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September 2008 Archives

September 1, 2008

As the Doomsday Clock Turns

Join us for the next dumb episode, featuring...

uribebike.jpgAlvaro Uribe is caught spreading terrible lies about Jimmy Carter. Will he ever learn?

uribebike.jpgWhile the world has been focused on Venezuela's coke problem, Peru has been hiding an even darker shame.

uribebike.jpgJust when the U.S. military is stretched to its limits, the Wall Street Journal introduces a whole new Axis of Evil.

uribebike.jpgDear God, the Russians are back...in Cuba.

September 2, 2008

Shit Yeah, Motherfucker

mercenaries2.jpgShit yeah! It's finally fucking out! After two long years that video game where you blow the living shitsticks out of a "fully destructible Venezuela" is in the stores. Aww don't get so sensitive, you freaking beaner pussies. It's about a fictional Venezuelan leader named Ramon who drives up oil prices so the US special forces have to go in and set things right. It's the way the world works, asshole, and besides, it's just a game you crybaby foreign fucks. Don't get so freaked out by the realistic Caracas street scenes or just cuz you blow up brown skinned civilians for points, fuckin' whiny wetback taco fucking BAM! BAM! BAM!

...shit yeah.

September 3, 2008

Luis Posada Carriles Is a Misunderstood Sad Clown, Trapped in Satan's 'Political Circus'

posadathingy.jpg

Once the southeastern United States' unrivaled standard bearer of whackjobbery, the fabled "Miami Cubans" have officially passed the crazy torch on to their Venezuelan immigrant neighbors. Today's South Florida Sun Sentinel story begins:

"The governments of Cuba and Venezuela see him as a ruthless assassin. But to many Venezuelans living in Broward County, Luis Posada Carriles is just a man trapped in a political circus."
Awww, see? he's just a misunderstood li'l monster--like the phantom of the opera! Only while the phantom never committed any actual "crimes" (Andrew Lloyd Weber-related activities notwithstanding), Posada has a few under his belt, including:
>>> Assassination attempts against heads of state,

>>> A series of hotel bombings in Havana that left one Italian tourist dead and 11 injured and

>>> The bombing of a passenger airline over Venezuela that killed all 76 people on board.

So of course he's now being tried for "immigration fraud" in Florida and the nutty ex-pat Venezuelans are rallying to his nutty defense, because they are all nuts, the end.

September 4, 2008

Aging Reaganite Pens Torture Porn Opus

NormanBaily.jpgToday the Washington Times published this hilarious piece by Reagan era war perv Norman Bailey, who wants you to know that we've been wasting our time in the Middle East all these years when we could have been blowing the shit out of Venezuela, which is in our own hemisphere and everything. Convincing Americans to invade would be easy, see, once we explain that it's an "open dictatorship" that is "reminiscent of Nazi Germany," but like "Iran," too, only socialist-er. Also: free press-terrorist-Cuba-muslim. Not to mention: "The Venezuelan financial system is also extensively used for the facilitation of official corruption and the laundering of drug-trafficking funds." Ha ha, what?

Anyway these days Norman Bailey is a professor of "economic warfare" at the "Institute of World Politics," so he was obviously masturbating as he wrote it.

BTW: In case you forgot (We did!) Bailey was the bumbling anti-Venezuela spy who made an ass of himself after the State Department fired him last year.

September 5, 2008

Valijagate Trial Update IV: Prosecution Loses Luggage in Buenos Aires

TomShannon&Cristina.jpgBy Revolter:

The "Suitcase Scandal" trial of Franklin Duran is finally underway in Miami, and everyone is on the edge of their seat to find out how the Department of Justice's campaign corruption allegations will impact Venezuela and Argentina. Stop. Repeat: the US DOJ somehow managed to find a way to get jurisdiction over alleged corruption in other people's countries.

But it gets better. This pretrial analysis in the Miami Herald contains this important nugget:

"[Argentine President Cristina] Fernández de Kirchner has denounced the accusation as complete ''garbage.'' Following a meeting in February between Fernández de Kirchner and U.S. Ambassador Earl Wayne, prosecutors no longer referred to the Argentine connection."

If true, this means that the Department of State has ordered the Department of Justice to ignore half of it's evidence. So much for judicial independence.

There's more. With the "Objective of the Conspiracy" (indictment) apparently off limits, the State Dep. and DOJ had to come up with something to fill the time and headlines so, voila! A recently unsealed DOJ Motion alleges 10 years of corruption involving Venezuelan officials and the defendant (the judge has not yet ruled on the admissibility of the evidence). So now the only point of the trial is what, to embarrass the Chavez government ahead of elections? Classy.

Everyone knows that Bush's DOJ is hilariously politicized, but why would the US make a risky pact with Argentina? Is Cristina's surprise announcement on the trial's opening day really about hush-money? In June, the State Dep. re-listed Argentina as a "key country" in the region before holding high-level meetings in Buenos Aires, again. And just last week, a mature Tom Shannon offered Cristina "help" but only if "she plans to have an adult and harmonious relationship with the White House," according to Clarin.

Various Latin American papers have noticed that there seems to be some sort of "understanding" going on here. And no wonder, the prosecution isn't even trying to hide it. According to Perfil, when the defense attempted to question prospective jurors about the suitcase, Prosecutor Mulvihill objected because, "this trial has nothing to do with what happened in Argentina." Um, excuse me? The whole thing is supposed to be about "what happened in Argentina."

