On February 4, 1992. Hugo Chávez led a failed military coup and murder attempt
against president Carlos Andrés Pérez and his family, causing the deaths of many Venezuelans.
Thus started his career as a coupster ....
[Hugo Chávez, Wikipedia.org]
(incomplete in Spanish)
On March 26, 1994. After 2 years in prison,
president Rafaél Caldera decided the dismissal of the cause against Hugo Chávez,
and released him with his immediate accomplices. On December 14, Hugo Chávez visited Fidel Castro in La Habana.
Thus started his career as a Castro-communist ....
On December 6, 1998. Hugo Chávez was elected president with 60% of the votes
(40% Enrique Salas Römer, 46% abstention) and was inaugurated in February 2, 1999.
Chávez took the legal oath of office "on a dying constitution" that he "would not respect".
On March 10, 1999, he called an election for a Constituent Assembly,
where his supporters got 95% of the positions with just 30% of the votes.
Thus started his dictatorial career and the opposition to it ....
On December 15, 1999, the new constitution was approved, with 72% of the votes and 56% abstention.
After the voting, and after weeks of continual rains on the coastal mountains North of Venezuela,
mudslides killed about 30,000 people that were never evacuated.
[Mr. Chávez's Power Grab,
New York Times - Editorial, August 22, 2007]
On July 30, 2000. General elections were held.
Chávez's coalition got 66% of the seats in the National Assembly, while Chávez was reelected with 60% of the votes
(38% Francisco Arias Cárdenas, 44% abstention).
The Carter Center monitored the election; their report stated that, due to lack of transparency,
perceived partiality of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE; "National Electoral Council"),
and political pressure from the Chávez government that resulted in early elections,
they were unable to validate the official CNE results.
However, they concluded that the presidential election legitimately expressed the will of the people.
[Observing Political Change en Venezuela: The Bolivarian Constitution and the 2000 Elections,
Final Report, Laura Neuman and Jennifer McCoy, Carter Center, February 2001 (.pdf)]
Thus started his career of electoral fraud ....
On August 2000, Hugo Chávez visited Saddam Hussein in Bagdad.
[Hugo Chávez, Wikipedia.org]
(incomplete in Spanish)
On April 11, 2002.
A gigantic protest march in defense of the independence of Petróleos de Venezuela
resulted in 19 death and 150 injured by bullets. The military high command disobeyed orders from Hugo Chávez to attack the protestors,
and asked for his resignation, "which he accepted", according to General Lucas Rincón (now Ambassador to Portugal).
On April 11, 2002, Hugo Chávez was returned to the presidency by a military faction led by General Raúl Isaías Baduel.
[Political Crisis in Venezuela,
Human Rights Watch - Background Briefing, July 2002]
[Los primeros meses de 2002, Memorias de un Obispo, Monseñor Baltazar Porras, .pdf, 1.23 MB]
[On June 24, 2006 Baduel was promoted to General in Chief and appointed Minister of Defense.
On July 18, 2007, Baduel was retired and resigned as Minister to begin opposing Chávez.]
On February/March 2003.
Hugo Chávez, fired 18,756 managers, engineers,
technicians and qualified workers from Petróleos de Venezuela
which had opposed the politization of that company supporting the general strike of December 2002 and January 2003
(including 69% of the managers).
Petróleos de Venezuela then forbade their employment by the contractors.
On May 14, 2004. the National Assembly, with just a simple majority,
illegally increased from 20 to 32,
the number of judges in the Supreme Justice Tribunal to give Hugo Chávez control over the judiciary.
[Venezuela: Chávez Allies Pack Supreme Court,
Human Rights Watch, 14-12-2004]
A statistical study done by two Venezuelan scientists, Maria M. Febres Cordero and Bernardo Marquez,
has determined that Hugo Chavez alleged victory in the recall referendum of 2004 was unlikely.
The report concludes by saying "the Venezuelan opposition has statistical evidence to reject the official results given by the CNE.
The irregularities detected were observed consistently in numerous voting centers
and the magnitude of the irregularities implies
that the official results do not reflect the intention of voters with statistical confidence."
[Study shows how Hugo Chavez rigged elections in Venezuela
By Alek Boyd, 22.02.07. A statistical approach to assess referendum results: The Venezuelan recall referendum 2004. Cordero, Márquez, 2006]
Venezuela Presidential Referendum - Statistical Analysis, May 2006:
A statistical approach to assess referendum results: The Venezuelan recall referendum 2004
Maria M. Febres Cordero and Bernardo Márquez
This article presents a statistical approach to assess the coherence of official results of referendum processes.
The statistical analysis described is divided in four phases, according to the methodology used and the corresponding results:
(1) Initial Study, (2) Quantification of irregular certificates of election, (3) Identification of irregular voting centers
and (4) Estimation of recall referendum results.
The technique of cluster analysis is applied to address the issue of heterogeneity of the parishes
with respect to their political preferences.
The Venezuelan recall referendum 2004 is the case study we used to apply the proposed methodology,
based on the data published by the "Consejo Nacional Electoral" (CNE-National Electoral Council).
Finally, we present the conclusions of the study which we summarize as follows:
The percentage of irregular certificates of election is between 22.2% and 26.5% of the total;
18% of the voting centers show an irregular voting pattern in their certificates of election,
the votes corresponding to this irregularity are around 2,550,000;
The result estimate,
using the unbiased votes as representative of the population for the percentage of YES votes against President Chávez
is 56.4% as opposed to the official result of 41%.
Unemployment among the young is 18.4%, twice the national average.
More than 60% of the active labor population only have informal employment.
[La Exclusión laboral,
Juan Martín Echeverría, El Universal, October 1 '06,
in Venezuela Real]
Lack of confidence in the electoral system, resulting in more than 75% of
abstention on December 2005, giving Hugo Chávez 100% of the National Assembly.
[See the pages of Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE)]
From May 28, 2007. The frequency of
Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV)
is being used by the government to establish TVes, a "public service television".
On May 26 '07 the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia illegally ordered all RCTV transmission equipment
temporarily under government custody for the use of TVes.
[This measure is generating protests around the country]
[From July 16 '07 Radio Caracas Televisión (RCTV)
can be seen on private subscription carriers DirectTV, Intercable, Net Uno, Planet Cable, and Supercable]
2006 PDVSA revenue fell nearly 16% from 2005,
the local profits fell more than 65% while our oil prices rose more than 19%,
social expences almost duplicated to $13,781 million,
according to their audited financial statements presented Friday 7, September '07.
[See El Universal, Marianna Párraga, Septiembre 11, 2007]
On December 2, 2007. Hugo Chávez ilegally submitted to a referendum a new constitution;
Communist and even more presidentialist than the one from the Constituent Assembly of 1999,
permitting his continued reelection and restricting human rights and private property.
Human Rights are inalienable,
and a fundamental change in the constitution can only be made by a Constituent Assembly,
never by a minority in a referendum.
[See Venezuela - President for life
[See List of proposed changes in Venezuela referendum
[See Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations)]
[This measure generated protests around the country]
[On November 5, 2007, Retired General Raúl Isaías Baduel rejected the new constitution, calling it a "fraud"]
On April 2, 2008. More than 122 days after the referendum, 1.8 milion votes remain uncounted.
Lucena y sus Cuentos de Camino
in Venezuela Real: Óscar Lucien, El Nacional, 4 de Abril 2008]
By December 1, 2008, these 1.8 milion votes remain uncounted.
A sample from the proposed new constitution; from article 136:
"The people are depositaries of the sovereignty and exercise it directly through the Popular Power.
This is not born from suffrage or any election,
but is born from the condition of the human groups organized as the base of the population."
[See Reforma Constitucional
in Venezuela Real]
This contradicts article 21 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations):
"The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government;
this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections
which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures."
Any act on the part of the Public Power that violates or encroaches upon the rights
guaranteed by this Constitution and by law is null and void,
and the public employees ordering or implementing the same shall incur criminal, civil and administrative liability,
as applicable in each case, with no defense on grounds of having followed the orders of a superior.
This Constitution shall not cease to be in effect if it ceases to be observed due to acts of force
or because of repeal in any manner other than as provided for herein.
In such eventuality, every citizen, whether or not vested with official authority,
has a duty to assist in bringing it back into actual effect.
The people of Venezuela, true to their republican tradition and their struggle for independence, peace and freedom,
shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights.
On January 12, 2008. Hugo Chávez said in his annual report before the National Assembly,
that the FARC and ELN "are insurgent forces with a political project that is respected here".
His National Assembly, sheepishly approved.
[See ESPECIAL: Chávez presentó su Informe en la AN
On February 25, 2008. Clodosbaldo Russián, the general comptroller,
filed before the directors of the CNE a list of 400 public officials inconstitucionally disabled by his office
to opt for popularly elected office.
None of the included will be able to run in the 2008 regional elections.
Among these are the opposition leaders Leopoldo López, Enrique Mendoza, Oscar Pérez, Enrique Ochoa Antich and Alfredo Peña.
Contralor llevó al CNE la lista de 400 inhabilitados para postularse
in El Universal]
Venezuela increased its arms imports dramatically in 2003-2007,
taking it from the 56th biggest importer in the world in 1998-2002, to the 24th place.
Some 92% of Venezuela's imports came from Russia. International Arms Transfers Database,
Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
On May 28, 2008.
Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías President of the Republic
On exercise of the attributions conferred on him by numeral 8 of article 236 of the Constitution
of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and in conformity with numeral 9 of article 1 of the Law
authorizing the President of the Republic to dictate Decrees with Rank,
Value and Force of Law on the matters that are delegated, ....
DICTATES the following,
DECREE WITH RANK, VALUE AND FORCE OF LAW
OF THE NATIONAL SYSTEM OF INTELLIGENCE AND COUNTERINTELLIGENCE
CHAPTER I - GENERAL DISPOSITIONS
Range of application
The norms and principles contained in this Decree with Rank, Value and Force of Law
are of mandatory compliance for:
5. Every person that in the course of his activities inside or outside of the national territory
has or has access to information of strategic interest for the Nation.
CHAPTER III - OF THE SUBSYSTEMS
Organs of Support
Article 16.- Organs of Support to the activities of intelligence and counterintelligence are,
the natural and juridic persons, from public and private law, nationals or foreigners,
just as the organs and entities of the national public administration, states, municipalities,
the social networks, organizations of popular participation and organized communities,
when their cooperation is solicited for the obtention of information or technical support,
by the organs with special jurisdiction.
The persons that do not comply with the obligations established in this article
are responsible in comformity with the Organic Law of Security of the Nation,
and other acts of legal and sublegal rank applicable on the matter,
because such conduct threatens the security, defense and integral development of the Nation.
On June 7, 2008. Hugo Chávez admitted that this law "overreaches" and will be reformed.
On June 10, 2008, he recalled this law.
On June 17, 2008. Twenty seven Venezuelan groups started an international campaign
supporting a petition presented to the International Penal Court (IPC) in Le Hague to investigate and judge
president Hugo Chávez for his alleged ties to the FARC.
[See Venezuela Offered Aid to Colombian Rebels
(Washington Post, Juan Forero, May 15, 2008)]
Frente Patriótico - Comunicado,
19 de Diciembre de 2008]
On July 31, 2008. Hugo Chávez inconstitucionally dictated 26 new laws
on banking, transportation, housing and social security, and on military matters,
making himself the highest military commander.
This was protested by opposition leaders.
Some of the contents of these laws had already been rejected in the referendum on the constitutional reform of December 2, 2007.
Heated debate over 26 new laws enacted by Chávez,
El Universal, August 4, 2008]
The Consumer Price Index for the Metropolitan Area of Caracas (IPC-AMC) for August 2008,
published by the BCV, reflects 34.5% of acummulated inflation in the last 12 months.
On August 11, 2008. Hugo Chávez, amidst obscene statements,
announced he was giving American Ambassador in Venezuela Patrick Duddy 72 hours to leave the country,
in part to show solidarity with the Bolivian government and people.
He also ordered Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro
to recall Venezuelan Ambassador in Washington Bernardo Álvarez "before he is kicked out".
