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The Empire Strikes Back Archives

December 29, 2006

Voters Are So Darn Irresponsible

Blog Critics just dug up this kick-ass quote from Henry Kissinger from back in 1975, soon after the CIA helped assasiante Chilean President Salvador Allende and instated dictator Pinochet:

"I don't see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its own people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves."

Sort of puts some things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Don't Cry for Me Venezuela: Disgraced Pollster Takes Job With NYC Mayor

The world hasn’t seen the last of Doug Schoen. AP reports that the disgraced pollster is picking up some big-name clients, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

For many years, Schoen has been traveling the world setting up phony exit polls in developing nations to discredit candidates opposed by the United States. He was the tool behind the undemocratic takeovers in Serbia and the Ukraine, and was recently stopped in his tracks attempting a similar coup in Venezuela.

Here’s how it works: The U.S. pours millions of dollars into localized “social movements” who float the idea to the press and the international community that upcoming elections will be rigged. Pre-election polling conducted by Mr. Schoen shows that the current president is widely unpopular. On election day, his exit polls mysteriously portray the incumbent losing by a wide margin. When the official tallies give the opposite outcome, opposition groups hit the streets to decry the “fraud,” creating chaos and civil strife. The ensuing violence sets the stage for an armed takeover of government, and a new leader, more in step with U.S. interests, is installed.

Continue reading "Don't Cry for Me Venezuela: Disgraced Pollster Takes Job With NYC Mayor" »

January 3, 2007

What’s Our Oil Doing in Cuban Waters?

The Philadelphia Trumpet’s latest ish features an in-depth look at the latest sign of the Apocalypse: Cubans with oil. The mid-Atlantic’s go-to source of prophecy-based news laments that “Vessels hailing from” enemy nations like “China, Spain and Canada already dot the swells surrounding rigs that are busy setting up to operate in the Gulf.”

Notwithstanding that the oil deposits are “surrounding the island nation of Cuba,” the article notes that ancient prophecy establishes the oil as America’s “birthright.”

I’m sure if we just explain that nicely to the Cubans…

January 4, 2007

Condoleezza Deputizes Dr. Death Squad

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After several top choices refused to take the position, Condoleezza Rice has recruited John Negroponte to be our next Deputy Secretary of State. God help us all.

A quick rundown on Mr. Negroponte’s tenure in Central America:

> Ambassador to Honduras 1981-85, during the height of atrocities carried out by his good buddy, General Gustavo Alvarez. During this period hundreds of Hondurans were kidnapped, tortured and killed, including 30 Salvadoran nuns and churchwomen who were “savagely tortured” and thrown alive out of helicopters;

> Famously ordered his staff to remove all references to torture, disappearances and executions from its human rights reports.

> Supervised the creation of the El Aguacate air base, which was used as a training ground for Nicaraguan Contras as well as a secret detention and torture center throughout the ‘80s. In 2001, excavations at the base uncovered 185 corpses, including those of two Americans.

> As late as a 2004 Senate hearing, Negroponte denied the existence of death squads in Honduras, even though by that time Costa Rican President Oscar Arias had won a goddamn Nobel Peace Prize for his work to stop them. Just days before the Negroponte hearing, Immigration finally got around to deporting the one death squad leader who could have testified to his knowledge.

Frighteningly, but unsurprisingly, the Washington Post reports today “Even with a Democratic-controlled Senate, Negroponte should have little trouble winning confirmation.”

This must be that new era of oversight everyone voted for.

January 8, 2007

Hugo Chavez, Sean Penn Inducted into Fox News Axis of Evil

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Well it had to happen. Sean Hannity’s new teevee show includes his official enemy’s list. The inaugural inductees include Hugo Chavez, Sean Penn, Fidel Castro, Barbra Streisand, Kim Jong Il, Michael Moore, and what appears to be Martin Sheen.

Thanks to Newshounds (“We Watch Fox News So You Don’t Have To”) for the screenshot (above) and a partial transcript. I like how his graphics department Photoshopped them all into black suits! Classy touch.

UPDATE: Newshounds is saying that Enemy #7 is actually a chubby Alec Baldwin. Let's hope Hannity's storm troopers don't make the same mistake we did!

January 9, 2007

Tony Snow Feels Your Pain, Thinks You’re Stupid

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Bush frontman Tony Snow reached out to Venezuelans today. With his unique blend of false empathy and oozing condescension, Snow explained to the stupid Venezuelans how their plan to assert state control over their own telecommunications sector is misguided. You see, this type of management “has a long and inglorious history of failure around the world.” But he hasn’t totally given up on them. “We support the Venezuelan people and think this is an unhappy day for them." Thanks, Tony!

So what brought on this outpouring of solidarity from a guy who probably has other things to worry about? A proposal in the Venezuelan assembly would give the state a larger role in certain strategic sectors of the economy, including telecommunications and electricity. The proposal would roll the clock all the way back to . . .1991, when all of this was under state control to begin with. That’s the year that the US-backed Venezuelan regime sold off a bunch of the state’s assets to American firms. Today, the private Telecom firm CANTV is owned by Verizon, and Caracas’s electrical power is controlled by the Arlington-based AES corporation.

But we’re confident Tony is only looking out for the interests of Venezuelans.

January 10, 2007

He Only Nags Because He Loves You

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Joining the recent cavalcade of benevolent Venezuela-huggers like Tony Snow and the New York Times editorial board, Brand new (but real old) Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid gave some unsolicited paternal advice to the silly-goose Venezuelans yesterday. According to El Universal, he told President Chavez “not to travel so much and to pay attention to the Venezuelan economy.” And to sit up straight.

Grampa Reid needn’t have worried, though. While some Venezuelan stocks did decline yesterday, they bounced right back up again when it turned out that market fears were simply based on crappy reporting.

Remember all those rumors about illegal government confiscation of property a few hours back? Total BS, as it turns out. In fact, AP notes this evening that the upcoming moves in the telecom and electrical sectors “may not be a bad deal,” for business owners, seeing as how the government “has paid well” for other such property in the past.

That’s called “eminent domain,” for US Constitution buffs.

January 14, 2007

The Legacy Thing

As we celebrate the life & legacy of Dr. King this weekend, let’s not forget that in the 50’s and 60’s (hell, even today judging by some creepy corners of the internet), there were well documented and widespread movements within the intelligence agencies, the White House and some segments of the press to thoroughly trash his reputation. King was dismissed as a power-mad communist under the control of a foreign state, an amoral, anti-Semitic demagogue working to foster social division and accumulate personal wealth, and generally a threat to the U.S. and the world.

Thank god that sort of disinfo campaign would be impossible today…


Note: I’d originally written the above with links to each accusation, but most of those websites are severely deranged. Feel free to use Google.

January 15, 2007

The Thousand Pound Guerilla in the Room

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We could wait forever before we saw a major media outlet explore the complexities of US-Venezuelan relations. And between you and me, sometimes the alternative press can be a little less than rigorous in their own loveable way. So I guess that leaves…the energy trade rags? Believe it or not, this month’s issue of Energy Tribune runs a nice little exploration of why Chavez pushes back so hard against the House of Bush.

The conclusion? Turns out its got something to do with the fact that the Bushies “provided training and other support to groups that were involved in the coup attempt against Chávez.” Oh right, that little kidnapping and violent overthrow of the state thing. Seems obvious, but I think I can count on one hand the number of times this has been noted as a possible exacerbating influence on relations between the nations.

PS: Admittedly the cover headline and artwork are slightly Cold-War Fabulous, but still…

January 20, 2007

Feel Safer?

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This week the leaders of our vast “intelligence” apparatus testified before the House of Representatives. Among the lowlights:

> John Negroponte is “concerned” about Venezuela. Yikes. The last time Dr. Death got all worked up about a Latin American nation, they ended up digging mass graves to hide the bodies.

> New CIA director Michael Hayden announced the adoption of new technologies, which involve analyzing “a host of publicly available sources worldwide.” Apparently they’ve discovered Google. Ironically, his testimony is laid out in a document that hasn’t been scanned properly. Remember when spies used to lead the technological curve?

> In the middle of the War on Terror and War on Iraq and War on Afghanistan and War on Obesity, Negroponte still has time to worry about “individuals who are critical of free market economics.”

Focus, people!

January 21, 2007

Jeb Whips Out His Big Venezuelan Secret

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Interesting. The Post today ran a casual little aside that caught my eye. Turns out that Jeb Bush “lived in Venezuela for two years as a young bank officer.” I didn’t know that He’s always been kind of crazed in his anti-Chavez rhetoric, but I’d chalked it up to holding political office in Florida and having to represent the whack-job über-Cubans.

But it’s way seedier than that, at least if you believe everything you read on the internets. Here we go, in descending order of verifiability. I’m not saying it’s definitive, I’m saying it’s interesting. If you’ve got more, by all means, send ‘em to BoRevNet at Gmail dot Com

-According to the Financial Times, Jeb was more than a mere bank officer. He was Texas Commercial Bank’s pointman in Caracas, charged with setting up their Venezuela operation. This is where Jeb made his first, or second, fortune.

-Wikipedia says: “Bush attracted a lot of new business to the bank as a result of his effective networking in Venezuela”

-Networking with people like Venezuelan media barron Gustavo Cisneros Latin America’s richest man, and the financier of a huge chunk of the anti-Chavez crowd. Lots of ties between Cisneros and Jeb Bush’s Florida administration.

-During the first Bush presidency, Jeb secured the release of terrorist Orlando Bosch, wanted in Venezuela for blowing up a jet-plane filled with 73 Cubans, among other things.

-In 2000, the Atlanta-based ChoicePoint Company sold voting data to Jeb’s Florida administration to help him disenfranchise black people and make his brother president. A few years later, Jeb hooked the company up with his brother’s Justice Department to purchase Venezuela’s voting rolls in the leadup to the 2004 recall referendum.

-And then there’s this:

“At the same time their planes were flying back and forth from Venezuela with illegal cargo Hilliard's charter service was also, unbelievably, being utilized at virtually no cost––despite the fact that rentals for Lear jets can run as high as $1,800 an hour––by Florida Governor Jeb Bush.”

What does it mean? The mind boggles. Actually, I’ve re-read that paragraph a few times and I still don’t quite get it. But it's interesting.

January 27, 2007

Free People Throw Crap at Me

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The ever-quotable Pat Buchanan has a unique criticism of Bush’s state of the Union address. Apparently the administration’s focus on “free societies” acts against US interests. You see, “terrorists do not fear free societies, they flourish in them.”

And: “During 2006, free Latin peoples brought to power anti-American Leftists Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Evo Morales in Bolivia, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua and Rafael Correa in Ecuador, and came close to electing their comrades Ollanta Humala in Peru and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in Mexico.”

Ignoring that “terrorist” and “leftist” are lumped together, the point is that Pat Buchanan is scary, but sort of right on this one. We might want to consider leaving the world alone. Just sayin'.

