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January 2008 Archives

January 2, 2008

Lamest. Dictatorship. Ever.

You’ve heard about the iron grip of Hugo Chavez, right? And how the big guy is always going around cracking down on his political opposition just to be a dick? Well it turns out that it’s true sort of! And now it's been proven scientifically with numbers. You see, researchers have been able to carefully track the “economic well being” of 87,000 Venezuelans on both sides of the political divide and arrived at this remarkable conclusion:

“They found that, between 2003 and 2006, ‘signing [against Chávez] cost you 4 percent of your income,’ says Francisco Rodríguez, a Venezuelan economist at Wesleyan University”
Four percent! It just sort of hangs in the air there, doesn’t it? Four percent. That’s like 3 fewer cups coffee a month. I mean sure it’s nice that half the country gets to “see a doctor for the first time,” or, like, “learn to read,” but who’s looking out for the poor schmucks who’ve been forced to eat out less often on account of the brutal political repression? Sweet Jesus, at least Idi Amin had the decency to kill you (and eat you!) rather than make you suffer the humiliation of wearing the same cocktail dress to two different Christmas parties.

So thanks, once again, Foreign Policy magazine, for publishing the big issues you won’t find anywhere else. And for the record we totally don’t believe it when they say you’re crazy-biased just because your editor in chief is the Venezuelan who spearheaded the country’s worst economic and human rights disaster in modern history. We know you speaking out for what’s right. We know you’re fighting for that four percent.

January 3, 2008

Hugo Chavez: Big Brown Voodoo Monkey


Just in case you had forgotten exactly how retarded the press is, tonight HD Net (it’s a channel) wants to remind you with a totally not racist in-depth look at “how Hugo Chavez invokes black magic to extend his anti-U.S. influence throughout Latin America.” Ooga booga.

Once You Magically Teleport Yourself Away from Your Jungle Kidnappers You’ve Surrendered Your Right To Privacy In My Book, Kid.

Hey remember that kid in Colombia that was born into captivity and magically may have turned up at a Bogota orphanage just in time for Uribe to scuttle the hostage negotiations right after the U.S. embassy called? That was weird! Unfortunately, we may never know if he’s is the real Emmanuel or not on account of the kid’s fundamental right to privacy, so we’re just going to have to trust them on this, k? So please stop paying attention or otherwise asking questions.

Oh except that “IPS found out that voices within the Democratic Party in the United States and in Europe have called for a European commission to carry out independent DNA tests on ‘Emmanuel II’ and the Rojas family” because nobody actually trusts the Colombian authorities.

January 5, 2008

Your Little Magazine Used to Be Hackneyed. Now It’s Just Sad.


Lots of email responses to the Foreign Policy article about the Terrible Economic Price™ paid by the Venezuelan opposition. You may remember that we all had a good laugh the other day when FP published a story about some study that supposedly found that Venezuelans who opposed Chavez saw their incomes decline by roughly the price of a rum and coke a month. And then we made fun of them for acting like this was evidence of hardcore political retaliation. It now turns out that they were exaggerating.

BoRev readers, who are obviously more diligent than BoRev itself, took the time to look up the original study and noted a few important points:

>>> Context, as always, is important here. The signature drive for the recall referendum took place immediately following an attempted coup d’etat and an illegal oil strike, so presumably there was a lot of overlap in the participants of each. Even if there were some state “discrimination” going on at the time, it would be impossible to say that it was for merely signing a petition.

>>> But there probably wasn’t even any discrimination going on at all. The original study ran a number of regressions. While one indeed indicated the minor income loss for opposition supporters, another found an even larger loss of income for pro-government supporters during the same period. A third regression found similar losses for both sides. Confused? I think you’re supposed to be. Now check this out:

>>> A “loss of income” doesn’t mean that anyone’s income actually went down. When FP cited a 3.8 percent loss of income for opposition supporters, they mean a 3.8 percent loss relative to government supporters. Since national income has risen steeply since 2003, we’re talking about one group seeing income gains of, say, 50 percent while the other increased by “merely” 48.1 percent.

