Archive for the ‘Caribbean’ Category

Chávez prepares himself to the war against USA, a war that only his megalomaniac mind can see. But, of course, the weapons are for … a media war.

Venezuelan President Chavez in Russia for Possible Weapons Deal – Voice of America

Caribbean Net News

Venezuelan President Chavez in Russia for Possible Weapons Deal
Voice of America – 47 minutes ago
By Peter Fedynsky

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is inMoscow for discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin about apossible arms deal and expanded economic ties between the twocountries. VOA Correspondent Peter Fedynsky reports from the Russiancapital.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks while opening Venezuela's cultural center in Moscow, 28 June 2007
Hugo Chavez speaks at opening of Venezuela’s cultural center in Moscow, 28 June 2007

PresidentChavez is expected to meet with his Russian counterpart Thursdayevening in the Kremlin. Speaking during the day at the opening of aLatin American cultural center in Moscow, the Venezuelan leader said hedoes not rule out the development of nuclear energy in his country. Ina swipe at the United States, Mr. Chavez also said American troopsshould leave Iraq, and that Iran has a right to nuclear technology.

Mr. Chavez says that Iran has the right to a peaceful atomic energy industry, because it is a sovereign state.

His Moscow agenda includes the possible purchase of Russiandiesel-electric submarines, armed with missiles. Mr. Chavez is alsointerested in buying the Russian TOR-1 missile defense system.

Last year, Mr. Chavez signed a deal with the Kremlin to purchase $3billion worth of weapons, including helicopters, fighter planes andsmall arms.

But Mr. Chavez said weapons are not the aim of his visit.

He says his priorities are culture, ideas and cooperation in energy as well as the military.

Chavez has warm words for Russia Independent Online
Russia keeps tricky Chavez visit low key Washington Post
ForbesMonsters and Critics.comBusiness DayEuronews.net
all 109 news articles

UPDATE: And while he is in Moscow, new protests are held in Venezuela for the freedom of expression: Gateway Pundit.

Read also Free Thoughts: Chávez wants power for life.

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El Rincón de la Libertad:

Last Saturday the Leganés’ Town Hall, of which the Socialists are in charge, made with United Left, a act of support to 5 Cubans who are in prison in the USA for spying and organising acts of sabotage against military instalations in south Florida. This 5 also wanted to be admitted in the Cuban dissidence in exile, and had, as had been proved in the processes, a high responsibility in the knocking down of a plane from “Brothers to the Rescue”, which were flying in search of Cuban dissidents to rescue them from the waters.

Cuba democracia y vida has more. The event was presented by Spanish actor (another titiritero, word which describes normally an errant minstrel of the Middle Ages, but now it’s used pejoratively to describe the actors of the anti-Iraqi campaign and pro-PSOE/United Left ideology) Juan Diego Botto.

Para los lectores españoles: ¿a qué les suena esta viñeta?

Bien, pues forme parte del cartel del acto en el que se pidió la liberación de los espías del régimen castrista cubano…. Si es que además tienen poca imaginación 😉

Vídeo buenísimo sobre Cuba y cómo la ha dejado Castro -la música también lo es-, que deberían haber puesto en el festival a ver si dejaban de decir estupideces (ht El Café Cubano):


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The strategy of Chavez’s anti-Americanism (he even said US should be destroyed) looks like a bit contradicted by the facts: Venezuela is now the 6th commercial associate with US (tip: Spanish blog Escepticismo y libertad).

US Exports to Venezuela were $4,888.4 millions between January and July, 2006, which is more than all the US exports to Venezuela in 2004 and a 140% more than the US exports in the first semester of 2005.

According to a statistical report of US Census, made public yesterday by US Commerce Department in Washington, Venezuela is the 10th US oil supplier in the world, mainly of petrol.

Venezuela also is in the group of the 10 more important commercial associates of US, only after China (the first in the list), Japan, Canada, Germany and Mexico and before France, Brazil and Russia.

These numbers will increase at the end of 2006, because during September, October and November the commercial activity is usually much more important than in the first 6 months of the year, explained Joe Tafchinski, US Commerce Department’s speaker in Washington, who made the statistical analysis.

