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September 18, 2009

Quebec blogger murdered in Mexico

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One of the last pictures published on Renée Wathelet's blog, En direct des îles. "Jeux d'eau" ("water games") is from her Flickr page.

A very sad note from the Canadian blogosphere. Thanks to "Monmick", who sent me this article in French from the Montreal newspaper, La Presse:

Quebec blogger murdered in Mexico

A 60-year-old woman from Quebec was savagely murdered yesterday morning in her apartment on Isla Mujeres in Mexico. Her killer, a 24-year-old man, stabbed her at least 36 times with a knife before being arrested.

Once more, the circumstances have been ignored surrounding the ugly deed which cost the life of Renée Wathelet, who for years had been sailing between Montreal and Mexico.

The victim, born in Belgium, had decided a few months ago to settle down for good on the island, just off the coast of Yucatan.

The murder happened at her apartment, in a condominium complex facing out on the Caribbean Sea.

The suspected killer, José Joaquin Palacios, was arrested on the spot while trying to flee. According to Mexican authorities, he was not intoxicated, but may be suffering from mental health problems. Palacios appears to have claimed to have killed Mme Wathelet for personal reasons. The connections between the victim and her killer have yet to be determined.

Well-known in cyberspace, Renée Wathelet kept at least two personal blogs, endirectdesiles.com and professionnomade.com, and was a fixture on Twitter and Facebook.

The news of her death has shaken those close to her, and many members of the blogging community.

The mother of three had worked as a financial advisor. In Mexico, she was dedicated to her blogs, as well as looking after stray animals with a veterinarian friend.

This morning, one of the victim's sons prepared to leave for Mexico. According to him, his mother had interrupted a break-in as it happened. "She was a marvellous person, devoted to everyone, a pacifist. I'm going to carry out her last wishes," said her son, visibly shaken by the senseless-seeming crime.

Renée Wathelet had asked that her ashes be scattered over the sea. Passionate about her travels, the sea, and swimming, she had decided to put down roots in Mexico because of the sun and the warmth of the people, her son said.

The last contact he had had with his mother was a few days ago, when she sent him a picture taken September 15.

The death of Renée Wathelet has created a shock wave through the blogging community. "If there is one truly kind person in the blogging world, it's her. She is something like a spiritual mother to bloggers," said Michelle Blanc. She and her friends had organized a little celebration for Wathelet at her apartment in Outremont just before her departure for Mexico. "We are really in shock," Blanc said.

"I knew her as a super-humanistic person. She cared a lot about animals. I can't understand how anyone could break into her place and kill her. It's really horrible!" said Cécile Gladel, an independent journalist and blogger, who reported the death of her friend on her blogue, cecilegladel.blogspot.com.

Just before having been killed, Renée Wathelet published an entry on her blog, endirectdesiles.com, about the beach she loved. "Lost in thought, I arrive at the little cove where every morning, I take time to take time. A moment in which I can attune my breathing to the rhythm of the waves; a moment in which I look to the north, towards Montréal--hello everyone, yes I think of you every morning!"

About an hour later, she whom her friends called "the nomad", lost her life.

The suspected killer is in jail, and the police are continuing their investigation.

Translation mine.

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My thoughts go out to all she left behind. You are her footprints on the sand.

Blessed be the name of Renée, now and always.

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 14, 2009

Economics for Dummies: Great Moments in Capitalism

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Translation:

"The problem is that people are buying too much!"

"But wasn't that the original idea?"

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"We used to be afraid that communists would destroy capitalism, but now the brokers are doing it!"

March 24, 2009

Ratzi gets all medieval on our collective ass

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Translation:

"There hasn't been a German pope since the Middle Ages...and now, it's the Middle Ages all over again!"

March 18, 2009

Economics for Dummies: The "expert" opinion

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Translation:

"The IMF says the economy will fall to a level 'below zero'!"
"Oh, what experts these guys are!"
"In economies?"
"No--in making them fall!"

February 25, 2009

Ashy thoughts for a Wednesday morn...

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I'm not Catholic, so this whole penitential post-carnival thing is kind of opaque to me. Rather than atone for sins (actual or imaginary), I prefer to do the right thing in the first place, if I can. Which means I tend to think before I act. I probably miss out on a lot of fun that way (which kind of also negates the need for Lenten deprivations, at least for me).

But on the other hand, there are some sobering realities to face when it comes to carnivals, and invariably they crop up after the festivities are over. Case in point: this thought-provoking piece from the ABI website, which I decided to translate in its entirety:

La Paz Street, in the northern zone of Oruro, is a hectic place. At three o'clock last Friday afternoon, young people, devotees, dancers and folklorists in general hurried to pick up their costumes and colorful masks, some of them made with natural feathers and the skins of armadillos, a species in danger of extinction.

If you look a little closer, in the market stalls you'll also see rattles, bird crests and bills, plumes, shells and other items made from severed parts of animals en route to extinction.

It's the dark side of Carnaval, the festive Oruro Carnival.

The artisans and embroiderers are aware that the trade in animal parts is prohibited, but in fact there is no law to stop or prevent the killing of wild animals and endangered species.

On one side of La Paz Street, a few metres away from the Flores Tailor Shop, lie the scattered remains of armadillos whose hides are sought after by the makers of dancers' costumes. Each skin costs between 100 and 150 bolivianos on the black market.

The "quirquinchos", as they are commonly known, are in danger of disappearing from the sandy area of Oruro.

The next day, during the Entrada de Peregrinación, and on Carnival Sunday, the Morenada Central and Morenada Comunidad "Cocani", the largest folkloric societies, carry ostentatious rattles made from armadillo hides. The masked dancers wear ostrich feathers which adorned the heads of beautiful women whose hats are also trimmed with peacock plumes.

Where do these animal parts come from? "From La Paz Street," is what you'll hear from a dealer.

Flamingo feathers are sold as some kind of legal product in central bazaars, two blocks away from the Plaza 10 de Febrero, on Adolfo Mier Street in the heart of Oruro. Each one costs between 50 and 70 bolivianos (around $5 US.) Embroiderers make crests, to be worn on the head, for $300 apiece.

It's a great deal.

The mask-makers, also known as "hojalateros", use stuffed condors--a species near extinction, and a national emblem--in the costumes they build for the "diablada" fraternities, such as Ferroviaria, Auténtica, Artística, Urus, and others. Each mask of this type costs at least $300.

But there are also manufacturers whose specialty is condor suits. Each one, made from the feathers of the actual bird, costs ome 250 bolivianos, a little under $30.

