Chavez and Gaddafi’s Tent

December 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A headline you don’t see everyday (via the BBC):    Venezuela’s Chavez to move into Gaddafi tent

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says he is going to govern temporarily from a tent so that families made homeless by recent floods can take refuge in his office.

Mr Chavez said he would have a Bedouin tent given to him by the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi put up in the garden of the presidential palace.

Four thoughts:

1.   These rains have been causing real and serious problems in the region.

2.  This is a great example of Chávez’s penchant for political showmanship.

3.  Might not the tent actually have more space than the office?

4.  I would be more impressed if he opened up his house.




Outside the Beltway

If Only Wikileaks Would Expose Hugo Chavez: Tal Cual, Venezuala

December 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

While criticism of WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange is fierce in some quarters, people in many countries long for him or someone like him to give leaders and secret communications in their countries the ‘WikiLeaks treatment.’ One example is columnist Elizabeth Araujo of Venezuela’s Tal Cual, who wonders what skeletons would be found in the confidential closet of President Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution.

For Tal Cual, Elizabeth Araujo writes in part:

One thing is clear: diplomatic gossip, classified in official jargon as “Confidential” or “Top Secret,” isn’t the exclusive domain of the CIA or FBI, and therefore is not genuinely a gringo phenomena. However, it’s obvious that such a vast collection of information, including the biometric data of presidential candidates in Paraguay, reports on the sexual libido of [Italy Prime Minister] Berlusconi or speculation on which Latin American leaders are crazier than Mrs. Christina Kirchner [Argentine president] constitute a planet-wide scandal that will even further constrain Mr. Obama’s freedom to maneuver - already greatly diminished after the recent legislative elections.

But what if Wikileaks had access to the secrets of the Chavez revolution, and raided, for example, files on the spending of the so-called ’secret presidential fund,’ the archives of the Attorney general, offices of the comptroller or records of the phone calls of our Comandante-Presidente to Havana during moments of electoral crisis?

Who isn’t curious to know, for instance, what WikiLeaks might uncover in the communications between senior Cuban officials and the Castro brothers, and what they really think of a revolution in which its former leaders, who used to live in Catia, have moved to walled residences at the opposite end of town. What do they think of the weekly spending on clothing, eyeglasses and women’s hairdressing by National Assembly Speaker Cilia Flores, National Electoral Council President Tibisay Lucena, and Supreme Court President Luisa Estela Morales, while the local councils in the district of Petare must hold vigils at the gates of the ministry to “cut their funding” so they can repair their sewers before the rain gets worse?

For continuing global coverage of the WikiLeaks disclosures, READ ON AT WORLDMEETS.US, your most trusted translator and aggregator of foreign news and views about our nation.


The Moderate Voice

Great news: Chavez got 1,800 ant-aircraft missiles from Russia last year

December 13, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Thanks, Vlad. Your gift will probably end up in the hands of Mexican drug gangs.
American Thinker Blog

Wikileaks cable: Insult to Chavez lands flight crew in hot water

December 11, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Better watch what you say in “crazy Chavez” country.
American Thinker Blog

Hugo Chavez blames ‘criminal capitalism’ for masive floods in Venezuela

December 6, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

You can tell how much trouble Uncle Hugo is in by how loud he yells at the United States.
American Thinker Blog

Chavez Channels Chomsky….Again

December 4, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

In a recent speech,  reported by Cuba’s Granma on November 26,  Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez brings a reading list for his fellow revolutionaries to read in order to more fully understand America and the task of world revolution.  An excerpt:

I brought some books [...] This was the same copy, it’s already a bit worn, that I lifted up there in the United Nations: Chomsky: Hegemony or Survival: the Imperialist Strategy of the United States – I am still recommending this book, Noam Chomsky. Eva mentioned it and reminded us of this great man of political thought, of creative thought, of philosophy, of the struggle for humanity.

“I have here the continuation of it, Failed States: the Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy. Here, right here, Chomsky poses the thesis that the first failed state in this world is the U.S. state, a failed state, a real threat to the entire planet, to the entire world, to the human species.”

“Here, there is one part of the interview, of the conversations, where Chomsky is reflecting on Latin America and on Venezuela, in a very valiant, very objective and generous manner, defending our revolutionary process, defending our people, defending the right that we have and are exercising to make our own way, as all the peoples of the world have, and the yankee empire has not recognized that right and is attempting to disregard it.

Big Peace

Chavez on Wikileaks: Hillary Clinton “thinks she is superior to the black guy,” should resign

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is loving WikiLeaks

‘Somebody should resign … I’m not saying
(President Barack) Obama, but they should do it out of shame … It is
their empire left naked. You should resign, Mrs Clinton, it’s the least
you can do,’ Chavez said late Monday.

