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August 2007 Archives

August 2, 2007

“Terrorists Like the Climate of the Tropical Equator, So You Should Never Hide the Bodies in the Refrigerator.”

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Oh for crying out…The Washington Post today confirms that the vast mob-based killing machine that runs the Colombian government goes far beyond President Psycho McShortypants. Far, far beyond.

Guess who knew about U.S. businesses employing known terrorist cells to “protect” themselves by assassinating union leaders, raping their wives and strangling their babies? Justice official Michael freaking Chertoff, who is now of course in charge of Securing our Homeland and protecting our (snort) civil liberties. He was all very concerned about the “complexity” of the situation at the time before winking and skipping away to listen in on our phone conversations so that we can all go to jail for talking to foreigners.


Aloha, Mr. Hand!

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Sean Hannity: Watch your back. Your enemies list is starting to organize.

August 4, 2007

Meet Your State Department

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Apparently Operation Karen Hughes didn’t go so good. Contrary to all conceivable theoretical outcomes, the deployment of a cloyingly insincere monolingual Bush-adoring Texas hausfrau to skeptical foreign lands didn’t inevitably result in the conversion of hostile locals into a respectable, cohesive Bed Bath and Beyond bourgeoisie. Oh well, at least Karen gave it a shot, and even got a passport out of the deal!

Anyway, nobody can accuse the Bush administration of not having a Plan B, right? And this time there’s no way it can go wrong because they’re going in a completely different direction. The State Department has signed on irreverent L.A.-based alternative Latin Jam Band Ozomotli to be our new international cultural ambassadors! Think about it, they barely speak English, just like foreigners. They hate the Iraq war, just like foreigners. And—here’s the part that’s brilliant—they actually despise America and everything it represents, just like foreigners! Really, there is nothing to criticize about this plan at all. Kudos, Bush administration!

BoRev Bonus: Check out this rockin’ Ozomatli musical tribute to a century of armed Latin American resistance movements against U.S. hegemony. The kids in Gaza will love the beat!

I Blame the Press

Remember how a couple of weeks ago Alvaro Uribe’s staff explained that he actually wasn’t ever very popular to begin with? They weren’t kidding! Armed with this new information, the Colombian public isn’t holding back anymore. From the Latin Americanist:


Colombian president Alvaro Uribe was jeered during a speech yesterday where he defended his security policy. "I won't hand over one millimeter to the criminals" declared Uribe while part of a crowd booed and called him an “assassin” as well as a friend of right-wing paramilitary groups.

Uribe was mocked while speaking at Bogota’s main square to welcome Gustavo Moncayo- a 55-year-old teacher who spent seven weeks walking all over the Colombia in a campaign for the freeing of kidnap victims. (Moncayo’s son has been held hostage for ten years by leftist guerillas). Yet Moncayo engaged in a debate with Uribe after the president claimed that he would set aside a special zone for negotiations with guerillas.

Then they were all shot. The end.

August 6, 2007

Mock, Shock & Naked Cock: NYT Coverage of The Chavez-Penn Summit!

If you can’t say something nice, go sit by Simon Romero. The New York Times’ crack Margaritaville correspondent is bitchiness-made-flesh today as he’s dragged from the nurturing womb of his well-staffed Caracas pied-à-terre to cover the great state visit from le Sean Penn. It’s Dorothy Parker without all that pesky “wit.”

Romero, best known for cribbing his stories from wire services, is understandably miffed to have to miss his bath and telenovelas, but the Venezuelans arranged the details of his trip, so he sort of had no excuse to skip it. The righteous bitterness of the unjustly inconvenienced literally (in the sense of “figuratively”) wafts from the page.

You can read the entire stereotype-reinforcing meow-mix, or just follow our paragraph-by-paragraph Cliff notes after the jump!

Continue reading "Mock, Shock & Naked Cock: NYT Coverage of The Chavez-Penn Summit!" »

Hot Latin Political Porn

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We just report it. And we haven’t shown this picture for a while.