Judge Joan Lenard upheld, stating that no one "needs to mention the Suitcase Scandal." So no valijagate in the valijagate trial? Deal or no deal, conviction or acquittal, the administration has managed to make this trial about judicial independence and grand-scale corruption in the United States. That's so Bush!

September 6, 2008

Rafael Correa Opens Second Front in World Cuteness Offensive

cutexplosion.jpgLook at da baby sea lion! Hello baby sea lion! You are just the cutest thing ever. Are'ncha, mister flippers? Yes you are.

Anyway in cuteness news, the world's humpiest president would like to protect all things lovable, forever! Haha, he would. It's all so goddamned Ecua-dorable I could just wet myself. Even the stupid LA Times can't resist the charm.

September 7, 2008

A Week in the Life of the World's Greatest Democracy

It sure isn't easy running the Bush Administration's favorite government ever. Some weeks it seems like nothing goes your way:

littlealvi.jpgOn Monday, embarrassing news emerges that Colombian troops had detained a vacationing British MP over the weekend and forced him to ingest "several mouthfuls" of Coffee-Mate. Then when he didn't die they realized it wasn't cocaine and let him go.

littlealvi.jpgTwo days later, a Colombian court ordered President Uribe to prison for three days on contempt charges. Eventually the Supreme Court intervened to save him the embarrassment of unflattering horizontal stripes and extrajudicial sexytime.

littlealvi.jpgLater that afternoon Uribe started dropping hints that he might not ram through a Constitutional change allowing him to run for a third term, after all. : (

littlealvi.jpgOn Thursday, Venezuelan authorities arrested former Uribe official Alvaro Araujo, who had fled the country rather than face charges of "kidnapping a political rival," among other craziness. The ensuing press coverage brought up other fun details, like: "Mr Araujo is the father of Maria Consuelo Araujo, who quit as Colombia's foreign minister last year when her brother was jailed on charges of using right-wing paramilitary thugs to intimidate voters."

littlealvi.jpgThen on Friday, the United Nations came to town to investigate allegations that Uribe himself has been intimidating his own judicial branch in a ham-handed effort to stymie an ongoing investigation linking his political allies to terrorism.

littlealvi.jpgFinally yesterday even the LA Times ed board weighs in , admitting maybe for the first time in the US press that "it's becoming increasingly clear that the [FARC] are not the only murderous thugs on the loose. Colombia needs to turn its attention to the growing number of murders allegedly committed by its armed forces." That would be Uribe's own army.

Bad week, right? But do you think Uribe gets all down in the dumps or locks himself in his room or cranks up the Morrissey on the Hi-Fi? Sadly, no. Instead he's packing to come to Washington "to discuss his country's recent economic progress and security improvements" at a National Press Club luncheon. You can sign up here if you want to meet him in person and ask him exactly how improved it all is.

September 8, 2008

Simon Romero, Petit Paresseux de Merde

frenchie.gifOh Simon, you little scamp. The New York Time's crack Margaritaville correspondent had us in stitches over the weekend with his groundbreaking story about how President Chavez made up a new word or something. Apparently this "delicious" little insult term is "a portmanteau word" that has become "the bon mot du jour of broadcasters." Hey Simon, what's with all the fancy French talk? And why write today about a word that was coined "decades ago in Puerto Rico"? Oh, right, because haha you basically just translated this story that Agence France-Presse published two days earlier and slapped your own name on it.

Valijagate Trial Update V: The Girl With the Goods

playboy2.jpgBy Revolter

Meet Maria Telpuk. This classy lady was the Argentine customs officer who discovered $800,000 in the suitcase of Guido Antonini Wilson last August, setting the whole Valijagate story in motion. If you need a refresher on the case, here's an overview. Or if you just want to stick around for the dirty pictures that's cool too.

Anyway with the arrest of Franklin Duran & Co. in Miami last winter, Telpuk became a minor celeb in Argentina. She changed her name to Lorena, invested in some new boobs, and set out to make her dreams come true. After a photo shoot for Playboy, Telpuk trained to compete for a slot in the hit Argentine teevee program "Skating for a Dream"--sort of a Dancing With the Stars on ice thingy--before producers mysteriously pulled her off the show. Undaunted, she went on to mark the opening of the trial with another nudie spread in second-rate Argentine beaver mag Premium. Wait, this is why she didn't just split the money with Antonini?

For his part, Antonini figures to be a star witness at the trial, and Duran's lawyer is trying to figure out exactly what the US government promised him in exchange for secretly recording his friends and business partners. When El Gordo began wearing an FBI wire, he already had an Interpol warrant issued for his arrest. The defense wants to know why the US didn't just extradite him to Argentina, since the only alleged crime committed at the time had occurred back at the Buenos Aires airport. So far the prosecution has played coy, and the court has sided with them on key motions that delve into the motivations to cooperate of both Antonini and Carlos Kauffman.

Kauffman, co-owner of Venoco with Duran, agreed to plead guilty and supply the allegations that anchor the prosecution's new legal strategy. That is, after the US government threatened to jail his wife for immigration fraud.

Anyway like you care. Did I mention we've got tons of naked pictures after the jump?

Continue reading "Valijagate Trial Update V: The Girl With the Goods" »

September 9, 2008

We Really Should Meet Like This More Often

santacruzx.jpgLast week the various factions of the Bolivian opposition all got together for a little strategy planning session in Santa Cruz. IPS reports that the meeting highlighted a few "discrepancies" between the various ideologies. You see on one side there is the weird business leader/neo-nazi skinhead faction, and on the other there is everybody else. Naturally, "everybody else" eventually got locked out of the meeting in the middle of the night "because of their opposition to violence," and the skinheads left to go burn down government buildings. Unity!

