Monday, 31 October 2011

The US/Israeli foreign policy

Israel's conservatives must be proud of her
Nuland is spokesperson for the US Department of State. She said the US won't give money to Unesco as Unesco has accepted Palestine as full member. Her background is Jewish, which may be interpreted as a religious property, an ethnic property or anything in between. Is that completely unrelated? Let's imagine it is.

I wonder when the US is going to have spokespersons for the US Department of State who would be able to say the same thing and be of Muslim Arab background. Wouldn't she? Why?

Would the US had a Muslim Arab doing the work Ari Fleischer did? You bet.

The US is further blaming itself when it comes to the Palestine-Israel conflict. It only does what Israel wants. It sometimes pretends to do otherwise...for a couple of days.

It claims it will only accept Palestine as a nation when Israel and Palestine come to a settlement. Why did it accept Israel as a nation when the Arabs were against the UN 1947 decision? What's the difference between the terrorist organisation Hamas and the terrorist organisation Irgun, a group that was very much active until Israel got all the territories it got in 1948? Irgun commanders were people like Menachem Begin, afterwards considered heroes of Israel.

Shame on the US, shame on Germany, shame on Canada and a few other countries...just a few. Bravo for France,  Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa...and 161 other countries.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

The mock doctors in Venezuela under Chávez

The president of the Academy of Medicine in Venezuela, Aoun Soulie, felt compelled to tell us for the nth time about a very worrying development: the education given to the so-called physicians of "Integral Medicine for Communities" is a farce.

This month 8300 people will get their title as "médicos integrales comunitarios" after having spent 6 years following an outdated study model based on Cuba's experience, which is based more on a myth than anything else. They spent all those years to become health experts and yet they have no training whatsoever in laboratory work, in tropical medicine (remember Cuba's not Venezuela), in radiology, biochemistry, parasitology, pharmacology, histology or anatomy (hard to believe but I got the same report from many good sources). They follow their courses by videoconference and have no training in the emergency rooms of public hospitals as was a must before Chávez came to power. Unlike physicians pre-Chávez, they have never been to operating theatres. Until now the law stated a surgeon had to first do one year of rural work and one in city hospitals. That's gone now: from the video-conferencing to the OR. When I arrived in Europe and had to visit a couple of physicians I immediately felt Venezuelan physicians were at least as good if not better than many German or British doctors. That will never be the case with these "Bolivarian" physicians produced by the Cuban-Venezuelan regime.

Only 225 of their 7215 teachers have actually a degree in medicine. That is weird, to say the least. Soulie also repeated what I have heard from two of the few real physicians who are working at the Bolivarian universities: teachers are told they cannot allow students to fail, all have to pass.

The health of the poor is more at risk than ever with these thousands and thousands of workers without proper training and no solid education dealing with emergencies of all kinds. Venezuela's so-called "revolution" is proving once more than it is nothing more than a pretense, a fairy tell for the gullible at home and abroad. Venezuela as a whole is also getting a new time bomb: how are we going to tell these mock doctors they were cheated by the Chávez-Cuban government for six full years and they would need to take some form of retraining to become real doctors once Chávez is gone?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Shame on Venezuelans: women getting killed

Spain has been very openly discussing about violence against women for many years now. There have been many lots of discussions, marches and new laws. There have been films focused on this terrible topic and newspapers treat this subject on a permanent basis. There is a sense of urgency and there is reason for that: 51 women have been murdered in Spain by partners or relatives this year. Spain has 48 million inhabitants.

And what about Venezuela? Well: At least 501 women have been murdered by their partners or close relatives in Venezuela in the first nine months of this year. Venezuela has 16 million less people than Spain.
In Venezuela women are 15 times more likely than in Spain to get murdered by the people closest to them. If machismo and particularly violence against women is a serious problem in Spain, it is a national tragedy  and a complete shame for Venezuela.

Even poorer countries in Spanish America, like the Dominican Republic, seem to be taking the issue more seriously than Venezuela. My country? It spends its time obsessed with Beauty Contests.

Venezuela has the highest murder rate of South America, by far. Still, this is part of a bigger problem: violence in general, widespread psychotic behaviour, repression. Late psychiatrist and writer Francisco Herrera Luque often discussed about certain psychotic traits in Venezuelans as part of their historical and genetic heritage: a nation particularly born from rape and myth. His hypothesis was highly controversial and yet I ask myself: isn't my country particularly sick? What's going on? Why do people keep such a terrible silence regarding this problem? Why don't politicians have the balls to speak up and speak out about this issue?

I am so sorry.

In the Dominican Republic they discuss about it

Monday, 24 October 2011

More weapons, banks, Russians, Venezuelans and FARC

I wrote something about Viktor Bout, weapons, FARC and Venezuela in my Spanish blog.

"Invest in Venezuela's banks if you want to shoot from the hips"

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Chávez und der Arzt

Spiegel hat einen Artikel über den Arzt geschrieben, der über Chávez' Gesundheit so ausgiebig geplaudert hat. Leider gibt es kaum Informationen, die man nicht aus den venezolanischen Zeitungen hätte herausnehmen können.