January 30, 2007

Don’t Tell Anyone You Heard This From Me, But..

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You know the Cato Institute, right? That right wing think tank that hates stupid wastes of tax dollars even more than John Stossel?

Then you know it’s particularly retarded that they condescend to give an interview to the Big Government Earmark Whore “media” group Voice of America.

But hey, sometimes you have to get your message out, no? Especially if it’s on an issue vital to your upright libertarian cause. Like stirring up a big ol’ lefty CAT FIGHT!

In a VOA article today, imaginatively titled “Will Chavez Inherit Castro's Revolutionary Mantle?” Cato’s resident hispanic, Ian Vasquez, dishes us this:

"Raul Castro, it is rumored, is not that fond of Hugo Chavez, and will be very careful not to come under his thumb. He has been under the thumb of his own brother for more than 40 years. He certainly is not going to want to be under the thumb of a new upstart trying to model himself on his brother.”

Meee-ow, Biaatch! Like, cause you have inside information on the Castro administration, right?

John, On Democracy

What sort of twisted hell do we live in that John Negroponte gets to voice his opinion on the state of Latin America Democracy?

The former death squad groupie today expresses his concern that the Venezuelan President’s “behavior is threatening to democracies in the region.” Reuters notes that Dr. Doom blames Chavez’s popularity on “frustrations caused by the inability of democracy to deliver the kinds of results people expected.” His way, we’re sure, was superior.

In a crazy “I don’t recognize my country” sort of way, the Washington Post ran a heart-tugging article yesterday on Negroponte’s home life. The web version of the story even contains a sweet little photo essay. The only reference to his brutal stint in Honduras, when he ordered his subordinates to delete all references to mass-murder from human rights reports, is here, photo number 2.

Jesus wept.

January 31, 2007

Our Brand Is Crazy-Talk

One for your Netflix queue: last year's documentary Our Brand is Crisis, which details how the U.S. PR firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner was deployed to Bolivia back in 2002 to convince the public that the country would spin into chaos if they didn’t elect the Bush-backed presidential candidate. The movie gets its name from an ominous quote from a firm operative, who helpfully explains that his job was to stir up fears of impending economic disaster among the Bolivian electorate.

So naturally, they are the go-to guys for objective and nuanced analysis of Venezuela, right? The Washington Post thinks so. In an article about today’s ‘Enabling Law’ vote, intrepid reporter Juan Forero tracks down Greenberg Vice President Mark Feierstein, who explains that all evidence to the contrary, even President Chavez’s supporters are “uncomfortable” with him. The firm’s “research,” according to Feirstein, “shows that Chávez is misinterpreting his mandate.”

The Post sort of forgets to note that the firm is getting paid bucketloads of money from the Venezuelan opposition to push this idea in the press. IMHO, it’s worth a mention.

PS: Seriously, about Netflix. It's available. Queue it. The trailer is above.

Back When Dems Were Dems

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Ah the 70s. The drugs, the hedonism, the Congressional oversight.

Here’s a blast from our groovy past. Not too too long ago, there was a democratically elected left-wing government in Latin America. The comically sinister US administration at the time engaged in a years-long propaganda war to make the local and international elites believe that in reality, the country was not democratic at all. That it meant to destroy democratic institutions, to curtail press freedom, to threaten democracy-lovers everywhere. To promote this harebrained idea, your tax dollars were used to manufactured violence, pay off reporters, and set up phony NGOs.

Ok, I know what you’re thinking, but here’s the difference: Congress got pissed off about it, launched a comprehensive investigation, and exposed all the crazy inter-agency shenanigans that brought down Salvador Allende and installed that democracy hugging daisy twirler, Augusto Pinochet. Here it is, in all its glory: the Church Report. A fun/scary read that may just renew your faith in checks and balances.

So where are today’s stand-up Senate lefties on Venezuela? Well, they ain’t reserving hearing chambers, that’s for sure. Sen. Pat Leahy, a guy who wouldn’t know Maracaibo from Machu Picchu, openly frets today about leftists In Our Back Yard:

Any leader who tries to tighten his grip on power by destroying the institutions of democracy, curtailing press freedom and using his office to intimidate pro-democracy opponents is setting in motion a dangerous process with potentially ominous consequences.

Thanks, Pat. Dig deeper. Sorta makes you all sappy-nostalgic for the good old days.

Be Afraid

From the AP:

President Bush said Wednesday that he's "concerned about the Venezuelan people."

"I am concerned about the undermining of democratic institutions. And we're working to help prevent that from happening," Bush said in an interview with Fox News.

February 1, 2007

Bush, Chavez, and the Slur de Jour

Those industrious little couch potatoes over at News Hounds turn up the darndest crap. Remember yesterday when Bush went on Fox News and offered to “help” Venezuelans keep their government institutions strong (by the way: eek)?

Well during that conversation, the Decider got mixed up over the latest right wing slur campaign, and sh*t like this starting falling out his pie hole:

"And, so I am concerned about undermining of democrat institutions and we're working hard to help, you know, prevent that from happening and strengthening democrat institutions."
Honestly, sometimes I think “pendejo” is too generous a word.


[Confidential to GWB: the game goes like this--you use "democrat" as an adjective when you're referring to "big d" Democrats. That's the joke part. When you're talking about "democratic institutions" you can still go ahead and use the "ic." It's confusing, but with some practice..]

February 4, 2007

I’m At W-KRAZY in Miami

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Because the press in Miami is just too balanced, Venezuelan and Cuban ex-pats have teamed up in a radio scheme to further polarize, oops, “unify,” their community. This should make for some hee-larious listening. But one paragraph gives us pause:

Venezuelan exiles say they want to use talk radio much in the same way Cuban-Americans have for decades. Many also hope the U.S. government eventually will finance a Radio Marti-style station for their country.

Um…a couple of things here:

>> “Exile” is a real word with an actual definition, and it doesn’t mean “one who dislikes his president,” or “someone who moves to her vacation home for the shopping opportunities.”

>> Radio. Freaking. Marti. To beam anti-Chavez propaganda to the Venezuelans who voted for him. Sounds like a good use of your tax dollars. Of course it might face some competition, like from the dozens of anti-Chavez radio stations that already fill the Venezuelan airwaves.

What other crazy-ass schemes will they come up with? I just pray they broadcast online so we can listen in.

February 6, 2007

What’s the Frequency, Hugo?

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Venezuela just got a new radio station! The U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors announced yesterday that it plans to start beaming the Voice of America daily to the Bolivarian Republic.

But you know, propaganda don’t come cheap. With two wars and the largest budget deficit in U.S. history, we can’t inform everybody of our dear leader’s benevolent message. So we’re trimming a bit here and there. Who’s missing out?

>> China. Sixty-five million Cantonese speakers living in the world’s most oppressive media environment have been cut from the priority list. But they’re probably too busy working their sweatshops to listen to the radio anyway.

>> Kazakhstan & Uzbekistan. Borat and the country he loves to hate are no longer deemed VOA-worthy, despite such heavy-handed government craziness like forbidding “mentioning of St. Valentine’s day” on the airwaves.

>> Tibet. That symbol of tyrannical repression popularized by the Beastie Boys. Cut.

But we’ll always have Venezuela, where we’ll almost certainly be greeted as liberators. Of course, since the vast majority of the Venezuelan airwaves continue to be dominated by extreme anti-Chavez propaganda, we just hope the average radio listener will understand the difference, let alone how much we’re sacrificing to be there.

February 7, 2007

We Want Pre-Empt!

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We can’t get Kanye West out of our head today after listening to Condoleeza’s latest tirade in front of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The administration that brought you such hits as “Hurricane Katrina,” “Extraordinary Rendition,” and “Abu Ghraib,” gets all claws-out on Hugo Chavez:

"I do believe that the president of Venezuela is really, really destroying his own country, economically, politically."

Amazingly, she doesn’t get worked up countries that actually have crises in constitutional democracy, say, like, Belarus, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, Russia, Uganda, Burma, Cameroon, Guinea (either of ‘em), Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Transnistria (look it up), Azerbaijan, Tunisia, Sudan, Romania, East Timor, Turkmenistan, Chad, Angola, Libya, or Pakistan. And we've gotta wonder…why?

February 8, 2007

We Don’t Need Your Stinking Drug Money

Just how bad can the Bush Administration screw up the drug war? About as colossally as it can screw up anything else it touches. And that’s saying something. (Didn’t we used to have a city where the Mississippi meets the Gulf?)

So when the Bushies announced yesterday that they were cutting off 2.2 million dollars in anti-drug “aid” to Venezuela, the response from the Chavez administration was downright restrained. At least they kept a straight face.

"Venezuela is a sovereign country. [U.S. officials] can take their resources and do whatever they think they need to do," Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro told reporters Tuesday. "We will continue fighting against drug trafficking."

Nice. I probably would have thrown in something about “where the sun don’t shine.” But that’s just me.

Fun Fact #1: Since the Veno-merican anti-drug relations broke down 18 months ago, Venezuela’s government says drug arrests increased threefold.

Fun Fact #2: Over in Colombia, where the U.S. has pumped more than 4 billion dollars into supposed anti-drug efforts since 2000, cocaine production is on the rise.

Mentirosa! Condi Stirs Up Catholic Catfight

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Well, well. We weren’t the only ones who though Condoleeza’s little diatribe in front of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs was inappropriate.

Today, the always-subtle President of Venezuela’s Bishop’s Conference called her a big, fat liar. As part of her laundry list of accusations against Chavez, she’d said that U.S. officials had met with the Catholic hierarchy and learned that the Church was “under fire” in Venezuela. But Archbishop Roberto Lückert, no fan of Chavez, called her BS for what it was:


This lady was way out of line when she said such things that are not true. This is a lie.

The Bush Administration would sink so low as to lie to Congress to drum up opposition to Venezuela? We’re as surprised as you are!

Hilariously, the Monsignor made his comments on Union Radio, the very station that US officials struck a deal with earlier this week to broadcast Bush Administration propaganda to the Venezuelan masses.

February 10, 2007

Bush To Use Snappy Nicknames, Bedroom Eyes to Fool Stupid Latins

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Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Monologue is the epitome of DC-based conventional wisdom on Latin America. So it’s no surprise that he’s a big cheerleader for Bush’s lame LatAm charm offensive scheduled for next week. Shifter’s answer to just about all of Latin America’s woes is that the U.S. simply must “engage” the region. Apparently, if they only knew how pure our intentions are, they wouldn’t worry their silly little heads about our Divine role steering them toward peace, prosperity, and Protestantism.

