zulia.
Rumor has it that Chavez was in Cuba and that is why he was missing for the past 3 or so days. But again every time he disappears it is said he is visiting Castro.
Another rumor is that a European diplomat (Spain) visited Chavez wanting to sell weapons to Venezuela. I was also told that Chavez is wanting to buy helicopters from Lula.
Castro accuses the USA of wanting to assassinate Chavez. What else is new and who cares.
Chavez wants to move the people from Vargas to the interior of the country - same plan he had in 2000, didn't and won't work, there are no jobs or infrastructure.
In the US Howard Dean is the new chairman of the Democratic party, in my opinion this is a good more for the party.
The US complains about the weapons sale to Chavez, they are afraid they will end up in the hands of the FARC
Posted by KA at 1:10 PM
Thursday, February 10, 2005
Tulio Alvarez - is sentenced to 2 yr 3 mo prison time for defamation against the Chavez Assemblyman William Lara (aka William Rara). Alvarez came out with a report disclosing the referendum fraud of Aug 15, 2004
Felipe Rodríguez (alias "El Cuervo") - was captured a few days ago. he was a general in the National Guard and was in Civil Disobedience and is being accused of treason. He was captured by the DIM (military police) his family were thankfull they cought him and no the DISIP (similar to FBI) or the police since they claimed he likely would have been killed. Also a family member of Rodriguez had is farm raided.
There seems to be some flooding in the southern part of the state of Zulia, some in Tachira and Merida
The USA is concerned over the arms sales to Venezuela from Russia
North Korea said it has nuclear weapons and Iran said it will not give up seek nuclear capabilities. However, the EU says these nations should rethink there decision. With the French diplomate saying that he is convinced they can find a diplomatic solution. Are these people ignorant and have they not learned anything about there own history, didn't they try diplomacy with Hitler, and see what happened.
Posted by KA at 7:58 PM
I found this quote form Chavez on CNN.com about the floods in Venezuela.
"This is the result of those ecological problems of the world, that rich countries don't want to hear, of global warming," Chavez said.
Now I do agree that global warming is a problem and that developed countires could and should do a lot more to remedy the problem. However, knowing Chavez this is another attempt to place blame on everyone except his incompetence. The problem in Venezulea is over developement and poor planing. This is not Chavez's fault but rather a common problem in all developing nations. However, what is taking place could have been prevented to a great extent, since the flooding in Vargas happened in Dec. 1999. Since then minimal to nothing was done by the government, to fix the affected areas, despite huge amounts of money donated by countires. The only cleaning up and building in Vargas was thanks to private money, yes the same oligacs Chaves hates. Architects even gave for FREE! the developmental plans to rebuild the coastline, but what did the governemnt do? lock them up in a vault and forget about them, and the money that was given in 2000 to build the state? Well Chavez needed a new airplane so he can survay the affected areas.
Sadely Venezuelans quickly forget about things.
Posted by KA at 7:25 PM
Monday, February 07, 2005
Growing up, my parents always stressed the importance of a good education, my father always said "you can loss everything you own, but your knowledge will always be with you". Sadly the Chavez regime has no value for educated people, in part because no one can be smarter than "El Supremo". Also those in the Chavez government have received a mediocre education (maybe we can blame the IV republic for this) and don't understand the importance of an education or hard work.
Chavez's remedy to the educational problem in Venezuela is to graduate people with degrees in one month. Yet how is it possible that someone attending one of the most prestigious public universities in venezuela takes 8 years to graduate with a bachelors degree that should only take 4 years, and the university can not supply the laboratory material for you to graduate, so you must purchase it yourself. All this because the state has no means or does not want to provided them because the school represents the pre-Chavez era. To Chavez your one month of loyalty (indoctrination) means more than 8 years of education, since it is only these people that attend the designated Chavez schools that can have these high level jobs.
For many of us (<35 years of age) that are educated and are seeking an education, have decided to leave Venezuela because we know we have no future there. We are unwilling to play the political games that are required to succeed in Venezuela, our sole interest is to work hard so we can progress both as a country and as a professional. The sad fact is that Venezuela is loosing, at least temporarily but likely forever, many of us highly educated professionals (ex. with an MBA, PhD, MS). Many fellow Venezuelans that I have met, including many in my family and myself, would very much like to return, but are unwilling to profess our loyalty to the revolution and to Chavez. We are unwilling to play political games and risk our safety and lively hood because our thoughts are different than those in power. I find it sad for both us personally and for Venezuela that we are not able to return and use our education and skills to advance our country.
Sadly loyalty means a lot more than education to Chavez and his government.
Posted by KA at 1:25 AM
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
So I have finalized the details of the lecture that I will be giving. Here are the details:
Wed. Feb. 23 from 4-5 pm
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Arthur B. Chilton Conference Room, ACDIS, 356 Armory Building,
505 E. Armory Ave., Champaign, Illinois
Venezuela: The Impact of President Hugo Chavez on Regional Security
The first half hour will consist of a presentation followed by the last half hour for discussion. Anyone interested is welcome to attend, it is free.
I hope to make available the PowerPoint presentation for anyone else to use (I will try to have it posted on the internet). Please feel free to ask me any questions if you want suggestions about holding a similar lecture.
I am also working out the specifics to hold a forum/discussion on campus between Colombians and Venezuelans (and other Latinos) in the area. When I have the details of this I will let everyone know.
Posted by KA at 10:00 PM
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Finally the main stream media has apparently begun to report on Venezuela. I am not a huge fan of FOX news, I think they are little to pop culture and a little right wing. But I must say that their report on Chavez was pretty good, it was truthfull and straight to the point, and they highlighted the antidemocratic stance of Chavez.
This person has posted the FOX news report on there web site, I recomend that you visit it and judge for yourself on the reporting. I was happy with it.
It is the post "Fox News om Venezuela"
I recomend everyone write to Fox news and express there opinion, so they know that the American public wants to know about Venezuela.
Posted by KA at 7:19 PM