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November 2008 Archives

November 2, 2008

Evo Takes On the "Anti" Drug Cartels

Fuck The Haters, Evo!So yesterday Bolivia ended its cooperation agreement with US drug agents after the DEA lamely stuck Bolivia on a list of countries who "don't cooperate" with them on drugs. And if that all sounds backwards to you, Otto is going to like blow your mind, because he's just crunched the numbers and found that not only has Bolivia decreased its cocaine production under Evo Morales, but cocaine production in general tends to increase only in places where the DEA has a presence. In other words, they have a very important field office up Maria Conchita Alonso's nose, oh snap!

Oh And Speaking Of Maria Conchita...

conchitaface.jpgShe has made her official, three-zillion word presidential endorsement! I know you're dying of curiosity, so here you go: John McCain. Why? Because Maria Conchita has actually already seen "Mr. O" become president before, once in Cuba and once in Venezuela. Apparently he's so obsessed with her that he follows her around the world getting himself elected so that she can no longer get roles in Hollywood, or something. To be honest I sort of just skimmed after the part where she misspells "the United States." Anyway, here's to you, crazy lady!

November 3, 2008

And Our Collective Crush Deepens

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, on the economy:

"One of the few good things to come out of this crisis is that we don't have to put up with those yuppies of Lehman Brothers, Standard & Poor's and J.P. Morgan. When I was minister, it was unbearable to have a line of those kids asking for an appointment so that I could do their job. They'd ask you for your analysis and then present it in a report as if were their own."
Hardy harz. But should we really be wasting precious time laughing at these finance losers as we stand at the precipice of Global Economic Catastrophe? Oh wait, right. Carry on, then!

Valiajate Jury Not So Hung No More

judy.jpegSo this afternoon the Miami jury in the weird suitcase scandal came back with their inevitable guilty verdict. Weirdly, over the weekend the New York Times informed us, for the first time, that chief witness and noted sleazebag Guido Antonini has been on the payroll of the FBI all this time, and that the Venezuelan opposition would have considered an acquittal as proof that Chavez had personally "bought the jurors," so there you go.

Correction

Bootylicious!


The Ecuador post below should have been accompanied by a tasteful picture.

BoRev.Net regrets the error.


Control Alt Deceit

laptopsmall.jpgHey do you guys remember the Magic Laptop? The drama, the selective leaking, the weird media willingness to go along with whatever the right wing nutballs said about it? Fun times, fun times. Anyways this month NACLA (the academics, not the pedophiles) take us on a memorable journey to yestermonth so that you may relive the deranged magic of Magic Laptopia. Enjoy!

November 4, 2008

Maria Telpuk: Hero of the Law

telpuk1.jpgIn its Valijagate wrap-up today, the New York Times becomes the first English language newspaper to mention a fairly crucial piece of info:

"Also starring in the courtroom drama was the Argentine policewoman, María del Luján Telpuk, 27, who testified that the F.B.I. had offered her political asylum and employment in the United States if she agreed to modify her witness statement stating that Mr. Antonini Wilson was the owner of the suitcase that contained the $800,000."

Yes that would be your Federal Bureau of Investigation, bribing a witness to change her testimony, in order to prove that some other government is corrupt. Let's hear it for the rule of law, people.

Of course she refused, making this ridiculously-breasted nude pinup lady the only actor with any integrity in the whole mess. So kudos to you, Maria. No matter what weird paths your new career takes, you already skate with the stars, of justice!

Meanwhile In Actual Corruption...

The scary ass, evil kind:

montoyaresign.png

Oh, is that all?

November 6, 2008

Hopey Heals a Hemisphere

hope1.jpgHey did you hear about those elections? Whathisname won, you know, "that one." You may have read something about it. Anyway the city of Washington turned into one big crazy street party and your editor became instantly and ridiculously drunk and then hung over, which is to say we didn't post anything yesterday, because of democracy.

As it turns out, our whole entire "back yard" seems to have an opinion on this Obama character, too. It's funny to watch all the DC "think tank" ding dongs say they want the next president to "pay more attention" to the region while the region is like, "no, really just stay the fuck out of our way, thanks."

We've got a roundup of Latin American Obama reactions, after the jump. But first, let's all share a laugh at the way the New York Times introduced a comment from Venezuela:

"Even in lands whose leaders are no friends of Washington, the election outcome cut through official propaganda to touch some people."
Because, you know, "official propaganda" is the only information available in Venezuela? Because there's no...internet? Or CNN? Or hundreds of daily newspapers? And the Venezuelan government would want to keep the people from hearing about U.S. elections? Seriously, what does this mean? Moving on...