Today, Shifter explains that the Bush Administration is finally “attempting to make up for a long stretch of neglect.” At long last! So what’s wrong with this reasoning? A few things jump to mind:

>>> After 60 years of bloody U.S. “engagement” (Guatemala ’54, Panama ’58, Cuba ’61, Panama ’64, Dominican Republic ’65, Guatemala ’66, Chile ’73, El Salvador, Nicaragua & Guatemala throughout the entire freaking 1980s, Grenada ’84, Bolivia ’87, Panama ’89, Venezuela ’02, and Haiti ‘04), the good people of Latin America might just be content with a merciful period of “neglect.” Helps you catch your breath and, you know, hold proper funerals.

>>> Considering that Washington Consensus forced-reforms of the 80s & 90s led to Latin America’s worst period of economic stagnation in history, perhaps its time to condescend to allow the region to solve it’s problems their way. They couldn’t possibly do it any worse.

>>> If yesterday’s buffet-freezing, priest-pissing, bull-in-china shop blundering stab at diplomacy is any indication, this ain’t the administration to be going anywhere near “engagement” with a justifiably torked-off region.

Let the “dialogue” begin. I think Bush is going to get an earful.

February 11, 2007

Springtime for Pinochet

So the Baltimore Sun today publishes an Op-Ed on Venezuela written by an Australian Middle-East expert. Random.

Even more random is the tack of this dude's thesis. In comparing Hugo Chavez to Salvador Allende, Daniel Mandel trots out a number of chestnuts about the life and times of the Chilean president that have been long since debunked by our own government as cold-war-era CIA propaganda. Readers will remember that when military leaders assassinated Allende, they promptly installed the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Ah, the good old days.

Calling Allende’s democratically elected government a “Marxist dictatorship,” Mandel gets into a laundry list of 70’s-era Chilean property expropriation (“often at gunpoint”), and makes a limp comparison to Caracas’ electric company, which was bought out this week with market-value compensation (or, in Mandel’s worlds, was “taken over by stealth and political pressure”).

Insanely, Mandel laments that Venezuela’s military has been “purged” of “anyone who might oppose [Chavez].” Uh, yeah. The officers “purged” had actually planned and carried out a bloody Allende-style coup attempt against Chavez in 2002. But in a sense that’s Mandel’s point: He concludes by complaining that Venezuela’s military is not sufficiently “non-politicized”, a condition “that enabled Chile to extricate itself from Mr. Allende.”

Finally! An “alternative” perspective on Venezuela made it into the dailies. One can only look forward to what’s next, perhaps a nostalgic remembrance of Franco’s Spain, or an intimate profile of Idi Amin by those who loved him most? The mind reels.

February 16, 2007

Why Does Everybody Hate Us?

Since the US government is AWESOME at creating democracy, Congressman Tom Lantos is stoked to build on all our recent successes by requiring U.S. embassy officials everywhere to “engage robustly” with local heads of state, while at the same time financing political operatives to undermine existing governments. It’s got a catchy name, “A.D.V.A.N.C.E. Democracy,” which is sure to balance out its only foreseeable downside: that its going to piss off every freaking government on earth.

Now I’m no psychic, but I’ll bet you all a dollar that we’re going to see more of this “democracy advancing” in places like Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, than in countries that don’t actually have democracies, like say, Burma, Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan.

Read how Lantos describes this remarkably stupid bill, after the jump.

Continue reading "Why Does Everybody Hate Us?" »

February 19, 2007

A Pop Quiz

Question: Which South American president gags newspapers from reporting on corruption, jails journalists without trial, gives himself the power to rule by decree, overrides Supreme Court decisions by fiat, refers to human rights monitors as “political agitators in the service of terrorism,” and amends the Constitution to allow himself a new term?

Answer: Colombia’s Alvaro Uribe. Last week Condoleezza Rice praised Uribe’s “commitment to social, economic and judicial reform that she hoped would improve the lives of all Colombians” as the U.S. pledged an additional 3.9 billion dollars in “aid” to South America’s most repressive regime.

Just sayin'.

February 23, 2007

Sheila Jackson Lee Turns the Tables

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You have to hand it to Houston’s ass-kicking-est Congresswoman. The lady is fierce. You may have read that she let loose with at an unprecedented barrage of reason at a Caracas press conference on Wednesday. As AP reported, she called for “an immediate repairing of the relations between the United States and Venezuela,” and trashed the retarded US military sanctions against Venezuela.

All very nice, but it’s particularly awesome when you realize that the presser was held inside the US Embassy. Props lady: that takes some balls. Not reported anywhere, but available for download here, is her official statement on Venezuela, where she takes it one step further:

The lives of millions of Venezuelans are improving as historic wrongs are being righted. . . Now, for the first time, millions of Venezuelans have access to education, job training, housing, land, clean water, health care, and something maybe even more precious: dignity.

Our man in Caracas, Ambassador William Brownfield, must have been peeing in his pantalones, especially considering the background on all this:

According to sources, the whole trip was organized by the U.S. embassy in Venezuela, and was supposed to result in a carefully stage-managed smear-from-the-left against the Bolivarian government. But when the Congresswoman realized her itinerary was going to be a one-sided propagandafest, she started making phone calls and setting up meetings of her own. Sheila Jackson Lee is nobody’s dupe.

Why We Fight: The Soul of Bolivia

Holy Mac! Nine out of ten Bolivians prefer borrowing money from countries that don’t force them to live in abject squalor and destroy their culture for the privilege. They’re on to us.

February 26, 2007

Why the U.S. Is Going After Hugo Chavez

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It’s because of this.

Money quote:

"Venezuela has added an alternative source of financing without policy conditions," [Economist Mark] Weisbrot said. "This has given governments wanting to avoid IMF conditions another option, as well as increased bargaining power with international financial institutions."

This is about power.

February 28, 2007

Dude, You're a Spy. Discretion Please.

Is it just me, or are the Bush appointees getting more vaudevillian every day?

So the State Department sacked its top anti-Cuba anti-Venezuela espionage official yesterday (yes, this office exists. Officially, even). So the guy tries to save a little face to his friends by sending around a personal message explaining that he wasn't fired, exactly, it's just that the State Department was doing a little downsizing. Somebody leaks this dingdong's email to the Miami Herald, and the Department is forced to release a statement saying, "Hey dipshit, we're keeping the post. It's you we don't like."

All in all, an embarrassing morning for Stormin' Norman Bailey. Isn't semi-competent lying sort of a prerequisite for the spy biz?

March 5, 2007

An Offer He Can’t Refuse

The role of the State Department is to advance the interests of the United States throughout the world. Or the interests of multinational corporations. Sometimes we get confused.

Over the weekend, Deputy Undersecretary Tom Shannon (R-The Company) made a heartfelt plea on behalf of the long neglected oil CEOs, who toil away each day in a charitable mission to help the Venezuelans improve their little backwater.

“It's just our hope that as the Venezuelan government considers its steps, it understands these companies entered Venezuela in partnership," Shannon said. "They almost certainly hope to stay in Venezuela in partnership, but the degree to which the government of Venezuela ... can speak clearly to the companies ... is going to be very important.”

But before you get too choked up, he quickly gets all Michael Corleone on us.

“Whether President Chavez likes it or not, Venezuela is joined to the hip with the United states,” he said. Noting that if the Chavez administration sought increase oil sales to China or India, well…Shannon “suggested Venezuela would have the most to lose with such a move.”

Nice little country you got there. Sure would hate to see something happen to it.

Are the Interns Making Policy Now or What?

Well, the Americans are “engaging” Latin America, and the results are going to be even weirder than we imagined. As Bush gears up for his big Latin Love Fest this week, his administration has announced an unfathomably moronic package of goodies to placate the region’s poor, including:

* A floating cruise ship of condescension comfort, which will periodically dock in various countries so that the masses can line up for health care services. If abuelita can hold on for just three more weeks, she might be able to get that gall stone removed;

* Literacy classes for the poverty-stricken. In English. Since, you know, learning to read and write in one’s own language is a demonstrably lower priority; and

* A conference! Yes, the White House will hold a “Fertilizing Our Back Yard” conference later in ’07 to figure out how they can inoculate and insult Latin America more efficiently. (Ok, we made the title up, but still…)

March 7, 2007

Washington Post Gives Thumbs Up to Stupidest Bush Proposal Ever

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Know what’s weird? The same newspaper that derides Venezuela’s massive investment in community health clinics as a cynical vote-buying gambit is all jazzed about Bush’s differently-abled proposal to send a floating VA clinic to Latin American ports of call.

Sure! What could possibly be wrong with the plan? A few thoughts spring to mind:

>> Most Latin Americans don’t actually live in a “port,” and dragging your sickly granny cross-country or over the Andes or through guerilla-occupied territory is probably not in the best interests of her health.

>> One useful thing about a hospital is that it is presumably there when you need it. I mean, it’s bad enough when your doctor is in Barbados the day your spleen decides to rupture, but your entire freaking primary care facility? Not helpful.

>> If the U.S. oversees its scalpel barge with the same painstaking attention to hygiene and sanitation that it shows its flagship veteran’s hospital, the U.S.S. Comfort has the potential to become the Typhoid Mary of the Seven Seas.

But not to worry, just like “moon colonization,” “switchgrass biofuel,” and “Harriet Miers,” Operation Edmund Fitzgerald is destined to join the ranks of Bush proposals so embarrassingly lame that we scratch our heads over them for a week and never hear their names mentioned aloud again.

I’m Rubber, You’re Glue

In case you were wondering, the State Department’s top Latin America guy clarifies exactly why we’re suddenly stepping up funding for Latin American social programs.

"What we are attempting to do with our assistance and aid is not buy favor and create a dependence relationship which is what Chavez wants to do."

So there!

Bush Gets into the Dress Up Closet!

One of the most important things a Big World Leader like George Bush can do before he ventures out among the hostiles to is test run his identity and talking points. You can almost picture him practicing in different costumes in front of a mirror.

Monday! He’s channeling the no-doubt annoyed ghosts of George Washington and Simon Bolivar: “it is our mission to complete the revolution they began on our two continents. The millions across our hemisphere who every day suffer the degradations of poverty and hunger have a right to be impatient.”

Tuesday! He’s the consummate pull-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps political outsider. Criticizing the rise of Raul Castro, our irony deficient leader is concerned that Cuba’s leadership is determined when "somebody is somebody's brother."

Wednesday! He’s …um…a five-year-old whining: “"The American taxpayer has been very generous about providing aid in our neighborhood…And yet we don't get much credit for it."

Whichever drag persona he decides to take on, let’s remember that he’s our president and we support him no matter what!!!

For Added Fun: Press play and sing along. You can change the lyrics slightly for relevance. We recommend exchanging “she” with “he” and “woman” with “dickhead”.

March 11, 2007

"Oh Stewardess! I speak Jive": Translating US Press Coverage of Colombia

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Pardon me for sounding dramatic, but when Air Force One lands smack dab in the blood drenched post-apocalyptic nightmare world of Colombia this afternoon, I’m going to be real interested in reading how our patriotic reporters cover the whole dealio. Chances are, they may just gloss over some of the more problematic details of Bush’s only real ally in South America. So, we’ve put together a little at-a-glance English to Crazytalk translation sheet to help you figure out what’s going on beyond Thunderdome.