Still even this craziness is more coherent then their last strategy, which involved "creating food shortages through boycotts and roadblocks." That one failed when the organizers realized that as business owners, they were really the only ones affected. Or the strategy before that, which was "a hunger strike" that quickly "lost credibility" when teevee cameras filmed them all sitting around eating. Ha! Seriously, who is training these dumbasses? Oh right of course.

September 10, 2008

The Lipstick On Our Collective Pig

bushlips.jpgHave you noticed, but this lame duck administration gets lamer by the day. While you all have been focused on "Piglips" van Palin and her abstinence-only Alaska trash jug band, the Bushes are busy, um, evening scores?...using funny/weird press releases and ham handed "subversion" techniques. Anyway here's the sad roundup of the dumb things your government is doing to stop the Venezuelan Threat this week:

>>> Homeland Security issued some weird travel advisory that people going to Venezuela should avoid "international airports" because the Bush administrations has been "been unable to assess security measures" lately.

>>> A White House "drug czar" person made a speech saying Hugo Chavez poses a Global Cocaine Threat everywhere on earth but especially "in Europe."

>>> US agents try to set to set Chavez up in some screwball hush-money scheme. (New York Times :"At the direction of the F.B.I., [Guido Antonini] wrote to Mr. Chávez demanding $2 million.")

And Mr. Chavez didn't bite. So there you go. We are idiots who know nothing about foreign relations, except that we border on Russia.

The Altiplano Ain't Big Enough for the Both of Us

Fuck The Haters, Evo!


Just two weeks after US embassy staff were caught lying, gunslinging and whoring in Santa Cruz, Evo tells the ambassador to leave his country by sunup. Here's the Simon Romero version of events, which tragically ignores the part about lying, gunslinging and whoring, even though that's sort of the best part.

Thursday Morning Update: The LA Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and AP have all filed their stories this morning. All quote the US gov't saying the accusations of fostering separatist movements them are "baseless." None of them mention that the ambassador was caught, on tape, by Bolivian news crews, sneaking out of a midnight meeting with separatist leaders.

Update 2:
So wait,who is this Ambassador Goldberg dude? Oh right, he was: "head of mission (2004-2006) in Kosovo, formerly a province of Serbia until its local government, supported by the ethnic Albanian majority of the population, declared independence in February 2008." He's a separatist specialist. A sepralist.

Update 3: Machetera's been doing a nice job translating Bolivian press accounts into English.

Update 4: Abiding in Bolivia gets the headline award.

Update 5: Mob violence..."racial overtones"...oil sabotage...talk of a coup....Basically your tax dollars at work. The State Department responds with ominous threats.

September 11, 2008

Why We Fight

Happy September 11th everybody! It's that special time of year where we Americans reflect on our values (freedom!), our enemies (everyone!), and then we pick who's gonna be next. Watch your back, Kyrgyzstan, all I'm saying. We may not be able to spell you. Or find you on a map. But if we set our mind to it we might be able to kick the living kyrg out of you on a battlefield depending on how soon we wrap up these other wars and get our "readiness" back. Never forget!

Great Moments in Diplomacy

Jeez I can't go out and get a drink with a friend without all hell breaking loose--oops I mean Thanks to the zillions of people who have called and texted and emailed! So it turns out that this P. Duddy person, who used to be the US ambassador to Venezuela, is no longer ambassador since he got booted from the country an hour ago. The Venezuelan ambassador to the US is being recalled until "there's a new government in the United States." Hey! Can we all get on that plan?

Apparently it was all meant as a "solidarity" move with Bolivia, which booted its own US ambassador last night after it became clear that the Kosovo-trained American had been secretly meeting with separatist factions in whorehouses or whatever. Anyway there's lots of oil and Russian bombers and September 11th going on so I'm sure cool heads will prevail.

September 12, 2008

Friday Morning Reax

  • The LA Times calls it "another setback in the region for Washington." Reporters Patrick McDonell and Chris Kraul say the expulsion "shocked the region" and then back it up with a quote from some guy in Florida, which is not in "the region," but whatever.
  • The Times of London says, "Mr Chavez also announced yesterday that his government had uncovered a coup plot hatched by active and retired military officers, which he said had tacit US approval." I'm sure 'tacit' was the word he used.
  • The New York Times had a few specifics on the plot: "On Wednesday night, state television here played what it described as intercepts of phone discussions between active-duty and retired military officers that referred to a plot to take Miraflores, the presidential palace."
  • The Washington Post had a few more: "Current and former military officers were recorded during wiretapped phone conversations discussing blowing up the presidential jet or bombing the presidential palace."
  • The Guardian points out the symbolism: "Coincidental or not, his accusation fell on the 35th anniversary of the CIA-backed coup which replaced Chile's leftist president, Salvador Allende, with the dictator Augusto Pinochet."

Here's One I Didn't See Coming

honduras.gif"Honduras, a former U.S. ally in Central America now run by a leftist government, told a U.S. envoy not to present his credentials as ambassador on Friday in a diplomatic snub in support of Bolivia."

"Leftist." Heh. Plucky little Honduras. Who knew?

