Sarah Palin's image already appears on the newer nickels.

calendar   Wednesday - June 10, 2020

Nice Catch

Still, it’s just a drop in the bucket

US Coast Guard Seizes 15 Tons Of Cocaine And Weed Since April

I guess they weren’t on lockdown one bit.

Nearly 15 tons of drugs seized by the U.S. Coast Guard, at an estimated value of $408 million, were offloaded Tuesday at Port Everglades.

About 23,000 pounds of cocaine and approximately 6,900 pounds of marijuana were confiscated in international waters off the coasts of Mexico, Central and South America, and in the Caribbean Sea. Four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships combined for 11 separate seizures aboard suspected drug-smuggling vessels since April 1.

“We continue to take the fight to the drug cartels and make an impact on these criminal organizations who spread this poison on our streets,” said Capt. Jeffrey Randall, commanding officer of the Coast Guard Cutter James.

Four Coast Guard cutters and two U.S. Navy ships combined for 11 separate seizures aboard suspected drug smuggling vessels, since April 1.

Samples of the drugs will be kept for evidence to prosecute the smugglers, the Coast Guard said, but the bulk of it will be given to federal authorities to be destroyed per standard procedure.

The Coast Guard said it has seized more than 1 million pounds of cocaine in international waters over the past three years.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/10/2020 at 09:16 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeLatin-AmericaMilitary •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 16, 2014

What, Another Lie From Our Leaders?

Misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy behind surge of illegal children, report says


Oh harharhar, it is to laugh

A new intelligence assessment concludes that misperceptions about U.S. immigration policy – and not Central American violence – are fueling the surge of thousands of children illegally crossing the Mexican border.

The 10-page July 7 report was issued by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which according to the Justice Department website is led by the DEA and incorporates Homeland Security. Its focus is on the collection and distribution of tactical intelligence, information which can immediately be acted on by law enforcement.

“Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said.

Well, knock me over with a feather. How about that, they fed us another whopper. And here was me, searching the internet for news reports about all the revolutions, ethnic cleansings, slave labor, rape gangs, widespread starvation, apocalyptic disease outbreaks, and even climate change in Central America for weeks now, and not finding much of anything at all. And it turns out to be another story, just like that dingdong video that caused the Benghazi attacks.

“Most transparent administration ever”. Yeah, we’re telling you a bald faced lie, and we’re sticking to it no matter what actual truth you can find. And you can’t do anything about it. Not the kind of transparency we were looking for.

The intelligence assessment, which is unclassified but not meant to go beyond law enforcement, also cited data from the United Nations office on Drugs and Crime Statistics saying despite an explosion in the number of illegal minors, crime data for Central America actually showed a dip in violence.

Do I have to restate the obvious? Somebody at the very top of our government made a decision, and put the word out. The coyotes didn’t think this up on their own. Not a chance of that. It’s official government policy, regardless of whether it’s written down anywhere or officially approved by Congress. Somebody has a cellphone and a pen, and that’s that.

Misperceptions my big toe. Damn our media. Even when the “rebel” side exposes another massive lie, they still don’t have the guts to call a rose a rose, or by any other name. And it don’t smell sweet one bit.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/16/2014 at 10:31 AM   
Filed Under: • GovernmentIllegal-Aliens and ImmigrationLatin-AmericaNo Shit, SherlockObama, The One •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 30, 2014

Farewell to Freedom Part 3, the linking

Oh, we would live in such just world if only this were true.

Outstanding work, mr egnor. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/30/2014 at 03:18 PM   
Filed Under: • HumorJudges-Courts-LawyersJustice - LACK OFLatin-AmericaRacism and race relations •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 16, 2013

Who Writes These Headlines?

Looks Like Drew Works For Fox News.

Yeah, I wish.

And owing to a sudden bout of ... symptoms ... I seem to be having today, this story sort of “hits home”. Or somewhere not too far from my heart.

Venezuela to import 50M rolls of toilet paper after government claims it’s wiped out

Aren’t there any of those Zimbabwe Trillion Dollar bank notes left? A few thousand tons of them ought to help, right?

First milk, butter, coffee and cornmeal ran short. Now Venezuela is running out of the most basic of necessities — toilet paper.

