Archive for Venezuela

Has Anybody Here Seen My Old Friend Hugo?

Aw, woozums:

The mural above Ana Caona’s head in the gritty Caracas slum known as 23rd of January is no ordinary depiction of the Last Supper. Instead of disciples, the figures flanking Jesus Christ are rebel figures such as Mao, Lenin and Hugo Chávez.

Yet despite these symbols of revolutionary commitment, Ms Caona is disenchanted with Venezuela’s socialist government as it grapples with falling oil prices and an economy ravaged by inflation, shortages and corruption.

“There are internecine fights, micro-powers within the revolution, everyone defending their interests,” complains this member of one of Venezuela’s militias, called colectivos, which consider themselves keepers of socialism’s sacred flame and also sometimes act as auxiliary state security forces.

Ms Caona illuminates a growing public disaffection with President Nicolas Maduro’s government as oil prices have slid 40 per cent since June. She says her colectivo has taken to delivering food staples around the neighbourhood so that supplies are not “mishandled by corrupt forces”.

“Socialism’s sacred flame”: I think I see your problem. Their ain’t nothing sacred about socialism. Since when did The Last Supper depict Jesus sitting at a table full of Judases?

Rather the article makes clear that Venezuela’s system is the croniest of crony capitalism. Which worked (up to a point) when oil was at $130 a barrel, but not so much when it’s less than half that. Enjoy the fall, commies. It’s not half bad until the end.

PS: Why is Ben Stiller at the table, three seats to the left of Jesus?


Kinda Ironic

Don’t you think?

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has defended the seizure of a factory owned by US-based company Clorox.

“Socialist formula: any company that’s abandoned will be taken over by the working class,” Mr Maduro said.

Cleaning products maker Clorox closed its production facilities in Venezuela last week, saying government-imposed price freezes were crippling it.

Not even bleach can clean the caked grime on the “socialist paradise” that Chavez built.

Clorox, which sells bleach and other household cleaning products in Venezuela, announced in a statement on 22 September that it would cease its operations there immediately and try to sell its assets.

It cited as its reason government price controls on its products, which it said had led to millions of dollars in losses.

The statement said that for nearly three years, the company had had to sell more than two-thirds of its products at fixed prices which did not cover its production costs, which had been driven up by skyrocketing inflation.

It also said recent price increases “were nowhere near sufficient”.

Venezuela earlier this month announced that its annual inflation rate had reached 63.4%.

We want three digits! We want three digits! (They’ll probably have it by the time you read this.) Only a socialist country could have 63% inflation when prices are “fixed”.


Our Substitute-Teacher-In-Chief Pummeled With Lots Of Spitballs

Obama was elected on Hope-n-Change. Every now and then, it is instructive to see where he has lead us.

Let’s begin with his foreign policy. Obama has adopted the foreign policy of Neville Chamberlain, with similar results. The Arab Spring has turned into chaos in Egypt and Syria, with reports of approximately 140,000 deaths in Syria alone. We don’t have a grim milestone watch for Egypt or Libya. The press seems a bit bored. And it seems that Iran will soon be a nuclear power. That should help.

As Sarah Palin predicted, Russia has invaded Ukraine and Obama stands holding his limp you-know-what. (Ms. Palin didnt put it that way, I did.) At least Bill Clinton was capable of doing two things at once.

Oh and there are problems in Latin America too, it seems.

That’s all so dreary. Let’s turn to domestic matters. We now have a shiny new health care system that costs much more than predicted and delivers much less. But we love it just the same. It’s called ObamaCare.

And the economy continues to play CandyLand. Did you ever play CandyLand? Nothing ever happens and it goes on and on forever. I think that ObamaCare is somehow related to the performance of the economy, but who knows?

And what else is there? What am I missing here? Oh yeah. We hired a stoner, apparently, to be the President. He recently gave a talk in which he said that he “got high a lot” instead of doing school work, but that he got many, many chances to improve. This confirms what I suspected. Obama went to an elite private school in Hawaii, and from there to an ok school in California, Occidental College. People who work very hard at those elite private schools usually end up going to elite colleges. I’m not trying to be snotty here; that’s just a fact. Obama somehow then managed to go to Columbia and then to Harvard Law. The public has never seen his transcripts so we don’t know what his grades were in High School or what he studied at either Occidental or Columbia. But we can guess. Those of you who have kids in high school, or had them in high school, just imagine your son or daughter getting the ride this man has gotten. We elected him, fair and square. We deserve this because elections have consequences. But it is shocking to consider the power in the hands of such an incompetent.