Venezuelan Government expelled US Ambassador,
VenEconomy, August 12, 2008]
[Ver Venezuela Joins Bolivia in Expelling U.S. Ambassador
(Washington Post, Juan Forero, Sep. 12, 2008)]
On October 23, 2008. In a resolution on democracy and human rights adopted at the end of this week's Strasbourg plenary session,
the European Parliament condemns the use of intimidation and electoral manipulation
in the run-up to elections in Venezuela.
In the run-up to Venezuela's regional and local elections in November 2008,
Parliament, in a resolution adopted by 51 votes to 1,
"expresses concern about the list of electoral disqualifications" issued by the authorities,
pointing to a "long series of measures taken by the government with a view to intimidating opposition members,
dissidents and international observers in the country".
Human rights: political rights abuses in Venezuela]
On November 23, 2008. There were regional elections for 22 State Governors, 328 Municipal or District Mayors,
20 Councils in City Halls, 233 in Legislative Councils (603 positions in total).
On February 25, 2008. Clodosbaldo Russián, the general comptroller,
filed before the directors of the CNE a list of 400 public officials inconstitucionally disabled by his office
to opt for popularly elected office.
Those included were not able to run in this 2008 regional elections.
Among these are the opposition leaders Leopoldo López, Enrique Mendoza, Oscar Pérez, Enrique Ochoa Antich and Alfredo Peña.
Contralor llevó al CNE la lista de 400 inhabilitados para postularse
in El Universal]
For Ousted Candidate, Fight Goes On
(Washington Post, Juan Forero, October 11, 2008)]
The project for constitutional reform defeated in the referendum of December 2, 2007,
contained the change to "indefinite reelection".
According to Art. 345:
A revised constitutional reform initiative may not be submitted during the same constitutional term of office of the National Assembly.
(1999 Constitution, in effect)
The illegal referendum question does not contain the texts of the proposed reformed articles
the government has not published the texts of the reforms; the amendment is a blank check.
On February 2, 2009. Hugo Chávez reached 10 years in power,
10 years dedicated to destroying Venezuela, transforming an emerging democracy into a failed fascist dictatorship.
On February 15, 2009.
The government submitted to a referendum an ilegal constitutional amendment eliminating the two-term limit for the presidential office
and other elected officials.
The opposition voted No. The officialists Yes.
The non-aligned and the abstention decided the vote. And the results?
On April 3, 2009.
Venezuela cries out for justice and weeps.
Easter this year started with bad omens for Venezuela.
This Good Friday opened the gates not only to Easter week, but also, tragically,
to the rogue injustice of the Hugo Chávez administration.
The list of its victims now includes those who have just been guillotined by the unjust sentence
handed down by Judge Maryori Calderón:
former Metropolitan Police captains Iván Simonovis, Henry Vivas, and Lázaro Forero and eight policemen.
Venezuela cries out for justice and weeps, VenEconomy, April 3, 2009]
On March 23, 2010.
Venezuelan authorities have jailed a former state governor and presidential candidate
who accused President Hugo Chávez's government of links to subversive groups in Latin America.
The detention of Oswaldo Álvarez Paz,
a veteran of the opposition COPEI party but not one of Chávez's most prominent foes,
will fuel criticism that the Venezuelan leader is taking his nation down an increasingly dictatorial route.
Picked up at home Monday night, Álvarez joins a list of several dozen Chávez opponents now in jail,
living in exile or facing probes in the South American oil-exporting country.
A court ordered Álvarez's arrest for conspiracy, spreading false information and inciting hate, judicial officials said.
He governed oil-producing Zulia state in the early 1990s and unsuccessfully ran for the presidency with COPEI in 1993.
Authorities opened an inquiry into Álvarez earlier this month
after he gave an interview to pro-opposition TV network Globovision accusing the government of ties to illegal groups.
"The Venezuelan regime has relations with structures that serve narco-trafficking,
like [Colombian rebel group] FARC and others which exist in the continent and the world", he said.
The accusations against Álvarez could carry a jail sentence of between two and 16 years, local media said.
"I assume the responsibility for the things that I have said and that I do", he told reporters before his arrest.
Oswaldo Álvarez Paz was released on bail on May '10.
[He was found partially guilty on July 13, 2011. See below.]
On July 12, 2010.
A commando of 20 agents from the Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN),
burst into the apartment of Venezuelan political leader Alejandro Peña Esclusa and took him prisoner.
The break-in resulted from the statements given by an alleged terrorist from El Salvador detained in Venezuela,
Francisco Chávez Abarca, in which he implicated Peña Esclusa in an alleged plot against the State.
Due process was violated; first, because Chávez Abarca did not declare in front of a tribunal,
as corresponds according to law, but in the headquarters of SEBIN; and second, because the Salvadoran was immediately extradited to Cuba,
without being judged in Venezuela, even though - according to the government - he was involved in a plot to destabilize the State.
It is presumed he was extradited so his testimony could not be falsified in a trial or, so he could not be thoroughly investigated.
In a drawer in the desk of the youngest of Peña Esclusa's daughters, 8 years old,
the agents "found" type C-4 explosives with the corresponding detonators.
The agents seized the opportunity to steal cash, jewels, electronic equipment and other valuables.
The true reason why the ex-presidential candidate Peña Esclusa is in jail,
is his long and persistent trajectory of denouncing mister Hugo Chávez.
Peña Esclusa not only has denounced verbally and in writing the civil and human rights violations committed
by the Venezuelan government;
but has penaly charged mister Chávez before the Public Ministry (for Treason, due to his ties with FARC),
he has charged him before the Interamerican Comission on Human Rights (Washington)
for improperly intervening and promoting violence in other Latin American countries;
and was about to file charges for crimes against humanity before the International Penal Court (CPI),
based in Le Hague - based on the information contained in the computers of FARC's second-in-command, aka. Raúl Reyes,
killed on March 1, 2008 - due to the complicity of mister Chávez with the Colombian narco-terrorists.
Peña Esclusa has been persecuted systematically by Chávez's government.
Was illegally detained in 2002 - also in the headquarters of SEBIN - by direct order from mister Chávez.
The States' media and functionaries have advanced a campaign of slanders against him.
Chávez himself has attacked him publically in all national radio and television stations.
He has been forbidden to leave the country for two years. Has been subjected to police tracking,
threats against his physical integrity and constant harassment.
The case on the governmental persecution against Peña Esclusa was presented by his lawyer before the International Penal Court (Le Hague).
Alejandro Peña Esclusa, 56 years of age, has no criminal record, nor weaponry knowledge.
Has been an outstanding sportsman, getting international titles for his country. Has a stable, well founded, family.
Is a mechanical engineer, with advanced studies in financial administration, and defense and security.
Was an assessor to the National Council on Security and Defense of Venezuela (CONASEDE).
Is a writer and columnist; author of six books, some of which have been translated to other languages.
Was a candidate for the Presidency of Venezuela. Is a correspondent in Venezuela and Colombia for Argentine daily La Nueva Provincia.
Member of the Philosophical Academy of Brazil. President of the civil asociation Fuerza Solidaria.
President of the Union of Democratic Organizations of America (UnoAmérica).
Has been decorated in Honduras with the Order José Cecilio del Valle.
Received a special recognition from the Alabama Congress,
for his extensive efforts defending democracy and freedoms in Latin America.
Has been invited as speaker in almost all the capitals in America.
On September 26, 2010.
"Mesa de la Unidad Democrática" got 48% of the popular vote in the parliamentary elections, but just 39% of the deputies.
"PSUV" with 49% of the popular vote got 59% of the deputies. "PPT" with 3% of the votes got just 1% of the deputies.
According to the Consejo Nacional Electoral,
out of 165 deputies PSUV got 98 with 5,399,574 votes, MUD got 65 with 5,312,293 votes, PPT got 2 with 330,260 votes.
Participation was 11,042,127 votes total, 66.45% of the electoral registry.
With these results the opposition breaks the qualified majority of the officialist party in the Asamblea Nacional.
[Aggregate electoral data from El Universal, Septiembre 27, 2010]
Divulgación Elecciones Parlamentarias - 26 de Septiembre de 2010,
Consejo Nacional Electoral]
Article 186 (Violated by the Consejo Nacional Electoral):
The National Assembly will be integrated by deputies elected in each federal entity by universal voting,
direct, personal and secret with proportional representation,
according to a population base of one point one percent of the total population of the country.
Constitución de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela,
Diciembre 30, 1999]
On December 20, 2010.
The National Assembly has just ratified a new blow to freedom of expression and information in Venezuela
by approving two bills amending the Organic Law on Telecommunications (Lotel)
and the Social Responsibility in Radio, TV and Electronic Media Law (Resortemec) at the government's bidding on 20 December.
Freedom of expression threatened by legislative reforms being rushed through parliament
(Reporters Without Borders, 22 December 2010)
On May 10, 2011.
The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS)
published the Strategic Dossier "The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of 'Raúl Reyes'".
This Strategic Dossier provides unique insights into the thinking and evolution of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
It is based on a study of the computer disks belonging to Luis Edgar Devía Silva (aka Raúl Reyes),
head of FARC's International Committee (COMINTER),
that were seized by Colombian armed forces in a raid in March 2008 on Devía's camp inside Ecuador.
Several months afterwards,
senior officials from the Colombian Ministry of Defence invited the IISS to conduct an independent analysis of the material.
The dossier shows how FARC evolved from a small,
autarkic and strategically irrelevant group into an insurgent movement which,
fuelled by revenues from narcotics production,
came close to jeopardising the survival of the Colombian state.
A key part of FARC's evolution was the development of an international strategy aimed at acquiring financial support,
arms and political legitimacy.
The dossier looks in detail at FARC's relations with Venezuela and Ecuador.
The dossier illuminates in detail FARC's efforts to develop relationships with the governments
and other strategic actors in the neighbouring states of Venezuela and Ecuador.
These followed different trajectories and achieved different degrees of success.
The relationship with Venezuela ultimately acquired a strategic dimension characterised by various forms of state support,
whereas that with Ecuador did not.
From June 10 2011.
Chavez's disappearance from public view since a surgical operation in Cuba
has convulsed the volatile and politically polarized South American OPEC member of 29 million people.
He came back to Venezuela on July 4 but continues to receive cancer treatment in Cuba.
On July 13, 2011.
The former Governor of Zulia State, Oswaldo Álvarez Paz, was sentenced to two years in prison
for the crime of spreading false information.
The twenty-first Trial Court of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas, in charge of Judge Alberto Rossi,
found that Álvarez Paz incurred in this crime on March 8, 2010, when during a television show,
he said that "Venezuela had become a center of operations that facilitates drug trafficking".
Despite the sentence, the former Governor of Zulia will not remain behind bars,
because the Court agreed to his staying on bail with prohibition from leaving the country.
Out of the trial, Álvarez Paz said that his trial is "a political case".
On September 1, 2011.
The Interamerican Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Leopoldo López.
The ruling determined that the disqualification of opposition politician López Mendoza violated his political rights
under Article 23 of the American Convention on Human Rights. The IACourtHR also asked Venezuela to lift Lopez Mendoza's disqualification.
"The ruling of the IACHR Court runs counter to the human rights of all Venezuelans, the laws of the Republic,
justice and national sovereignty; it promotes impunity and impedes and undermines the fight against corruption",
reads the statement issued by the Comptroller General, Carlos Escarrá, Office.
On November 21, 2011.
Diego Arria files complaint against President Chávez at The Hague.
Opposition presidential pre-candidate Diego Arria said that the lawsuit seeks to protect Venezuelans from crimes
which are "predictable" due to Venezuela's situation. He expects a prompt ruling.
"It is a complaint to defend the rights of thousands and thousands of victims of Hugo Chávez.
This complaint is neither against the Venezuelan president's office as an institution nor against Chávez as Head of State.
It is intended to determine the criminal and personal liability of Hugo Chávez and some of his top aides for crimes against humanity",
Arria stressed that the complaint requires a prompt ruling,
in order to prevent new crimes that are foreseeable in the light of Venezuelan circumstances.
"I intend to prevent situations similar to those occurred in countries such as Ivory Coast
when his President (Laurent Gbagbo) refused to step down."