Blaming political opponents for the shortfall, as it does for other shortages, the embattled socialist government says it will import 50 million rolls to boost supplies.

That was little comfort to consumers struggling to find toilet paper on Wednesday.

“This is the last straw,” said Manuel Fagundes, a shopper hunting for tissue in downtown Caracas. “I’m 71 years old and this is the first time I’ve seen this.”

One supermarket visited by The Associated Press in the capital on Wednesday was out of toilet paper. Another had just received a fresh batch, and it quickly filled up with shoppers as the word spread.

“I’ve been looking for it for two weeks,” said Cristina Ramos. “I was told that they had some here and now I’m in line.”

Economists say Venezuela’s shortages stem from price controls meant to make basic goods available to the poorest parts of society and the government’s controls on foreign currency.

“State-controlled prices — prices that are set below market-clearing price — always result in shortages. The shortage problem will only get worse, as it did over the years in the Soviet Union,” said Steve Hanke, professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

Yup, that’s the ivory tower way of saying that fascism doesn’t work. Imagine that; an ivory tower boy knocking one of the pillars of socialism. Golly.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/16/2013 at 10:26 PM   
Filed Under: • EconomicsLatin-America •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 20, 2011

It must be worth it

Yet Another Drug Sub Captured

one here on April 15th.

one here back in February.

one here back in January.

I’m sure there were a bunch in 2010 too.

11 in 2009.

one of many from 2008.

Even silly old Wiki estimates that 80 of these tin cans were being launched in 2008. Which would mean, what, 100 in 2011? 200? And our guys catch a dozen?  Sounds like we need a better way to find them and catch them. Don’t bother with interdiction, just sink them.

These things will transport terrorists just as easily as drugs. And they’ve been used for a long, long time now.

And the subs just keep getting bigger and better. And unpowered torpedo hulls seem to work just as well.

Maybe Obama should have invaded Columbia instead of Libya. Or sent in the Navy to haunt the coasts, find and sink them. Because it sure would be good practice, seeing what the chicoms can put to sea these days.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/20/2011 at 02:47 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeLatin-America •  
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calendar   Wednesday - March 31, 2010

Mexican Drug Wars: It’s about to spill over into the US

Texas Town on High Alert as Mexican Town Across Border Braces for Cartel Gun Battle


I have no idea why the situation in Mexico isn’t front page news here 24 hours a day. There is a full scale war going on down there, and it gets ignored by everyone more than 150 miles away from the border. What’s the deal? If Canada was having a civil war, would we ignore that too?

Seems like just about 100 years ago we sent Blackjack Pershing down thataways to deal with a certain Pancho. Maybe it’s time to let history repeat itself. Maybe it’s time to actually secure that border. Or maybe it’s time to either fight the “war on drugs” to a Chinese victory, or just say “never mind” and legalize it all and let all the offenders out of jail.

In the meantime, Mexico is up the old Rio Mierda, and it’s just going to get worse.

Residents of a small Mexican border town under siege by at least one of the country’s most notorious drug cartels are fleeing into a tiny Texas community, which is on high alert and preparing for a surge of illegal immigrants should a street battle break out with another cartel – or if gunmen begin carrying out a threat to start killing the town’s children.

At least 30 residents of El Porvenir, located about four miles from the Texas border town of Fort Hancock, have crossed into the U.S. and asked for political asylum, telling authorities that they fear for their lives. Fort Hancock officials tell that they consider the situation serious.

“We just got word that the cartel has threatened to kill children in schools across the border unless parents paid $5000 pesos,” said Mike Doyle, chief deputy sheriff of Hudspeth County. And that time might come sooner than later. Schools Superintendent Jose Franco said word has spread that everyone in the Mexican town must stay indoors while members of rival cartels prepare for a shootout.

“I may not be working in school that day. I may be working as a medic,” said Franco, who moonlights as an ambulance paramedic.

Franco also confirmed the ransom demand for students across the border, adding that some of his students had already paid the money to be left alone.

According to Doyle, the cartel posted signs in El Porvenir earlier in the month ordering people in the town of 10,000 “to get out or pay with blood.” He said he wasn’t sure of the deadline that was given. “We have heard anywhere from a week to 40 days,” he said.