Continue reading "Hopey Heals a Hemisphere" »

Titulares & Asininity

  • In the spirit of benevolent hopiness, US officials announced they will stop paying Colombian army units to kill civilians and pretend they're bad guys.
  • Only, oops, Colombia just promoted the head of one of those units to run its entire army.
  • Hardy har, Cristina Kirchner called Valijagate dipwad Guido Antonini a "hired good-for-nothing they paid to say whatever."
  • Oh great Obama's Bolivia advisor is a massive dick. Th-th-that's not change we c-can believe in.

November 9, 2008

My Enemy, Myself

bushblow.jpgGod is the Bush Administration still here? You get so jacked up on the Hope that you almost forget, and then they go and pull crap that is so unnecessarily petty and so inadvertently self-destructive that you go oh, right, February.

So apparently Venezuela's consulate in Houston applied for permission to change buildings a few months back, but the State Department thought they'd be clever and hold off on granting official go-ahead until after the old lease had expired. So the Venezuelans went ahead and moved, and the US punished them for the technical foul by shutting down the consulate and expelling everyone who worked there. Then: "That same day, the department approved the consulate's transfer to the new location."

Haha, clever, right? Um, well, yeah, except that the whole point of the consulate is to process the paperwork of all the Venezuelans who are living in the godforsaken Houston area in the first place because they are self-described enemies of Chavez, and now they're all ridiculously angry, so way to go, ding-dongs. Fail.

November 11, 2008

That Counterpoint to Latin American Leftists

Let's see, in the past year, many thousands of Mexican civilians have been killed in the drug crossfire, and the country's over-militarized response has threatened to turn certain regions into a brutal, post-apocalyptic wasteland of kidnapping, torture and fear. So naturally today's BBC headline reads "Colombia Hails Mexico's Drug War," because really, every country should be more like Colombia.

Dear Peru: Gross, No Thanks

uglydog.jpgThis nasty creature is the national pride of Peru. It is a "hairless dog" long prized for its medicinal properties, mostly because it's a yippy, bitey, hot water bottle with legs. And now the Peruvians have offered one to the Obama girls, as a "pet." So it is up to poor Sasha and Malia to diplomatically stave off war with the Incas, because who would want this terrible dog?

George W. Bush's A#1 Top National Priority

sirbomzalot.png

Obama was at the White House yesterday for a top secret off -the-record meeting with whatshisname, the president. Their discussion was so super-sensitive that even its very topics were kept under tight wraps...for about 12 hours. In this morning's Times we learn that Barry was all "you need to back me on this massive stimulus package, fucknut." And Bush agreed on one condition: the Democrats must stop siding with human rights groups on Colombia.

Really. That was his request. It remains unclear if ignoring state sponsored violence in Colombia actually is the top priority of the outgoing administration, or if it was simply the last talking point implanted in our leader's pea brain the last time they let him out in public. Either way, jeez. Obama's chief of staff is already saying no way.

November 12, 2008

The Incredible True-Life Fairy Tale Story of Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada

princecharmless.jpgOnce upon a time, Bolivia had a very special president. Unlike other Bolivian presidents, this one did not speak Spanish, because he really was an American who grew up in Iowa. How can it be that there is a Bolivian president who does not speak Spanish? Ha ha that is a question for James Carville, for he put him there to rule on behalf of the United States.

And rule he did. This president, "Goni," to his friends ("El Gringo" to everyone else), began to divide up the country's mineral wealth and distribute among powerful US businesses. Over time this made the Bolivians very angry, and they began to march in the streets.

Day after day they marched, demanding that this foreigner-president respect their homeland. One day, Goni grew so angry at their protests that he sent his military to the streets to kill all of the demonstrators one by one. You see in Goni's mind, they were not really people at all, just Indians.

Goni was forced to flee Bolivia, his beloved "home," and return to the welcoming embrace of Chevy Chase, Maryland. He lives there still, serving as an esteemed "Member Emeritus" of the Inter-American Dialogue, because the Dialogue, like Goni himself, doesn't much care about killing Indians.