>>> Colombia’s Finance minister, touched by the feather-plumed tickle of scandal wants a “full probe…from A to Z” while the whole country watches. Then he’ll snuff you out while maintaining his pard-on.

>>> Fickle finger of fate probes Ollie North’s once-firm glutes as Iran finances… the Sandinistas

>>> Bookish Venezuelan headmasters tantalize children with mobile donkey show


August 7, 2007

You Should Hear What the Zoroastrians Say About Him

Chavez is in Argentina today making all kinds of important trade deals with President Kirchner, so of course the New York Times coverage is all about “concerns” over Venezuela’s ties to Iran within Argentina’s Jewish Community. And by “Argentina’s Jewish Community,” they mean “The Simon Wiesenthal Center,” who are the only people actually interviewed here. Well them, and some Israeli “political analyst” who said this:

“Jews are worried that Chavez’s anti-Americanism could turn into anti-Semitism.”
Yes, true! Or perhaps my distaste for, say, Larry King will morph into an intense hatred of… cattle rustlers. Or Nigerians.

For the record, the Wiesenthal Center has been very concerned about Chavez for some time. Preoccupied, you might say. So much so that Venezuelan Jewish leaders have had to write angry letters to the Center asking them to kindly STFU and pretty please stop fudging quotes from Chavez in their press releases.

If you feel like you’ve heard this story before, you might be confusing it with the mid ‘80s. Today of course, we know that the supposed anti-Semitic nature of the Sandinistas was just a manufactured slur by cracked-out Reagan officials who would say anything for a war, but check out this listing of New York Times stories, columns and letters claiming that it was reality at the time. You remember this period, right? Back when we were kicking commie ass off the proceeds of illegal arms sales to…Wow. That’s trippy when you think about it.

August 8, 2007

Try Getting all That Through Customs

The Mohawk Nation has announced their official state visit to Venezuela—with the most crypticly-awesome headline I’ve seen in a long while.

The Manchurian-Ultimatum-Finger-Raker

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Miami Herald Ed-board member/right wing whack job Carlos Alberto Montaner may have just written the most retarded Latin America analysis of his career. Which is saying something considering his last column explains why mass-murderer Luis Posada Carriles is just an aw-shucks misunderstood hero.

Apparently there’s some convoluted secret plot by Hugo Chavez—that only Montaner and his super-secret sources in “Colombian Intelligence” are privy to—to overthrow Colombia’s democracy and install Soviet-y totalitarianism throughout South America. Brazil, it seems, knows about this evil scheme and could stop it but won’t on account of having “feet of clay and a soccer ball for a head,” and a big butt. Oh and it’s all the Democrats’ fault.

August 9, 2007

The Great American Electorate

How goes the propaganda war? Here’s a quote from a Massachusetts school board chairman about a vote on a new high school mascot:

"In our society, we can do this kind of thing," he said. "If we were in Venezuela right now, Hugo Chavez would be deciding the color and if you didn't like it, you'd be executed."
Haha, get it? Because “executions” happen in Venezuela. Well, no they don’t, but Chavez once said something mean about our president so it’s kind of the same thing.

Henry Fucking Rollins

Could it be just a coincidence that our guest blogger references Black Flag when I was out on vacation, and now, all of the sudden, Rollins is all down with the BoRev? Probably. I mean no.

August 11, 2007

Oscar Arias Inserts a Banana up his Republic

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You know, life was so much easier for the State Department back in the days when Latin American “democracy” wouldn’t get in the way. Which is why countries like Costa Rica are such important models for the region. They are constitutional throwbacks to a bygone era when the Monroe Doctrine meant something, and pinko ideologies like “the will of the electorate” wouldn’t stand in the way of U.S. businesses turning your country into an idealized gringo theme park. Beaches, monkeys and tacos. Really, that’s all we need from you people.

And much as we hate Big Government nonsense like “environmental protections” and “labor standards,” we can learn to live with it when it does what it was created to do: shutting the poor people up.