Since then, Fort Hancock, population 1700, has been in the grip of fear. The school district has seen a rise in the number of enrolled students as families in Mexico send their children to live with relatives on the other side of the border.

The Fort Hancock high school, one secretary said, is preparing for more pupils and holding conferences with law enforcement on how to face the crisis. Franco says contingency plans are being drawn up in case the entire population of El Porvenir flees. “It is what we fear the most,” he said.

Doyle said his office is on “high alert.” So far there has been no violence on the U.S. side of the border, “but I have had a few Fort Hancock residents killed across the border,” he said.

A former law enforcement officer who lives in Fort Hancock and asked not to be named said the siege of El Porvenir is important because the town straddles one of the oldest, least defended smuggling routes on the Mexican border.

“It is one of the key staging areas for the cartel and has no fences,” he said. “All they do is wait for shift change at the border posts and walk across. There is no obstruction to crossing the border here.”

And that, he said, “was the most likely cause of the violence 860 yards away.”

He said El Porvenir has been contested for some time, and machine gun fire is often heard coming from the town. “The mayor and his son were recently murdered,” he said. “They even have a pickup truck with a .50 caliber machine gun on top.”

A leenk? No, you don nee no steenkin leenk! Google es su amiga.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 03/31/2010 at 12:16 PM   
Filed Under: • Latin-America •  
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calendar   Tuesday - November 24, 2009

Yeah, that’ll show ‘em

You’re a Mexican city on the Mexico-US border.
You’re suffering massive violence from drug lords
Your own army can’t restore order.
Who you gonna call?

U.N. Peacekeepers!

Mexico’s business leaders are pleading for the United Nations to send peacekeepers to prevent the border city of Ciudad Juarez from falling into complete chaos. Locked in a deadly war with organized crime, the Mexican Army is unable to protect the safety of its citizens. Will El Paso’s sister city be the first domino to fall in a long line of Mexican cities that are teetering on the edge of lawlessness?

Talk about desperation. Where is Gen. Pershing when you need him?


Posted by Christopher   United States  on 11/24/2009 at 02:41 AM   
Filed Under: • Border SecurityLatin-AmericaUnited-Nations •  
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calendar   Wednesday - April 01, 2009

Not Exactly A Great Idea

Mexico plans to stop illegal gun traffic from Estados Unidos by weighing the gringo cars on the trip south

Anybody see the flaw in that plan? Like, you could have 10 AK47s in your trunk and be almost out of gas, but on the return trip you have no guns and a full tank of gas ... and your car weighs the same? Or you pack the body panels full of ammo, drop it off, wire you payment to a bank in the Cayman Islands, then fill the fenders up with sand ... and your car weighs the same? Not what I’d call a very bright idea. Oh, but they’re trying! Yeah, that counts for soo much.

Mexico trying harder to catch smuggled US guns

Try to bring a refrigerator into Mexico in the back of your pickup, and you are almost certain to get stopped by Mexican customs officials. Stick a couple of AK-47 rifles in your trunk, and chances are you’ll whiz right through. Now Mexico is owning up to its leaky border as it launches a new program to monitor vehicles entering the country. The goal is to weigh and photograph southbound cars and trucks, in hopes of snaring more gun smugglers.

Um, yeah. Sure.

As the Obama administration promises a crackdown on the illegal U.S. weapons trade that supplies the drug cartels, Mexico is acknowledging shortcomings on its side of the 2,000-mile border.

“Security concerns require a customs overhaul,” Alfredo Gutierrez Ortiz, who oversees border checkpoints as director of Mexico’s tax collection agency, said in an interview Wednesday with The Associated Press. “Today, passenger vehicles really enter without being inspected.”

Mexico checks only 10 percent of the 230,000 vehicles that cross the border each day, according to the federal Attorney General’s Office. By weighing cars to see if they are unusually heavy, and running license plate numbers through a database of suspicious vehicles, the government hopes to catch more hidden contraband.

The United States has long weighed and checked the license plates of northbound vehicles, but the technology is new to Mexico, which is installing it at all customs checkpoints. It was introduced last week at Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville, Texas, and should be added along Mexico’s border with Guatemala by year’s end.