Carnival Saturday and Sunday is also observed by the Suris fraternities, who perform a dance from the Andean altiplano as thanks to Pachamama, the Earth Mother. They use the feathers of the suris, birds of the same family as the flamingo and the parihuana. Each suri feather on the dancers' hats is valued at between 20 and 30 bolivianos, around $5 US.

These are some of the extremes incurred by the Oruro Carnival, declared by UNESCO as a masterpiece of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity.

According to Anakarlem Mercado, folklorist and member of the Society for the Protection of Animals and Environments, "a specific law is needed" to regulate the mechanisms for the protection of the lives of animals, whose bones are sold as expensive merchandise in Bolivian folkloric activities.

"The authorities must take into account that Bolivia is one of the countries most rich in biodiversity and for that, we need to have a specific law for the protection of animals, and so prevent the depletion of endangered species in folkloric events such as the Oruro Carnival," Mercado tells ABI.

Mercado reminds us that in Bolivia the Law of the Environment, promulgated on April 27, 1992, is still in force. It regulates hunting and prohibits the indiscriminate trafficking in endangered animal species. It reads, "Whoever introduces, captures, promotes and/or commercializes the products of hunting, possession, stockpiling, transportation of animal or vegetable species or their derivatives without authorization, or those which are declared out of season or reserved, placing the same at risk of extinction, shall suffer the penalty of up to two years' deprivation of liberty."

Just something to think about next time you watch those dancing queens go twirling by in their elaborate feathered costumes.

And here's something else, for those who are dragging themselves out of the sack kind of hung-over this morning:

At least 24 people are dead and dozens injured as a result of the festivities of the Bolivian Carnival, according to the provisional report distributed by the police on Tuesday.

The majority of the deaths occurred as a result of traffic accidents.

Also to blame was the excessive consumption of alcohol and street violence, according to the report.

The police report indicates that the deaths occurred in the departments of La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz, Oruro, Cochabamba and Chuquisaca.

Colonel Miguel Narváez, commander of operations, said that in La Paz alone there were five deaths and 74 injured persons reported.

The most notorious case was the death of a retired police general, Antonio Pardo Montalvo, last Saturday in a traffic accident on the road between the cities of Oruro and Cochabamba.

Police reports also indicate that last Saturday, a cyclist was struck on the road to Copacabana, and on Sunday a married couple were killed on the road to Oruro. On Monday, an indigent was murdered in a party at a butcher shop.

"This year there were more accidents than last year. The number of deaths in the city of La Paz was smaller. Of 82 accidents reported, 15 were caused by drunkenness," Col. Narváez reported.

In the Hospital Clinic of La Paz there were 17 persons brought in during the early hours on Tuesday morning, the majority of them with stab wounds or cuts received in brawls, according to Dr. Jaime Mancilla.

"There were 15 patients with cuts in various places, and two suffering from alcohol poisoning," Dr. Mancilla said.

In Chuquisaca, the police reported five deaths between Saturday and Tuesday.

"We must lament the fact that amid the festivities of Carnaval, there were five deaths, among them a girl of 16 who died as a result of an induced abortion," said the commander of police in Chuquisaca, Juan Córdova.

To guarantee the security of the citizens during Carnaval, the police deployed 15,237 officers nationwide.

Translation mine as well.

The induced-abortion death of the teenager is not really carnival-related (it happens all year round, particularly in predominantly Catholic countries where abortion is illegal, birth control hard to come by, and medical resources poor. Countries like Bolivia, for example.) But the drunkenness, violence and the road fatalities are all preventable. As is unwanted pregnancy, come to that.

Prevention beats the shit out of penitence, as far as I'm concerned.

December 2, 2008

Yet another Magic Laptop story you won't see in the whore media

Here you go. First the video, in Spanish...

...and then, I translate the story for you:

A captain and antiterrorist investigator of the DIJIN, the Colombian equivalent of the FBI, Ronald Ayden Coy Ortiz, who wrote the report on the computer which the Colombian army claimed to have found in the encampment of Raúl Reyes, declared under oath before the Inspector General that he did not find any e-mails in the said computer. "Only Microsoft Word documents", according to a report by Canal Uno, a Colombian TV station.

Upon being asked to "inform the office if you (the DIJIN) find any archives corresponding to e-mails sent or received by Raúl Reyes", Capt. Coy responded, "We have not found any e-mails up to now. We have found a great many e-mail addresses, but Reyes stored the information in Microsoft Word format."

The government of Colombia has maintained until now that the computer contained thousands of e-mails sent by the FARC leader, who died in an illegal bombardment of his encampment in Ecuador, in March.

The computer was the basis of charges against parliamentarians Piedad Córdoba, Wilson Borja and Gloria Inés Ramírez; former peace advisor Lázaro Vivero; the director of the weekly magazine Voz, Carlos Lozano; Telesur journalist William Parra; the director of an NGO, Liliana Patricia Obando; the former presidential candidate, Alvaro Leyva; US investigator James Jones; and Amilcar Figueroa, a Venezuelan citizen.

"This declaration could derail the investigation" against those incriminated by the contents of the computer, because "Word documents do not prove that there were e-mail exchanges between the guerrilla chief and those under investigation", according to Canal Uno.

The attorneys representing those persons have asked that the "e-mail evidence" be declared null and void, because according to the captain's statement, there is no way of telling whether any e-mails were sent or received, since Word archives cannot prove that there was an exchange of communications.

But of course, this rather obvious "no duh"-er will be ignored by the Colombian authorities as they move to persecute prosecute anyone who gets in the way of El Narco and his reign of terror. Including, as you may have guessed, a certain rather well-known Venezuelan president in a red shirt.

November 16, 2008

The wiki-wacky way to talk Argentino

So there I was, last night, googling around for silly stuff. I think I was looking for something on that perverted old freak Carlos Menem and his horrible facelift. (I suspect he had more than just his cheeks done, because his lips look like overstuffed frankfurters, and they hardly move when he talks. Gortex implants anyone?)

Well, I found something else. Did you know there's this place called the Uncyclopedia, and its entry on Argentina is hilarious?

Here's a sample:

Argentina is mostly purple and large areas of it are injection-moulded from polypropylene. Argentines are very proud of their national sport of selling their daughter´s asses, which contrary to popular belief, is more popular than football (or soccer as those no good, un-civilized, ignorant, down-syndromed americans would call it).

It is not advised for small children (under 3 years) as small parts of Argentina may easily be swallowed. Do not immerse Argentina in water and do not feed it after midnight. It is strongly requested that you do not cry for it.