Nun kommen die venezolanischen Ärzte, die Chávez kaum zu sehen bekommen (denn er lässt sich lieber von kubanischen Ärzten behandeln), und behaupten, die Gesundheit des Präsidenten sei "unverbesserlich".

Sie sagen, Navarrete sei nie Vertrauensarzt des Chávez und wäre kein Arzt des Chávez-Clans gewesen. Navarrete hätte einem der Ärzte zufolge nur 20 Minuten lang mit Chávez gesprochen, ohne Tests. Sie bestreiten auch, dass Chávez psychiatrische Behandlung gehabt hätte. Ein anderer Arzt des Teams, Rafael Vargas, sagte, dass Navarrete über die psychologische Lage des Chávez nicht hätte sprechen sollen, denn er ist dazu nicht geeignet. Was soll dies aber heissen? Dass Vargas erkennt, Chávez hätte psychologische Probleme, die aber nicht öffentlicht diskutiert werden sollten? Ein anderer Arzt sagte, Chávez wäre extrem vernünftig, "sogar überdurschnittlich".

Ist dies alles Seifenoper, um die Popularität des Caudillos zu erhöhen? Das werden wir bald erfahren.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Chávez, Gaddafis Kumpel

Und wie erwartet sagte der venezolanische Caudillo nun, Gaddafi sei wie ein Martyrer gestorben. Chávez wisse nichts über Menschenrechtsverletzungen des Gaddafiregimes.

Der ehemalige Putschist und jetzige Präsident Venezuelas erklärte auch, er sei vom Krebs völlig geheilt. Ob er wirklich so krank war sei dahingestellt. Seit 1999 behauptete die Regierung zumindest 3 mal im Jahr, man wolle ihn töten. Seit Ende 2010 kursierten immer mehr Witze über die angeblichen Mordanschläge, von denen es keine Beweise gab und Chávez empörte sich darüber.

Na ja...
Vom Aussterben bedrohte Wildesel

Chávez's best friend in Africa is dead

Gaddafi, one of Africa's many dictators, has been killed. Unlike Daniel, I think it would have been better to have him go to trial. Chávez was more likely to keep talking in defence of the African dictator thereby provoking even more rejection. Now Chávez will mention Gaddafi a couple of times, but that will be it, just like he did when he mourned FARC terrorist Reyes. Daniel Duquenal says trial in Den Haag hasn't brought peace to the countries of those dictators, probably referring to such cases as Serbia's and Liberia's. But then: war in both Serbia and Liberia was over way before those criminals were captured. Gaddafi was a mass murderer, but I think having him on trial and then behind bars would have been a better warning for others. Dictators behind bars are the exception. But that is all a guess. I am happy the war in Libya is finally getting to an end and I wish  the country gets onto the path of stability and sustainable development.

It is quite revealing that at this hour, hours after Gaddafi's death, the Chávez state media hasn't said much about it. There is only one piece stating it is unclear whether Gaddafi has died. In Venezuelan newspapers you have already a lot of information on it all. Why is the Chávez state media so slow? Because they are waiting for the Venezuelan caudillo to say something.

Finally, I have to say this: I wish Western leaders were from now on a little bit more consistent...but I reckon that's too much to ask...oil and weapon deals trump human rights.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Russians and Venezuelan oil

Let's talk about oil now. A couple of days earlier I mentioned to you about how Russia's viceminister, ex-KGB man Igor Sechin, went to Venezuela to discuss a 4-billion dollar loan for weapons. He also talked about oil. Specifically, he discussed about the Carabobo-2 oil field. Rosneft' would be involved. That company is involved, together with Gazprom Neft', Lukoil, TNK-VR and Surgutneftegaz in the Junin-6 field.

Rosnet' will own 40% of the Carabobo-2 field and PdVSA 60%. Russians will be paying a bonus of 600 million dollars on top of 400 million dollars more for "initial investments". The total investment needed would go into many billions. A source told Kommersant the involvement in Carabobo-2 is more political than economic based.

Some people close to Rosneft' think it is logical that ExxonMobil, which usually works with Rosneft', would be the logical partner. Others doubt this will happen, specially after Exxon's assets in Cerro Negro were nationalized in Venezuela in 2006.

Some Russians think the whole gamble is very risky. Others think the loans for weapons and the investments will pay off with the return from oil.

How can they be so sure?

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Der Hass des Sozialismus des 21. Jahrhunderts

Hier könnt Ihr ein Video sehen, wo Julio Borges, der Vorsitzende der alternativen Partei Primero Justicia in Boconó, im Bundesstaat Trujillo, auftritt und von Chávez-Anhängern angegriffen wird. Die Polizisten tun praktisch nichts, denn sie sind der Militärdiktatur unterordnet. 

Diese Region liegt sehr isoliert in den venezolanischen Anden. Die allermeisten dieser Leute haben keinen Internetanschluss, können gar keinen regierungskritischen Fernsehsender mehr empfangen und lesen kaum Zeitungen - und wenn, eher Boulevardzeitungen.