Ah, Ok, “unusually heavy”. Fine, that’s a little better. So I’ll just fill the car with skinny people wearing fat suits, stash a bunch of rifles somewhere, and lose the fat suits south of the border. Nobody will ever know. Doctor up a few passports and driver’s licenses to match their false weight. Or maybe replace certain parts of the vehicle with much lighter ones ... cuz it would be sooo hard to find a chop shop in LA run by Mexicans who could kit something like that up. 500 pounds goes a long way in terms of guns and ammo.

Inside Mexico, strict gun control laws prohibit sales of weapons with calibers higher than a .38 handgun. Even to buy those, citizens must get permission from the Defense Department.

Hey, an 8mm Remington Magnum is a caliber less than the .356” bullets fired in a .38 handgun. And that bad boy will shoot through any body armor made, the steel plate you’re hiding behind, and the solid concrete wall behind you. It’s just not going to work guys.

But I have to give this news article a leetle credit. While they are blaming the US for the sale of lots of the regular weapons, they do admit that the actual, real military grade stuff is coming up from further south. Of course, they don’t extend that thought to a) why go for sporting arms when you can get actual genuine military hardware and b) if military issue firearms can get in from the south, then anything else can too. Like more sporting arms. Or whatever.

“You’re seeing truly military-type guns, like grenade launchers,” Mangan said. “They’re not coming from the U.S. The hand grenades that are being used, you’re looking at that stuff migrating up from Central America.”

Experts also agree that the Mexican military, which is often outgunned by traffickers, has not been a significant source of weapons despite the potential for corrupt soldiers to sell out to the cartels.

Many of the cartels’ grenades and other heavy weapons could be leftovers from Central America’s civil wars, Mangan said.

Mexico has seized more than 2,702 unexploded grenades since the start of President Felipe Calderon’s term in December 2006, compared to 59 during the first two years of the previous administration. Grenades have been traced back to the militaries of many countries, from South Korea to Spain and Israel, Mangan said.

Gutierrez acknowledged that the new system will not be as effective the southern border, where many communities straddle the frontier and residents regularly bypass official crossings.

“We need to address the breach — everything that doesn’t go through customs — because that’s the biggest problem in the southern border,” he said.

Ok, yeah, they’ve got an awful problem. I think Mexico needs a 3 way Civil War right about now. Druggies on side A, the Padrones (them with all the money) on side B, and 800 billion really pissed off Mexican peasants who are sick of the never ending bullshit on side C. My money is on side C, but not until the 12th round. The druggies have already won the first few rounds, now I expect the rich guys to bring their toy soldiers into play in a big way. Side C won’t make a play until the other two bleed each other out quite a bit.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 04/01/2009 at 10:17 PM   
Filed Under: • CrimeLatin-America •  
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calendar   Monday - March 26, 2007

Most Ridiculous Item Of All Time (and then some)

What is the world coming to when some half-baked, banana republic in South America jumps up and “demands” one of America’s largest and most loved companies change its name? I’ll tell you what it has come to. Arrogant bullshit is what it has come to.

Just who do these uneducated, illiterate, unwashed peons think they are? Don’t they realize that Coca-Cola’s annual revenue exceeds the sum of the entire GDP of Bolivia for the next hundred years by about a gazillion dollars?

Has the entire world gone mad? Let’s pop a cap in their ass just for laughs and giggles. Maybe have a flyover by USAF fighter squadrons dropping leaflets advertising Coca-Cola and rattling the windows with sonic booms for a few hours. If that doesn’t get the point across the go back and drop “The Real Thing” and I don’t mean soda pop.

If Coca-Cola has any guts at all they’ll re-brand all of their product to be sold in Bolivia to the new name, F-U-COLA and continue to sell Coke to the rest of the world.

And while we’re at it, what kind of deranged, ass-backward country puts a freaking vulture on it’s national seal right above a llama eating a bag of nuts under a palm tree? Am I missing some hidden meaning there?

