Opposition Leader Murdered! National Police Suspected!
Inca Kola News has the full scoop...
Inca Kola News has the full scoop...
Eager to shake his image as a shiftless pothead surf slacker, New York Times Caribbean Correspondent Simon Romero went through the trouble of resurrecting slain Salvadoran religious icon Archbishop Oscar Romero on Friday, in order to add gravitas to an otherwise cheap quote about the state of the Venezuelan Church.
Monsignor Romero, the legendary leader of Central America’s pro-poor religious movement known as Liberation Theology, was assassinated by U.S.-backed death quads twenty eight years ago, during the great Reaganite struggle to liberate Central Americans from their own democratic choices. Archbishop Romero (no relation to Simon) maintains a larger than life presence throughout the region, although until last Friday he technically remained dead.
While an early version of Simon Romero’s story, published in the Times, concludes with a quote from a contemporary Liberation Theologian pointing out the hypocrisy of Venezuela’s mainline Catholic hierarchy, a second version, published in the International Herald Tribune, concludes with the same quote, attributed to the slain icon:
It remains unclear whether the younger Romero achieved this miracle using Santeria, a Caribbean style of voodoo popular in Venezuela, or simply through crappy editing skills.
"I'd say that 50 percent of Catholic priests in Venezuela secretly have wives," Romero said.
UPDATE: Despite his extraordinary achievement, a humble Simon Romero was eager to return to a normal life, and by Saturday he was back in his traditional role, publishing poorly researched, embarrassingly inaccurate drivel. Keepin' it real for the homies at CSIS yo.
So, wow. According to today’s Wall Street Journal Venezuela has just “taken over” an entire bank. And the move might “snowball into a systemic bank run that puts the economy and political system in play.” A bank run. How 1929. But before any of you comically despondent tycoons start jumping out of your fifth floor windows, we suggest you read scroll down to the part where it says that none of this is true. It turns out that the “takeover” is technically “a legal purchase of a bank that was already for sale,” and that there is “little evidence” that any of the horror stories laid out in the rest of the article will ever actually come true. The Journal, in other words, made you look.
UDPATE: Their link only takes you to the intro, so we’ve excerpted the whole stupid story after the jump, yr welcome.
UPDATE II: You know who else is eager to explain exactly how full of crap the Journal is? This Conde Nast columnist, and he hates Venezuela.
So Chevron has been ordered to pay compensatory damages to thousands of Ecuadorian families who have suffered from cancer and birth defects over the years after the company dumped billions, billions, of gallons of toxic waste into the Amazon. Chevron, naturally, doesn’t want to pay the dead kids’ moms or whatever so instead they’re asking the Bush Administration to tell the Ecuadorian courts to overturn themselves. And of course the Bush Administration is like “ok sure maybe” and now we may downgrade our trade relations with Ecuador unless they undermine their entire judicial system and let Chevron off the hook. For killing kids. And just for ridiculously sinister effect, here is what Chevron’s sleazeball lobbyist had to say about the whole thing:
"We can't let little countries screw around with big companies like this”That is seriously what he said. To Newsweek. So there you go. The good news is you can help kick this shitbag’s ass, so if you have any human decency please click on the clicky and go over to Just Foreign Policy’s website where they’ve got it all set up for you (This civic exercise works best if you happen to be a U.S. citizen).
>>> Big new study demonstrates that the U.S. press is not just in bed with Alvaro Uribe, they are actively boning him.
>>> After six years in captivity, Ingrid Betancourt just got re-victimized—by National Review!
>>> Now Uribe wants to change the goddamned constitution to ban investigations into his death squads links
>>> Big new study shows how John McCain once violently invaded Venezuela and remains there still, metaphorically.
>>> Hey guess which countries are going to greet us as liberators next!
Well the official story surrounding "Operation Jaque" just keeps on unraveling on poor Alvaro Uribe. First, he denied there was any illegal misuse of the International Committee of the Red Cross's symbols during the operation. Then he and Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos explained that one "panicked" soldier put the Red Cross emblem on his chest moments before going to meet the FARC rebels. This caused some controversy, but the Red Cross accepted Uribe's explanation and apology. But prior suspicions were proven correct, as it is now confirmed that somewhere along the military chain of command at which Uribe sits at the top, a decision was made to deliberately violate the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law by having soldiers dress up as ICRC personnel and Telesur & Ecuavisa reporters.