Argentina is equipped with three USB ports, a full-colour monitor, and a small shovel. Aforementioned shovel is usually employed by Argentines to bury themselves in cow excretement for ritualistic purposes. Argentina also has periodic cameo appearances on the critically acclaimed soap opera, Boat de Love, where she plays the deadly foreign half-robot sex slave of the aristocrat, Dobby the house elf of Harry Potter II: Return to the Thunderdome. Only £39.99 from all good pet shops*.

All of which is good to know, but the really priceless part is the lesson on how to talk Argentino. I just recently got a copy of The Motorcycle Diaries (the film, which is beautifully shot--and, unusual for an adaptation, is very nearly as good as the book). And I could not make head nor ass of what the Ches were all saying. This REALLY cleared it up for me.

Let it never be said that wiki-pages aren't good for SOMETHING.

August 24, 2008

Suck my gas valve, bitches!

From Aporrea, another example of Evo's cojones in action.

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, ratified on Saturday that he would not permit the opposition prefects and "civic organizers" to close gas valves for any reason. For this reason, he instructed the Armed Forces to guarantee security to all natural-gas installations and prevent any assaults on the economy of the Bolivian state.

The far right, according to President Morales, "are already meeting now in the Bolivian Chaco to try to take over the valves. That's an assault on the Bolivian people." He informed the hundreds of delegates meeting for the second consecutive day in the national assembly of the National Coordinator for Change (Conalcam) that he had spoken with various ministers and vice-president Alvaro Garcia Linera, with whom he resolved to guarantee security for gas ducts and valves.

"This intended takeover of the valves is not an action against Evo Morales, nor the government, but against the Bolivain people," he added. He was referring to the decision of the "civil society" directors of the Media Luna region, who had threatened to take over all oil and gas wells and initiate an indefinite blockade of the roads, starting on Monday, August 25.

The gas-producing provinces of Cordillera, Luis Calvo and Gran Chaco, in the departments of Santa Cruz, Chuquisaca and Tarija respectively, announced a blockade of all roads in the Bolivian Chaco region, which borders on Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The three regions contain the largest natural gas reserves in Bolivia, estimated at 1.36 trillion cubic metres.

Translation mine.

As you can see, these fascists are not only keen on cutting Evo's throat (and that of every other indigenous person in Bolivia), they also have no problem shooting themselves in the foot. Because of course, the gas-producing provinces all border on the three countries most likely to be purchasing gas from them. So who's this blockade going to hurt? You guessed it--the very people who are hoping to ultimately cash in on it. (Remember, Brazil and Argentina will not do business with anyone but the federal government of Bolivia when it comes to gas, and neither, I suspect, will the newly leftist, pro-poor government of Paraguay, whose stated mission is to lift its own indigenous out of the same poverty the Bolivian neighbors are now fighting.)

I guess I could further translate Evo's remarks as a "suck this, bitches!" to the opposition.

Of course, what you get when you suck a gas valve is suicide a la Sylvia Plath. Maybe that's what Evo was alluding to when he said the fascists are "agonizing". Hey, if they're in a world of hurt, I say put 'em out of their misery. Bolivia can surely get along without them!

June 7, 2008

Well, well, well. What have we here?

This is too juicy to pass up. Aporrea.org, the Venezuelan news/opinion site I enjoy most, has uncovered some skulduggery published at an opposition forum called Noticiero Digital. It's an e-mail from Alfredo Rangel, the director of the "Security and Democracy Foundation" in Colombia. According to Aporrea, "this organism is a facade for the intelligence community of the US in that country." The e-mail is to Juan Manuel Santos, the defence minister of Colombia.

Full text follows, translated by Your Humble One:

Continue reading "Well, well, well. What have we here?" »

June 5, 2008

The myth of happy racism

Found a little item on Aporrea and thought I'd translate it and follow up with a few thoughts of mine own:

Could it be that my black friends in the Venezuelan opposition don't feel that they are being alluded to when other oppositionists use words like "niches" (common, vulgar people), "monos" (monkeys), "macacos" (ditto), etc.? Could it be that they just don't say such things in front of my friends? It saddens me to say that in front of me, yes, they say those things.

The Venezuelan right-wing has trouble with its racism for two reasons, one bigger than the other. The smaller is that, as Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said, the main difference between Colombia and Venezuela is that in Colombia, the conservatives win all the wars, and in Venezuela, the liberals win. The conservatives lose the wars but win the peace and go on ruling, because the only visible gain left to the liberals is that racism had become shameful and official ideology camouflaged it. There was racism, stupid like all a priori segregation between people, but up until 1998 it was shifty and artful. The racists would surely blush to show themselves as much as they do in Bolivia. Because in Venezuela--this is the bigger reason--even the most "aryan" has an African grandmother, as Romulo Betancourt once said.

Continue reading "The myth of happy racism" »

June 4, 2008

Evo makes me giggle sometimes

He'd make you giggle too, if you heard him say things like this:

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, is concerned because he sees his Peruvian colleague, Alan Garcia, as "very fat and not much of an anti-imperialist", as he said yesterday.

Morales recalled that in 1989, he attended a conference in Peru with Garcia, who was then, in his opinion, "a first-rate public speaker, anti-imperialist" and, also, "very slim".

"Now I see him as very fat and not much of an anti-imperialist. I'm very worried about Alan Garcia," said Morales at a conference on the outskirts of La Paz.

Translation mine.

Not only is it funny, it's also true. Here's a pic of him with the gordito imperialista. See if you can tell me which is which.

Alan Garcia at left, Evo Morales at right. Who's the gordito?

May 27, 2008

Let's hear the anti-Chavez screamers explain this

From Aporrea, a little tidbit but a revealing one:

Against the editorial lines from Colombia and Venezuela that claim there is a "close" relationship between the president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez Frias, Colombian senator Piedad Cordoba, and the FARC rebels of Colombia, Cordoba confirmed that neither she, nor the Venezuelan leader had known of the death of the historic leader of the FARC, Manuel Marulanda Velez.

"My attention has often been drawn to how they say here that we (Cordoba and Chavez) are the mouthpieces of the FARC, but neither Chavez nor I knew that Marulanda had died...until the last, he did things his own way, he died a natural death," the senator said.

Translation mine.

Did you get that? Neither Cordoba nor Chavez knew that Marulanda had died until after the fact. They had to read about it in the morning papers, same as everybody else. Some "close relations"! I would think that if Chavez had known Marulanda wasn't well, and he really was that close to him, he would have had him flown to Cuba for treatment, no?

