Archive for May 20th, 2007

BBC NEWS | World | Americas | Venezuelans rally for TV station:

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have rallied in the streets of Caracas to protest against President Hugo Chavez’s plans to close a private TV station. The head of the RCTV station addressed the marchers, urging them to defend freedom and “free independent media”. President Chavez has said he will not renew a licence for the RCTV network which is due to expire on 27 May. He accuses the opposition-allied TV station of supporting a failed coup against him in 2002. He has referred to opposition television stations in general as “horsemen of the apocalypse” and has blamed RCTV in particular for spreading immorality with its steamy soap operas. Mr Chavez plans to replace RCTV with a government-funded TV station.

Well, this is normal, taking how the country is going.

There is protest going on in Internet: Free RCTV, where I have found this video, that proofs that this is a chronicle of an announced death. You can also see this other video.
More in Reuters.
Venezuela: no criticism from pope | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle:

The top spokesman for Venezuela’s leftist government insisted on Monday that the pope’s condemnation of Marxism wasn’t directed at President Hugo Chavez, who says he’s steering Venezuela toward “21st century socialism.” “We all know that the current pope is characterized as a conservative man, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we must automatically think that any word he utters … is against Venezuela,” Information Minister Willian Lara told state television. Pope Benedict XVI concluded a trip to neighboring Brazil on Sunday by telling a bishop’s conference that Marxism — as well as unchecked capitalism and globalization — were to blame for many of the region’s problems. “The Marxist system, where it found its way into government, not only left a sad heritage of economic and ecological destruction, but also a painful destruction of the human spirit,” the pope said. Chavez has explicitly embraced Marxism and is a close ally of communist Cuba. Left-leaning leaders also govern in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, though most do not claim to be Marxist.

Noticias24 :: Actualidad » Brutal asesinato de 2 militares colombianos en Venezuela:

Last week, in a Bogotá’s funeral parlour, there was a sealed coffin. The ceremony was discrete and quickly. Inside there was the dead body of Colombian Captain Camilo González, Official of Militar Intelligence, who belong to the First Division of the Army, widely known as Rime uno, whose base is in Santa Marta. His body had signals of brutal torture: electric shocks, burned parts with acid substances and several rifle shots. Two weeks before, in Bogotá, they had received another dead body with similar signals. He was corporal Gregorio Martínez.

Both military men had been for several months in Venezuela in a secret and covered mission against important chiefs of the FARC that take refuge there. According to newspaper SEMANA, guerrilla fighters from this organization suspected that they were military men. Some days ago, they were followed to Santa Marta, where they corroborated that they were uniformed men. At the end of April, the guerrilla leaders let them get into Venezuela and they were ambushed. They were carried to the main offices of the National Guard in Santa Bárbara del Zulia, near the Maracaibo lake (Venezuela).

It has been impossible to establish if their deaths happened inside or outside the garrison offices. But members of that force, with a guerrilla man from FARC, where they were badly tortured. They could have confessed that they were military men and so were killed. Other international agencies are convinced that the people who killed the 2 Colombian military men were members of the Intelligence service of Venezuela (also known as DIGIT).

Also blogging Reliapundit.

Related matters: Chavez demands apology from Pope.

Related posts: Colombian situation (I): US Dems, FARC and the paramilitaries.

[post en español]

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From Time magazine:

Past scandals? Yes, Alemán has a few. In fact, he’s currently serving a 20-year jail sentence for embezzling and laundering some $100 million from the coffers of the second poorest nation in the hemisphere. Transparency International awarded him the dubious distinction of including him in its list of the World’s Ten Most Corrupt leaders of all time. (To his credit, he only ranked ninth, ahead of former Philippine President Joseph Estrada, who stole a paltry $80 million.).
Popularity? Not really; Alemán consistently polls as the least popular public figure in Nicaragua.
Clean bill of health? Not exactly. At 61, Alemán is obese and reportedly in frail health, suffering from ten different chronic illnesses.
But none of that seems to deter Alemán’s revived presidential ambitions, nor does he appear too concerned about the legal provision that prevents prison inmates from running for office. Instead, Alemán is out on the road campaigning in old form, with more optimism than Orphan Annie, more money than Daddy Warbucks, more jolliness than Santa Clause and a political charisma that — pound for pound — rivals Bill Clinton. And in Nicaragua, that combination trumps reality.

[…] Alemán’s self-confidence is stroked by a posse of yes-men who refer to him as their “maximum leader,” but his insurance is rooted in a secretive power-sharing pact he forged in 2001 with the nation’s leading powerbroker, President Daniel Ortega, in which the leaders agreed to divvy up power in state institutions.
In March, Alemán’s already loose conditions of house arrest were further relaxed to allow him the freedom to travel the country. And now that President Ortega needs opposition support for his government’s agenda, Alemán, who controls the second biggest legislative bloc in the National Assembly, is cashing in a few more chips. On April 19, Sandinista and Liberal lawmakers combined to pass a law reducing the prison term for money laundering to five years, which Alemán conveniently will complete next December.

Oh yeah, and the law is retroactive, meaning Alemán could now finish his soft sentence 15 years ahead of schedule and run for President in 2011. Free at Last! Free at Last!
But the hawkish Alemán, who speaks wistfully of the repressive days of the Somoza dictatorship (which Ortega overthrew as leader of the Sandinista insurgents), was never a typical prisoner. He has spent more of his jail sentence in a hospital bed recovering from a minor finger surgery (three months to be exact) than he spent behind bars. And now that full freedom appears to be just around the corner, he has valiantly cast aside concerns for his own health for the good of his party’s.

h/t Kate.




Nicaragua is also re-establishing ties with NKorea h/t Noisy Room.Net. Not very consistent with the desire of not following Venezuela’s radicalization.


Related posts: Nicaragua was with Venezuela, Cuba, Bolivia and Haiti (host of the event) in the meeting where all of these counties announced that thy were retiring themselves from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund -except Haiti, that is-.

En español, aquí.

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