So while we once laughed that Foreign Policy cited lame and irrelevant data, we now know they cherry picked, misrepresented and exaggerated the data to make the story in the first place. So kudos to Moises Naim and team for possibly making this the special-est issue of your increasingly mockable magazine to date!

January 6, 2008

Naomi Campbell is Different from Other Journalists in Some Key Ways


The February issue of GQ, featuring Superjournalist Naomi Cambell’s Superinterview with Venezuela’s Superpresident will hit the streets later this week. So let’s take a moment to ponder exactly what sets Ms. Campbell apart from her colleagues when it comes to doing the journalism, because there are a few things that spring immediately to mind:

* You’ve seen her boobs.

* And seriously, if Tucker Carlson were to emerge, all naked and pouty, from a subterranean burrow like some sexed up Nubian groundhog, it just wouldn’t work so good.

* Seymour Hersh would probably never ask a sitting president if he’d heard of the Spice Girls.

* And Diane Sawyer might have a hard time asking a world leader if he’d consider “following Russian President Vladimir Putin's example and posing for topless photographs.” (He says “maybe”).

* A Fox News anchor would never explain to the world how much happier Venezuelans seemed now than ten years ago.

* And nobody else could get Chavez to mention Bush’s ass.

In conclusion, whatever GQ is paying her, they need to double it, stat. Are you as excited as I am? You can shoplift your own copy Thursday and Email your favorite passages to BoRevNet (at) Gmail (dot) com.

January 7, 2008

Just Keep the NED Money Coming, People!


Picture it: January 2002. Caracas. The pot banging, the pepper spray, the harebrained schemes that just might work, until, like, they don’t. You could smell the half-assed counterrevolution in the air back then, and it was all… is “led” the right word?…by a political party called Accion Democratica.

Well, dear readers, I am delighted to announce that AD is back, baby! And they are in it to win it! Everything is in order for their historic preordained comeback, which is totally inevitable, because they’ve got a plan. And here it is: they are “seeking legal action in an effort to prove that President Hugo Chavez is insane and unfit to govern.” Also: “the group will seek the support of other opposition organizations and will also campaign across the country to request Chavez's resignation.”

See, all they have to do is get the president to resign and then they’ll take over again! And everything will go back to like before when the maids weren’t so uppity! Clearly the strategy is going to work better than the last time they tried it (in 2002, natch), so AD spokesman Henry Ramos Allup didn’t even bother explaining how it would play out at his press conference today because it’s like, so totally obvious:

“There is no need to prove facts that are publicly known. That this a bad government is as certain as it is that fire burns or that water gets things wet.”
Wow. Pretty fucking sane, Henry! Or should we say, “President Ramos”? I’d wish you good luck in this endeavor, but really, what could possibly go wrong?

Moises Naim Can't Tell Any of 'em Apart

Haha the blog over at Foreign Policy just weighed in on the whole Naomi Campbell/Hugo Chavez interview thing because it’s foreign policy sort of. Anyway their headline is funny! It’s called “Latin America’s Next Top Caudillo”! Get it?! You see it’s amusing because “caudillo” sort of means dictator and they like to say that Chavez is a dictator, but also because Naomi Campbell was the host of…hey wait a sec.

How embarrassing, Foreign Policy! She’s the other black one.

January 8, 2008

But They Had Such A Wholesome Sounding Name


I’m guessing it was the “& Publisher” camp that prompted Editor and Publisher to run a lame story about the misadventures of the misnamed Inter-American Press Association in Venezuela last week.

You may know that the IAPA, name notwithstanding, doesn’t represent “journalists” so much as “the white guys who own the newspapers.” So you won’t be shocked to hear that back in the day, five CIA plants at Chile’s El Mercurio, the newspaper that helped Salvador Allende commit suicide, later joined the IAPA’s board (Five! Really.)