This should lay to rest all the media drivel about Chavez financing and arming the FARC, too. Until someone (and not someone pointing to the Magic Laptop, either) can locate the whereabouts of a big chunk of money that disappeared from Venezuela and appeared in Colombia (a large arms cache, ditto), I think it's safe to say that this latest media campaign against the left, like ol' "Sure-Shot" Marulanda himself, has begun to push up the proverbial daisies.

May it rest in peace.

May 8, 2008

Ecuador to enter ALBA?

Could be! From Aporrea:

The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, announded that next week, his country will decide whether it will join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA).

[...]

"We will make the decision next week. I don't see any problems with entering into the ALBA," Correa said, adding that he lamented that his government had not given it "the attention and priority it deserves."

Translation mine.

Damn, one more reason to adore the Ecuadorable One. As if we needed more.

April 26, 2008

Little Red Chavista Riding Hood

I love 'toons, don't you?

Little Red Chavista Riding Hood

"Once upon a time in South America, there was a frail little girl named Venezuela. But then along came Chavez..."

And look! Evo can morph into Rambo:

Continue reading "Little Red Chavista Riding Hood" »

April 22, 2008

Has Rafael Correa been reading my blog?

The reason I bring this up is because he says exactly what I've been thinking about Alvaro Uribe myself:

"Just when relations improve with him, something strange happens and you get stabbed in the back. Something in his head's not working right."

"That's Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Something's wrong. His behavior is terribly psychotic."

"Uribe doesn't want peace, nor does he want hostages released, because Betancourt is a potential presidential candidate."

(h/t Machetera for translating this lengthy, very enlightening interview. Linkage added to quote to illustrate.)

April 17, 2008

Calderon to Uribe: Don't be dissin', don't be hatin'

While all the whore media are all busy screaming about Chavecito's diplomatic and democratic deficits, they're suspiciously silent about the much larger ones of a certain Colombian parapresident. Fortunately, kiddies, you've got me...and I've got Aporrea:

Mexican president Felipe Calderon rejected the statements of his Colombian counterpart, Alvaro Uribe, to the effect that the Mexican students who died and were injured in the bombing of Raul Reyes' encampment, were accomplices of the FARC.

"It seems to me that the prudent thing to do is not to label or prejudge in one way or another the characteristics or the activities of these young people," Calderon said, according to the website of El Universal.

The Mexican leader said that "we all have our own hypotheses, but the suffering of the parents and the memory of their children deserve the benefit of the doubt until these investigations are completed."

Translation mine. Link added.

That giant slapping sound you just heard was pimp Calderon letting psycho bitch Uribe know where things really stand.

Nicaragua offers refuge to Lucia Morett

This just in from Telesur (via Aporrea):

The Government of Nicaragua offered protection to the Mexican, Lucia Morett, who survived the massacre that Colombia perpetrated March 1, in Ecuadorian territory.

This was announced by the Latin American Association for Human Rights (ALDHU), which informed that Morett, who received treatment for injuries sustained during the bombing in a military hospital in Quito, left for Managua on Wednesday. She was received there by Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega.

"The Government of Nicaragua has offered protection and aid to this victim of the massacre of March 1, in addition to that offered by Ecuador. Lucia Morett will arrive in Mexico next week," said ALDHU secretary-general Juan de Dios Parra, of Chile.

Parra added that Morett, who was the only Mexican survivor of the attack, travelled to the Nicaraguan capital in the company of her parents and functionaries of ALDHU, a non-governmental organization with headquarters in Quito.

In the military incursion, which Quito maintains ruptured diplomatic relations with Colombia, four Mexican university students were killed, along with FARC guerrilla chief Raul Reyes and an Ecuadorian citizen.

Translation mine.

Kudos to Daniel Ortega. Typically, you can count on a Sandinista to do the decent thing.

April 11, 2008

The $1.2 million traitor

I've long wondered what could have induced no less a figure than the former Venezuelan minister of defence, Gen. Raul Baduel (retired), to suddenly abandon both his post and his good friend. Now, it seems, we have an answer. From Aporrea:

The Vice-President of the Interior Politics Commission of the National Assembly, Iris Varela, denounced Gen. Raul Baduel on Thursday for having presumably received $1.277 million dollars from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).

[...]

The assemblywoman made the denunciation in the legislative chamber and asked that Assembly President Cilia Flores order an investigation on behalf of the Public Ministry against the ex-minister of defence. She assured that she had the transfer numbers of the accounts in which Baduel received the money.

"From a bank in the United Kingdom, $2.144 million dollars were transferred to Hermagoras Gonzalez Polanco, who has been arrested for drug trafficking and is linked to Interpol. The bank transaction number is 0895801004865, dated September 2007. The other transfer, dated November 2007, is for $1.277 million dollars, to Raul Isaias Baduel, and the transaction number is 0895209039485."

Continue reading "The $1.2 million traitor" »

March 15, 2008

They were no angels, so we killed them

Can you believe this bit of breathtaking logic?

The Colombian defence minister, Juan Manuel Santos, justified at a press conference on Friday the killings of four Mexican students during the attack by Colombia on Ecuadorian territory.

The minister assured that these young people "were no little angels", and attempted to link them to the FARC guerrillas in order to defend the murders.

Continue reading "They were no angels, so we killed them" »

Uribe's thugs are on the Internets

And they've committed two hacks. One on the website of a certain Ecuadorable president:

The official website of the Presidency of Ecuador (www.presidencia.gov.ec) was blocked today for the second time by a hacker who left it out of service.

The info-pirate left a message, "Don't mess with Colombia", and blocked all access to infromation on the portal, which remained disabled for several hours until, around 2 p.m. local time (7 p.m. GMT), it came back online but with error messages.

Continue reading "Uribe's thugs are on the Internets" »

March 5, 2008

Colombia: Even deeper in it than originally thought

And if you have to ask what "it" is, here's a hint: It's brown, it steams, it smells bad, and you don't want it all over the bottom of your shoe. Unfortunately, that's exactly where Alvaro Uribe is wearing it right now, in light of the following:

One of the three female FARC guerrillas wounded in the Colombian military operation in Ecuadorian territory last Saturday said today that there had been two bombings against the clandestine encampment in the border region of Angostura.

Continue reading "Colombia: Even deeper in it than originally thought" »

February 25, 2008

Ah, que c'est magnifique!

Un grand salut to a French supermarket chain for its efforts in going after the corporate greedheads...je vous admire, chers messieurs et 'dames!

The French supermarket chain Leclerc, one of the most important in the country, has decided to punish the big brands for raising the prices of their products too high, according to the daily Le Monde.