U.S. Admits Coup Plans

By El Catire

It's not often that the State Department's spokesperson fesses up to the dirty games the Bush administration has been playing in Latin America. But that's exactly what Sean McCormack did today in a press statement announcing the expulsion of Bolivia and Venezuela's ambassadors to the U.S.

McCormack said: "The charges leveled against our fine ambassadors by the leaders of Bolivia and Venezuela are false - and the leaders of those countries know it. The only meaningful conspiracy in the region is the common commitment of democratic countries to enhance opportunities for their citizens. The only overthrow we seek is that of poverty."

We knew it, and they finally admit it. The U.S. has been involved in conspiracies and overthrows. Progressives have been saying it all along, and now all the naysayers and doubters are going to have to contend with having been wrong the whole time.

Ha, we kid. McCormack didn't really admit to anything evil. But seriously, who in the State Department could come up with something that hokey? The U.S. is conspiring to enhance opportunity in democratic countries? They're planning to overthrow poverty? Jeez. Whatever happened to generals wearing dark sunglasses, brutally stiffling dissent, imposing radical neoliberal economic policies and making their political opponents disappear? Those were coups.

Consider yourself warned - it's only a matter of time before civil society, the private media, dissident military officers, student groups and business-owners in Venezuela and Bolivia finally emerge from the shadows to once and for all send poverty packing. With poverty on a plane to Cuba, President Prosperity will emerge from the wings and lead both countries to a future of peace, development and puppy dogs for everyone.

Lamest. Coup. Ever.

All Politics Are Schoolyard

bringit.jpg

Oh no he di'int. The Bush Administration just called Chavez a drug-dealing terrorist narco-communist. And then a spokesman for Miraflores was all like bitch, please.


September 14, 2008

Fun With Cognitive Dissonance

CWDummiesSmall.jpgYou know what's fun? Trying to explain to some street kid in a foreign land exactly why half of all Americans think that Iraq blew up the World Trade Center. He'll say something like, "Look, I dropped out of school in the second grade and huff nitrous oxide daily, so how is it that I know more about this than your crazy snowbilly vice presidential candidate?" And then you just shrug because what can you say?

Anyhow this weekend the generally accepted storyline in Washington is that Bolivia and Venezuela booted their US ambassadors, not for backing violent secessionists, but rather as a cynical ploy to distract the dumb rubes from all the problems or something. Adam Isacson offers a nice summary of the weird conspiracy theory "conventional wisdom" :

"Don't believe for a moment that either expulsion had anything to do with an imminent danger of aggression from a waning U.S. administration already in way over its head in the Middle East and with Russia. What we have here are two leaders badly in need of an external threat to rally their domestic bases at a volatile political moment."
Right, of course. It had nothing to do with US aggression. That makes tons of sense, considering:

  • The US ambassador to Bolivia denied he was even meeting with separatist leaders at all until camera crews caught him sneaking around with them in the middle of the night.
  • Nobody knew that US Special Forces were even operating in Bolivia until one of them got arrested waving a gun around a Santa Cruz whorehouse, then the embassy claimed diplomatic immunity and sprung him from jail before the questioning began.
  • The Venezuelan government has released recorded phone conversations from "current and former military leaders" discussing a plot.
  • Evo Morales just beat a recall referendum with a rocking 68% of the vote, so this would be an effort to distract the country from...his own popularity?
  • Everything happening in Santa Cruz today is a poor man's carbon copy of everything that happened in Caracas six years ago, when Chavez was the one being taken out in US-backed coup.
  • This is all happening on the 35th anniversary of another US-backed Latin American coup you may have heard of.

So to recap, Chavez and Morales conspired with their own opposition media to make it look like US officials were engaging in hilarious, embarrassing activities involving insurrection and prostitution in order to have an excuse to bolster their already ridiculously high approval ratings, because really, that theory makes the most sense. Now let's see how many times it gets repeated in the next few days--you may even need to use your toes for all the counting.

Update 1: Oh, and if that Isacson quote sounds familiar, it's because you already read it in yesterday's New York Times. Simon Romero lifted it from Isacson's blog and made it look like it came from an interview. Lazy, lazy little Simon Romero.

Peter Camejo 1939-2008

Camejo.jpgGreen Party legend Peter Camejo died yesterday. He was a loud, hell-raising Venezuelan socialist before like everybody was. In 1968 "then-governor Ronald Reagan put him on his list of the 10 most dangerous people in California because he was 'present at all anti-war demonstrations.'" Jesus, Reagan was a creep. R.I.P., Peter.


Andres Oppenheimer Just Makes Shit Up

opie.jpgSo you'll remember that on Friday, September 12th, the US Treasury Department claimed, without any...what's the word, evidence?... that Venezuelan officials had ties to the FARC or whatever. It happened exactly one day after Venezuela expelled its US ambassador, and even the crazy Washington Times notes that the announcement came "in retaliation for Mr. Chavez's decision."

But did you know that the opposite is also true, and Venezuela gave the ambassador the boot in reaction to the Treasury Department? Wait, how is this even possible, given the space-time continuum? Oh right it's not. It's just dumbass Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenheimer changing the date of the Treasury announcement to "Sept. 9" to make a point, because he is a Narcissist-retardist hack, and the Herald doesn't bother with the fact-checking.