– Aggie


How’s The Reset Button Working, Mr. President?

Russian warship docked at Havana.

Maybe stopped for a quick brewski?

A Russian warship was docked in Havana Wednesday, without explanation from Communist Cuba or its state media.

The Viktor Leonov CCB-175 boat, measuring 91.5 meters (300 feet) long and 14.5 meters wide, was docked at the port of Havana’s cruise ship area, near the Russian Orthodox Cathedral.

The Vishnya, or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, Russian media sources said.

Neither Cuban authorities nor state media have mentioned the ship’s visit, unlike on previous tours by Russian warships.

The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s sponsor state through three decades of Cold War. After a period of some distancing under former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, the countries renewed their political, economic and military cooperation.

The ship is reportedly armed with 30mm guns and anti-aircraft missiles.

Hmm. Perhaps Obama is the genius that Joe Biden told us he was. Maybe He is trying to disrupt the entire communist world. After all, there are problems in Venezuela and in Ukraine. Maybe the plan is to get them to tear themselves to pieces? Or maybe he is just the dolt that I think he is, and the world is simply much less safe than it was the day George W. Bush handed him the keys to the White House.

– Aggie


Our Future.

Venezuela jails 100 “bourgeoisie” capitalists.

Yes, but did you know that Venezuela has a terrific youth orchestra?

Venezuela’s socialist government has arrested more than 100 “bourgeois” businessmen in a crackdown on alleged price-gouging at hundreds of shops and companies since the weekend, President Nicolas Maduro said on Thursday.
“They are barbaric, these capitalist parasites!” Maduro thundered in the latest of his lengthy daily speeches. “We have more than 100 of the bourgeoisie behind bars at the moment.”
The successor to the late Hugo Chavez also said his government was preparing a law to limit Venezuelan businesses’ profits to between 15 percent and 30 percent.

Did you know that, as with the Soviet Union, it is almost impossible to leave Venezuela? Doctors, judges and businessmen and women are trapped.

As we disembowel our Constitution, how long before our populist instincts take over and we start doing this?

– Aggie

Comments (1)

Venezuelans Honor the Memory of Hugo Chavez

He may not have been Charmin’ (get it?), but he was self-absorbed:

The Venezuelan government has taken over a toilet paper factory to avoid any scarcity of the product.

The National Guard has taken control of the plant, and officers will monitor production and distribution.

Earlier this year officials ordered millions of toilet rolls to be imported to counter a chronic shortage.

Last week President Nicolas Maduro created a special committee to tackle the problem, which the government blames on unscrupulous traders.

There’s a perverse irony (my favorite kind) to this shortage. Chavez’s illness was originally described as a “pelvic abscess” (ewww…), and now there’s not enough Scott tissue to take care of all the caca in Caracas.

Hey, this is a BBC story! You know, classy.

PS: OMG! It’s chronic!

22 May 2013
Venezuela aims to end toilet paper shortage

Venezuela’s National Assembly has backed plans to import 39 million rolls of toilet paper, in an effort to relieve a chronic shortage.

They’ve got all the oil in the world, and they can’t wipe their own… you know. Talk about heavy crude!


Too Much Information?

I won’t speak ill of the dead.

His carcass, on the other hand:

The plan to embalm the body of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez may have hit a snag.

Scientists in a preliminary assessment have determined that the process might be “quite difficult,” acting president Nicolas Maduro said Wednesday.

Maduro said at the opening of the Book Fair of Venezuela that scientists argued that “the decision should have been taken much earlier.”

He didn’t say why — but added that Chavez will always remain in Venezuela’s collective memory

“More than your physical body, we have the commander in eternal memory, especially this generation who heard it, touched it, saw him,” Maduro told the audience. “We have to keep alive his image, his voice, his thinking.”

Sounds like the commander may be a bit ripe.

The plan was to have Chavez’s body displayed much like the remains of former revolutionary leaders Vladimir Lenin of Russia and China’s Mao.

Instead, he’ll be dropped on the ground and rolled in the dust like the late Ayatollah Khomeini.

Maybe they screwed up the embalming because no one ever dies under Cuban medial care. It’s the best in the world, as everyone knows, so they don’t have the practice.

Comments (4)

The Last King of Venezuela [UPDATED]

[Oops, see Aggie’s post two below! Talk about great minds…]

We were among the first to report on Hugo Chavez’s unfortunate illness, back when it was a mere “pelvic abscess”. (The things we do for our readers.)