Bolivia Demands Coca-Cola Change Its Name
SANTA CRUZ, Bolivia - (THE WASHINGTON TIMES) - March 22, 2007

imageimageBolivia’s ruling party demanded that Coca-Cola drop the “coca” from its name to “dignify” the “bioenergetic” leaf that provides the main ingredient in cocaine.

“If we are not permitted to commercialize coca, then why should Coca-Cola be allowed to do it?” said Margarita Teran, president of the Coca Committee, which is part of a nationwide convention to write a new constitution. She said her committee has sent letters telling the soft-drink manufacturer to change its name.

Coca-Cola declined, suggesting that Coke, not Bolivia, is the real thing. “We need to say that Coca-Cola as a company is worth dozens of times more than all of Bolivia,” the company said in a statement read on a Santa Cruz television station. Coca-Cola contains a flavored essence of the coca leaf, but not cocaine, which was eliminated from the formula many years ago. (The cola comes from the kola nut.)

The coca campaign is a key issue for the ruling Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party, which seeks to add the coca leaf to the national seal at the center of the nation’s tricolor flag.

“The state recognizes that the coca plant in all its varieties as a natural, economic, renewable, strategic and bioenergetic resource,” according to a statement released last week by Miss Teran’s Coca Committee. It calls the coca leaf an “axis of Andean Amazonic cultures” and a “sacred symbol.”

“The commission proposes that the laurel and olive branches, which currently adorn that national seal, should be changed for branches of the sacred and ancestral coca leaf plant to symbolize popular culture, resistance and social cohesion.”

Neither proposal is likely to be popular in Washington, which has cut millions of dollars in counternarcotics aid to Bolivia since leftist President Evo Morales, the leader of MAS, came to power on a promise to legalize coca growing.

On a recent trip to South America, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice decided not to take a miniature guitar she received as a gift from Mr. Morales back to the United States because it was lacquered with coca leaves.

MAS Sen. Antonio Peredo said that current symbols contained in the seal—olive and laurel in the talons of a condor—are a legacy of Bolivia’s colonial past, while “the coca leaf corresponds to Bolivia and all that was the Tahuantinsuyo,” referring to the ancient Inca empire.

Ms. Teran of the Coca Committee agreed. “The coca leaf should be declared a national patrimony and incorporated into our national seal because it’s sacred and should not be used as a mere commercial label,” she said.

- More ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 03/26/2007 at 02:37 PM   
Filed Under: • Latin-AmericaStoopid-People •  
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calendar   Wednesday - February 14, 2007

El Cabeza Gorda

How can you tell if you’re living in a dictatorship? Well, the first sign is when people aren’t allowed to poke fun at fearless leader (El Cabeza Gorda). Forget about using the Jews or gypsies or homosexuals as a warning sign. The comedians are always the first ones to be shipped off to re-education camps.

Now here in the Land Of The Free where nothing is sacrosanct we can poke fun at Dubya all day long. We can even make fun of fearless leader’s kids if we want to (especially if they’re caught buying booze in Austin bars while underage).

Not so in banana republics where the supreme dignity of El Presidente is above any such foolishness and will absolutely not be tolerated under any circumstances whatsoever. Comics have been known to mysteriously disappear.

Take Venzuela, for instance ....

Court Fines Venezuelan Comedian Marquez
CARACAS, Venezuela - February 14, 2007, 4:23 AM EST

imageimageComedian Laureano Marquez has poked fun at politicians for decades without getting into trouble with the law, so he didn’t think twice about writing a tongue-in-cheek newspaper editorial based on a dialogue between President Hugo Chavez and his 9-year-old daughter.

But Marquez and a publishing company that printed the column in the Tal Cual newspaper are now facing fines imposed by a local court for “violating the honor, reputation and private life” of Rosines Chavez Rodriguez, Chavez’s youngest daughter.

Marquez—one of Venezuela’s leading humorists—denies any wrongdoing and argues the $18,600 fine imposed on the Mosca Analfabeta publisher is part of a government initiative in which pro-Chavez prosecutors and judges are being used to silence critics. Marquez must separately pay a fine of a yet-to-be-determined amount.

“I think this government has a concept of society in terms of friends and enemies,” Marquez said in a telephone interview. “Governments that see society like that are very sensitive to criticism, and they don’t tolerate it.” Chavez, a former paratrooper who accuses Venezuela’s privately-owned media of conspiring to topple his government, denies restricting press freedoms.