As of Friday, February 1, the chain plans to remove the following articles from its shelves: the 12-pack of the cheese "La vache qui rit", by Fromageries Bel; Ajax cleanser, made by Colgate-Palmolive; L'Oreal and Nivea facial creams; Orangina soft drinks; and Brossard cookies.

These products had raised their prices between 8.29% and 20.63% in recent months, which the chain does not consider justifiable in light of inflation.

"These items will not return to our stores until the suppliers agree not to raise their prices above the average of others of their kind," stated one of the owners of the chain, Miguel Eduardo Leclerc.

Translation mine.

Yowie zowie, that's positively shades of Chavecito!

As much as I love that Laughing Cow cream cheese, I've been finding it prohibitively expensive here in Canada, too. We could use this kind of price-fighting here.

Dis donc, Miguel Eduardo, ne pouvez-vous aller à faire la même chose ici?

February 21, 2008

Taking the wind out of an overblown pop star

Heh, heh, heh. Didn't see this coming, did anyone now?

Hugo Chavez says Spanish singer Alejandro Sanz is welcome to perform at his presidential palace and denied Thursday that his government retaliated against the Latin Grammy winner because of critical comments he made.

More than 80 performers and other celebrities signed a statement supporting Sanz after his concerts were cancelled in Venezuela. Signers including Shakira, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Penelope Cruz and even soccer star David Beckham said they "believe in a Latin America where we are all free to express our views."

Venezuelan organizers said Sanz's sold-out Feb. 14 concert in Caracas was cancelled because it lacked "the appropriate conditions." The announcement came after government officials said Sanz would not be allowed to hold the concert at the state-controlled stadium because of his past criticism of Chavez.

Chavez denied any attempt to censor or retaliate against Sanz. "Come here and sing in Miraflores," he said, referring to Venezuela's presidential palace.

Aporrea has more:

Continue reading "Taking the wind out of an overblown pop star" »

February 12, 2008

Cuban students: We were manipulated by the media, not arrested

Oh what a tangled thread they weave--the crapaganda whores, whose job is to deceive!

For anyone who doubts that the US-owned and operated (by the State Dept.) Radio and TV Marti are in fact black propaganda organs and not messengers of liberty, read what one group of Cuban students had to say today:

The Cuban students whose images were exploited by the media in order to present them as examples of a rebellion against the government, denounced the videos as a manipulation in which they were used, and deny that they were detained as the media claimed yesterday.

After the recording of a two-hour chat between the students (of the University of Information Sciences) and the president of the Cuban parliament, the western media began to distribute some small fragments, which they presented as illegal recordings that showed the students rising up against the Cuban government. They did not mention that these acts are always recorded by the students and linked in their entirety via the university intranet.

Yesterday, on the 11th of February, the media began to denounce the "detention" of a student, Eliecer Avila. In a video, this student is now denouncing that statement as false. The lie began to spread, curiously, in Radio Marti and TV Marti, two media created in the United States "to bring the truth" to Cuba. However, once the message was repeated via other media and agencies, they withdrew the item from their website. The media did not stop repeating that "young Avila Cicilia was arrested at 9 a.m. on February 9 by state security agents, who arrived at his home in the El Yarey neighborhood of Vazquez, municipality of Puerto Padre, in the province of Las Tunas."

Continue reading "Cuban students: We were manipulated by the media, not arrested" »

January 29, 2008

More on the Argentine Briefcase Caper

Hmmm...I like the sound of that: Argentine Briefcase Caper. ABC for short. Gotta know your ABCs, so you can spell out what's really going on, as this Argentine journalist did:

"The operation (in which Guido Antonini Wilson carried a briefcase with $800,000 illegally into Argentina) was a CIA operation," says Argentine journalist Luis Bilbao, director of the magazine America XXI.

During an interview on the VTV show En Confianza, Bilbao emphasized that in his investigation of the case, the first hypothesis he pursued about the event was that this operation was planned by the CIA.

"As soon as I began to follow my initial hunch, I knew that the operation was a CIA plan. I don't have the slightest doubt about it."

Another theory, one that also involves the CIA, is that Antonini Wilson might be a CIA agent, and that in the Argentine government there could be functionaries who also belong to the US agency, commented the journalist.

He added that there are many obscure facts that permit us to see the direct intervention of the CIA in the case, such as the way in which the events occurred, as well as the already noted friendship between Wilson and the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andres Perez, whose name appears among those listed by the CIA as a collaborator.

Regarding this point, Bilbao recalled that "everybody knows" that Carlos Andres Perez was a CIA asset in the 1970s, as confirmed by ex-CIA agent Philip Agee in his book, which listed "all the names of politicians and directors in Latin America who were with the CIA--and among them was that of Carlos Andres Perez."

The Argentine journalist denounced the briefcase operation and its consequences as a CIA conspiracy, one which sought deliberately to destroy the stability of the Venezuelan government and, as a secondary consequence, though no less important, that of the Argentine administration.

Regarding the supposed declarations of Moises Maionica in which he pleaded guilty in the case, Bilbao emphasized that these statments were very confused, since Maionica, after declaring himself innocent, "is now 'admitting his guilt' a month later".

Bilbao argued that surely the CIA was behind Maionica's supposed admission of guilt, and that it was very possible that during this past month, they may have tortured him, at least psychologically, in order to make him take back his initial declarations.

He also said that this is a case that must be studied in depth.

Continue reading "More on the Argentine Briefcase Caper" »

Remember that Argentine briefcase incident?

Yeah, I know...me neither. But apparently it's a big deal in Miami, where the hatred for all things Chavez knows no bounds, and neither do the plans to sabotage him. And yes, this is one of those. It supposedly casts doubt on the election of Cristina Fernandez, the president of Argentina--supposedly. I've long had a sneaking feeling it was all bullshit. And now, when nobody's looking, suddenly the truth comes out. And lo and behold, the truth is that it WAS all bullshit:

Jaime Bayly, the Peruvian writer who has never hidden his aversion to President Hugo Chavez, admitted in his column "Lost Papers" this 28th of January in the Correo del Peru that he met Guido Antonini Wilson in the beginning of 2002, the year of the coup d'etat.

Wilson freely confessed to being friends with ex-president Carlos Andres Perez, and to being opposed to President Chavez, whose time in office, he asserted, would soon come to an end.

"Chavez won't last. He'll fall soon. We're going to topple him...he's going to end up in jail," Antonini told Bayly. A few months later, the April 2002 coup occurred, which removed President Chavez from power for 40 hours.

Antonini Wilson is the Venezuelan-American businessman who was arrested in August 2007 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, carrying a briefcase with some $800,000 US which he did not declare to customs authorities. Later, he escaped to Miami, where he is protected by US authorities.

