Brazil's Slavish Obsession With 'Democracy' Is Getting Old
Jesus, Brazil, what will it take to make you publicly recognize these fake Honduran elections presided over by a prestigious military junta? Lord knows the pretend voting process has already gotten the stamp of approval by the United States and, let's see, Israel for some reason (WTF?) so why can't you just abandon your fancy "democratic principles" and stop making Barak Obama look like a complete asshole over here, ok?
Fine, whatever. We'll just get the journalists to tell the American people that you've changed your position then, so suck it.
Basically Alvaro Uribe could ass-rape a toddler and win some State Department award for it
If all them fat lazy teevee-watching Americans weren't already so darned busy solving the problems in Afghanistan, they'd probably have more time to care about whatever it was that just happened in Hondurastan.
Now that the Honduran dictatorship is cemented *no thanks* to the US, it can extend its rotting hand into even the most boring state institutions:
The Honduran postal service has just issued commemorative coup stamps. Perfect for sending death threats or mail bombs to the members of the Coup Resistance on that little list the military is compiling.
"Preliminary results broadcast on three national television stations said Mr. Morales, 50, received about 63 percent of the vote, versus the estimated 23 percent secured by his leading rival, the former army captain Manfred Reyes Villa, and comfortably surpassing the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff election."
Poll! Who Published The Weirdest Lie About The Bolivian Elections?
It's been a full 24 hours since Evo Morales won re-election to the Bolivian presidency in a crushing landslide vote praised by the U.S. state department as "peaceful and orderly." His popularity is a challenging concept for the media, obvs, because Evo is 1) critical of the United States and 2) socialist.
How, then, to explain this anomaly to the American people, when we all clearly remember that History Ended™ in 1989? Well, lie, of course. But whose lie is weirder? Meet your candidates:
The grammatically Dadaist editorial board at Diario las Americas, who use the word "dictatorship" interchangeably with "center-left":
There is justified concern among the democratic governments in the region and those who in these countries worry seriously about the cause of freedom because of this victory of Evo Morales that entrenches a dictatorship, although it be disguised as democracy.
Or! Iran-Contra douchebag Roger Noriega, who is VERY UPSET that Evo is stirring up race hatred by being brown and president at the same time, which is undemocratic:
Four years after Bolivian President Evo Morales was elected, the poor are poorer and that country's ethnic, social, and regional divisions are as pronounced and explosive as ever. Nevertheless, Morales has exploited these weaknesses to win a second term yesterday, in elections that may be remembered as the last stand for pluralistic democracy and the rule of law in Bolivia.
Or! "Former New York Times foreign correspondent" Joel Brinkley, who just cold makes up chilling shit about the Bolivian voting process:
Bolivia will hold national elections today, and the nation's leader, Evo Morales, Chavez's most eager pupil, has rigged it so he cannot lose. Across the nation, his enforcers will accompany voters into the voting booth to make sure they make the correct choices.
There is no "all of the above option" here people, so you will have to make a decision. Better make the right choice tho, or Joel Brinkley will shoot you!
Meanwhile back in Honduras, we learn that the coup government just sort of banked on the fact that the TV networks and the newspapers and the leaders of the free world simply wouldn't bother fact checking their phony turnout numbers. Safest bet ever, turns out! Crazy-making video below:
New Honduran Gov't Moves Quickly To Stop Market Obstructionist Policies
After months of civil unrest and economic isolation, Honduras signaled its reemergence in the global marketplace this week by putting an end to at least one Zelaya-era big government regulator. Tegucigalpa's back, baby!
Colombians Hate Democracy (and Other Stories That Will Never Be Written From the 2009 Latinobarometro Survey)
Every year, the venerable old Chilean polling firm Latinobarometro publishes the world's most comprehensive survey of Latin American perceptions, with a handy country-by-country breakdown. And every year, we take a look at what the data actually says about Venezuela and then have a good laugh over whatever retarded nugget of information the U.S. press glommed onto as this year's "angle"
This time around, though, we're taking a different tack. So go ahead and read this 115-page Spanish language behemoth yourself, OR click on the clicky and we'll break down the top five four headlines you won't see in the papers this year, after the jump!
Arab With a Capitol "A" That Rhymes With "K" and that Stands for Khomeini
Arabs, Persians, they are basically the same, right (muzzies, terrorists, etc. etc)? Anyhow the Wall Street Journal has a v. important Op-Ed today about how the terrible Iranian mullahs have invaded Venezuela, using very sneaky tactics:
What do Fadi Kabboul, Aref Richany Jimenez, Radwan Sabbagh and Tarek Zaidan El Aissami Maddah have in common? The answer is that they are, respectively, executive director for planning of Venezuelan oil company PdVSA; the president of Venezuela's military-industrial complex; the president of a major state-owned mining concern; and, finally, the minister of interior. Latin Americans of Middle Eastern descent have long played prominent roles in national politics and business. But these are all fingertip positions in what gives the Iranian-Venezuelan relationship its worrying grip.