On January 9, 2012.
Chávez orders closure of Venezuelan consulate in Miami.
"During the presentation of his Report and Accounts,
President Hugo Chávez ordered the closure of the consulate in Miami
while his government assesses the facts in which Consul General Livia Acosta was allegedly involved."
"Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez on Friday announced the closure of Venezuela's Consulate in Miami,
after the US government expelled Venezuelan Consul General Livia Acosta last week."
"'Foreign Minister (Nicolás Maduro) advised me to close the consulate. We have shut it down. There is no consulate in Miami',
said the head of State during the presentation of his Report and Accounts at the National Assembly."
On February 12, 2012.
With about 1.8 (62%) of the 2.9 million votes,
Henrique Capriles Radonski won the Mesa de la Unidad Democrática (MUD) primary elections
to oppose Chávez in the presidential elections of October 7 2012.
On February 23, 2012.
Venezuela's President said during a cabinet meeting broadcast by all Venezuelan and TV stations
that he is expected to undergo surgery on Monday or Tuesday after doctors found a new lesion
on the same spot where he had cancer surgery last June.
On March 16, 2012.
Chávez arrives in Venezuela.
The Venezuelan president stayed for 21 days in Havana,
where he underwent surgery on 26 February to remove a new tumor at the same site where on June last year
he was removed a cancerous tumor from the pelvic area.
On April 12, 2012.
Hugo Chavez commemorated the tenth anniversary of the events of April 2002 with a "gathering of friends"
in all national radio and television networks.
After arriving at 10:25 pm this Wednesday night at the Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, from Havana, Cuba,
where he underwent a third cycle of radiotherapy,
the mandatary immediately headed for Miraflores Palace to kick off what he called "a conversational meeting".
On April 14, 2012.
Chávez not to attend Summit on health reasons.
Foreign minister Nicolás Maduro announced that Hugo Chávez will not attend the Summit of the Americas in Colombia
because he must prepare to start the fourth cycle of radiation therapy to fight cancer.
On April 18, 2012.
Justice Eladio Aponte Aponte said that senior officers of the Bolivarian Armed Forces
and top officials of Hugo Chávez's government are involved in drug trafficking operations.
Eladio Aponte Aponte is currently in Miami, under the protection of the DEA.
On April 20, 2012.
Venezuelan general Wilmer Moreno was killed.
Moreno was a close collaborator of the current Venezuelan government.
He participated in the attempted coup of 1992, in which Chávez sought to overthrow and kill then President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
On May 12, 2012.
Back in Venezuela, Chávez says he completed radiation therapy.
Hugo Chávez said he "successfully" completed the cycle of radiation therapy, as scheduled by his medical team.
He arrived late on Friday at Simón Bolívar International Airport in Maiquetía, after spending 11 days in Havana, Cuba,
where he underwent the last two (fifth and sixth) cycles of radiation therapy sessions to treat the cancer that he suffers.
On July 4, 2012.
World leftwing closes ranks with Venezuelan leader.
Sao Paulo Forum joins efforts to prevent the rightwing advance.
Beginning on Wednesday,
120 leftwing parties from all over the world and 400 international delegates will gather for the 18th session of Sao Paulo Forum,
for the first time in Caracas.
According to the master document that will guide the talks, they will take sides with Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez for his reelection.
"The US meddling and influence can be felt in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
through several attempts at influencing the Venezuelan election, promoting undemocratic clues ahead of the election of October 2012.
For the Venezuelan and hemispheric leftwing, the reelection of Commander Hugo Chávez is of the essence," they admonished.
[In that regard, they add that "solidarity with the candidacy of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela" will be agreed.]
On July 14, 2012.
Confession letter forwarded by Venezuelan ex-Magistrate Aponte Aponte.
"The acusation was thrown by the former magistrate of the Room of Criminal Cassation of the Supreme Court of Justice, Eladio Aponte Aponte,
who asserted that the president ordered him to achieve the Commissioners
Ivan Simonovis, Henry Vivas, Lazaro Forero and eight agents of the defunct Metropolitan Police (PM)
processed by the events of April 11, 2002 were sentenced, as indeed happened."
"Mssrs. Ex-Commissioners Henry Vivas Lázaro Forero, Iván Simonovis, Erasmo Bolívar, Luis Molina, Arube Pérez, Marco Hurtado, Héctor Lovaina",
"The undersigned, Dr. Ramón Eladio Aponte Aponte, former magistrate of the Criminal Court, Supreme Tribunal of Justice,
holder of Venezuelan Identity Card number three five one one zero four, attest:"
"It is my peremptory duty to avow you, and everyone,
that I have committed the sin of having issued to the judges who prosecuted you
the order to sentence you to 30-year imprisonment at whatever cost.
I was just following direct orders from President Hugo Chávez Frías, who instructed me to do it".
[San José, Costa Rica, this sixteenth day of April, year two thousand and twelve]
On October 07, 2012.
Polling places start operations across Venezuela.
From 6 am on Sunday polling centers started operations in Venezuela,
but voters were waiting in line at the doors of the voting places from early morning hours.
The electoral register comprises 18.8 million registered voters, including 100,495 Venezuelans living abroad,
who are eligible to go to the polls on Sunday to choose the next president of the republic for the 2012-2019 period.
Polling stations are to close at 6 pm, but the voting process could be extended at polling centers where there are still voters in line.
The tally process will be fully automatic. The first report on results will be issued when an irreversible electoral trend exists.
Venezuelan laws prohibit the dissemination of exit polls before the first official report.
There are 39,322 polling stations in 13,810 polling places.
For the first time, the voting machines will be activated by a fingerprint-reading device
to prevent any voter from casting his ballot more than once.
Some 139,000 troops will be in charge of security and logistics in the electoral process.
On October 07, 2012.
Chávez reelected as president until 2019.
The results were disclosed after 90% of the ballots were counted.
President Hugo Chávez was reelected with 7,444,082 votes (54.42%),
while opposition hopeful Henrique Capriles won 6,151,544 votes (44.97%),
announced National Electoral Council (CNE) president Tibisay Lucena late on Sunday.
Lucena stressed that turnout in the presidential election hit 80.94%.
On October 07, 2012.
Capriles: I hope Chávez interprets people's expression with greatness.
"We have started to pave the way and more than six million people are looking for future. You can count on me.
I am at your service and I want to tell the other Venezuelans (government supporters) that they can count on me as well",
said opposition leader Henrique Capriles after electoral authorities announced Hugo Chávez's reelection as president.
On October 9, 2012.
Reelected President Chávez obtains over eight million votes.
Venezuelan reelected President Hugo Chávez surpassed the eight million vote threshold.
Upon review and counting of ballots in 38,066 polling stations (96.7%),
the reelected president gained 8,044,106 valid votes totaling 55.11% of the electorate.
For his part, challenger Henrique Capriles Radonski obtained 6,461,612 (44.27%).
The final figures are yet to come. Counting is still pending in another 952 polling stations in Venezuela and 127 abroad.
If these 38,066 poling stations received 14.505.718 valid votes, at a rate of 381 votes each, in average,
they had to receive them a rate of almost 31.8 votes per hour;
that is, some 2 minutes per vote during 12 hours, sustained at each station!
And this does not consider the null votes, each taking some time also.
On October 10, 2012.
Capriles: "The winner was the Government, Venezuela never won".
Referring to Chávez's reelection as president and both the unequal grounds of the election campaign
and the voters that the Government was able to bribe, Capriles commented that "the winner was the Government. Venezuela never won."
Número de Electores escrutados: 18,679,336 (Registered voters)
Número Total de Votantes que votaron realmente: 15,062,393 (Actual votes)
Participación: 80.63% (Turnout)
Número de Votos Escrutados: 15,059,298 (Votes counted)
Número total de Votos Válidos: 98.1% 14,773,687 (Valid Votes)
Número total de Votos Nulos: 1.89% 285,611 (Null Votes)
Número de Actas Procesadas: 38,798 (Polling Stations Processed)
15,059,298 / 38,798 = 388.1463 = 388 votes per polling station (in average)
388.146 votes per station / 12 = 32.3455 votes per station per hour = 0.539 votes per minute
0.539 votes per minute = 1.855 minutes per vote = 1 min. 51 seg. per vote [sustained]!
Even when supposing a working time of 13 hours for all voting stations, the calculation gives 2 minutes per vote!
[from when you get access to the voting machine to when the next voter gets access]
But Miguel Octavio (moctavio) on
October 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm
(at The Devil's Excrement - Postmorten Of The Venezuelan Election) said:
"In my table, we were voting faster than one person per minute, probably two per minute."
In Chávez' Venezuela, to get access to the voting machine you must first have your fingerprint scanned,
as it appears in your I.D. that you must show. [The fear factor]
But there were other factors that explain both the very high speed of the vote and the low abstention:
the multiple votes of the activists with multiple I.D.
in the centres without representation of the opposition until the closing of the polling station,
and activists voting for those who did not show up during the day.
"I have a conviction, and it is that the Sunday results do not reflect the true will of the people of Venezuela."
"If the elections had been free and clean, another would be the result," said opposition Deputy Maria Corina Machado.
"On October 7, what was imposed here, what won here, were the abuse and the outrage of the Government", she said.
Ramón Guillermo Aveledo, one of the main architects of the unit of the Venezuelan opposition,
said that bullying played a role in the re-election of President Hugo Chávez,
pointing out that the result of the elections this month may have been most linked with the fear
that with a legitimate affection of the population towards the Bolivarian Revolution.
"It can be concluded that: the inconsistencies found in many voting centers and the magnitude of them,
imply that the official results of the elections on 7-Oct-2012 do not reflect the will of the people with statistical security."
Since December 11, 2012,
Chávez has been in Cuba under intensive medical care after major cancer surgery.
Regional Elections 2012:
On December 16, 2012.
the oficialism won in 20 states and the opposition could only keep 3 (Miranda, Lara and Amazonas),
and they lost 4 states (Mérida, Zulia, Nueva Esparta and Monagas).
The abstention was around 47%.
On January 17, 2013.
"Maduro: Gov't ponders scenarios, but Chávez remains the President."
"Venezuelan Executive Vice-President Nicolás Maduro said the government is assessing and reassessing scenarios,
but stressed that President Hugo Chávez is and will continue to be the president of Venezuela."
On February 8, 2013.
"Venezuela devalues currency by 46.5%; VEB at 6.30 per US dollar."
"An adjustment in the official exchange rate, from VEB 4.30 per US dollar to VEB 6.30 per US dollar, which implies 46.5% devaluation."
On February 27, 2013.
the former ambassador of Panama to the OAS said Wednesday to the international channel NTN24 news
that President Hugo Chávez would have been switched off four days ago from the machines that kept him alive.
"The President would have been disconnected from the machines that kept him alive four days ago"
"The information that I have is that Chávez from December 30 was brain-dead,
in that state they moved him to Venezuela because they didn't want to disconnect him in Cuba", said the former ambassador.
Guillermo Cochez challenged chavism to belie his statements.
"I challenge the Government of Venezuela to tell me that what I say is false, showing Chávez".
According to Guillermo Cochez between Wednesday and Thursday in Venezuela, new elections would be called.
"As a result of all this, today or tomorrow they would call new elections,
that reflects what has been said about the health of President Chávez is totally false."
"He has been hidden, because no one has seen him, they have been misreporting the information with false photographs,
which do not reflect reality". "They have been cheating Venezuela and the whole world", he reiterated.
Guillermo Cochez was dismissed on January 17 from his post as ambassador of Panama to the Organization of American States OAS
after controversial statements about the situation experienced by Venezuela.
On February 28, 2013.
President Chávez has been off the air for 80 days.
"Many thought that the return of Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez to his country of origin would mean his public reappearance.
Neverthless, 10 days after, the most famous patient in Caracas' Military Hospital remains as invisible as in Cuba,
with the visits restricted to a small number of close relatives and ministers."
On March 5, 2013.
Carter hails Chávez's commitment to improving the lives of Venezuelans.