But our story doesn't end there, for now Bolivia has a new president. This president believes that Indians are real people after all. And do you know why? Because this president is an Indian himself! Imagine that. So today this Indian President sent a formal extradition request to the United States, so that Goni may be reunited with his adopted home, and brought to trial on charges of genocide. And everybody lived happily ever after, the end.

November 16, 2008

Look Who Came Crawling Back

Um, hi. I don't want to hear it. If anyone hates it when the real job gets in the way of the dumb blog, its me, ok? So, "sorry" for not posting since Wednesday. Bleh.

Again With The Venezuelans And Their Stupid Happiness

It's here again. Every year the Chilean polling firm Latinobarometro releases the latest round of public opinion polling data from 18 Latin American countries, and every year Venezuela comes out on top in all the democracy and quality of life categories, and every year the press has no idea what to do with that, so they cover some marginally relevant data point en masse, and ignore the rest. It's become a Thanksgiving tradition, like triptophan! Here's the PDF of the results if you read Spanish. If not, allow me.

Venezuelans:

  • Are more likely to support democracy than any other nationality surveyed.
  • Are the most likely to say the best way to change things is through voting.
  • Are most likely to say that democracy has decreased social inequality in their country.
  • Are least likely to say youth are politically apathetic
  • Are less worried about high prices than anybody else.
  • Are most likely to have access to the internet .
  • Are the third mostly likely to say that their countrymen are treated equally under the law, and
  • Are the fourth most likely to say their democracy functions better than the rest of Latin America

Anyway, whatever. These are the same results that they get every year. The sport of it is in guessing which weird angle the media will focus on this year. Last year it was that support for Chavez was on the decrease...outside of Venezuela. The year before that it was that Venezuelans disliked Bush (therefore maybe America hmm??) more than everybody else. The press stories are just starting to come in, so there's still plenty of time for wild speculation in the comments section.

Update: Holy crap!

November 17, 2008

Dr. Death Squad Can't Catch a Break

alvaroteeth.jpgThe Tampa Tribune is feeling sorry for poor old Alvaro Uribe today because, you know, how was he supposed to know that the US would all of the sudden have a problem with large scale, state sponsored murder, right? For years everything had been going along just fine--he'd drown an old lady in the bathtub and just cold sit back and watch the billion $$$ welfare checks roll in. But then Sir Hopes-A-Lot rolls in and completely effs with his game:

"Now comes President-elect Obama, armed with a new foreign policy agenda that includes giving human rights higher priority in international negotiations. One can almost hear the plates smashing in the Casa de Narino, Colombia's presidential palace."
Um, yeah, those would be skulls of orphans, but whatevs. Anyway Colombia might not get his trade deal now, and that's super unfair, or totally understandable or something. Who can understand the Florida newspapers?

Titulares & Asininity

  • Often-quoted Venezuelan professor Francisco Rodriguez is actually sort of a moron.
  • University of Houston history professor looks at US policy on Venezuela and is like grow up, people.
  • World's Greatest Democracy "Colombia" has started to round up human rights activists, because hey why not.
  • Also they declared a nationwide state of emergency to crack down on, uh, pyramid schemes.
  • The tragic appointment of the terrible, terrible Greg Craig results in a funny headline, at least.

November 18, 2008

Lamest. Dictatorship. Ever.

From The Times:

As Hugo Chavez prepares for regional elections next Sunday which will prove the biggest test yet for the Venezuelan President, he faces opposition from an unexpected corner - his former wife.

Department of We'd Rather Be Alone On This One, Maybe

floppyhaireddingledorf.jpgSigh. It looks like we weren't the only ones annoyed that Obama appointed Bolivia bad-guy-defender Greg Craig as White House Counsel. Today we face the full force of human rights outrage from... the Republican National Committee. Wait, what? Behold the most cynical press release in the history of the Beltway:

"Craig Represented Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sanchez-Berzain Who Was Accused Of Human Rights Abuses For Heavy Handed Tactics To Put Down Labor Riots Which Led To 67 Deaths."
There you go. Republicans as America's conscience, oy to the vey. In case this hurts your brain too much, you'll be happy to know they manage to fuck even this up. As our tipster notes, "Of course they confuse Sanchez-Berzain and Goni, apparently not realizing they're different people." Hey whatever, they're both Mexicans or something.