As the news has gotten worse (for him), however, we’ve let up. We won’t mourn him when he dies, but we needn’t hound him to his grave.

But I do think his spot in Hell just slipped a few circles:

Venezuela accused its domestic and foreign enemies of “attacking” ailing President Hugo Chavez and expelled a U.S. Embassy attaché accused of seeking military support for a plot against the government, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday.

David Delmonaco, an Air Force attaché for the U.S. Embassy in Caracas, was expelled Tuesday “for being implicated in (a) conspiratorial plan,” the country’s information ministry said.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Todd Breasseale said Delmonaco is currently on his way back to the United States.

After announcing the expulsion of the attaché, Maduro — addressing the media in a lengthy statement — charged that someday, there will be “scientific proof” that Chavez, fighting a battle with cancer, was somehow infected by outsiders. He also called Venezuela’s political right-wing an “oligarchy” and an “enemy of the nation.”

I suspect Israel. Those bastards took out Arafat (who enjoyed pelvic abscesses of his own, if you know what I mean), they can take out Chavez.

We get results:

Hugo Chavez, the polarizing president of Venezuela who cast himself as a “21st century socialist” and foe of the United States, died Tuesday, said Vice President Nicolas Maduro.

Chavez, who had long battled cancer, was 58.

Thanks, Lucifer!


Here We Go Again…

Venezuela accused “enemies” of poisoning Chavez.

Nothing like a little paranoia.

Venezuela accused the domestic and foreign enemies of Venezuela of poisoning ailing President Hugo Chavez and expelled a U.S. Embassy attache who it said was seeking military support for a plot against the government, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday.
David Del Monaco, an Air Force attache for the U.S. Embassy, had been expelled Tuesday “for being implicated in conspiratorial plan, the information ministry said.
Opinion: Time to respect Venezuela’s democracy?
Some day, he told the press in a lengthy statement, there will be “scientific proof” that Chavez, fighting a battle with cancer, was poisoned. He also called Venezuela’s political right-wing an “oligarchy” and an “enemy of the nation.” Maduro urged supporters to close ranks and exercise “unity and discipline.”
Maduro made the remark to reporters after he met with the country’s top officials Tuesday about Chavez’s worsening health condition. “These are “most difficult moments we have experienced” since his surgery on December 11, he said.

Reminds me of Arafat. Birds of a feather..

– Aggie


Venezuelan Government Spying On Jewish Population

Chavez just doesn’t like Jews

Venezuela’s secret service, SEBIN, is spying on the country’s Jewish community, according to leaked documents said to be from the spy agency.

Last week, Analisis24, a right-leaning Argentinean news website, released 50 documents attributed to the Venezuelan intelligence agency containing private information on prominent Venezuelan Jews, local Jewish organizations and Israeli diplomats in Latin America. The Anti-Defamation League, among others, believes the documents are authentic based on the wealth of detailed and private information included.

The papers include a dossier on Espacio Anna Frank, a coexistence group in Caracas, with clandestinely taken photos of its offices and private information on its personnel, including their home addresses, passport numbers and recent travel itineraries. It identifies the organization as a “strategic arm of the Israeli intelligence agency in the country,” the Mossad, and as a front for “far right-wing Zionists” to recruit agents using “subversive socio-political influence.”

Other documents say the local Jewish community has benefited from the “political and military interference” of the United States in the South American country’s affairs and accuses certain Venezuelan Jews, like journalist Abraham Belilty Bittan and former parliamentarian Paulina Gamus, of being foreign agents.

Etc. More at the link.

– Aggie


Two Wild And Crazy Guys

Knock, knock. Who’s there? Atom. Atom who? Atom bomb!

CARACAS – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez lavished each other with praise on Monday, mocked US disapproval and joked about having an atomic bomb at their disposal.

“Despite those arrogant people who do not wish us to be together, we will unite forever,” the Iranian president told socialist leader Chavez at the start of a visit to four left-leaning Latin American nations.

Ahmadinejad was in Venezuela at the start of a tour intended to shore up support as expanded Western economic sanctions kick in over the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

“The imperialist madness has been unleashed in a way that has not been seen for a long time,” Chavez said in a ceremony to welcome Ahmadinejad at his presidential palace in Caracas.

Both men hugged, beamed, held hands and showered each other with praise.

As he often does, the theatrical and provocative Chavez stuck his finger right into the global political sore spot, joking that a bomb was ready under a grassy knoll in front of his Miraflores palace steps.