Marquez insists he meant no harm when he used 9-year-old Rosines as a medium for mocking her father’s decision in 2005 to remake Venezuela’s coat of arms so that a white horse would appear galloping left, not right—an evident metaphor for Chavez’s revolutionary politics.

During a broadcast of his radio and television show, “Hello President,” Chavez told listeners that Rosines said the horse looked strange running to the right while craning its neck in the opposite direction. Within weeks, pro-Chavez lawmakers pushed through a reform changing the coat of arms.

“He considered changing the coat-of-arms due to a suggestion from his daughter,” Marquez said. “I simply wrote her a letter asking her to request another series of changes.” In the editorial, he suggested she ask her father to trade the horse on the new coat of arms for a devoted house pet, such as a Golden Retriever or tortoise—“a good symbol of our sluggishness in everything.”

“Also tell him not to talk about things beyond 2021,” Marquez wrote. “He shouldn’t do it because those of us who don’t agree with him (don’t worry, there are fewer of us every day, according to the official statistics) get desperate, which isn’t good.” Chavez has repeatedly said he wants to continue governing Venezuela until 2021 or longer.

Representatives of the National Council for the Protection of Children and Adolescents urged prosecutors to file charges against Marquez and the publisher, Mosca Analfabeta, justifying the measures as necessary to shield a child from politics-related slander. The council did not ask that Marquez also be prosecuted on criminal charges. “They saw there was a violation of the girl’s rights, so they took measures,” said Antonio Ramos, who heads the council in central Lara state, where Rosines resides.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 02/14/2007 at 11:20 AM   
Filed Under: • Latin-America •  
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calendar   Wednesday - January 31, 2007

Latin Nazi

A rigged election and a populace cowed by secret police. Nationalizing everything in the country in a “socialist” revolution. Passing laws to make the President a lifetime leader. Buying up arms from all over the globe and building a strong military presence. Drafting citizens into national military units. Stirring up trouble in neighboring democratic countries and forming alliances with neighboring dictatorships and socalist friends.

Sound familiar? All this bastard needs is a tiny mustache and a German accent. National Socialism is experiencing a rebirth right here in our own back yard.

Mark my words, there is real trouble brewing in South America. How long before Chavez decides to take his poison across the hemisphere? What will Chavez’ friends Jimmy Carter, Danny Glover, Cindy Sheehan and Harry Belafonte say then? Stay tuned ....

Venezuela Poised to Hand Chávez Wide-Ranging Powers
CARACAS, Venezuela (WASHINGTON POST) - Wednesday, January 31, 2007

imageimageThe line forms every day after dawn at the Spanish Consulate, hundreds of people seeking papers permitting them to abandon Venezuela for new lives in Spain. They say they are filled with despair at President Hugo Chávez’s growing power, and they appear not to be alone. At other consulates in this capital, long lines form daily.

Two months after Chávez was reelected to another six-year term by an overwhelming margin, Venezuela is experiencing a fundamental shift in its political and economic climate that could remake the country in a way perhaps not seen in Latin America since Fidel Castro took power in Cuba in 1959.

On Wednesday, the National Assembly is expected to entrust him with tremendous powers that will allow him to dictate new laws for 18 months to transform the economy, redraw the structure of government and establish a new funding apparatus for Venezuela’s huge oil wealth.

Chávez’s government announced earlier that it intends to nationalize strategic industries, such as telecommunications and electric utilities, and amend the constitution to end presidential term limits.

The new, more radicalized era is enthralling to the president’s supporters. To them, Chávez is keeping the promise he has consistently made over eight years in office—to reorganize Venezuelan society, redistribute its wealth and position the country as an alternative to U.S. capitalist policies.

“This is a moment that could be key in the history of Latin America,” said Joanna Cadenas, 36, a teacher in the state-run Bolivarian University. “I never thought you could love a president.”

But the moves—which opponents say are marked by intolerance and strident ideology—are prompting some Venezuelans to leave the country and others to prepare for a fight in the last battlegrounds where the opposition has influence. A few are trying, against the tide, to remain apolitical in a country marked by extreme, even outlandish rhetoric.