The balance of trade with USA benefited Venezuela, who obtained a superavit of about $15,000 millions, which at the end of 2006 could increase more than $30,000 millions.

What would be the impact of the boycott some US people are doing of CITGO, the Venezuelan oil company? There are even bloggers united for that purpose. Don’t know how much effective this campaign will be, but US Energy Department is going to accept the discounted fuel from CITGO (tip: Blue Star Chronicles), although CITGO has conducted anti-American rallies in Haarlem. At the same time, Alaskans have rejected oil coming from Chávez.

And this extreme generosity from Chávez is angering Venezuelan blogosphere:

Today in the Venezuelan blogosphere, writer after writer, some of whom do not even know each other, reach the same conclusion: Venezuela’ s state oil company, under the regime of Hugo Chavez, is being systematically looted by Chavez’s cronies so badly it’s affected production. And hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost. These sums are like Argentina’s default numbers, triple digit billions. […] And Venezuelans are very angry, angry to the point that Chavez is trying to distract them.

Some moths ago Chávez also offered EU some cheap oil. I do not know what has happened afterwards…

This piece of news appears the same day that Guatemala has obtained more votes than Venezuela (110-77) in the race to a UN Security Council seat, although Guatemala did not obtain the required majority (125 votes). This is major blow for “Hugo Chávez of Venezuela”, as NYT titles their report. (Read THE ASTUTE BLOGGERS)

So afterwards, Cárdenas, Venezuelan ambassador to UN, has said that they represent countries who are rejecting any impositions from UN [link in Spanish, thanks to Kate]:

The Venezuelan diplomat underlined that, following indications from Hugo Chávez, he will ask the Latinoamerican and Caribbean Group in UN (GRULAC) to reject this agression [he is refering himself to the UN vote] and “if it’s possible to call the US representative to excuse himself for his abuses towards each of the Latinoamerican countries, the pressures made to every one and for the way they have directed this campaign“.

He will make this application based on the Venezuelan condition as member of GRULAC and on the basis that “other countries from the region cannot be part of a comedy, as they have to defend one who has promoted Mercosur and Caricom”.

[…] He also said that very soon some videos will arrive at VTV in which they show how US representatives were positioned behind the smaller countries, during the first vote, to verify it, and also other actions who contradict the democratic attitude of some of the civil servants from US, British and other European countries.

He added that the Venezuelan purpose is not to quarrel with Guatemala but to show an inappropriate action for democracy in UN, by US, and the need to change this.

AS he has lost two things in less than a week [the other is Ecuador, as his friend Correa lose the elections against the Conservative Candidate Noboa, and they will have to go to a second round], Chávez is getting nrervous. Sandmonkey also notes the litle time between the two losses (as me smile_teeth).

The best thing without doubt is that this same Cárdenas called “assasin stained with the bloog of innocentsi” …to Chávez (link in Spanish).

Venezuela se ha convertido en el 6º socio comercial y el 10º exportador de petróleo a USA. A finales de año se calcula que la relación comercial Venezuela-USA será beneficiosa para Venezuela en aproximadamente 30.000 millones de dólares.

Desde la intervención de Chávez en la ONU, hay diferentes campañas de boicot a CITGO, empresa dependiente del Gobierno Venezolano. NO se sabe la efectividad que tendrá la medida sobre todo cuando hasta el Departamento de Comercio de EEUU no se ha negado a aceptar petróleo barato de Chávez. Sin embargo, los habitantes de Alaska sí lo han rechazado.

La extrema “generosidad” de Chávez ha hecho enfadar a los bloggers venezolanos que consideran que incluso está llegando a afectar a la producción.

Esta noticia llega en fechas próximas a la derrota de Venezuela para obtener un sitio en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU frente a Guatemala, que tampoco consiguió los 125 voos necesarios. El embajador venezolano en la ONU, Cárdenas,  ha dicho que quiere que EEUU pida perdón por intervenir en la negociación y por conductas antidemocráticas que favorecieron a Guatemala. Amenaza con hacer llegar a las televisiones un vídeo en el que se ve a funcionarios norteamericanos situados detrás de los representantes de países pequeños para saber a quién votaban.

También el candidato ecuatoriano preferido de Chávez, Correa, perdió en las elecciones frente al conservador Noboa.