"Former US president Jimmy Carters praised Chávez's efforts to "create new forms of integration" in Latin America and the Caribbean,
noting that during his 14-year tenure Venezuelan poverty rates were cut in half
and a more effective participation in political and economic life was facilitated to millions."
On March 11, 2013.
Cuba is said to have sent 2,000 agents to lever Maduro.
"According to Spanish daily newspaper ABC, the Cuban agents would be responsible for election monitoring,
along with some 46,000 Cuban cooperators who officially reside in Venezuela,
with the ultimate purpose of nailing down the Chavista revolution."
On April 13, 2013.
According to Datamática, market research and public opinion company,
Henrique Capriles arrives at the election date with a 12.7% advantage over Nicolás Maduro in voting intention.
(42.2% vs. 29.5%, with 27.4% undecided) [Tracking poll #19]
On April 14, 2013.
Maduro is the new Venezuelan president with 50,66% of votes.
"Nicolás Maduro was elected as the new Venezuelan president with 7,505,338 votes (50.66% of the ballots cast)
versus 7,270,403 votes of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles,
who gained 49.07% of ballots, said president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) Tibisay Lucena."
"Lucena disclosed the election results after 99.12 percent of the ballots were counted. Turnout was estimated at 78.71 percent."
On April 15, 2013.
Capriles rejects results as long as all votes are not counted.
"Opposition coalition presidential candidate Henrique Capriles on Monday firmly stated that
he makes no pact with "a person I deem illegitimate"
and called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) to audit all the ballot boxes "so that every vote is counted again.""
On April 19, 2013.
Nicolás Maduro sworn in as Venezuelan president.
"At 2:05 pm Nicolás Maduro was sworn in by Speaker of National Assembly (AN) Diosdado Cabello as the President of Venezuela."
"The daughter of late President Hugo Chávez, María Gabriela Chávez,
along with Speaker of National Assembly (AN) Diosdado Cabello, put the presidential sash on Maduro."
On April 20, 2013.
Electoral body: The presidential vote is over; the results are irreversible.
""Audits do not lead to results; it is important to keep this in mind",
said Sandra Oblitas, director of the Nacional Electoral Council (CNE)."
"Oblitas warned that the CNE decision announced on Thursday to conduct an additional audit of 46% of the ballot boxes
that were not audited on April 14 "is not a recount. The audit will be conducted under the technical standards provided by the CNE."."
Art 156, Organic Law of Electoral Processes (2009):
The audit is the verification of all the materials, technological resources and data
used in the execution of the various phases of the electoral process,
so that they guarantee the transparency and reliability of the process.
Audits may be applied to all or some of the phases of the electoral process.
On April 21, 2013.
The reasonable doubts about April 14 presidential election.
"More than four million votes did not match when recounting ballot by ballot.
The Election Day that took place last Sunday April 14 will be remembered
because of excesses with assisted vote and several election audits in the absence of witnesses."
On April 22, 2013.
Henrique Capriles does not rule out election re-run.
"Presidential candidate for opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) Henrique Capriles
told Spanish newspaper El Mundo in an interview
that he is convinced that the outcome of an election audit in Venezuela would lead to a new election, at least partially."
On April 23, 2013.
Minister Varela threatens to put Henrique Capriles behind bars.
"Minister of Penitentiary Affairs Iris Varela said the Venezuelan government is to report to domestic and foreign bodies
what she described as "fascist actions" by the opposition.
She said videos and testimonies would be presented as evidence.
Further, she threatened to put opposition leader Henrique Capriles in jail."
On April 25, 2013.
Capriles to contest the results of the presidential election of April 14.
"The former presidential candidate for the opposition coalition MUD
conditioned his participation in the audit of 46% of the ballot boxes
on the delivery of the voter's rolls by the National Electoral Council.
"If we are denied access to the voter's rolls, we will not participate in a tinpot audit (...) because it is a mockery of Venezuelans"."
On April 29, 2013.
Henrique Capriles to contest election results by May 6.
""I have no doubt that this matter will be brought to international bodies.
Any time soon, our country will hold another election. Be confident and have faith (...) lies are fragile," Henrique Capriles remarked."
On May 13, 2013.
Mercosur commission plans to review democratic status in Venezuela.
"The Human Rights Commission, Common Market of the South (Mercosur),
admitted on Monday an application to review democratic conditions in Venezuela,
substantiated with the violent events occurred after the presidential election of April 14
and the detention of Retired General Antonio Rivero."
On July 20, 2013.
Venezuela ends rapprochement with the United States.
"The Venezuelan government criticized Washington's endorsement of the remarks made by United Nations Ambassador Nominee Samantha Power,
who voiced concern about the issue of human rights in Venezuela.
"Venezuela ends the process initiated in Guatemala talks", Caracas said late Friday in a communiqué."
On July 25, 2013.
Simonovis taken to the Military Hospital for health problems.
the ex chief of the Judicial Technical Police sentenced to 30-year imprisonment in connection with the events of April 11, 2002,
was taken on Thursday to Caracas Military Hospital because of health problems.
On August 20, 2013.
Capriles: 'If passed, Venezuelans would disregard the Enabling Law'.
"The Constitution backs all Venezuelans up in disregarding those powers that would not exist,
because they would be grounded on an utter violation.
The Constitution itself forces us to enforce it",
opposition leader Henrique Capriles stated on Tuesday on his live web show Venezuela Somos Todos ("Venezuela is all of us")
On October 11, 2013,
Reporters Without Borders shares the concerns voiced by organizations that represent journalists and media workers about the government's
7 October decree creating a new intelligence agency called the Strategic Centre for Homeland Security and Protection, or CESPPA.
On November 14, 2013.
Enabling Law approved with 99 votes in its first reading.
Until Tuesday, the Government relied on 98 votes only to approve the law whereas opposition legislators totaled 67.
However, the inconvenience was overcome two days ago after the revocation of opposition Deputy María Aranguren's parliamentary immunity.
On December 5, 2013.
CNE director: 'This is the most outrageous campaign in Venezuelan history'.
The municipal election campaign is "the most outrageous campaign Venezuela ever had in many years; I'd dare say in Venezuelan history",
said Vicente Díaz, a member of the board of the National Electoral Council (CNE).
[There will be municipal elections on December 8, 2013]
On December 8, 2013.
Voters turnout in Venezuelan local election hits 58.92%.
The President of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, announced on Sunday the preliminary results of the municipal vote,
with 97.52% of results transmission. She reported that voters turnout nationwide hit 58.92%.
"Out of 355 municipalities, there is an irreversible trend in 257," Lucena noted.
She outlined that ruling party United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) got 196 out of 335 mayor's offices,
while opposition alliance Unified Democratic Panel (MUD) got 53.
Nationwide, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) got 4,584,477 votes (44.16%); MUD, 4,252,082 votes (40.96),
the Communist Party of Venezuela, 167,049 votes (1.6%) and other political parties got 1,376,056 votes (13.26%).
In Caracas, Venezuela's capital,
the opposition alliance MUD candidates won the mayor's office of the Metropolitan Area of Caracas, and Baruta, Chacao, El Hatillo, and Sucre.
Meanwhile, the Libertador mayor's office will continue under the leadership of ruling party PSUV.
On December 8, 2013.
the Government did not get the majority of votes,
even though the first reports released by the National Electoral Council (CNE) may make us think otherwise.
It turns out that the PSUV (the Government's party) and the PCV (a left-wing party supporting the Government)
reaped 5,111,336 votes (or 49.24% of valid ballots),
whereas the MUD and its allies plus other parties standing against the Government obtained 5,268,828 votes (or 50.76%).
On January 22, 2014.
Human Rights Watch lists Venezuela as 'feigned democracy'.
Based on this category prepared by Kenneth Roth, the CEO of Human Rights Watch, Venezuela appears in a chapter entitled Rights Struggles of 2013,
along with Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Burma, Thailand, Kenya, Russia, Ukraine and China.
On February 13, 2014.
Bench warrant against Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo López.
The capture of the founder of opposition political Voluntad Popular (People's Will, VP) party, Leopoldo López,
on the grounds of his alleged liability for the violent events occurred in Caracas on Wednesday has been ordered.
On Wednesday evening, Caracas 16th Control Judge Ralenys Tovar Guillén admitted the petition made by the Attorney General Office
to detain the ex Chacao mayor and ordered the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin)
to apprehend him and enter his residence for the purposes of conducting a search, police sources reported.
Under warrant of arrest N 007-14, the judge ordered to capture López to sue him for a wide array of offenses, ranging from conspiracy,
solicitation to commit a crime, public intimidation, fire of public premises, damages of public property, murder and terrorism.
On February 18, 2014.
Leopoldo López turns himself over to National Guard officers.
The leader of opposition party Voluntad Popular Leopoldo López turned himself in to officers of the National Guard at noon on Tuesday,
a few minutes after he finished his speech before hundreds of dissenters gathered in Chacaíto, northeast Caracas.
Cierre de vías 24F:
Users report closure of roadways since early hours in the morning of February 24.
In the social networks during all of Sunday 23 there was a call for the closure of roadways with the hash tag "#24FGranBarricadaNacional".
On February 26, 2014.
OAS to hold special meeting on the Venezuelan crisis.
The Organization of American States (OAS) is to discuss on Thursday Panama's proposal
to convene a meeting with the ambassadors of each Member State to find a solution to the crisis in Venezuela,
where anti-Government demonstrations have resulted in 14 people dead in three weeks.
On February 26, 2014.
OAS puts off meeting of the Permanent Council about Venezuela.
Venezuelan Ambassador to the Organization of American States Roy Chaderton sent a letter to the OAS secretary General
to suspend the meeting on grounds that it is up to Venezuela to convene such a meeting in the absence of the chair of the Permanent Council.
On February 28, 2014.
Students will remain in the streets despite military repression.
Caracas' takeover will be held on Sunday.
"No carnival for anybody here; we will continue in the streets.
On Sunday, we will walk up to Brión square (eastern Caracas)", exclaimed Juan Requesens, the president of the Federation of Student Councils,
Central University of Venezuela (UCV).
Earlier, he had said once again that students will keep up demonstrating as long as all students are released and justice is administered.
On March 17, 2014.
Busting the myth of freedom of speech in Venezuela.
The current reality seems to indicate that mass media is allowed to freely transmit information,
as long as that information is favorable to the government.
In other words, Venezuelans are able to express themselves and share their opinions
as long as they are willing to pay the price that an opinion against the government can entail.
Nicolás Maduro's statements about "freedom" of speech are clearly misleading.
On March 24, 2014.
María Corina Machado: "This movement is unstoppable and irreversible".
"Over the past seven weeks, students on the streets, supported by citizens, have taken off the democratic mask of Maduro's regime,
which has unleashed repression as never seen before under the dictatorships of Juan Vicente Gómez or Marcos Pérez Jiménez".
On April 4, 2014.
VenEconomy: Hammer of Repression Is Still Banging Hard in Venezuela.
The government of Nicolás Maduro does not let go of its repressive hammer as it keeps banging hard here and there as it pleases.
It sieges and devastates large areas where peaceful demonstrations remain undefeated,
mainly in the cities of San Cristóbal, Mérida, Barquisimeto, Valencia, Maracay and the east side of Caracas, the capital.
The number of people killed by the repressive forces of the Government now reaches 40, while allegations of torture rose to 59,
not to mention the countless wounded and detentions.
On April 7, 2014.
"We have resisted because they attack and kill us like dogs".
"On every occasion the National Guard (BNB) and the Bolivarian National Police (PNB) arrive,
charging at us with tear gas, pellets and hunting cartridges,
more than 200 people who stay the night in the camp take refuge in a corner, with gas masks;
we put our hands up, as a peace sign, and chant the national anthem."
Such is the account of Raimond Julién,
one of the leaders of the student camp in front of the United Nations local chapter headquartered in Caracas.
The move is set to make authorities know about their "peaceful resistance."
On April 11, 2014.
VenEconomy: Concealment as State Policy.
Soberanía, an NGO, released a report on its web site (www.soberania.org) on April 3,
signed by 17 of Venezuela's most renowned economists,
detailing how the official economic and social data of the country has been deteriorated.