Anyway, the University of Mexico’s Latin America Data Base offers up an important case study this week showing us why Costa Rica is such a model democracy:

>>> The country has scheduled an October vote on whether or not to join the Central American Free Trade Agreement. Like NAFTA, CAFTA promises to be a boon for U.S. corporations while screwing over small businesses on both sides of the treaty.

>>> Most Costa Ricans strenuously oppose the treaty, as evidenced by polls commissioned by various prestigious universities.

>>> These polls directly contradict President Oscar Arias, who claims that Costa Ricans actually support the agreement, which is, of course, embarrassing both for Arias and the U.S. officials who want to make this deal happen.

>>> The Costa Rican Supreme Court saves the day by issuing a ruling that universities are no longer allowed to release polls on the topic.

>>> Oh, and while they’re at it, universities are hereby banned from studying, debating, or otherwise discussing CAFTA until the vote, activities that President Arias has deemed “verbal violence.”

Funny that I haven’t seen the Washington Post editorialize on this yet—they’re usually really big on that whole “free speech” thing. Jackson Diehl must be really swamped this week.

BoRev Bonus: Here’s Arias’ 2006 WaPo Op-Ed touting his own special brand of "centrist" pragmatism. And here he is, hilariously lamenting the state of “democracy” in Venezuela.

Note: The link to the UNM article only takes you to the first paragraph, and a lawyer friend recently told me that I shouldn’t be disrespecting intellectual property by just copying and pasting articles here. So I’ve excerpted the story for you after the jump. In its entirety.

Continue reading "Oscar Arias Inserts a Banana up his Republic" »

August 12, 2007

Only the Names Have Been Changed

Haha no they haven’t. The CIA asset who funneled your tax dollars into anti-leftist propaganda activities during Iran-Contra? Turns out he’s a Venezuelan. Today, he’s the president of RCTV. Seriously.

Indefinite Re-Election Watch

A rule of thumb: Any time Hugo Chavez is criticized in the international press for anything, you can pretty much be sure that his Colombian counterpart has had similar plans in the works for quite some time. This week, Colombia contemplates amending its constitution again to allow Alvaro Uribe to run for a third term.

August 13, 2007

Breaking: Americans Aren’t Total Retards! Oh Wait Yes We Are

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Zogby feigns shock (shock!) that most Americans can’t name the presidents of Brazil or Mexico. I mean…have these people met an American lately? Personally I’d be startled if a decisive majority could rattle off the names of a dozen foreign countries. Do you have any idea how many of our compatriots ask me what state Washington DC is in?

So I was actually quite encouraged that most Americans name Colombia as one of America’s biggest adversaries in Latin America. Zogby claims that it’s a further sign of American ignorance, of course. But really, I’m pleasantly surprised that no matter what Condi Rice or Jackson Diehl say, people sort of intuitively get that a government that siphons off the largest chunk of our foreign spending to kill its own people and is responsible for, you know, the drug war, is probably not looking out for our best interests.

But then a reader jolted me back to reality, passing on this little article about the Zogby poll, in which the “reporter” points out that the non-existent nation of “Columbia” must be our best ally because we send billions of dollars there every year to “assist them in fighting drugs and the bands of gorillas.”

In a sad way, it’s like everything is right in the world again. Wooga wooga.

A Country Just Begging for a Revolution

Today’s New York Times story begins:


“When a group of urban planners from Harvard and M.I.T. arrived [in Venezuela] in the early 1960s to design an industrial city almost entirely from scratch, they envisioned a ‘Pittsburgh of the tropics’…”
Gee, who would’ve guessed that that would turn out crappily? And why do Venezuelans have such a deep resentment of the geniuses that used to run their country?

Hugo Chavez vs. Hugo: Let the Book Wars Begin!

