Friday, 18 June 2010

News from down the drain

I have been busy, so I haven't blogged much. Still, here some bits of news you should consider:

  • BBC journalist Sackur interviewed Chávez. You can read Miguel's take here and Quico's here. My opinion: the journalist wasted time by asking several questions with very predictable answers - at least any average Venezuelan could have guessed Chávez's response. The BBC journalist should have asked other things like how Chávez can claim to be a democrat and yet declare his system will last for centuries, how Chávez can say the only possibility in Venezuela is socialism and yet state that anything else would lead to a civil war. The journalist could have asked why Chávez' refuses to have an open debate with the opposition as people do in parliamentarian Europe and to a more limited extent in Chile, Colombia and the US.
Anyway, I think the most telling part of the interview is this detail the BBC mentions:

"Mr Chavez became visibly agitated when faced with a set of specific questions about his government's respect for the independence of the judiciary, the freedom of the press and the rights of political opponents."

"As the tension in the presidential palace rose, Oliver Stone who was seated in a corner listening intently to the exchanges - along with a host of presidential aides and one of the president's daughters - gestured to the president with both hands.

The message was easy to read: Calm down."

Oliver Stone has really become a full-time consultant for lieutenant Chávez.

  • Chavismo is accelerating the dismantling of democratic institutions through the creation of parallel administration systems: you can read in El Nacional in Spanish about how the comunes are going to take over more competences from the municipalities and states. This is a process similar to what happened in the early years of the Soviet Union when the soviets - councils in English - started to replace other forms of government. The soviets themselves became just a toy of the Communist Party. Here we will see how the comunas will become a toy of the state party, the PSUV.

How Venezuelan gangsters make money

  • Last but not least: every day Venezuelans are discovering more rotten food supplies and past date medicine containers that had been imported by state PDVAL. The very latest (as of today) is that citizens in Carabobo discovered more than 6 thousand tons of past date milk at a PDVAL deposit. In the last few weeks the general public has read about the discovery of some 100,000 tons of wasted food and medicine. This is the product of Chavismo corruption bands, groups that imported large quantities of products at a the preferential rate of Bs2.6 instead of Bs4.3 per dollar.
Nothing new in the Venezuelan front.

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