September 15, 2008

Keeping Up With The Bolivian Awfulness

pandomassacre.jpgThis weekend at least two dozen people were killed in Bolivia as the right wing political parties, aligned with white separatist "civic groups" and, apparently, the US State Department, sought violent "autonomy" from the first indigenous president in the country's history. Today, leaders of every South American country will meet in Chile to demand an end to the crisis. Significantly, the forum is hosted by the Union of South American Nations rather than, say, the OAS, because nobody wanted the Bush Administration down there messing everything up. You can keep up with all the hope and horror:

  • Machetera continues to translate the Bolivian accounts for an English-language audience.

Venezuela: Crown Jewel of the Adriatic

God bless The Latin Americanist for digging up this hee-larious Venezuela-themed episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000. We are reposting it here to cheer up everybody who lost their home and retirement income today. Let's share a laugh together today, shall we? Lord knows tomorrow we'll be fighting over the last can of beets down at the hobo village.

Oh, right: Here's part 2 and part 3.

September 16, 2008

Doh! CNN Reporters Mix Up Every Key Player in Bolivia Story

NobodysPerfect.jpg So this is scary as hell. Don't miss CNN's explanation of the violence in Bolivia:

"Opposition leaders say they will not negotiate if there are any more deaths. Vice President Alvaro Garcia said the government will not negotiate about the dead citizens but will rigorously pursue those responsible for the killings. There are conflicting reports over who killed the 30 peasants. Opposition leaders say the peasants were ambushed by local forces. The government says the peasants were armed and initiated the firefight."
Got it? See so the killers of the peasants are on the side of the peasants, the "opposition" and the "local officials" are separate entities, and somehow the Morales administration is blaming the peasants for their own massacre. Oopsies. Crack reporters Ione Molinares and Martin Arostegui somehow managed to reverse "the government" and "the opposition" in their stupid story.

Evo Morales is an Uppity French Indian Chief

strongbow.jpg

Bolivian President Evo Morales is responsible for all the skinhead groups that keep killing his supporters, according to the Washington Post editorial board today. Apparently he's spending too much time "privileging" the poor "highland indigenous communities," and not enough time "privileging" the rich lowland whities like all the other Bolivian presidents did, so he had it coming. Then they make a funny joke by calling him "Chief Provocateur," because he is an Indian.

Our Empire In Decline

Oh right of course:

President Bush determined Tuesday that Bolivia is no longer cooperating in the war against drugs and has placed the Latin American country on a counter-narcotics blacklist.
It took a full week. We're getting rusty.

Moon Over My Hammy

moonsovermihammy.jpg

>>> Hey that psycho-murder Bolivian governor the Washington Post loves so much just got arrested.

>>> Otto wrote a cathartic letter to him and all the secessionists. "Dear scum..."

>>> Remember when the US Embassy in Bolivia got busted asking Peace Corps volunteers to spy? Well now that the ambassador has left, "volunteers will have the opportunity to close out their service or be transferred to another post."

>>> Ha ha guess who else is leaving Bolivia? Mormons! (Sorry Peru!)

>>> So this trippy moon-art thingy here sold for a quarter of a million dollars last week, mostly because it was painted by famous Venezuelan beatnik artist Hugo Chavez back when he was in jail once.

September 17, 2008

Our Man In Bogota

mariomontoya.jpgMeet General Mario Montoya. Our man in Bogota. Trusted overseer of eleventy zillion US tax dollars a year, and close personal friend with just about everybody on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Dude is Patton with a cell phone.
 
Also: Meet General Mario Montoya, the jackass now under criminal investigation for his long-standing collaboration with death squads that, according to today's Washington Post, "massacred thousands of villagers, carried out assassinations of political leaders and union members, and funded its operations through cocaine smuggling."
 
Um, ok, I know this looks bad. But seriously, if we'd've known this guy was some sort of mass murdering cocaine terrorist, we would have totally shut down that Plan Colombia deal a long time ago, right? I mean we certainly wouldn't be scrambling to reward this crazy government with a preferential trade agreement if this "massacring villagers" thingy had been public before now, right? Right?

Um, well, um...here is an extensive LA Times story from March 2007 explaining how the CIA had just "obtained new intelligence alleging that [Gen. Montoya] collaborated extensively with right-wing militias that Washington considers terrorist organizations."

Sigh. Well I suppose all this helps to explain this new report, which details how Colombian cocaleros "planted almost exactly twice as much coca as they had in 2000, the year Plan Colombia began." Sigh.

Bart Jones Book War Victory Official

HUGO!

Remember last year how we had this "book wars" meme going because there was one decent Chavez bio and one stupid one released at the same time? And how it never really went very far because the stupid book didn't sell anything? Anyway it's still not going anywhere but the good one, Hugo! by Bart Jones, Goes into paperback this week, so you can order it now for cheap. Cheaper than gas, even (Thanks, Hugo!).

BTW here are the reviews: NYT, WaPo, Times (UK), Guardian.

Capitalism Rocks, Until, Of Course, It Doesn't

BushEconomicPlan.jpgWell that didn't take long. One eensy little financial shakeup and the Bush Administration has embraced the Venezuelan economic model full-on. Today we're nationalizing banks, tomorrow we might go nuts and get health care. The real kicker is what the New York Times is calling it. Seriously, Chavez should sue.

September 18, 2008

Valijagate Trial Update VI: Enter, Antonini

Antonini&Duran.Gumball.jpgBy Revolter

The Valijate trial resumed yesterday, and we're all excited because the lead prosecution witness, a stereotypically seedy lardass Mafioso named Guido Antonini is soon expected to come out of hiding to testify. And he'll have lots of questions to answer, including:

  • Exactly why did you and the FBI set up your (former) friend and business partner on sketchy criminal charges?
  • What possessed you to sign an FBI-written letter attempting to extort Hugo Chavez for $2 million?
  • Do you realize one attracts suspicion when one walks around looking like Joe Pesci with a pituitary problem?

