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September 29, 2010

Time to blow this boat out of the water

Aw, poor James O'Keefe. Apparently he's so desperate to get laid, he has to resort to cheap stunts now...

Recently, I was the target of a failed punk. James O'Keefe, the so-called "pimp" in the ACORN expose videos, was participating in a detailed plan to "faux" seduce me on his boat. For months, I had been working on a documentary about the young conservative movement. James had called me about concerns he had regarding an upcoming shoot. He asked me to meet him to talk about the shoot. I agreed to fly to Maryland and then drive to his "office" for a face-to-face conversation with him.

When I showed up, there was no office, as promised. Instead, he wanted to get me on a boat, which we later learned, was staged as a "pleasure palace." One of his colleagues, Izzy Santa, who was in Maryland that day, told me about the plan and stopped the punk before it happened.

Izzy told me he had "strawberries and champagne" waiting for me on the boat, and that he planned to "hit on me" the entire time. She said it would all be captured on hidden cameras that had been set up on the boat and in the back yard. She said the sole purpose of the "punk" was to embarrass me, and to make CNN look bad.

And in the end, what it did was make HIM look bad. Check out his props list:

1. condom jar

2. dildos

3. Music

a. Alicia keys

b. 80s romance songs, things that are typically James

c. avoid Marvin Gaye as too cliche

4. lube

5. ceiling mirror

6. posters and paintings of naked women

7. playboys and pornographic magazines

8. candles

9. Viagra and stamina pills

10. fuzzy handcuffs

11. blindfold

WTF are "80s romance songs, things that are typically James"? I want to know, so I can avoid those (and any guy who tries to play them for me with obvious ulterior motives).

And about the only un-icky thing on the list seems to be the candles. But even those can get icky in the hands of a right-wing slimeball famous for playing the pimp, no? I mean, who knows what he planned to use them for besides illumination...

Okay. Whenever you're done scrubbing that awful imagery from your mind's eye, read on.

This is, as Media Matters informs us, someone that both the WaHoPo's ombud and the NY Whore Times wanted to see taken more seriously, as "balance" to the "liberal media" viewpoint.

Um, what?

Why does honest reporting, which CNN's Abbie Boudreau was trying to do before this asinine "punking", have to be "balanced" with lies and bullshit and cheap, ugly sleazeball stunts? If reality apparently has a "liberal bias", that's just too fucking bad. When did it become the major media's job to blow sugar up Wingnuttia's ass, instead of simply reporting the news?

Actually, liberals and leftists are biased only in favor of reality, and as the fakery-driven world of O'Keefe & Co. demonstrates, the right is certainly not. But when it gets so bad that even über-rightardly bullshit-monger Brent Bozell calls you out, you know it's gone through the Looking Glass.

There can be no illusion of "balance" here, and maybe that's just as well; it's good to finally get out into the open just what the right-wing media are about. They are not about "balancing" an excessively liberal media viewpoint, because that has never existed. They're about crafting a false utopian narrative and selling it ad nauseam; something poised between the gilded age of 1850s robber-baron capitalism and a future straight out of The Handmaid's Tale, dressed up in a Father Knows Best sweater-vest, with a hefty dollop of Ayn Rand caveman clubtocracy thrown in for good mismeasure. Something we're supposed to be fooled into aspiring to. Something to seduce and beguile us with its glitz and glamour.

Only, of course, it doesn't work out that way.

The reality is a creepy little shit-weasel, squatting on a boat (whose?), surrounded by his sleazy props, dreaming of putting the moves (learned, no doubt, from the ultra-sleazy pickup-artist "movement") to the bewildered reporter. Whom he fancies to be a "bubbleheaded bleach blonde", in the words of Don Henley.

But the self-admitted bottle blonde isn't that dumb; she picks up on the fact that his "assistant" is upset about the transparent date rape scenario (complete with handcuffs and drugs) that's being planned. And gets her to tell what's really going on. And then THAT becomes the story, which for obvious reasons will get left out of the larger documentary that Abbie Boudreau was preparing on the young conservative movement.

Actually, this shouldn't be left out; it should, in fact, BE the story. There are plenty of young conservative "citizen journalists" who've built their hot-shot reputations entirely on lies, sleaze and "gotcha" tactics of the lowest order (Lila Rose, anyone?) The conservative media noise machine, young and not-so, is all about this sort of thing. The glittering "utopian" vision they offer is out of reach and far removed from reality. It would never float; like O'Keefe's boat, it would never get away from the dock. They know it. So to bolster their lagging credibility, they resort to smearing the mainstream media, which is far from liberal, as their enemy.

And, stupidly, the mainstream media falls right into the trap of Taking Them Seriously, and rushes to give them all kinds of airtime and space they don't really deserve. Which is a great way to undermine their own credibility, and thus do the right-wing noise machine's job for it. Who can take the mainstream media seriously when they uncritically fold under the withering scorn from a bunch of astroturfers and blowhards? Where is the media's collective spine?

Abbie Boudreau isn't the only one who got "punked" by the young conservative movement. Everyone in the media who gives them credence is being played for a sucker. Surely I can't be the only person who wants to see the media expose these people, all of them, for the fraudsters they are. Instead of an "objective" report on what the "movement" only purports to be about, how about a real investigative hard-hitter that shreds their press releases and makes clear what a swindle they've perpetrated all over the globe? The global financial meltdown, among other things, is directly attributable to right-wing media pumping and shilling, as well as mainstream "reporting" that lacks critical discernment. If we don't want to see it get worse, it's time to bring back good old investigative reporting--and turn it on the liars with a vengeance.

It's time to torpedo the entire phony love boat, where crapitalism seduces media and media falls for it every time, right the hell out of the water. Otherwise, we are the ones who will end up being sunk.

PS: The fun has just begun. If you're on the tweeter, follow Don Juan O'Keefe!

PPS: And on a more serious note, The Root delves into how a black man would never get away with a "stunt" like this one.

PPPS, Thursday the 30th, ca. 10:30 am: Eric Boehlert at Media Matters echoes my sentiments (expressed above) with uncanny exactness. Meanwhile, at AlterNet, Julie Millican points out that the right-wing noise machine has a long-standing problem with women, while the Brad Blog takes on O'Keefe's by-now arm-long rap sheet.

August 29, 2010

Stay classy, haters.

This is what passes for discourse on the right, concerning the Cordoba community centre at Park 51, Lower Manhattan:

burn-it-down.jpg

Thanks to a little birdie on the tweeter who spotted this.

And no, I'm not going to conceal any of those names. They felt they could post this publicly, so more publicity they and their insanity shall get.

FBI, consider this a heads-up. NYPD, same goes for you. Do your duty, coppers.

PS: That guy who says he did it before? Maybe this was his handiwork. Srsly, FBI, read Facebook. Innocent people's lives are depending on you, and this is better intel than you'd get through waterboarding.

UPDATE: It now appears that shots were also fired near the site this afternoon. Yeah, this shit is serious.

August 19, 2010

The true face of the IDF

Here you go, people...this is what the Middle East's One True Beacon of Democracy™ really looks like:

eden-abergil.jpg

Meet Eden Abergil, the Lynndie England of Israel. She's a piece of work, but she's far from alone in her nastitude; apparently it's commonplace for IDF soldiers to take trophy pictures of themselves with their victims.

And that's not all it's commonplace for them to do:

No one deluded himself that the Palestinian Ministry of Culture, which takes up five of the eight floors of a new building in the center of El Bireh, would be spared the fate of other Palestinian Authority offices in Ramallah and other cities - that is, the nearly total destruction of its contents and particularly its high-tech equipment.

After all, Israel Defense Forces troops were deployed in the building for about a month.

Armed vehicles were always parked in front of the building, around which the familiar pictures of destruction accumulated; crushed cars, banks of earth, deep ditches in the roads, broken pavements, dismantled stone fences, toppling electricity poles, loose cables and clouds of dust and dirt enveloping every vehicle, tree and roof in thickening layers.

The Ministry of Culture is located in the large residential area the IDF kept under curfew, even after its partial withdrawal from Ramallah on April 21 and its focus on the siege of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat's headquarters.

Every night the neighbors, who hid in their houses, heard the sounds of objects smashing as they were hurled through the windows of the Ministry of Culture.

Shades of Kristallnacht, anyone?

Wait, it gets "better":

In other offices, all the high-tech and electronic equipment had been wrecked or had vanished - computers, photocopiers, cameras, scanners, hard disks, editing equipment worth thousands of dollars, television sets. The broadcast antenna on top of the building was destroyed.

Telephone sets vanished. A collection of Palestinian art objects (mostly hand embroideries) disappeared. Perhaps it was buried under the piles of documents and furniture, perhaps it had been spirited away. Furniture was dragged from place to place, broken by soldiers, piled up. Gas stoves for heating were overturned and thrown on heaps of scattered papers, discarded books, broken diskettes and discs and smashed windowpanes.

In the department for the encouragement of children's art, the soldiers had dirtied all the walls with gouache paints they found there and destroyed the children's paintings that hung there.

In every room of the various departments - literature, film, culture for children and youth books, discs, pamphlets and documents were piled up, soiled with urine and excrement.

There are two toilets on every floor, but the soldiers urinated and defecated everywhere else in the building, in several rooms of which they had lived for about a month. They did their business on the floors, in emptied flowerpots, even in drawers they had pulled out of desks.

They defecated into plastic bags, and these were scattered in several places. Some of them had burst. Someone even managed to defecate into a photocopier.

The soldiers urinated into empty mineral water bottles. These were scattered by the dozen in all the rooms of the building, in cardboard boxes, among the piles of rubbish and rubble, on desks, under desks, next to the furniture the solders had smashed, among the children's books that had been thrown down.

Some of the bottles had opened and the yellow liquid had spilled and left its stain. It was especially difficult to enter two floors of the building because of the pungent stench of feces and urine. Soiled toilet paper was also scattered everywhere.

In some of the rooms, not far from the heaps of feces and the toilet paper, remains of rotting food were scattered. In one corner, in the room in which someone had defecated into a drawer, full cartons of fruits and vegetables had been left behind. The toilets were left overflowing with bottles filled with urine, feces and toilet paper.

Yep, they really have a lot of respect for the West Bank Palestinians in the IDF. A lot of respect.

And this is who Harpo supports in all kinds of gungy, nefarious ways.

And this is who some people are standing by with xenophobic, racist, bigoted and just plain unfunny cartoons.

And then some have the gall to shriek about "delegitimization"? Israel seems to be doing a good enough job of that on its own; it doesn't need any help from without, heaven knows.

July 13, 2010

Some people just deserve one another

peanut-butter-cups.jpg

Hey, kiddies, have I got a story for YOU. Make sure you're sitting down for this one. And have a paper bag handy to breathe (or vomit, as the case may be) into...you're gonna need it!

On Monday, it transpired that journalist Patricia Poleo and student leader Nixon Moreno had decided to marry, after just nine months together. Something that could be called "love in exile" is the relationship between these two Venezuelans.

The event has taken the Venezuelan media community by surprise. It seems to be a fait accompli, and Poleo has moved to Peru, where the student leader is taking asylum, to speed up the wedding because "she wants to be married as soon as possible".

The plans of Poleo and Moreno were confirmed to Marianella Salazar on her radio show [audio in Spanish available at the link]. According to press reports, the couple will make their home in Miami.

Translation mine.

My, this is so SUDDEN! But isn't it sweet that these two exiled lovebirds found one another? Everybody, repeat after me: Awwwwwwwwwwwww!

Only, as you may have guessed, there's a rub to all this. Nixon Moreno isn't really a student leader. Patricia Poleo isn't really a journalist. And neither of them is really in exile. But I'm getting a little ahead of myself, so let's back up this truck a bit.

Nixon Moreno is a wanted man. In 2006, at a violent "demonstration" by oppos in the university town of Mérida, he assaulted a policewoman named Sofia Aguilar. He beat her up, ripped her clothes off, and held a gun on her. He no doubt meant to go further with this sexual assault, but was stopped in time. Rather than submitting to arrest, he fled, then hid out in the Apostolic Nunciature in Caracas. (Yes, that's right, the house of the Vatican's ambassador to Venezuela. They shield perverts under their frocks as a matter of almost routine.) While there, he finally received his political science degree; shucks, it only took him an extra decade of squatting, taking up spaces that could have been occupied by three or four more deserving students! Then, diploma in his fat little hands, he fucked off to Lima, Peru--which, after Miami and Bogotá, is the most fashionable hangout for the scum de la scum of Latin America. He is still a wanted man:

nixon-moreno.jpg

"WANTED: for murder, sadism, and rape."

And no, he's not a "student leader", he's a GANG leader. Nixon Moreno is a plain old garden-variety thug.

Patricia Poleo is something else. Something even worse. The daughter of oppo newspaper owner Rafael Poleo, she is also wanted by the Venezuelan federales. For what? For a car bombing that killed Danilo Anderson, the hot-shot young prosecutor who just happened to be investigating the coup d'état of April 2002. Anderson was getting perilously close to finding out who ordered all those deaths, both Chavista and oppo, on April 11, when two groups of demonstrators came under fire from rooftop snipers, undercover sharpshooters, and opposition-controlled Metro Caracas police. And it most certainly wasn't the big guy in the red shirt, whom the oppos keep scapegoating for literally every bad thing that happens in Venezuela! So Danilo Anderson had to be stopped somehow, and in November of 2004, he was--with an earth-shaking kaboom that broke windows for blocks around. The investigation has been hobbled ever since. "La Papo", as she is also known, is believed to be one of the intellectual authors of that assassination. (Another media mogul of the opposition, Nelson Mezerhane of Globovisión, who was also a banker, is believed to be her accomplice. He, too, is a fugitive from justice--and recently got a little karmic justice when his bank, the Banco Federal, went under and was taken over by the government. The feds bailed out the depositors--this is how it's done, Your Barackness, take note--but you can bet "El Turquito" Mezerhane won't be so lucky when they finally get their mitts on HIM.)

La Papo has an interesting tendency to leave dead bodies behind wherever she goes. Just in April of this year, her ex-husband, Gastón Alfredo Rodríguez Delgado, was found dead in Apostaderos de Pampatar, on the resort island of Margarita. The 54-year-old, who was the son of two well-known Venezuelan actors, was bound, gagged, and stabbed to death in an apparent home invasion. Just a random robbery gone wrong? Or a targeted killing? Given his past criminal career (he'd done time for various drug-trafficking-related offences in 1989), I'd say the latter.

So, it seems, La Papo, a criminal herself, has a taste for criminal hubbies. Which means that she and Nixon definitely deserve one another. Just like chocolate and peanut butter...if that is not too sweet an allusion for you. And if you should happen to chance upon them in Lima, whatever you do, do NOT approach them; they should be considered armed and dangerous, and turned in to the Venezuelan authorities, pronto.

June 28, 2010

A few random thoughts on the G-20, Black Bloc tactics and police brutality

I'm not sure what to make of this man. He seems belligerent. Yet he's wearing socialist and peace symbols on his shirt. WTF? Anyway, his situation (which could be street theatre, for all we know) pretty much encapsulates what went wrong in TO this past weekend. How ironic is it that consumerism got thwarted by the thugs of über-fucking-capitalism? Merchants, now you know: Capitalists are NOT your friends. But I'm getting ahead of myself here...and I love the goofy emo kid in there stealing the show, BTW.

Lately I've been hearing a lot of stupid petty bourgeois kvetching about the so-called Black Bloc, vandalism, broken windows, etc. As though a bunch of anarchists (or supposed anarchists) in black were the real culprits at the G-20 summit in Toronto, and all the violence was their fault. Here's a representative sampling of the drivel:

Our first foray today was to attend the Toronto Community Mobilization Network's press conference at 3 p.m., which was barely a press conference: it was in fact an extended chance for TCMN to whine at the press for being unsupportive. (At least when Bill Blair holds a press conference and bullshits to your face, he doesn't need a crowd cheering for him.) It was exactly what you'd expect: cops are bad, we're exercising our legal rights, the people who have been detained overnight are "political prisoners" (by the way, I've rung Aung San Suu Kyi on the phone just now, and she says "drama queen says what?") and on and on--a long-winded stream of the biggest heap of self-righteousness not seen since, well, since the last time I heard Stephen Harper criticize the left wing in this country.

And for all of that, protesters, you still could have come out the good guys today. It would have been so easy. You only had to do one thing, one single goddamn thing: "We don't approve of or condone the Black Bloc tactics and we don't approve of or condone violent protest." There you go. Say that, and you're heroes, plain and simple: people who chose not to let their grievances against the government be tainted by malice, even in the face of ridiculously overwrought police tactics. One lousy sentence; that's all we asked of you. Just show us a little good faith.

But of course it didn't happen--not from the top. We got weasel words worthy of Parliament. "We don't comment on the actions of individuals." "That's not the story here." And the reason for the weaseling out is really simple: organizers don't want to condemn Black Bloc tactics and bandana thugs. The radical protest movement in Canada (and let's call it that for lack of a better umbrella term, to distinguish it from the labour unions and NGOs that vamoosed on Saturday the moment they realized the goon squad had ruined everything) long ago decided that the Black Bloccers are part of the movement and welcome at their rallies, and that the next time they hold a protest the thugs will show up again and they'll break shit again, and the rest will just yell "solidarity" like a bunch of useless assholes.

Care for some cheese with that whine, journo boy? Little caviar on a cracker, perhaps?

Poor babies. How hard it must be to be you, or rather how easy: Just blame it all on a bunch of kids in black, get a few complaints and disavowals from activists in the same piece that directly prove you to be a pontificating jackass (as well as a liar), and just don't dig any deeper. And you wonder why they don't trust you media droids? If this is the best you can do, quit fucking wondering. Your shit is self-explanatory.

