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Venezuela News And Views

A blog about life under, and resisting, a dictatorship


The need to thread carefully around the Oscar Perez saga

Wed, 17 Jan 2018 20:20:34 PST

I know I am not going to make friends with this entry but someone has to write it down.First, what was done to Oscar Perez this week was an abomination, an execution worthy of what Stalin did (or Hitler for that matter but since Maduro claims to be from the left...).  The regime took no forms, could not care less that the whole neighborhood filmed the execution, and actually wanted it to happen as such, as a warning to ALL Venezuelans of what the regime is willing to do at this point.  And never mind that Oscar Perez was not the lone "ajusticiado" in that massacre.Needless to point out that the whole world has noticed; well, the civilized one.  The consequences for the regime will be significant even though at this point I am believing that the regime has realized that its international cause is lost and they have decided to retrench for as many years as it take until eventually the world relents. After all, Obama did go to Cuba. Did he not? In short not only the regime does not care any more, but they may be actually relishing their road toward outright genocide.  Before Oscar Perez happened let me remind you that HIV folks, kidney problems folks, diabetics folks, miscellaneous terminal disease folks, are quietly left set to die.  Removal of the nuisibles, genocide beginnings like what Stalin did in his earlier days or Hitler before he opened his concentration camps. Nobody outside is ready to use the G word but then again until 2017 few were willing to use the D word. Now all agree that this is a dictatorship (except other dictatorships but that is par for the course).This being said let's not rush in making Oscar Perez a saint.  True, I was not a believer in the beginning but even though it would be callous not to consider him some sort of freedom fighter now. Yet, it remains that there are too many holes and chiaroscuro in his saga.It all started when Oscar Perez, part time actor, secret service/police holder, etc,  managed to get a chopper over Caracas, threw over the High Court building a grenade (all that and unable to get more than a grenade?) , managed to fly away and land over a convenient "conuco" in the mountain that allowed him to escape. This over the highest security zone of the country as no flights are allowed over Caracas. And yet not even an army chopper took off from La Carlota base to chase him...Then he popped in an out at opposition events, and even claimed to be linked to some famous operations were undertaken by dashing warriors that caught inside a cab at a local police check point.I am sorry but not all pieces match here.Let me stress again that no matter what the true story of Oscar Perez will be in the end, what they did to him is unacceptable and worthy by itself to send Maduro to international courts.  For those late in the game Oscar Perez finally tracked down offered to surrender and yet was killed, probably at gun point to his head.  The regime is delaying the process enough that we can advance the most horrid suppositions of wrong doing.One problem for example is how come the regime sent paramilitary forces when there were already hundreds of security personnel surrounding Oscar Perez hide out?  How come the leader of one of these paramilitary/colectivo Heiker Vasquez was killed instead of, say, the commanding officier?  How come our criminal (indicted on so many counts and yet freely roaming Caracas and doing state mafia business) got today close to a national funeral?  The picture here is for the head of a paramilitary colectivo receiving the honors of state security forces. I mean, W.T.F?Criminal Paramilitary Heiker V gets an official honor guard and yet, in all probability, the body of Oscar Perez will not be released to his family.Observe the chubbiness of the pallbearers... I do not want to use cliches but...Something is just too fishy here.  I am going to indulge in a little bit of conspiracy theory here. Forgive me, and please, do not ask me to elaborate more than what I will write.Oscar Perez was sponsor[...]