Bayly's assertions are of interest, given that various sources have accused Antonini of working for the Venezuelan government, with the objective of handing over the money to the then-presidential candidate Cristina Fernandez.

Translation mine.

Of course, there is no way in Hades that Cristina Fernandez would have accepted that cash. A woman who denounces US imperialism in no uncertain terms would be rather reluctant to take any amount of Yanqui dinero, no?

Add to that the fact that this cash came directly from Miami, that the bearer was a friend of another Miamero fugitive, none other than the spectacularly crooked Carlos Andres Perez (who is most noteworthy for saying that Chavecito deserved to "die like a dog"), and bragged of being part of a conspiracy to bring Chavecito down some three months before the fact, and you have some pretty clear indicators that he was also planning to bring down a good friend and ally of said Chavecito, yes?

A translation of the full article by Bayly follows.

Continue reading "Remember that Argentine briefcase incident?" »

January 12, 2008

What REALLY botched Operation Emmanuel the first time

No, it wasn't the supposed ineptitude and buffoonishness of Hugo Chavez. It was something nasty and treacherous that could only have come from one place, and here's the confirmation from Aporrea:

In an exclusive interview with Radio W in Colombia, the former congresswoman Consuelo Gonzalez, rescued in a humanitarian operation by the government of Venezuela, confirmed that intense military bombardments by the Colombian armed forces were what prevented her being freed last December, when President Hugo Chavez originally set Operation Emmanuel in motion.

The ex-parliamentarian of Huila Department related that her liberation, along with that of Clara Rojas, began 20 days ago, just after the FARC announced to President Chavez that the two women would be handed over to the Venezuelan government.

"Those 20 days, ever since the operation to free us began, we were walking through the jungle constantly. They were 20 difficult days; also, because we could feel the bombardments and the military presence very close by, we were very nervous," said the ex-congresswoman.

This statement appears to confirm the communique the FARC sent to the Venezuelan president on December 31, in which they announced the suspension of the operation due to the intense military activities on the part of the Colombian government. This placed Colombian president Alvaro Uribe in a difficult position when he claimed, on that same day, that there were no military operations in the zone, as proof that his government was doing all it could to guarantee the success of Operation Emmanuel. At that time, president Uribe argued that the FARC had not handed over the hostages because they didn't have the boy Emmanuel.

But now there is proof, coming from the same two women, that there was intense bombardment going on which prevented their being freed sooner.

Continue reading "What REALLY botched Operation Emmanuel the first time" »

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" »

December 17, 2007

Uruguay scores a double

Viva Uruguay! First, on the trade front, the Uruguayan congress punched a fat hole through BushCo's plans for the Southern Cone:

The Uruguayan ruling leftist coalition Frente Amplio (FA) reiterated on Sunday its rejection of a free trade agreement with the United States.

[...]

Montevideo explored the possibility of a free trade agreement with Washington, but the idea sank amid reluctance on the part of sectors of the governing coalition and the members of Mercosur (Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay, while Venezuela is on the verge of full membership), which does not permit bilateral negotiations with third countries.

Translation mine.

Continue reading "Uruguay scores a double" »

December 10, 2007

Omar Sharif regrets

In a celebrity culture replete with vapid idiots like Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, Paris Hilton, et al, it's easy to get cynical about celebs in general. The antics of the young, rich and stupid often make us forget that their elders exist, let alone that among them are ones like Omar Sharif--a great actor whose conscience refuses to be silent:

Omar Sharif still regrets having played Che Guevara in a 1969 film which was "entirely manipulated by the CIA", which he regards today as the biggest mistake of his life.

"I asked to make a movie that didn't take a fascist tone," he said in an interview in Cairo, where he just finished filming his latest, Al Musafir (The Traveller), with young Egyptian director Ahmed Maher.

In 1969, it was just two years after the guerrilla war had ended in Bolivia, "and Che was still an incredible hero," said Sharif.

The actor, 76, bitterly remembers that his "Che" had a certain dignity because he demanded it in his contract, "but Jack Palance's Fidel Castro, and the movie in general (directed by Richard Fleischer) resulted in a fascist product."

"The CIA was behind it, and wanted to make a film that would please the Miami Cubans. I alone cared about the outcome," he recalled, adding that a movie house on the Champs-Elysees in Paris was burned by audience members incensed by the negative image the film gave of Che and the Cuban Revolution.

Translation mine.

BTW, I could not find this story ANYWHERE in the English-language media. The closest I could get to a recent news story about him was this unflattering item. Which makes him sound a bit like a male Lindsey Lohan.

Don't you love that liberal media memory hole?

December 7, 2007

No, they're not a bit fascist.

Mario Silva of La Hojilla points out the neo-Nazi skinheads amid the anti-Chavez hordes in Venezuela, along with their connections to the "Tradition, Family and Property" movement (gee, even the name sounds fascist!) led by a leading oppositionist (and according to two Italian sources, a bona fide nazified thug complete with antisemitism), Alejandro Pena Esclusa. You can see they're busy during one of their "nonviolent" demos, throwing rocks at the police.

This is that "peaceful anti-Chavez youth movement" we keep hearing so much about in the lamestream media up here, folks.

December 6, 2007

Evo, WTF???

Holy shucking fit, there goes another "dictator"...

The president of Bolivia, Evo Morales, has proposed a recall referendum for himself and the nine regional governors of the country, most of whom are oppositionists.

Morales announced that he would send this proposal to Congress today, so that they would "quickly" convene the referendum, and thus determine whether the people support the "process of change".

"If the people say Evo must go, I have no problem with it, I'm totally democratic. The people will say who goes and who stays on to guarantee this process of change," said the president during a message to the nation at the government palace in La Paz.

The governors of Santa Cruz, Tarija, Beni and Cochabamba, all opposed to Morales, are currently in the US to denounce before international organizations what they consider to be "illegal" actions on the part of Morales and his party in the Constitutional Assembly and the Congress.

Translation mine.

Swear to Goddess. First Chavecito, now Evo. All the confidence in democracy and popular will--talk about yer cojones! It's totally twirling my turban.

If they don't stop with this democracy-stuff, their enemies will run out of opportunities to call them dictators, lawbreakers and assassins. What will the world come to then?

December 4, 2007

Woo-haa, let's all get naked!

Now that I have your attention, get a load of Dubya. He just never quits looking for people to fuck up the ass, does he?

First, there's Colombia...

President George W Bush has called on Congress to pass a controversial free trade deal with US ally Colombia to help promote regional stability.