The kvetcher who wrote that was working for an LLC blog--that is, one of those corporate mouthpieces dressed up to look like hip, cool, internet-savvy cutting-edge independent whatever. Nothing independent about it, in actual point of fact; any "blog" with an LLC at the bottom is not a real blog. It's a corporate entity, not an independent media outlet, and reflects a corporatist worldview when all is said and done. This reporter is a perfect example of that. His final paragraphs also strike me as representative somehow:

The entire day was a pathetic waste. At the end of it, journalists and delegates partied inside the International Media Centre; the summit was done, they could now go home, and there was free booze to spare, so why not? It'd be a shame to come to the G20 summit and not get hammered by the fake lake.

Actually, in retrospect, the fake lake is honestly kind of nice. It only cost about fifty thousand bucks, not the one-point-two million everybody kept discussing, and it's really quite pleasant to sit in. But when a fake lake is the best part of your day, it's been a worthless day. That's the fault of pretty much every last one of us.

...not to mention disingenuous. That $1.2 million figure included the free booze, which our "alternative" bourgeois journo-boy did not disdain to drink. The "fifty thousand bucks" only refers to the centimetres-deep splash pool proper, but it's still a hefty sum of money for some plastic liner and a little bit of water. There are families in Toronto who manage to live on less than what that glorified splash-pad cost, for an entire year. (Trust me, dude, you don't want to see where they have to do it. There's no "kind of nice" about moldy, roach-and-rat-infested apartments in crime-ridden slums.)

Anyway, this is the kind of opinion you get when people's brains are eaten by corporatism--which, as Mussolini's speechwriter knew, was the essence of fascism. You get a whole lot of bitching about the wrong people, while the real culprits--definitely NOT "every last one of us", as Christopher Robin there says, but just a very very few--get off scot-free.

Oh what the hell...maybe some people just need pictures to help them understand what this was all about.

capitalism-pyramid.jpg

There you guys go. Succinctly put, no?

Notice that the "We Fool You" element is second from the top. They have the clergy, but the press would also fit in that tier. The press is, after all, the ruling class's instrument. Like the clergy, it's their job to justify God's ways to man--"God" being the ruling classes, "man" being the rest of us.

And don't get the idea that the "alternative" LLC "blogs" are any different. Actually, they're just a semi-hip repackaging of the same old thing you'll find in any crotchety old conservative rag. The excerpts I cited above are a prime example. They're full of smug, whiny-assed dismissal of legitimate protest, in case you hadn't noticed. It's like Christopher Robin there was just looking for excuses to dismiss the entire anti-G20 movement.

Which, of course, he was.

Now, why do you suppose he was doing that?

As always, the best question to ask first is that old Latin standby, Cui bono? In other words: Who benefits?

Well, corporatists benefit. That's a given. He wouldn't be writing for an LLC "blog" if not. Look at the pyramid, and remember: This guy is employed by those at the level of "We Fool You".

And after them, there's the ruling class. They like to see attention deflected from the real culprits to a few convenient scapegoats. "We Rule You" needs "We Fool You" to get the ruled masses to accept the rulership of the few.

And above the ruling class, there's...what? Anybody? Bueller?

Now. Let's look again at the middle-to-lower levels of that pyramid. Below "We Fool You" is the face of the oppressor we saw yesterday: "We Shoot At You". And below them are the useful idiots, the parrots we can always trust to squawk along at whatever propaganda "We Fool You" put out, along with "We Shoot At You". Yes, the "We Eat For You" bunch is contemptible as all hell, though very fashionably dressed (and very appreciative of all the free booze being served around the lame, overpriced fake lake. Belly up to the bar, boys.)

I'd say that Christopher Robin, while he writes for "We Fool You", is actually a member of "We Eat For You". Little wonder, then, that he feels compelled to piss on the peons below. What else do the eaters do when full of booze and there's a fake lake lapping at their feet, putting thoughts of pee-pee in their little pea brains? What else--just take a flying whiz at the producers without whom the entire pyramid, including their preening, smug layer, would crumble down.

And it would crumble. If the peons knew who their real enemy was, that is. Which is why "We Fool You" has been so busy this past weekend, tamping down dissent, stroking the bourgeois sense of entitlement at "We Eat For You", and defending and justifying the actions of "We Shoot At You" and "We Rule You". Even if they disingenuously deny it, as Christopher Robin does.

Unfortunately for Christopher Robin and his blame-the-Black-Bloc ilk at We Fool You, LLC, there's video like this one, showing undercover police in action...

...in which, if you look closely at about the 45-second mark, you'll see a masked, black-clad "anarchist" (conveniently marked with an arrow) melt in behind the police line. Something he wouldn't be able to do if he were not, in fact, one of them!

So much for blaming the so-called "Black Bloc". The real blame, a healthy portion of it at least, must fall on "We Rule You" and "We Shoot At You", and not the small radical anarchist element among "We Work For All" and "We Feed All". (The lion's share of the blame goes, of course, to the nameless, faceless entity at the top of the pyramid.)

And now we know why so much money was spent on unregistered security corporations at the Billion Dollar Boondoggle. And also why the same got that quickie licence, while the police got sudden, overnight, secret expanded powers. I'll bet these fake anarchists, put there to stir trouble among the real ones, were in fact the unaccredited security contractors in question. Who needs a real cause for mass arrests and suspension of civil rights when you can just manufacture a bogus one--using the services of a corporation?

Ah yes, "We Rule You" and "We Fool You", "We Shoot At You" and "We Eat For You". We See What You Did There.

And We Are No Longer Fooled.

May 30, 2010

Humberto sez: Tax the Bastards!

Humberto explains the new "harmonized" sales tax and why it's so OUT of harmony with the way things should be done in this great land of ours.

May 4, 2010

Oh, Cato Institute...look at your golden boy now!

yon-prizewinner.jpg

Poor, poor widdle Yon-Yon...he's out of a party and a job:

The directorate of the Primero Justicia party decided to expel Yon Goicoechea from the party, a source linked to the opposition revealed to Panorama last weekend.

"Yon took an advance position on his candidacy, which didn't sit well with the party. For example, he would say he 'wouldn't accept consolation prizes' when he talked of running for a seat in the Latin American Parliament," said the source.

The aspiration of the ex-student leader was to run for the congressional district of Altos Mirandinos, where, he said, "The polls are calling me the winner."

As part of the negotiations for the candidates of consensus, the parties of the "Unity Table" decided that Alfonso Marquina would run for that seat.

The source also revealed that Goicoechea's televised speech of the past week was "the straw that broke the camel's back". In it, Goicoechea was very critical of the consensus candidates, and said, "There are candidates of the opposition for whom I would not have voted."

Afterwards, he asked the "Unity Table" to make "more sacrifices", and aligned himself with a governor, Enrique Capriles, who showed himself to be in favor of primaries for the selection of candidates.

Goicoechea joined Primero Justicia in 2008, after leaving the ranks of the student opposition.

Translation mine.

This article is as revealing about the undemocratic (and oftentimes, overtly antidemocratic) nature of the Venezuelan opposition as it is about Yon-Yon and his puffed-up ego. The so-called "Mesa de la Unidad" (which I translated as "Unity Table"), a conglomeration of all the parties that oppose Chavecito and his PSUV, can't even decide whether to hold primaries or not, and in many cases, it didn't bother. It just hand-picked the candidates by "consensus" (of whom? reached how? Nobody seems able to say.) And one of the much-trumpeted and -ballyhooed candidates who lost out in the arcane and ricky-tricky selection process...was the Cato Institute's golden boy of democracy!

Is this the same Yon-Yon who won the Milton Friedman Prize? Why yes, it is. And this is how they treat him. This was Yankee capitalism's great white(-handed) hope, and instead, it's yet another blown investment. Half a million gringo dollars down the toilet.

Sob. Sniffle. Boohoohoo.

I'm really trying hard to squeeze out a few crocodile tears for all of them here, but I just can't seem to. That's because I had his number from way back. Only now, somebody--his own party--actually called it. A little late, but still.

My heart bleeds...no, really...bwahahahahahaha.

April 6, 2010

Cruelty, the uncoolest cut of all

First, a little music to set the mood...

...because I'm really going to try for rationality and detachment here. It's not gonna be easy, because everything about this just triggers the old blue blaze of rage and pain that I felt as an ostracized, bullied child. Every time I got shut out or picked on, that blaze is what I felt. And I don't like admitting that I still feel it every time I see someone else get shut out and/or picked on. You're supposed to get over that old kid stuff, you know?

Only, here's the sad part: You don't. You really don't. And if you're honest with yourself, you admit it.

And if you're really REALLY honest, and painfully so, you admit that this shit goes on everywhere.

Okay, I admit it: This shit goes on everywhere. It goes on in supposedly liberal, enlightened, democratic-socialist CANADA, for God's sake. I know, because it happened to me.

And no, it didn't happen for the same reason as it happened to Constance McMillen. I'm not gay. I didn't have a prom date at all (at least not for MY high school's formal), much less one of my own sex. I was a shy, introverted, bespectacled, skinny, pale, redheaded, frizzy-haired, unathletic, unhip, unhot, too-damn-smart-for-my-own-good geek. And in a small town, where the narrowest definition of "cool" prevails, someone like that stands out. And standing out is unforgivable. The nail that sticks out, gets hammered down. Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And yeah, I got hammered. All through grade school and much of high school, I got fucking hammered.

I won't go into any specific incidents. I've already been triggered enough for one damn day. There are more of them than can be named, anyway, and it made going to school nauseating. And this was for a kid who enjoyed classes. A kid who really wanted to be a doctor someday; a kid whose teachers kept telling her she really ought to be a writer. Being seen enjoying the use of your own brains is apparently utterly unforgivable in a place where conformist mediocrity is prized, other than of course in athletics.

So I got hammered. And I continued to stick out anyway. I bent, but would not be hammered down. I tried to hide my brains: useless. (I still got high 90s in French without even trying. I could have slept through that class and still aced every test.) I tortured my hair with a curling iron, to straighten and feather it into some semblance of fashion: useless. (One small whiff of humidity, and foof it went.) I got contact lenses, so people could finally see that I had a pretty face and not just four eyes: useless. (They were in the habit of seeing me through their own distorted, invisible funhouse lenses. Nothing I did was going to shatter those.)

No, the only thing that saved me from the whole thing was graduating. And going to university in a modest-sized city, where things were bigger all around. And learning to be myself, instead of some cookie-cutter knockoff of every other ditzy chick with Farrah Fawcett wings in her hair. It meant accommodating my curls, accepting my introverted, geekish nature, and learning to flip the bird at convention (and sometimes, at conventional people). And it meant becoming someone radically different not only from what the others were, but from what I had been and thought I should be.

Even a nervous breakdown and the realization that I wasn't going to make it to med school wasn't nearly as bad as being forcibly flipped out of the pond like I was all through my grade- and high-school years. Even realizing I'd fallen hopelessly in love with a gay guy, and being damn near suicidal at the ripe old age of 20, was a piece of cake compared to being shut out. I could get over my thwarted dreams, go beyond the misplaced romantic interest (he's still my best friend to this day--how 'bout THEM apples?), and even get past the desire to just go to sleep and never wake up. But this? No. It follows you silently everywhere.

I thought I had gotten away from it at university, good fucking riddance to small towns and smaller minds--only to find myself suddenly struggling with all the unresolved pain, anger and stark terror of those days. And sometimes, in the dead of night, when I should be asleep but just can't, I still have those moments where I forget who I am, who I've worked so hard to become. I even forget that the town has grown, and is not the same bigoted little place anymore. All I remember is what I have yet to overcome.

And what I have to overcome is that poison cruelty that seems almost inherent in people. The same that prompted Jean-Paul Sartre to say that hell is other people. It's not inborn; it's learned. And it gets passed down through generations. Each one gets beaten by the previous one until it bears the identical scars. Then it turns on the next and starts beating on them until they, too, bear those scars...

So when I read the obscene self-justifications that some people go through, presenting themselves, the bullies, as the poor little victims of a nasty, gay revolution--well, why not just wave a red cape in front of me and every other excluded kid? I mean, it's not as if you're not just asking to get your sorry asses kicked, is it now?

And yeah, I would so love to kick every ass of every person who ever did this to another. Doesn't matter for what "reason". I don't give a shit for your justifications; spare me the "explanations", I'm in no mood to hear any of them. Don't bother to comment here; I'll either delete it or declare you a Wanker of the Week, depending on whether my mood is fair or foul. You cannot explain or justify this. I know what you did. It has a name: CRUELTY.

Cruel isn't cool, and I'm not fucking cool with anyone who's cruel. I want to kick cruel people's asses, ALL of them. I'd wear out my trusty old cherry Docs doing it, no doubt about that.

But we're not supposed to kick ass; we're supposed to be meek, mild and forgiving. We're supposed to grow beyond all that. We're supposed to Forget. I mean, it's only a silly prom, fergawdsakes. For a bright kid with a future, it's supposed to be just a stumbling-stone on the road to Better Things. It's only important to those who peaked in high school. That ain't me, right?

Well, fuck it. I haven't forgotten. And I'm not sure I've forgiven, either. The fact that a fake prom so far from where I grew up has the power to trigger all my buried outrage and bring it crashing back like it only happened yesterday, is a testimony to the power that cruelty has. It has the power to make me forget, or at least minimize, the fact that I did go to a prom, in another town, with a guy not from my high school. He liked me more than I liked him. He was not the guy I'd have gone with, had I been "cool" enough to be offered a choice of dates; still, I showed him mercy, because he was an even bigger geek than I was. He didn't know what a loser I was to all my peers. To him, I was actually pretty. For his sake I put on a brave face and a beautiful outfit. How elegant I looked in my own hand-made royal-blue strapless moiré dress and my mom's black elbow gloves (a damn sight better than these tacky little prats, that's for sure.)

And yeah, I made the dress myself. Pleated overbodice, six-inch-wide sash, floor-length skirt, the works. And the black organdy ruffled shawl, too. See what happens when you apply yourself in Home Ec, girls? And don't you guys wish your girlfriends were hot--and SMART--like me?

But this makes it hard to remember that. It has the power to make me forget that I'm not the ostracized kid anymore, that I quit being that kid even in my last year at high school, where I began to morph into an adult whom other adults actually like. It even has the power to make me forget, for a moment, just how strong I really am.

And that strength didn't come out of nowhere; it came out of being that excluded, bullied kid. Maybe it's made me a better adult, a better listener, a more worthwhile person to talk to and with?

Maybe.

One thing it definitely HAS made me is glad that I don't fit in, after all. Because if fitting in among the bullies who made my youth hell is such a prize, I don't want it. I'd have to turn into a piece of shit just like them. What's that old saying? "Even if you win the rat race, you're still a rat", I believe is how it goes. Nope; no rodent here. Just a human being who doesn't need to pretend superiority.

And one who admires the hell out of Constance for taking you all on and showing you all up. She's got more class in her left pinky-nail than all of you have in your collective, pathetic, self-justifying carcass.

So yeah, bigoted kiddies, knock yourselves out claiming that you are the bullied ones, being shat on by northerners, gay revolutionary ACLUers, and people from the two coasts and God only knows where all else. Whine your sorry asses off about how everybody else looks down on you (as if YOU had a monopoly on pusillanimous shitheadedness!) Go play your smarmy phony victim card until it wears the hell out.

And it will, soon. Because it's flimsy. And because the rest of the world isn't stupid; it knows what lengths you went to in order to make sure your precious widdle prom was queer- and crip-cootie-free. That much secrecy takes planning and co-ordination. It takes a lot of complicity. It also takes massive amounts of cowardice. Not one of you kids had the stones to defy your parents, your school board, or your picky-picky peers; you are all a bunch of fucking wimps! You think you avoided "drama" by excluding Constance and her same-sex date, and a tiny bunch of disabled kids? HA! You just brought it on yourselves, ten-thousandfold. You deserve the shitstorm that you've got coming now.

And I, for one, will be pointing the finger at you and laughing when the verdict comes down against you. Because I love seeing the shoe go on the other foot, and pinching. It's not nice, I know. But it is satisfying. And it is so very, very richly deserved.

Sucks to be you, kids. Here, have another song. And try learning how to dance without that graceless booty-humping you did at your "drama-free" prom, 'kay? That shit's no cooler than your overt, deliberate cruelty was.

January 30, 2010

Chilean fascist youth--what charm, what class...

This was taken just after Sebastián "Pinochet Jr." Piñera won by a narrow margin (and the abstention of a third of the Chilean electorate) on the second round on the 17th. Here's how these fine young fascists decided to show their dignity and respect for the other guys...

According to a video on YouTube, these followers are not content with chants such as "Take your seat, take your seat, President Piñera", and let out barnyard noises such as this: "Communists, faggots, we killed your parents because they were lazy."

There was no shortage of hoorays for the ex-dictator, and chants such as "General Pinochet, this triumph's for you". Referring to the coup d'état of September 11, 1973, they chanted: "With Allende we built a big bridge for Augusto [Pinochet] and his heroes to pass over."

Translation mine.

Notice, too, where they chose to give this little serenade. The balcony they're yelling at is decorated with a banner of Che Guevara.

Nothing like a little petty triumphalism to show what you're really made of, eh?

And the comments at the YouTube site tell just how a lot of other Chileans really feel:

"How different is Santiago from Montevideo. In Santiago, we have those nostalgic for fascism, and in Montevideo, a Communist president-to-be. Why don't those buddies in the video come and tour Montevideo with their little songs and slogans--we'll treat them very well, like tourists. HOW BEAUTIFUL IT IS TO LIVE IN MONTEVIDEO!"

"How embarrassing for me to be a Chilean...these people are demented."

"The people of Chile have always been intelligent, in general. They'll realize in four years that this is not the way, nor is it the example the Chileans have given for all of Latin America, and the waters will return to their source."

"What low-class people I see here, how they've lost their dignity, sold themselves for 40 shekels..."

"Thank GOD I'm not like them, and would never make fun of the dead or the suffering of the families of the victims. I'm so glad to be on the side I'm on!"

"How disgusting...oh well...countries get the governments they deserve, and democracy is abiding by the decision of the majority even if they elect a clown for president. I'm ashamed to see these images."

"Disrespectful shits, you don't play around with human lives! And they call themselves Christians?"

"I hope I can remember every one of those faces and meet them on the street."

Translations mine.

