Hugo Chavez was a media product. When he got caught in 1992, leading a coup against democratically-elected Carlos Andres Perez, he was allowed to address the nation, live. His call to fellow putschists to depose arms and "por ahora" speech made him a national icon, instantly. Chavez knew, better than any politico in Venezuela, what control of the media meant.
Alek Boyd's blog
There's a lot of talk in Venezuela these days about whether Edward Snowden is going to end up in Caracas, protected and supported by chavismo. Snowden, already famous worldwide for revealing how the US government spies on its people, said recently that Venezuela had his "gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless..."
Colombia's Ministry of Defence informed today that Roberto Pannunzi, a boss linked to Calabria's 'Ndrangheta mafiosi was captured in Bogotá, in a joint operation between Colombia's Police and the Drug Enforcement Administration. Colombia's Ministry of Defence states in its report that Pannunzi identified himself with afake Venezuelan ID -on the name of Silvano Martino- when arrested in a shopping mall in the north of Bogotá.
Nearly all reports written on the topic since have questioned Nicaragua's choice of partner: a Chinese individual called Wang Jing. More from the BBC: "The Chinese businessman behind a $40bn (£26bn) plan to build a canal through Nicaragua has promised transparency and insisted his project is not a joke."
Back in April, in the course of my research into the Boliburgeoisie, I came across a claim, a bold one, that left me gobsmacked: DAVOS Financial Group -owned by David Osio- was stating in its website that it had a "portfolio valued at over $1 trillion in assets under management of private and institutional clients." One trillion dollars. Wow. I made sure to take a screen shot and thentweeted: "David Osio claims his DAVOS bank has $1 trillion (?) under management. Is that where the bulk of Vzla's missing funds are? @davosobserver"
Dear Kroll employees who have been poking around: I know you have a long and rotten history of working for some of Venezuela's nastiest and most corrupt figures. They range from major bank fraud titan Jose Alvarez Stelling from Banco Consolidado, to the loathsome Gustavo Gomez Lopez at Banco Latino (the Madoff of Venezuela) who now pretends to be a lawyer in Venezuela, failing to mention any reference to Banco Latino and its vanished billions in his bio.
Europe seems to be going downhill very fast indeed. Vladimir Putin's having his critics killed in Central London is not a one of, isolated event. Now we see how Kazakhstan's dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev, gets Italy'sMinister of the Interior, Minister of Justice, Minister of Foreign Affairs, andpolice's special forces chief and commandos violate every pertinent law and due process, by summarily kidnaping and deporting from Rome relatives of his critics. This event, in the capital city of a European country let's not forget, should be a scandal of monumental proportions, shouldn't it?
Pity Max Blumenthal and Electronic Intifada. After spending, presumably, countless hours researching Islamophobia, "exposing" Thor Halvorssen's links to it, and "alerting" the government of Norway and Amnesty International about it,they were dismissed, by both, as irrelevant.
When the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) started publishing about offshore links of the world's great and powerful, the $500+ million ponzi scheme set up by Francisco Illarramendi came up.
As the dust settles in the spurious lawsuit against Banco Venezolano de Credito brought by proxies of the Venezuelan regime (Derwick Associates), it is worth exposing some of the parties that participated in this malicious charade.
Fabulists, embellishers, and fradusters are often found in the media. The United States has no shortage of professional exaggerators, when it comes to military exploits and accomplishments. Sometimes men who claim to have “served” in “active duty” in Vietnam for instance—providing the perception of wading through rice paddies, were actually sitting at a desk job and never once picked up a rifle.
Diosdado Cabello holds the keys to Venezuela's future. Not Nicolas Maduro. Not his Cuban handlers. Not Henrique Capriles. Not Rafael Ramirez. Not the criminal enterprises that sustain chavismo. Not the electoral authorities (CNE) that will most definitely not allow a recount of votes or meaningful scrutiny, as requested by Capriles. Not the Congress. Not the media. Not the "international community". Not the USA. Not Colombia (Santos reached a new low if that was ever possible). It all depends, in my opinion, on how Diosdado Cabello plays his cards.
One thing that I can't get my head around is this:
When trying to rationalise Hugo Chavez and his impact on Venezuelan politics, it is often said that the leader he resembled the most was Argentina's Juan Domingo Perón. Upon the death of the standard bearer of Latin American populism, peronismo took hold of political life in Argentina, on the back of the hugely popular Evita, who was exalted to demigod status in popular culture. More than fifty years later, that country is still dealing with the nefarious consequences of an irresponsible political establishment crafted by Perón.
London - Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died yesterday. Her achievements are too long to list here, but I guess for me, the most important one, by a mile, was to have significantly contributed to bring communism down. For me, a guest in this country after all, it is the perfect opportunity to contrast how death of a phenomenal political leader is dealt with by Brits. When Hugo Chavez died over a month ago, various BBC programs called to request my comment.
Who is that, posing with the Big Dog?
Why that would be Orlando Castro, convicted felon and money launderer from Venezuela.
My views on Hugo Chavez's death for the BBC's World Have Your Say: radio discussion with Gabriela Torres, producer for BBC Mundo, and Julia Buxton, Bradford University's professor of Peace Studies.