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In this corner: A three-year old Spanish-language biography of Hugo Chavez, written by a husband/wife team of longtime Venezuelan opposition leaders, (including an introduction by Moises “King of the Gongo” Naim, the man whose economic plans only sparked Venezuela’s worst human rights disaster in history. Look it up), is released in an English-language edition tomorrow.

And in this corner: An actually-researched bio by an actual reporter, gets released in early September.

We’ll be breathlessly monitoring the no-doubt context-savvy press accounts of both books over the next month or so. Game on.

Book Wars: What the Critics Say

I don’t know if you people read, but here’s what we’ve got so far:

The Economist calls oppo-book Hugo Chavez a “sheer verbal effrontery,” a “badmouthing…reckless…mythology.” And “not definitive.” (Ok, we may have abused ellipses a little, but)

Por otro lado, Publisher’s Weekly says Hugo eschews “a political stance,” and “provides a nuanced account of the Venezuelan leader's life, creating a portrait that is, if not sympathetic, certainly more balanced than previous ones.”

Here: preorder from an independent distributor in your neck of the woods

August 14, 2007

Not Getting Hacked: It Could Happen To You, Too

Well I got about a zillion Emails today like this:

Dear BoRev: Hackers have hacked into Venezuelanalysis.com and erased it. Please do something.
Um, ok. Anyway, I Emailed them and it turns out they haven’t actually been hacked. It’s just a temporary glitch, and things should be back to normal soon. Which is great since I’m too lazy to actually “analyze Venezuela” personally myself.

Unless of course the hackers hacked into their Email system too and are just pretending to be the Venezuelanalysis writers and are using me to send falsely reassuring messages to the world. In which case we’re all pretty much screwed.

“What I’d Do If I Were Prezident.” By Chris Dodd. Age 63.

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Oh how cute. Chris Dodd is still “running for president.” And he doesn’t seem to get that nobody in America really cares which foreign leaders he would meet with if he “won.” So he takes the time to write out this whole long essay about it, and nobody will run it until finally some foreign newspaper had some space to fill and voila. It even comes with a Mr. Smith Goes to the 5th Grade headline.

Like you care, but when he “becomes president” he’ll talk to Venezuela, which is all very nice. But then he wants to put Syria in charge of stabilizing Iraq, and, sigh, bomb Iran or something. Cause that makes him a serious candidate.

Now They Tell Us

From the International Business Times:


“Most consumers of the international media will be surprised to find that the controversy over Venezuela's oldest TV station, RCTV, is still raging. We were repeatedly informed that President Hugo Chavez "shut down" the station on May 27th. But in fact the station was never ‘shut down’…”

Yo Don’t Hablo The Venezolano So Good, Apparently.

Don’t let the dorky video fool you. Manu Chao is brilliant. But what the H is he talking about here?

Manu Chao: “…of course there are some words that you can say in Venezuela but no one will understand in Spain. There's one on the next album. There's a word that only Venezuelan people can understand.

Pitchfork: What does it mean?

Manu Chao: It means, it's like a...what is the symbol of America?

Pitchfork: The bald eagle?

Manu Chao: It's like an eagle.”

Anyone? help me out pls.

August 15, 2007

Them Democratic Ideals

From the deep thinkers at Redstate.com, this piece is really truly titled “Normally, I Am Not A Fan Of Term Limits . . .” and begins thusly:

I happen to think that people should have the right to elect someone to a particular office as many times as they would like to do so. But when that "someone" is Hugo Chavez, then we're really not talking about the need to preserve voter choice, are we?
No, I suppose it's a different thing altogether "when that 'someone' is Hugo Chavez."

Venezuelan Economic Growth Falls to Two-Year Low!!

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Bloomberg parties like it’s 1929 with this apocalyptic headline. Sure, we’re still talking about 8.9% growth—a few tenths of a percent lower than a year ago at this time, when it was the record for the region. But if you really feel like jumping out a window they probably won’t stop you.

August 16, 2007

BoRev Awards Dept.