November 19, 2008

The Man With The Golden PR Agent

NeverSayEvoLogo.jpgLordy-lou, somebody's having a good week, and it's everybody's favorite Bolivian President, Evo Morales! Not only was his visit to the United States a crazy good time for all, what with well-received appearances on the teevee and everything, and not only did he get the top Republican (!) member of the Senate Foreign Relations committee to publicly "regret" the Bush Administration's stupid plots to destabilize his government, but Evo actually managed to time his visit to coincide with the US opening of the new James Bond film, the first James Bond film in history that actively sides against the United States and a sinister CIA plot to overthrow...the Bolivian government! Congratulations, Evo Morales! Many thousands of publicists around the world salute you.

November 21, 2008

The Land Where Money Grows On Trees, Or Coca Plants At Least

DMG.Manequin2.jpgBy Revolter

Meet David Murcia Guzman. He's the folk-hero founder of "DMG," the first and largest of the many pyramid scheme companies that have Colombia freaking the hell out recently. In 5 years, DMG grew like crazy, doubling investors' money, etc.. It created hundreds of imitators - and speculation that it was a drug-money-laundering front. Murcia insists that, unlike the greedy banks, his business just shares its profits with its mostly lower and middle class clients. Until now, the Colombian authorities had been unable to pin anything on DMG, but yesterday Panama arrested and extradited Murcia to Bogota, where he will face various money-laundering charges.

Last week, several companies collapsed and some "executives" absconded with billions of pesos. Alvaro Uribe even declared a national emergency after 2 people were killed in the resulting riots. Authorities closed DMG's branches, causing protests in favor of DMG throughout the country. Apparently Murcia has a cult-like following, and he refers to his investors as the "DMG family," like the Mansons did. DMG services 300,000-500,000 of the 2-3 million Colombians that invested in these companies. In a radio interview before his arrest, Murcia dared to talk smack directly to Uribe. "No, Mr. President, that's not the way it is and I hope that you are listening to this. Because if you are going to take arbitrary measures, then allow me to tell you that I also will do arbitrary things. And allow me to say to you that I will also turn the people against the government." Awesome.

Anyway it's all very weird and confusing, but it seems pretty obvious that Murcia didn't create his "economic revolution" without some cocaine money. Yet he also believes that he has leverage. He claimed two of Uribe's sons worked with one of DMG's businesses before backing off the allegations. His well-connected lawyer claims that among DMG clients are the police and "people in government". The DEA has also taken an interest in the case, so naturally Uribe will just extradite him to the US in the middle of the night before he starts naming names.

November 20, 2008

Titulares & Asininity

  • Once a former worldwide empire, this island-nation "England" has turned to New World powerhouse "Venezuela" to teach it how to educate children.
  • In upcoming regional elections, this popular Hugo Chavez person is hoping that his favored candidates win, because that's what dictators do, "hope."
  • The editorial board of the Washington Post is begging Barack Obama not to meet with Chavez, because who the hell knows why?
  • Evo Morales' phone has been bugged by the Bush Administration.
  • Oh here watch the white Bolivians yell terrible things at the brown Bolivians, in Washington.

November 22, 2008

Venezuelan Regional Elections Tomorrow Will Change Everything Nothing Blah

Hey look Venezuela is having regional elections tomorrow for mayors and governors and whatnot. And of course like everything else that happens every day down there, it's going to be a Major Referendum on this Hugo Chavez person, who is not running. You see a few years ago, opposition parties controlled a smattering of big regional posts, but currently they do not, because of the Iron Grip of...well, mostly because they decided to boycott the last couple of elections.

Anyway this year the opposition changed their mind and they're going to run and participate in democracy and What. Will. Happen? The English language press has a couple of thoughts on the whole dealio:

  • According to the Washington Post, the opposition may win a whopping "half dozen or more" of the country's 23 governorships, making them approximately half as powerful as the Republicans in the US.

  • Bloomberg is predicting "eight governorships," which defies the polling, but hey we'll see. Also, they report that Chavez may respond maybe by "grabbing more power for himself," possibly, or not. Journalism!
  • The Miami Herald says that by only maintaining the support of three-quarters of voters, Chavez' popularity is proven to be "weakening". Also they publish an Op-Ed piece from an honest-to-god Miami Herald "copy-editor" under the funny-freaky title "Opposition Must Seize Victory." Ok, but what are we going to do tomorrow, Brain?

So there you go. Good luck everybody! You can listen to all the results and analysis from the ground tomorrow, in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and hey why not, "French," by checking out Radio Venezuela en Vivo.