Uh-oh. Something tells me Piñera is in for a rough ride these next four years--the comments I selected are very typical of the responses to the video. Those widdle Pinoshitters had better pray that no one who saw and commented on this video will remember their faces. That is, if they still dare to call themselves Christians...

December 14, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: Another Irish connection comes to light

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A heavily armed Michael Dwyer poses with some of his stash in a hotel in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Looks like this Irish cowboy wasn't the only one from his country involved in this...

Via Bolivia's Erbol news service, the latest installment in a continuing saga:

Yasser Mohammed, an Irish citizen detained in Brazil this week by that country's security forces, will be extradited to Bolivia to be processed, says César Navarro, the president of the Multipartite Commission of the Chamber of Deputies which is investigating the terror and separatism case.

In a secret operation co-ordinated by Interpol, involving the intelligence services of Brazil and Bolivia, the Brazilian federal police detained Mohammed on Wednesday in the airport in Brasilia. Mohammed was wanted for his ties to the late Eduardo Rózsa Flores, presumed leader of the terrorist cell dismantled on April 16 of this year.

According to Navarro, the information the Irishman could give is highly important to confirm the terrorist and separatist actions which the Rózsa group had planned to execute.

"This man could be an important link for this criminal group. The declarations he made before Brazilian authorities and his extradition to Bolivia could allow us to reach a new level of fundamental information," Navarro told Erbol.

He said that the foreigner had not been included in the initial investigation, but now, once extradited to Bolivia, the Bolivian Public Ministry could take statements from him to establish his complicity with the Rózsa Flores group.

According to the legislator, the investigation will continue on many fronts, once it was established that the group commanded by Rózsa Flores was not one of just a few persons, but included an "army" of mercenaries.

"Rósza Flores was a mercenary who had many people at his service, with whom he planned the actions to take place in Bolivia," Navarro said.

According to preliminary investigations, the detained Irishman is the one who was in charge of providing large-calibre armaments to the group, whose financing is also under investigation. He was detained in Brasilia as he was about to board a commercial flight bound for Lisbon, Portugal.

Mohammed is also accused of being tied to drug-trafficking and money-laundering.

Early in December, the Brazilian federal police were informed by Bolivian intelligence of the possible presence of the extremist in their country. He remains in detention in Brasilia until his extradition can proceed.

Translation mine.

Interesting. I wonder if he also had ties to Shell, I-RMS and the infamous Corrib gas project, like the other Irishman in the plot, the late Michael Dwyer. Wouldn't surprise me if he did, but so far I've found very little on this dude. There are a lot of terrorism-accused Yasser Mohammeds in the world, and a lot of irrelevant gunk in the Google as a result.

I've a hunch we're about to see some innnnteresting monsters coming out of the woodwork. If these guys were a veritable army, as Mr. Navarro says, there will probably be quite a slew of them coming in the weeks and months ahead. Who, and where they're all from, remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, if any friendly souls reading me in Ireland, Bolivia or Brazil know this chap or know of him, or just have relevant news articles to share, your feedback would be much appreciated.

November 23, 2009

Bolivian terror cell update: Branko and Rubén are now wanted men

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Gee, Rubén and Branko, you're looking kinda scared. Maybe because the federales have the goods on you?

From Bolivian news agency Erbol, the latest:

The Chamber of Deputies, who yesterday approved a report from the parliamentary commission investigating the terror cell dismantled last April 16 in a Santa Cruz hotel, recommended that Branko Marinkovic, former president of the Comité Pro Santa Cruz, and Rubén Costas ex-civic leader and departmental prefect, be investigated in connection with the same case.

Both were cited by witnesses during the investigation as presumed financiers of the irregular activities of the terrorist group, which was headed by the Bolivian-Croatian-Hungarian, Eduardo Rózsa Flores, who died in the antiterrorist operation.

The document, which in the next few hours will pass to the Public Ministry, calls for the Ministry of the Exterior and Interpol to aid in the extradition of those involved with the armed cell, who have fled the country over the course of the investigations.

Among them are Alejandro Melgar, Hugo Achá, Luis Hurtado, Lorgio Balcázar, Alejandro Brown, Ronny Hurtado, Juan Carlos Velarde, Enrique Vaca and Orlando Justiniano.

The investigations proved that the attempted putsch in Santa Cruz was financed by individuals and groups wanting the eastern territory to secede from the rest of Bolivia. The parliamentary commission began its investigation last April 21, six days after the police operation which neutralized the terrorist cell.

In that operation, along with Rózsa Flores, a Hungarian-Croatian, Magyarosi Arpád and an Irishman, Michael Martin Dwyer, were also killed. Detained were Mario Tadic (Bolivian with Croatian passport) and Elöd Tóásó, a Hungarian.

Translation mine.

Heh, how timely. This comes just a few hours after I was spammed this morning (on this entry, now closed) by some right-wing troll from Hungary (wait till Saturday and you'll see who makes Wankers of the Week!) who doesn't want to believe that the beloved Magyarosi Arpád was a terrorist who died in a shootout. Sorry to disappoint you, dude, but he was:

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Since when do innocent victims of evil communist dictators pose cockily with assault rifles and pal around with well-known right-wing mercenaries like Eduardo Rózsa Flores? And since when do they take money from the likes of Branko Marinkovic and Rubén Costas--well known fascist putschists both?

Shoulda stuck to folk music, kiddo. Your life might not have been so exciting, but at least it wouldn't have ended so soon and so messily at the hands of justice...

EDIT, 9:42 am: The Hungarian spammer has struck again, as anticipated. And get this: It claims to be the would-be assassin's mother. Yeah, RIGHT. Amid all those fascist lies about Bolivia? I don't believe a word of it. On the off chance that the mother part is true, I can only say this: You did a lousy job raising your son. Should have taught him that right-wing fanaticism, TERRORISM and mercenarism will get him very deservedly killed. Sic semper imbecilis!

BTW, your SPAM e-mails (replete with calls for the assassination of the legitimate, elected president of ALL Bolivia!) are in a folder marked "ABUSIVE". Do I need to spell out that uttering death threats against anyone is a crime? One more strike, and Interpol will hear from me--and receive forwards of everything you left behind. Take a hint--cease and desist.

Second update, 11:50 am: Troll strikes third time unlucky. Comments closed, and worse on the way for you, spamtard!

September 17, 2009

Yet another Venezuelan oppo crook seeks "asylum" in Peru

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If you're at all aware of who's who in the Venezuelan wingnutosphere, this one's name (and his arm-long rap sheet) will be familiar. If not, ladies 'n' gents, allow me to introduce someone who's been long overdue for a good thumping here...

Early this morning, the "political leader" Oscar Pérez, better known as "Cabeza 'e Motor*", member of the national directorate of the Alianza Bravo Pueblo party, formally solicited asylum of the foreign ministry of Peru, claiming to be "politically persecuted by the government of President Hugo Chávez and the representatives of the rest of the public powers of Venezuela", meaning, in particular, Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz.

An arrest warrant went out for Oscar Pérez last August 27, from Tribunal 37 of Metropolitan Caracas. Pérez is suspected of instigation to delinquency and delinquent association, as a result of his part in a march on Saturday, August 22, in Caracas, when an attempted riot was thwarted by members of the Metropolitan Caracas Police and the National Guard.

Translation mine. Linkage added so you can see that this is NOT political persecution, but criminal prosecution, that Pérez is trying to elude.

And if you need further proof that it's crime, not politics, that's at issue here, have a gander at this:

That's the opposition's idea of a "peaceful" march. Deliberate violence, deliberate provocation--followed by (they hope) a crackdown that will give them a perfect excuse to try to oust Chavecito yet again. (April 11, 2002--same shit, 'nother day.) Pérez was right in the thick of this, inciting--as he likes to do, when he's not busy shoving innocent people around:

This was taken two years ago, when Pérez (on cellphone, in striped shirt) assaulted a man who didn't want oppo graffiti on his vehicle.

Or how about journalists?

Here he is, repeatedly assaulting Carlos Echeverri (long hair and shades) of Avila TV.

And here he is bullshitting about a vehicle he STOLE (he's a repeat offender on those grounds, too). He claims it was given to him by the government of the state of Miranda. Even if that's true, it's evidence of corruption on the part of the oppo governor of that state. Giving cars to unelected and violent delinquent political cronies is kind of an odd practice, don't you think?

BTW, Oscar Pérez is far from alone as a common criminal seeking "political" asylum in Peru. Here's one of his cronies, Manuel Rosales, before HE fled. See if you can see some striking similarities between the behavior of his bullyboys toward journalist Jorge Amorín, and Pérez's behavior toward Amorín's colleague, Carlos Echeverri:

And oh joy, oh bliss, there's another bogus asylum-seeker, too:

nixon-moreno.jpg

Nixon Moreno (don't you love that name?)--wanted for a vicious assault on two police officers, attempted rape, and attempted murder. The Apostolic Nunciature in Caracas actually sheltered this sinning bastard, if you can believe it. Now the Peruvian government confirms that he's there, too--seeking asylum, but not yet granted.

What's that song Otto keeps referencing when something like this happens? By Jove, I think I've found it:

* Cabeza 'e Motor = "Motorhead", a reference to his past as a notorious car and motorcycle thief. Personally, I prefer Cabeza 'e Mierda--"Shithead", a reference to his ongoing status as one of many "leading" turds in the local punchbowl.

September 5, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: The Rózsa-Marinkovic "Ustasha Connection"

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A World War II-era Ustasha propaganda poster, highlighting the connections between the Nazi SS and local tyrant Ante Pavelic.

From ABI, an in-depth look at the connections behind the attempt on Evo's life this past spring:

Seven months and five days after the inauguration of the progressive government of Evo Morales, the Bolivian-Croatian-Hungarian mercenary Eduardo Rózsa wrote a column for El Nuevo Día, owned by the Spanish media group Prisa and already part of the stock portfolio of Branko Marinkovic, according to a journalistic investigation.

On August 5 of that year, the Santa Cruz-edited daily, published an article on the political situation in the war-torn Middle East, signed by Rózsa.

The article, titled "Mad dogs ravage Lebanon", was published a day before the installation of the Bolivian constitutent assembly, whose 245 members were elected in July 2006.

It is the first evidence that Rózsa, born in Bolivia in 1960 to a Hungarian father and a Bolivian mother but based in Budapest, had turned his eyes to his ancestral country at the moment the Morales government began to implement its agrarian reforms, redistributing cultivable land to disadvantaged peasants and indigenous people.

There are no earlier traces of Rózsa in Bolivia, except for one opinion piece signed by his sister, Silvia Rózsa, written for El Nuevo Día of Santa Cruz.

The article, attributed to Eduardo Rózsa, reveals the first formal contact with the local operators, who deny that they knew him, and which is now being investigated by a judge in Santa Cruz, Luis Tapia Pachi, along with the "Ustasha Connection".

The "Ustasha Connection", crucial to the understanding of European conflicts in the last decade of the 20th century, incorporates concepts such as "ethnic and religious cleansing", and creates humanitarian catastrophes in other parts of the world. It is "the union of fascists with fascists, no matter where they were born, which languages they speak, what color their hair or what religion they profess," wrote Bolivian intellectual Marcos Domic.

The "Ustasha Connection" relates to the civil wars which divided Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It concerns "fascists of whatever type, who attached themselves to post-Yugoslavia Croatia. That is, it has to do with connections before all politics," says Domic.

Rózsa, of whom there is no evidence that he was present in Bolivia between August 5, 2006 and September-October, 2008, entered the country surreptitiously with a group of European mercenaries, veterans of the Yugoslav war, to "gain independence for Santa Cruz", according to his own words to a Hungarian journalist before returning to Bolivia late last year.

"I will enter Bolivia via Brazil and start organizing a militia, based in Santa Cruz," said Rózsa, in an interview now circulating on the Internet.

Rózsa Flores entered Bolivia illegally across the Brazilian border, just as he had told the journalist, Andras Kepes.

"If the federal government won't allow the autonomy of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz will separate from Bolivia," said the mercenary in Hungarian.

On April 16, 2009, Rózsa, who commanded an armed group seeking to spark a civil war in Eastern Bolivia, was killed in an exchange of fire with the local police in a hotel in Santa Cruz.

That same day, the police found an arsenal in a storage locker at the Santa Cruz agricultural fairground in the city of Santa Cruz, 900 km east of La Paz.

The investigation opened with testimonies by two of the Rózsa cell's mercenaries who had been captured alive, the Hungarian Elöd Tóásó, and the Bolivian-Hungarian Mario Tadic, as well as a local contact, Ignacio Villa Vargas, "The Old Man". Local analysts deduced that this group of veterans of the Yugoslav, Croatian and African wars, were contacted in Bolivia by "fascist Croats, connected with the fascist right-wing in Santa Cruz."

The Public Ministry's investigations point to Branko Marinkovic, who in the second trimester of this year, took over the entire stock of El Nuevo Día.

Bolivian magistrate Marcelo Soza, based in La Paz, heads the investigation and after studying hundreds of files collected from the computers confiscated from Rózsa, summoned Marinkovic to explain his actions in financing the armed cell.

Marinkovic, accused by the government of financing and supporting armed "civil society" groups which, between August and September 2008, occupied airports, blew up gasoducts, and broke into public offices in the districts of Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando and Tarija, with the objective of toppling President Morales, refused to testify about the Rózsa case before authorities of the national judiciary.

Between 2007 and 2009, Marinkovic was president of the politico-business organization, the Comité Pro Santa Cruz, which opposed President Morales.

The agricultural businessman, accused also of holding illegal lands, tried to evade justice by availing himself of some resources proposed by judge Tapia Pachi so that the case would go to trial in the jurisdiction of Santa Cruz, instead of La Paz where the process is currently ongoing.

Tapia Pachi has gained the unfortunate reputation of having archived the proceedings in Santa Cruz against Marinkovic. The government accuses the judge of bowing to the interests of the powerful agricultural-cattle-ranching businessman. The attempt to change jurisdictions was resolved this week by a tribunal which settled the investigation definitively in La Paz.

Quick 'n' dirty translation mine.

The proceedings are still going on, but the use of the word "Ustasha" is significant; the Ustasha were the Croatian Nazis who wrought havoc in the Balkans during World War II. The fascistic connections between the mercenary-terrorist cell and the land-owning business elites of Santa Cruz may well trace their "spiritual" lineage to this feared, reviled local Nazi/separatist movement.

August 12, 2009

Word to Toby Harnden: It's the RACISM, stupid!

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Portrait of the crap artist as a not-so-young man. Shamelessly stolen from Sadly, No!

Sigh. Poor Toby Harnden. You would think that, given his being stationed in Washington on behalf of the UK Telegraph, and his access as an accredited reporter, that he would be able to do better than this when it comes to reporting the staggering number of terrorist threats against Barack Obama:

Since Mr Obama took office, the rate of threats against the president has increased 400 per cent from the 3,000 a year or so under President George W. Bush, according to Ronald Kessler, author of In the President's Secret Service.

Some threats to Mr Obama, whose Secret Service codename is Renegade, have been publicised, including an alleged plot by white supremacists in Tennessee late last year to rob a gun store, shoot 88 black people, decapitate another 14 and then assassinate the first black president in American history.

[...]

According to the book, intelligence officials received information that people associated with the Somalia-based Islamist group al-Shabaab might try to disrupt Mr Obama's inauguration in January, when the Secret Service co-ordinated at least 40,000 agents and officers from some 94 police, military and security agencies.

So, basically, Toby's "journalism" on this appalling matter boils down to a glorified book review...which places emphasis not on the white supremacists (a much clearer and more present danger to His Barackness) but on one very little-known Islamist group from Somalia. The overwhelming majority of the teabaggers and town-hall gun nuts currently threatening Obama may not talk the Hitler-talk, but they certainly walk the brownshirt walk. Even a cursory glance around him should have revealed as much to Toby, but it didn't.

Notice, too, that the very splashy, well-known white-supremacist plot was merely "alleged" here, but the more obscure al-Shahaab one is presented, ever so subtly, as the more credible threat. (The rather crucial word "alleged" is nowhere in evidence, as you can see.)

I've done some googling on al-Shahaab, as their name has never crossed my radar till now. Apparently they are becoming an increasing presence (and problem) in Somalia. Coincidentally, the US is about to ratchet up its troop presence there, which should provide no small inflammation for tensions already prevalent in the region. Not a wise move, and sure to provoke more embassy bombings. Toby doesn't mention that, either. Odd, considering that the white-supremacist threat is far more unprovoked than any retaliatory attacks from al-Shahaab would be. (Unless, of course, one considers the mere complexion of Barack Obama to be a provocation in and of itself.)

Have you noticed, too, that Toby seems to have forgotten all about his own earlier reporting on those icky-ass white supremacists? Of course, it puts the p-word in quotation marks--as though white supremacists couldn't possibly be bad enough to hatch something as sinister as a PLOT. Islamists, however, don't get so much benefit of the doubt from Toby of the Telly.

Now, you may want to ask yourself just why that is. Especially in light of how many very white, very racist Obama-haters out there are referring to him by his middle name, Hussein, as if it meant something.

And then, ask yourself just why the UK Telegraph got someone as blinkered, amnesiac and crappy as Toby Harnden to "report" this whole story in the first place.

August 1, 2009

Ode to some (would-be) modern Crusaders

O, what can ail ye, wretched "knights",
Alone and whitely loitering?
500+ years out of date,
And no bards sing.

--special thanks to Bartholomew's Notes for the inspo, and apologies to John Keats.

May 29, 2009

Oppo journalists in Venezuela--such victims!

Or maybe not.

Globovisión, Venezuela's equivalent of FUX Snooze, has been a news item in itself for the past few weeks, and for all the wrong reasons. Here's one of them:

Video in Spanish, but the pictures speak for themselves. Watch the chick with the blond bob, the little hand-held camera, and the bared teeth. Aggressive, isn't she? Her name is Beatriz Adrián, and she's supposed to be a journalist. But it seems that her real job is that of agent provocateur (or should that be agente provocateuse?) in the ongoing, futile and dirty fight by the ancien régime of Venezuela--now the opposition--to oust a popular, freely and democratically elected president.