When they say, “President Uribe is strongly pro-U.S.A.”
They mean: “Colombia is the only country in South America that endorsed the invasion of Iraq. As always, ‘pro-U.S.’ and ‘pro-dumbass Bush Administration policy’ are interchangeable terms.”

When they say, “Colombia is a strong proponent of free markets”
They mean: “Uribe is such a believer in laissez faire market politics that all impediments to development, including labor movements, environmentalists and indigenous rights activists, are put down, permanently.”

When they say “Much US foreign aid goes to Colombia,”
They mean: “Well over half of your tax dollars earmarked for Latin America are diverted to a military campaign to kill peasant farmers, “fumigate” food crops, and exterminate those who hold leftist opinions. Lots of this money is funneled through U.S. corporations, enriching the paid mercenaries who have spiraled this country into untold violence, while doing nothing to control the levels of cocaine entering the United States/your daughter’s nose.”

When they say, “Uribe has taken a hard line against violence”
They mean: “Middle and upper class urban-living Colombians are less affected by crime than in years past. If you are poor or live in rural areas, you can’t vocally oppose the government or business interests without facing storm troopers who will kidnap, torture and kill you and your family in the name of crime prevention.”

When they say, “President Uribe’s administration has been linked to scandal recently”
They mean: “And we ain't talking blowjobs. Eight of Uribe’s Congressional allies are in jail for colluding with death squads to assassinate his enemies; his top cabinet official was forced to resign because her family participated in election rigging as well as the kidnapping and torture of an opposition leader; and the head of his secret police is imprisoned for ordering the massacre of hundreds of union organizers and college professors who challenged the status quo.”

When they say, “Colombia is considered a model democracy in the region.”
They mean: “We don’t even take ourselves seriously as journalists. Call our subscriptions department to cancel today. If we had any self-respect, we would quit our jobs and open up a smoothie bar or something.”

March 13, 2007

Don’t Think of an Elephant, Dipwad

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So Bush sat down with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren in Uruguay for a primary-school-style recitation of All the Important Things he’s learning on his trip. It’s funny/scary to watch him make a big production over tough words like “cellulosic ethanol” and “lithium ionic batteries”

But as you know, his handlers forbade him from mentioning Venezuela in public. (“Taking the high road” or some such nonsense). Of course, Bush is an idiot, and he clearly can’t get Venezuela out of his noggin. The results are cringe inducing.

When asked how he likes Uruguay, he answers, “Venezuela’s got fantastic meats,” and quickly corrects himself. Talking about energy independence, he almost lets the V word slip out, and then awkwardly changes the subject. Finally, after naming every other source of oil to the U.S., our intrepid journalist has to interrupt him and ask him if we maybe get oil from Venezuela too, which inspires a nervous laugh and a reminder that Citgo is an American company that just happens to be owned by Venezuela.

It’s totally weird, and you can watch it here.

March 19, 2007

View, Interrupted

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Time sure does fly! It’s the fourth anniversary of the Iraq War, everybody! And our dumbass president celebrated by breaking up perhaps the first and only interesting episode of The View. Just back from Venezuela, Barbara Walters was busting out some awesome souvenirs, including this kick-ass talking Hugo Chavez doll/vibrator for Rosie.

Clearly panicked, the Bushies interrupted the show with a super important national cadena explaining how we’re all a bunch of libtard terrorist huggers who need to get used to the fact that we’re still in the “beginning stages” of this mess.

Eek. Four More Years. I’m going to need a talking Hugo Chavez Quaalude dispenser.

March 21, 2007

I’m From the U.S. Government and I’m Here to Help You

Y'all remember the Washington Consensus? That amazing plan that was all the rage in the 90s where Latin America was supposed to stop investing in “education” and “health care” and "clean water" and other handouts for the lazy poor people and just sell off all their assets to U.S. corporations who would then eliminate poverty for them? Well it didn’t work, and I’m just as surprised as you are!

According to our benevolent Treasury Secretary, who is on a humble listening tour in Peru today, the wealth just didn’t trickle down, like, at all.

Oops, he says. Sorry about that entire generation, he says. But don’t worry, America will come up with another plan to save you so you don’t have to worry your greasy little heads over it, he says. And if you do, in fact, come up with an idea of your own and try and pursue it, we will use the full might of the U.S. of A. to squash you and your family like a goddamned hammer to a stinking cockroach.

Well, we’re paraphrasing. But according to Bloomberg, Henry Paulson’s latest-greatest ideas involve:


> Pressuring the Peruvians to let “investors” build their roads and infrastructure for them;

> Encouraging Guatemalans to read more poetry and less business textbooks;

> Fighting the Bank of the South and other exercises in regional self-sufficiency;

> Promoting the IMF & IDB and other U.S. controlled lending institutions; and of course,

> More listening!


Terrif! Sounds like a swell plan that’s sure to make Halliburton everyone rich!

Por Fin! Miami Cubans Find A Candidate They Can Relate To

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In a surprising turn, shellshocked slightly-off-kilter violent old dudes with a chip on their shoulder are starting to rally around… John McCain. For realsies!

Today, McCain pledged that if elected president, his first international trip would be to Canada, Mexico, and a third country called “Latin America.” Speaking in Florida before—seriously—survivors of “the ill-fated, CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion,” he promised to single-handedly destroy socialism in the region, and promote democracy, no matter who the stoopid Latinos voted for in the first place. And the Miami Cubans cheered, because they’ve been blowing up shit for this kind of democracy for a long, long time.

Rick Santorum & Family are Sad Over Terrorism

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Not too long ago, this dillweed claimed to have personally found the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Today he’s found Hezbollah training camps. In Venezuela. He also spouts off against the “This radical Islamic alliance with folks like Hugo Chavez.” He also waxes nostalgic over the Crusades.

The state of right-wing radio. Listen if you must.

March 25, 2007

Why They Fight

The major dailies have at least six full time Caracas correspondents, but you have to get your global context from a quiz in the Boston Globe:

The United States, Mexico, Canada and Western Europe have a combined total of 75.7 billion barrels of oil reserves (6.3 percent of the global total). Together, their reserves are nearly as large as Venezuela's 79 billion.

What's more, Venezuela is estimated to have reserves of perhaps as many as 270 billion barrels of so-called extra-heavy oil. While that oil must be substantially upgraded before it can be refined, if the estimates are correct Venezuela would rank ahead of Saudi Arabia in reserves and could eventually shift the global balance of power.


And Latin America Thinks We Don’t Take Them Seriously

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The next phase of the Bush charm offensive in LatAm: deploy a cabinet C-lister to take on the region’s most heinous problem: Cavity Creeps. Health & Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt announced his ambitious agenda to “strengthen our friendship” by promoting “oral health care.”

Flash your boobs at that, hot Brazilian protestor lady!

March 26, 2007

Achtung, Mothafucka! Bush & Bono Plot to Blow Up Venezuelan Babies

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I was wondering what all those White House meetings were about. Turns out that the pompous Irish plastic bracelet mogul/part time singer has been working mighty closely with the Bush Administration lately.

Activists discovered last year that Bono is connected with Pandemic Studios, creator of a hyper-violent video game set in Venezuela, where you take on the role of a paid U.S. mercenary sent in to overthrow the president and steal the oil. USA! USA!

Anyway, this one distinguishes itself from other cock-rocking commie-killing good-time toys by having realistic street scenes taken from photos and street maps. It’s like you’re really there, blowing shit up!

This whole thing wouldn’t seem nearly so creepy if it weren’t for this: according to the Boston Globe, video games are just a side project for Pandemic. They make their real money designing invasion simulation software for the Army.

At the School of the Americas.

How's that Nobel campaign lookin' now, Hewson?

Everything’s Coming Up Roses!

As the sharp-eyed, slightly horny reader who sent me the following link writes, “I want to see more tits on BoRev, but it looks like we'll have to settle for just another asshole…”

Indeed. The State Department has its own news wire! Read Nick Burns' super-optimistic take on U.S.-Latin American relations here. In the ‘80s they were just selling drugs to fund secret wars. Today I think they’re keeping some for themselves.

The "progress in Colombia" section is especially surreal.

April 1, 2007

…And All I Got Was This Lousy Photo Op

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President Bush cares about the environment or corn subsidies or something, and he proved it yesterday by driving Kris Kristofferson Brazilian President Lula da Silva all over Camp David in this golf cart, which gets 10 miles to the gallon and runs on gasoline. Symbolism!

"Symbolism" was the word of the day, as the New York Times takes pains to point out. The fact that Lula agreed to be seen in public with Bush constitutes a “show of allegiance” with the U.S. and against Hugo Chavez. Who the hell knows what Lula’s multiple trips to Venezuela symbolize. Or the fact that the Brazilian leader publicly dissed Bush three weeks ago at a press conference while the president was standing by his side.

So what about the substance of the trip? Well…As Lula grumbled to the Associated Press just before leaving, "If someone asked me, what are you taking back to Brazil, I would say, 'Nothing, I'm not taking back anything to Brazil.”

So Bush crapped out again in the hearts and minds department, but I’m sure he’ll have better luck next week with the dancing teeth.

April 5, 2007

State Department to Step Up Love and Support to Western Hemisphere

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Check it out! The Bush Administration is “helping” again. Although in Latin America, their goals seem mercifully less ambitious than in other parts of the world. So we’re not talking wiping out entire civilizations or flooding music capitols or even eliminating jury trials. Nope, it’s back to basics in the hemisphere. Mostly election rigging and shooting poor people and stuff. The fundamentals.

Anywho, they’ve wrapped up their little plans in rainbows and unicorns, and posted it on their spiffy new website. Here’s the quick run-down:

>>> While the State Department is generally happy with the “strong voter turnout” in Latin American elections last year, they weren’t as impressed with actual vote outcomes. To that end, they’ll be “helping nations conduct democratic elections” more in the year ahead.

>>> One nation is noted as an example of how a controversial election could be handled: Mexico, natch. Although Haiti is also singled out for praise.

>>> The best news in the Hemisphere comes, of course, from Colombia, where the government “succeeded in demobilizing almost all members of right-wing paramilitary groups.” By giving them cabinet appointments or something.

>>> Sure, there are still “challenges” with regard to Venezuela and Cuba. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of U.S. money on the way for “independent civil society leaders and democracy advocates.”

Ok, so maybe they will be wiping out entire civilizations.

April 9, 2007

US Medics Extract Love, Gall Stones, in Panama

For the last few years, the U.S. Government has been mystified by Venezuela’s cynical attempt to buy off the hearts and minds of its countrymen and neighbors through a calculated little scheme called “government.” To be sure, it’s a bewildering plan. Provide basic services, don’t destroy your major cities, expand your economy, and those stupid voters are putty in your hands.