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Venezuela is running for a UN Security Council, after defeating Guatemala in Monday’s elections for five open UN Security Council seats.

Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, up for reelection in December, has campaigned hard for the seat in 2007-2008, sending assistance to Latin American countries as well as contributing to food aid in Africa.

And Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro left no doubt during a visit to the United Nations last month his government sees the race as one against the United States.

“Our debate is not with Guatemala,”‘ Maduro told reporters. “Our debate is with Secretary of State of Condoleezza Rice. We are calling for an end to the unipolar world that has been so damaging.”

According to a report of Forecast International (link in Spanish), consulting firm of the militar industry and global intelligence, the self-named “revitalization plan” of the three components of FAN (Venezuelan National Force in Spanish), could cost around $30,700 millions during the period 2006-2012. The cost can double itself if it continues till 2020 and Chávez is still on power, according to a study by Brazilian newspaper O Estado. This way Venezuela would lead the list of countries buying weapons in this decade. smile_sad

Among all the equipment, Chávez is searching for, there are 150 supersonic airplanes, between 10/15 missile-launchers’s submarines, 138 ships, radar defense systems and around 600.000 bombs, both commons and intelligent, guided by lasers and GPS.

The Venezuelan Government has already spent $3.000 millions as part of this revitalization plan, for the acquisition of, among other equipment, war-airplanes Sukoi, 100.000 Russian rifles AK-103 and AK-104 and a tridimensional radar system of Chinese fabrication, which cost $150 millions.

Chávez has defended in his program “Aló Presidente” (Hello, President) of last week, this plan to revitalize the Venezuelan Army, saying that the program is basically defensive and that is just a consequence of their sovereignty, because of the “possible” invasion of the country by USA.

Opposition candidate, Rosales, has remarked that this could be a foolish act, taking into account the levels of unemployment and poverty nowadays Venezuela has. 

There are also experts who point out that Venezuelan purchases of weapons are far greater than the ones made by Colombia, Brazil or Chile, what can lead to a arm race in the region.

So where is the love?

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Here is his “message of love to the people of my Venezuela“. I do not know if this is to cry or to laugh…

This, for English-speaking readers, is what Chavez says in the video:

Always, I have done everything out of love.
For the love of trees and rivers, I became a painter (a painter? what? canvas or brick walls? did he exhibit somewhere?)
For the love of knowledge, studies, I left my dearest village, to study
For the love of sports I became a ball player
For the love of the fatherland I became a soldier
For the love of the people I became President, you made me President (who comes up with these lines? Besides, note the capital P in President which in Spanish is not required and which is a way to increase the symbolism of the job)
I have ruled these years out of love (Please!)
For love we did Barrio Adentro
For love we did Mision Robinson
For love we did Mercal
We have done everything for love (note that these 4 last lines are grouped together and represent the only three social programs that have found wide acceptance and some measure of real success even if the efficacy and real reach is more and more questioned)
There is a lot left to do. I need more time. (observe two important implications, Chavez implicitly acknowledges that this is all he has to show for, and that whomever wrote this should be fired: justifying 8 years on three “achievements” is rather lame, actually demeaning for the reader that is able of second thought process)

Found at Fausta’s blog, translated by Daniel from Venezuela News and Views. He remarks probably is a measure to encourage females’ votes, because in his rallies there are not a lot of women…

Trackbacked to The Dumb Ox and Basil’s Blog.

Para los que entiendan español: simplemente presionen el play… No sé si reír o llorar… Según algunos esto puede ser una estrategia para hacer que las mujeres le voten 😦

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From AOL News:

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said Sunday he has received warnings from within the White House that the Bush administration is plotting to assassinate him or topple his left-leaning government.

Citing what he said were warnings from an alleged White House informant, Chavez told thousands of supporters at a campaign rally that President Bush has ordered him to be killed before he leaves office in 2008.

Bush “has said that before he goes, Hugo Chavez shouldn’t be the president of Venezuela,” Chavez told the crowd. “The president of the United States has said it, especially in recent days. What he doesn’t know is that I have friends in the White House.”

The Venezuelan leader has claimed before that the U.S. government is out to kill him – allegations that U.S. officials deny.