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Ok, the competition has been stiff today, but having given all the submissions a sort-of-thorough reading skimming once-over, it’s clearish that London’s Daily Telegraph has the most ridiculously hyperbolic coverage of this week’s events, and is probably a contender for an all-time award here. It’s almost a work of art. Behold:

>>> The Headline. While most media outlets felt the need to make at least some mention of what actually transpired (Chavez introduced a proposal to the National Assembly for amendments to the constitution), this one goes straight for the political jugular, reality be damned. “Hugo Chavez to Make Himself President for Life,” it reads.

>>> The Lede. A marvel of nonsensical prose: “The Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez has anointed himself president for life by proposing sweeping changes to the country's constitution.” Sort of like I crowned myself emperor this morning by buying a cup of coffee.

>>> The Process. This proposal of course, will be discussed and amended and voted on by the National Assembly, and then put before voters in a referendum. Some anointing, right? But none of that matters, because “Mr Chavez is unlikely to struggle in is bid to win the referendum as he has spent millions of dollars in oil revenue in enlarging his power base by bolstering the ranks of state employees and introducing cheap imported goods into shops.” Yeah I read this sentence a few times and I still don’t get it either. Any referendum would be unfair right now because…Chavez is too popular? Because of… cheap imports? Seriously, what the fuck?

>>> The Context. Ok, the Telegraph is not alone here, but it might be worth noting that constitutional changes in Venezuela are not exactly earth shattering moments. In fact, wholly new Constitutions aren’t such a big deal (we’re currently on #26 ). Oh, and of course, the fact Colombia is considering changing it’s Constitution again, to allow it’s deranged strongman to run for office again, might be sort of relevant.

So, kudos, Daily Telegraph! Your crappy journalism may be frequently challenged, but it remains head and shoulders ahead of the pack.

August 19, 2007

Eat Your Vegetables

Sometimes we get caught up in the day-to-day media barrage and forget to look back on the big picture. In Friday’s Guardian, John Pilger reminds us that the international press coverage of Venezuela is nothing new. The article is a must-read.

The Fine Line Between ‘Commentator’ and ‘Some Jackass with an Opinion’

The byline to yesterday’s Los Angeles Times story promises that if you read the article, you’ll be introduced to “commentators” who believe that Chavez’s proposed constitutional amendments constitute “a blow to democracy in the region.”

It’s always fun to take a look at who gets quoted in stories like this. I mean, hell, I’m a commentator, so are you. But the LA Times is a pretty sophisticated shop, with lots of access to the top minds and players on the world stage, so of course their “commentators” are top drawer.

Haha j/k. The Times quotes exactly two “commentators” concerned about the Venezuelan proposal, and the first one is some random dude who, swear to god, posted a comment on a blog in Mexico City comparing Hugo Chavez, unfavorably, with Darth Vader. The other one is a conservative Salvadorian ex-ambassador with ties to the Bush administration.

Two other commentators include a Colombian think-tanker and a Nicaraguan “political analyst,” but they are in favor of the proposal so their take didn’t make it into the headline.

Oh, and then way down at the bottom was this guy, an Ecuadorian analyst who inserted some relevant context. As it turns out,


Presidents Alberto Fujimori of Peru, Carlos Menem of Argentina and Alvaro Uribe of Colombia pushed through constitutional changes that enabled them to hold on to power longer than law prescribed.
I think we’ve cracked the code: history at the end, histrionics on top.

Tired of the Face of the Venezuelan Opposition? Here’s the Vagina

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Sigh. Aging beauty queen Maria Conchita Alonso has been a walking, yammering cry for help for the past decade. It’s sad really, without a Love Boat or Hollywood Squares around to keep her overly-botoxed “Face of the Venezuelan Opposition” in some marginal spotlight, it’s come to this: Homegirl held a press conference this week and begged photographers to take pictures up her skirt. She shaved and everything.

Ok, we’ll bite, but only on account of our commitment to telling all sides of the Venezuelan story. Join us for “Maria Conchita’s Tired Old Beaver: A Life in Pictures,” after the jump.