This silence not only violates the right of citizens to accurate and timely information on important matters,
but also disrespects the obligation that rulers and other public officials have to regularly being accountable to the nation.
On April 16, 2014.
Decision on renewed testing of ex-chief police Simonovis labelled as "gibe".
"Why should renewed testing for the commissioner be accepted?"
Human rights advocate and attorney Elenis Rodríguez termed "gibe"
the refusal by the Venezuelan government of an amnesty bill produced by the opposition Unified Democratic Panel (MUD)
as part of the talks intended to break the stalemate in Venezuela.
On May 7, 2014.
VenEconomy: From Dead Calm to Perfect Storm?
A dead calm is felt in Venezuela at the moment; an apparent stillness that, as sailors themselves say,
causes despair and portends eventual storms.
And even sadder is the dead calm caused by the helplessness felt by the population in the face of an oppressive State,
which has fiercely made use of all its repressive and judicial powers against young - and not so young -
people who took the streets legitimately to express themselves against all the factors that have worsened grave issues
such as personal insecurity, scarcity and the high cost of living courtesy of the Cuban Castro-communist regime.
On May 12, 2014.
As many as 10,706 Venezuelans have sought asylum in the US.
Growing migration of Venezuelans to the United States (215,023 legal residents)
has influenced applications for asylum on grounds of political persecution.
From 1998 through 2013, a total of 10,706 Venezuelans have sought asylum in the United States.
Over the past 15 years, 2,043 petitions have been granted, versus 3,686 denied.
Other 4,977 applications were withdrawn, abandoned or took another course, based on the numbers supplied by the US Department of Justice.
In the past five years (2009-2013) such applications have escalated.
Asylum in the United States has been sought by 1,724 Venezuelans; 640 of which were granted, 780 denied and 1,420 took another course.
On May 27, 2014.
Imprisoned former police chief on hunger strike.
Iván Simonovis, a former police chief of the Caracas Metropolitan Police who was sentenced to 30 years in prison over the April 2012 coup,
on Tuesday went on a hunger strike to reject the court's delay in deciding whether he will be granted humanitarian release
due to his poor health condition, a petition filed by his defense lawyers nearly two years ago.
Reading a letter from Simonovis, defense lawyer José Luis Tamayo made the announcement.
Tamayo pointed out that the former police chief was not found guilty of crimes against humanity, as many government officials have claimed.
On May 28, 2014.
Venezuelan gov't involves María Machado in new plot.
Caracas Mayor Jorge Rodríguez produced as evidence a number of e-mails presumably from deposed opposition deputy María Corina Machado.
Rodríguez showed a number of e-mails, presumably from María Corina Machado.
In such e-mails forwarded to constitutionalist Gustavo Tarre,
the former deputy regrets the unresponsiveness of some politicians with regard to her dismissal from the National Assembly (AN).
He contended that plotters schemed to kill Diosdado Cabello, Aragua state governor Tareck el Aissami
and Minister of the Interior Miguel Rodríguez Torres.
On May 28, 2014.
Machado to Maduro: Neither assassination nor coup. Step down.
"I reaffirm it, Mr. Maduro, neither assassination nor coup. Step down,"
declared on Wednesday the leader of the opposition movement Vente Venezuela, María Corina Machado,
who rejected as a "clumsy scam" the allegations by top Venezuelan government officers
that she is involved in an alleged coup and assassination scheme.
The deposed congresswoman said that the top government officials' accusations against her
have clearly shown that "the security bodies of Venezuela are a disgrace."
She stressed that "the highest political leaders of the revolution," along with the state security and intelligence agencies,
intend to persecute and intimidate citizens.
On June 9, 2014.
Venezuelan dissenters to seek early elections.
Deposed opposition Deputy María Corina Machado set out a three-step plan for political change.
"It is time to reap the achievements of this heroic deed",
stated last Sunday opposition leader María Corina Machado from a platform in Chacaíto (east Caracas) before a modest rally.
She announced, along with opposition party Voluntad Popular leaders, "the route for the national liberation".
Machado set out a three-step plan for the "reaping".
The first step is to create "a wide bottom-up unity, where every social expression is heard.
A unity that allows MUD's (Democratic Unified Panel) parties and leaders such as Henrique Capriles, Antonio Ledezma,
and Leopoldo López to be brought together.
We must incorporate the students' movement, professional associations, citizens' assemblies, trade unions, grassroots groups,
communal councils, and cultural groups", among others.
The idea is them to be "united in a great national movement to reach consensus on the Venezuela we want", said Machado.
In her view, the second step is to "demand the resignation of (president) Nicolás Maduro amid a great national outcry".
The last step of the road map is to "renew a social pact, where all Venezuelans can get together and renew public powers".
Machado pointed out that the mechanisms are on the Constitution: an amendment or a National Constituent Assembly.
Without a doubt, Venezuela is going through the most serious economic crisis in its entire history:
Unbearable shortages that extend to food products,
medicines and all kinds of basic consumer goods and key inputs to the industry and agricultural sector of the country.
The country is also falling short of foreign currency, making it harder to pay for imports and the debts every time.
An inflation rate that may exceed 80% or more by the end of this year.
The country no longer has access to credit; not even the one that China used to provide.
The options that the country has so far are misery, hunger and pests; or maybe signing up for an IMF-style adjustment program.
Meanwhile, the Government and its submissive public institutions maintain a culpable silence with regard to the accountability
and key information that both the Constitution and laws oblige them to inform the population about the nation's today economic reality.
A serious, unwise and negligent omission that should lead to legal responsibilities for the officials involved.
But, in today's Venezuela, this culpable silence also extends to the Office of the Comptroller, the Parliament and the judiciary system,
institutions called on to be the guarantors of transparency in the management of the State and the compliance with laws and accountability,
for they are all clung to the "revolutionary" process.
On June 23, 2014.
HRW denounces at the UN human rights abuses by Venezuela.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed on Monday at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
its deep concerns over the serious human rights situation in Venezuela,
describing it as "the most alarming" the country has gone through in years.
"They (law enforcement agents) deliberately attacked journalists and other people who took photographs or recorded videos
of repression against protesters,
yet they allowed pro-government armed groups to attack demonstrators.
Sometimes they (officers) even collaborated with them" the organization commented.
On July 5, 2014.
A new era has begun for El Universal.
One hundred and five years after its foundation,
El Universal gets ready to begin a new era following a change in its shareholding structure.
From now on, the Spanish investment firm Epalisticia joins the daily newspaper, presided over by Engineer Jesús Abreu Anselmi.
Founded in 1909, El Universal came out to the streets in a four-page edition under a principle set by its first editor, poet Andrés Mata.
Such principle has remained "as is" for over a century: freedom of expression.
On July 13, 2014.
Infodio: Spain's €3,500 Epalisticia buys El Universal for €90 million.
Insistent rumours had been making the rounds for some time about the alleged sale of El Universal,
Venezuela's oldest and last standing independent newspaper.
The sale, for an alleged €90 million, was confirmed this week.
The new director is meant to be Jesús Abreu Anselmi.
Abreu did very little to establish his credibility and calm fears about ultimate controlling party,
when he pointed at Spain's Epalisticia S.L. as the group behind the purchase.
Epalisticia S.L. is a €3,500 company, which started operations less than a year ago.
On July 28, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Absurdities of the Carvajal Case.
A series of shocking and still incomprehensible events has taken place in Aruba since last Thursday
with the arrest of the former director of Venezuela's Military Intelligence (DIM), retired Army General Hugo Carvajal.
On August 1, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela's Controversial Gas Price Hike.
On Thursday, President Nicolás Maduro put at the top of the national agenda the start of a discussion regarding
an increase in gas prices in Venezuela.
Indeed, this is a necessary discussion to be held in a country with the lowest gas prices in the world
(Bs.0.097 per liter, or $0.0015 per liter at official exchange rate and $0.0019 per liter at SICAD II exchange rate,
which is equivalent to seven cents per gallon at a time when most countries sell it at more than $1 per liter or $3.50 per gallon).
On August 11, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Venezuela's Opposition 'Shadow Cabinet'.
This is the right time for the MUD to take up a proposal made several years ago
by renowned analysts and media outlets such as José Toro Hardy, a former member of the Board of Directors of state-run oil company PDVSA;
Alfonso Molina, a member of civil association Liderazgo y Visión; Leonardo Palacios, a Venezuelan lawyer and university professor;
Aurelio Concheso, head of business association Fedecámaras, and local newspaper TalCual: that of setting up a "Shadow Cabinet".
It should be noted that a Shadow Cabinet is a mechanism used in democracies around the world,
especially in the UK, Canada, France, Romania and Australia.
It is about an institution where prominent members of the opposition are assigned the task
of following the steps of the Government's main ministers, each one within their own field of work,
with the purpose of establishing positions with regard to the actions performed by them.
On August 19, 2014.
VenEconomy: ... And Everything Will Remain the Same in Venezuela.
Venezuela has increased the pace of the decline that began during the last years of the late Hugo Chávez in the hands of his successor,
Maduro has been unable and has not wanted to amend the diverse and profound distortions that have become entrenched in the country
during 15 years of "revolution."
Counting on the complicity of the central bank, the National Executive is vainly trying to conceal the nation's figures of inflation
It hasn't released consumer price index data for two months and has remained mum on scarcity indicators for five months.
On August 22, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Venezuelan Government's Got a Nerve!
It turns out that Venezuela has reached such a situation in the lack of foreign currency to import products and goods required by citizens
to survive, despite the fact of having the world's largest oil and gas reserves with revenues of $90-$100 per barrel due to exports
of crude oil.
Unfortunately, the importing process has become vital for a country with nearly no domestic production from the private sector
thanks to the misappropriation of lands, private industries and properties on the part of the Government;
and that at the same time, it has destroyed all the productive apparatus of the State through politicization, inefficiency,
unproductiveness and corruption.
On August 26, 2014.
VenEconomy: Maduro Sneaks Out of Venezuela, Meets with Fidel
Maduro sneaked out of Venezuela to meet with the man calling the shots in Cuba for over 50 years
- and not once but twice in less than a month;
and everybody found out about these sudden trips when Fidel Castro himself made mention of them in his column "Reflexiones"
(Reflections) published by Cuban daily Granma.
On August 27, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Chinese Have Arrived in Venezuela!
Today the presence of the Chinese in Venezuela is an inescapable and increasingly tangible reality.
Both countries have signed agreements of all kinds in some 15 strategic areas:
housing, industry, agriculture, technology, transportation, telecommunications and, naturally, oil, are among the most sensitive areas,
especially since the end of July of this year when the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, visited the country and signed about 38 agreements,
out of which 21 are "private", meaning that these were not even disclosed to the population,
although the public opinion has not been well informed about the rest of them either.
On August 28, 2014.
VenEconomy: Is This the Oil Sovereignty Venezuela Brags About?
It turns out that the country's goose that lays the golden eggs, or the "very sovereign" PDVSA, would be "studying"
the possibility to import light Saharan Blend crude oil from Algeria,
according to a report by Mariana Párraga of the Reuters news agency, after having access to a document of the state-run oil company.
On August 29, 2014.
VenEconomy: A Continued Coup against Venezuela's Regional Powers
It is an affront to the dictatorial minds of those who control the Central Government
and have taken hold of the rest of Venezuela's public authorities
that leaders from the Democratic Unity (MUD) have been elected to be at the forefront of three governorates, and more than 70 mayoralties.
So much so that, refused to recognize the legitimacy of Henrique Capriles as governor of Miranda state,
President Nicolás Maduro decided to give rise to the so-called "Miranda Corporation",
a body that serves as a parallel authority to the governorate in which he appointed Elías Jaua,
the PSUV ruling party candidate who lost to Capriles during the regional elections held in December of 2012.
On September 1, 2014.
VenEconomy: Tightening the Nuts of Venezuelans' Freedoms
It is a true fact that the Venezuelan government has been tightening the nuts of the freedom of information,
expression and opinion for several years now.
Three universal human rights guaranteed in the national Constitution are being undermined by this so-called "beautiful revolution".
On September 2, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Ravings of Venezuela's Nicolás Maduro
Things seem to be taking an ugly turn for Venezuelan citizens.
