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Archive for June 24th, 2007

 Marvellous!!! This was why Lebanon was never on the news, wasn’t it? Because there were actual dangers of be killed in action. I hope that now they are not given the medal-after-dying-because-of-slipping-over-a-banana-skin. smile_baringteeth Because Spain is in this war. Whatever this disgusting Government tells us about it.

Four United Nations peacekeepers have been killed and several others wounded by an explosion in southern Lebanon, security officials say. The blast badly damaged two vehicles transporting Spanish peacekeepers from the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) near the border with Israel. It is unclear if the soldiers were targeted or hit unexploded ordinance left over from last summer’s war. Cluster bombs and mines have killed 30 people in the area in the last year. But radical groups in Lebanon have also threatened to attack the UN peacekeepers, says the BBC’s Kim Ghattas. For the last five weeks, the Lebanese army has been battling militants from the Fatah al-Islam group near the northern city of Tripoli, who are apparently inspired by al-Qaeda. Authorities have said that Fatah al-Islam militants who have been arrested and interrogated have confessed there was a plan to attack the UN, our correspondent adds.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Lebanon blast ‘kills UN soldiers

UDPATE: According to Spanish press:

An armour-plated vehicle was totally destroyed and another one was damaged. The first data were pointing to an explosion caused by a mine, which could be old or prepared to explode when the patrol was passing near. But, sources from Lebanese security points out that the explosion was caused by a device activated by remote control.

The most important part of the 1.100 military men serving at Lebanon are from the Parachute Brigade (Brigada Paracaidista -BRIPAC) and from the Terrestrial Logistical Force.

Their replacement was scheduled to begin on next July 7th and to end on July 16th (festivity of the Virgin of Carmen).

According to witnesses, some minutes later a second explosion was heared, which could have been caused by the explosion of the oil deposit or to the munition it transported.

The Spanish Defense Ministry has only announced the death of two of the soldiers.

UDPATE 2: Hizbullah has condemned the attack. Don’t make me laugh! Some days ago, they have accused the troops of spying for Israel! Huh, that would have been a good task indeed!

UPDATE 3: The vehicule was similar to this one:

vehículo similar al del atentado

UPDATE 4: Last news show the explosion has killed five, not four.

UPDATE 5: Spanish Defence Minister, José Antonio Alonso, points to a premeditated attack on the troops. Three were Colombian, the other two Spanish:

Alonso explained that an explosion has happened -car bomb or other explosive device, activated with a remote control-, when the Spanish BMR (armoured-vehicle) was pasing by. In the vehicle there were 8 FINUL soldiers. “It is without doubt a premeditated attack“, he said, ruling out the possibility of the explosion being caused by a mine. The information was corroborated afterwards by policial sources from the region: it has been a car bomb, white “Renault Rapid”, with a false plate. It is possible that there were suicide bombers inside.

The three soldiers, of Colombian origin are, Jefferson Vargas Moya, 21-years-old; Jackson Castaño Abadía, 20-years-old; y Juan Erickson Posada, 20-years-old.  The two Spanish are Jonathan Galea García, 18-years-old, from Madrid; and Juan Vidoria Díaz, 20-years-old from Avila.  In the same explosion, another three were hurt: Enrique Vázquez Matei (21-years-old from Madrid), David Puerta Ruiz (19-years-old from Sevilla) y Juan Paz Soler (19-years-old, from Mallorca).

Mike, you were right.

UPDATE 6: Some photos.

soldados españoles trasladan el cuerpode uno de los fallecidos

Spanish soldiers carry the dead body of a companion.

el BMR explosionado

The exploded BMR (armoured vehicle).

grupo de soldados pide ayuda

Soldiers searching for help after the explosion.

UPDATE 7: Six dead. Another Spanish has died.

UPDATE 8: Madrid has decreed a day of official mourning.

Alonso is now in Lebanon to carry back the six murdered soldiers.

They do not want to call it a war, to prevent the anti-war from protesting. Because Iraq and Lebanon are not so different.

Condolences: The Royal Family, the Popular Party, Romano Prodi (Italian PM), Arturo Parisi (Italian Minister of Defense), Javier Solana, Marc Reguev (Israeli Government’s speaker), Condoleeza Rice, Bernard Kouchner (French FM), Emile Lahud (Lebanese President).

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You can see more here.

Then there is the series of “Sands of Passion“. I have already posted the first episode. Now we can go for the rest:

Episode 2:

Episode 3:

(more…)

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Daniel from Venezuelan News and Views, has posted about the draft of the new Venezuelan constitution summing it up with the words “the path to an eternal Chávez dictatorship“.

No more private property besides your personal belongings. That is, there will be some private sector allowed with business of reasonable size but the sate will have the right to expropriate or confiscate at will if it thinks it is necessary to its interests (NOTE: even if it is all made in the name of the “people”, since it is the state that translates the “real will” of the people, well, you know which are the interests truly served).
The air borne media will have rights to emit only if they serve educative purpose. The state decides which are the educative goals.
The autonomy of Universities is done with. The state will be deciding which careers should be offered and which is the right curriculum to follow. You can decide on your own how creativity and free thought in a controlled university will prosper.
Decentralization will be done with. Governors and Mayors will be subordinated to special vice presidents. Mayors can be removed almost at will by the National Assembly. And anyway, elected Governors and Mayors will be gutted of most meaningful power they might have. That is, they will be left with picking up the garbage and be blamed for anything else that doe snot work.