Continue reading "Tired of the Face of the Venezuelan Opposition? Here’s the Vagina" »

Time. Time. Time. See What’s Become of Me

As everyone knows, Time Magazine strives to make sense of our world with lots of pictures and not too much text. It’s sort of a New Yorker for the special ed set, kinda like this blog only minus the Latin rhythms and middle-aged crotch shots. It’s venerably-abled.

But unlike this blog, it sometimes breaks out of its bullshit formula and offers some surprises. Prepare to be wowed, after the jump.

Continue reading "Time. Time. Time. See What’s Become of Me" »

August 20, 2007

My Name is Thor. Please Kick My Ass.

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Ahhh, the New York Times. Protector of the downtrodden. Champion of the little guy. For years, I’ve been longing for a “day in the life” piece of a typical Venezuelan, and today, finally, they come through. The profile manages to capture the essence of life, the triumph of the human spirit, the noble ordinariness in the life of your average Venezuelan boy.

His name is “Thor.”

His is a heartwarming immigrant story. Our protagonist’s grandfather leaves everything behind for a new life, traveling to Venezuela as “the Norwegian king’s consul,” scrimping and saving for the day that his sons, Thor’s uncle and beloved papi, could date Candice Bergen and seduce the ladies with “his pet lion, Petunia,” respectively. And then fly to Paris on the weekends to fuck French chicks.

Still after all that adversity, our hero manages to make it to the States, where he can live out his dream: a film studio that produces documentaries about the evils of Communism, Women’s Studies classes, and ultimately, “the world’s first anti-environmentalist documentary.”

“What ‘Sideways’ did for pinot noir,” says young Thor, “I want to do for freedom.”

Venezuela Coverage: Everybody Sucks.

A roundup from the last two days:

>>> The New York Times can’t get its quotes right.

>>> The Hartford Courant can’t get its terminology right.

>>> Business Week can’t get its calculations right.

>>> The Dallas Morning News can’t get its GWOT right.

>>> The Washington Post can’t get fucking anything right.

“Great Book Kerfuffle” Doesn’t Have the Same Ring

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Jeez I was really hoping this whole “book wars” meme would really take off. Two Chavez bios—one by opposition activists and one by a, like, journalist—come out at the same time and Let the Fireworks Begin, right?

But sadly, it may be doomed before it even begins. Even the Miami Herald (!) review says the oppo-prop book is insular, gossipy, and sort of dumb. And the Bart Jones counterpart is still two weeks from release (although it can be pre-ordered here).

Concord, Vermont

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Send your own photos to BoRevNet at Gmail dot com

August 21, 2007

You Make the Violent Overthrow Of a Democratic Society Sound...Strangely Alluring.

Is it just me, or are the rightwing websites getting more readable? Check out this awesome opinion piece by a guy who goes by Craig “suck my tits dry” Chamberlain over at theconservativevoice.com:


The wad pulling American government, which is supposed to be about unclefucking democracy, is dripping dictatorships to flourish in our own backyard. It's time that the United "Dickwad" States put Hugo out of business, the sooner the cuntlicking better.
Ok, I may have put it through Pornolize.Com first, which helps. Seriously, I’m going to start reading the Washington Post like this right away. The sooner the cuntlicking better!

Oh, you can read the whole hot-n-horny regime change mash note, after the jump.

Continue reading "You Make the Violent Overthrow Of a Democratic Society Sound...Strangely Alluring." »

August 22, 2007

NYT: Restricting Democracy is the Only Path to True Democracy

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Clearly, the New York Times Ed board is unclear on the concept of “democracy.” I know it’s confusing sometimes. We’re sort of in the middle of a national debate over it right now with one camp (the libtards) defining it as “letting people vote for whomever they want” while the other (God-fearing ‘merican patriots) know that it means “bombing the living crap out of some far away land and killing hundreds of thousands of people while waterboarding our own Constitution in order to fight World War Whatever till the End Times when the crazy people get magically beamed up to Heaven.”