After postponing her decision, Judge Joan Lenard should also announce this week whether or not the prosecution will be allowed to present smear tactics evidence concerning the "Prior Bad Acts" of Franklin Duran -- allegations that he paid kickbacks for 10 years to various state and federal Venezuelan political figures. The defense argues that opening up these allegations "will turn the case into something it is absolutely not and change the entire complexion of the case," which is probably the whole point.

So anyway the suitcase trial is about to turn even more scandalous, and just as Cristina and Hugo are set to come to the US. But before we look ahead, let's take a look back at everything we missed last week while Bolivia burned. Join us for the roundup after the jump!

Continue reading "Valijagate Trial Update VI: Enter, Antonini" »

John McCain Is a Senile Idiot

zapatazapatero.jpg

Oh jeez listen to this interview with a Miami radio station, in which John McCain thinks Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is some sort of leftist Latin American leader. Ha ha, that's Zapatero, you crazy old coot, not Emiliano Zapata from 100 years ago. How old are you, anyway?

Titulares & Asininity

  • Oh lovely, the Vatican just offered political asylum to some dude "wanted by Venezuelan authorities on charges of attempted murder and lascivious acts against a female police officer."
  • Venezuela is helping Nicaraguans have round-the-clock electricity when everybody knows that Nicaragua is supposed to be a carbon-offset for the United States.
  • Bloomberg hilariously gets everything wrong in its Venezuela financial analysis.
  • Isn't it cute how Latin American nations are growing up and showing their independence like big countries?
  • Millions of US tax dollars are being funneled to Bolivian political organizations, and Americans are like "really, who are they?" and our government is like, "fuck off."

September 20, 2008

Hey Look Who I Ran Into

I took this snapshot of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and his turkey waddle as he mouthed the Colombian anthem at the National Press Club yesterday (Yes, I had to stand on my knees to get the shot!). The tiniest despot was in town in a desperate bid to get Washington to disregard this week's mind-blowing report that his top military general is in cahoots with the terrorists. Kidding! Nobody asked!

In a room filled with top DC journalists, the questions were mostly along the lines of: "President Uribe, everyone knows that you are awesome and have led your country to greatness. Are you concerned that you've set the bar too high for every other world leader, forever?" Sure, just about everyone in his cabinet (and family) are in jail for their ties to death squads, but he is an ally, and it would be rude.

But while the questions weren't going to be interesting at all, once in a while the answers were. When asked if he would change the Colombian constitution (again) to allow him to serve another term, he said: "I do not seek a third term for me. I only seek more terms for democracy." Man, like yourself much?

Asked if the Bush Administration has ever "enlisted your support to deal with your neighbors, including President Hugo Chavez," Uribe paused, winked (winked!) and said, "I can't understand the question." The audience chuckled and clapped, and he said "Presidents have the right to not understand questions sometimes." The audience laughed and clapped harder. Haha, what a creep.

September 21, 2008

Human Rights Problems In Latin America Come to An End! HRW Finally Able To Focus Attention on Weak Judiciaries, Proliferation of Public Television.

hrw.gifI guess it's no surprise that Human Rights Watch chose to make Venezuela the subject of it's longest Latin America report ever. Judging from the performance at the National Press Club last Friday, journalists just aren't that interested in nuanced, wonky topics like "death squads," "mass-graves" or "Presidents with direct ties to known terrorist groups." These days it takes a good "weakened institutions and separation of powers" story to really move the newspapers off the shelves.

So you won't find any long, boring descriptions of extrajudicial killings in the 230-page report. Or dreary accounts of cabinet officials involved in kidnapping schemes. Or another tired denunciation of military impersonation of Red Cross officials. In fact, you won't read a single account of torture, illegal wiretaps, or human trafficking in this baby. I for one say good riddance to those pre-9/11 human rights concerns.

These days, the hemisphere's most pressing human rights issues involve a weak judicial system and a president who "routinely denounces his critics." And while the report makes clear that Venezuela "enjoys a vibrant public debate in which anti-government and pro-government media are equally vocal in their criticism and defense of Chávez," it doesn't let the president off the hook for creating more publicly run TV stations, which are a top target of human rights defenders worldwide.

Speaking of that vocal public debate, did you notice that nearly 20% of the report citations come from opposition sponsored newspapers like El Universal, El Nacional and Tal Cual? It's true! Even more vibrantly, footnote number thirty cites a noted crazy person and torture fetishist. It's a proud day for Latin America indeed when Aleksander Boyd becomes a voice of human rights in the hemisphere. Kudos to everyone involved!

Titulares & Asininity

  • One good Latin America academic has some important Venezuela questions for Human Rights Watch.
  • Ninety good Latin America academics have some important Bolivia questions for the Bush Administration.

September 22, 2008

Senator Chris Dodd Gets Yelled At! By Peace Terrorists!

Ha ha, the terrorists finally got to Chris Dodd, because of his support for Colombian death squads in Mexico or something. Also, the yelly guy mentions "this fake group WOLA," which is kinda funny too. For the record, "WOLA" is a "real" group, they're just sort of wieners sometimes.