But look out world. The Bushies are getting into the act. I mean, not here in the States or anything, but they’re totally going to win the hearts of Panamanians with a new humanitarian medical aid package. We’re not going to do it commie style, though, and the LA Times’ Chris Kraul in on hand to explain the differences between the scheming Venezuelan way and the patriotic American way.

>>> First of all, the motivations are totally different. While Chavez “has sent more than 50,000 Cuban doctors fanning out across barrios in several South American nations to convince rural and urban poor of the virtues of socialism,” the U.S. plan is simply “medical diplomacy” concerned only with meeting the real needs of the long neglected Panamanian underclass.

>>> Venezuelan clinics are inefficient “permanent” structures with doctors who live, work, and fraternize with the lowlifes they serve, while the U.S. follows the patented Barnum and Bailey model. In and out, lickety split. It builds a certain mystique. As one grateful mother wistfully put it, “I hope they come again.” I’ll bet you do, Juanita! But that would be a handout, wouldn’t it? Now shut the fuck up and get back to work.

>>> While Venezuela uses old-school full-time medical professionals, the U.S. gets double the value by using a “350-strong U.S. military task force,” which allows us to help while simultaneously building up our military presence in foreign lands.

>>> While Chavez just started his little health programs a few years back, the U.S. has been doing this like forever. It’s just that the Panamanians didn’t know it. As the U.S. Ambassador noted, “In the past we haven't been as aggressive in letting Panamanians know what we're doing.”

Operating on people without them even realizing it. Now that’s U.S. efficiency!

Larry, Curly and Moles

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The Miami Herald reports that the U.S. spy desk for Venezuela and Cuba has been unmanned for several months, which is why we haven’t been reading any “Chavez is Secretly Dead” headlines. Apparently, America is the only country in the world that runs counter-intelligence against itself.

Fake News Group Wins Fake Award For Fake Excellence in Venezuela Reporting

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Remember the Sinclair Broadcasting Group? That creepy right-wing conglomerate that has way too much say over what TV shows you can watch? These were the guys that banned a Nightline program critical of the Iraq War and forced its affiliates to run a bogus documentary on John Kerry during the 2004 campaign.

Well they just won a big-time “Telly” award for a news piece “urg[ing] Navy officials to find a way to terminate the contract” with Citgo on account of Venezuela being pinko.

Never heard of a Telly award? Neither has anyone else! But a brief entry on Wikipedia notes that you could probably win one too. All you have to do is pay an entry fee. Prizes are based on no stated criteria by anonymous judges, and there can be multiple winners in every category. There’s no awards ceremony, but once you “win,” you can buy the prize of your choice. An “unframed award certificate” is only thirty bucks, while a trophy goes for One-seventy-five.

Sinclair won a total of four of these awards this year so far, even though the submission deadline doesn’t end until April 20th, so they may still win some more. Congratulations Sinclair! You really are winners. In the way that that every kid in a commune relay race is a winner.

April 10, 2007

Never Trust the Interns

Wow. Just...wow. Some American University undergrad was interning with the State Department this summer and traveled with Condi’s security detail to Uruguay in our effort “to convince them that we're cooler than Chavez.” She has published her photos on the internets, under the code name "FudgyPumpkin," along with thoughtful commentary (“free Spring Break!”). We learn:

>>> Our president required a 1,200-person entourage for the Montevideo leg alone. “It must have been terrible for the residents who couldn't get anywhere, no wonder they hate us.”

>>> Condi’s crack bomb squad just pokes things to see if they’ll explode.

>>> The prez saw some of the anti-Bush graffiti.

>>> Uruguay is cheap for gringettes. “It cost about 20 bucks for a whole night of drinking, dessert and gourmet steak.”

>>> Bush ate in a café, prompting “people screaming gently caress BUSH from their balconies.” (Yeah I didn’t get that one, either).

>>> Laura wore "a horrible pink suit."


Since the link above, like this woman’s career, will probably no longer be viable in another week, I’ve taken the liberty of republishing most of it, after the jump.

UPDATE: As we suspected, FudgyPumpkin took her posting down one hour after we posted. But BoRev's still got the goods. Click below...

UPDATE 2: Apparently "gently caress" is a nerdy euphemism for "fuck" for internet geeks who are afraid to type "fuck." So the Uruguayans were yelling "Fuck Bush" at our president. Go Uruguay!

UPDATE 3: And now the posting is back. With more. This is making my head hurt.

Continue reading "Never Trust the Interns" »

April 17, 2007

The Plot Sickens…

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Y'all remember last week’s ho scandal? I’m talking about the stringy-haired one where the jackass didn’t get fired. Well it turns out that there’s a Venezuela connection!

Stay with me here. This all goes back a few years, to the Venezuelan oil “strike,” where industry execs locked their workers out for three months, shut down production and tanked Venezuela’s economy to try to force Chavez’ resignation. When the rebel leaders all got fired, they sabotaged the industry by remotely deleting databases, erasing operating software, and changing all the company passwords so that the new guys couldn’t get things going again.

This was all able to happen only because all the entire software apparatus had been outsourced to a U.S. company, one Science Applications International Corporation. Their Venezuelan staff participated in the strike and organized the sabotage. Creepily, the company’s top execs and board members are pretty much a bunch of former U.S. intelligence officials.

Anyway, back to Wolfowitz’s gal pal. This morning, the New York Times ran a little gotcha piece explaining that this latest scandal wasn’t the first time Wolfie had picked up the phone and got a plumb job for Shaha Riza. Back in 2003, the year of the strike, this happened:


The contractor, Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC, said that it had been directed to hire Ms. Riza by the office of the under secretary for policy. The head of that office at the time was Douglas J. Feith, who reported to Mr. Wolfowitz.

Ok, so she was assigned to Iraq, not Venezuela (lucky her). But seriously, what kind of private company takes its direction straight from the Undersecretary of Defense? I mean, besides the obvious.

April 19, 2007

LA Times to US Gov: Hands Off Venezuela!

Or at least Venezuelan cocoa. In an important, timely and hard-hitting Op-Ed today, Cybele May details the feds’ latest attack on Venezuela: an attempt to redefine any old piece of brown wax as “chocolate.”

Will they stop at nothing?

The Paranoid Delusions of People Who Pay Attention

So last week our man in Caracas, William Brownfield, openly mocked the idea that the U.S. was plotting anything nefarious in the Bolivarian Republic. The present situation, apparently, is super-duper different than Chile in ’73. Or Nicaragua, for that matter. Or El Salvador, Guatemala, Bolivia, Grenada, Panama or Haiti. Chavez, it seems, is just a dipshit dictatorial dingbat demagogue for even thinking it.

I mean I was totally convinced by Brownfield’s sincerity. What red-blooded American wouldn’t be? Well, Chris Carlson is skeptical, and thinks Venezuela might actually have some legitimate cause for concern.

Carlson notes that the former head of Venezuela’s National Guard was caught this month plotting an assassination attempt against Chavez. His phone conversations were recorded and broadcast all over the Venezuelan media. It also turns out that this dude is a longtime CIA “asset.” He’s been on 60 Minutes and everything! In the 80’s he was the CIA’s “most trusted” contact in Venezuela. And in the 90s he was granted immunity for smuggling drugs into the U.S.

As unpatriotic as it sounds, I sometimes wonder if the Bush administration is not leveling with us all the time.

April 22, 2007

King of the Gongo

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Moises Naim clearly wears boxers, not briefs. There is not a pair of jockey shorts on earth spacious enough to house his county-fair prize winning balls.

Yesterday in the Washington Post, Naim railed against “gongos,” a hip word for development squares meaning “Government Operated Nongovernmental Organizations,” or groups designed to look like non-profits but actually funded by governments. Naim, who was a Venezuelan government official in the pre-Chavez days, explains that gongos are a really serious problem in the developing world, especially when they “act as a thuggish arm of repressive governments.”

Ha ha! Cute. Today Naim sits at on the board of the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S.-funded king of all gongos that brought America such memorable embarrassments as “the Iran-Contra scandal” “Manuel Noriega” and, of course, “the Venezuelan coup.” As one NED founder put it in 1991, “A lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

This is how he explains that NED is a “good” gongo:


For the sake of full disclosure, it's important to note that I serve on the NED board of directors. I, therefore, disagree that its activities are criminal, immoral or a tool of the White House.

Or, as Joe Isuzu put it, “trust me.” Balls.

April 28, 2007

Revealed! USAID Bent on World Domination/Submission

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Randy old Randall Tobias wants you to know that he got into his job. The barely-former director of the U.S. Agency for International Development stopped patronizing a high-priced D.C. call girl service a few months back in favor of a cheaper one staffed by Central American chicks.

Tobias might want to spend some quality time with his therapist unraveling just why he thought that little revelation might help his image as he is forced into an embarrassing/hilarious high-profile resignation.

To be sure, Tobias had never been shy about screwing over the developing world. The little horndog was the first US AID director to serve concurrently as a high-level State Department official. The idea was to better ensure that AID’s lending directly served White House foreign policy goals. In the last few years alone, the agency spent upwards of $25 million in Venezuela to create fake “civil society” organizations and train political leaders to bring down Hugo Chavez’s administration.

Homeboy had the empire at his fingertips, but gave it all up for some hot Nicaraguan pegging. I kind of have a new respect for the guy.

April 30, 2007

U.S. Latinos Gather in Washington to Combat Hugo Chavez, U.S. Latinos

It’s not too late to reserve your seat at this week’s Latino Coalition Small Business Economic Conference! For only $250 a ticket, you get to share the rarified air of Washington’s Four Season Hotel with such notable non-Latinos as Rudy Giuliani, White House Deputy Barry Anderson, and some VP from that quacking duck insurance company.

The topics should be super interesting and, of course, really really important to U.S. Hispanics, with agenda-topping items like fighting universal healthcare, promoting U.S. business interests abroad and, of course, a panel called “A Hugo Chavez-Controlled Latin America: the impact on the U.S.” The latter issue gets a reprise on Tuesday evening as aging botoxed V-babe Maria Conchita Alonso takes center stage to wax crazily on the need for armed struggle against Venezuela or something.

So who exactly is the Latino Coalition? It’s not like you ever see them at the immigration rallies or anything. It turns out that they prefer to work behind the scenes, putting a Latino stamp of approval on important Republican topics like privatizing social security, protecting drug companies from federal regulation, and fighting government-sponsored “free internet tax filing.” Last October they gave a proud public endorsement to the fourth horseman of the Macacalypse himself, the noose-twirling race baiting former Senator from Dixielandia, George Freaking Allen.

So come on down to Georgetown—but don’t forget your paperwork. The fun all culminates Wednesday night with a Mariachi-themed loyalty oath and a hilarious 'n spirited INS raid!

