We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
"Hats off to Babalublog which received one of the highest accolades in blogging when the Government of Fidel Castro banned Cubans from seeing his blog. It is unclear at this time if it was because of the politics, his criticism of Chavez or the Caja China ads, after all this high-tech gadget cannot be used in Cuba, it takes whole pig to use it, unavailable at this time to regular Cubans, except in the police corps." Read entire from Hog on Ice: Aging Murderer Frightened by Website
Venezuela News And ViewsVenezuela News And Views"Last week saw the visit of Chavez to Cuba to open offices for the Venezuelan state oil company, PDVSA, in Havana. The gross indecency of this ill management, not to call it by much deserved stronger words, of Venezuelan public monies has shaken quite a few people, including this blogger. The contained rage that I experienced at this act of authoritarian hubris inhibited me from writing on the subject for a few days until I finally could discuss at some level the craziness of it all."
Fidel and Hugo
The following editorial may lead to Ms. Socorro's incarceration since the language can be considered inflammatory and against the Government. Imagine if Maureen Dowd or Bob Hebert lived in Venezuela.
El Nacional, Thursday 5, May 2005 Milagros Socorro (2)
The ballot shipwrecked on the shores of Cuba The recent landing of Venezuelan billions in Cuba is an event of such enormity that it supersedes any previous scandal.
To underrate the great threat that is implied with the installation of a PDVSA office in a country not any foreign country which is the enclave of a long, cruel and awfully impoverishing dictatorship, is a mistake that the Venezuelan democrats cannot afford.
Teodoro Petkoff simplifies the business at dismissing the value of setting a "Caribbean" office in Cuba because we are not in the North Pole (3). It is true, the absurdity can only lead to incredulity and mistrust. And the editor focuses in the accusations on the "flock of traders" that would meddle with PDVSA business (against the current bylaw that establishes the state company to perform all of its operations directly with its final destination clients).
All of this, already being quite damaging, is not, in my humble opinion, the key to the situation. What we need to have clear in mind is that the investment -or should we call it "expenditure"?- that Venezuela is making in the island concentration camp of Fidel Castro does not follow from any analysis performed by Venezuelan experts.
It is not the conclusion reached by a multidisciplinary team who evaluated the needs of our country and calculated which are the initiatives that would benefit the future of the Nation, of the youth that soon will reach the labor market and those who have not been able to fit in by lack of jobs and local investment. The opening of PDVSA in Cuba is not the result of a rational consideration, not the result of a planning closely tied to the interests of Venezuela. PDVSA is in Cuba by the whim of a man, to whom we do not attribute sagacious abilities or introspections, whose name is Hugo Chavez. And if that man would have fancied to fill up the Middle East with areperas or construct a cuatro music school in every Chinese village (4), he would have done so too because there is no institution in Venezuela that regulates the initiatives of the President -now openly transfigured into sovereign-, to slow down those that conspire against the well being of the Republic.
The boatloads of money that have been put into the hands of Castro, the spectacle that president Chavez gave in Havana last week, have completed the dismantling of any democratic pretense in Venezuela.
After this, elections, voting, the National Assembly, the council of ministers, all is empty of content. They mean nothing. A man who obviates in such a vulgar and blissful manner the opinion, the will, the wishes of a country to go and waste the income of the Republic in the oldest dictatorship on earth is not considering for a single instant the democratic proceedings or the value of the vote; not, of course, as an instrument of his possible substitution from office but only for what vote can have of parody, of a construct to reward his transgressions.
When Hugo Chavez shouted in Cuba that Venezuela is in a transition to toward socialism, he finished with our illusion that voting had any meaning. Democratic countries can opt for a socialist government but no socialist country can opt for a democratic government.
It is good to keep this in mind. And to understand that the way out for Venezuela cannot be through elections anymore. A king it is not dethroned by long lines at the voting centers. The permissiveness with the autocrat has gone too far and the out of control trajectory of his abuses has reached such incandescence, that the end of his trajectory cannot receive its full stop by a vote. The Venezuelan tragedy has an only, solitary, hallucinating, author and performer. Nothing will change if we rotate in their fake responsibilities the authorities that are his carnival followers.
We are living a tragedy... and the outcome of tragedies is always terrible. And unavoidable.