So how is she a provoc?

Well, a few months ago, she claimed to have been harrassed by Chavista goons at a bakeshop where she and a friend went to breakfast one day. Turns out, the "Chavista harassers" were nothing of the sort; they were private security men on the job at the shop, and they didn't touch her. But she squeaked, and she squawked, and her "report" made the news on her channel, where everyone rallied around poor, brave, beleaguered Beatriz--at least until Mario Silva dissected the whole story on his VTV show, La Hojilla, and proved it to be more full of holes than a strip of Brussels lace. The defamed men, meanwhile, went to the authorities with their side of the story. (If you click on the link, you'll immediately see what was really at play--the guys she complained about are kind of non-white.)

More recently, Beatriz thought she'd scored a journalistic coup by bribing a National Assembly staffer to hand over some confidential documents. The staffer lost her job; Beatriz, again, got the kind of media exposure she hadn't counted on when the building's security cameras caught the whole shebang. But unlike the luckless lady from the National Assembly, she got to keep her job. After all, Globovisión needed her...

Which brings us to the videos above. Beatriz Adrián, apparently, has gone from phony "victim" of private security to taking the job on herself. When a VTV reporter, Erika Ortega Sanoja, tried to ask some questions of poor deluded old Mario Vargas Llosa, who was in country to make an ass of himself at a "forum" supporting the putschy ancien régime in the name of "freedom and democracy" (and who, incidentally, was NOT "detained" by security at any time--more on this later), Beatriz took exception to Erika's questioning, and repeatedly pushed and shoved her. At one point, witnesses say, she hit Erika on the head with her microphone; the latter ended up seeking first aid at the airport's infirmary, and reported the assault to the civil defence officer on duty. Beatriz Adrián, however, exhibited only rudeness and defiance throughout the encounter. She notably asked NO questions of Vargas Llosa herself, which is a very unjournalistic sort of thing to do. Instead, she kept spinning around, snarling, taking pictures of everyone around her, as if gathering evidence that she had been the victim of aggression--interesting, since the video cameras of more than one channel, including her own, caught her being very much the aggressor. At several points, she launched herself at other journalists present, including a cameraman for the Caracas community channel, Avila TV. (She missed. Kind of a metaphor, don'tcha think?)

By now you might be wondering why all this journalistic own-goaling is happening. Well, Globovisión is slipping closer and closer to the edge of having its licence revoked. As I've noted before, this sort of thing happens all the time in democracies when a broadcaster violates the terms of use for the public airwaves. But in Venezuela it isn't supposed to happen, and certainly not to overtly right-wing channels looking to overthrow a democratically elected government. Especially not if the owners of the channel also happen to own other highly lucrative things--such as, in the case of Globo's Guillermo Zuloaga, two Toyota dealerships recently busted for jacking up the price of the merchandise two- and threefold, thus ripping off the car-buying public. But again, that's grist for another story. Perhaps I'll make the entry about how this sort of price-gouging is emblematic of the "freedom and democracy" that Mario Vargas Llosa came so touchingly to defend, at great risk to the security of his person...from self-appointed guards like Beatriz Adrián.

Such poor victims, the whole lot of them--piss-poor victims, that is.

May 17, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: A new ringleader fingered, plus more members come to light

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Just like a bad penny, some nasties (like the Szekler Legion, screengrabbed above) keep coming back...and yes, there are Irish and Corrib project crests on that page. Hmm, whatever could it mean?

I've been meaning to translate this item for a few days, and just now got around to it:

A Hungarian, Tibor Revesz, has been fingered as head of the suspected terrorist cell broken up last month in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Revesz is believed to have had more power than the Bolivian-Croatian-Hungarian Eduardo Rózsa Flores, according to revelations by an opposition deputy, Bernardo Montenegro, of the Podemos party.

"According to the information we have, Tibor Revesz was the head and organizer of this group. Not only here, but in his own country, he had knowledge of the organization of irregular groups," Montenegro told the Special Commission of the Chamber of Deputies, which is investigating the case.

Montenegro revealed that this new element came from the declarations of the Bolivian, Mario Tadic, and the Hungarian, Elöd Tóásó, survivors of the police operation that killed three other assassins last April 16 in the Hotel Las Américas in Santa Cruz. The two prisoners are currently incarcerated in La Paz.

The congressman said that Revesz had been in Bolivia throughout the first stage of the formation of the irregular group, and that for some as yet unknown reason he left the country and left behind five persons, three of them later killed: Eduardo Rózsa, Michael Martin Dwyer (of Ireland), and Arpád Magyarosi (of Hungary), as well as the two detainees, Tadic and Tóásó.

"There definitely were not only these five persons in this irregular group. There were other persons who came to Bolivia, such as the Hungarians Revesz, Gabor Dudog, and a man named [Daniel] Gaspar. Tadic said that at one time, he heard someone say to Mr. Rózsa that it was cheaper to buy two bullets than to pay for travel tickets," said Montenegro.

According to Montenegro, Revesz is in Hungary, for which reason Tóásó fears for his family. Revesz has an extensive criminal record when it comes to forming irregular (i.e. terrorist) groups.

"He is a person very much connected to irregular groups. He is believed to have been the mentor to various irregular movements and apparently came to Bolivia and began to form this group. One of the hypotheses is that he was in charge of this cell, above Rózsa," Montenegro said.

I've done the Googly Moogly on Tibor Revesz, and here's what I found:

  • He was with Mike Dwyer in Ireland, and is suspected of having recruited him when both worked as security goons for I-RMS, the private-security contractor for Shell Oil. They worked together on the controversial Corrib gas line project. He is now suspected of having been the unnamed "mutual friend" who hooked Dwyer up with Rózsa and travelled with Dwyer from Ireland to Bolivia, only to return later on.
  • Revesz is also known as "Photosniper" and is believed to be a member of the infamous Szekler Legion. His résumé is chock-a-block with "security" activities that would also be of benefit to a would-be mercenary...or terrorist. His profile definitely matches that of the unnamed "32-year-old Hungarian" who travelled with Dwyer to Bolivia.
  • This Hungarian blogger has heard reports that Revesz was arrested. So far, I haven't found further details. I would welcome more, if anyone knows.

The other "new" Hungarian name on this blog's radar, Gabor Dudog, also worked "since January" for a security company in Ireland. Hmmm, also for Shell? His mother, predictably, claims he "didn't do anything wrong". Now, where have we heard that before? BTW, Indymedia Ireland is doing terrific research on this case, check it out.

According to the Hungarian ambassador to Bolivia, Dudog and Daniel Gaspar (the other "new" name) have already left the country. No explanation, but if they have ties to this unsavory bunch, none is really needed. They are wanted for questioning (at the very least) by Bolivian authorities, so I foresee an extradition hearing. Play nice, Hungary!

Meanwhile, there's a real effort to paint Elöd Tóásó as a poor suffering innocent, here. There's also a "defense fund" and petition, which I hope won't find many contributors. I don't buy any of this "oh, but he's innocent and a hero" crap--I've blogged the cellphone video indicating him as being involved in the conspiracy up to his eyeballs. Not to mention I have the pic of him with the big fat sniper rifle. Innocent, my ass--and if he's suffering now, GOOD. He ought to, for what he tried to do. Foreign intrigue is not fun and games, people. If he's co-operating with the authorities and singing like a canary, fine--but he does not deserve freedom. He knew what he was involved in, and his moral sense didn't dissuade him. I hereby remind anyone coming here to troll on his behalf that he faces charges of terrorism and attempted multiple murder, and that this is not some set-up on the part of the Bolivian government, as some people appear to think.

Now, on to the next piece of translation, in which more names are named:

According to today's edition of the state newspaper Cambio, three names were found in the pocket of the Bolivian-Croat cell leader, Eduardo Rózsa Flores, who died resisting arrest.

One of the implicated is Juan Líder Paz, an engineer by profession, who, according to the inquiry, financed the extremists. Paz is a fugitive from justice as of Thursday, but yesterday his attorney presented a request establishing legal residence on his behalf before the prosecutor in charge of the case, Marcelo Sosa.

The other implicated man is Héctor Renato Laguna, also an engineer, in charge of recruiting youths to the so-called Bolivian Socialist Falange ['Bina's note: a known fascist organization] in order to commit separatist and seditious acts.

According to Cambio, the third man is Enrique Vaca, member of the directorate of Fexpocruz, the agricultural fair of Santa Cruz. He is believed to have supplied [fake] credentials to Rózsa. At the present time, Vaca is also a fugitive from justice.

The commission also took statements yesterday from the Bolivian citizen Ignacio Villa Paz, nicknamed "El Viejo" (the Old Man), who is considered a key witness for the prosecution. Villa was one of the closest persons to Rózsa, for which reason his statements are of relevance to the clarification of the international network's activities.

In the statements of "El Viejo", several names of opposition authorities and members of the business sector of Santa Cruz recur. According to Villa, departmental prefect Rubén Costas and businessmen Branko Marinkovic, Mauricio Roca and Guido Nayar also aided the extremist group.

According to the information obtained so far, the group intended to perpetrate separatist actions and had plans to assassinate president Evo Morales and various members of his cabinet.

More on these new guys later, I'm sure. Meanwhile, enjoy this pic I found of Mike Dwyer and Eduardo Rózsa Flores in shorts...

terroristas-pantaloncillos.jpg

Somehow, neither looked quite as good in them as Evo, eh?

UPDATE: Otto has a nice, incriminating partial translation of the Cambio piece mentioned in the Prensa Latina article above. Check it out. Among other things, it totally blows to smithereens the notion that Mike Dwyer was in Bolivia on some "bodyguarding" course. He was clearly under shoot-to-kill instructions from Eduardo Rózsa Flores, as the incident of the night of the bombing of Cardinal Terrazas' house indicates. And he seemed very keen to do the job, too. (As though all those guns down his pants would indicate anything else.) BTW, the article also blows to shit any notions that there was a legal basis for what Rózsa was doing (as he indicated in his interview with Andras Kepes in Hungary). The man was a terrorist, as was everyone else in his band. Any questions?

May 12, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: The Argentine connection, revisited and confirmed

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This is what they fear, kiddies...indigenous Bolivians fighting back against fascism.

Via ABI, I came across this report in Argentina's Página/12. It's shocking, explosive, highly relevant to what I've written about in here previously--and worth translating in its entirety, which I did:

"I was present in Beni (northern Bolivia) with an Argentine cell of eleven ex-carapintadas ("painted faces", notorious paramilitaries), along with ex-militaries who had been on missions in the Balkans. The above-mentioned 'Argentine cell' maintained contacts with sectors of the 'far right', opposed to the current Bolivian government, in Santa Cruz and Cobija, department of Pando."

The information, dated May 4, received by the Argentine Chancellery from the embassy in Bolivia and which was received by Página/12, indicated that "business owners and landowners of Santa Cruz de la Sierra requested the presence of the ex-militaries with the objective of training them in self-defence in case of their eventual imprisonment by the Bolivian authorities."

The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to fall into place following an investigation into a group of suspected terrorists, led by Eduardo Rózsa Flores, "Hero of the Balkan War", which was dismantled by the Bolivian National Police last April 16. President Evo Morales denounced the group for planning his assassination.

Last April 21, we reported that the vice-president of Bolivia, Alvaro García Linera, had communicated with the Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Horacio Macedo, to ask him to collaborate in the control of the border regions "due to the presence of Argentine activists in certain regions of Bolivia". At that time, there was mention of the travels to Bolivia of retired major Jorge Mones Ruiz, one of the "carapintadas" who between 1987 and 1991 took part in armed uprisings to demand impunity for repressors [active during the time of the Argentine military junta, 1976-83].

The new report states that "Mones Ruiz had been in contact with the late suspected terrorist/mercenary Rózsa Flores and with [Luis Enrique] Baraldini", another comrade-in-arms and fugitive-from-justice for his actions during the illegal repressions in La Pampa, and currently based in Santa Cruz under a false name. Mones Ruiz was assigned to Bolivia as an intelligence official of the Argentine army during the last dictatorship, and liked to boast of the recognition of his Bolivian comrades.

The ex-carapintada was seduced by his links to the ultra-right in Latin America. In '87, the Military Circle published his book, in which he outlined his expertise on the formation of commando groups against the revolutionary processes in Central America. This year, Mones Ruiz found anchorage in the so-called UnAmérica, an NGO claiming to be a counterweight to Unasur, the organization to which all the South American heads of state belong. Leftist governments, particularly those of Bolivia and Venezuela, were the focus of the efforts of the committee, led by the anti-Chavista Venezuelan, Alejandro Peña Esclusa.

Mones Ruiz showed his notions in various formats, but with the same obsession. With another of his carapintada comrades, Breide Obeid, he formed the "Conjunto Patria" (Homeland Alliance) and began to sing his own lyrics in all kinds of encounters. More academically, he published various books, among them "Argentina--without a future?". He studied the "new dangers" and broadcast himself on Web pages on subjects such as "misrule and institutional bankruptcy, attacks on businessses, price controls, energy crises, the 'Papeleros' case, citizen insecurity, corruption, 'twisted' justice, widening of the gap between rich and poor, 'crooked' legislators, social violence, forgotten military commanders, police forces with fewer rights than delinquents, etc., which are generating the conditions for structural changes that society demands." A hyperactive man, last year he began to show up during rural meetings and stir up conflict.

The violent entry of the police into the fourth floor of the Hotel Las Américas, which ended in the deaths of Rózsa Flores (Bolivian-Hungarian-Croatian), Arpád Magyarosi (Romanian of Hungarian origins) and Michael Dwyer (Irish), and the arrests of Mario Francisco Tadic Astorga (Bolivian with Croatian passport) and Elöd Tóásó (Romanian-Hungarian) exacerbated the virulence of the Bolivian opposition. President Evo Morales is looking for re-election next December 6, and read the actions of these transnational commandos as proof of a cabal with plans to assassinate him. Throughout this minefield, there are footprints of the same personages.

Five days after the sting in the hotel, the Hungarian Television Network broadcast an interview by journalist Andras Kepes on September 8, 2008, in which Rózsa confirmed that he was bound for Santa Cruz de la Sierra at the request of persons who asked him to form a "self-defence group" in the region and that if there was no peaceful coexistence with the rest of the country, they would seek independence. The newspaper El Deber, of Santa Cruz, stated that "the 49-year-old assured that his mission 'had legal backing' because the decision to organize his militia had the authorization of the Council of Santa Cruz. The president of the Departmental Assembly, Juan Carlos Parada, assured that he knew nothing about it and that he did not know which of the councils or assemblies of Santa Cruz had sought permission. According to Rózsa, a group of political opposition members contacted him about a year and a half earlier, from Santa Cruz. His principal mission was to defend the region against supposed armed indigenous groups and militias. "We were convinced after a few months that there was no peaceful coexistence and, in the name of autonomy, decided to proclaim the independence of Santa Cruz and create a new country," said Rózsa.

Rózsa recorded the interview as a kind of last will and testament, to be distributed only in the event of his death. The strange personage who had been a militant of Opus Dei, converted to Islam and was hailed as a "Hero of the Balkan War", ended up recruiting mercenaries to defend the Bolivian ultra-right. His participation in the Croatian war established ties with Latin American soldiers who found in these militias a sought-after niche in which to develop their competence as armed commandos.

The detailed report before the Argentine chancellery tells that businessmen and landowners in Santa Cruz de la Sierra appealed to the ex-militaries "with the objective of being instructed in self-defence in case of possible imprisonment by official organisms and various affiliates, including the taking of private lands by social entities such as the MAS"--alluding to the Movement Toward Socialism party led by President Evo Morales.

The "model" of Brazilian landlords who installed virtual death squads to counteract the landless peasant movements demonstrates what the reactionary secessionists of the rich regions of Bolivia had in mind. The "Human Rights Foundation of Bolivia", under the offices of Victor Hugo Achá, was a school in the strategies and objectives of UnAmérica, according to the report.

On April 30, prosecutor Marcelo Sosa announced that Achá would be called upon to testify, in order to corroborate the testimonies of various detainees in the case. The president of the HRF had gone to the United States one week earlier and announced that he would no return until he received legal guarantees that he would be able to defend himself against the accusations. However, in a telephone conversation with a local channel, he admitted that he had conversed on more than three occasions with Rózsa but, obviously, denied any ties with the militia organized by the Bolivian-Hungarian-Croat.

According to the daily La Prensa, of La Paz, Juan Carlos Gueder, recently arrested, declared: "There was another person with ties to the political field, to be assassinated in Bolivia, but I don't know his name either, because there are other people who should be coming forward here. Mr. Hugo Achá should show his face." Gueder assured that he HRF director had met with the suspected terrorist group. Gueder was given house arrest in exchange for collaborating with the judicial authorities.

On May 1, the Bolivian president said that if the organization had not clarified its links with "the terrorists, it would be expelled from Bolivia, as had already occurred in Venezuela. The Comité Pro Santa Cruz, a leading light in the opposition which repeatedly tried to destabilize the Morales administration, called an assembly to decide what to do against the advances of the investigation into ties between its businessmen and the suspected terrorists killed in the Hotel Las Américas.

This is how the sectors of UnAmérica act--an organization in which the Argentine paramilitary Mones Ruiz preens himself as secretary, and which says it will present a denunciation before the Inter-American Human Rights Court, accusing the Morales government of being responsible for the massacre of Pando. The objective is to counteract the report approved by Unasur which landed in prison, among others, the prefect of Pando, for racial persecution and racist murders committed by the ultra-right.

Links added.