He said he had read in the media about WikiLeaks documents that mentioned Washington’s effort to isolate the Venezuelan government within Latin America.

‘This shows up the efforts of the United States to isolate this
revolutionary soldier, but they will not manage it,’ he told Venezuelan
television.

The documents showed how the United States ‘disrespects even its allies,’ he said. ‘This was signed by Clinton. Mrs Clinton thinks she is superior to
Obama. Since she is white, she thinks she is superior to the black
guy,’ Chavez noted.

Chavez’s political allies in Ecuador went even farther today, offering residence to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and praising his work.

Beyond reveling in the embarassment of the U.S. State Department, Chavez and friends actually don’t have very much to celebrate in the cables. If anything, a leaked description of a conversation between Assistant Secretary of State Philip Gordon and senior French diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte only reinforces Chavez’s increasing isolation:

Levitte observed that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is "crazy" and
said that even Brazil wasn’t able to support him anymore.
Unfortunately, Chavez is taking one of the richest countries in Latin
America and turning it into another Zimbabwe.

Perhaps importantly, a dispatch from the U.S. embassy in Tegucigalpa from last June undercuts the widely-held belief within the Latin American left that the United States organized the ouster of Honduran President Manuel Zelaya. Bolivian President Evo Morales repeated this charge only last week at a speech attened by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates. But in the cable, written just days after the coup, the embassy is adamant that Zelay’s ouster was illegal: 

The Embassy perspective is that there is no doubt that the military, Supreme Court and National Congress conspired on June 28 in what constituted an illegal and
unconstitutional coup against the Executive Branch, while accepting that there may be a prima facie case that Zelaya may have committed illegalities and may have even violated the constitution. There is equally no doubt from our perspective that Roberto Micheletti’s assumption of power was illegitimate. Nevertheless, it is also evident that the constitution itself may be deficient in terms of providing clear procedures for dealing with alleged illegal acts by the President and resolving conflicts between the branches of government.

The cable goes on to refute the argument, later advanced by members of the U.S. Congress,  that Zelaya’s overthrow was consistent with the Honduran constition. True, the writer also suggests that the constitution may not have provided legal recourse for removing the president, but this is definitely not the smoking gun that Chavez was likely hoping for. 

If any Latin American leader has a right to be upset at Clinton today, it’s Argentinian President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner. A request for information from Clinton in December last year, reveals that the secretary had doubts about Kirchner’s decision-making style and even her mental health: 

HOW IS CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER MANAGING HER NERVES AND ANXIETY? HOW DOES STRESS AFFECT HER BEHAVIOR TOWARD ADVISORS AND/OR HER DECISIONMAKING? WHAT STEPS DOES CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER OR HER ADVISERS/HANDLERS, TAKE IN HELPING HER DEAL WITH STRESS? IS SHE TAKING ANY MEDICATIONS? UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES IS SHE BEST ABLE TO HANDLE STRESSES? HOW DO CRISTINA FERNANDEZ DE KIRCHNER,S EMOTIONS AFFECT HER DECISIONMAKING AND HOW DOES SHE CALM DOWN WHEN DISTRESSED?

For one thing, this picture just took on very differnet overtones. 

FP Passport

Camp Chávez

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Hugo opens the doors of the presidential palace to 25 families who lost homes in recent flooding. What about the millions of other citizens who suffer from Chavez’s neglect?
American Thinker Blog

Chavez uses WikiLeaks for race jab

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Hugo Chavez appears to have enjoyed one of the lower-profile, but specifically damaging, portions of the WikiLeaks cache, Hillary Clinton’s questions about the mental health of the president of Argentina:

Chavez criticized Clinton’s comments on state television and expressed his "solidarity with the president of Argentina."

"Someone should study Mrs. Clinton’s mental health … She feels superior to Obama… Because she is white, she feels superior to the black president," Chavez said.





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Ben Smith’s Blog

Sound Bite for the Day: Obama, Chavez BFFs?

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Big Journalism

Sound Bite for the Day: Obama, Chavez BFFs?

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 


Big Journalism

Venezuela Congressional Election: Chavez Still Holds Reins

November 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

There has been an important Congressional election in Venezuela. President Hugo Chavez’s party, which had controlled over two-thirds of the elected representatives, expected to retain two-thirds control. In the previous election the opposition parties boycotted the election and gave Chavez total control of the Congressional body. This election the often totally divided opposition was able to prevent the Chavez party two-thirds control. Now the December, 2012, President Election campaign has begun.

The opposition parties do not have one charismatic candidate to run against Chavez. Chavez does have control of the military, secret police, 30,000 to 40,000 Cubans, the judiciary, and the police. Although elected president, Chavez is in essence a totalitarian cauldillo.

