For a some months now some of my fellow bloggers have express concern about what an Obama presidency may hold for Venezuela. In particular how some supporters of Obama show admiration for Che, Fidel, and Chavez, yet Obama himself has had harsh words for Chavez, but rather than go into a lengthy discussion about why their fears are unfounded I thought I would start posting information from the candidates themselves on issues related to Venezuela.
This past Saturday Barack Obama spoke at the U.S. Conference of Mayor's convention in Miami, FL. At the meeting Chicago mayor, Richard Daily, presented the current Venezuelan election situation. It focused on violations of political rights, namely the banning of about 400 candidates most of them from the opposition, including the mayor of Chaco Leopoldo López, who was in attendance at the US. Conference of Mayors.
Daily, made the case that these individuals have not been found guilty in a court of law, consequently the actions by the Chavez government is in violation of the American Convention on Human Rights.
At the end Obama expressed his solidarity with Lopez and the other candidates, reminding him that he would always on the side of democracy and human rights.
Image taken from Noticias24
Monday, June 23, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Somersaults, U-turns, backtracking, these are just some words used by the media have described Chavez's behavior these past few weeks. Whatever word you want to use to describe Chavez's recent behavior it appears that an increasing number of people are finding his socialism of the XXI century a little hard to swallow.
Coming off of the electoral defeat in December, Chavez seems to have lost his step and with the up coming elections in December for governors, mayors, and councilmen ,Chavez and his authoritarianism could be in jeopardy.
So why is Chavez making all these somersaults/backflips/U-turns? The simple answer is because his former VP Jose Vicente Rangel is no longer working in Miraflores. Personally, I never saw a man lie with such a straight face and twist and contort issues all to protect his boss, Rangel was good, real good at protecting Chavez and giving him a good public face. However, now that Rangel is gone Chavez has realized that the minions around him are simply mediocre at best, so he is having twist and contort controversial issues to protect himself. This is costing him he is taking the brunt of controversy, making him seem weaker, and not in tune with the country, not good coming off an electoral loss, worsening economy, increasing unpopularity, and an upcoming election that can pose a significant setback to his presidency.
I have long thought that Chavez has never really been in that much control, Baudel during the last year informed us Chavez rarely attends ministerial meeting. Miguel at Devil's Excrement discusses how Chavez has mostly disowned the recently proposed intelligence bill by referring to the authors as "they", evidently Chavez did not have a role in it but then who are "they"?
As time goes by and as more intellectuals leave the revolution for greener pastures it is becoming self evident that Chavez lacks the intellectual prowess to formulate a revolution, let along govern a country.
Sadly the only thing left surrounding Chavez, and governing and running Venezuela are bunch of mediocre individuals.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Seeing that I have some spare time, from being stuck in my basement seeking shelter from a potential tornado, I thought this would be a good time to cover a few news events from the past few days.
On Friday Chavez rejected the resignation of the minister of information Andres Izarra. Last week Izarra sent a letter, targeting specifically Globovision, informing the media that they would have to pay $55/sec of video footage used from the government. Sadly all opposition media is barred from government events making coverage near impossible.
I'm waiting for the Venezuelan government to start editing video by removing people, a la Russia.
So what's up with the CNE and those elections back in Dec 2, 2007? Well the CNE finally said they will release the complete voting results sometime next week. This despite the law saying the CNE is obligated to release the complete results within 30 day s of the vote.
After many years of debate it seems the Venezuelan government is going to continue its nationalization binge and take over all gold mining.
Well looks like the Democratic primary is finally over, with Obama securing the nomination for the Democratic party. There is so much I want to say about this but I will save if for a future post.
Posted by KA at 10:38 PM
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Finally this weekend the democratic party met and came to a ruling on how the Florida and Michigan delates should be divided up. Unfortunately, the Clinton campaign is still unhappy and is making some noise that they may take this to the convention in Denver, like many people I don't think this will happen. Instead, this will probably be over in the next week or so.
By all measurable accounts Clinton does not deserve to be the nominee, now don't get me wrong I think she is very smart, very capable, and would make a decent president. But... she has run a rather poor campaign, particularly from May 5th to the present. There is just so much about her campaigning that I find sad and childish and very unbecoming for any politician let alone someone running for president.
For me it all started with the fake teary eyed Hillary, personally I've seen better acting in a B movie. But it was after May 5th when things went down hill very fast for Clinton. Her campaign never thinking the primary would last past super Tuesday found itself bankrupt which it is still (I'll comment on this in a soon to be future post) and unprepared for the long primary battle ahead.
Seeing that she was in trouble she turned into a rather unsavory person. For instance to pump up her foreign policy/masculinity she began making claims she was sent to Bosnia under snipper fire, which was proven to be false. To make this incident even more ironic she later claimed she misspoke because of lack of sleep, but she repeated the mistake on multiple occasions. To make matters worse she came out with a tv ad asking viewers who would they rather have answering the phone at 3am in the White house during a crisis. Personally I would rather have anyone but her, since apparently she can't remember if she landed in Bosnia under sniper fire or if a young girl handed her flowers (which happened to be the case).
Recently she was on air saying we would "wipe Iran off the map" if they attacked Israel. Well... while most people (including myself) would support Israel retaliating and the US getting involved, her language is again not language a president or presidential candidate should say.
I prefer PBR, thank you very much
One of the big complaints about Clinton was how disengaged she was with voters, clearly this was a misstep in her campaign because Obama capitalized on this. To make up for lost ground Clinton resorted to political pandering to the voter group, low income less educated white people, she saw mostly supporting her. The two funniest incidences were the gun toting Clinton who Obama called Annie Oakley, and when Clinton ordered Crown Royal at a local rural bar. The irony here is how she is trying to portray Obama as elitist and herself as the all american country working woman. Pleeeease.... First of all it is whisky in a purple velvet bag? as if that doesn't scream elitist, she should be ordering up some Wild Turkey or Jim Beam, how about a mint julep or perhaps some PBR or Schlitz. Second of all Crown Royal isn't even American, its Canadian, how un-American she might as well be supporting terrorists.
The other issue was gas prices, originally Mc Cain called for the gas tax holiday (btw, a stupid idea). But Clinton pounced on the idea too and made a big deal about it, it was clear she had no intent on fulfilling this promise but she needed the votes.
What if you don't like the rules?
Now I come back to the beginning of my post about Michigan and Florida. Both of these states broke party rules and both Clinton and Obama agreed to not campaign there, and not have those delegates count. It is strange now that Clinton is fighting to have all the delegates seated is now very concerned with the voters of those states. She has even gone as far as to compare the situation to Zimbabwe, well then perhaps we should now put her jail too.
I have also been amused by how Clinton has twisted voter numbers in every which way so it appears she is ahead and can convince the American public and super delegates she is beating Obama. It is also interesting how she has said that caucuses don't count, I'm sure those states and their voters don't agree.
Clinton's latest strategy, and the saddest, seems to be trying to make the case that she is a victim of sexual discrimination and there is a conspiracy within the democratic party. I believe the actual phrase is "a vast left-wing conspiracy". I say good luck with that. I wish she would just own up to the fact she has run a poor campaign.
In the end it has become more apparent that Clinton feels entitled to the presidency and she is upset that a new and up and coming politician is beating here, especially since for so long the Democratic party was the Clinton's not the other way around. For these reasons I don't think she deserves the nomination or the to be in the White House.