The Colombian network RCN broadcast leaked footage of the military's preparations for the operation of July 2. The video shows the soldier wearing the Red Cross bib before the mission began - hundreds of miles away. It was clearly part of the plan and was acceptable to the many military personnel present.
Unsurprisingly, Uribe and Santos were very upset - at the tape-leakers. Wiping the egg from his face, Santos said they committed "treason to the fatherland" and that they will be "drastically sanctioned". So is it that the Colombian president and defense minister have no control over the military, or are they the fuckin liars? Either way, the Red Cross is pissed.
Oh it just unleashes infra-red guided hell. IPS is reporting far heavier US involvement in the preparation and execution of July 2nd's Operation Jaque than previously acknowledged by either Colombian or US authorities. According to Colombian generals, the US Military Southern Command even installed an exciting new button on the fake humanitarian helicopters which “would have activated an unprecedented all-out military attack by the Colombian air force”. Which would have like killed everyone, including the hostages. It also means that the operation was peaceful because of the Red Cross and other disguises, thereby explaining the Red Cross’s growing anger over the illegal misuse of its emblem.
With the info from IPS and the July 9 Washington Post article that details the omnipresence of the US in Colombia’s war, it should be asked when the US administration and/or military knew about the plan to disregard international law. Of course Bush & Co. don’t care much for the “quaint” Geneva Conventions, but are they also encouraging Colombia to establish dangerous legal precedents in Latin America? It wouldn’t be the first time. Given what is already known about US involvement in Colombia's illegal March 1 missile strike in Ecuadoran territory and the Colombian military's love of what Defense Minister Santos likes to call "other truth[s]", the US should clarify it's role in both the March 1 and July 2 violations of international law.
Quote of the Day:
"The national government is looking for violence....if they do not let us freely express ourselves and manifest our discontent with the government via the voting box, they are looking for us to burn the city down."2008 Cato Institute Milton Friedman prize winner Yon Goicoechea, reacting to a Venezuelan Supreme court decision. The award came with a half million dollar prize to “help further his non-violent advocacy for basic freedoms,” which should buy a shitload of matches and lighter fluid.
I swear to God this is how the Washington Post began their, um, analysis? of yesterday’s opening ceremonies in Beijing:
"In four years, London shouldn't even try to compete with the spectacle that Beijing bestowed upon our wondering eyes in the Opening Ceremonies. No democracy can or should invest the money and manpower that went into this city-wide fireworks-spewing deification of national pride, athletic aspiration and Communist Party self-congratulation. Public money could never be justified for such an insanely exhilarating night. Only a People's Republic could squander so lavishly."Anyway so aim low in all your future endeavors kids, because mediocrity is just democracy spelled sideways!
Back in May, the hapless right-wing sad sacks in the Bolivian congress passed a bill to subject President Evo Morales to a recall referendum, and today’s the big day! How hilariously is it going to backfire on these jackasses? Let‘s investigate…
Ok so the New York Times is helpfully explaining that a victory for Evo wouldn’t really be a victory after all, the Christian Science Monitor argues that referendums aren't good ways to solve problems in the first place, and just about everyone is saying that the recall was Evo’s idea to begin with somehow. So yeah, he should King of all the Andes by Monday.
Hey everybody. Just a reminder that we’ve got at least one new contributor here at the blog. His name is Revolter and he’s been writing all the long research pieces that make this site seem smarter than usual. You can tell when he’s written a post because 1) it’s actually well written and 2) it will say the word “Revolter” below the orange line under each post. Anyway we are very excited and grateful to have him on board blah blah blah.
But here’s the shitty part: with new blood comes new ideas, and now we’re going to start pretending we care what you have to say, so: Introducing our new comments section! This is sort of an experiment, and Revolter is in charge, so you’d better start sucking up to him now. In order to have your comments published, you’ll need to register, and if you start acting like a dick you may be banned, but knowing you you‘ll just sign up again under a fake name, so whatever. At some point we may come up with commenting rules, but for now it’s going to be total anarchy. So there you go, knock yourselves out.