May 3, 2007

Laundering Reality

If you ever wondered how some of the crazier stories from Venezuela make it into the public consciousness, here’s one way: Your tax dollars fund the National Endowment for Democracy. They, in turn, publish a journal on international governance, commissioning “academics” in other countries to float rumors that tend to advance U.S. interests in those countries. Having been legitimized as academic "fact", the rumors are fair game for U.S. academics, journalists and pundits to report as truth.

The Oil Wars blog holds your hand through one recent, egregious Venezuelan example.

May 4, 2007

Finding North...And the Rest of Those Dillweeds

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It’s the Iran-Contra Anniversary, everyone! Can you believe it’s been twenty years since those revelations of mass murder and paper shredding shamed and titillated America? Bernardo Ruiz does such a nice job with his “where are they now” piece in the Salt Lake Tribune today that all we have to do is cut and paste. The shame continues! Enjoy!


“During his tenure as U.S. ambassador to Honduras in the early 1980s, John Negroponte was put in charge of "carrying out the covert strategy of the Reagan administration to crush the Sandinista government in Nicaragua," The New York Times reported. A 1997 CIA inspector general's report concluded that Negroponte covered up reports on human rights abuses committed by the U.S.-backed Honduran military that was linked to "death-squad activities." He was appointed ambassador to Iraq in 2004. Today, he is the U.S. State Department's deputy secretary of state.”

“Under Reagan, Otto Reich headed the Office of Public Diplomacy. "The purpose of his office was none other than to get the American people to side with war over peace, using propaganda methods determined to be 'improper,"' wrote Nobel Peace Prize winner and Costa Rican President Oscar Arias Sanchez. A U.S. government investigation concluded that Reich's office engaged in "prohibited acts of domestic propaganda," according to The New York Times. Despite this history, Reich was appointed assistant secretary of state for the Western Hemisphere in January 2002”. That’s three short months before the Venezuelan coup!
“During Iran-Contra, Elliott Abrams pleaded guilty on two counts of unlawfully withholding information, but was later pardoned by the outgoing President George H.W. Bush. At the start of this president's second term, Abrams was promoted to the role of deputy national security adviser for global democracy strategy - a role that is responsible for advancing democracy abroad.”
“Donald Rumsfeld's replacement, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, served as deputy CIA director while the illegal Iran-Contra operations were taking place. "I was trying to learn the ropes while all this was going on," Gates wrote in his memoirs. But Thomas Blanton, director of the National Security Archive, a private group that has collected hundreds of thousands of pages of documents on the scandal, calls Gates "the ultimate hear-no-evil, see-no-evil high official during Iran-Contra."
And oh yeah! Ollie North is on Fox News! Yay!

May 8, 2007

Join the Kids-Only Global Jihad for Apple Pie and Jesus!

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Hey parents! Worried about the gathering threat of global antipoverty movements and third-world democracy? Want to make your socially retarded teen part of the solution? Now it’s easy!

Real-life war criminal Oliver North knows that it can be expensive to send your kids to fancy training camps in Kabul or Karachi, so he’s brought all the magic home to the USA! This summer, he will host weeklong “Military Leadership Academies” in Jacksonville and San Diego where your little delinquents can channel their hormonal rage into an American asset!

They’ll learn the latest in improvised explosive technology, counter-insurgency warfare, and the art of circumventing the pussy “human rights” bureaucracy from the men and…um…men who pioneered the field! Space is limited so sign up now!

May 16, 2007

Lame Moments In Destabilization: Dept. of Document Fakery

Well looky here: some prankster has published a phony version of the Venezuelan legislature’s official bulletin claiming that the government plans to get eliminate private schools, private property, and “replace the Armed Forces with militias.” So this is where Jackson Diehl is getting his info!

I mean, honestly. The Office of Transition Initiatives is spending tens of millions of dollars on undisclosed “NGOs” in Venezuela, and this is the best they can do? It’s the 21st Century people! Can’t they forge realistic Rising Sun style videos of Chavez spitting on a crucifix or smacking around poor children or something? Some empire.

May 18, 2007

Because A Ridiculously Large Mustache Doesn’t Quite Compensate For A Ridiculously Small Penis…

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Have you noticed this never-ending war against a country that never had a military to speak of hasn’t completely destroyed our armed forces yet? Don’t worry! The Unrepentant NeoCon Club met last night to discuss the next steps.

The keynote speech came from cartoonishly ill-tempered “diplomat” John Bolton. It went something like this: “You’re next Iran, Burma, Syria, and Venezuela. The end.”

If I were Venezuela, I wouldn’t be exceedingly concerned. By the time they get to Syria, the whole fucking world will be blown up. We all win!

June 6, 2007

Our Empire In Decline

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I went to a Catholic grade school when I was a kid, and our principal was a half-crazy old nun who watered the plastic plants every morning and once tried to dye her hair grey but it came out purple and all the kids made fun of her behind her back. Still, she was mean and powerful enough to be imposing. So we’d sit up straight while she lectured us on the evils of heavy metal or masturbation or the Enlightenment or whatever. But the spitwads would fly as soon as she left the room.

Anyway, I was thinking about Sister Margaret when I read about Condoleezza Rice lecturing the OAS this week. She had an Important Message to deliver about democracy. Move over waterboarding, she said. Forget extraordinary rendition and phone taps and compromising covert operatives. That Watergate-era shit only used to be illegal and un-American and treasonous. These days, we now know, the real threat to Our Way of Life is not allowing big media corporations to overthrow governments or something.

Since Rice is a super-humungo proponent of open and balanced discussion, it must have killed her to have to unceremoniously storm out the door three nanoseconds after her big speech ended, unable to benefit from the precious “other side” of the discussion she cherishes so deeply.

And just like a little fifth-grade me, those precocious little Latins started going all insubordinate behind her back, refusing to pretend that the RCTV flap was a free speech issue or boot Venezuela from the human rights commission per Condi’s demands.

Blasphemously, all this took place in Panama, where just 25 years ago the country’s rebellious lefty President was excommunicated, permanent-like, from life with the help of the CIA. The kids today Just. Won’t. Learn.

June 13, 2007

Fool Me Twice. You Can’t Get Fooled Again.

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One of the stranger outcomes of six years of Bush Administrata is that nobody even goes through the motions of pretending to believe a word these people say anymore.

Yesterday, when the State Department put together its new list of the “world’s worst offenders” in human trafficking, Reuters simply reported that the list existed, and then promptly clarified:


Friendly countries with major trafficking problems such as India were not placed in the worst category, where U.S. antagonists like Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Venezuela routinely appear.
Even the Republican Congressman who wrote the law requiring the annual report is under no illusions that it’s not “being misused” for political purposes.

But hey, it’s the Bush Administration. Making shit up spectacularly is just their thing.

June 20, 2007

Why We Can’t Afford a National Health Care System, Part 3,149

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As you know, for the past forever hundreds of millions of your tax dollars have gone into funding a government radio/TV project aimed at teaching Cubans that radio and TV projects should not be run by governments. The poetically futile Radio Martí rarely reaches actual Cubans, of course, since their government jams the signals in and around most metropolitan areas. Still, it’s a fun little cold war that keeps out-of-work Miami Cubans off the streets, which is always a good thing.

But you can imagine the fun that Miami Herald reporter Pablo Bachelet must have had when he intercepted a “sensitive but unclassified” report that demonstrates exactly what happens when government agencies evaluate their own success. According to the report:

>>> Radio and TV Marti reporters are getting better every year in terms of pretending to be real journalists, except for the times that they “breach” journalistic standards by editorializing when they are supposed to be reporting, and when they broadcast all those “insufficiently sourced” rumors.

>>>Anecdotal evidence, (in the form of a no-doubt unbiased survey of Cuban refugees during their immigration hearings or something) shows that seventeen percent of new Cuban immigrants claim to have heard of the station, which is apparently up from “negligible” in years past. Although unlike past reports, this one doesn’t estimate actual numbers of viewers.

>>> Station President Pedro Roig is called “assertive” and “inspiring” and “the most effective in recent history,” except that he’s also set up a patronage system and only promotes a “chosen few” from his inner circle.

Because this is a “critical juncture in its history,” the report concludes that Congress should expand the stations’ budgets so that they can start beaming their insufficiently sourced rumors and almost-news stories to Venezuela as well. Time to start making nice with Pedro!

June 21, 2007

Bush: We Don’t Co-Op Black Culture, We Just Mock It

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The Bush Administration is banking that the popular antics of “MC Rove" and “Our Dumbass President Dancing Awkwardly to African Beats” will help middle America forget that we lost an entire black city on its watch.

This week, Operation Funky Honky expands to Latin America with the appointment of some guy named “P. Duddy” to the ambassadorship of Venezuela. White House insiders assure that while his name may sound relatively “street” by WASP-y Republican standards, we'll still see the same sort of crappy foreign policy we’ve come to expect from this administration. They further caution that in no way does this appointment signal a willingness to allow poor black Americans to vote.

June 22, 2007

Never Again! And Again And Again.

Hey kooky conspiracy theorists: you were right this time too.

The CIA’s role in botched assassinations, drug experiments on U.S. citizens, surveilling reporters, infiltrating antiwar groups, and placing thousands of bogus stories against inconvenient democracies in the mainstream papers will all be admitted next week.

Of course, this info-dump will only cover the 1950’s through the 70’s. We have to wait another generation to find out that today’s crackpots are actually the only halfway intelligent citizenry we’ve got.

June 25, 2007

At the Copa (America)

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What goes together better than athletic achievement, our whacked out gap-toothed SecState, and, uh… Manilow? Nothing, that’s what--So! (Apologies in advance to our non-inebriated readers. Everyone else, sing along at home):

Her name was Condi
She was a buzzkill
With relaxant in her hair
Sexy boots hiked up to there
She’d propagandize
And spout the blah blah
But while she tried to play aloof
Couldn’t help herself, and poof:
“Must stop the fútbol cup
With crap that I make up”
If you travel to Venezuela
Get your Ass! Blown! Up!
Ahem. Etc. etc. . .

June 27, 2007

Making Tomorrow's Jewels, Today!

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Happy Family Jewels week everyone! The CIA’s awesomely named secrets-that-everybody-already-knew info dump is all over today’s papers. Among the bungled attempts to kill off Castro and the wow-it-worked plan to assassinate the lefty Congolese prez lie the details of dozens of ridiculously far-fetched propaganda schemes published by CIA “assets” in various U.S. press outlets.

The whole point of the release was to show that while our entire foreign intelligence apparatus used to be run like a Peter Sellers movie, it’s all cleaned up now. Ha ha J/K! Actually, they’re just spreading the madcap fun throughout various agencies these days.

To celebrate, the Air Force’s own Dept. of Quackery just released a brand new psychological profile of Hugo Chavez. Its expert findings, based on watching videos or something, go like this: The Venezuelan president is clinically “pugnacious.” And “malignantly narcissistic.” And “insecure.” And will probably try to stay in office forever.