So, another piece of the puzzle is indeed falling into place, and it's a large one. This Argentine fascist, a self-styled defender and apologist of repressors from the junta, is not surprisingly a big wheel in the fascist plot against Evo. He has ample experience in fascism in Bolivia, too, as he was a liaison between the Argentine junta and its counterpart, the Bolivian military dictatorship of the era. (Recall that Bolivia was the victim of several military coups beginning in 1964, and did not regain democracy until 1982, one year before the Argentine junta fell.) It seems natural that Mones Ruiz would therefore have abiding sympathies for fascists in Bolivia, and possibly even ties stretching back to his time in country the first time around. It would not be at all hard for him--whom Página/12 also characterizes as being "nostalgic for other times" and "frankly putschist"--to cheerfully become part of an antidemocratic plot to pull Santa Cruz out of Bolivia and install an authoritarian para-government, however illegally. To him, it would be just like the "good old days" of impunity and repression both there and in Argentina!

The name of Luis Enrique Baraldini has also come up here before. According to this report, Baraldini is currently in Bolivia. (He's also wanted by Interpol for human rights violations in Argentina, so if you've seen him, you know who to call.) Baraldini is of the Santa Cruz horsey set; he's a judge in equestrian events, and also currently runs a "school of equine therapy", presumably catering to disabled children, which may well be a front for something less pleasant--or at the very least, a way of covering his multitudinous sins. He may be using his mother's surname, Pellegri, as an alias (how macho, hiding behind Mama's skirts). He also was decorated by the Bolivian military for his "services"--a major WTF? until you consider that he, too, was operative during the days of military dictatorship, and undoubtedly, like Mones Ruiz, was sent by the higher-ups in Buenos Aires to "help" the poor, beleaguered unpopular generals maintain their death grip on that impoverished but still fractious country! Alas, it was an epic fail. Bolivia is now democratic and ruled by an uppity Injun. How lucky for him, then, that there has been mostly impunity for Argentine repressors since the return of democracy to Bolivia in '82 and Argentina in '83, otherwise he'd be in a world of hurt. (Well, it's still not too late to call Interpol if you've seen him. Or the Bolivian federal authorities, who I'm sure are more than a little interested in him again, though in a markedly different light, by now.)

And of course, there's that weaselly little UnAmérica thing again, too. Too bad it's totally illegitimate, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is likely to throw out its charges with a loud belly-laugh. Unasur, not UnAmérica, holds the legal cards. The declarations of this right-wing astroturf group are therefore no more legitimate than the "autonomy" declarations of the Media Lunatics (which were so preposterous that no respectable international observer wanted to be caught dead at their illegal referendum, much less dignify it with the stamp of approval.) I don't imagine that the smarmy Twat From Caracas and his little astroturf-roll will fare any better either; no one's about to grant them immunity from prosecution in exchange for testimony since they're clearly in this plot up to their collective, beady eyeballs.

I've lost count of how many points this makes for Evo's side, but I know for sure that the oppo count is still 0. Apologists for fascism, the ball's in your court now...but I doubt you can return THIS serve convincingly. You haven't done all that well with any of the previous ones.

Bolivia terror plot: The smoking gun(s) of forensic evidence

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So, there are still those who think the three dead mercenaries shot by the Bolivian police were innocent, and that they were executed in cold blood, rather than killed in a firefight? Well, now the ballistic evidence is in, and guess what it says...

Experts from the Institute of Forensic Investigations (IDIF) found gunpowder residues on the hands of the suspected terrorists killed on April 16 in a confrontation with an elite unit of the Bolivian federal police in the Hotel Las Américas, according to judicial sources.

"The IDIF report indicates that there were gunpowder residues on the hands of Eduardo Rózsa Flores, Arpad Magyarosi and Michael Martin Dwyer," said prosecutor Marcelo Soza, head of the investigation.

[...]

Soza said the IDIF findings constitute evidence that the deceased fired at the police during the confrontation in which they were killed.

Translation mine.

There WAS a firefight, and these guys were killed because they were shooting at the police. Any questions?

May 8, 2009

Bolivia terror plot: An attorney's intriguing revelations, and some more intriguing revelations about the attorney

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No translation required, I trust...

My, oh my, oh my. Something mighty interesting is going down in Bolivia, no? Here comes your latest installment, kiddies:

Denver Pedraza, the defence attorney for the Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC) members Carlos Gueder Bruno and Alcides Mendoza Masavi, implicated in the activities of a presumed terrorist cell dismantled in Santa Cruz, linked Senator Walter Guiteras to the suspected trafficking of weapons in 2006, which were to be used against the government.

"Senator Guiteras, of the Podemos opposition party, was one of the persons allegedly trafficking weapons through the zone, via one of his properties," Pedraza revealed in an interview with a local TV station.

Pedraza named a family, the Farfáns, as suspected ringleaders of an organization which trafficked weapons in the department of Beni, although he did not specify a precise location of the property in question.

"This terrorist event has a name and surname. As of 2006-7, a great many weapons entered Bolivia, especially in the departments of Santa Cruz and Beni," Pedraza said.

[...]

Pedraza also revealed that as of 2006, when the weapons began coming into the country, and in 2007-8, "the 'lodges' Toborochi, Caballeros del Oriente, and a group of members who ran the companies CRE (electricity), COTAS (telecommunications) and SAGUAPAC (water) began to react [against the Morales government]."

[...]

Pedraza said that these "lodges" immediately organized, and that there was a hunger strike in Santa Cruz, "and then the idea arose among some people there to kill Dr. Hugo Salvatierra, who was Minister of Agriculture, and Dr. Chato Peredo."

These declarations come as the Public Ministry investigates events relating to a terrorist cell which operated in Santa Cruz, which intended to divide Bolivia and made attempts on the life of President Evo Morales. In previous declarations made last week, Pedraza had already made known that he possessed much important information relating to the terrorism case, and asked to meet with President Morales.

Translation mine.

You'll want to read what Otto has found about the Toborochi and Caballeros Del Oriente "lodges" mentioned above, which are shunned like lepers by mainstream, respectable Bolivian freemasons for reasons all too compelling. There is some extensive and damning documentation (at the moment, in Spanish only) on these two very shady secret societies. If more on them comes to light later on, I'm going to translate key bits and post them here, as I agree with Otto that they are significant--they appear to have provided cover for some serious terrorist plotting and other criminal activities as well.

Meanwhile, I'm doing the old Googly-moogly on Denver Pedraza, the attorney for these two accused, who are suspected bagmen and/or weapons suppliers to the cell. Here are a few things I've found so far:

According to a May 1 news item on a Canadian Bolivia solidarity site, Pedraza is himself under corruption charges. The charges stem back to when Pedraza was district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz, the district directorate of the national registry, controller and administrator of confiscated property. For this reason, according to the juridical director of the Ministry of Government, Rubén Gamarra, Pedraza "has no moral authority to summon any governmental authorities"--this in reference to his wanting to meet with Evo. Instead, he's been asked to hand over the information to the Public Ministry to be processed according to established legal procedure.

Pedraza was made district chief of DIRCABI Santa Cruz on July 21, 2006, and fired just nine months later, after Alfredo Rada, the Minister of Government, found irregularities in his management of the office. Pedraza is accused of having taken a confiscated car and then crashed it in a state of intoxication. Several bottles of wine were found inside at the scene. It wasn't the only confiscated car he took, either--he is accused of having given two armored vehicles, a Fiat and a Citroën, worth $50,000 US apiece, to the mother of a man charged in a drug-trafficking case. He only returned one--"totally dismantled". The other is still unaccounted for. Yet another confiscated vehicle, a Suzuki, was also "irregularly used" and involved in a traffic accident; Pedraza was found to have ordered the transfer of some persons in it, and to date has not paid for the repairs incurred as a result of the incident. He also rented out a confiscated building, on the corner of San Aurelio Avenue and Segundo Anillo in the city of Santa Cruz as a billboard for large advertisements. The renters were charged $700 US for a year's use of the space. This money did not go to DIRCABI, but to Pedraza's own pocket, even though he had been fired. Several pieces of confiscated jewelry were also found to be missing from the safe at DIRCABI headquarters, and Pedraza later admitted that they were in "a secure location", and returned them after they were found in his home!

Gee, he sounds like quite the character, doesn't he? But nonetheless, he's entirely par for the course if you're talking about crooked bigwigs in the city of Santa Cruz, which has no shortage of those. (Why do you think so many of them are banding together in clandestine "lodges" to kill Evo? Among other things, he's cracking down on corruption. Duh!)

According to this piece in the very right-wing (and smelly) Bolivian news site El Deber, Pedraza claims there are persons in the federal government and the National Police linked to weapons trafficking. Could this be what he wanted to meet with Evo about? Or is he accusing Evo, and trying to drag him into court? This might explain why his "requests" for a "meeting" were rejected on the grounds of his lack of moral standing. Oh, and get this: Pedraza claims to be a MAS supporter (that is, of Evo's party, the Movement Toward Socialism)! He also points the finger at Alfredo Rada (mentioned above), and Major Johnny Tapia, former federal police officer (and head of Delta Squadron) and currently chief of police in Plan 3000, a mostly-indigenous suburb of the city of Santa Cruz. Tapia of course denies it, and I have yet to see anything worth crediting pertaining to charges against Rada, either. The same piece also uncritically characterizes the far-right astroturf group, the "Human Rights Foundation", as "apolitical", which is the dirtiest joke I've heard all week. (I did say El Deber was smelly, did I not?)

BTW, I'm looking for the video in which Pedraza gives the interview mentioned in the ABI article at the top of this piece. If anyone knows where I can find it, drop me a note in the comments section and I'll post it here so you can see him for yourself and judge how trustworthy/noteworthy/whatever you find him.

May 7, 2009

How the Venezuelan opposition "celebrated" May Day

Or, Yon-Yon's mustard gaffe:

A couple of clips from La Hojilla (The Razorblade), showing what none of the opposition media want you to see about the kind of people THEY represent. Namely, that they are delusional, violent and even downright stupid at times. Namely, that they don't have fuck-all to do with Venezuela's real workers and unionists, who marched on May Day in peaceful, happy--i.e., typically Chavista--fashion. No, these guys marched to complain, as ever, about how repressed they are.

Yeah, right.

So repressed are these poor deluded dears that no one stopped them from marching. They were even granted a permit to follow a given route (how repressive!). But when they tried to diverge from that route and break into the National Assembly building under the pretext of "delivering a document", then they came up against the Caracas police, who had set up protective barriers (which some punks in front promptly proceeded to break).

When asked repeatedly by journalist Jorge Amorín what the document said, the oppos got belligerent. They accused Amorín of being a spy, or shouted what appeared to be stupid slogans that had nothing to do with the subject at hand. One oppo leader, Ismael García, can be seen giving Amorín and his cameraman the finger--just for asking a few questions that he doesn't want to answer truthfully. So civilized, these oppos!

If there was a document--which I doubt, as none was in evidence anywhere--what was so secret about its contents? After all, it was supposed to be "delivered" to a public institution--the National Assembly, that is, the chamber of Venezuela's elected federal representatives.

Hey! I get it. There was no document. That's right: THERE WAS NO DOCUMENT. This was a ruse! (smacking forehead) How could I have been so dense?

This was just another effort on the part of the oppos to recoup what they lost on April 13, 2002. Remember that? On April 11, they marched on Miraflores to depose a legitimate president; they had to commit murder and mayhem to get their way, but it only lasted 48 hours. At the end, the will of the people prevailed, the fascists fled, and Chavecito returned to his desk. They've been trying, ever since then, to try to get it right, and they haven't succeeded yet. Always they keep coming up against the same thing: The people love Chavecito, and they want to keep him around.

But hey! Give these guys full marks for dogged persistence, anyway. They just keep trying and trying to impose themselves against democracy. So touching. And just think, if Venezuela were really a totalitarian state, as they claim, would these fascists have the freedom to keep trying for a coup d'état, with commercial media as their faithful accomplice?

Or for that matter, if there were no freedom of speech in Venezuela, would Yon "Playboy" Goicoechea be able to lie on TV about how the police used mustard gas against a march that he took no part in himself? (Item #1: Mustard gas has been prohibited by international law since 1925. Item #2: Venezuela respects and abides by all international laws.) There's been plenty of joking (most notably by the Robertos, on their show "As You Can See") about Yon-Yon's mustard gaffe, and how what was really sprayed at the crowd was not mustard but mayonnaise.

All kidding aside, however, the police did have to use pepper spray, as the mob was breaking the barriers, attempting to riot, and showing no respect for public order. Pepper spray is legal; it's nasty, but not deadly unless maybe you have an allergy to cayenne pepper. And in this case, it was dyed red, so anyone could see it coming and get away in time. It's unfortunate that the cops had to use it, but if you watch both videos, you'll see that they had good reasons for doing so.

Also, pay close attention to how the Globovisíon announcer claims there was no violence. Really? Then who knocked over those potted trees? Who set the garbage bin on fire? Who destroyed the PDVAL market? I'll give you a broad hint: They weren't wearing PSUV shirts or carrying a banner with Chavecito's face on it. The Chavista march didn't go that way.

Oh, those poor oppressed oppos. Can't get their way, so they riot--and then they lose what little respect anyone else was ever willing to give them.

Including your humble scribe.

May 4, 2009

A blast from Bolivia's past

This video was made exactly one year ago today. It shows the true nature of the "Nación Camba", the fascist organization that seeks "autonomy" for the so-called "Media Luna", the "half moon" of Bolivian provinces ruled by the opposition.

Notice something in there? Something Hitleresque about the salutes? Something Nazified about the "patriotic" songs? Perhaps the fact that the victims of their violence are all indigenous? And how about the bellowing halfwit on the Camba podium, saying that their fascist gendarmerie (an illegal militia, whom you can tell by their green-and-white shields) are the "only moral force" in the country?

There's a reason I'm posting this. This "nation" didn't even exist until after an indigenous man became president of Bolivia...and decided it was time the indigenous peoples got autonomy from the racist rule of these guys, as well as more seats in parliament and more say in the running of their lives. That's when the wealthy whites tried to hit him back with an "autonomy" bid of their own, and ended up climbing on board the failboat. They've been sinking steadily in their own toxic effluvium ever since, and their not-so-secret sponsorship of the terrorist cell that was recently broken up by the federales may just be the thing that brings them down for good.

But even if it doesn't, there is one indigenous group that has a history of being feisty, fractious, and unwilling to put up with that shit, as this Al-Jazeera report shows:

The Red Ponchos are a mostly peaceful bunch, but if Branko & Co. have any brains in their cracked skulls, they will NOT fuck with them. These guys may forgive--if you're lucky--but they do not forget.

UPDATE: Red Bolivia reports that the UN has "expressed concern" at the attempt of the mercenary/terrorist cell to overthrow the elected government of a member state. Key paragraphs:

The UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries stressed in a press release that it is not expressing its opinions at this stage on the facts of the case, but noted that using mercenaries to overthrow UN Member States' governments is an offence of grave concern.

It also underscored the principle of self-determination, under which all people have the right to freely determine their political status, as well as the right of the people of a certain nation to decide how they want to be governed without other entities' influences.

Translation: The Cruceñistas have no friends at the UN, either. This is not about the so-called "Nación Camba" and its alleged right to self-determination, but rather about Bolivia's right not to be bullied by wealthy oil, gas and agricultural interests of the Media Luna. The fact that the Cruceñistas resorted to the use of mercs when all lawful democratic means failed them clearly indicates the illegitimacy of their cause. It also shows they're getting mighty desperate!

May 2, 2009

All kinds of Evo!

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Evo invites his friend, former US president Jimmy Carter, to come on out to his farm in the Chapare sometime to pick coca leaves. Carter, a former farmer himself, accepted. I'm not making this up, folks!

Jeez, this Evo-dude is so busy, it's hard to keep up with all the things he's been up to today. There's too much good stuff out there to translate, so I'll just give you the highlights from various Spanish-language links:

Aporrea reports that the UN high commissioner for human rights in Bolivia, Denis Racicot, has declared the recent attempt on Evo's life to be racist. "Killing the first indigenous head of state in this country could be described as such," were his words.

ABI reports that Evo denies having expelled the Peace Corps from Bolivia. This is certainly true; it was not his doing but that of the State Dept., which issued a bogus travel warning that told US citizens in Bolivia to leave the country immediately. And this happened AFTER several Peace Corps volunteers reported having been solicited by a functionary of the US embassy to spy on Venezuelan and Cuban citizens working in Bolivia. Ditto for a Fulbright scholar, who also mentioned having been asked to spy, which was definitely NOT part of his job description. But according to Evo himself, the Peace Corps and all other humanitarian organizations are welcome, as long as they don't come toting any "hidden agendas". Hmmm, whatever could he mean by that?

Also on ABI, Veep Silverfox García Linera assures us that Evo's life was in danger from that terror cell recently busted. Don't believe the hype that it wasn't about Evo--it was! Silverfox also sez that the danger's not over as long as those who paid the mercs remain free--to plot, conspire, and hire more thugs from at home and abroad. He called on the social movements of Bolivia to help protect their president from those thugs. Given that these movements are cram-jammed with people well accustomed to putting their lives on the line for democracy and social justice, what response do you think he'll get?

Meanwhile, Aporrea publishes the name and face of one of those who financed the plot. Surprise, surprise--he's with Thor Halvorssen's bogus "Human Rights Foundation", the same chunk of astroturf that's so human-rightsy, it even lets in that psychopathic, self-exiled Pinochetist of the Venezuelan far-right, Alek Boyd. The latter is famous for his violence fantasies, including (and I'm not making this up) pouring molten silver into the eyes of his perceived enemies. (Note: The "enemies" he's talking about are all popular, democratic and freely elected.) Isn't it nice to know Evo's enemies keep such illustrious company?

And finally, for some inspiring videos of Evo giving good speechy, clicky here.

May 1, 2009

Yep, just another innocent victim of foreign persecution...

NOT.

This is Mike Dwyer, back when he worked for the security company that guards Shell Oil's installations in Ireland:

He's suppressing an environmentalist protester. You can hear someone saying "Mick, Mick, let him get up". Which he rather reluctantly does.

Gee, I can't imagine how he found himself in Bolivia with a bunch of fascists who are trying to get control of Bolivia's vast gas and oil reserves, can you?