Some Congress members are opposed, citing concerns over workers' rights.

Mr Bush suggested the deal could help counter the influence of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, with whom both the US and Colombia have difficult relations.

[...]

Mr Bush's comments came after he was asked to react to the result of Venezuela's referendum on Sunday, which saw Mr Chavez's proposed constitutional reforms defeated.

"The Venezuelan people rejected one-man rule. They voted for democracy," Mr Bush said.

Continue reading "Woo-haa, let's all get naked!" »

December 1, 2007

Another serving of humble pie for the King

And this one might not go down so easily.

President Hugo Chavez indicated today that he has a list of Spanish businesses with investments in Venezuela, which he is prepared to revise if King Juan Carlos doesn't apologize for disrespecting him.

Chavez said during a press conference that it was the king who offended him, referring to an incident during the recent Ibero-American Summit in Chile in which the king told him to shut up.

Translation mine.

Guess royal prerogative just ain't what it used to be. And it's a good thing, too!

November 12, 2007

"Evo Pueblo" selling like hotcakes

Aporrea reports that the Bolivian president's bio-pic is such a hit that it's being bootlegged within days of its theatrical release:

Three days after its release on October 23 in La Paz, the film "Evo Pueblo" had been enjoyed by most Bolivians.

The logic of the market is "sell the people what they want and accommodate popular demand", said one of the principal distributors of unauthorized copies of the film. This permits greater access to the film, which tells the story of Evo Morales's political life and his election to the presidency of Bolivia.

An added advantage is that these copies are available throughout the country at prices accessible to the population. The DVD is selling like hotcakes.

(Translation mine.)

Well, we all know that Evo is hot stuff. It's only logical that a film about him would be, too.

Now where can I get my own copy?

November 8, 2007

Headline Howler: Who you callin' ugly?

Well, I guess if he calls himself ugly, it must be okay for Reuters to do it too. (The "quotation marks" make it all right, you know.)

Hugo Chavez calls himself ugly and his looks earned him the nickname "Goofy" in the military, but the president's image is changing -- he is now considered one of Venezuela's sexiest men.

A poll said on Thursday the fifth-most desired man is Chavez, whose large nose, protruding lips, forehead mole and gap in his front teeth are easy fodder for caricature artists in a South American nation obsessed with beauty.

Continue reading "Headline Howler: Who you callin' ugly?" »

October 29, 2007

Okay, I need a cute nickname for Rafael Correa.

Because this guy just majorly endeared himself to me with the following novel approach to an urghly problem:

Continue reading "Okay, I need a cute nickname for Rafael Correa." »

September 27, 2007

They just never stop.

They're not just out for Chavecito's blood, but for that of anyone who forges alliances with him. Aporrea reports that a coup was plotted for Ecuador, but one very high-level intended perpetrator wouldn't go through with it:

The former president of Ecuador, Abdala Bucaram, who received asylum in Panama, said that a millionaire offered him a large sum of money to topple the current president, Rafael Correa, according to declarations broadcast yesterday on TV channel Uno.

"Some politicians called Correa a traitor, and made me some big offers. There was a millionaire who offered me ten million dollars, not to eliminate him, but to oust him," declared the former head of state.

Continue reading "They just never stop." »

August 27, 2007

9-11 Press For Truth

With Spanish subtitles.

Try to keep your eyes dry.

July 18, 2007

An opportunity for Evo...

Will he take it? Story from Aporrea:

27 years after the bloody coup d'etat of Luis Garcia Meza, relatives of the victims are demanding that President Evo Morales declassify the archives of the State, the armed forces and the police, and demand that the criminals no longer be hidden "in the apparatus of power."

Human rights activists presented the Bolivian congress with a law project proposing the opening of those secret archives, along with the creation of a Commission for Truth and Justice in order to clarify facts and responsibilities concerning the violation of human rights between 1970 and 2005.

Continue reading "An opportunity for Evo..." »

June 3, 2007

I am a wild party

Seen at the G8 protests in Rostock, Germany:

I am an armed uprising

His sign reads "I am an armed uprising"--clearly a bitterly ironic statement in light of the fake popgun he's carrying. Nevertheless, the water cannons did not discriminate.

According to Der Spiegel, an outbreak of violence at the fringes of an otherwise peaceful demo spoiled it for those who had something to say besides just "fuck you":

Continue reading "I am a wild party" »

May 11, 2007

CubanaBomber Death Watch: You have a right to be informed!

From Aporrea, we have this little item on just how far the Bush Crime Family is willing to go to conceal the evidence of its misdeeds:

The Venezuelan documentary, "Posada Carriles: Terrorism Made in USA", which tells the history of this terrorist and his connection to the CIA, has been confiscated by US security services at the airport of Miami. The film, in DVD format, was found in a parcel of mail from Caracas, bound for El Paso, Texas, where a social organization was to receive it today, Friday, May 11, to be shown as part of a program of activities there against the release of the terrorist Posada Carriles.

The film is now in the hands of the Bush government, and the US mail services report that it will be "held for inspection". This occurred yesterday (Thursday) at 1:30, and the film is being held in custody, which is to say that the showing slated for today will be suspended, as the documentary will not arrive on time. The only information we received from Miami Airport is that the inspection "will take 8 days or more".

Is the White House so desperate in the case of Posada Carriles that it would order its agents at the airport to confiscate a DVD? Why is the Bush government "inspecting" this documentary? Eight days to "inspect" a 90-minute film? Do they suspect that the DVD is concealing some kind of WMD? Will the DVD pass the lie-detector test in an interrogation? Will it be re-edited? Or will they send it to terrorist groups in Miami so that they include us on their hit list? Is this some kind of test of the limits of people's patience for absurdity, since BushCo chose to liberate the terrorist Posada Carriles, but take into custody the documentary "Posada Carriles"?

Continue reading "CubanaBomber Death Watch: You have a right to be informed!" »

Mom, Dad...

Guenther has something he needs to come clean about...

BTW, the song he putters around to is by Heino, Germany's #1 Schlager-singer. Translated, it means:

The prettiest in the world is my Barbara;

What I like best about her is her black hair.

She has such heaven-heaven-heavenly blue eyes,

And a scarlet-red mouth.

Yes, yes, the prettiest in the world is my Barbara,

What I like best about her is her black hair.

Yes, yes, she is so wonderful,

Is my Barbara...

And that yellow wig? That's Heino's hair.

I just want you to know I feel incredibly schmutzig for even knowing who Heino is.

May 1, 2007

Hell freezes over in Paraguay!

Looks like something very interesting is happening on the frontier between Brazil and Argentina...something which could prove ominous for the Bush Crime Family and its planned ranch in Paraguay.