Something that should not be surprising for anybody because, first of all, it had been previously warned by independent analysts and,
second of all, because it is quite predictable that a situation gets out of control
when is irresponsibly handled with malicious intentions.
It gives us the impression that President Nicolás Maduro has not made up his mind yet
about making the right decisions that would help revive the country.
On September 16, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Venezuelan Government's Tactic of Evading the Issue
In order to hide the state of destruction of the economy
and the debasement of society into which it has plunged Venezuela over the past 15 years,
the Venezuelan government has always opted for the path of evading the issue or that of blaming others for its own misdeeds.
This tactic, used in different areas of national concern and to solve various problems,
is made particularly evident by the absence of reliable information regarding the huge number of homicides
throughout the national territory and showing much lower figures than those reported by independent agencies instead.
Or when, underestimating the intelligence of Venezuelan citizens, government officials deliver opinions with no justifiable basis.
On September 22, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Masquerade of the Venezuelan Government
Last Friday, a judge granted a humanitarian measure of "house arrest due to health reasons" in favor of police commissioner Iván Simonovis
(a political prisoner of Hugo Chávez),
after serving 9 years and 299 days of unjust imprisonment out of a 30-year sentence
for the deaths of the April 11 of 2002 tragic events in Caracas.
On September 23, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Thin Ice of the Venezuelan Revolution
Just five years away from reaching 20, the damage caused to Venezuela
-- a country that with its natural resources could have become the most developed in the continent --
by the past 15 years of Bolivarian revolution is unimaginable.
It is simply impossible to imagine how far this involution of the country is going to get if a communist state is imposed in Venezuela.
On September 24, 2014.
VenEconomy: Will Venezuela's Maduro Come Out of the Empire Unharmed?
President Nicolás Maduro left Venezuela, a country that has become a living hell for his fellow citizens plagued by rampant crime,
soaring inflation, general shortages and a marked deterioration in the public healthcare system,
for a little while to land in the U.S. Empire he attacks - and fears - so much.
He spoke of the climate change, describing it as "the main threat to human survival of this century",
which, according to his own words, essentially resulted from "the crisis of a capitalist model of civilization".
(But did not say a word about a big "mountain" of coke, a byproduct of heavy oil upgraders at the Jose refinery in Anzoátegui state.)
After his presentation in the U.S. Empire,
Maduro and his court are seeking the admission of Venezuela as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council,
whose nomination on Wednesday was being decided by the General Assembly through secret ballot.
Venezuela needs two-thirds of the votes of the 193 member nations to make it in.
it would mark the fifth time that Venezuela occupies this post after the following periods: 1962-1963 / 1977-1978 / 1986-1987 and 1992-1993.
But we should ask ourselves if Maduro will come out of the U.S. Empire unharmed,
because President Barack Obama pointed out that his country stands by the political prisoners of Maduro such as Leopoldo López,
among many others.
Obama was blunt when he said that "these citizens remind us why civil society is so essential",
as he reminded the importance of civil society and the people's struggle for their rights.
On September 25, 2014.
VenEconomy: A Communal State Moves Forward in Venezuela
When Nicolás Maduro finally revealed what the much-trumpeted "shakeup" was all about on September 5,
he performed a major cabinet reshuffle that was clouded by the departure of the "king of oil and sheik of the Venezuelan economy",
Rafael Ramírez, from three of his multiple public offices
(Ministry of Oil and Mining, head of PDVSA, and Vice President of Economic Affairs).
This important and strategic piece moved by Maduro was the transfer of Elías Jaua, the former chancellor,
to two newly created public offices:
the Vice Presidency of Socialism Development and Eco-socialism and the Ministry of Communes and Social Movements.
What many did not realize is that with these appointments Maduro was taking a new step toward
the consolidation of the so-called "Communal State"
as outlined in the Plan of the Homeland by the late Hugo Chávez to build the Socialism of the 21st century, in other words,
the "Cubanization of Venezuela".
On September 29, 2014.
VenEconomy: Jesús Torrealba - The Missing Link of Venezuela's Democratic Machinery
After so much stumbling around for months,
the opposition Democratic Unity coalition (MUD) appointed Venezuelan journalist and community activist Jesús "Chuo" Torrealba
as its executive secretary, a managerial position held by Ramón Guillermo Aveledo until July 30.
This appointment is being welcomed very positively by the public opinion.
He has raised endless expectations, and while some critics remain somewhat skeptic due to his communist past,
he has brought a breath of fresh air to Venezuela's broad democratic sector
that until now had been feeling stomped on and without hope by the momentum of events.
On October 20, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela Pays for Expropriation Mistakes
Venezuela today is paying for the irresponsible and insatiable wave of expropriations which, on the one hand,
has taken national production to critical levels and led the country to rely on imports for its livelihood; and on the other,
has discouraged investment capital while making the State go to arbitration courts
so it can respond to complaints from international companies whose rights have been violated.
On November 6, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Venezuelan Government Has the Floor!
The exit to the harsh economic and social crisis that lies heavy on Venezuela consists,
without a doubt, of resolving the political and governance crisis in a climate of peace, where consensus,
the transparency of the processes, the credibility of public institutions and authorities,
and the respect for the will of the people prevail.
Unfortunately, these four variables are currently in the tightrope because of a political elite that sees itself lasting in power forever,
never going unpunished, and always above the Constitution and laws.
For starters, the ruling elite has marred the climate of peace in the country through the force of a virulent and stigmatizing speech,
meant for those Venezuelans who disagree with its policies and governance methods;
through an excessive repression and firepower (from the State and its paramilitary groups);
through the abuse of the Judiciary to prosecute, subdue and violate the rights and freedoms of those opposing it.
On November 7, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Totalitarian Temptation
Last week, the NGO Cedice Libertad, in alliance with the Liberal Network for Latin America (Relial) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation,
commemorated the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall with the "International Forum: The Totalitarian Temptation",
which had Mauricio Rojas, a former member of Chile's Revolutionary Left Movement (MIR) that got away from Marxism forever,
PhD in Economics, Assistant Professor at the University of Lund (Sweden) and former member of the Parliament of Sweden,
as special guest.
He was joined by Antonio Sánchez García as a commentator, a writer, essayist,
professor of contemporary philosophy at the Central University of Venezuela (UCV),
and a convinced Chilean-Venezuelan democrat who opposes any advance of a totalitarian regime in Venezuela and Latin America.
The lectures, among other topics, had to do with the presence of "caudillismo" in Latin America
with all its pledges and temptations for magical solutions to the problems of the population,
and the reason why many countries fall into these temptations as they end up with terrible dictatorships all the time.
Dictatorships that, on the one hand, drag many idealists into them, who in most cases become terrible oppressors of their peoples.
And on the other, plunge countries into rancor and division, where the sense of community and civic friendship is lost,
while resources are squandered instead of being invested in the development of the country, as has been the case of Cuba and now Venezuela.
On November 11, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela Goes Through the Tunnel of Torture
Now it seems that the method of torture has begun to take root in Venezuela again with the governments of Chávez
and his successor Nicolás Maduro.
Such have been the outrages with the implementation of torture, especially since the beginning of January of this year,
that several international bodies are calling on the Government to return to good judgment,
reason and reconciliation between the sectors at odds at political level.
On November 12, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela Remains Firmly on the Wrong Path
On Tuesday, during the Perspectivas (Outlook) 2015 forum hosted by the Venezuelan Confederation of Industrialists (Conindustria),
a diagnosis of the serious situation taking place in the industrial sector deemed vital for the development of the productive economy
and the impact it will have on the rest of the society was made.
The forum kicked off presenting the key developments of this year characterized, among other things,
by the severe difficulties in the access to foreign currency for imports (a reduction of 20%),
a situation that has hampered the access to raw materials and hence caused a significant decline in production volumes.
On November 13, 2014.
VenEconomy: Maduro's Government is Alone, Weak and Without Resources
The government of Nicolás Maduro finds itself desperate because of a continuous drop in oil prices that has lasted over a month,
surely after realizing that the long oil boom period has come to an end,
and that it wasted one of the best opportunities that the country has ever had for catapulting into development over the past 15 years.
On November 14, 2014.
VenEconomy: No Ceiling for the Exchange Rate in Venezuela?
A year ago, Venezuela's then-Vice President for the Economic Area, Rafael Ramírez,
stated that the Government would "crush" the dollar sold in the parallel market that fetched Bs.60 per dollar.
According to Ramirez, the exchange rate went out of control after a "relentless attack" against the national economy
since the health of the leader of the Venezuelan revolution, Hugo Chávez, deteriorated in November of 2012.
He emphatically claimed that "we are going to crush it (when referring to the parallel dollar),
because we are going to recoup all those dollars they are stealing from the nation
through over-invoicing or diversion of the dollars allocated by the Commission for the Administration of Currency Exchange (Cadivi)."
Another unfulfilled promise! The rate continued to climb, reaching Bs.100 per dollar.
For several weeks, it seemed it was stabilizing at that level.
Yet, prices of the parallel dollar started to rise again from October 23, hovering around Bs.120 per dollar on November 14;
and worst still, no one knows what the ceiling is going to be.
On November 17, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela's Controversial External Debt
The deadline for the payment of more than $4.6 billion in Venezuelan external debt service in October
sparked a controversy at the end of September of this year.
Some analysts questioned whether the Government could - or should -
honor these commitments due to the low levels of international reserves,
and many thought that it should first pay the private providers that must keep the supply of goods into the country,
which are paralyzed for this very same reason.
Now, with a recent slump in oil prices already hovering around $70 per barrel,
the question whether Venezuela will or will not be able to comply with the payment of its external debt --
or if it will be able to refinance it in the near future -- is raised once more.
On November 18, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Sham of the Bolivarian Enabling Laws
The enabling laws are special powers that have been granted not only in Venezuela since last century
to legislate in times of natural disasters and war situations, but also in cases of financial and economic emergencies.
But, since the late Hugo Chávez came to power, these "enabling laws" have served for the President to enact all sorts of laws
without the "need" to consult them with the Parliament or the public opinion.
The case is that the four enabling laws granted to Chávez, and that single one to Maduro,
have been used to build a wide "legal" network that underpins and deepens the so-called "Socialism of the 21st century".
On November 19, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Legislative Fraud in Venezuela
Once more a ruler of the "revolution" of the 21st century is cooking up a legislative fraud
to keep the country against the wall of failure and economic and social degradation.
On November 13 of 2001,
Hugo Chávez passed 49 decree-laws all at once as the expiration of his second enabling law granted by the Parliament neared.
Their contents were contrary to an open and dynamic economy,
which triggered a general strike led by the Confederation of Workers of Venezuela (CTV),
Fedecámaras (a business association) and several opposition political parties on December 10 of that year.
In spite of the fact that Nicolás Maduro never broke the record set by Chávez,
only hours before the expiration of an enabling law granted by the Parliament last year,
he passed 28 new decree-laws related to the economic area on Tuesday
that joined 13 other decree-laws passed in November of 2013 for the deepening of the so-called Plan for the Homeland
(a governance program inherited from Chávez that was also signed into law thanks to Maduro and an enabling decree in December of 2013).
On November 20, 2014.
VenEconomy: An Irrelevant, Pernicious Economic Package for Venezuela
Some say that what starts wrong, ends bad.
And that's what happened with the special powers granted to President Nicolás Maduro a year ago
by a parliamentary majority of the ruling party PSUV through legal tricks and vote-buying
to achieve the three-fifths required by the Constitution so the Legislature can delegate its powers to the National Executive.
A delegation of powers that, for a fifth time, fully erased the political plurality guaranteed by a democratic Parliament;
that eliminates a compulsory popular consultation provided for by the National Constitution for the enactment of laws;
and that obscures the legal framework that regulates the life of the nation.
A year ago, just as happened on four occasions during the government of the late Hugo Chávez,
the ruling coalition gave a blow to the Parliament.
On Wednesday, closing the 12-month period that enabled him to legislate at his discretion,
Maduro put the icing on the revolutionary cake by passing 28 decree-laws that will undermine the system of economic freedoms in Venezuela
and hence push the population into greater poverty and despair.