April 29, 2009

The video the Cruceñistas don't want you to see

Thanks to commenter Boris, from Bolivia (yes, I checked--his IP is definitely from there!), I've been alerted to this video:

It was posted to YouTube two days ago. It's got news footage of Evo's floating parliament on Lake Titicaca, intercut with the grainy, choppy video from the terrorists' cellphone camera. The perps are clearly identified on the video, and it's subtitled (in Spanish only) to indicate what they were saying. It's quite clear that they were hoping to blow up the vessel on which the parliament was held, by swimming underneath it in "frogman" (scuba) gear and planting plastic explosives on its bottom. Eduardo Rózsa Flores, the Bolivian-Hungarian veteran of Croatia's separatist war, appears to be the ringleader, or at least the guy with the biggest mouth, because he seems to be doing most of the talking. Mike Dwyer was definitely present at the planning meeting (he's identified in the clip), so one can't say that he had no idea what was going on. And neither can one say it about the other guys, including Elöd Tóasó, whom the Hungarian ambassador seems to have mistaken for an innocent adventurer in over his head. Sorry, guys, they all knew what they were doing, and the proof is in the pictures.

Thanks again to Boris for letting me know about this--it's highly incriminating, wouldn't you say?

UPDATE: Bolivian police have released the names of two people who were, apparently, bagmen for the financiers of the terror cell. Their names are Hugo Achá and Alejandro Melgar, alias "Superman" and "El Lucas", respectively.

UPDATE #2: El Gaviero notes that "El Lucas" may refer to Luke Skywalker, from the Star Wars franchise. I think this one should have called himself "Darth" instead, and maybe "Superman" should change his moniker to "Lex Luthor" while they're at it. In any case, though, the excellent Bolivian federales are their kryptonite!

Bolivia terror plot: The UJC connection

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Just a bunch of fine young Cruceñista boyz, out cruising for chicks in a majorly pimped ride. Think these punks got lucky?

Well, kiddies, we knew THIS was coming, did we not? Now ABI confirms it: the Santa Cruz chapter of the Hitlerjugend was also involved in the plot to try to kill Evo, Alvaro and several other leading Bolivian politicians.

On Tuesday, police apprehended an advisor to the ultra-right-wing Santa Cruz Youth Union (UJC), Juan Carlos Gueber Bruno, suspected of having ties to the foreign mercenary cell broken up last month in the City of Santa Cruz.

Gueber Bruno, also known as "Comandante Bruno" in UJC circles, was arrested near his home in Villa Cotoca on suspicions of having supplied weapons to the group led by Eduardo Rózsa Flores.

[...]

Gueber Bruno, 49, acted in 2008 as an activist of the Comité Pro Santa Cruz.


Translation mine.

Well, well. Not only does he have ties to the UJC, but to Branko Marinkovic's band of not-so-young hooligans, too. This just keeps getting more and more interesting, no? It just keeps circling around and around Branko. Do you suppose this is who the "wealthy financier" of the group was, the one that was alluded to in the previous post?

April 28, 2009

Portrait of the Terrorist as a Young Gun Nut

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Elöd Tóasó, Hungarian/Romanian would-be assassin, posing with a sniper rifle last December at the Hotel Buganvillas, Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Too bad it didn't have a magnifying mirror instead of a high-res telescopic sight, so he could take a peek in and realize how stupid he looked.

Strap yourselves in and fold up your tray tables, folks. It's time for another bumpy ride on Air Terrorcell!

Elöd Tóasó, the 29-year-old Hungarian-Romanian apprehended in an antiterror operation on April 16 in Santa Cruz, was the "communications link" of the international mercenary terror cell dismantled by the police, and was tasked with spying and telephone tapping.

In reality, far from being a "young adventurer" in search of a daily living, as described with paternal innocence by the Hungarian ambassador in La Paz, Matyas Józsa, Tóasó received military training in Bucharest, along with the Irishman, Michael Dwyer, who was killed in a hotel in Santa Cruz in a firefight with Bolivian police two weeks ago.

Tóasó, who appears in a photo published by the independent Cochabamba newspaper Opinión holding a sniper rifle with a high-precision telescopic sight, became a mercenary under the influence of Michael Dwyer and also that of the Hungaro-Croatian Bolivian Eduardo Rózsa Flores, leader of the mercenary cell.

The picture was taken in the middle of last December in the Hotel Buganvillas, one of the most exclusive in Santa Cruz, where the armed group stayed for more than two months at cost to a third party, currently unknown, whom Rózsa Flores described in an interview in Budapest last September as "the Bolivian financiers" and providers of the weapons.

According to the management of the five-star hotel, the terrorist group booked in the Buganvillas under false identities.

Tóasó, who was taken captive in the raid two weeks ago along with Jorge Tadik, a Bolivian ex-military man trained in Bolivia but with Hungarian roots, even convinced the ambassador of his own country that he was just an innocent adventurer, in spite of the evidence shown by a video of the conspirators making assassination plans.

"This man, to me, is far from being a terrorist. Young, 29 years old, who made mistakes, and I believe they invited him to come here offering to pay him this and that, but he didn't know what lay in store...I believe that this man had no money, because the financial crisis has hit Hungary hard too. We're very badly off, so this stems from the fact that our people have no money. He was young, and looking for adventure, and accepted something I don't think he thought through," said the Hungarian diplomat, trying to intervene on behalf of his countryman.

In Hungary, Tóasó was known to have belonged to the so-called "Szeklers", who consider themselves to be direct descendants of pure Hungarians, according to Opinión.

Along with Arpad Magyarosi, Tóasó joined the far-right paramilitary "Szekler Legion", which went to war in Croatia for separatist causes in the 1990s.

Translation mine. Linkage added.

Yeah, just another cute young dreamer, like that Irish dude, who supposedly got in over his head and couldn't possibly have been a baddie. Looks to me like he damn well knew what he was doing, and didn't care as long as the rich "Bolivian financier" supplied plenty of money, guns and ammo. (And BMWs, as Mike Dwyer bragged to his friends back home. Which, incidentally, do NOT come cheap in Bolivia, even if you're only renting. Sorry, Mike's friends, your ol' buddy was definitely mobbed up.)

The open question remains as to who that "financier" was, but my spidey-sense tells me Branko Marinkovic has got to be feeling the noose closing in on him by now. The government of Bolivia has sent troops to guard the Brazilian and Paraguayan borders of Santa Cruz, since it's known that the weaponry and Jorge Rózsa Flores both got in through Puerto Suárez, on the border with Brazil. If I were in that gummint, I'd make sure that Branko had no means of leaving the country, lest he pull a Burusas and seek "political asylum" in Peru, too.

PS: For another portrait of a deranged Hungarian from the inside of his cracked skull, I recommend this piece in the Irish Times. Fancy a racist fascist calling Evo, who has never said one prejudiced word against whites, a Nazi! Pot, say hi to kettle over there in the funhouse mirror...

PPS: Andras Kepes, look for a subpoena from the Bolivian government in your mail this week. They're not impressed with you for interviewing that Flores crackpot and then sitting on it instead of informing the authorities of a terror plan. That makes you look kind of complicit in it, dude.

PPPS: A German-language blogger in Ireland is asking the same questions in his blog as Otto, BoRev and I are tackling, respectively, in ours. He's also found the "actual" website of the Szekler Legion to be "under construction", although it wasn't last week. Go to his link if you wanna see screenshots of the icky place before it was taken down for "construction".

PPPPS: And finally, don't worry--these Szekler whackjobs aren't the scariest Hungarians out there by a long shot. Click here to see who is.

April 23, 2009

When even the Bolivian opposition says it...

...you know it's serious. From ABI, a bombshell:

Opposition deputy Alejandro Colanzi, of the National Unity party, denounced on Wednesday the existence of a "blacklist" of 100 names of political, civic and opinion leaders who were in the crosshairs of terrorists under the heading of "Traitors and Sentenced Enemies".

Colanzi said that the list made the rounds of the Internet on April 12, three days after the attack on the home of Cardinal Julio Terrazas.

"The mailing indicated who was to be identified and treated as an example of the 'enemies and traitors' who participated or collaborated with a government that tried to dismember a people who until now have been tolerant," Colanzi said.

The legislator showed the press a text message that was sent to various political representatives, days before the operation in which Bolivian police broke up a terrorist cell operating in the city of Santa Cruz.

"You can see the death threat made against the President and Vice-President, which says, 'Tell your chiefs Alvaro and Evo that they're going to be eliminated'. This landed on the cellphones of certain persons in Santa Cruz," Colanzi said.

The deputy demanded of the president of the Comité Cívico Pro Santa Cruz, Luis Núñez, that he denounce those who participated in meetings in which it was decided which houses would be burned.

"The 'civico' president must denounce those who have taken part in criminal activities and must tell us that he has not participated," Colanzi insisted.

Translation mine.

I sadly fear that Mr. Colanzi is going to be disappointed on two counts. I doubt very much that anyone from the right-wing Comité is going to denounce any of his allies or cronies--if not because he himself is just such a criminal, then certainly because he fears those who are.

If anyone has access to the e-mailing that he's referring to, BTW, I'd love to see and, if necessary, translate it. Drop a link and/or cut 'n' paste in the comments below.

April 21, 2009

Bolivian terrorists: The Argentine Connection?

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Terror cell leader Eduardo Rozsa Flores, caught napping after an intense threesome. So sexy, no? And now you have an inkling of how and why the Bolivian national police got into a shootout with him and his pals.

Well, well, well...what have we here? More potentially interesting stuff on that Bolivian terror cell? And it's better than mercenary beefcake? You don't say...

The government of Evo Morales is investigating the ties between the recently-disrupted terror cell and some Argentine ex-soldiers called "carapintadas" (painted faces), associated with the far right in that country. One of them, Jorge Mones Ruíz, is believed to have met in early April in Santa Cruz with Eduardo Rózsa Flores, the Bolivian-Croatian killed in last Thursday's raid.

Mones Ruíz acted as an Argentine delegate in UnaAmérica, a far-right organization setting itself up against Unasur, the South American Union, in a crusade to denounce leftist governments in Latin America, recruit members, and finance the right-wing in Colombia.

Mones Ruíz was slated to be an intelligence official of the Argentine army in Bolivia during the last dictatorship and prided himself on the recognition of his comrades and his Bolivian ex-comrades. In his recent trip to Bolivia he was accompanied by Liliana Raffo de Fernández Cutiellos, widow of Lt.-Col. Horacio Fernández Cutiellos, who died during the attack on the Regiment of La Tablada by the Movimiento Todos por la Patria (MTP), according to the Argentine daily, Página 12.

The woman visited the ex-prefect of Pando, Leopoldo Fernández, in prison. Fernández is accused of conspiring against the Morales government. She and the major of the Cavalry, who took up arms to keep from being tried for crimes against humanity along with Aldo Rico, had gotten credentials as correspondents for the newspaper Estrella de Oriente (Eastern Star).

Among the objectives for the trip was to meet with another fugitive from justice, for crimes against humanity and who happened to be in Santa Cruz de la Sierra: Luis Enrique Baraldini. Federal judge Daniel Rafecas put out an order for Baraldini's capture some months ago. The daily newspaper La Arena de La Pampa revealed that Baraldini was in Bolivia. This announcement led to a current search on the part of Interpol.

In an article by journalist Nora Veiras, Página 12 reports that the Morales government is investigating the links between the suspected international terrorist organization with the ex-carapintadas and Baraldini.

[...]

For several months the authorities of both countries suspected that Argentine ex-carapintadas had united with factions of the far-right in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Pando and Cochabamba.

The Bolivian minister of the presidency, Juan Ramón Quintana, was in contact with the Argentine ambassador in La Paz, Horacio Macedo, who guaranteed Argentina's help in locating the suspects.

Translation mine. Linkage (in English) added.

Curiouser and curiouser! And most curious of all, I'm not a bit surprised that Argentine ex-military fascists are also suspected of involvement. Why do you suppose that is?

Well, maybe it's because the Argentine carapintadas are among the worst of the worst. Just the mention of their painted faces is enough to strike terror into hearts all over South America. Here's a little info on them from their Wikipedia entry:

The Carapintadas (English: Painted Faces) were a group of mutineers in the Argentine Army, who took part in uprisings during the presidency of Raúl Alfonsín in Argentina.

In December 1986, the Ley de Punto Final (Full Stop Law) was introduced. This law set a 60-day deadline for the victims of the country's Dirty War to file complaints against members of the military and police suspected of human rights abuses.

On April 15, 1987, military personnel headed by Lieutenant Colonel Aldo Rico staged a series of barrack uprisings demanding that the trials of those not exempted under the law be aborted. The mutineers were all seized, but only two arrested.

The Carapintadas revolted again under Rico's command in January 1988 in Monte Caseros. They surrendered a few days later and 300 of the mutineers were arrested.

Another uprising took place in on December of that year, when members of the Albatros special unit, led by Mohamed Alí Seineldín, took control of the military barracks in Villa Martelli. They were later followed by around 1,000 troops of the three armed forces. The mutineers surrendered days later, but only Seineldín and Major Hugo Abete were arrested. Several of the mutineers demands were conceded by the government.

On October 1989, president elect Carlos Menem signed a pardon for a number of detained military men; including 39 held by events during the military government, and 164 Carapintadas. In spite of this, on December 3, 1990 Seineldin again staged an uprising, which ended with several deaths and 300 arrested. A few days later, Menem signed the pardon for all the most important people convicted for misdeeds during the Dirty War.

Hmmm, how interesting. They rose up against Raúl Alfonsín, the interim president of the time, who guided Argentina back to democracy. That's the same Alfonsín that a certain troll here couldn't bring himself to show a modicum of respect for in death. Surely not because he actually made a stab at trying to bring some right-wing military scum to justice?

And of course, there's that name. Aldo Rico. He certainly wasn't the only baddie in the bunch; there were, heaven knows, enough others besides him. But there he is. And the widow of one of his partners-in-crime has been in contact with the scummy ex-prefect of Pando, under the pretext of being journalists. With credentials from a newspaper, no less. They visited him in jail. What do you suppose the "interview" was really about? Surely not to plan some paramilitary terror operations against Evo, similar to those against Raúl Alfonsín back in the day?

Yep, these sure are interesting times, in the most Chinese-curse-y sense of the word. And bound to get more so before this case closes.

Let's get a few things straight here...

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Oh noes! I've been accused of being wrong about something going down in Bolivia, it seems. The accuser gives the e-mail address "bolivia@gmail.com", but a quickie check of his/her IP address (which gets conveniently left in my mailbox, along with the comment) tells me s/he is posting from someplace rather far from there:

General Information

Hostname: 205.160.23.2
ISP: Sprint
Organization: NAVIGANT
Proxy: None detected
Type: Corporate

Geo-Location Information

Country: United States
State/Region: DC
City: Washington
Latitude: 38.9097
Longitude: -77.0231
Area Code: 202

So of course, this person would know what s/he is talking about when it comes to Bolivia, right?

Well, let's dissect what was actually said by the commenter, and see if s/he merits the ban I meted out.*

Here's the post I put up; here's the unedited comment, in toto:

well, what can I say, but that although I expected something better from the same person who scolded me for not showing regret at the passing of Alfonsin, I see that Sabina is simply spewing hate, concerned more about scoring ideological points rather than objectively reporting FACTS.

My guess if that innocent til proven guilty only applies for those who you simpathize with? We can agree that the bolivia/hungarian dude was a nut missing a few screws. However there is absolutely no evidence that they were after Evo. The more likely scenario is that they wanted to fight his regime, but that is far different from an assasination attempt. What is really worrysome is that there is indications that these guys were executed and no gun fight occurred. Some are reporting that their hands were tied as they were shot point blank, but I won't go that far since I was not there. But the pictures and video clearly do not support the govt version of a gunfight. And yes, there is still no evidence what so ever of an plot to kill Evo other than him, and he made that call even before we knew who had been killed.

The first paragraph is a nasty ad feminam attack, no? It's indicative of a grudge-holding mentality on the part of the troll, because I had put that comment out of my mind shortly after chiding this person (on El Gaviero's blog) for being disrespectful to an Argentine former president who recently passed away, and who also happened to be the one to transition the country from dictatorship to democracy. You can get the details on Raúl Alfonsín from Otto and The Mex Files, if you like.

The second is more immediately relevant, and makes some accusations which are pretty ludicrous in light of known facts (no ideology necessary, unless of course you're a spinny 'winger troll.)

First off: No gunfight? That's funny, every major media report says there was one that went on for about thirty minutes. (Here's the Reuters version, for those who still doubt. You'll note that it is NOT Evo-friendly.)

Thirty minutes, people. That's a long time to be shooting it out barrel to barrel. Why would Big Media, no friend to Evo, report that unless it actually DID happen that way?

And what does it tell you about the guys shooting back at the cops? What it tells me is that they were pretty damn heavily armed, is what. Here's another article, with some photos (again, from Reuters, the not-Evo-friendly news agency) showing what the cops found on those guys.

Then there's the "their hands were tied" part. Um, no, they weren't, and here's some graphic (and grotty) proof:

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That's Michael Dwyer's corpse immediately after the shootout, BTW. See how the hands are tied together?

Neither do I.

The tying-up happened, incidentally, when the bodies were being removed from the hotel. That is, only AFTER they were killed (and photographed for the record, as above). They were wrapped in garbage bags, and I'm guessing they had to be trussed up pretty tightly to keep the bags in place and make the bodies easier for the removers to carry. Why garbage bags? Well, either the authorities didn't have any body bags to hand (my guess is they weren't anticipating a need for them, since they conducted the raid in the wee hours, when these guys were presumably sleeping, and they probably didn't expect so much resistance). Or else (and this is less likely) they considered these assassins worthy of nothing better. Either way, get one thing straight: The decedents were NOT tied up and then summarily executed. There was a gunfight, and they lost. Period.

Finally, one doesn't have to have a partisan viewpoint to realize that yes, this is a terrorist incident, and not some cockamamie "freedom fighter" bullshit. When the parliament agrees to convene a multipartite commission to investigate the incident, you can be sure that it's serious.

