Tag Archives: Chávez

Astroturf image of the week

In his latest bid to sow conflict in order to direct attention away from the country’s real problems while eroding other non-Chávez power bases, Chávez is going after the Catholic Church. Allegedly, El Pueblo is behind him: Far be it from me to stick up for the Catholic Church for any reason, but if those [...]
Posted in Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , | 4 Comments

Crackdown

A few months out from legislative elections, the Chávez administration today intensified its crackdown on opposition media by arresting Guillermo Zuloaga, the owner of Venezuela’s only remaining opposition television station, Globovisión. He was arrested by military intelligence police. Supposedly he is being investigated for criticizing the Chávez administration’s record of attacks on freedom of speech. [...]
Posted in Human Rights, Venezuela | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome Home, Hugo Chávez

Thank the Blogger Gods, Hugo Chávez is going to launch his very own blog. This is the perfect medium for the long-winded and famously workaholic president, and frankly, I can’t wait to see what he writes about. My only piece of advice is: Do not enable comments. Anti-Chávez commenters are about as insightful and polite [...]
Posted in Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged | 3 Comments

It’s the body count, stupid

The best reason to dislike Hugo Chávez is not that he’s a Marxist or a tyrant or anti-American or any other such silliness of the likes you find in the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal. The best reason to dislike Hugo Chávez is that after 11 years, it’s safe to say he’s failed [...]
Posted in Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , | 5 Comments

The chilling effect

It started with a rumor posted on popular anti-Chávez site NoticieroDigital.com that several government ministers had been murdered. Now there is talk in Venezuela of “regulating the internet,” whatever that might mean. I’ll believe it when I see it (and when I do see it, I’m going into the web proxy business). Frankly, the rumors [...]
Posted in Human Rights, Politics, Venezuela | Also tagged , , | 1 Comment

Half-spring forward

The last time I was in Venezuela, I never quite figured out what time it was. My laptop clock was always off by a half hour, in one direction or the other. When I got home, I remembered that Chávez had ordered the clocks moved back by half an hour to give kids more time [...]
Posted in Odd, Venezuela | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Less money, mo’ problems

Chávez’ innovative experiments in centrally-planned capito-socialist economy are looking pretty shaky these days. For one thing, the Venezuelan economy shrank 3.3% last year, which isn’t surprising except for the fact that the slump worsened in the 4th quarter – to 5.8% – just as the rest of Latin America is beginning to recover. The oil [...]
Posted in Economy, Venezuela | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Time to get some new lawyers

As predicted, Chávez is lashing out furiously at the harsh report on Venezuela and human rights issued by the OAS’ Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), calling it “pure garbage.” But although he’s angry, he doesn’t seem to have a clear idea what’s actually happening: Chávez said his administration is preparing to “denounce the agreement [...]
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Chávez and Uribe started “yelling and called each other names, using obscene language” during a private dinner at the “Unity Summit” taking place in Mexico. The 31 Latin American countries in attendance are supposedly in the process of forming a regional political group that excludes the U.S. and Canada.
Posted in Colombia, Politics, Side notes, Venezuela | Also tagged , | Leave a comment

Why is Chávez picking a fight with Polar?

First, last week, Chávez ordered food company Polar – which most famously produces beer and arepa flour – to move its brewery in Barquisimeto, as the government is going to use the land for a public housing project. Polar protested, and now Chávez has issued a threat: “If you keep on like this, I can [...]
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  • DAILY LINKS

    • The Nation has a long, wonky, wonderful article on Mexican maize cultivation, the effects of NAFTA, and the dangers of genetically-modified seeds. Author Peter Canby backs up his excellent writing with piles and piles of meticulous research. Not to be missed. [link, via SM] (Image from Joel Penner.)

    • Cuban dissident Guillermo Farinas ended his hunger strike yesterday after 134 days. Farinas decided to end his strike after the Cuban government said it would release political prisoners rounded up in the "Black Spring" crackdown of 2003. Get well soon. [link]

    • The Uruguayan selection, which has made it to the quarter finals of the World Cup, just received a shipment of half a ton of fine cuts of beef for the mother of all asados in preparation for a contest against Ghana on Friday: "450 kilos of lomo, 200 of entrecot, 75 of vacío, 75 of colita de cuadril, 150 of ojo de bife and 50 kg of picaña." [link]

    • Hitmen have assassinated the PRI candidate for governor of Tamaulipas State, Rodolfo Torre Cantú. Torre was gunned down along with six others at about 10:30 this morning on a highway on the way to a campaign event. Drug mafias are assumed to be responsible. [link]

    • From the days when coups were something of a regional sport, new documents detail a famous British ballerina's role in a plot to topple the government of Panama. The plan was to use her yacht to gather men and arms, then "land somewhere and collect in the hills." It didn't work. [link]

    • Mexico's Attorney General's Office has posted on its web site irrefutable evidence that gold-plated AR-15s and diamond-studded pistol grips are not nearly as cool-looking as they sound. The deadly knick-knack collection is said to belong to Valencia Cartel leader El Lobo. [link]

    • Two Brazilian ranchers were sentenced to 30 years in prison apiece for ordering the killing of an environmentalist nun: "Prosecutors said the pair offered to pay a gunman $25,000 to kill the 73-year-old [Dorothy] Stang because she had prevented them from stealing a piece of land that the government had granted to a group of poor farmers." [link]


    • This video of a kidnapping and car chase in Mexico is notable mainly for the bad-assitude of the TV journalists who were on this like white on rice. Well done, gentlemen.

    • The Economist takes a peak at the Mockus phenomenon in Colombia: "His moustacheless beard gives him the air of a Baltic pastor... He is financing his campaign with a bank overdraft. His supporters rely on Facebook and make their own posters; street vendors sell unofficial campaign T-shirts." [link]

    • Some cruise lines will cease traveling to Antarctica after this cruise season, as a ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil goes into effect next year. The ban came after a 2007 incident when a Gap Adventures ship got punctured by ice and sank, causing a mess. [link]