As expected Evo won yesterday’s referendum with as much as 63.5% of the vote, roughly 10 percent higher than his original bid for office in 2005 . Two opposition governors, from LaPaz and Cochabamba, were voted out. So how’s it playing this morning? Let’s see CBS news calls it a “win” for Evo, so does the New York Times. Newsday says it’s a “vigorous” endorsement of his presidency, while the International Business Times calls the vote “overwhelming.” Voice of America says it’s a sign of Evo’s “strong backing,” and naturally the Washington Post calls it a “deadlock.” Stupid Washington Post.
Oh jeez there’s that word again. Followers of “embarrassing racial slurs” and “our national shame” will remember the word “macaca” from the time it torpedoed the career of beloved Republican
cracker Senator George Allen, dashing America’s hopes for a resurgent Confederacy once and for all. But did you know that in certain parts of the world, the term remains in fashion?
Meet Ruben Costas! The Governor of Bolivia’s whitest state and America’s top ally in the region, Costas survived Sunday’s recall vote and immediately called a press conference to announce to the world that Santa Cruz wouldn’t be pushed around by some “Macaco,” meaning Evo Morales, who is brown and therefore “monkey-like.” The entire campaign season, naturally, was an abominable bonfire of bigotry, punctuated with barely-coded racist discourse, recurring skinhead attacks, neo-Nazis campaigning for Costas, and, um, actual slavery.
God bless Otto at Inca Kola News for having the stomach to track this all this awfulness, and especially for calling out the inversely-gifted NYT douchenozzle Simon Romero for aiding the racists when he writes crap like this:
"Perhaps the most contentious issue has been Mr. Morales’s land reform project in Santa Cruz, the economically vibrant eastern department. Rich landowning families in the area have clashed with government officials seeking to distribute their landholdings to Aymara and Quechua Indian migrants."See because the people native to the land are the “Indian migrants.” Hey Simon! Guess what? They’re not literally from India.
Editors note: ha ha still working out the bugs on this "two-people writing one stupid website" thingy. So lucky you here's a second post on a subject dear to your heart. Communication is Key! And anyway this exactly happens to be the 2-year anniversary of Macacagate, so obviously we planned it this way.
After his impressive 27-point ballot victory, President Evo Morales congratulated the opposition governors that also survived the recall vote and, once again, called for dialogue. In response, the separatist-racist governor of Santa Cruz, Ruben Costas, called the Aymara Indian leader a dirty monkey dictator. Well he went with "macaca" to be exact. But unlike when ex-Senator George Allen tried to get'er votes by letting Virginians know that he knows a shit-ton of obscure slurs, don't expect any tsk-tsk editorials from the Washington Post or for Costas and US Ambassador to Bolivia, Philip Goldberg to stop being BFFs.
The equally sleazy ex-Governor of Cochabamba, Manfred Reyes Villa, intends to fight his day-old ballot loss in court by arguing that there was no basis in the constitution for the recall vote – even though the opposition-controlled Congress and the winning opposition governors had no problem with it. At the same time, the Governor of Tarija, Mario Cossio announced that he will implement the "autonomy" statutes in his province immediately – even though the opposition doesn't even pretend there's a legitimate constitutional or other legal basis for what amounts to a declaration of secession. But don't worry, the US supports the "territorial integrity" of Bolivia and is backing negotiations between the Morales government and the opposition. Bolivia is fucked.
If the little dust-up between Georgia and Russia is worth anything, it's waiting to hear Bush administration officials try and condemn one country for invading another without chuckling or breaking down and just saying, "Heck, who are WE to tell someone else how to conduct themselves when it comes to war, peace, democracy and human rights?!?"
So far, though, they've soldiered through, making strong statements about how inappropriate it is for Russia to be marching through Georgia with no apparent provocation. Our two favorites:
- "The days of overthrowing leaders by military means in Europe is over," U.S. Ambassador to the UN Zalmay Khalilzad.
Well, Zal is nothing if not a good diplomat. Notice the key use of the terms "military means" and "Europe." Now if one were to use non-military means (say a "civil society coup") in a non-European country (say, ummmm, Venezuela), then overthrowing leaders is perfectly kosher! If Russia wants to square its little foray into Georgia with U.S. policy, maybe they should dress their soldiers in civilian clothes (Colombia can provide both advice and costumes) and roll out some geographers to argue that Georgia isn't really in Europe more than somewhere between the Middle East and Central Asia (Middle Asia? Central East?). And Vladimir and Dmitry, remember the three letters that justify any illegal invasion - W.M.D.