But where were we? Oh right, Venezuela. The Times is concerned about democracy there. They’ve got no beef with the actual “elections” part of it: they acknowledge that Chavez keeps trouncing the opposition in a free and fair way. In fact, they’re just annoyed that the votes don’t go the way they’d like them to. How else do you interpret the complaint that “Every member of the National Assembly is an ally of Chávez,” as is “all but two state governments”?

But the Times is most upset (this week) with the proposed amendments to eliminate term limits—a proposal that, they admit, will be “submitted to a vote in the National Assembly and to a referendum,” and even then would mean that the president face a referendum on his rule every few years. They say that calling such a proposal democratic is nothing more than Orwellian “newspeak.” Cute.

Look, back in the 30’s we made a decision in the U.S. that our electorate is made up of mentally challenged monkeys who can’t really be trusted to vote right, so we imposed presidential term limits. Some countries have followed suit while others (France, Australia, etc.) haven’t. Term limits are a legitimate choice a country can make, but let’s be honest, it’s a choice that inherently says, “I don’t 100% trust democracy, so we’ve got to reign it in a little.”

Predictably, embarrassingly, hilariously, the Times misses all the irony in evoking Orwell to make the argument that real democracies need to preserve their democratic nature by putting limits on our democratic choices. Winston Smith would have called that “ungood.”

UPDATE: The readers school me: "Actually, Eric, term limits for US presidents weren't established until 1951 (not the '30s) after FDR was elected to his fourth term in 1944. 22nd Amendment."

My bad.

That Could Never Happen Here!

Jeez how did we miss this? Far and away the best line from today's NYT editorial:


And his government has not been shy about using the apparatus of the state to boost Mr. Chávez’s vast popularity among Venezuela’s poor.
Good heavens, not that! Another cynical effort to buy votes through good government.

August 24, 2007

So That’s What ‘Tacit Support’ Means

John Pilger’s entire documentary about the US role in the Venezuelan coup is now available on the internets, for free, in case you were wondering how you were going to spend your Friday. The trailer is above, and the whole thing is just a click away. Call the neighbors over, make some caramel corn, and weep for your country.

And Speaking of that Coup Thing…

Robert Naiman continues to track the Congressional investigation into the IMF role in the whole dealio. They just demanded that the quasi-private-but-totally-Government-funded agency surrender all coup-related “documents and records,” so of course Cheney is going to declare them a part of the executive branch now and we’ll never learn anything.

Friends and Neighbors

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How could the American media get the Venezuela story so wrong? The country is in our back yard, for cryingoutloud. It’s practically a neighbor, and neighbors are people we totally get to know real well.

I mean, sure, sometimes we get the little details wrong. We’re only human! Like who at MSNBC could be expected to realize that the Mexican looking guy on the right is the actual Mexican, and that the zombie with lipstick is the Canadian? At least they got one of the three North American overlords right, putting them squarely halfway to this guy’s strict journalistic standards.

h/t to Wonkette, for the photo.

August 26, 2007

Good News From Venezuela!!!

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Any careful follower of news from Venezuela knows that the country has been on the verge of economic collapse for many, many years now. Mostly, it’s due to the iron grip of Hugo Chavez, whose stranglehold over all aspects of Venezuelan life is crushing the windpipe of freedom.

The crazy thing about this psycho-economic asphyxiation is that it is disguised in a deranged “growth” drag that fools people into thinking the very life essence is not being slowly drained through cold blooded suffocation techniques similar to those used by Ted Bundy on his victims. And tragically, even if someone were to pry Chavez’s gnarled fingers away from the jugular of sound economic policy this very instant, the Venezuelan economy would be sort of lifeless and wheelchair bound and pissing itself for all eternity because as we mentioned above, it’s been going on for a while now. Anyway the Financial Times has the story.