The latest accusation came a day after he alleged that there had been a recent attempt to assassinate him and said those responsible had since fled to neighboring Colombia.

Chavez appeared to link the alleged plot to his main rival in upcoming presidential elections, Gov. Manuel Rosales of Zulia state, claiming that he is in constant danger from opponents seeking to get rid of him.

He said a sniper had waited with a long-range gun and planned to shoot him after he debarked a helicopter, he said. He did not elaborate further on the alleged plot.

Chavez vowed to win the Dec. 3 vote and continue governing this South American nation until 2021. “Fourteen more years, that’s what’s coming,” Chavez said.

Venezuela’s Constitution allows a president to be re-elected only once in immediate succession. If Chavez wins a second six-year term in December, he wouldn’t be able to run again in 2012 – without a legal change.

Chavez has floated the possibility of changing Venezuela’s constitution to allow indefinite re-election.

If you want to laugh, read this post from Rightwinged.com.

The reason why Chávez is giving all of these shows is that he wants a seat on the UN Security Council (via Fausta’s blog):

President Chávez, the man who accuses the U.S. government of such an enormous crime, also said recently: “We are not recognizing the new president of Mexico. We believe that many irregularities went on during that election.” How can the president of a country say such a thing about the democratic electoral process in another country without creating a major diplomatic crisis? The member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS) that already know about these statements by Chávez should think twice before giving him their votes for the seat at the UNSC. If they do, in spite of knowing that the man is not mentally sane and that he harbors dangerous ambitions of world supremacy, they will be accomplices of a crime. I could understand the tiny Caribbean countries, in desperate need of money and oil, kneeling before the madman. But Brazil? Argentina? Chile? On what possible grounds can these countries, which should be true hemispheric leaders, support the ambitions of a mentally insane person to play such an important role in world affairs? They certainly should have considered the potential consequences of their votes. Lula still has a good regional reputation and President Bachelet has or was supposed to have a strong and decisive intellect. About Kirchner no one had much expectations. But they should all be aware that a seat for Hugo Chávez (not Venezuela) at the UNSC would mean an intensification of political instability in the hemisphere. Their prestige as serious, responsible leaders will be put in great doubt.

To achieve this Chávez is expending enourmous quantities of money: The Economist (via Fausta’s blog):

The cost of this to Venezuela is impossible to calculate. Much of the government’s spending is off-budget and at Mr Chavez’s discretion (which violates the constitution he himself introduced). A recent study by CIECA, an opposition-leaning research centre, puts at $50 billion the total foreign spending announced by the government in the past 18 months (though this seems to involve some double counting). It includes a $10 billion anti-poverty fund, which officials say has already financed an electrification plan for Havana, a hospital in Uruguay, and subsidised heating oil for poor districts in the United States.

(…)Despite the outlay, Mr Chavez may still not achieve his goal. To be elected, a country requires 128 votes – two-thirds of the General Assembly. Neither Venezuela nor Guatemala is likely to achieve that. Whichever comes second would normally face pressure to step aside. But this time, neither is likely to do so. The onus will then be on the bigger countries in Latin America to come up with a compromise candidate – diplomats mention Uruguay, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.

Argentina has ratified their Government’s support for Chávez, acording to Argentinian newspaper La Nación (via Blogbis). Taiana, Argentinian ambassador to the UN, declared that there was “no doubt” Argentina was going to vote for Venezuela, and denied receiving pressures from Washington to change their vote.

From Devil’s Excrement:

The problem is that the Government seems to ignore market forces and creates distortions on top of distortions, which ignore the basic principles of economics and how human beings react to opportunities. When the Government created its supermarket network Mercal, it was supposed to be a way of delivering cheaper goods to the poor. Mercal could obviously sell goods cheaper than anyone. It paid no custom duty, it received all of the currency it wanted at the official rate of exchange, it was handled by military at all levels so it only had to pay labor for a reduced non-military workforce. Finally, it was not for profit and thus would pay no taxes.