- "Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century," President George W. Bush.
Well, here's another opening for Russia. Notice how Bush says it's unacceptable in the 21st century. Anytime before that and you're in the clear! According to the Islamic calender it's currently 1429, so the world's countries have a few centuries of illegal invading and regime changing ahead of them.
Hmmmmm, so maybe the Bushies are being consistent. After all, they invaded a country in the Middle East that is primarily Islamic, right? It might be tougher to catch them with their feet in their mouths than we thought.
A federal probe in Switzerland "centres on the publication on the internet of an image 'damaging to the honour' of the Colombian president Álvaro Uribe.”
You know what you need to do, people. Daddy needs them pictures. Send any honour-damaging images you come across to borevnet (at) gmail, k?
>>> After 12 terrible years, Venezuela's finally gets its jiggle back.
>>> Oh speaking of asses, the Venezuelan Olympic softball team just got theirs handed to them, by the Empire.
>>> Hey, this Simon Romero fellow may not be very good at his job.
>>> Ditto for everybody at the Washington Post's LatAm department.
>>> A year after Peru's devastating earthquakes, "the cities of Chincha and Pisco still look devastated, Garcia's popularity has plummeted, and the only president who has won hearts and minds here is Venezuela's socialist leader, Hugo Chavez."
So the votes in Bolivia are still being counted, and Otto is wonking out like a champ. A couple of crucial highlights:
Votes from the hinterlands have spiked Evo’s support up to 67% (and climbing), up from the 63% quoted from the quick counts; andHa ha, how’s your precious “deadlock” now, Washington Post? Don't miss the original analysis. It's got charts and everything.
Early media reports said that four of Bolivia’s nine states supported the president.It’s actually now 6 of 9 (with a 7th coming in at 49.83%).
Apparently all of the sudden there is such a thing called "international law," which somehow "prohibits" one country from unilaterally invading another one. Have you ever heard of this thing? Does it apply to countries that are not Russia? And just how pissed are the Colombians going to be when they find out? Wait, calm down everybody. Post columnist Harold Meyerson looked into it today and it turns out that the whole concept is just a figment of your hippie imagination, in fact:
The United States even has a name for its right to intervene in its neighbors' affairs: the Monroe Doctrine. And just as Russia moved to undermine a militantly pro-American government on its borders, so the United States moved to overthrow Castro at the Bay of Pigs and depose the Sandinistas in Nicaragua, and green-lighted an attempted coup against Venezuela's Hugo Chávez in 2002.Whew. Anyway, sorry Georgia, but your name was confusing the crap out of us anyway.
This graphic thingy here is from Bolivia’s official election results page, and it basically says that the opposition stronghold state of Santa Cruz has somehow managed to “not report” 12% of its entire vote count. Twelve percent. What is this, Florida?
Nationwide, 749 voting centers simply never bothered to release their results to La Paz. Of those, 684 are from Santa Cruz, the land of skinheads and slavery which has become, naturally, America’s number one ally in the region, on account of its “democratic yearnings” or whatever.
Today the Washington Post did the unthinkable - they published not one, but TWO op-eds criticizing the Georgians for the little war with the Russians they've been fighting over the past week. The op-eds make a very important point - that virtually none of the media coverage has focused on Georgia's seemingly unprovoked incursion into South Ossetia as a move intended to provoke the Russians.
Has the consistently anti-Russia Post suddenly gone soft? Did a crafty Russian agent make an op-ed switch as the paper went to press? Is it Opposite Day? Maybe, but since it's August and this is Washington, we're guessing that editorial page deputy Jackson Diehl is on a well-deserved vacay after a tough year of shilling for Colombia and the Venezuelan opposition. Sure, his boss Fred Hiatt may still be around to make sure the editorial page doesn't swing too far from hard right to a little less hard right, but when it comes to foreign policy editorializing, it's well-known that Hiatt is the Medvedev to Diehl's Putin. (We hear that Diehl is vacationing in beautiful Colombia, and the Colombians even offered to re-enact their July hostage rescue for him so he could feel the rush of violating the Geneva Conventions.)