November 23, 2008

Wait Is Hugo Chavez Still President?

Venezuelans today turned out in record numbers to elect, what was it, mayors? Governors? Seriously the English language press is sending a fleet of reporters down to Venezuela to cover the crucial battle over who will better implement trash pickup in Maracaibo. Wait, no, just kidding. It's not what the locals will actually do so much as the symbolism of it all. You see, if Maracaibo falls to the opposition, it will start a chain reaction that eventually topples Chavez, maybe. Everything with US-Latin American press coverage gets back to the domino theory somehow. Blame Reagan.

Anyway the point is there are roughly forty kazillion US journalists in Venezuela today, and there is still NO NEWS about how the elections are going, which is annoying. This is because the media aren't supposed to leak exit poll results until the polls have all closed. In the meantime all we can do is sit here and gossip. Sounds good to me! What'chu got?

  • Item! Record turnout means really long lines. Election authorities have promised that everyone will get a chance to vote, which means keeping polling places later to accommodate the queues. Naturally the opposition are already calling this "fraud."
  • Item! Speaking of that Maracaibo mayoral race, if he wins opposition candidate Manuel Rosales may be the world's most blinged-out mayor ever. New reports (in Spanish, sorry!) show that he owns 7 houses, 13 businesses (including a commercial center in Orlando) and has been known to move around $31 million in a single transaction.
  • Item! One hilarious opposition blogger doesn't need no stinkin' exit polls: "18:34 'Carometro' is a local political term where we measure the expression on the face of folks to decide whether they won. The 'carometro' of Muller Roajs of the PSUV was nto [sic] very good," so there you go. Another crushing defeat for Hugo Chavez.
  • Item! Radio Venezuela en Vivo is keeping the updates coming in many languages. Right now I think it's Italian or something, but sooner or later they'll speak something you know.
  • Item! If you needed another reason to buy that Rosetta Stone Spanish thingy at the airport, consider that you could be reading election coverage from El Chiguire Bipolar instead of here.
  • Item! McClatchy breaks the exit poll embargo: "An exit poll by a pro-Chavez group - released shortly after polls closed at 4 p.m. Sunday - showed opposition parties winning only a single race. Exit polls by opposition parties showed them winning more." Which sorta explains why there is an exit poll embargo in the first place.
  • Item! Oh look The New York Times' laziest little reporter is reporting, from Caracas! Simon Romero says Chavez is being "conciliatory" by telling all Venezuelans to respect the vote, just like he always says in every election, but whatever. Romero also brings up the meme that Chavez would "roll tanks into Carabobo" if his candidate loses there. Of course what Chavez said was that the oppo candidate there had been a leader in the 2002 coup, and would probably bring a another battle against the federal government if he won. Small dif, but hey, Romero read it in AP or something, so it's "true."
  • Item! The Latin American Herald Tribune has lots of interesting tidbits and unfettered-by-pesky-laws exit poll info to crunch. Take it for what it is, but it looks like the opposition may have picked up 5 or 6 of the 22 states up for grabs today. Watch for the Washington Post to announce a Crushing Defeat™ for Chavez if it's true.

Election Results: Department of I'm Going to Bed Now

Venezuela's regional election results are coming in: it looks like that half of Caracas is now opposition, and half Chavista. Democracy! The opposition seems to have picked up some wins in the states of Miranda, Zulia, Nueva Esparta, and perhaps Tachira & Carabobo, too. That would be 5 out of 22 states. Congratulations, opposition people! You can win a couple if you participate in this voting thing, and maybe you should try it more, because you are rocking that 23%.

Your editor is heading to this Venezuela place in the morning, on a very early flight, so this is what we've got. Talk amongst yrslvs.

Update:
Reuters says "Chavez Wins 17 of 20 Venezuela State Elections." Two still too close to call.

November 26, 2008

Titulares & Asininity

The Christian Science monitor explains how Chavez´s huge electoral victory last Sunday has "emboldened" his supporters.

The Washington Post explains how Chavez´s huge electoral defeat last Sunday has "energized" his opposition.

Colombian officials refused to disclose the financers of a referendum that would allow Uribe to run for office again, so of course they turn out to be the pyramid scheme scandal people.

OMG the Russians are in South America, and making strategic military alliances with this rogue government down there, Peru.

Remember that Osama bin Laden guy? Well he is alive, healthy and, naturally, working as a cop in Bogota.

About November 2008

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

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