Later, the Government established price controls for certain foodstuffs and they applied to a large fraction of the products sold by Mercal. As inflation drove prices up, the Government allowed controlled prices to increase only slowly or not at all, creating a huge discrepancy between controlled prices and free market prices. Thus, the Government had to start subsidizing many of these products in order to keep prices down. For many products, it was or is impossible for local producers to even compete with Mercal subsidized prices. This has basically become a trap; foodstuff prices are up 19.9% since May so that in the face of the election, the Government does not want to approve any increase of controlled prices and has to spend more money on subsidizing these products.

But market forces have now intervened in the form of the huge work force of street vendors, estimated to be 300,000 in Caracas alone. They simply go to Mercal, buy as much as they are allowed to and go and sell the products in the streets at market prices, thus creating what we can call “Street Vendor Arbitrage”. The differences are huge and so are the profits of the street vendors. A kilo of powdered milk, for example, that sells at Mercal for Bs. 4,700 (US$2.18 at the official rate of exchange) goes for Bs. 15,000 (US$ 6.97) from the street vendors, wheat flower, Bs. 1000 at Mercal goes for Bs. 2,500 in the streets, sugar Bs. 740 at Mercal, Bs. 3,000 in the streets and so on. Of course, you can’t always find all the products at either Mercal or informal markets, with sugar, milk and some vegetables being in short supply regularly.

The Government’s solution to this problem is typical: Next week a decree will be issued prohibiting the sale of Mercal products by anyone. (…)

But the worst thing is that the criminal rate is the highest in all South America, with a total number of 90.027, nearly three times the deaths in Afganistan war and also far great than the deaths in Chechenia war or Iraqi war, according to a report issued by Chacao Major, in Caracas, presented some days ago in Caracas. This sum is even greater than the deaths caused by Colombian armed conflict from 1985 and 2006, which are 73.330. (via El Instituto Independiente)

Chávez ha anunciado que, “a través de un informante que tiene en la Casa Blanca, sabe que Bush ha dado la orden de matarle“. Esta es la segunda vez que, en pocos días, Chávez acusa a alguien de querer asesinarle. Antes le tocó el turno a Rosales, el Gobernador del Estado de Zulia, al tiempo que señalaba que está en constante peligro porque “sus oponentes están buscando la manera de deshacerse de él“.

En el periódico digital Venezuela Today se refieren a la verdadera ambición de Chávez: obtener un sitio en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU. Entre otras cosas, se preguntan por qué los grandes países de América del Sur se plegarían a votarle, afirmando que quedaría muy cuestionada su responsabilidad, al incrementarse de esa forma la inestabilidad en la zona. A pesar de eso, Argentina ya ha anunciado a través de su embajador en la ONU que votará a favor de Venezuela.

Pero Chávez insiste en su ambición y se está gastando una verdadera fortuna. Según The Economist -revista que no puede ser considerada como conservadora-, que cita al grupo opositor venezolano CIECA, se ha gastado 10 billones de dólares ya, en financiar la electrificación de la Habana, un hospital en Uruguay y subsidios en forma de petróleo a distritos pobres de los Estados Unidos. A pesar de todo, no parece que vaya a conseguir 128 votos, si no que se elegirá un candidato de compromiso, como Uruguay, República Dominicana o Costa Rica.

Entre otras medidas, Chávez fundó Mercal, un mercado para “gente pobre” en el que los productos se vendían a muy bajo precio. La infración subió, pero el Gobierno no dejó que los precios subieran o dejó que subieran un poco, creando una gran diferencia entre el precio controlado en Mercal y los precios de mercado, por lo que el Gobierno comenzó a subsidiar los productos vendidos en Mercal. Pero las fuerzas del mercado han intervenido y comenzaron a aparecer vendedores por las calles, que compraban sus productos en Mercal -no se necesita ningún permiso especial- y los venden a precio de mercado. Los beneficios son enormes: lo que cuesta en Mercal 2,18 dólares USA, se vende en las calles por 6,97 dólares USA. ¿La solución del gobierno? Dictar un decreto que prohíba vender productos de Mercal fuera del recinto…

Sin duda, el peor dato es el ascenso de la criminalidad:

El número de homicidios registrados entre 1998 y 2004 en Venezuela totalizó 90,027, una cifra que casi triplica el número de muertos en la Guerra de Afganistán (2001-2006), y supera ampliamente las bajas producidas en conflictos como la Guerra de Chechenia (1991-1994) y la Guerra del Golfo Pérsico (1990-1992), indicó un estudio realizado por la Alcaldía de Chacao, en Caracas, presentado esta semana en el Foro Hemisférico de Alcaldes de América Latina.