We all know what Diehl's absence means, right? Submit. Op-eds. Now. The Post's op-ed page is liberated territory, if only for a week or two, and we've got to write like we've finally gotten rid of an evil tyrant who has ruled over us with a hard fist and too many terrible opinions to count. Hell, we'll even give our short-lived liberation a classy name, like the "Fuchsia Revolution" or something. When Diehl makes his inevitable return and pummels us with more of us inane war-mongering, we'll bravely stand outside the Post's headquarters wearing bright t-shirts, waving our neon-colored flags and holding signs that say things like "Down with Diehl!," "You're Wack, Jack(son)!" and "What Liberal Media?"
Freedom reads so well, doesn't it?
So Venezuela’s first crack at producing a major English-language film hit a snag this week. Production of “Toussaint,” the biopic of legendary Haitian liberator Toussaint L’Overture, has been delayed due to funding problems, even though it’s got a big time Hollywood cast headed up by Don Cheadle, Angela Bassett and Mos Def. So what’s the problem? As director Danny Glover explained, “financiers complained there were no white heroes.” Did we mention it’s a movie about a slave revolt? Yes, you may cry.
Hat tip: The Latin Americanist
Otto’s got the definitive post-mortem on the Bolivian referendum here. State breakdowns, charts, analysis, you name it. It’s coca soup for your purpose driven soul.
>>> Venezuela is the hot new travel destination of choice for the discerning rockstar fucker.
>>> Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo spent first day in office showing off the latest must-have accessory for August: Hugo Chavez.
>>> “According to Harrods, King Abdullah of Jordan, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, the Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the American actor Steven Seagal are among those who wear [Miguel] Caballero's designs.”
>>> And ha ha here is basically the same story with “Colombia” trendily misspelled throughout.
Um so ok yesterday I tried to "upgrade" my stupid blog software and effed it all up, which you may have noticed if you tried to post a comment or, say, read any new content in the past 36 hours. Anyway it's supposedly up and working now, so let's proceed...
Hey remember back in May when Colombian prosecutors were getting closer and closer to linking thousands of "extrajudicial killings" to the Uribe administration until the president extradited all the key witnesses to the U.S. in the middle of the night on drug charges? And remember how the Washington Post's ed board at the time praised the extraditions as a "dramatic move" and called it a "paralyzing blow" to drug dealers? And how they went on to mock and bully human rights groups for noting that mass graves might be slightly more important than bagging the guys that sold the blow to their coked up teens?
Well it's three months later and we're allowed to talk about it candidly now because there's no Colombian trade bill before Congress, and so the Post has decided to run this report on its front page today, explaining what a bummer it is that we're never going to know for sure exactly how many deaths Uribe may be responsible for because of those stupid extraditions. Double : (
Want to see what passes for scholarly research with the great brainz inside Washington think-tankery these days? Watch and amaze as the crazy people at the Heritage Foundation discuss these "Casas de Alba" that have been popping up in Peru in recent months:
Alba means "dawn" in Spanish, but the people of rural Peru are learning that, for them, it might mean a return to the dark nights of tyranny they experienced in the 1980s when guerilla groups such as the Maoist Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) and the Communist Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) terrorized the Peruvian countryside.
Holy Mac! Terrorisms?! So just what exactly are these Casas de Alba, anyway, indigeo-jihadist training camps? Haha, not exactly. As the LA Times notes, they are "social service centers" for low income folk that help "thousands of poor Peruvians to receive free medical care from Cuban doctors working in Bolivia under Operation Miracle, a Chavez health initiative. Cuban educators in Bolivia are also training Peruvian volunteers for a related literacy campaign."
Wait, health clinics? What does that have to do with the Shining Path again? Back to you, Heritage:
The unimaginative and retrograde collectivist socialist models aggressively peddled by Chavez, Morales, and others are proven failures, but getting the positive message of prosperity through market-based democracy to the poor in rural Peru is increasingly difficult when that message is drowned out by the well-funded ALBA houses.Ok, so the, uh...point?... is that if the Peruvian poor are getting their health and education needs met, then we'll never be able to win them over to market-based democracy, which is too imaginative to waste schools and hospitals on dirt eaters. And so it's all just like terrorism, somehow, or something. Honestly I've waded through the whole 12 pages of footnoted crazy talk six times now and I still don't get it.