“What we’re seeing happen here is not good,” said José Manuel Rodríguez, 42, an accountant seeking travel documents at the Spanish Consulate. “What we see here is the coming of totalitarianism, fewer guarantees, fewer civil rights. I want to have everything ready to leave.”

Chávez’s moves are worrying Bush administration officials, who have voiced concern over the ideological nature of nationalization plans that have targeted companies such as CANTV, the dominant provider of fixed-line telephone service, and the utility Electricidad de Caracas, both of which have stakeholders in the United States. U.S. officials have also expressed concern that the government will not renew the broadcast license of RCTV television, which Venezuelan officials charge supported a short-lived coup against Chávez in 2002.

“We should all be concerned about the direction President Chávez is taking his country,” Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations foreign operations subcommittee, said in a statement this week. “Any leader who tries to tighten his grip on power by destroying the institutions of democracy, curtailing press freedom and using his office to intimidate pro-democracy opponents is setting in motion a dangerous process with potentially ominous consequences.”

Venezuelan government officials argue that the president’s moves are the will of the people and that his latest electoral victory is a mandate for Chávez to deepen what he calls his Bolivarian revolution.

“We cannot disqualify Hugo Chávez as social leader who, with the support of big majorities, makes decisions,” said Haiman El Troudi, a former chief of staff to Chávez who now works at the International Miranda Center, which is funded by the government. “I don’t see people moving forward against this. I see the same old opposition groups.”

- More ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/31/2007 at 11:46 AM   
Filed Under: • Latin-America •  
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calendar   Monday - January 15, 2007

Through The Looking Glass


Newly elected President of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega celebrates with Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, President Evo Morales of Bolivia and Cuban Vice President of the Council of State Jose Ramon Machado. The four Commies got together to sign the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, which is a proposed alternative to the U.S.-sponsored Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), differing from the latter in that it advocates a socially-oriented trade block rather than one strictly based on the logic of deregulated profit maximization. In other words, they want to create a Worker’s Paradise right here in our own backyard. Some people just never learn ....


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 01/15/2007 at 11:38 PM   
Filed Under: • Art-PhotographyCommiesLatin-America •  
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calendar   Thursday - October 19, 2006

Chavez Bites Big Oil

Our favorite South American tinpot dictator is grabbing American, French and Norwegian oil companies in Venezuela. It’s going to cost him beaucoups cash though. Maybe he feels it’s worth it to get rid of the “devil yanquis”?

Regardless, it looks like Citgo will be the only presence left now. I noticed last week that several Citgo stations here in St. Louis are refusing to take Citgo credit cards with the explanation that they will be “re-branding soon”.

I guess that means they’ll still Citgo gas but call it something else. Maybe Hugo Supremo? ChavCo? Vexxon? My mind is awhirl with all kinds of new advertising slogans. Help me out here ...

Chavez Risks $1.6 Billion Bond Default in Oil Venture Takeovers
(BLOOMBERG) - October 16, 2006

imageimageVenezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s plan to take control of oil production joint ventures run by Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips may lead to defaults on $1.6 billion in bonds.

Chavez said his government would seize four companies owned in part by Exxon, ConocoPhillips, Chevron Corp., France’s Total SA and Norway’s Statoil ASA. The ventures, set up before Chavez came to power in 1999, pump 22 percent of the nation’s oil. Two of them sold the bonds and the others owe $2.3 billion in loans.

Defaults may require state-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA to repay bonds that now cost as little as 90 percent of their face value, providing a “nice windfall’’ for investors, said Miguel Octavio, a fund manager at BBO Financial Services in Caracas who holds the securities.

“You would have a completely different project than the bondholders originally agreed to finance,’’ said Gersan Zurita, an analyst in New York with Fitch Ratings. “What the government wants would constitute a major material change. If it’s done without private bondholder consent, we could have a default.’’

The ventures—Petrozuata CA, Cerro Negro CA, Sincor SA and Hamaca—pump 540,000 barrels of crude a day for the world’s fifth-largest oil exporter. Irving, Texas-based Exxon; ConocoPhillips of Houston; San Ramon, California-based Chevron; and others invested about $17 billion in the companies in the 1990s when oil prices were as low as $10 a barrel. Spokesmen for the companies either declined to comment or didn’t return calls.