On November 21, 2014.
VenEconomy: A Thorn in the Side of the Venezuelan Dictatorship
November of 2014 will definitely be remembered in the history of Venezuela for the grotesque advance of its dictatorial regime.
On the one hand, 28 decree-laws (only 16 have been revealed so far) were passed all at once as the special legislative powers
granted by the Parliament to President Nicolás Maduro for 12 months last year reached their expiration date this week.
All of these decree-laws clearly violate constitutional provisions and ignore economic and citizens' rights.
And on the other, the Government is giving clear signs that it won't have any respect either for the Constitution,
or the political plurality of a democracy or the ideological diversity of participatory citizens
to form a Supreme Court of Justice and a National Electoral Council, both autonomous and independent from the Executive Branch.
Quite grotesque are all the dirty little tricks and manipulations of the processes for the selection of candidates
that will take part of these two institutions that are key to the survival of democracy and the system of freedoms in Venezuela.
On November 24, 2014.
VenEconomy: Destroying Venezuela's IVIC is No Rocket Science
And now the Venezuelan dictatorial regime is focusing on a new target: the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC).
The IVIC is an autonomous entity created on February 9 of 1959,
which brings together the most diverse areas of science (biology, medicine, physics, mathematics and chemistry)
in order to find solutions to different problems of the population in the areas of genetics and human reproduction, immunology,
tropical diseases, ecology and environmental pollution, among others.
An entity that gave rise to other institutions also of high scientific importance to the country such as:
IDEA, or Center for Advanced Studies for the formation in fourth educational level of Venezuelan scientists and other countries
in the region; Intevep, the technological arm of the Venezuelan oil industry and developer of Orimulsion;
Quimbiotec, a non-profit state company devoted to produce and commercialize blood derivatives; and the Institute of Engineering.
On November 25, 2014.
VenEconomy: New Antitrust Law fosters Unfair Competition in Venezuela
Among the decree-laws promulgated by President Nicolás Maduro nearly a week after the expiration of an Enabling Law
that granted him special powers is the Antitrust Law, published in the Official Gazette No. 6,151 on November 25.
This promulgation puts an end to a pending task of the Parliament since May of 2006.
And even though it should be pointed out that at first glance the Antitrust Law of Maduro
seems to be better written than the one resting in the Parliament already,
the same still leaves much to be desired and doesn't measure up to a law that protects and promotes free competition (Pro-Competition Law)
in force since January of 1992.
That law, enacted during the second presidential term of Carlos Andrés Pérez (1989-1993),
is considered as a model law that effectively combats monopolistic and oligopolistic behaviors and practices and other means
that may prevent, restrict, distort or limit the enjoyment of economic freedoms, while protects and promotes free competition.
These are real objectives that a good antitrust law must pursue.
On November 26, 2014.
VenEconomy: Situation in Venezuelan Prisons Worsens
Venezuela's penitentiary system has been ravaged by the revolutionary "marabunta" for many years now.
The situation of local prisons is getting worse every day.
These are run nowadays by a Ministry of Penitentiary Affairs and managed with partisan criteria
under the guidelines of the so-called "Plan for the Homeland" by a Minister who has proved to have a poor knowledge on the matter.
The chaotic situation in prisons, far from being corrected, gets worse by the day.
Now, as if the blood bath imposed to other prisoners by the 'pranes' [the de facto rulers of Venezuelan prisons] was not enough,
it is added to this the practice of repression, especially against a new type of prisoners:
students and demonstrators who have disagreed with the Government,
who are being sent to highly dangerous prisons not only to serve their sentences,
but for preventive detention while they stand cooked and supervised trials by the National Executive.
A week ago it was learned that Raúl Emilio Baduel (the son of Gen. Raúl Baduel,
former Defense Minister and one of the prisoners of the late President Hugo Chávez) and Alexander Tirado,
who are standing trial for the protests that started in February of 2014,
have been cruelly tortured by troops and custodians of the Uribana prison,
leaving after-effects of fractures and burns all over their bodies.
The Uribana inmates declared a strike on Monday due to the precarious conditions in the prison
and to denounce alleged violations to their human rights and cruel and degrading treatment.
On November 27, 2014.
VenEconomy: The 'Shield' of Venezuela for 2015
The economic, political and social situation in Venezuela keeps getting worse.
And the worst thing is that actions of the government of Nicolás Maduro and its policies
don't help in any way to outline a clear path towards exiting the crisis.
On the economic front, a set of 28 decree-laws promulgated by Maduro over the last two weeks
will not curb the impact of the slump in oil prices or boost the international reserves, or stop the debacle of the productive sector,
or alleviate the drought of foreign currency or the mounting shortages of goods.
What these decree-laws will achieve for sure is to continue bleeding businesses through taxes,
to deepen the devastation of the private productive sector, to encourage more waste of resources and corruption,
and to aggravate shortages, inflation and unemployment.
And in the meantime, the State gets additional tax revenue to try to make it up for the revenue loss caused by a drop in oil prices.
While building this totalitarian wall, the political persecution and repression against the "enemies" of the "Revolution" continues unabated,
with a cruelty only seen before in dictatorships from the 20th century such as those of Juan Vicente Gómez and Marcos Pérez Jiménez.
The numerous cases of torture and cruel treatment against detainees haven't stopped fattening up the dismal human rights record
of Venezuela at several international bodies.
The government of Maduro continues to accumulate political prisoners: Leopoldo López, Enzo Scarano, Daniel Ceballos,
Raúl Baduel (father and son), Alexander Tirado, Inés González (a blogger with the Twitter account @inesitalaterrible),
and now are likely to enter the already long list: Gustavo Tarré (a constitutional lawyer),
Henrique Salas Romer (the former governor of Carabobo state), Diego Arria, María Corina Machado,
among other renowned personalities from the Venezuelan opposition,
over the umpteen thousand alleged coup d'état and presidential assassination plots made up over the last 15 years.
On November 28, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela Has to Settle with Same Old OPEC Quota
On Thursday, as hinted by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and other member countries for several weeks,
the OPEC decided not to cut crude oil production as urged by the government of Venezuela on different occasions
in a bid to contain a sustained drop in prices over the last five months.
Everybody is aware that Venezuela's special envoy Rafael Ramírez,
the current Foreign Minister and former Minister of Energy and Petroleum and head of state-run oil company PDVSA,
went on a world tour that included Russia and the majority of OPEC countries
trying to convince them of the importance to cut production in order to reverse the continued decline in oil prices.
It was also made public all the frustrated efforts to advance the meeting held on Thursday in Vienna, among many other output cut attempts.
On December 1, 2014.
VenEconomy: The Enabling Laws of Venezuela's Maduro in Small Doses
In the middle of the second week of November,
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro hastily enacted a set of laws before the expiration of a period of 12 months of special powers
granted by the Parliament in November of 2013.
Altogether, Maduro had enacted 51 decree-laws by November 18, 45 of which were passed during his last two days of empowerment,
according to the official gazettes No. 40,543 (24 laws) and 40,544 (21 laws),
and whose texts indicated these would be subsequently published in eight additional gazettes dated November 18 or November 19 of 2014.
To date, 25 decrees laws have been published, four of which were reprinted for flaws in the originals,
including an Antitrust Law and one for the simplification of administrative procedures,
due to the fact that the text did not include the repeal of the laws in force for November 18.
On December 2, 2014.
VenEconomy: How Many More Will Have to Die in Venezuelan Prisons?
One of the many rights taken away from Venezuelans by their rulers is that of life
as the country becomes the new "sea of happiness" of Latin America.
And if the situation of insecurity is serious enough for those who live in "freedom",
it becomes particularly virulent for those who have been deprived of it.
Thus the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) expressed its alarm at the situation of violence in local prisons in a recent report,
calling the penitentiary system of Venezuela a "tragedy".
And this is not an exaggeration, taking into account that prison riots have intensified over the last decade
to accumulate casualties of 5,000 people who were under custody of the State.
On December 3, 2014.
VenEconomy: Venezuela's Original Sin
After a streak of low oil prices, and before the inescapable reality of a flat broke Venezuela,
President Nicolás Maduro has begun his search of money here and there so he can keep the nation's communist revolution alive.
Many of the 51 decree-laws recently enacted by him go down in that direction,
with tax increases and other measures aimed at the banking and insurance sectors.
That's also the intention of the assets sale of the Republic,
as was the Hovensa refinery deal with Virgin Islands-based Atlantic Basin Refining;
as well as the impending threat of selling CITGO, the U.S. refining unit of PDVSA.
It was thought that the urge of the Government in making additional cash would lead it to bond issues backed by receivables
from Petrocaribe and Energy Agreement countries (which owe about $20 billion to an annual interest of 1%-2%),
since Venezuela may obtain around $5-6 billion through this method.
It was learned this week that the sale of bonds for $4.09 billion owed by the Dominican Republic to the Republic of Venezuela
is being negotiated with U.S. investment bank Goldman Sachs, with the State getting 41% of the total face value of the debt,
or an accounting loss of about $2.4 billion.
It was also learned that the Venezuelan government would be in talks with Goldman Sachs
to strike a similar agreement with the oil debt of Jamaica with PDVSA.
This means that Venezuela's original sin was to provide 25-year financing for 50% of the value of the oil sold with a two-year grace period
and interest rates between 1% and 2% - well below current market rates.
If Venezuela had been able to resist until the year 2038,
only a few would have understood or realized about the huge gift made to these countries.
On December 4, 2014.
VenEconomy: Government's Mission - Neutralize the Venezuelan Opposition
The government of Nicolás Maduro is using one of its hands to push Venezuela down the ravine of crisis,
while the other crushes all dissent through its judges of horror.
This year 2014 has been a busy one for the Public Prosecutor's Office,
which has opened trials over any allegation made up by the nation's governing elite.
The goals of that persecution are varied, and may involve political opposition leaders, trade unionists, businesspeople or academics,
as well as journalists, students, bloggers, members of NGOs or human rights organizations,
or common citizens complaining or having any criticism against the Government.
On Wednesday, the guillotine from the judiciary was placed onto the neck of former opposition lawmaker and political leader,
María Corina Machado, who was summoned to the Public Prosecutor's Office to be "formally" charged
for her alleged involvement in one of the thousands assassination plots denounced by Maduro in his short presidential term.
This investigation was opened in March of this year and also involves Diego Arria, Henrique Salas Römer, Gustavo Tarre Briceño,
Ricardo Emilio Koesling Nava, Pedro Mario Burelli Briceño and Robert Alonso Bustillo,
who have been issued arrest warrants for their alleged participation in the assassination plan.
On December 5, 2014.
VenEconomy: Party On for Corruption in Venezuela
A year ago, President Nicolás Maduro requested the Parliament with a matter of urgency special legislative powers
so he could fight corruption and his bogus "economic war", which he blames for the harsh economic crisis eating away Venezuela.
Once the 12-month period was over, Maduro had failed in both of these purposes.
The economic crisis continues to wreak havoc while corruption takes root across the entire government system of the Revolution.
On December 8, 2014.
VenEconomy: The 'Four Legs' of Venezuela's MUD
Today Venezuela is going through one of its darkest hours in economic, political and social matters.
The dictatorial government of Nicolás Maduro is giving desperate samples of its willingness to continue its unrestrained spending spree
in order keep a sinking Revolution afloat.
The facts also bring to light that the constitutional mandate will continue to be violated
so that "legality" can be subordinated to a corrupt and amoral political regime and public authorities remain "kidnapped" by the State.
This in addition to an increase in repression, violation of human rights and persecution against all political dissenters.
It is no exaggeration to say that Venezuela is going through a dark period in its history
that makes it imperative for the opposition coalition to show itself being cohesive, proactive, creative,
and ubiquitous to deal with the situation in all corners.
There are no excuses or arguments that could justify an opposition leadership that is weak, fragmented,
contradictory or absent from any of the issues vital to the nation.
And there are no apologies for a leadership pursuing partisan or individual goals,
when the interests of the Republic and the rights of the population are being violated as never before in the country.
On December 9, 2014.