Finally, there is the "fighting against his regime" bullcrap. WHAT "regime"? We're talking about a democracy here. Evo was elected in December 2005 with 54% of the vote, which might not sound like much until you realize it's the most that any elected Bolivian president in history ever got--and more than double the percentage of his nearest rival. If you're fighting against that, you're fighting against democracy, and that, by definition, makes you a terrorist. If the opposition can't take their defeats gracefully, too bad for them--but that's no excuse to try to overthrow him. The man deserves respect. What else do you think the very democratic concept of "the loyal opposition" means?

One would have to be pretty ideologically twisted to argue with facts like these, but crapagandists in Washington, DC, are as twisted as they come.

And now that we've got this much straight, let's move on to other things. I'll still be following this case as new details emerge, and as justice takes its course with the two who were taken alive. But I will not have any more patience for people trying to muddy the waters with obvious and patent bullshit.

*I don't often do this, BTW. I do, however, make exceptions to my general live-and-let-fly comment policy for spammers and trolls. Spammers get insta-dumped; the trolls get baseball rules--three strikes before the umpire calls 'em out. Since most trolls I get are one-time poopers, I have more fun with a good factual beatdown than banning them, unless they're truly and pornographically obnoxious. In which case I make an exception to the baseball rule, and just delete their comment AND ban them in one go. Since this troll has defecated here more than three times, s/he was overripe for a pulping.

March 25, 2009

UN agrees: Porvenir WAS a massacre.

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(Shamelessly stolen from El Ventarrón. It was too good to pass up!)

A certain prefect from a certain Bolivian department is in the calabozo right now. Some kooky people in Miami (where else?) say he's an unjustly incarcerated "political prisoner". Well, people--is THIS political enough for you?

The representative in Bolivia of the Office of the United Nations High Commission on Human Rights, Denis Racicot, has confirmed that an investigation has found that the events of September 11, 2008, in the department of Pando were a massacre of campesinos.

Racicot presented the findings of the investigation in a press conference. The final conclusion established that the bloody events of that day "were a massacre committed by functionaries of the Prefecture of Pando and persons allied with that institution."

Translation mine.

Oh. I guess that means that the UN High Commission on Human Rights is also a hotbed of "Aymara communism". At least, if you believed the noise coming out of Miami, it would have to be. By their cockeyed lights, no other explanation would do.

On the other hand, if you've been following this blog, you'd know a lot better.

March 21, 2009

Antifascist beatdown? You got it!

goodnight-whitepride.jpg

Yes, we have racism too up here...but we have a lot more anti-racists to beat back against it. Get a load of this:

Violence erupted Saturday afternoon as about 30 members of a white supremacist group and hundreds of anti-racism protesters clashed in downtown Calgary.

At least two people suffered head injuries after they were struck by hurled projectiles and police arrested three people.

The Anti-Racist Action group gathered outside city hall to commemorate the International Day to Eliminate Racial Discrimination.

As they marched through the downtown, a bus carrying members of the Alberta-based neo-Nazi Aryan Guard arrived in the same area.

In all, about 500 people from the two groups clashed outside a transit station, which led to train and bus service briefly being shut down.

[...]

Members of the neo-Nazi group - many wearing sunglasses and scarves over their faces to hide their identities - waved white-power flags and signs bearing swastikas, and shouted expletives at the crowd.

As the clash heated up, water bottles, snow and placards rained down on the Aryans, who carried signs reading: "White pride, why not?"

[...]

Aryan Guard supporters Kelsey, 15, and Meghan, 18, who declined to give their last names, said they're not racists.

"I like being white and I think they take it the wrong way," said Kelsey, wearing a black scarf around her neck emblazoned with a white circle and cross in the middle.

Heh...yeah. They were so "proud" they couldn't even show their faces or give their real names, much less acknowledge that they are fascists. And they were outnumbered by hundreds. Some white pride!

February 15, 2009

I feel kind of sorry for these guys...

Venezuelan oppos are all pathetic, but the young ones especially so. How many Primeros Golpistas (in the yellow shirts) do you see? However many there are, they're all getting their butts pwned by one socialist reporter from Avila TV:

They've invented a whole new nonword, too: "centrohumanism". It means absolutely nothing, and it convinces no one (intelligent, at any rate), but it sure sounds pretty! And it has none of those dangerous connotations that "socialism" has. In fact, it has no connotations whatsoever, because it has no meaning whatsoever.

February 10, 2009

Yep, those Venezuelan oppos sure throw great, big marches.

Bwahahahaha:

What? You want both sides of the story? Okay, here you go--compare and contrast with the Chavecito video here.

And don't say I never give you the other side of things!

February 9, 2009

The best the Venezuelan opposition can do

...is pretty much summed up by this video:

They can't answer even a basic question. So they stick to their painfully thin script: "No is No!" And other hysterical yelling.

Of course, if they chose to answer questions rationally, they'd have to reflect on why their so-called leaders have repeatedly plunged the country into misery in their (failed) efforts to get rid of a popular leader who's doing the country a power of good. That would never do. Better just to scream like banshees. And assault bus drivers who refuse to participate in their illegal roadblocks while they're at it.

Stay tuned for the worst they can do. Coming soon to a synagogue and/or papal nunciature near you...

January 25, 2009

Chavecito kick-ass, Venezuelan oppos lame-ass

A little video that says a lot, eh...

Chavecito and his "Yes" campaign for the constitutional amendment abolishing term limits. Get a load of the reception he gets, and the size of the audience for his speech in the second video. Then feast your eyes on the opposition's "No" campaign, and see the charming arguments THEY have to offer. They actually pray to Alberto Federico Ravell (the vendepatria media baron of Globovisión) to save them! And the best they can do is soak a flag in blood (or something that looks like it.) Which actually, subconsciously, reflects just the sort of people they are.

Meanwhile, Chavecito's having fun mocking them: "Do you think it will rain? 'No is no!' Do you want coffee? 'No is no!'" Whatever question you ask them, that's all the answer you'll get. Which says something equally pathetic about them...and makes me certain that Chavecito's in for a major, MAJOR valentine next month.

January 22, 2009

Just nice little student demonstrators for democracy, eh?

Then riddle me this: Why are these opposition muchachos in Venezuela buying spiked drinks from a truck driven by a Primero Golpista leader who has previously sworn to depose Chavecito "even if it costs us blood, sweat and tears"?

Video in Spanish, but surely you don't need a translation to know what a Molotov cocktail looks like.

What's really shameless is the fact that they're passing them to the not-so-nonviolent kiddies from a truck decorated with portraits of Simón Bolívar. Who, as history demonstrates, had his own "democratic" opposition to deal with. I'm sure, however, that the irony is totally lost on these anti-Bolivarians.

PS: For an additional layer of irony, see Otto.

January 12, 2009

Dept. of Unintended Results, Israel, Inc.

Found at the Scarlet Pimpernel:

israeli-palestinian-toon.jpg

No doubt the Israeli hacker who used this 'toon to deface the Palestine Chronicle website (which is now, happily, restored) thought he was being clever by slamming Hamas (baselessly) as a bunch of cowards using children as human shields. But what this anonymous Einstein forgets is that the Israeli soldier in his cutesy widdle doodle--supposedly a brave defender of babies--apparently has no qualms about aiming his gun at a Palestinian baby.

Incidentally, the hacker is also a master projectionist. We have yet to see credible evidence that Hamas uses Palestinian children as human shields, but hey--we can't say the same about Israel!

Various things the Israeli authorities don't want you to see

Thanks to commenter Utpal for alerting me to this one:

A CBC report with Neil Macdonald, showing the ethnic-cleansing angle on the murder of a Palestinian mother. The soldiers the Israeli news crew interviewed are most explicit on the point--one of them calls the Palestinian house they just invaded "dirty".

Naturally, the Israeli authorities are pissed at the light this puts on them and their military operations. One of them, who condemns Palestinian "censorship", actually says the Israeli station, Channel 2 (who deserve a lot of credit for filming this and having the guts to air it openly) should have exercised "self-censorship"! Double standards, anyone?

A commenter at YouTube writes:

If the failure to evacuate the injured woman was a mistake, then why are there so many reports of same or similar actions. It seems that there is a pattern whereby the Israeli military prevents humanitarian aid to reach the wounded and dying. And maybe there is a policy of such behavior.

It would certainly not be the first time an operation like this was ascribed to "a few bad apples"--remember My Lai? How about Abu Ghraib? Those were due to "bad apples" too, according to the US government. But the truth is that there was a pattern, and when followed to its source, it went straight to the top. The original Winter Soldier hearings proved that My Lai was not a "mistake", nor an "exception", much less "the fog of war". One former GI said that the "last lesson you catch" before shipping out was how to disembowel and skin a rabbit--a clear exercise in brutality, and a demonstration of what soldiers bound for Vietnam were expected to do to any locals who got in their way. As for Abu Ghraib, it's clear that all that abuse came from the top, too--someone in the bowels of the Pentagon must have had orders to use abusive prison guards, who had been that way in civilian life, as prison guards for Abu Ghraib. Just recently, Dubya admitted to having personally authorized the use of waterboarding. (He also vetoed a ban on it, which is a clear indicator of where he stands.)

No, this is not a case of "a few bad apples". This is ethnic cleansing. Someone taught that "good Hebrew boy", as the one soldier calls himself, how to dehumanize and brutalize Palestinians, and how to view them as unclean. It's a lesson the Israelis have learned well from their US patrons. And THAT is something the IDF and its masters in the Israeli government don't want you to know.

Last night I happened to be watching a CTV (Crappy TV) nightly newscast, and they came right out and told how the Israelis were controlling the media--especially foreign media. They won't let them into Gaza unless maybe they're "embedded" with the IDF, in which case, again, the Israeli authorities are clearly doing their best to make sure no one sees anything they don't want the world to see--that is, anything that doesn't present the Israelis as innocent victims defending themselves against an Islamist assault. It was not something I'd have expected from CTV, which is second only to CanWest Global in cheerleading for all things Israeli. I nearly fell out of my chair in shock. Even CBC didn't air such a report, although as the Neil Macdonald piece above demonstrates, there is ample opportunity for them to report and comment.

Meanwhile, Media Lens demonstrates another media phenomenon, common in Britain as well as over here and in Israel--the blatant favoritism of the media in conflict reporting. The report is called "An Eye for an Eyelash", and it's the first of two parts, well worth reading.

December 10, 2008

Two Cuban doctors brutally attacked in Carabobo, Venezuela

...by persons unknown, at a Barrio Adentro II clinic in the state capital city of Valencia:

Carabobo, incidentally, was one of the states that went to opposition gubernatorial candidates in the last election. Don't expect much in the way of law or justice intervening on this one, at least not at state level. The locals have had to turn out in the streets to defend the Bolivarian Revolution there since the 23rd of last month.

October 25, 2008

Mmmmmmm, I LOVE the smell of fascism in the morning...

...preferably when it's caught fire and no one is lifting a pisser to put it out. Burn, baby, burn...

And really, what the hell else would you call this strange little Kaffeeklatsch that recently convened in Panama? Sure smells like fascism to me. Hold your noses while I translate, kiddies, you'll never guess who was there--and who was paying them to attend:

Members of the National Front for the Defence of Economic and Social Rights (FRENADESO) protested on Wednesday against a meeting held by representatives of the far-right in the region, who are looking to attack legitimately elected Latin American governments, which they call "totalitarian populism".

This meeting was financed by the German far-right, by way of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation and the auspices of the self-styled "Freedom Foundation". Among the participants were Carlos Alberto Montaner (of Miami), Hugo Faría and Rafael Alonzo (Venezuela), Eduardo Mayora (Guatemala), Otto Guevara (Costa Rica), Dora de Ampuero (Ecuador), Walter Justiniano (Bolivia) and Luis Callejas (Nicaragua).

Also at the meeting, held during the night, was the opposition student activist from Venezuela, Yon Goicoechea, who recently received the Milton Freedman Prize, worth half a million dollars US.

The dinner cost 100 dollars a plate.

Marco Andrade, Secretary of Education for the Industrial and Similar Construction Workers' Union (SUNTRACS, of Panama) and of the United National Confederation of Independent Unions, and Ronaldo Ortiz, of the November 29 Revolutionary Student Front, denounced this event as being part of the so-called "Plan Panama", which is based in that country in order to destabilize progressive, popularly elected governments, particularly the government of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela.

It is also linked to the dirty media campaigns being hatched in Miami, linked to the Cuban mafia, as in the case of the channel MegaTV, home to the journalist María Elvira Salazar, on whose program there are frequent calls for the assassination of Hugo Chávez and "intervention" in Venezuela and Cuba. The channel recently divulged accusations by the a military putschist from Venezuela, Bernardo Jurado, against SUNTRACS, claiming the group received money from Venezuela, supposedly to destabilize Panama.

Phee-EW, what a bunch of vile-smelling polecats. I may just have to wash my computer down with tomato juice (which is supposed to neutralize the stinkum, according to an uncle of mine who got skunked one night while hunting and wound up taking a bath in it).

I wonder if that supposedly "liberal" German foundation (rather appropriately, named after a socialist-fearing imperialist) has any idea what terrorists it's suckling in its bosom? It must. Else they wouldn't have been invited. I guess they don't care that they're nurturing notorious racists and putschists. (Well, why would they--just look at the terminology that's being bandied about. "Totalitarian populism"? That's an oxymoron if ever I saw one. The two terms cancel each other out, capisce?)

I also love how they claim Venezuela is trying to destabilize Panama by financing leftists there. Huh? Considering that the presidents of those two countries are on friendly terms (the current president of Panama is the son of a very popular, progressive military leader, Omar Torríjos, assassinated by the CIA in 1981), it seems highly unlikely. If Panama goes left in earnest, it won't be due to any money from Venezuela--it will be because Panamanians, like the Venezuelans before them, got sick of the unkept promises of so-called neo-liberalism (which is really just corporate imperialism with a kinder, gentler face.)

Of course, neo-liberalism likes to pump vast sums of money into poor countries that just somehow never seem to reach those who really need it, at the bottom. It stays concentrated at the top, making a few very happy and the rest utterly miserable. (Hey Yon-Yon, done anything serious with your half-million imperiobucks yet, or have you already blown it all on whisky for you and Freddy and your pals?)

If they're really serious about freedom (and I don't for a New York instant believe they are), they might eventually twig to why their economic theories are so unpopular in the very places where they're pushing them hardest. Starting with scenes like this:

The "freedom-loving", "democratic", "liberal" government of Carlos Andrés Pérez sent the Venezuelan army out to fire on its own people during the Caracazo, February 1989. This rioting occurred in direct response to CAP's doing a complete 180 after he was elected to kick the IMF/World Bank imperialists out of Venezuela. Instead of telling them to eat shit, he ate it himself and imposed brutal economic policies, followed by even more brutal repression when the people wouldn't take the brutal economics lying down. Entire apartment blocks in the poorest parts of Caracas were machine-gunned indiscriminately, the better to teach those uppity po' folks a lesson in imperial economics.

If that's not fascism, tell me what is. It doesn't need to wear a swastika to be fascism, although a reasonable facsimile always helps (just ask the UJC).

PS: If you want to see (and smell) more fascism combusting, on this very blog, click here and here. Seems I got a whiff of the brimstone yesterday morning from not one but two of the fine young cannibals who can't bear to see their heroes stripped. If you feel like schooling them yourselves, be my guest and have fun. I can't be bothered--this is News of the Restless, not Democratic Socialism for Dummies.

October 17, 2008

Look who's buttering up Barack Obama

The Venezuelan equivalent of the KKK, no less. Alberto Nolia, on his VTV show "The Devil's Papers", uncovers an online chat session between two prominent "youth leaders" of the Venezuelan opposition, Yon Goicoechea and Freddy Guevara, in which they talk about burning crosses on the lawn of a prominent black politician, Aristóbulo Istúriz--AT THE SAME TIME as they discuss liaising with "Democratic" friends in the US to plant anti-Chávez crapaganda:

"Yes we can fuck the black people who takes our oil"? Not only is that bad English, it's also racist. AND anti-American, to boot, since they're referring to poor black folks in the US.

I sure hope those guys at the Cato Institute enjoy seeing a half-million of their not-so-hard-earned dinero going to blatant little racists like this. Way to do yourselves proud, motherfuckers.

October 2, 2008

Ooooo, this is a juicy one

chemical-drums.jpg

Hmmm, whatever could this mean?

At least 26 barrels of chemical agents were stolen from a military airplane on September 5 by groups of violent "civics" and vandals apparently promoted by the Prefecture of Pando.

The departmental chief of police, Col. Ricardo Heredia, informed that the group assigned to this case is conducting investigations responsibly, and made these finds on Wednesday, October 1, at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. On the Bajo Virtudes road, some six kilometers from the Brazilian border, on the property of Mauro Soria, brother-in-law of the ex-prefect, Leopoldo Fernández, they found nine drums of chemicals.

Heredia said that in this location there were no people, but it was evident that there had originally been 10 drums on the spot.

The police chief did not rule out that the chemicals were used against peasant demonstrators, as on September 11, when the marchers were ambushed, presumably by "civic" groups and assassins.

"We are close to finding the rest of the chemical agents, the investigations are well under way, and we believe that in the next few days we will have more news and will have recovered the remaining barrels of chemicals that had been stolen in the airport," Heredia said.

Translation mine.

No word on what the chemicals were, or how they might have been used by the hired thugs. But frankly, I'm not surprised at any of this. Thuggery and thievery is how the Media Luna-tics operate all around. Thuggery is how they maintain their power; thievery is their reason for this power-grab move of declaring their bogus "autonomy" in the first place. Remember, they don't even want little old ladies getting a teeny, tiny pension out of "their" gas revenues.

September 22, 2008

There they go, with their tails between their legs...

...singin' doo wah ditty ditty dum ditty doo...

Two Human Rights Watchers expelled from Venezuela, boo fucking hoo

José Miguel Vivanco and Daniel Wilkinson, on their way out of Maiquetía Airport in Venezuela, en route to São Paulo, Brazil, looking like two walking peptic ulcers.