Wake Up And Smell the Sulphur, Bitches

Migueld'Escoto.jpgHey the UN General Assembly starts this week! Chavez won't be there, but don't worry, it's not going to be boring at all because this year's General Assembly President is the ex Nicaraguan foreign minister from Sandinista times!

A former Catholic priest, Miguel d'Escoto has one heck of an impressive resume, focused primarily around his advocacy on behalf of the poor and oppr--Aww shit why don't we just let Reuters explain his whole "anti-American past":

  • In 1984, he brought the US up on charges before "the International Court of Justice in the Hague for arming Contra rebels," and won! Apparently in olden times the whole world was anti-American, just like now! Also:
  • One time he "ingor[ed] a reprimand by Pope John Paul II for backing Nicaragua's left-wing Sandinista revolution, [and] ended up joining revolutionary leader Daniel Ortega's government . . . which was marked by a decade-long civil war against U.S.-backed 'Contra' rebels." See how he directly started a whole war on account of his peace-ing all over the place? Also:
  • "In the 1980s, the Sandinista government accused U.S. CIA agents of trying to murder D'Escoto by sending him a bottle of Benedictine liqueur laced with the tasteless and odorless heavy metal thallium, a favorite poison among crime writers." Get it? "Crime writers" wrote about it so its FICTION (maybe)! Also:
  • "In 2004 he told a U.S. news program former President Ronald Reagan was 'the butcher of my people' and called President George W. Bush Reagan's 'spiritual heir.'"

Anyway the guy has the tragic misfortune of being right like 140% of the time so obviously this is going to be the best UN General Assembly Meeting ever, and then he'll be die from being poisoned by crime writers, so enjoy it while it lasts.

September 23, 2008

Quote for the Day

``I nationalize strategic companies and get criticized, but when Bush does it, it's OK,'' Chavez said on weekly television program Sept. 21. ``Bush is turning socialist. How are you, comrade Bush?''

Farewell, My Party Line

China. Mythical land of singing eunuchs and crouching dragons. A people legendarily subtle, cautious, and tight lipped, just like Hugo Chavez, wocka wocka! Anyway this week Hu Jintao and the Big H decided to blow off the UN meeting in New York in favor of a little "us" time in Beijing. But what were they up to, really? That all depends on what where you get your news.

You'll be shocked to hear that Fox plays up the fear angle, explaining that Chavez is in China to "purchase military combat planes" to blow up freedom, maybe. Meanwhile CNN thinks it's all a dumb junket, that the two leaders are scheduled to discuss "justice, sports, and quality supervision and inspection." Haha what? AP believes it's just another way for Chavez to stick it to the US. And poor, naïve Reuters thinks it may have something to do with that viscous underground energy source that everybody likes so much. Crazy talk!

Bonus Feature:
Don't miss the John Birch Society's...analysis?...of the meeting, which weirdly morphs into a discussion on Global Warming, Russia, and "the deliberate transfer of U.S. know-how to socialist countries" before morphing again in the comments section to a discussion on the relative Jewishness of Sarah Palin. Recommended!

Update:
Aww it looks like the Birchers deleted the "Sarah Palin is secretly Jewish" comment thread. Apparently even they have some standards. It was fun while it lasted.

Caption Contest: Meet the New World Order!

NewWorldOrder.jpg

Hey look at this horrifying photograph, which depicts our own beloved hillbilly vice presidential candidate's thighs as they meet their very first very first head of state, a very constipated "Associate 82." Anyway we figured we'd celebrate this insanely scary glimpse of Things To Come with a hee-larious CAPTION CONTEST!!

Distract us all from reality please with your rapier sharp wit by either doodling on the picture with funny words or just e-mailing your dumb ideas to BoRevNet (at) Gmail (dot) Com. You could be a "winner"!

September 24, 2008

Somebody Please Issue A Fatwa On This Mike Baker Person

MikeBakerMustDie.jpgWoo doggies these Fox News types sure have a way with the words. In fact this endless essay thingy by "analyst" Mike Baker has roughly two million words about Latin America, and how we are "losing it" to Russia and China. What is unclear is whether the words ever come together to form actual concepts, or if it is just a never-ending string of terrible, terrible similes. Where to begin? Pack your Ritalin and join us after the jump, but I'm warning you now, it will not be pleasant at all.

Continue reading "Somebody Please Issue A Fatwa On This Mike Baker Person" »

September 25, 2008

Winning Friends & Influencing People

  • Perhaps we should be concerned that Alvaro Uribe is Sarah Palin's only foreign friend.
  • Especially now that the Colombians just got busted collaborating with terrorists (again).
  • The Bolivians remain annoyed that we keep funding their violent secessionists.
  • But what about our other ally--the Peruvian guy? Oh shit.

Poll: Who Is This Guido Antonini Goomba, Anyway?

guido.jpgSo all the cool blogs are reprinting this awesome-freaky story about morbidly obese Valijagate figure mob boss Guido Antonini, because it is just too good for words. We won't bore you with more. Just read it, people. AND THEN TAKE OUR STUPID POLL!


September 26, 2008

Best. General Assembly. Ever

BushsLastUN.jpgBy Revolter

You may have heard that the US Treasury Secretary is literally begging Congress to nationalize $700 billion worth of bad corporate debt this week. While it's no surprise that Chavez couldn't resist making a little joke about the irony of it all, surely other Latin American leaders wouldn't start piling on as US capitalism crumbles, right? At least they wouldn't dare do it in New York City, Ground Zero of the new Great Depression, right? Erm..well...Let's check out what went down, after the jump.