The convention of the Colorado Party, which has governed Paraguay for 60 years, yesterday approved a new political orientation defended by president Nicanor Duarte, in tune with other nations in Latin America.

In his more than two-hour-long speech, Duarte called neoliberal doctrine "idiotic", rejected protectionism and declared himself in favor of "humanist socialism", which he defined as "connected to ideas and actions in favor of those who have the least."

[...]

Indicating that "ideologies are changing in the world", Duarte rejected "all forms of totalitarianism and imperialism, no matter their origin or their geographical location", and exhorted his audience to be inspired "in the struggle which is developing the concept of autonomy."

Continue reading "Hell freezes over in Paraguay!" »

March 19, 2007

If you thought Baba Wawa was bad...

...you ain't seen the half of it, baby. This is where learning Spanish comes in so handy--you get the big picture someone else doesn't want you to see.

Continue reading "If you thought Baba Wawa was bad..." »

Gabo snubs the IAPA

From Aporrea.org, a startling little announcement about Gabriel Garcia Marquez:

We were truly concerned about the broadcast homage that the IAPA was going to give to the celebrated Colombian writer. But in a masterful move, at the last moment he excused himself, saying he was "too tired".

Continue reading "Gabo snubs the IAPA" »

March 16, 2007

A vast right-wing conspiracy? Say it ain't so!

Alas, it IS so, says none other

than Chavecito's older brother!

I now translate:

Popular Power minister for education, Adán Chávez, today confirmed that the Venezuelan media are conducting a campaign to confuse the Venezuelan people when it comes to education.

"The task of education is to strengthen consciousness to show that they [the opposition media] are telling a pack of lies."

He affirmed that the present campaign won't "have much effect on the people, but neither should it be underestimated."

[...]

"The opposition sectors have no arguments to contradict ours," he added.

Other than the usual tired "Castro-communism" witlessness, of course.

March 12, 2007

Guatemala suffers; Nicaragua moves on; Telesur just plain MOVES!

While Dubya is hard at work pissing off the Guatemalans, look what's going on in Nicaragua:

This Sunday, the governments of Venezuela and Nicaragua signed an agreement to build a petroleum refinery, and incorporated Nicaragua into the multinational channel TeleSUR.

The plant will be built in León , to a capacity of 150,000 barrels a day.

"I am happy to announce that we will build a large refinery in León to process Venezuelan crude," announced President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela.

The investment for the construction of the refinery in the western province will come to 2.5 billion dollars.

Continue reading "Guatemala suffers; Nicaragua moves on; Telesur just plain MOVES!" »

January 13, 2007

Comment is free, and so is bullshit

"We had a deadly weapon: the media."

--Vice-Admiral Hector Ramirez Perez, on the coup of April 11, 2002

As Hugo Chavez's mandate widens, and his Bolivarian Revolution deepens, we're bound to see more rubbish about him in the English-language media. There's even a predictable twist to the latest: an attempt to appeal to leftist egalitarianism, as espoused by most readers of the UK Guardian. But it relies on "facts" from sources which are notably removed not only from the Left, but from reality altogether. The piece's author, Francisco Rodriguez, uncritically repeats the wildest accusations of rightists with all the usual axes to grind. He tosses out a shamelessly self-referential nugget of dummy data, which he published at Foreign Policy, a rightist Washington propaganda website:

Continue reading "Comment is free, and so is bullshit" »

January 9, 2007

The horror...the HORROR!

That evil Chavecito. He's out to undo all the good work the IMF's faithful servants did in days of yore (she said, dripping with heavy sarcasm)...

President Hugo Chavez has pledged to nationalize key Venezuelan companies, as part of plans to transform the country into a full socialist state.

Mr Chavez said he wanted to see major Venezuelan power and telecoms companies come under state control.

He also called for an end to foreign ownership of lucrative crude oil refineries in the Orinoco region.

Continue reading "The horror...the HORROR!" »

January 6, 2007

One more reason to condemn Saddam's hanging

Or three, as if we needed more. From El Nuevo Diario, of Managua, Nicaragua, we get this incredibly sad item:

A 10-year-old boy of Guatemalan origins killed himself accidentally while imitating the hanging of Iraqi ex-leader Saddam Hussein after seeing images of the execution on television, the Houston Chronicle reported on Thursday.

The boy hanged himself on New Year's Eve, by jumping off a bunk bed, a short time after viewing the images, according to the newspaper.

Continue reading "One more reason to condemn Saddam's hanging" »

And here's why I call it the Chicken Noodle Network...

Quick, what's the biggest thing going on in Chile right now, according to CNN?

If you guessed that a distressed US sailor has been found safe and sound, you're only half right. That's the English version. In Spanish, THIS is the REAL news:

Continue reading "And here's why I call it the Chicken Noodle Network..." »

December 31, 2006

Someone needs to say a few Hail Marys

And while they're at it, they need to stop getting priests to lie for them.

Try to imagine Venezuelan president, Hugo Chavez, dressed up as a bishop — the head bishop — of his own state-sponsored church.

According to media reports coming out of Latin America, President Chavez is considering a proposal that would establish him as the high priest of his own form of evangelical Christianity, convert his cabinet members into bishops of a lower rank, and submit church activities to the civil and military power of his government.

It is still unclear who is behind the proposal. Publicly, it has taken the form of a petition by leaders of "Centro Cristiano de Salvación" (Christian Center of Salvation). The association claims to represent 17,000 evangelical churches and 5,000,000 Venezuelans. Their request is simple: make their denomination the country's official religion, teach it in all public schools and pay the pastors from government coffers. In turn, they will make Chavez their head bishop and promise to submit absolutely to his authority.

Continue reading "Someone needs to say a few Hail Marys" »

December 26, 2006

A posthumous "fuck you" to Pinochet

From the bottom of Chileans' hearts, or the hearts of their bottoms, comes the following magnificent salute to a dearly departed dictator (translation mine; original in Spanish at Aporrea.org):

Diverse Chilean political sectors today rejected the letter in which the deceased ex-dictator Augusto Pinochet attempted to justify the military coup of 1973 and the human-rights violations commited under his rule.

Leaders of the governing coalition and the rightist opposition showed similar opinions, with nuances, referring to the legacy of the dictatorship in point of human rights. There were more than 3000 victims.

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August 4, 2006

Boy bands suck in any language

Don't believe me? I have proof.

First of all, a very lame German trio singing (???) "Where are you, my sunshine?" With a lisp that makes me cringe.

Then, the hilarious rebuttal.

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