Best wishes for 2018

Mon, 08 Jan 2018 19:06:50 PST

Well, for those outside of Venezuela that is. Here? "May you survive 2018" seems as reasonable request as you may utter.I do look like a chavista. Late December I was speculating/promising that I may be able to do a round up of 2017, having in theory more time ahead. Sure enough I did nothing. Not that it mattered much for our eggnog soaked audience. Or name your poison...But I was on tweeter and even returned to Instagram for two videos.  That will have to suffice until I can come back to that round up, and trust me, there are a lot of things to round up....The Instagram comes in two installments.The first one is a video on January 4 at one of the three grocery stores that I patronize. Now, traditionally January has been a low month for stockage as many production facilities close for at least three weeks. But this year....  The video speak for itself.On January 4th, the empty grocery store welcoming the new year. Observe that when there is something on the shelf it is only of one kind. Observe the empty refrigerated sections, turned off except for one dismally short on cold cuts. The other two stores I rely upon are slightly better. And let's not get started on prices.....Una publicación compartida por daniel duquenal (@duquenal_at_vnv) el Ene 6, 2018 at 2:04 PSTRegrettable prohibition to travel to Lilian Tintori. They can lock up people but not ideals. Freedom for Venezuela.Less direct than Macron who is an expert at cutting edge words but even more infuriating to the regime as Rajoy wants freedom for Venezuela.The reaction of chavismo was ever so predictable. The foreign minister, who made it there because he married one of Chavez daughters otherwise he would not have made it to doorman, sent a few pathetic tweets that may sound good for the die or die remaining base of the dictatorship but are further faux-pas in diplomacy.In order (with my comments):We reject the behavior of the French president who follows the script from the European ultra-right against Venezuela (The behavior?  Odd language from people that have shown absolute inability to behave in international fora.  And putting Macron as guided by the European ultra-right is, well, beyond ridicule, it is pathetic, a true inability to understand what happens in Europe. Or, worse, the inability for the regime to listen to anyone else but Melanchon and Iglesias people at the true voice of Europe).We demand that the Spanish government respect our democracy and institutions. Imperial arrogance was booted from Venezuela 200 years ago, already. (To begin with, there are no democracy or instituions left in Venezuela. Second, that gratuitous 200 years comment is arrogant by itself, and only betrays an inferiority complex.)In our country any political organization must account for the origine of its funding. There are no untouchable parties nor figures. (I had a laugh at that one. All parties but Chavez PSUV whose electoral abuses would now fill an encyclopedia. Heck, even this blog has many documented examples of chavismo electoral abuse and misappropriation of state monies).So this is the foreign minister of Venezuela, somebody formed at the school of castrotite debate methods, that is, insult back louder and hope they get brow beaten. The strategy of the ignorant and/or the evil.Meanwhile the fact is that the other one in that tour with Lilian, Julio Borges, the president of the National Assembly who was likely going to be stopped at the airport chose another more discrete way to abscond. He will be received by four out of the five more important countries of Europe. And probably arrested upon his return though I suspect that diplomatic personnel may be waiting for him at arrival depending on how things develop here.Where are Arreaza, and more importantly the chair of the constituent assembly Delcy Rodriguez, received?  Cuba I suppose.[...]

Fait divers: Lilian Tintori is parted from her cash

Fri, 01 Sep 2017 19:42:53 PDT

The talk of this end of week is not the Law against Hate, or the Stalinist tribunal that the constituent assembly has become, or that the regime celebrates has a major achievement the arrival of a wheat ship from Russia with wheat for, what?, 5 days? or more important matters.

The talk is of the millions of bolivares found in Lilian Tintori car, in cash.

So I have to write a quick word.

First, it is not that much really, a mere 20K USD at black market rate. Not even enough to run the campaign of medium size city in Venezuela. But a godsend for the regime that is trying to bring down the woman that has become a worldwide figure in defense of Human Rights.

And yet I cannot be sympathetic enough to her plight.

Her justification is three fold: it is not a crime to have any amount of cash you want to have on you; it is money destined to cover medical costs for her 100 year old grandmother; and she is not hiding from it, going to police to declare before she got indicted today for the "crime".

Yet it does not fly.

First, no medical center in Venezuela would accept payment in such large amounts of cash. That or she needs to tell what hospital was willing to accept cash like that, with the risk of being audited for tax evasion.

Second, in a country experiencing cash crisis, she is able to get a few neatly packed crates of crisp banknotes? Please....   What bank would do that? Cabello mentions BOD bank but that one is supposed to favor the regime. Go figure....

Third, there is no problem in doing money transfers in Venezuela, and cashier checks are actually cheap, very cheap, to get issued at your branch. If you have the funds of course.

Fourth, it is simply insane to drive around Caracas with crates of cash in a desirable car for gangs specialized in robbing such expensive vehicles (for Venezuela standards, we are not talking expensive Mercedes or Ferrari here).

I can keep going on but you get the idea. My point is not what she does with her money. She can light up her joints with it if she wants to, I could not care less.

My point is her unexpected foolishness, coming  from someone who after all that she has endured in the past three years can still  make such an hair headed novice crass mistake.

Does she not know that the dictatorship monitors scores of people with spies, mics and cameras up to the wazoo? She can go to any Venezuelan general to get confirmation on how the Cuban G2 tracks them. Heck, she was even filmed in the privacy of her husband jail when she was visiting Leopoldo at Ramo Verde!

And she just has a relative prancing around with neat pine boxes of cash?  And it never occurred to her that managing to obtaining that cash from BOD could have actually been a set up?  That she had dollars for it is irrelevant, getting so much cash at once is awesome when my branch will give me only up to three bucks in cash a day.

The mind reels......

Meanwhile the regime is having a field day and many in the opposition want her hanged.

I am just stunned.

And I am reminded again that if Maduro is still in office is not only due to his vileness. Incompetence from the other side has something to do with it.