So that’s the bad news. The good news is that the Venezuelan economy is in great shape! (See the link above for more info). According to the Financial Times, since the poverty rate has dropped so dramatically under Chavez, people are eating and laughing and tossing their hair back like in a Mentos commercial. They’re spending like crazy, and the country is scrambling to import more “milk, eggs, beans and beef” just to keep up with the demand. Music actually plays when the walk down the street. It’s totally weird. And you know the neat thing? The article suggests that economy could stay that way for a while, because it’s in good shape.

Kudos, Financial Times, for bringing us both sides of the story! Before, I just found the complexities confusing.

So I Was Going To Write About the Lame New York Times Story From Today

But then I saw that Oil Wars already did, and his had charts and stuff. So here's his.

Adelaide, Australia

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Revolutionary booze and marsupial cheese, from the fine folks at the Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network. Send your BoRev photos to BoRevNet (at) gmail (dot) com

August 28, 2007

WSJ Knows Venezuelan Investors Are Secretly Morons

Yesterday’s front pager opens:

Like many people they know in Caracas these days, Alfred and Norma Muñoz are bracing for what they believe is inevitable: a currency crash brought about by President Hugo Chávez's policies.
Of course:
Few economists who follow Venezuela are forecasting deep financial trouble.
In fact:
Venezuela's economy is booming. The fourth-largest oil exporter to the U.S. has averaged 12.6% annual growth since 2004 -- the fastest in Latin America. Three-month waits to buy new cars are standard at Caracas dealerships amid a boom in consumer financing. Unemployment has fallen to single-digit rates for the first time in more than a decade.
So Naturally:
Many Venezuelans are preparing for the worst.

August 30, 2007

Rumspringa! Or: When Nice Newspapers Get a Little Too Worldly

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Time was, the Christian Science Monitor had a reputation for being a little less flashy and a little more in-depth than other print outlets, and the unassuming newspaper with the funny little name was fairly respectable in the homes of the quaintly frumpy book reading set.

But of course it’s a Van Van Van Van Van Susteren media world out there, and these days that Olde Timey business model is about as bizarre and unhealthy as, well, Christian Science. So nowadays they just sort of use google and cut ‘n paste like everybody else. Often with funny results.

Today (or tomorrow? It’s dated August 31st. Nice one, CSM!) they have a story about Venezuela’s growing influence in Latin America. In TeeVee News style, the headline promises to bring in “analysts” to tell us about the “implications for U.S.”

Ok, so who are these “analysts”?

Analyst one: A former Heritage Foundation (!) hack named Stephen Johnson. Oh and when he left that job he became a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Bush Administration. And, apparently, an “analyst.”

Analyst two:
Um, Stephen Johnson again. Still thinks Chavez is bad.

Analyst three:
This weird six-month-old essay from the Global Crisis Group.

Funny, right? But I guess mocking the downward spiral of the Christian Science Monitor might seem kind of morbid. But hey, they don’t actually believe in that kind of thing. Pray for it.

Book Wars: Still A Bust

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Even some ideological Boston Globe reviewer with his own jauntily-pathologically-titled tome (The Hispanic Condition!), has to admit that one book is “thoughtful, comprehensive, and research-oriented” while the other is “rather conventional,” and “unrigorous,” with a “workmanlike” translation. Guess which.

Next Stop, Palestine!

When you think about concepts like “the finer points of diplomacy,” and “the only person on earth who can negotiate the most sensitive issues of our day,” your thoughts naturally turn to Hugo Chavez. He’s sort of the thinking man’s John Quincy Adams.

So now the Colombians are all like “Come solve our internal problems since the eighteen gajillion dollars a year we get from the U.S. is only effing things up” and the French are all “Yeah, solve our problems too because it’s August and we’re all on vacation or strike or something” and Chavez is like, “look guys I’ve got my own country to run but I guess if I drink like 12 more cups of coffee I might be able to find the time.”

About August 2007

This page contains all entries posted to BoRev.Net in August 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2007 is the previous archive.

September 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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