Basically, then, a socialist/communist dictatorship. As we have feared.

If you understand Spanish, just watch this video. Very interesting to see, how Chávez has changed.

There is another worrying sign in Venezuela: its treatment to foreign little investors. And do you think that the support Zapatero has given Chávez has changed it? Well, no, in fact, Spanish -and Portuguese and Italian- emigrants in Venezuela have been robbed and kidnapped because they did not want to give their lands to outsiders:

Canarian and Galician farmers have been denouncing kidnappings and the invasion of their lands by peasants paid by Venezuela. Today the Catalan newspaper “La Vanguardia” runs in its Sunday edition, an important report in the situation. Newspaper El Mundo also takes a look to this matter.

Marbella Rodríguez was nearly burnt alive when she tried to defend the lands of her father. “They are not importing Cuban model but Zimbabwean model. Hugo Chávez is not bringing communism but chaos, robbery, kidnapping. They want Spanish out of the country, they are making us leave it“, says Luis Valdés, an unhopeful 67-years-old farmer  (51 spent in Venezuela).

He is one of the 66 Europeans – Spanish, Italians and Potuguese- who have been kidnapped in the last one year and a half in the state of Yaracuy by armed bands, who, according to different statements, are connected with oficialist political leaders. There are not more kidnapping counted by police, because the families not only do not denounce them, but also deny them because of the possible retaliation. Dozens of Spanish farmers have seen their lands stolen in moments of full production by false cooperativists who, after stealing harvests, livestock and machinery, abandon the lands.

[…] “Spanish people -states Phandor Quiroga, ex-Major of San Felipe, Yaracuy’s capital- have prospered because they are very hard-working types. Emigrants, now with Venezuelan sons and grandsons, revitalised the lands. They were greeted as brothers. Now they are called oligarchs, even if they have little lands, with an average extension of 120 hectares. For the most part they are little landowners who, with a lot of sacrifice and making huge savings, bought some lands“.

[…] The method they use repeats itself: outsiders invade a land, in less than a week they are given an stay pass, they are given tractors and other tools. In less than a month they are given  39 millions of Bolivars (15.500 €) in money and 59 millions (24.000 €) in products and tools. Everything is wasted. Nothing is produced there any more”.

After lots of negotiations, and thanks to the good relationship between Chávez and the Spanish Ambassador, Raúl Morodo, some of the Spanish farmers received a little compensation for the lose of their lands. Portuguese, Italians and a lot of Venezuelan have received nothing. The Canarian Edmundo Rodríguez received only 110.000 € for a 100-hectares land. “I am totally broke. I cannot even pay the first instalment of an apartment in Spain with that money”, he comments with an unhappy expression.

Edmundo and his daughter Marbella are the true image of the two generations dedicated to work. In Venezuela the census lists 175.000 Spanish and 250.000 descendants. Totally sick of the agressions, a lot of the farmers are considering the idea of going back to Spain. But for the most part, they are modest people who, stripped of their lands, do not have enough money to begin a new life.

Spanish, Portuguese and Italians, we are all annoying the Government. They want us to leave because we are uncomfortable witnesses. They do not want complaints. We cannot go on like this. Do we wait till they shot us in the head? You feel totally defenceless, you are not from there, not from here– says Rosaura Ibáñez, a distressed Canarian. Some names cited in the report are fictitious to preserve the security of the interviewed-. I never though that the hate against the foreigner could be used as a political tool. When Chávez is on TV, I turned it off, because I do not want to get all his hate”.

A judicial representative from the state of Yaracuy exposed with all the cruelty to La Vanguardia, that there is a campaign to make the Spanish people  emigrate from Venezuela. “A lot of the kidnappings are politically caused. The pro-Chávez MP Braulio Álvarez is the responsible of the invasions of the lands owned by Spanish, Italians and Portuguese. He is protecting them, he promotes and supports them. Europeans are annoying, because they have the protection of their embassies. They do not like that the foreign Governments defend their people. The huge part of kidnapped and subjects of expropiations are Europeans or of European origins. There is not a single kidnapped which has been solutioned. Justice is just a sham”, according to the same judicial source.

There haven’t been reactions from the Spanish Government that I know of.

You can also read the students manifesto translated by Kate here, who has also sent me the tips -except the link to the video-. And a beautiful composition of the students can be seen here.

You can also see the demonstrations in Rome and Milan supporting freedom of expression in Venezuela. More photos here.

UDPATE: Writing the post in the Spanish blog, I have found that José María Aznar has said: “I prefer the photo of the Azores (the one in which he appeared with Bush and Blair) than the Spanish photo with Castro and Chávez“. h/t Prevost. Me too.clap

UDPATE 2: Chávez has announced that he is going to buy more submarines to Russia and to strengthen the nation’s short-range air-defense system, contining then the trend that could make Venezuela the most improtant buyer of weapons of the decade. h/t Lady Godiva.

While the hospitals are in this state (scroll down the link to see more photos).

0510HospitalUniversitario30510HospitalUniversitario7A0510HospitalUniversitario8A

Sent to Open Trackbacks: 123 beta, Pirate’s Cove, Demediacratic Nation, The Right Nation, Blue Star Chronicles, Phastidio.Net.

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