Según las estadísticas, la violencia venezolana también superó el número de muertos que se han producido en el conflicto armado de Colombia entre 1985 y el 2006, que totaliza hasta ahora 73,330 decesos contabilizados.

Las cifras confirman lo que el año pasado ya había señalado un reporte especial de la Unesco: que Venezuela ocupa el primer lugar en el mundo en muertes causadas por armas de fuego (22.15 por cada 100,000 personas).

‘Venezuela es una localidad actualmente considerada como de `alto riesgo’ tanto por firmas consultoras como por gobiernos”, indicó un informe reciente de la firma de seguridad Armor Group, con sede en Londres, y que presta servicios mundiales de seguridad.

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Today there is a demonstration in Seville, supporting ETA terrorists’ victims and against the Government’s negotiation with ETA. Even if I cannot stay there with them in person, I support them with this post.

We will see how the demonstration goes after the Government has announced that they will control the noise demonstrators could make and suspend it if they are above a limit and and are asking them to predict how many people were going to asist to it. This same day there has been a demonstration of ETA supporters in Pamplona, where they were demanding the independence -autodetermination- and yelling there is no peace process without the Basque country’s annexation of Navarra. Of course no one has controlled their noise…

Pro-ETA terrorists have also accused the Government of being searching excuses in the “kale borroka” -street violence, last attacks were to a bank office and to a Peace Judge– and of failing in “stopping the repressive alternative” (that is, of not forbidding policemen and judges of detaining and investigating new terrorist attacks). Batasuna’s representant, Joseba Permach, also maintained that the ETA’s refusal to disarm [via Free thoughts and Gateway Pundit], some days ago in the day of the “gudari” or “Basque soldier” -it is more correct to speak about the Basque terrorist-, in which some unknown people with masks shot in the air and shouted they were not going to end the violence “till independence and socialism“, has to be interpreted as a way of “ETA expressing his final goals, that are independence and socialism“.

This same week we have also known that Chávez has employed Arturo Cubillas, ex-ETA terrorist, allegedly accused of 3 murders in Spain, and his wife. He has been named Director assigned to the Office of Administration and Services of the Agricultural and Lands of Venezuela Minister. His wife has been named General Director of the Venezuelan Presidency, as Spanish Embassy in Venezuela has confirmed. Links above are in Spanish, but are very interesting to know who this man was. In brief, he was one of the ETA-Terrorists looked for by Spanish police in the 80’s -where ETA’s bloody campaign was more active-, deported from Venezuela to Algeria, where talks between Socialist Government and ETA failed.

Anyway, Zapatero has answered to questions in Congress, he will go on with the negotiations with ETA terrorists, the same week the European Union’s Parliament has admitted to speak about ETA’s negotiation, something very protested by the victims.

UPDATE: Blogosphere has begun reacting to this: Anghara titles her post: Thousands of Andalusians march through Seville’s streets with a message: Surrender not in my name!:


More photos:



UPDATE 2: Italian blogger enzo, from 1972, writes about the “internationalisation of the conflict”, something largely dreamed by ETA, dream which has made truth thanks to European Socialists, who have carried the petition to the Euopean Parliament.

Also, two videos, which have specially treated, show a masked man with a pistol in his hand shooting to Spanish King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia:


Both videos have been found in a web, from ETA’s simpathisers, with a very bad design, but with very strong and violent language. The web is located in server from USA and Canada. They have copied the text of the declaration that unknown people made just a few days ago in which they said “EUSKAL HERRIA ALA HIL!!! GERTURIK DAUKAGU ODOLA BERE ALDE EMATEKO! ¡We have our blood prepared to die for Basque Country!” Peaceful words…

UPDATE 3: More photos:


Hoy hay una manifestación en Sevilla de la AVT en contra de la negociación del Gobierno con ETA y a favor de las víctimas del terrorismo. Veremos cómo se desarrolla después de que el Gobierno haya anunciado que “controlará los decibelios de la manifestación“. Hoy mismo se ha producido también una manifestación en Pamplona de los pro-etarras, pidiendo -otra vez- la autodeterminación y la anexión de Navarra al País Vasco.