Continue reading "Best. General Assembly. Ever" »

Caption Contest Results: You People Slay Me

Sarah + Alvi 4-Evah
Well the caption contest has been a huge success, in the sense that we've received 18 million entries in the past few days. I've had to narrow the winners down to the ones that actually made any sense. So without further ado, find out if you lost...

Continue reading "Caption Contest Results: You People Slay Me" »

September 27, 2008

Big Galapagos Voting Preview

rafonthehalfshell.jpg

You know what would have spiced up that terrible, terrible snoozer of a debate last night? If the Obama guy showed up and was like, look you shriveled up old anger-geezer, here's what's up: from here on out Indians get total control over their traditional lands and resources, the gays get their fabulous (civil) weddings, and we become the first country on in the world to constitutionally recognize the rights of nature. We're the United States, and we can do this, so suck it.

But sadly, we're not Ecuador, where everybody is going to overwhelmingly vote for all of this and more tomorrow. And Barack Obama, you're kind of cute in a dorky way but you are no Rafael Correa, k?

Anyway, here's how the US press is describing the whole thing: Blah blah blah the new constitution will amount to "a virtual coronation" of Correa, allowing him to "firmly elbow aside what remains of a badly splintered, discredited opposition" and "embolden Mr. Correa's abrasive foreign policy." Abrasive. And worst of all, it "would bolster the government's sway over the economy," because, you know, regulating the economy is bad. Haha. Remember "banks"?

September 28, 2008

Breaking News: The WikiLeaks People Are Funny Morons

breakingnews.gif

Remember how last month WikiLeaks claimed that they had hit the mother load of hacked emails from "a top aid to president Hugo Chavez" and if you paid them cash money they'd let you look at them? And how the whole thing pretty well destroyed whatever credibility WikiLeaks once had in "transparency" circles because of the publicity stunt/extortion angle? Well, that was only the beginning of their problems.

It turns out that the target of the Email hack isn't a "top aid" after all, but rather Freddy Balzan, a former Venezuelan Ambassador to Argentina. And of the thousands of Emails they "acquired," not one is coming from, or going to, or even cc'ing, the big guy. Lucky you for not bidding.

Even more ridiculously, Thursday night WikiLeaks sent out a "courtesy" Email to all the people named in the Emails, warning them that their private information will "soon" be public, that the Emails are "passing around the "'anti-chavez' movements" and that the recipients should "take whatever precautions you need" to protect themselves because, well, those people be crazy.

Of course, just about everybody on the "courtesy" list is a Spanish speaker, and nobody at WikiLeaks speaks Spanish, so they ran their stupid courtesy message through an online translation service, with predictable results. The opening line, in Spanish, translates to:


"At some time between 2005 and July 2008, which corresponded with Mr. Freddy Balzan, a former (2005), ambassador from Venezuela to Argentina."
Clear enough for you? Perhaps it is some sort of Venezuelan prince who will gift you with 30 million dollars! The warning part reads:
"I think it shows the correspondence Balzan of the intelligence and strength of character. However, due to private data they are included, and political enemies who don't already have the material perhaps abuse of her, I ask you to review the correspondence."
Protect yourself! Of course the whole point here is that WikiLeaks are a bunch of hilarious morons. Here's the link to the Balzan Emails. You can read the full text of their courtesy note, after the jump!

Continue reading "Breaking News: The WikiLeaks People Are Funny Morons" »

Títulares & Asininity

  • Ecuadorian exit polls show a landslide victory for our beloved little hottie on the half-shell.
  • The American Scene casts its vote for Alvaro Uribe as President of the United States, because he would annex Canada or something.
  • Simon Romero notices that those creepy Bolivian separatists goose-stepping around with swastikas and whatnot might possibly be inspired by fascism.
  • Poor old Sarah Palin was hoping to meet with another Latin American leader in New York last week, but then Paraguay's Lugo was all like, "no."

September 29, 2008

Great Moments in Transparency

So a reader got one of those "courtesy" letters from Wikileaks explaining that his name and personal information were about to be made public because he had gotten a group Email once from this Freddy Balzan person. Only he'd never heard of any Freddy Balzan so he wrote them back an Email saying, "WTF?" and "Don't." And then Wikileaks Director Julian Assange wrote him back an ugly note calling him, quote, "insane." So in the interest of transparency, we're republishing the whole, funny exchange, after the jump.

PS: That's julian@wikileaks.org

Continue reading "Great Moments in Transparency" »

September 30, 2008

Valijagate Trial Update VII: Guido's Angels

Guido&Vicky.jpg

By Revolter

Remember Maria "Lorena" Telpuk? Of course you do. The Playboy pinup "Argentine customs official" is in Miami this week to testify!

The trial had already gotten 50% sexy when the defense alleged that the married Antonini had been boning Vicky Bereziuk, the smokin' hot government secretary (pictured!) who had invited him on board the flight from Caracas to Buenos Aires in the first place. And now Lorena's coming to town to dispute his story, and the ladies are already embroiled in a hilarious public catfight!

This will all get sleazier before it's over, so click here to bone up on the case history, or join after the jump, for a full frontal look ahead!

Continue reading "Valijagate Trial Update VII: Guido's Angels" »

Venezuela: Crown Jewel of the Red Sea

Lordy. John McCain would bomb his own head if it wasn't screwed on.

About September 2008

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

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 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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