Wow, was your mind just blown? Iran is infiltrating the highest levels of the Venezuelan oil sector using...Christian immigrants from Lebanon! I don't mean to add fuel to the fire or anything, but I think I saw a Sikh cab driver in Caracas once too.
Confidential to Bret Stephens: Rule one about racial profiling is you have to get your races straight, ding dong.
Hey Remember Michael Dwyer, this sweaty, misunderstood Irish gun nut who ran off to Bolivia last year with his neo-fascist Hungarian boyfriend to free the country from its terrible electoral decisions, yet ended up tragically dead before his dream of a Croatian Homeland in the Andes could be realized?
Apparently his death remains "controversial" in some circles (Ireland), and now the Irish teevee Program "PrimeTime" has investigated, and it turns out he is pretty much the shitbag you thought he was, the end.
Colombia Confounds Press Corps With Hee-Larious Seasonal Joke!
As you know, the Colombians recently struck a deal to turn their military bases over to U.S. control. This has been "very controversial" in the region, because of "history". Things got even more controversial-y this weekend when Colombia announced it would build a brand new military base right there on the Venezuelan border. And then holy crap when Venezuela sighted what appeared to be an unmanned spy plane entering its territory, well you can imagine.
When asked about that spy plane by the media, the Uribe administration deftly lightened the mood, with a delightful holiday-themed joke:
"Colombia doesn't have that capability," said [Defense Minister Gabriel] Silva. He quipped that perhaps "Venezuelan soldiers mistook Father Christmas' sleigh for a spy plane."
Hahaha! You see how that worked? He never answered the question, but it simply didn't matter anymore because he gave the reporters a good chuckle and a "hook" with which to file their stories! And the editors were happy because haha whatever, right? Newspaper people are basically Labrador retrievers.
New Lease On Life For Functionally Illiterate LatAm Correspondent Tyler Bridges
It's a Christmas miracle, everybody! Just weeks after his tragic layoff from the McClatchy newspaper chain, Latin America reporter Tyler Bridges has a new gig with the Washington Post's online PostGlobal thingy!!
When we last left our hero, he was busy constantly misspelling difficult faraway place-names like "Venice" and "Brazil." But he has now grown as a reporter, guys, and in his PostGlobal debut he only screws up real tough names like that of Brazil's president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In all fairness, this is a very difficult and foreign-sounding name!! Anyway congratulations, Tyler!
Update--A reader corrects us: "I think you have Global Post (which really is just a collaborative effort of freelance reporters) confused with Post Global, which is the WaPo/Newsweek site. I know, I don't know how anyone could ever confuse those two. Bridges could only wish he was affiliated with something like Post Global right now, I think." So there you go.
Back in late November, when the illegal Honduran coup regime held their pretend "election" thingy, nobody bought their shit, right? The whole entire world refused to recognize the result b/c duh it was all run by a massively oppressive police state and without any international observers. At the time, only the U.S. State Department spoke out in favor of the vote. Of course normally they wouldn't endorse such a sketchy-ass plebiscite, but this one was different, see, because of the participation. Specifically:
"Turnout appears to have exceeded that of the last presidential election. This shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country."
Naturally this turnout was completely made up, based on some statement by a coup spokesman. At the time all the "alternative" new outlets (i.e. ones who check facts) noted how sketchy this all was, but the mainstream press just passed it on as fact because whatever, right?
Now, one month later, CNN reports that the voter turnout was only around 50%, "a figure much lower than the 61 percent officially estimated by the electoral tribunal on election day." Haha "much"!
So how could this have possibly happened? Basically it was all complex serious of events mainly involving "lying" and "nobody asking questions". Or as one anonymous "electoral consultant" puts it:
"They gave out those numbers without any substantive evidence...there was no substantive methodology behind their projections."
Argentina Stimulates Economy With Anti-IMF Christmas Board Game!
Shut up, ok, it's Christmas, and we've been "busy." Anyway we're coming out of hibernation because gay banking pamphlet The Financial Times published something funny yesterday! Apparently the board game Eternal Debt (tag line: "Can You Beat the IMF?") was a top Christmas seller in Argentina again this year.
The point of the game is to help your country survive by avoiding the world's largest predatory lender, only this is made difficult by the fact that the IMF is fucking everywhere, right? Sounds like fun! So just how big a seller is this hilarious game? Let's see how the FT puts it:
"Eternal Debt has remained a niche favourite among those who still blame the IMF for leading the country into a nearly $100bn default eight years ago."
In other words, everybody in the entire country has like two of these things. Eternal Debt equals Guitar Hero plus Minesweeper times Backgammon.