Ich freue mich, dass Borges da aufgetreten ist. Er und andere PJ-Politiker müssen von nun an das immer wieder tun. Es wird nicht einfach sein - Schutzmassnahmen gege Provokationen und Anschläge werden nötig sein.- Man muss es aber tun, wenn die demokratischen Parteien 2012 nicht 52%, sondern mehr als 65% der Stimmen bekommen wollen. Denn da gibt es nicht nur Chávez-Anhänger. Und je mehr die schweigende Mehrheit sieht, wie intolerant die Chávez-Bewegung ist, desto schneller wird sie ihre Stimme endlich mal erheben. 

Sunday, 9 October 2011

When criminal regimes support criminal regimes

You can measure the health of democracy in a country is by looking at the governments that country's leadership prefers to support. Right now we read that diplomats from Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Cuba are in Syria to support the bloody dictatorship in place there for several decades now. They do not seem to care about the thousands of civilians who  have been murdered by the Assad regime. 

The world should know about this: Chávez's regime and its puppets in the region are supporting Assad's atrocities.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

The Russians won't let go

Venezuela has spent at least 7 billion dollars in Russian weapons.  A few days ago, Russia's government approved a $4 billion  loan for the Venezuelan military caste to buy more defence material. A part of the loan will be paid in 2012 and a part in 2013.

Russia's Vice-Prime Minister, Igor Sechin, a very close ally of Putin and like Putin a member of the secret service oligarc club, went to Venezuela for the talks. Mr Sechin has been very involved in weapons' deals since his KGB times.

Newspaper Kommersant asked Russian officials why Russia was giving credit to a country with such huge oil reserves. The official said the following: "Chávez is our partner and hence the survival of his regime (sic) is in the interest of Russia. He will use the petrodollars in social programmes. That is why we at the VTS (War-Technical Cooperation Department) can support him"


What are the consequences?

We have reason to believe some Venezuelan military must have got more than a spasibo-note from the Russians for pushing with the Venezuelan caudillo to incur further debts on weapons. This is leading to more corruption and still less desire for a government change.

Will Venezuela become more of a danger for the outside world? We believe not. The military will become an even bigger threat to Venezuelan civilians.

As for the Russians: their secret services, which at least since Litvinenko we know are more interlinked with the mafia than ever thought, are going to see to it Russia doesn't lose such a customer as Venezuela under Chávez.

If you want to understand how deluded Venezuela's caudillo is, you just have to read his latest statement on oil reserves: "in the Orinoco Belt we have oil for 200 years. The rest of the world will run out of oil in the coming 100 years and we will keep exporting".

This man never asked himself what it means to have 200 years of what extraction rate? for how many consumers? what will happen with supply and demand? what will happen with alternative forces of energy in 20, 30 years - let's not go to a longer term -.

One of the  most difficult tasks the Venezuelan alternative forces have ahead is to inform everyone about the pernitious cargo cult the country has developed. Oil could help us get some finance to invest in sustainable development if we make very important changes, but we are running out of time.

Meanwhile, the Venezuelan regime said the budget for 2012 should be calculated with an oil barrel at $50. The reason for this is to avoid sending much money to the local governments - and thus, to a lot of areas under opposition administration - and to divert the petrodollars - we are talking probably about at least $40 per barrel - to populist actions announced by Chávez himself.

Friday, 7 October 2011

You are from here

110 readers took part in my poll to find out where you come from. As expected, the largest group were born in Venezuelan: about 25.5%. The second most numerous group are Germans. Then we have US born citizens with 17.3%. Britons account for 7%. About 8.2% are Europeans not coming from Britain, Benelux, Russia, Norway, Sweden or Spain. There were French, Russians, Chinese, from Northern Africa and from more areas. I find this cool: there were 4 visitors from sub-Saharan Africa. That's interesting as Venezuela has few current links with that part of the world (our greatest link were our slaves, among which I have a couple of ancestors).

All in all, you are a pretty varied group. Thanks all of you for coming!

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

An irreverent capuchin

Venezuela has many types of capuchins. The White-Fronted capuchin or Cebus Albifrons is a blond one.
The species is becoming more and more under pressure by our usual destruction of other species' habitat. You can read more about the white-fronted capuchin here.

Not the type you see in Rome

Monday, 3 October 2011

Asinus asinum fricat - iterum

The head of Belarus' Central Bank is Nadezhda Jermakova...Nadezhda means "hope" and that is what the Belarussian regime is desperately clinging to. Nadezhda Jermakova has just announced her country got 300 million euros in credits from Iran.

Belarus is basically bankrupt and it is being kept alive only through aid from other autocracies: from Venezuela's military regime through the years, from Russia and from Iran now. They all know: if Belarus' dictatorship goes, people in Russia, Iran and Venezuela will start to get some ideas. Venezuelans are getting those ideas already now. But what if Belarussians also start to protest more?

It is no coincidence that the Belorussians are visiting the Venezuelan caudillo these keep alive the promise that yes, they will complete the 20000 houses they have promised over the years...and so much more.