Last week Venezuelan General Henry Rangel Silva announced that the army would not accept anyone but Chavez as president, even if he were to lose a re-election bid in 2012. He is a controversial general who is on the US blacklist for drugs and arms trafficking. In other words he said the Venezuelan army would stage a coup to keep Chavez as the ruler of Venezuela. This is not a meaningless statement to be dismissed as “politicaria.”It sent a very chilling message sent to the struggling democratic movement in Venezuela.

On November 16th the Chavez reaction was to promote Henry Rangel Silva to “General in Chief.”

Political freedoms in Venezuela continue the serious downward fall.

Big Peace

Obama Jokes About Diverting Air Force One to Visit Hugo Chavez; Sean Penn En Route to Caracus Just in Case

November 20, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

**Written by Doug Powers

null

The president seems in no hurry to get back to the US from the NATO summit in Portugal.

From CBS News’ Mark Knoller and CNN’s Ed Henry aboard Air Force One returning from Lisbon to the States (via HAP and Fox Nation):

null

Maybe Obama just wanted to return Hugo’s book and apologize for making notes in the margin.

Sean Penn is most likely on his way to Venezuela as we speak just in case this is no joke.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Michelle Malkin

The November Man: Once More Grappling with Hugo Chávez

November 5, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/ChavezAhmedDorks100402.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-30512" title="ChavezAhmedDorks100402" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/ChavezAhmedDorks100402.jpg" alt="" width="290" height="240" />

Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez recently returned from October encounters with href="http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/features/2010/10/20101021235410120197.html">some of the least savory actors on the international stage. His trip focused on cementing a new nexus or alignment in world affairs, some cleverly dubbed href="http://www.heritage.org/Events/2010/11/VIRUS">VIRUS. It is not a computer malfunction or a contagion but rather a shadowy network of cooperation linking Venezuela, Iran, Russia, and Syria.

A core element of VIRUS is developing nuclear capacity and acquiring nuclear weaponry, the ultimo ratio of international power politics. Chávez did exactly that when he purchased a nuclear reactor in Moscow, with a promise to buy more. And he is also procuring Russian missile technologies to develop a space launch center—for peaceful purposes, of course. id="more-46242">

VIRUS, with its lack of transparency, radical agenda, and intense anti-Americanism, demands attention and evokes present and future nuclear nightmares despite href="http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1596750.php/Clinton-confirms-US-nuclear-weapons-free-policy-Roundup">President Obama’s dreams of a nuclear-free world. At least three members of VIRUS actively support terrorist organizations: Iran and Syria support Hamas and Hezbollah, while Venezuela supports FARC.

Back in Venezuela, Chávez turned to more mundane affairs. He launched a fresh round of state takeovers aimed at breaking a housing bottleneck and making homes affordable. Most recent targets include play-by-the-rules href="http://www.industryweek.com/articles/steel_firm_protests_chavez_nationalization_plan_23143.aspx?SectionID=1">steelmaker Sidetur and href="http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/27/world/la-fg-venezuela-nationalize-20101028">U.S. bottle manufacturer Owens-Illinois. Sidetur href="http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5752">“produces a number of steel-based construction materials and manages six plants in Venezuela.” The action, like previous nationalizations, will have a long-term negative effect on href="http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38456">Venezuela’s struggling economy.

Spanish justice officials continue to pursue their case against a presumed Basque terrorist. While Chávez says he rejects terrorism and harbors no terrorists, Spanish authorities want a former href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704631504575532352884143626.html">ETA member residing in Venezuela extradited to Madrid. Chávez is denying the request, claiming the suspect is a Venezuelan citizen and therefore protected against extradition. Once more Chávez hopes to escape the href="http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/01/state-sponsors-of-terrorism-time-to-add-venezuela-to-the-list">terrorist-sponsor label in a cloud of legal obfuscation.

While Chávez confronts the Venezuelan private sector and Spanish prosecutors, he is trumpeting a new era of cooperation with neighboring Colombia. Laying aside the href="http://en.mercopress.com/2010/07/19/colombia-to-present-evidence-of-farc-venezuelan-haven-in-oas">diplomacy of confrontation of the Alvaro Uribe presidency, Colombia’s new president, Juan Manuel Santos, is href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Santos-Chavez-Santa-Marta-Summit-A-Moment-of-Promise-and-Peril-in-the-Americas">stressing economic connections between Colombia and Venezuela and playing down the terrorism issue. During href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11682403">Santos’s visit to Caracas on November 2, he and Chávez called for href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10926003">“turning the page” on past tensions.