Petrozuata, 50.1 percent owned by ConocoPhillips, sold $1 billion in bonds in three parts. Its $625 million of 8.22 percent bonds due in 2017 have risen to 97.8 cents from 95 cents on the dollar a year ago, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. If the bonds are paid in full by year-end, they would generate a price gain of 2.25 percent, Bloomberg data show.

Cerro Negro, run by Exxon, has $600 million in outstanding bonds, also in three maturities. The company’s $50 million of 8.03 percent bonds due in 2028 would gain about 11 percent if repaid at face value. The securities were recently trading at about 90.12 cents on the dollar.

Petroleos de Venezuela and Exxon each own just less than 42 percent of Cerro Negro, and BP Plc has the balance. Sincor, whose foreign shareholders include Paris-based Total and Statoil, in Stavanger, has $1.2 billion in outstanding loans, while Hamaca has $1.1 billion in loans. Hamaca is owned by ConocoPhillips, Chevron, and Petroleos de Venezuela.


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/19/2006 at 11:02 AM   
Filed Under: • Latin-America •  
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calendar   Tuesday - October 17, 2006

UN Says NO To Chavez

First, Cindy Sheehan failed to win the Nobel Peace Prize and now, Hugo Chavez fails to win a seat on the UN Security Council. It was a bad day for the Moonbats. Next thing you know, Danny Glover will fail to win an Oscar. What a shame.

Seriously, what I find interesting in the story below is that South American countries are beginning to back away from Chavez and his mad dream of becoming Supreme Leader of South America. Chavez may have overstepped himself with some of his recent alliances, most noteably Bolivia.

With Castro dying, it would be most unfortunate if Chavez died in an unexplained airplane crash while en route to his buddies in Iran or North Korea. Yes, it would be most unfortunate indeed ....

Venezuela Is Denied Security Council Seat
UNITED NATIONS (WASHINGTON POST) - Tuesday, October 17, 2006

imageimageVenezuela was stymied Monday in its bid to win a seat on the U.N. Security Council, a result that shocked diplomats who had expected President Hugo Chavez’s leftist, oil-rich government to gain a platform on the international stage.

Guatemala finished ahead of Venezuela in nine of the first 10 rounds of secret voting held by the U.N. General Assembly. But neither secured the required two-thirds vote to succeed Argentina on Jan. 1 in the open Latin American seat on the 15-nation council.

Delegates at the United Nations had predicted that Venezuela would easily receive enough support for the seat, but the opening ballot showed Guatemala ahead 114 to 74. Venezuela gained votes through the day but never did better than a 93 to 93 tie with Guatemala. Afterward, several envoys expressed surprise that Venezuela had fared so poorly.

The result came as a relief to the United States, which had lobbied actively on behalf of Guatemala. Chavez’s government, U.S. officials warned, would play a destructive role on the council, lending its support to those countries, including Iran, Sudan and North Korea, that have defied the United Nations.

It also represented a personal blow to Chavez, who had run a costly political campaign that involved millions of dollars in aid to poor countries as well as state visits to Russia, China and the Middle East.

Chavez may have undercut his country’s chances with a provocative speech last month before the General Assembly, in which he described President Bush as “the devil.” And once-solid support for Venezuela in South America, from countries including Chile and Paraguay, wavered after Chavez’s government entered into a military pact with Bolivia, which has lost territory to both those countries.

The United States, Britain, China, Russia and France enjoy permanent membership on the 15-member Security Council. The other 10 seats are distributed regionally for two-year terms; a vote by the General Assembly fills five seats each year. South Africa, Indonesia, Italy and Belgium were easily elected Monday for their regions.

But the deadlock over the Latin American seat raised the prospect of a long election and that a compromise candidate—possibly Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Uruguay or Chile—might enter the race. Mexico and Cuba received single votes on some ballots Monday.

- More on the story at WAPO ...


Posted by The Skipper   United States  on 10/17/2006 at 06:39 AM   
Filed Under: • Latin-AmericaUnited-Nations •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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