El momento es muy delicado porque se produce después de que tres desconocidos tiraran al aire varios tiros, clamando por la independencia y el socialismo, y de que se descubriera que Chávez ha dado empleo a un ex-terrorista de ETA acusado de 3 asesinatos y a su mujer.

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from FOXNews

President Hugo Chavez has plans to build a factory for manufacturing Russian AK-103 assault rifles, otherwise known as Kalashnikov rifles, sparking fears he may try to arm rebels in other South American nations.

Chavez denies such ambitions, saying his government bought 100,000 Russian-made AK-103 assault rifles and al icense from Moscow to make Kalashnikovs and ammunition, to defend the nation against “the most powerful empire in history” — the United States.

Political opponents and critics suspect the president and former paratrooper hasother intentions, such as providing foreign allies like Bolivia and communist-led Cuba with arms while forging a hemisphericanti-Washington military alliance.

“Our president has always had a warlike mentality, but now it appears this mentality is turning into a mission that could easily extend to other parts of Latin America,” said William Ojeda, a journalist and former Chavez ally who plans to challenge the president in Decemberpresidential elections.

Chavez has said “Venezuelan blood would run” if the United States were to invade Cuba or Bolivia, but has never said Venezuela would provide them with weapons.

Bolivian President, Evo Morales, has said just the same.

And the last paragraph quoted is a least rare at the most… Providing them with weapons is a much more “unknown” movement: you only have to transport the weapons, not the men. But even in that case, normally, those men go with weapons, with Venezuelan weapons. And by the way, Bolivia has received Venezuelan soldiers as I wrote in the post mentioned. I have not heard of any US invasion of Bolivia.

UPDATE: Occidentality comments about the deaths of several journalists, after the threats to the free Press made by Chávez:

More gruesome is the news that a journalist has been murdered in Caracas. At VCrisis, we learn the fates of several other journalists:

Juan Manuel Carmona, owner of El Impulso newspaper was killed in a ‘car accident;’ Filippo Sindoni, owner of El Aragueño, another provincial newspaper and a TV station, was kidnapped and killed; Salvador Termini, owner of La Prensa de Monagas, yet another regional newspaper also died in a ‘car accident;’ and nowJose Joaquin Tovar has been killed. All deaths have occurred recently

This is really a bad path. The first symptom of a bad democracy is the existence of a controlled press. If the press does not “control” itself, the Government will “control” the “uncontrolled”… any way they can. If the “uncontrolled” carry on their path of “insubordination” (that is, of controlling the power) they are going to be reeducated or eliminated. 4 journalists who are opposed to Chávez have died in “obscure” circumstances, very similar to Mafia murders -you know, “just make it look like an accident”-. Yet, there will be people who will be pointing him as a freedom lover or a freedom supporter.

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The illegal Assembly to Promote Civil Society said in a statement that dozens of people have been fasting for different lengths of time in the provinces of Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo, Holguin, Havana, Santa Clara and Camaguey.According to the note, the act of fasting is to expres "solidarity with Guillermo Fariñas, and to urge the government to give him an answer and provide him with access to the Internet." Fariñas announced on Jan. 31 that he would abstain from food and drink until the Internet would be made freely accessible to him.

Since March he has been in an intensive care unit of the provincial hospital of Santa Clara, some 280 kilometers (174 miles) east of Havana.

The president of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), Elizardo Sanchez, told EFE that he was continuing to fast in sympathy with the protest of dissident Juan Carlos Herrera, who last month began a hunger strike in solidarity with Fariñas.

Herrera, who is serving a 20-year sentence at a prison in Camaguey province, is one of 75 members of the Cuban opposition convicted in a Spring 2003 crackdown on dissent.

Fariñas, a psychologist and director of the independent agency Cubanacan Press, has been on 20 hunger strikes since 1995, with the longest in 2003 which went on for 14 months. EFE jlp/cd

From EFE (HT: Babalu Blog).

UPDATE: Of course, as La ventanita points out, Human Rights groups wold not say a word about this situation. 

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