Anyway, they hate the Venezuela, and they wrote about it. And they love the Colombia, even though that’s where reporters are getting killed. And they’re douchebags. And they got taken down today, journalistically speaking.

January 9, 2008

Pravda Weighs In on the Campbell-Chavez Summit


I know you’re all probably sick of the Naomi Campbell stuff by now, but have you taken the time to ask yourselves, “how is this all playing in Pravda?” Apparently the cold-war standard bearer of weirdness in journalism is still around, has discovered the internets and even translates everything to English so that you don’t have to miss hard hitting analysis like this:

It goes without saying that Campbell and Chavez touched upon the subject of Venezuelan president’s attitude to the United States on the whole and to George Bush in particular. Chavez did not say anything new on the subject. He still believes that the U.S. president is a complete nutter.
The link is here, and the headline alone is worth the click. Knock yerselves out.

January 10, 2008

Hostages Free! Bush Officials Shockingly Jerky!


Well there were a couple of false starts, but today Colombian guerillas kept their promise to free a couple of hostages per their agreement with Hugo Chavez. Tears of joy flowed all around as families were reunited after an unimaginable six-year trauma. Who on earth wouldn’t be thrilled with an outcome like this? Well, the Bush Administration of course, but then they’re kind of dicks.

State Department spokesman Tom Casey was in top form as he praised congratulatedgrudgingly acknowledged” the Venezuelan role in mediating the first breakthrough with the FARC since 2001. He then went on to imply pretty strongly that the U.S. isn’t about to accept any such help from Chavez on account of he once called our president “the devil” (had ya heard?). So we extend our condolences to the families of the three Americans remaining in captivity. I’m sure they are comforted in the knowledge that our government won’t puss-out in the global war on name-calling.

It’s the 21st Century. You Can Be Both Pro-Judaism and Pro-Palestine Now.

The Miami Herald’s Latin America coverage has traditionally dovetailed nicely with U.S. foreign policy interests in the region, which stands to reason considering half their staff remain on the State Department payroll (and that’s no conspiracy theory: its been in the papers).

So I guess we weren’t exactly surprised to read their editorial today demanding that Chavez “Stop the Attacks on Jews in Venezuela.” Errrrr? Really?

It turns out that most of the “attacks” are of the written variety. If you are familiar with the Spanish (and the Adobe Acrobat) you can click here to download a .pdf of the “culture ministry publication that runs articles on ‘'the Jewish Question,’” they mention, which, despite its admittedly terrible title is actually an analysis of Israeli policy in Palestine and Lebanon, not of Venezuelan Jews. They also condemn articles published in “government friendly newspapers,” whatever that means. And then of course, they are up in arms over Venezuela’s “worrisome ties” with other OPEC nations.

Sigh. Sound familiar? Oh right, the 80s. Here’s a link to some of the now-discredited stories the New York Times published at the time about anti-Semitism in Nicaragua, which was one of the reasons it was so patriotic at the time to load Iran up with weapons and shred the paper trial or something. The details confuse me. Oh and here’s the response from actual Venezuelan Jews the last time accusations like this emerged: basically “butt out and STFU.”

January 12, 2008

“It all Sounds Like Some Bad Movie”


Intrigue! Extortion! Incompetence! Today’s New York Times details every sordid allegation in the U.S. case against the Venezuelan businessmen who didn’t deliver a suitcase full of cash to Argentina. You have to read it twice and slowly to figure out they are indeed only covering the U.S. allegations, though. Check out artfully constructed sentences like this:

What is clear is that soon after leaving Argentina he agreed to be recorded, photographed and videotaped by F.B.I. agents as he talked to a number of Venezuelans in Florida, who coaxed, cajoled and outright threatened him to keep quiet and accept falsified documents about the origin and intent of the money, American investigators contend.
You see, it’s clear that we’re talking about what the investigators contend, only haha it’s written so crappily that it’s actually not clear at all.