“That hill will open up and a big atomic bomb will come out,” he said, the two men laughing together.

“The imperialist spokesmen say … Ahmadinejad and I are going into the Miraflores basement now to set our sights on Washington and launch cannons and missiles … It’s laughable.”

Analysts are watching closely to see if Chavez will back Iran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most important oil shipping lane, or how much he could undermine the sanctions by providing fuel or cash to Tehran.
The Venezuelan and Iranian leaders mostly limited their comments on Monday to mutual adulation and anti-US snipes.

“President Chavez is the champion in the war on imperialism,” Ahmadinejad said.

“The only bombs we’re preparing are bombs against poverty, hunger and misery,” added Chavez, saying 14,000 new homes had been built recently in Venezuela by Iranian constructors.

We all need a good laugh sometimes.

– Aggie


Just When You Thought it Was Safe to Go Back to Congress

Kennedy… Kennedy… seems to me I’ve heard the name before. Was he one of the token white stiffs the Celtics kept on the bench to wave a towel?

Joseph P. Kennedy III’s bid to become Camelot’s newest knight, with a run for the congressional seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, drew swift warnings yesterday — Massachusetts voters don’t want a coronation, and the Kennedy name isn’t the shining armor it once was.

Some Republicans even welcomed the idea of a Kennedy in the race — just the thing to energize this blue state’s GOP and bring in vital donations.

Kennedy, 31, is the son of former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II, grandson of the late Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, and great-nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. The dynastic scion yesterday declined to comment on how he thinks the name will play in 2012.

“Dude,” he told a Herald reporter. “I’m at work. I can’t answer these questions right now.”

In a statement, Kennedy said, “The lack of common sense and fairness in Washington is a byproduct of the partisan gridlock that has turned obstruction into victory,” he said. “Americans are better than that.”

“My decision to look seriously at elected office is grounded in a deep commitment to public service and my experience — both my own and that of my family — in finding just, practical and bipartisan solutions to difficult challenges.”

To be fair to this Kennedy, he actually does work—if serving in the Middlesex County DA’s office qualifies (and I’m inclined to think that it does). But while he prepares to throw his tam-o’-shanter into the ring, you might wonder what became of his da’, Joe Kennedy II, who, too, once served in Congress, and was thought to have a political future. (People expected him to take on Scott Brown, for example.)

That Joe Kennedy has demonstrated his commitment to “public service” (to the tune of almost $600,000) by fronting an organization called Citizens Energy. Citizens provides low-cost heating oil to low-income home owners, a noble pursuit. But that’s about about the only noble thing about it.

In commercials for Citizens—do you really need commercials to give stuff away?—Joe bashes banks and the wealthy like Barney Frank with Tourette’s. He claims that the only oil company who agreed to supply oil to Citizens’ racket—sorry, noble pursuit—was Citgo and the “people of Venezuela.”

Ah, yes. The Kennedys, the truth, and extortionist socialism—good times:

Venezuela’s PDVSA said on Monday it will pay Exxon Mobil Corp US$255-million in compensation for nationalized assets – less than a third of what the U.S. oil giant said it was awarded by an arbitration panel.

The South American OPEC member’s state oil company issued a defiant statement saying it was deducting debts owed by Exxon, including PDVSA’s repurchase of bonds linked to the nationalized project.

That cut down the panel’s original award of US$908-million, PDVSA said, adding it would make the payment within 60 days.

Paying only US$255-million would leave Exxon with only a fraction of the more than US$10-billion it had originally sought in compensation. It would be a major victory for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that could give oil-producing nations more power in nationalization disputes with global energy companies.

In addition to Exxon’s case at the World Bank tribunal, Venezuela still faces about 20 claims from companies including another oil major, ConocoPhillips, resulting from a wave of state takeovers by the Chavez government.

The ICC does not make its arbitration decisions public, leaving few clues as to the criteria behind the valuation. Exxon has said it is still reviewing the more than 400-page document.

The often vicious legal dispute, during which Exxon briefly won an injunction to freeze as much as US$12-billion in PDVSA assets, has underlined the ideological differences between a U.S. oil giant and Chavez’s socialist administration.

I’m glad old people in Chelsea and Revere are staying warm this winter (though they may have climate change, not Joe Kennedy or Hugo Chavez, to thank for that), but let’s be clear who’s paying for it. I don’t know about Joe III, but the rest of the clan can be assumed to be lying if their lips are moving.


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