Medically speaking, of course.

June 29, 2007

Jewels for Today’s Postmodern Family

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So just how nostalgic are you for 1950’s nostalgia? Long before Peggy Sue got married and some pimply little Fonzie greased your lightning after the ironic sock hop (he called you Calvin because that was the name in your briefs!), you, my friend, were hopelessly devoted to the principles of a culture that didn’t bother chasing mice around.

Well thank god for t-x expenditures! Today, your own Voice of America gets meta-hip with the iconic sounds, feels and values of an era when we internalized our cultural heritage from Negro-phobic representations of a bygone era.

But as the 70s masters captured the innocence and fun of the age, only today’s gov-funded faux journalists can capture the attitude: Desk hunkering. One-sided. Nerd Induced. Fear.

Hugo Chavez is in Russia! And while he’s not buying any weapons, VOA asks…what if? Witness the modern day family jewels, unsullied by cubic zirconia or testicular implants. Watch the video . The voice-over is a classic.

July 1, 2007

Swallowing the Family Jewels

That bizarre U.S. military sponsored “psychological profile” of Chavez has garnered it’s first editorial. Alert level: Vague Consternation.

July 22, 2007

Breach of Protocol

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Ever since the mid-80’s, when the Reagan Administration notoriously conspired to sell off plucky cocktail waitress Goldie Hawn to the harem of a powerful emir in exchange for a military presence in his country, Americans have been justifiably cynical about the democratic underpinnings of our foreign policy apparatus. But man, these days, it’s getting downright silly.

This week the International Relations Center gives us a rundown of recent interventionist hijinx in Venezuela, and if history is any indicator, it’s all going to backfire once Tom Shannon gets his ass kicked by a motorcycle gang in a D.C.-area gay-Arab-biker-sushi bar and Hugo Chavez gains a seat in the U.S. Senate. You’ve been warned.

July 25, 2007

Let Your Fist Flag Fly

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So as you know, the United States pours tens of millions of dollars into Venezuela each year to support organizations working to bring down the president who is, of course, “democratically elected” and “working within the constitutional framework” and “popular” and all that other things that go against our way of life.

And if irony applied at all to U.S.-Venezuelan relations, it would be worth noting that in the name of “improving Venezuela’s transparency,” our government refuses to disclose exactly where this money goes. But it doesn’t. So we won’t.

One thing we do know: it’s not going toward graphic designers. You can rest easy knowing that your tax dollars aren’t being funneled to tech geeks, or for that matter any effort to disguise the finely manicured hand of the U.S. government in setting up these fake social movements.

Did we say “hand”? Make that: “fist.” As this nice little side-by-side shows, the fist-logo that has become the emblem of the Venezuelan “student movements” you may have seen on Fox News recently is the same freaking logo they used when they created the “student movements” in Belgrade in 1998, just before airstrikes took out Slobodon Milošević, in Georgia in 2000, which set the stage for the U.S.-funded “Rose Revolution,” and currently in use by Russian students opposed to Vladimir Putin.

The conclusion is obvious: The U.S. government isn’t even trying these days. It’s a logo, people! We’re talking 2 hours in Photoshop tops to come up with something halfway unique. Really. Try it! Send your creations to BoRevNet (at) Gmail (dot) com, and we’ll pass them on to the State Department for you.

August 4, 2007

Meet Your State Department

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Apparently Operation Karen Hughes didn’t go so good. Contrary to all conceivable theoretical outcomes, the deployment of a cloyingly insincere monolingual Bush-adoring Texas hausfrau to skeptical foreign lands didn’t inevitably result in the conversion of hostile locals into a respectable, cohesive Bed Bath and Beyond bourgeoisie. Oh well, at least Karen gave it a shot, and even got a passport out of the deal!

Anyway, nobody can accuse the Bush administration of not having a Plan B, right? And this time there’s no way it can go wrong because they’re going in a completely different direction. The State Department has signed on irreverent L.A.-based alternative Latin Jam Band Ozomotli to be our new international cultural ambassadors! Think about it, they barely speak English, just like foreigners. They hate the Iraq war, just like foreigners. And—here’s the part that’s brilliant—they actually despise America and everything it represents, just like foreigners! Really, there is nothing to criticize about this plan at all. Kudos, Bush administration!

BoRev Bonus: Check out this rockin’ Ozomatli musical tribute to a century of armed Latin American resistance movements against U.S. hegemony. The kids in Gaza will love the beat!

August 24, 2007

So That’s What ‘Tacit Support’ Means

John Pilger’s entire documentary about the US role in the Venezuelan coup is now available on the internets, for free, in case you were wondering how you were going to spend your Friday. The trailer is above, and the whole thing is just a click away. Call the neighbors over, make some caramel corn, and weep for your country.

And Speaking of that Coup Thing…

Robert Naiman continues to track the Congressional investigation into the IMF role in the whole dealio. They just demanded that the quasi-private-but-totally-Government-funded agency surrender all coup-related “documents and records,” so of course Cheney is going to declare them a part of the executive branch now and we’ll never learn anything.

September 11, 2007

Lick Me, Stupid Brown Kid

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Hey remember all those lead toys and art stuff from China that was going to kill off America’s youth a couple weeks ago? They’ve been approved for shipment to Venezuelan kids now instead. Who says the Bush administration is incapable of long-term strategy?

Hat Tip: Domingo.

September 15, 2007

No Really, We’ll Take the Sanctions

For the third year in a row, the U.S. State Department has named Venezuela one of the world’s two least cooperative countries in the War on Drugs, alongside Myanmar (Myanmar!). Everyone knows, of course, that like everything else the Bush Administration says these days, the designation is just more eye-rollingly politicized jive-turkery. Here’s what the Drug War Chronicle had to say about it last year:

“…the attack on Venezuela, which is neither a major drug producing country nor unusual in the region in being used as a transshipment point for Colombian cocaine, appears to have little to do with its adherence to US drug policy goals and much to do with the increasingly adversarial relationship between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the Bush administration.”
Gee, you think? It’s sort of worth noting that the U.S.-Venezuela anti-drug “cooperation” originally broke down when the DEA staff in-country turned out to be the ones trafficking the drugs in the first place.

And of course, Condoleezza will once again waive the sanctions the law requires for insubordinate nations, mostly because U.S. “aid” to Venezuela is comprised of funds earmarked for the overthrow of its government, roughly $6 million dollars for FY2007. Hooray, us!

September 17, 2007

Why They Hate Us: Greenspan Edition

As we reported yesterday, Alan Greenspan raised some eyebrows when he acknowledged that the whole Iraq war might possibly have had something to do with that petroleum they’ve got over there. (I know, what next, right? The Civil War was really about something other than competing economic models and a nuanced-if-unfortunate disagreement over the appropriate implementation of a federal system?)

Anyway, G-Span knows that such a shocking concept requires further explanation, so he’s clarified himself in a Wall Street Journal interview today. To summarize:

>>>
Saying the Iraq War was about oil was not meant as a criticism. Taking Saddam out was “very important to us,” what with us wanting the oil; and

>>> Hugo Chavez is “very much similar to” Saddam what with Venezuela having the oil and acting all independent and therefore being “very dangerous to us”; and

>>> Nothing personal. We're America.. This is what we do.

Nervous yet, Norway? Just kidding! You’re white.

Update: Yikes. It wasn't just me reading between the maniacal lines. Writing for Portfolio.com, Felix Salmon sez that G-Span was "implying that the US should attempt regime change in Venezuela."

September 19, 2007

You See, There Is This Hugo Chavez Person, and He Is Not “With Us” In The Classical Sense. Ergo He Is, By Extension, Probably, A Terrorist.

The American Security Council Foundation would like us to invade Venezuela right now please, and they are promoting their point of view with this hilarious/scary video. It’s sort of like Colin Powell’s presentation before the United Nations, only with cold war platitudes instead of faked information. Awesomely, the major argument seems to be a video clip of that George Bush fellow on how you are either with us or with the terrorists.

October 10, 2007

Maria Conchita’s Brother Manages to Be More Repulsive than Maria Conchita

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Maria’s Conchita Alonso is more than just an middle-aged Cubo-Venezuelan former starlet with a fondness for bad plastic surgery and (eek) graphic exhibitionism: she’s also the sister of a real live terrorist! Alt-weekly Miami New Times printed an odd, fawning interview with Robert Alonso today, and while it’s mercifully crotch-shot free, it’s sure to make you gag in other ways.

You see, Robert Alonso is just a sweet old romantic who likes daisies and Englebert Humperdink. And this whole having to run away from the law thing is really taking a toll on his poor old wife. And besides, the terrorism was totally everybody else’s responsibility:

“Robert dubs the plan that caused him to flee his homeland La Guarimba, and says it's nonviolent. But the last time he made his pitch for revolt — in 2004 — at least 13 people were killed and more than 100 were wounded in clashes. "If you don't follow the instructions, it's not my fault...”
Oh, and “he's working with others to form cells in Nicaragua and Cuba.” So what does his kinda almost famous sister think about all this?

“Oh please,” she says. “Terrorists are people who don't care about anybody.”

October 12, 2007

Hey Look What I Did!

Ok some crazy people made a funny/scary agit-prop video about Venezuela a few weeks back. And by “crazy people,” I mean “Connie Mack” and “Otto Reich,” so you know it’s going to be awesome. Anyway I got ahold of a copy and made some improvements to it (Pop Up Video style!) so you can sit through the whole thing without totally losing your lunch. Enjoy!

BTW: you may have heard of these guys, the American Security Council, from their terrific work in the 1950s working with Joe McCarthy to keep tabs on "the enemy within," mostly Jews and Hollywood types and such. Also, they made videos like this through the 80s about how we should sell arms to Iran to fund an illegal war in Central America or something. Anyway they totally love America more than you do, which is what makes this film extra special. You can read more about them here.

October 18, 2007

Monroe Doctrine + Global War On Terror = United States of all the Americas!

A warning to our brothers and sisters in Latin America, ‘specially to those with oil and stuff, from Admiral Jim Stavridis:

"We consider Latin America and the Caribbean as being highly likely bases for future terrorist threats to the U.S. and others."
You have until noon to turn over the deed to your countries.

October 24, 2007

Health Care on the High Seas: Special Miami Herald “God Bless America” Limited Edition Boxed Set

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As you know, when Venezuela and Cuba team up to set up long-term health clinics throughout the Americas, its all cynical petro-politics aimed at making us look bad and manipulating the poor people. When the U.S. sends a floating MASH unit on a one-shot cruise to the same region, we’re talking compassionate “health diplomacy.” And for some reason the Miami Herald will promote it in a full-on experimental multimedia extravaganza.