VenEconomy: A Blow against Corruption in Venezuela
Corruption is neither a new scourge nor is it confined only to Venezuela. This practice has spread worldwide.
It excludes neither rich countries nor poor ones, nor governments of capitalist, socialist or communist class.
Its harmful effects not only include the deepening of poverty and misery of the population,
but also maximizes the instability of countries, "undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights,
distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and opens the possibility for other threats to human security".
On December 10, 2014.
VenEconomy: A Totalitarian Regime on the Brink of Extinction in Venezuela
The harsh economic and social crisis in Venezuela is dragging the communist regime down with it,
to the point that its agony can be felt everywhere, in each queue to buy food, medicines, or any other basic product or service,
in hospitals, morgues, prisons or government offices.
An agony reflected in opinion polls showing the collapse of the popularity of President Nicolás Maduro and his administration,
with a rejection rate of 85.7% and one of acceptance that barely reaches 13%,
according to a report released by local journalist Nelson Bocaranda in his RunRunes website on Wednesday.
The lowest levels recorded in the history of the so-called Socialism of the 21st century.
On December 11, 2014.
VenEconomy: Time for Justice, Accountability in Venezuela
It seems that the time has come for President Nicolás Maduro and his entire revolutionary court
to be held accountable for their actions before justice.
It is not only in economic matters where things have become way too complicated for the revolutionaries.
Now it seems that the time has come for those who thought were untouchable and above the law
to be held accountable for disobeying the rules of civility, violating human rights,
and subjecting their fellow Venezuelans to ill-treatment and torture.
All this covered by the complicit and shameful silence of most countries and international bodies such as the OAS.
On December 12, 2014.
VenEconomy: Drug Trafficking – The Other Pest of the Venezuelan Revolution
Because of the harsh economic and social crisis eating away at Venezuela as a result of the failed policies of the
"Socialism of the 21st century",
as well as the brutal persecution and repression against citizens reluctant to embrace the Revolution's "Plan for the Homeland",
among other factors, a pest that has grown stronger for the past 15 years in the country has been practically overlooked: drug trafficking.
Venezuela has stopped being a transit country for illegal narcotics
to become a territory that guarantees freedom of action and immunity to large groups of drug traffickers.
On December 15, 2014.
VenEconomy: Fifteen Years of 'Mudslides' in Venezuela
It's been 15 years (December 15 1999) since the "Mudslide of Vargas" tragedy took place in this Venezuelan state of the same name
that comprises the country's Greater Caracas region.
Back in that time, 10 other states were also affected by heavy downpours for several days,
particularly those located in coastal zones such as Falcón, Miranda and (naturally) Vargas.
This mudslide has been the most severe natural disaster in the history of Venezuela since an earthquake in 1812.
The fatal victims of that day - and of at least four days in a row - were counted by thousands
(more than 16,000 dead or gone missing according to official records, and close to 30,000 according to some unofficial sources);
as well as thousands of wounded and people affected and millions of dollars in material losses of both the State and individuals.
A tragic loss that led this disastrous event to its inclusion in the Guinness World Records as the mudslide with most fatalities in history.
But that was not the only indelible tragedy left by the end of the 20th century on the minds of Venezuelans.
That day, thus ignoring the scale of this tragedy and the drama lived by thousands and thousands of Venezuelans,
as well as the alerts issued by various State agencies and the state of alarm declared by Vargas' fire department a day earlier,
the late President Hugo Chávez decided to press ahead with unchangeable steadiness the completion of a referendum
that would lead to the approval of a new Constitution of the Republic.
A Constitution that represented the first brick laid down for the establishment of the so-called "Socialism of the 21st century".
With this Constitution, approved with the 71.37% (2,982,395 voters) of the votes
in a referendum that registered an abstention rate of 54.74%,
Chávez began to blur the Republic of Venezuela (to that date a democratic and representative State)
to shape the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,
which was supposed to be a State with a legal system and room for "social and participatory democracy",
and that ended up becoming an amorphous scheme doomed to failure known as "Plan for the Homeland".
The new Magna Carta has been the legal text with more violations, distortions,
manipulations and misinterpretations by all public authorities in Venezuela over the past fifteen years.
However, it was the promulgation of that Bolivarian Constitution in December of 1999 what marked the milestone of the worst mudslide
in the history of Venezuela that has dragged with its "revolutionary mud" all the values, principles, ethics, public morals,
respect for the economic, political and civil rights, and the entrepreneurial and individual freedoms of Venezuelans.
A disaster that has ruined the domestic oil industry, destroyed the whole productive system of the country,
dried the fields and lands of the nation, persecuted and taken innocent Venezuelans to prison,
given rise to an unprecedented diaspora in Venezuela,
not punished the responsible ones for thousands of murders and deepened the hunger and misery conditions of its population.
A "revolutionary mud" that has swept away an independent justice system,
as much as subordinated the autonomy of public authorities (guarantors of democracy and the respect for citizens)
to a political project that began in a communist country such as Cuba.
Today, as never before, the national sovereignty of Venezuela has been violated and tied to the Castro dictatorship,
while its population, just like it has in Cuba for more than half a century, plunges into despair and economic and social hardships.
Just like there was an urgent need in Vargas back in 1999 to join efforts in order to rescue lives and properties buried in the mud,
there is an urgent need in Venezuela 15 years later that its citizens dig out of the values of democracy,
freedom and the right to be respected over their differences.
On December 16, 2014.
VenEconomy: How to Wish our Readers a Merry Christmas, Happy 2015?
Being this the last editorial for 2014,
the only message from VenEconomy to its readers should be wishing them a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Unfortunately, the critical situation of Venezuela doesn't make this message credible at all.
For starters, how can this be a Merry Christmas for the millions of Venezuelans in their daily suffering for obtaining food,
medicines or any other basic product for their own subsistence and that of their families?
Or for the thousands who have seen their businesses disappear, or their jobs going down the drain of the policies of a predator government?
Or for the thousands still waiting for the State to keep its promise of providing them with decent housing?
Neither can be receptive to a Christmas greeting those who see their families fractured or divided today,
because of the loss of one or several of their members to the hands of criminals who go unpunished most of the time;
or because one of these members is behind bars,
or is being persecuted or harassed by a system of administration of justice at the service of political interests;
or because several of them have fled to a forced exile due to the harsh economic, political and social situation in Venezuela.
This holiday season finds Venezuela entangled in the meshes of persecutory control policies imposed by the late Hugo Chávez,
his successor Nicolás Maduro and his court of "pharaohs".
Every company, entrepreneur, worker, trade unionist, student, journalist, or ordinary citizen that doesn't bend to the Executive' will
may be subject to some of the "laws" that put aside the right of "presumption of innocence" until proven otherwise
and hence be found "guilty" by orders of Maduro, any other Bolivarian hierarch or from Cuba.
The country is being affected by all kinds of economic plagues: An inflation rate over 70% by year-end,
the highest in the region and one of the highest in the world.
Shortages that exceed 30% ranging from food to medicines,
and even any other basic product or supplies under the aegis of the nefarious "Law of Fair Prices",
or that is dependent on one of the foreign exchange rate systems restricting the allocation of currency,
or any other of the dozens of mandatory permits, formalities or commissions to operate in the national territory.
Extremely low levels of international reserves because the huge oil revenues reaped over the last fifteen years
resulted in an unrestrained spending spree from the ruling elite inside and outside the country.
An enormous fiscal deficit between 17%-19% of the GDP by the end of 2014.
With the bonds of the Republic falling to 36 cents. And, as the icing on the cake, oil prices below $60 per barrel.
And what is coming for 2015 does not look any better, but quite the opposite.
It's so hard to wish a Happy New Year when constrictive regulations will remain in force, domestic production will continue to plummet,
the inflation rate will reach three digits, shortages will intensify, oil prices will remain at all-time lows,
foreign currencies will vanish, public debt will be impossible to pay, the budget will barely cover the first quarter,
and recession will come swiftly.
Worse still, with the announcement of Maduro that he will leave the political and social issues in the hands of his underlings
because he will be fully dedicated to fight an "economic war" against the country,
greater political repression, more social conflicts and worsening healthcare, housing, education and security problems are expected,
as is usual when control is handed over to dictator apprentices.
Visit sites from both groups to inform your opinion, but ...
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www.aporrea.org aporrea.org - Venezuela "Agencia popular alternativa de noticias"
autonomiaislamicawayuu.blogspot.com Autonomia Islámica Wayuu "Hezbollah Venezuela", Teodoro Darnott
www.geocities.com/antiescual/index2.html Cibernéticos Bolivarianos El Portal Bolivariano [disabled]
www.angelfire.com/nb/17m/ Círculo Bolivariano 17 de Marzo
Página de apoyo al proceso de cambios liderado por Hugo Chávez Frías
www.geocities.com/circulobolivarianocr/ Círculo Bolivariano Abre Brecha Parroquia 23 de Enero [disabled]
www.cabron.com/cbc/ Círculo Bolivariano de Cincinati (Cincinnati Bolivarian Circle - The Red Machine)
www.geocities.com/contragobernanza/ Contragobernanza "Contra el Gobierno de las Empresas" [disabled]
www.el23.net el 23 barrios, callejones y sueños
www.elmilitante.org El Militante Corriente Marxista Internacional
- www.luchadeclases.org.ve Lucha de Clases (Venezuela)
www.frentefranciscodemiranda.org.ve Frente Francisco de Miranda [disabled]
www.globalexchange.org Global Exchange "Building People-to-People Ties"
www.handsoffvenezuela.org Hands Off Venezuela! "In Solidarity with the Venezuelan Revolution"
www.iglesiacatolicareformada.com Iglesia Catolica Reformada de Venezuela
www.lasverdadesdemiguel.net Las Verdades de Miguel (Miguel Salazar)
www.observatoriodemedios.org.ve Observatorio Global de Medios de Venezuela
www.ojoelectoral.org/index.php Ojo Electoral (Asociación Civil)
www.alternativabolivariana.org Portal ALBA-TCP "Alternativa Bolivariana para la América"
www.chavezcode.com Postcards from the Revolution (Eva Golinger)
www.radiodefensavenezuela.com Radio Defensa Venezuela (Jesús R. Soto)
www.venezuelanalysis.com Venezuelanalysis.com "On line News, Views and Analysis from Venezuela"
www.rethinkvenezuela.com Venezuela Information Office (VIO)
"to educate the public about contemporary Venezuela" [disabled]
vheadlinevenezuelanews.blogspot.com - VHeadline Venezuela News en Español, Roy S. Carson
www.vheadline.com - VHeadline: News & Views about Venezuela, Roy S. Carson
Today's crude oil price, change, % change (WTI $/bbl)
Crude oil prices for the month, quarter, year, or 5-year period (WTI $/bbl)
[Venezuelan crude oil sells at a price lower than West Texas Intermediate (WTI)]
Create a new Time Zone, i.e. "New Time Zone VE", for GMT - 4.5 hrs.
Activate it (when it is in effect) from the Control Panel - Date and Time - Time Zone.
This time zone change backs your clock, and advances all astronomical events, in 30 minutes.
This is the original time zone for the Legal Time in Venezuela,
adopted in 1912 and based on the meridian of Villa de Cura (Longitude 67.5° W, Estado Aragua).
It replaced the meridian based on Punta de Playa (Longitude 60° W, Estado Delta Amacuro)
adopted in 1965 for GMT - 4 hrs.
Longitude on Earth is related to Local Time:
360° of Longitude equal 24 hours, this is; 1 hour equals 15° of Longitude (360/24 = 15).
67.5° of Longitude equal 4.5 hours (67.5/15 = 4.5).
With a time zone of GMT - 4 hrs, in 2007:
The Sun is zenital over Caracas on April 17 at 12:27, and August 26 at 12:29. *
The earliest sunrise occurs on May 30 at 06:04, and the latest on January 27 at 06:51. +
The earliest sunset occurs on November 18 at 18:01, and the latest on July 13 at 18:54. +
[All these events would be advanced by 30 minutes with the Time Zone GMT - 4.5 hrs]
With a time zone of GMT - 4.5 hrs, in 2007:
The earliest sunset would occur on November 18 at 17:31. +