>> First the Indians propelled Evo Morales to an unprecedented 68% electoral victory. Now they've dared to resist the so-called "strike" that the opposition's neo-Nazi thugs were enforcing. The indigenous insolence was cured with spiked clubs and baseball bats. Seriously, where do these assholes buy baseball bats in Bolivia?
>> In Peru, Indian communities had the audacity to protest new laws that would allow the state to more easily confiscate and exploit their traditional lands. Naturally, the right-wing government declared a state of emergency and suspended constitutional rights. President Alan Garcia may even send in the army to beat the civilization into the savages.
>> The new President of Paraguay spoke Guarani, dressed in traditional attire and promised to govern for the benefit of the poor Indian majority during his inauguration. He's even naming former slaves to his cabinet.
Of course the US media ignored, or couldn't understand, the symbolic and historic nature of the events in Paraguay. You know, that country where the hot Olympic athlete everyone wants to bone is from.
As if you needed more proof that Latin America was backsliding into the "dark nights of tyranny" or whatever, this SHOCKING VIDEO has emerged showing Hugo Chavez and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo singing about their plot to "change the world" at some shadowy leftist karaoke hoedown last weekend. "Enjoy."
The 2007 numbers are in, and it turns out that last year the Colombian government massacred 329 civilians, a number that is 50% higher than the year before. We're only talking documented, non-combatant, "extrajudicial" killings here, so unreported murders, FARC insurgents, and convicted criminals aren't included. Sounds like a post-apocalyptic shitload, doesn't it? But seriuosly, how does Uribe measure up?
Wikipedia "sources," the body count is roughly half the size of the Tienanmen Square massacre, which froze relations between China and the U.S. for a decade. It's about on par with My Lai, and larger than Wounded Knee, Tlatelolco, or the Madrid train bombings. We're talking 13 Bloody Sundays, 36 Manson families, or 82 Kent States. It's more than double the death count at Dujail, which is what Saddam Hussein was tried and executed for. In other words...let's see how did the New York Times put it?..."he will be remembered as the leader who brought Colombia back from the brink and onto a path toward peace." Sigh.
Pity poor Francis Fukuyama. His career is hinged around one famous essay he wrote in 1989 filled with predictions that turned out to be the opposite of what ended up happening, and now his life's mission is to convince the world that his dumb Neoconservative theories are all still viable even in the face of all sensory perception to the contrary. Sure, all one-hit wonders are probably defensive to some degree, but you don't see Dexy's Midnight Runners writing New York Times columns justifying "Come on Eileen" year after endless year.
Anyway today Fukuyama has one of his biannual Washington Post Op-Eds about how history is, in fact, over, and "we won," even though some parts of the world refuse to recognize it, because they are irrelevant and, somehow, "bullies." About the time you start to notice that those "other parts of the world" (China, the Middle East, Africa, Russia and pretty much all of Latin America) represent like 75% of the globe you start to realize what a complete fraud this Fukuyama fucknut is. Anyway, cheer up. Here's a fun video from a far better one-hit-wonder.
Hey, I know everybody else got here first, but this map shows the final tally of that Bolivian recall vote. The blue regions voted for Evo and the green voted against, so what the Post called a deadlock turns out instead to be a landslide, which is sort of the same thing only opposite.
And if you know how to read Mexican you're in luck because here are even more maps and analyses that tell you the same thing but with more colors and foreign words.
Back in the '80s Honduras was the best U.S. ally ever, establishing itself as ground zero for whatever the hell it was we were doing down there. Anyway you may remember how half of Central America was destroyed in the process and how all Honduras got out of the deal was a nightmare decade of torture, death squads, and John Negroponte. So yesterday the country reviewed its history and crappy record of strategic alliances and let out a collective screw this.
Bush's Latin America policy has been sort of crap so here's HOPEing™ things'll CHANGE®.
Joe Biden was for Colombia before he was against it.
Speaking of hope, Venezuela is like freebasing it.
Venezuelan women have bigger you-know-whats than other Latin chicks.
Why isn't Chavez doing anything about the python attacks?