Anyway if you bother to read the whole thing you’re finally slapped with this little piece of context thirty whole paragraphs down:

Thomas Mulvihill, the assistant United States attorney leading the case, also accused Cuba’s Fidel Castro in the late 1980s of acting as a go-between in cocaine trafficking out of Colombia, claims that were never substantiated….But the current case is unusual because the statute has almost always been used in cases where people are accused of trying to spy on expatriate communities, or where the suspects were viewed to be dangers to national security, legal experts said.
Oh right by the way everything you just read came from a discredited crackpot and the case has no precedent in the history of U.S. jurisprudence. By Simon Romero The End.

January 13, 2008

Is Naomi Campbell Boinking Chavez?

Venezuela’s leading daily spreads an unfounded rumor that’s actually interesting for once.

Living La Vida BoRev


Off to interface with the mothership for a couple of weeks. Still plan to post from Venezuela, but maybe not up to normal standards. (Frequency-wise. Lord knows there never were any actual “standards” standards).

January 30, 2008

OMG I Was Express Kidnapped and Hugo Chavez Banned the Internets!

I was trying to think of a good excuse for not posting for the last couple of weeks but then thought better of it. The truth is I was just drunk. Please stand by while BoRev gets its groove back.

Breaking: Venezuelans Buried Our Oil Under Their Country To Embarrass Us


Real Americans know that it’s far preferable for your aging granny to freeze to death at home rather than accept charity from commies and foreigners. It’s not that you won’t miss her—you’re not a barbarian for crissakes—it’s just the principle of the thing. And the values.

Anyway so at first I was shocked to see Great Culture Warrior Bill O’Reilly siding with the Venezuelans (who are totally foreign and halfway commie) for their sneaky plan to keep the home fires burning in the colder, poorer parts of our great land this winter. His diatribe against oil companies and in favor of poor people who barely even produce goods and services sounded positively Bolshevik.

But then he redeemed himself with a masterstroke of logic, explaining how Chavez was only giving away resources that don’t even belong to him in the first place on account of the Venezuelan oil belonging to the United States until Chavez, a “bandit and a thief” STOLE THEM and is only giving a little bit back to us to mock and undermine us. Which totally makes sense under the Monroe Doctrine or something.

Speaking of Fox News and Heating Oil Ads

You know how Fox News and your smug-ass friends like to make fun of those Joe Kennedy/Citgo heating oil ads? Everyone else sort of loves them. Oh and just for fun here’s a quiz to see if you can tell a Fox News anchorwoman from a porn star. (I scored 50% which is sort of fair and balanced!)

January 31, 2008

Mona Charen’s Own Private Odessa

Hey you know what really sucked? The Holocaust is what. And you know who’s got really crappy foreign and domestic policies? Israel! Any mouth breathing fourth grader can see that these are not mutually exclusive concepts, but that’s never going to stop right wing kooks like Mona Charen from conflating them into one big ball of anti-Semitic slime fit for publication in, naturally, the Washington Times.

Like hundreds of other people who never realized that Venezuela existed before Chavez, Charen is shocked! and outraged! to discover that the country maintains close diplomatic relations with other oil producing nations and is critical when Israel bombs it’s neighbors, so she’s written it all up into her super-subtly-titled essay “A Pogrom In Venezuela?” in which she notes that “diplomacy alone” is insufficient to stop Chavez and we should apparently let Israel blow him up or something. Oh and just about every claim she makes is demonstrably false! You think I exaggerate? Join us after the jump!

Continue reading "Mona Charen’s Own Private Odessa" »

Just a Regular Citizen Again


Did you know that Sean Penn was a journalist? Well he’s not any more! He just quit his gig as a “contributing reporter” with the San Francisco Chronicle over its crappy portrayals of Venezuela. They even published his resignation letter, which managed to work in “balls,” “porcelain dumping bowl” and “Oliver Stone,” which is pretty awesome. (Yes this all happened two weeks ago, but I was away so it’s new to me.)

About January 2008

This page contains all entries posted to BoRev.Net in January 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2007 is the previous archive.

February 2008 is the next archive.

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

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