Chávez and Santos promised to repair strained relations and agreed to set up commissions to address joint issues such as social investment and commerce, including possible free trade. A main theme of the talks is the fact that href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10926003">bilateral trade has been cut by around 70 percent and has blocked Venezuela’s debt repayment of nearly href="http://english.eluniversal.com/2010/11/02/en_pol_esp_trade-and-security-a_02A4683291.shtml">$ 800 million owed to Colombian businessmen.

Chávez’s zig-zag course and Santos’s readiness to cooperate with Chávez offers some relief to the Obama Administration. Lacking a Chávez policy worthy of the name, the Obama Administration welcomes the current lowering of tensions between Venezuela and ally Colombia as it lessens pressure on it to speak out about the Chávez threat.

Yet November’s man of peace in Caracas is the October man in Tehran who href="http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/19/chavez_well_back_iran_under_any_circumstances">vowed to stand beside Iran’s Admadinejad and the Iranian Revolution come what may. For the moment, Santos hopes to keep Chávez inside the tent. Yet the probability runs high that the warm atmosphere of cooperation between the Andean neighbors will give way to the chilling reality of confrontation as Chávez’s revolutionary and global ambitions again manifest themselves.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

Ahmadinejad, Chavez and the Obama Doctrine

October 22, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 
style="float: right; margin-bottom: 10px; margin-left: 10px;"> href="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/ChavezAhmedDorks100402.jpg"> class="alignnone size-full wp-image-30512" title="ChavezAhmedDorks100402" src="http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/ChavezAhmedDorks100402.jpg" alt="" width="280" height="240" />

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wrapped up a two day visit to Iran with a flurry of official agreements and rhetorical broadsides denouncing the United States. Chavez, visiting Iran for the ninth time as President, lauded his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and title="http://www.rferl.org/content/Chavez_In_Iran_To_Talks_Energy_Trade/2194750.html" href="http://www.rferl.org/content/Chavez_In_Iran_To_Talks_Energy_Trade/2194750.html">proclaimed that bilateral ties are “solid and very, very deep.” Ahmadinejad stated that “Iran and Venezuela are united to establish a title="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/20/AR2010102004651.html" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/20/AR2010102004651.html">new world order based on humanity and justice.” The Iranian president, always eager to make a veiled threat, title="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101020/wl_nm/us_iran_venezuela_1" href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101020/wl_nm/us_iran_venezuela_1">warned: “The enemies of our nations will go one day. This is the promise of God and the promise of God will definitely be fulfilled.”

Officials signed title="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/iran-venezuela-sign-energy-textile-trade-agreements-press-tv-reports.html" href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-10-21/iran-venezuela-sign-energy-textile-trade-agreements-press-tv-reports.html">11 agreements promoting co-operation in areas including oil, natural gas, textiles, and trade. The two governments agreed to set up a joint oil shipping company, jointly construct petrochemical plants, and Venezuela’s state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA committed to assist in the exploitation of Iran’s South Pars natural gas field. If it follows through on this vague commitment, the Venezuelan firm could trigger U.S. sanctions that are aimed at reducing Iran’s ability to finance terrorism, develop nuclear weapons, and build-up its ballistic missile arsenal. id="more-45433">

Tehran remains defiant on the nuclear issue and the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization title="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69J3IB20101020" href="http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE69J3IB20101020">Wednesday announced that Iran continues to enrich uranium beyond the 3.5 percent level required for nuclear power reactors. Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi claimed that “So far almost 30 kg of 20 percent fuel has been produced” since Iran began enriching uranium to higher levels in February. The regime insists that the more highly enriched uranium is needed to power a medical research reactor, despite the fact that Iran lacks the means to convert the 20 percent material into reactor fuel rods and is more likely advancing toward 90 percent enrichment in order to arm a nuclear weapon.

Determined to blacken the eye of “imperialism” [read the U.S.], both Chavez and Admadinejad clearly fail to understand the title="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Defining-the-Obama-Doctrine-Its-Pitfalls-and-How-to-Avoid-Them" href="http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Defining-the-Obama-Doctrine-Its-Pitfalls-and-How-to-Avoid-Them">Obama Doctrine and recognize that we live in a world in which “ title="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-obama-speech-090120,0,7141333,full.story" href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/politics/obama/chi-obama-speech-090120,0,7141333,full.story">old hatreds will pass,” where “ title="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/23/AR2009092301671.html" href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/23/AR2009092301671.html">the yearning for peace is universal,” and “ title="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/us/politics/24prexy.text.html" href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/24/us/politics/24prexy.text.html">power is no longer a zero-sum game.”

Hopefully they will get the memo on the Obama Doctrine before it is too late.

Co-authored by Ray Walzer.

The Foundry: Conservative Policy News.

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