So, some people are wringing their hands about how Venezuelan foreign minister Nicolás Maduro just flat-out told the guys from Human Rights Watch that the door's over there, and not to let it hit 'em where their mamas done split 'em? And oh, how bad this looks on Venezuela? Like it confirms every bad thing HRW has said?

Continue reading "There they go, with their tails between their legs..." »

September 16, 2008

How they killed the campesinos at Porvenir

This is what occasioned that emergency meeting of the Unasur leaders--the Porvenir massacre in Bolivia, perpetrated by an opposition prefect who has since been captured and now faces at least 30 years in prison.

Video and story from YVKE Mundial:

A video disseminated by Channel 7, the Bolivian state station, reveals how paramilitaries and assassins in the service of the prefect of Pando, Leopoldo Fernández, conducted the massacre of defenceless peasants in the Tahuamanu River.

The images show how the peasants drowned in the river, trying to cross it while armed men shot at them. "There are some more Indians" can be heard at least twice, coming from one of the persons on the shore of the Tahuamanu, while machine-gun bursts ring out.

The video, compiled by Televisión Boliviana in Cobija, also shows a man, presumably a medic, who says, "Listen, it's terrible, that's a shotgun, we're attending to the people, but really, this situation has passed its limits. This is terrible, it's the worst, we have no security at all."

While the video runs, one of the probable killers, whose hand you can see, says ironically, "They're scared", while his companions keep firing. "There are plenty of hidden Indians here," says another paramilitary, while the victims desperately swim towards the other shore of the Tahuamanu River, fleeing the gunfire.

Translation mine.

I guess this explains why the body count was so imprecise, and why it took a couple of days to get to the bottom of it (assuming, of course, that we have seen the bottom of it yet). Recall that the death count jumped from an initial toll of eight to fourteen, fourteen to sixteen, and sixteen to thirty. The explanation? They were fishing all those bodies out of the river.

Maybe they still are.

The truth about Pando

This ought to put to rest once and for all the notion that the Bolivian opposition is peaceful and nonviolent:

Walter Martínez of the VTV program Dossier spells it all out. Video in Spanish, but don't let that deter you; the pictures speak for themselves, especially the last one (of the Cruceñista bully-boys in the Nazimobile. Yes, it's real!)

When they force the feds to send in the army to secure the airport, public buildings and pipelines from the racist "autonomists", there can be no talk of "dialogue" and "compromise" anymore. This is a state of emergency, people. The fascists have killed at least 30 people so far in one town in the department of Pando alone in the last few days. They are not interested in democracy OR dialogue. They only want to overthrow a legitimate, highly popular president, whom they hate because he's not white, and they are willing to do whatever they think it will take, including violence and efforts to starve out the "shitty Indians" and anyone else who supports "Evo, Evo cabrón". And not the slightest humanitarian consideration troubles their consciences because they don't have any. They don't care how much they smash to shit, as long as they get their way.

This is treason, and it is an insult to democracy. I think that's ample justification for sending in the army.

September 4, 2008

Awwww. Bolivian fascists so cute!

Bolivian fascist youth with spiked clubs

"We're gonna fuck you up, you shitty Injuns!" So chivalrous!

Once more, the racist opposition of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is on the march, and defending its honor...by attacking pre-emptively:

Continue reading "Awwww. Bolivian fascists so cute!" »

August 24, 2008

Fine young hooligans, Ecuador edition

Is this any way to show respect for your president, political opponents, and senior citizens?

"Student" opposition demonstrators in Ecuador shout obscenities and accusations of homosexuality, make rude gestures, and assault anyone unlucky enough to get within striking distance. Fortunately, prominent oligarchic ringleaders are all named and pictured clearly, so if you're ever in Guayaquil, you'll recognize them.

Pay special attention to the stinkfingers, the crotch-grabs, the flying projectiles (they're not eggs, they're rocks), and the various other ways of saying "we don't give a fuck for democracy", in the video above and this one:

One little chica even has the nerve to claim she was demonstrating "peacefully" when she was caught on video doing just the opposite--attacking the police physically.

And if you find them very similar to their Venezuelan counterparts, pat yourself on the back for your perceptiveness: they're following the exact same playbook. They're trying to provoke violence on purpose, so there is a pretext to attempt a violent removal of President Correa. Exactly as the oppos in Venezuela are trying to do with President Chavez. What a coinkydink!

August 23, 2008

Guess who!

Now, who could this be?

Guess who this is...

Hmmmm...his cap says "Venezuela", so clearly he's from there. And he's wearing a red t-shirt with famous communist faces all in a row. He must be a Chavista, right?

Um, sorry. No.

According to Aporrea, this is Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the treasonous right-wing mayor of the municipality of Baruta, spotted on a recent trip to Beijing. Apparently he thought he was going incognito. But in fact, he's violating the conditions of his release from prison four years ago. And the fact that Capriles Radonsky was jailed for attacking the Cuban embassy in Caracas during the coup of '02 surely makes his t-shirt that much more ironic, no?

August 16, 2008

Who flung dung?

I'll give you a hint: It's some Venezuelan opposition types, showing their true colors: brown, brown and BROWN. And stinky.

From YVKE Mundial, some choice video:

Some young hooligans protested the final legal decision to disqualify some deserving candidates by dumping cow manure all over the sidewalk outside the Comptroller General's offices in Caracas on Wednesday.

Yes, you read that right: They threw bullshit all over the place.

Somehow, that just so describes them to a tee, no matter how they protest, no?

August 6, 2008

Yon-Yon's big yawn-yawn

Poor Yon Goicoechea. Such a cute young guy, such high hopes attached...and what are they coming to? A few months ago, the Cato Institute paid him half a million dollars to spread neoliberal/neocon/neofascist crapaganda and astroturf all over Venezuela. Playboy's Venezuelan edition also obligingly gave him huge fanfare (between pictures of silicone-stuffed bunnies, natch.) Do you think they're getting their money's worth? Aporrea doesn't:

Yon Goicoechea, opposition youth leader and student at Andres Bello Catholic University, said on Wednesday during an opposition demonstration that the movement he heads is disposed toward "setting this city on fire" if the State doesn't backtrack on the decision of the Comptroller General to uphold the disqualifications of some 270 would-be political candidates on the grounds of irregularities in the exercise of their duties.

Draped with a Venezuelan flag like a superhero's cape, Goicoechea declared on Globovision that "this Chavismo, which is filling our city with trash, deaths and blood, is impossible to sustain. People need to solve their problems by way of votes. They want to solve their problems the peaceful way. They want to solve their problems by way of justice.

"What are they looking for? That the people set this city on fire?" he continued. "What are they looking for? They're looking for violence! If they don't catch on and let Venezuelans express themselves freely at the polls...if they don't let us demonstrate our enormous non-conformity with the government by way of regular channels, then they must be looking for us to burn up this city. What's the matter with the government? Don't they care that the disqualified candidates are suffering human rights violations?"

Continue reading "Yon-Yon's big yawn-yawn" »

July 16, 2008

M-13 terrorists kill their own

The Venezuelan opposition is so rabid and so bloodthirsty, they'll stop at nothing to get Hugo Chavez out of office. They'll stage violence as a way of "protesting" it. They'll even kill their own. We saw that already on April 11, 2002, when they staged a coup in which rooftop snipers and undercover sharpshooters, in concert with Metropolitan Caracas police officers (controlled by an anti-Chavez mayor, Alfredo Peña) fired on Chavista and anti-Chavista demonstrators alike. In the final death toll, there were more Chavistas than anti-Chavistas killed, but the point of my mentioning it is this: They will even kill their own if it "helps" them politically. They have absolutely no compunctions about it.

Here, however, is one example of such terror tactics backfiring, badly. In recent violence at the University of Los Andes (ULA), a young anti-Chavista demonstrator, Douglas Rojas, was fatally wounded by shrapnel. 48 hours later, he was declared dead. His fellow M-13ers were quick to blame the death on the police, who they say fired on them with shotguns full of the stuff.

But the following video tells a different story:

Continue reading "M-13 terrorists kill their own" »

May 29, 2008

"Autonomous" fascism in Bolivia

Aporrea reports:

Last Saturday, far-right groups attacked, punched and battered a group of peasants who had come to a stadium in the city of Sucre, where president Evo Morales was to deliver 50 ambulances and several thousand homes to local residents.

About 20 Quechua peasants were humiliated and forced to march semi-naked toward the central square of Sucre, where they were forced to kneel and chant slogans against President Morales.

These violent events left 27 wounded, according to local authorities.

Translation mine. A longer version of the day's events, plus backgrounder, courtesy of IPS, can be read at Bolivia Rising.

Aporrea calls Sucre "the kingdom of the Ku Klux Klan in Bolivia"; a somewhat confusing take, since the ringleaders of this violence are not white but mestizo. It is difficult to tell them apart from their victims just by looking; I could only tell who was who by who was standing and who was kneeling; who was yelling triumphantly, and who was silent and miserable; who wore a shirt, and who did not. That's not a whole lot of outward difference. And yet these mestizos identify more with their white ancestors than their indigenous ones, no matter how much their own appearance says otherwise. In Bolivia, it seems, your socioeconomic status is directly dependent on how much European blood you have. Which explains why the local white oligarchy hates the president so; he's a full-blooded indigenous. In their eyes, he's not a popular, elected leader; he's just a dirty Injun.

Here's Nick Buxton's take, from Bolivia Rising:

Continue reading ""Autonomous" fascism in Bolivia" »

December 19, 2007

The Playboy and the Prettyboy stir up shit in the barrios

Remember how awhile back I blogged about Leopoldo Lopez, the mayor of a wealthy district in Caracas? And only yesterday, I had a little item about Yon Goicoechea? Well, now there's proof that Prettyboy Lopez and Playboy Yon-Yon are up to no good...

Neighbors of the most populous zones of Caracas have denounced Yon Goicoechea and mayor Lopez for coming into their communities to organize clandestine meetings there, with the intent of fomenting violent actions in the new year to get rid of President Chavez.

The meetings took place in the districts of Antimano, Caricuao and Los Cortijos; one took place this past week in the Colegio San Agustin in the UD4 sector of Caricuao, according to our source, and was attended by members of the "Comando de la Resistencia".

Continue reading "The Playboy and the Prettyboy stir up shit in the barrios" »

December 18, 2007

Yon Goicoechea, Playboy of Human Rights

From the Department of People You Can't Take Seriously, a real doozer:

Venezuelan Playboy magazine featuring Yon Goicoechea interview

Check the headline circled in yellow. That's an interview with Yon Goicoechea, a Venezuelan "student opposition leader". Yon's apparently not a bit modest about his media whoredom--the headline quotes him saying "I always knew I'd be a leader".

Here's what Aporrea has to say about Yon and his glorious destiny:

Continue reading "Yon Goicoechea, Playboy of Human Rights" »

November 30, 2007

Ha ha. Oppos funny!

Oh, the Venezuelan opposition...they seriously think no one will catch them in a lie. That their carefully contrived media campaigns against Chavecito will go off without a hitch. But as it happens, the ever alert Mario Silva (who hosts La Hojilla, VTV's media-whore-watch show) has caught them out in at least three big, fat whoppers:

In case you haven't guessed, the three lies are:

Continue reading "Ha ha. Oppos funny!" »

November 7, 2007

Carmonazo II: The Oppos Strike Back (Again)

Oh, ho hum...where have I heard this dreary refrain before?

Gunmen have opened fire on students returning from a protest in Caracas against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's planned reforms.

Several people have been reported injured during the clashes, including at least two by gunfire.

The students were protesting against plans to remove presidential term limits, the subject of a referendum.

Thousands had marched peacefully to the Supreme Court and filed a demand for the vote to be suspended.

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the students as they returned from the march, prompting scenes of chaos as students fled.

One witness told the Reuters news agency that after the initial violence supporters of Mr Chavez drove through the area on motorbikes and shooting into the air.

National Guardsmen had been posted along the march route to stop clashes between protesters and Chavez supporters.

Okay, now who says history never repeats? Once again, this does not pass the most basic of sniff tests. Let's tally up the similarities to the last time this happened, shall we?

Continue reading "Carmonazo II: The Oppos Strike Back (Again)" »

September 30, 2007

A pretty boy with an ugly history

Awww, aren't boy crushes just so darn cute?

Just a pity that Steve Huntley's hagiography of the CIA's latest little plaster saint is all holus-bolus, unquestioning bullshit. Here's the real poop on Leopoldo Lopez, the not gutsy, but gusty (as in full of wind) mayor of Chacao. First, from George Ciccariello-Maher at Counterpunch:

In response to the Venezuelan governments non-renewal of RCTV's broadcasting license, a concession which expired on May 27th at midnight, a new student movement emerged that has since grabbed headlines domestically and internationally. Thousands took to the streets, some marching peacefully and some squaring off against the police with rocks and bullets, all in the name of "freedom of expression." But it's worth asking: who are "the students," and what do they represent? In recent days, it has become clear that these student mobilizations have been, in fact, largely directed and supported by sectors of the opposition, all in an effort to provoke, in Chávez's own words, a "soft coup" against the revolutionary government. The opposition's strategy vis-à-vis this student movement has consisted of two fundamental elements, both of which could only be executed mediatically. But now, after being revealed and discredited, that strategy is rapidly disintegrating.

Firstly, opposition parties made a clear decision to stay out of the spotlight, emphasizing the "independent" and "spontaneous" nature of the student protests. Beyond anything else, this gesture proves the degree to which the opposition has been discredited, garnering a reverse Midas touch through years of poor decisionmaking and supporting coups. From the beginning, the government was arguing that opposition politicians were behind the student mobilizations, and so when government-run channel 8 covered one of the early student demonstrations in Plaza Brion in Chacaito, the headline read "opposition demonstration disguised as a student demonstration."

This claim was perhaps justified by the appearance at the demonstration of Leopoldo López, mayor of opposition stronghold Chacao, formerly of far-right party Primero Justicia, which he more recently abandoned in favor of Manuel Rosales' nominally social democratic Un Nuevo Tiempo. Opposition news channel Globovisión countered with the thoroughly unconvincing claim that López, 36 years old and an established politician, was a "youth leader." López himself wouldn't help the situation when at a press conference he "accidentally" called for the students to employ "non-peaceful" tactics (he later claimed that he had meant to call for "non-violent" forms of protest).

Continue reading "A pretty boy with an ugly history" »

June 18, 2007

Washington Post sinks into the oil-soaked swamp

You can always tell what side a newspaper is on by how they choose to present any given story. Take this, for example, from the Washington Post...the paper that has the dubious distinction of having bogged down in complacency since its Watergate glory days:

It was a tiny gesture of protest: a dozen college students flagging down cars for an hour on Embassy Row this month, wearing symbolic white gags across their mouths and holding up posters that quoted Albert Camus and Walt Whitman on the importance of free speech.

But the anger of these Venezuela-born young people -- furious at the shutdown of a popular private TV channel in Caracas -- reflected the fast-rising political fervor that is gripping Venezuelan immigrants in the United States after years of private frustration over the tightening revolutionary grip of President Hugo Chavez.

Continue reading "Washington Post sinks into the oil-soaked swamp" »

June 9, 2007

Another thing FUX won't show...

"Peaceful" anti-Chavez students in Venezuela, vandalizing the city of Maracaibo. They burned flags and the giant soccer ball announcing the Copa America tourney. This in "protest" of the RCTV non-renewal. (Don't ask me what a burned giant soccer ball is supposed to help them accomplish there, I have NO idea.)

And the private media--the same that supports RCTV and opposes Chavez--CENSORED all reporting on this rioting and vandalism, which happened on June 5, according to Aporrea.

Gosh, isn't freedom of the press wonderful? And aren't those students just such model democrats, such an inspirational vision of the future of the country?

Stalin calls Chavez "right-wing"

No shit--this really happened!

An opposition student leader named Stalin Gonzalez (I'm not making this up--that is his real name!) accuses Hugo Chavez of being a "right-wing military". He also thinks his infamous namesake was a "leftist". Um, that would come as a considerable shock to the original Left Communists, whose democratic stance Chavecito greatly admires (and often cites), and who would probably see that Stalin quite differently, especially in light of his supplying the Nazi war machine in the early days of WWII. (His famous purges and blatant nationalism would only have confirmed his identity as being of the far right wing of the Communist Party.)

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June 7, 2007

And this is what the alert was all about...

Fux Snooze, so fair and balanced that they only talked to one side: the ANTI-Chavez blackshirts who threw rocks and bottles at the cops...and then proceeded to make out like it was Chavez's goon squad attacking THEM. The Fuxer on the scene seems all agog that they can speak English. (Their English is deplorable; they pronounce "democracy" as "demo-CRAZY", which seems like a good description of them, all right.)

Shit, I've seen The Onion do a better job of reporting on this whole schmier.

This is that "educated" class I've seen so much laudatory prose about in the US media, the same that thinks IT has the natural right to rule Venezuela? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! They're not fit to run a lemonade stand. Even their wonderful, shiny new "nonviolent" protest movement (another lie, BTW--they fired on the police!) is a cheap knockoff of the hippie protests from 40 YEARS AGO.

And they don't even know how to paint a proper peace symbol on their hands:

Continue reading "And this is what the alert was all about..." »

June 2, 2007

Freedom of speech, true and false

Compare and contrast the following videos:

This was taken at today's big anti-imperialist march in Caracas. As you can see, the screen is split four ways. This is to show the size of the crowds in four well-to-do, opposition-dominated neighborhoods.

The interviews are with students at the Andres Bello Catholic University. According to Aporrea, the university's rector is an oppositionist with a heavy hand. These young adults have turned out to show (and tell) that they will not be intimidated, and that they are in solidarity with the revolution, the poor, and one another.

As you can see, the affair went off peacefully, without a hitch--but WITH a lot of music, dancing and a big ol' booty-shake.

Now, what has the other side been up to?

Well, Rosario Dinamitera has something interesting for us:

Continue reading "Freedom of speech, true and false" »

April 3, 2006

Please tell me this is some kind of joke

Traditional Values has a flag???

Doesn't this look just like the sort of thing the Ku Klux Klan would fly?

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