Ok so first, the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia got busted by a teevee crew sneaking out of a secret meeting with racist Santa Cruz breakaway prefect Ruben Costas Monday night, and then another U.S. official (pictured!) was arrested for "causing a disturbance" at a Santa Cruz brothel and promptly "spirited away" by embassy staff claiming diplomatic immunity. Anyway the 'mericans are in town! Otto is tracking the whole crazy story like a champ.
Great Scott! South Africa just followed Honduras into the Axis of Evo this week. With dominos falling all around, who will stop the madness before we're all dead (or bartering)? Capitana Cubamerica that's who!
Powered by unrivaled arrogance and the allegiance of the right-wing Spanish language media, Florida Cuban Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) is taking the fight to Central America and recruiting the State Department and NSC to pressure Honduran President Mel Zelaya to re-think his decision to enter the Bolivarian trade block ALBA, or else.
Sadly, her powers are having some effect. Honduran daily El Heraldo made a big deal out of the "protests" Rep. Ros-Lehtinen helped organize over the weekend, and La Prensa actually lists "the risk of armed battle" with the US as one of ALBA's "cons". La Capitana and her media minions are also resurrecting the tactic they perfected in El Salvador, falsely telling Hondurans that their "TPS" family members will be deported from the US en masse as retaliation for the alternative trade treaty. For his part, Prez Zelaya called his domestic detractors "hotheads and boot-lickers." Guess they just can't get enough of La Capitana's hot commie-stomping red boots.
So yesterday the Post managed to publish a big piece on the ten thousand civilians murdered by Colombia's right-wing paramilitaries without once mentioning President Alvaro Uribe. Now today Reuters manages to run a big feature on the Uribe Administration's thousands of ties to the paramilitaries without mentioning the mass murders. So basically if these two reporters ever comically collide and compare notes there's gonna be one holy mother of a crimes against humanity case there.
The secret-spilling site Wikileaks announced this week that it's acquired thousands of e-mails belonging to a top aide to Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. But don't look for them online. In a departure from its full-disclosure past, Wikileaks is auctioning off the cache to the highest bidder.
Stay classy, Wikileaks! Anyway it sounds like some CIA intern had a fun summer project. "Dear WikiPeople: I is top aid to Hugo Chavez. Here be all my E-mails pls post." I can't wait to read about when Chavez poisoned Anna Nicole to funnel FARC cocaine to South Ossetia in her coffin.
Remember that awesome day when we discovered that the Monroe Doctrine was finally, officially dead and all the little countries in the Western Hemisphere were freed from their servitude, and then they unzipped their costumes and started dancing all over the place in their underwear? Wait, no, that was The Wiz. Anyhow the point is that we were all sort of naïve and gun-jumpy since we're still saddled with this even crappier "Bush Doctrine," which says that the US can invade any country, regardless of geography, so long as there is at least one halfway
plausible written-down-somewhere link to terrorists or Iran or Islam or something.
So anyway the LA Times has just uncovered this shocking story about one anonymous "Western anti-terrorism official," and his "fears" that Hezbollah may be operating in Venezuela! And that's not all, he also "fears" that oil deals between Venezuela and the middle east might even be fronts for terrorisms, somehow! And his terrible fears are summed up nicely in the article's feary headline: "Hezbollah Presence in Venezuela Feared." Yikes, are you afeared now too?
And then it gets even fearier, because the LA Times is part of the Tribune Family of Newspapers, and so the story got reprinted the next day in other newspapers under a new, better headline. This one reads "Hezbollah's Presence in Venezuela Draws Concern." So now we're moved passed our fear that Hezbollah might be operating in Venezuela, and on to concern about all the awful things it's probably doing there, maybe. Same story, no new evidence or anything. Stay scared(er).
And then of course the sounding board kicks in, in the form of weird online think-tanks and their own fearful--what's the word, analysis?--of the situation. The "StrategyPage" is super-double scared that Venezuela's business dealings with Iran might not even be about oil at all, and "maybe" they are nothing more that a front group ...
"for teams of terrorists intent on kidnapping Jewish residents of, or visitors to, Venezuela. The captives would then be smuggled back to Lebanon and used to extract prisoners and other concessions from Israel."Hey, "maybe"! Who the hell knows, right? But the whole idea is one scary toe-curling, ease-on-down-the-road feargasm, which is also the point, "maybe."