The Herald’s odd little venture into virtual journalism comes complete with “story,” “video,” “photos” and “extras” like you might find in real DVDs from the store that you actually wanted to watch. Only in this case the “extras” consist of seven bullet points and umm...video credits, which reminds you that this was all made on the cheap for inexplicable reasons from one of America’s crappier news outlets.

Anyway, the story part is sort of funny in that the military doctors make no bones about why they are there: they're going to surgically remove hearts and minds. They note that the countries selected were “tipped toward America’s War on Terror partners” and that the military is scrambling to get photos with Daniel Ortega for a “poster perfect” propaganda campaign. And when asked when they’ll be back for follow-up treatment, one of them is all like, “Maybe it’ll be next year. Maybe 20-30 years. Who knows?” Hey, whatever, right?

So it’s not exactly the directors cut of Knocked Up, but it’s good for a couple laughs.

Oops He Meant ‘Iran’

OMG George Bush is going to make a speech tonight announcing the invasion of CUBA!! Oh wait, don’t worry. “Analysts” say he’s just full of crap again. Bet Otto Reich doesn’t need his Viagra today, though.

November 4, 2007

Protecting Our Way of Life

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You could give Dick Cheney a blowjob and he’d still wring your neck for sport and probably burn that stupid flannel shirt you were wearing, too. Anyway Peru is about to learn this lessen the hard way. They went through all the trouble of electing a hugely unpopular rightwing jerk and we’re going to bomb them anyway, “by mistake”.

February 8, 2008

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Got Another “Idea.” Take Cover.

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Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen sent a letter to the State Department Wednesday asking them to investigate whether Venezuela’s state oil company is helping Iran build a nuclear bomb because they both have oil and sometimes work together on oil projects. Pause. Pause. Pause. Ok let’s think this through:

Leaving aside the “Hey nuclear bombs don’t run on gasoline” factor, we come to this: If the State Department agrees with her logic, they would be forced under U.S. law to ban the sale of all Venezuelan oil to the United States, roughly 10% of our total imports. Now I’m not sure if you’ve paid attention to U.S. energy policy or foreign policy or domestic policy like, ever, but major supply disruptions and super-long gas lines fall somewhere near “establishing the Islamic Caliphate of Greater Nebraska” as a political goal, so good luck with your little campaign there, sister!

Granted, this may not rank up there in the pantheon of Ros-Lehtinen’s most jaw dropping policy flubs (because really, it’s hard to top the time she sprung four terrorists from a Panamanian prison or, say, when she was filmed encouraging people to assassinate Castro and then publicly declared the tape was a fake and then admitted that it wasn’t and she was just lying about it), but it’s one more anecdote to reinforce her reputation as America’s most lovably dangerous batshit crazy lawmaker.

State Department Officials Can’t Reproduce So They’ve Got to Recruit

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So you always heard rumors that the State Department was recruiting spies among the Fullbright scholars and Peace Corps volunteers scattered around the world, and today adorable idealist John Alexander van Schaick (pictured!) blabbed all to ABC News. Stationed in Bolivia, he was asked by U.S. embassy officials to keep reports on all the Cuban and Venezuelan medical volunteers he ran into because of “the fight against terrorism” and all. And he was “appalled.” Good on you, dude!

But all this raises a number of important questions, not the least of which is what kind of fucked-up judgment does our retarded international spy network have? I mean look at this kid with his scruffy beard and his Che Vive hat for crying out loud! Somebody in your government took a look at him and was like, "There goes the next Ollie North." Hey hippie! Wanna come spy for The Man? Honestly we’re pretty fucking lucky the Bolivians have peaceful intentions or they would have conquered our ass by now.

February 26, 2008

Heck of a Job, Brownie

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At long last, Ambassador William Brownfield has issued a heartfelt apology to everyone he's wounded with his terrible, terrible words. Up until last fall Brownfield's job involved fostering international understanding between the U.S. and Venezuela, and because that went so well he was transferred to Colombia, where a mutual love for cocaine and bloodshed have united our two countries in brotherhood since the Reagan/Escobar years.

Anyway he almost screwed that up too because of his “words,” although he is not exactly saying what they were, except that they involved “drugs” and “Venezuela” and almost caused an international incident. Anyway, he’s apologizing, only with this little caveat:

"I do not apologize for the words, because these words represent the stance, the opinions, the decisions of the Government I represent, but I indeed apologize, of course, for having caused a delicate, difficult moment for my host Government.”
At any rate if you carry a U.S. passport it’s probably better if you just stay far, far away from Latin America for the time being. All I’m saying.

February 28, 2008

Quote of the Day

It's hard to imagine that Hillary is so uninformed - and has such incompetent foreign policy advisers - that she doesn't know that President Hugo Chávez and his government have won multiple elections that were characterized as free and fair by international observers. But if she knows this, then she is lying.
Robert Naiman, in the Huffington Post.

And This is Executive Authority on Drugs

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An Oxford Analytica analysis of the Bush administration’s allegations of drug running in Venezuela contains this awesome concession:

Following Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez' assumption of a high-profile role in hostage release negotiations in Colombia, there has been an escalation of critical statements from U.S. officials and media allegations of Venezuelan complicity in the drugs trade.
Now read that again and tilt your head to the left for maximum absorption. The U.S. is spotlighting the Venezuelan drug trade because Chavez has been getting positive attention for freeing hostages. So if you thought there was no political motivation behind it all, YOU MUST BE HIGH! Snap! Zing! We got a million of ‘em…

March 16, 2008

There’s Something About Condi

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Long the secret weapon of Bush era diplomacy, Condoleezza Rice charms and confounds her adversaries with a steady barrage of glib non-sequiturs and hilariously transparent fibberoonies. She is brilliant and disturbing to watch, a Kafkaesque Teri Hatcher who reminds us, ultimately, that we are all doomed.

Anyway this week our enigmatic overlady was down in South America pretending that the Bushes hadn’t just pushed the region to the brink of war. Her interview with Brazilian magazine Epoca revives the old debate: is Condi an idiot….or a sociopath? We investigate, after the jump!

Continue reading "There’s Something About Condi" »

June 4, 2008

Humiliation, Flogging, Racist Chants Pretty Much Form the Cornerstone of U.S. Democracy Efforts in Bolivia

Well Bolivia’s political scene is maturing nicely. Not only has secession fever swept certain segments of the population, but now it’s got one of those opposition student movements everybody’s talking about. Just last week the two movements joined forces to take on one of the biggest problems facing the Andean nation: brown people! IPS reports...

A mob of armed civilians from Sucre, partially made up of university students, then surrounded several dozen indigenous Morales supporters, including local authorities who had come from other regions to attend the ceremony and were unable to leave the city after the event was called off.

The terrified indigenous people, who had sought refuge in a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Sucre, were stripped of their few belongings, including money, identity documents and watches, and forced to walk seven kilometres to the House of Liberty, a symbol of the end of colonial rule in Bolivia, which was declared there on Aug. 6, 1825.

In the city’s main square in front of the building, they were forced to kneel, shirtless, and apologise for coming to Sucre. They were also made to chant insults to Morales like "Die Evo!"

They were surrounded by activists from the conservative pro-autonomy movement, who set fire to the blue, black and white MAS party flag, the multicolour flag of the Aymara people, and colourful hand-woven indigenous ponchos seized from the visiting Morales supporters, as a signal of their "victory" over the president’s grassroots support bases.

Stay classy, opposition guys! Anyway as you’ve probably guessed, these fine “civil society” organizations are backed by the good old US of A, because nobody loves freedom like a skinhead. They've got to be an early favorite to win next year's Milton Friedman prize.

Update:
We were late to the game on this posting; Abiding In Bolivia was there way first.

June 6, 2008

Brilliant L.A Times Editorial Explains Everything

Oh those bumbling, goofball Bushies and their foreign policy foibles! Today the L.A. Times helpfully details the State Department’s funniest Venezuela-related “blunders, bluster and gaffes,” which include accidentally supporting the violent overthrow of its government, conducting a never-ending psy-ops war, and launching frightening, ongoing military flyovers of the country. Amusing, right? But wait! It is not all fun and games because there is also a serious side to these comical flubs that may be hard for people like you and me to comprehend. You see Hugo Chavez is totally paranoid, and therefore he doesn’t understand that when we accidentally intervene in his country’s affairs that it’s just a big dumb misunderstanding. And also Venezuelans are idiots too, so while we can laugh at these zany mixups, they actually think we might wish to harm their democracy. Can you believe it? There’s no accounting for what gets into the heads of third-worlders! Anyway I just read the stupidest editorial ever.

June 23, 2008

Revealed! The Terrible Plot To Invade Venezuela

In a stunning three-part series, investigative reporter and graphic artist Stephan Pastis has exposed a U.S.-hatched plot to eliminate Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and take control of the world’s 4th largest oil reserves.

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Li’l Guard Duck may look harmless, but critics note that his proto-fascist tendencies have never been far from the surface. His adorably undersized WWII-era infantry helmet bears no relation to Allied headwear of the era, neither the famed British Zuckerman, with its distinctive ridge, or its Fixed-Bail American cousin. Rather, Li’l Guard Duck seems to be sporting something akin to a classic German M-38, albeit minus any Luftwaffe decals which would have been a bit obvious.

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Here Li’l Guard Duck takes advantage of a classical diversionary technique to execute his bizarre plan. After so many years of neighba-ly squabbling, nobody even remembers why Croc and Zebra were even at each other‘s throats in the first place, yet here they are in “mediation” in an office building that just happens to share a floor with the Venezuelan embassy? Please, it was so obviously a set up, one that any real journalist should have sniffed out. But we’re in the pathetic media era of Judy Miller and Simon Romero and so once again the reading public misses the real story until months later, and even then it’s only covered in the comics section.

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What the fuck is up with that duck, anyway?! He leads us to the brink of yet another brutal war and can only manage an infantile version of “shit happens”? Anyone wondering about the lasting cultural implications of the Bush Administration need look no further than the arrogance and sense of accountability in this ridiculous bird. And it’s no surprise that the only moral player in all of this is Pig, a chastened historical figure whose precious Bay has become a virtual metaphor for a dangerously inept U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis Latin America. Maybe these disclosures will finally wake America up. Ha ha that would be comical.

August 27, 2008

The Boys Are Back in Town

gergorymichel.jpgOk 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.

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 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.

September 12, 2008

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.


January 16, 2009

Our Men In Caracas

copz.jpgLast week Venezuela's three (3) big opposition leaders and one (1) big network teevee owner went on a vacation together, to sunny Puerto Rico, where they totally didn't talk politics or meet with State Department officials, which would be illegal. The whole thing was supposed to be a well-kept secret, but it's Venezuela, so on return they were ambushed by a young community teevee reporter at the airport, asking questions about U.S. funding, and they responded by calling him terrible names and threatening to punch him out, on camera. The point is our tax dollars are being spent to finance morons.

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