In June 2003, the Venezuelan government bought through an intermediary, Omar Montilla Castillo, a 28% participation in a company called Bizta R&D Software C.A. for 300 million Bolivares [link]. Bizta was owned by Antonio Mugica and the late Alfredo Anzola, and was part of a consortium of companies (Smartmatic, Bizta, CANTV or SBC) contracted by Venezuela to automatise elections.
Alek Boyd's blog
In the latest example of just how utterly fucked up our world is, Libyan tyrant Gadaffi has accepted a 'peace proposal' from his Venezuelan chum Hugo Chavez. Peace, the Venezuelan military dictator will bring. Peace. No, seriously. The man who attempted a military coup against a democratically elected government, causing the deaths of many, is to bring peace to Libya.
The former British Ambassador to Venezuela said: "but Chavez is an incredibly popular figure, is he not?" I must confess, I hate that type of argument. It means little, in my book, given that I am part of that 52% of Venezuelans who are at the receiving end of Chavez's hatred. So I replied: "you give anyone the access to the kind of money that Chavez has got control over, and even a chimpanzee would become incredibly popular." Laughter. Followed by "well, that's true." See, we have had to put up with such comments for too long.
By Walter Molano, BCP Securities, LLC | As Colombia transforms itself into an oasis of prosperity, Venezuela descends deeper into the dungeons of hell. Some academics propose that a country's leadership has a limited impact on a nation's trajectory. They argue that it is more dependent on its natural endowments, social structure as well as random exogenous factors. However, this is not the case with Venezuela.
A few years ago, searches for Venezuela in Google News use to return about 3,000 results. Today, it returns more than 25,000. Alas such explosion of news articles does not mean that objective coverage has increased eight fold. It continues to be lacking. Take for instance news that Hugo Chavez vetoed universities and tax increase laws. Thus far, AP bureau in Caracas sent a wire, from Ian James, that was picked up by the New York Times and Business Week.
Got a call this morning from the BBC World Update programme, requesting my comment on the current spat between Hugo Chavez and the USA, over US Ambassador to Venezuela designate Larry Palmer.
After the parliamentary elections of December 2005, the National Electoral Council of Venezuela took more than 42 days to announce results. The CNE, at the time chaired by Jorge Rodriguez (later appointed Chavez’s Vice President), had trouble massaging abstention figures, which to this day are believed to have been above 85%. The current crop of people’s representatives were elected in 2005 by at best, 15% of Venezuela's electorate. Eventually, Rodriguez did come up with figures more amenable to the caudillo, decreasing the abstention rate to around 75%.
On taking special powers this week to rule by decree, President Chávez of Venezuela declared: “We’re building a new democracy here that can’t be turned back.” By describing these political changes as irreversible, he revealed the type of democracy that he had in mind: one person, one vote, where he is the person and his is the vote.
The arrest in Colombia of Venezuelan drug kingpin Walid Makled has exposed the underworld of drugs, corruption, and organised crime that surrounds President Hugo Chavez. As I wrote back in 2006, it is simply impossible to ship tonnes of cocaine to international markets without complicity at the highest levels. And complicity Walid Makled revealed.
So, did you think that statements given back in 2001 by Isaías Rodriguez, current Venezuelan Ambassador to Spain, to the effect that ETA and FARC were waging a "just and irreproachable" fight were just off the cuff remarks? Think again. See what Samuel Moncada, Venezuelan Ambassador to the UK, is doing on 6th November 2010.
A journalist from Diario La Verdad, in Venezuela. A journalist from The Christian Science Monitor, in Madrid. Another from Agencia COLPISA, also in Madrid. The director of PROVEA, a human rights NGO in Caracas. Venezuelan Ambassador to Spain. An ETA terrorist, Arturo Cubillas. A collective of so called journalists in Venezuela... What do these people have in common?
Some amazing news today.
I'm reading a book about an alleged infiltration into the world of transnational terrorism by an undercover Spanish journalist that goes by the name of Antonio Salas. While I am not prepared to take everything written by Salas at face value, there's an undeniable wealth of information in the book that allows anyone with a modicum of interest to follow leads.