Thursday, June 28, 2007

CIA Tried Killing Castro......Um....We Know....Too Bad They Failed

Too bad they failed. Every now and then I go through the obituaries
in the Miami Herald. Each days tally is invariably full of older
Cubans, forced to leave by Castro's stupidity, who died in exile after
waiting for 50 years for something to change in the island. Just the other day, Dr. Emilio Ochoa the last drafter of Cuba's well-renowned (in Latin America) 1940 Constitution passed away here in Miami. He is emblematic of the parents and grandparents of many Miamians who are slowly dying in exile. All the while Fidel continues to rot away, much like the island he has suffocated for 50 years.

was not "forced" into his Banana Leninistic rule by US policy, and
given how stubborn the guy is, doubt he would have "changed" in any way
to allow for an opening, at least while the Soviets were around.

the time the CIA was plotting to kill and overthrow Fidel, people who
originally sympathized with the revolution and commited democrats like
the late Mr. Ochoa. were leaving in droves. Non-communists were being
purged from the army, civil society was being shut down, prisons were
filling up.

Killing Castro in 61 or 62 might have changed the
internal dynamics of the revolution, which in the long run has depended
on the charisma, leadership, and strategic vision of one person. We
will never know now. But things might have been a lot different, and
older Cubans in Miami might have the confort of living the last days in
their country of birth -- under a democratic government.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Real ex-Revolutionary Says Chavez Wants To "Buy" a Revolution

Courtesy of the Devils Excrement, a translation of an article by Joaquin Villalobos. Villalobos was the leader of one of the main factions of the Marxist-Leninist FMLN during the civil war in the 80's. Probably the most ruthless of FMLN guerilla commanders, he is alleged to have personally executed poet Roque Dalton in the 70's. But he was also its most skilled field commander, who is respected even by former adversaries as a tactician and leader.

After the war he renounced Marxist-Leninism and moved to the center, and has been an adviser to Colombia's government. Leading a Marxist Insurgency that went from less than 100 to thousands in the space of ten years, gives him "revolutionary credentials." His take on Chavez is pretty interesting to read. Originally published in El Pais, here is the translation. Chavez wants to buy himself a revolution translated by The Devil's Excrement:

Chavez wants to buy himself a revolution
Joaquin Vilalobos

With a lack of conditions and credentials to make a revolution, the Venezuelan President relies on provocations. The closure of RCTV, his last act of brave arrogance, has reverted against him the process of
accumulation of strength and revitalizes an opposition that was demoralized. Normally parents punish their kids banning them from watching TV, however Cubans when their kids behave badly, are forced to
watch state TV. Chavez has made a grave error in shutting down a pro-opposition TV station that had been on the air for more than half a century. Like it or not, this was not an attack on the capitalist mediatic power, but a direct hit to the cultural identity of Venezuelans that will have severe implications for the Government.To pretend to replace soap operas and the entertainment of the poor with pathetic "revolutionary" programming is as grave as leaving them without food. The starting point of this and other mistakes by Chavez is to believe that he has made a revolution, while all he has done is simply to have won elections and this did not happen because of his accomplishments, but for the errors and arrogance of an opposition that has many jewels and not much popular backing. This helped him get an electoral majority that allowed him to control institutions and change some rules, but it has not given him sufficient correlation to impose a drastic ideological turn like he is pretending. There has been no revolutionary rupture in Venezuela, like there was in Cuba and Nicaragua, where democracy had no precedent. In Cuba the change was violent and complete, all of the institutions were founded again and up to today, there is no opposition, nor elections, nor freedom of the press, nor private property. In Nicaragua the change was equally violent, even if it damaged freedom of the press, elections and private property survived. Venezuela may have an extreme crisis of polarization or a prolonged period of unrest, but not a revolution. When that happens political violence takes preeminence first as a rebellion and later with a counter-revolution. In Venezuela, political violence continues to be more verbal than real. Sleeping with the enemy. Forty years of pacific alternation built a democratic culture among Venezuelans that up to now has managed to block political violence. In Venezuela there is a weakened legality, but there is legality. The mistake of the opposition coup in 2002 was precisely to ignore the importance of this. It is not easy to overthrow Governments and it is also not easy to radically and coldly modify the pillars of a preexisting system. A revolutionary rupture creates a situation of great social exaltation that, for better or worse, opens spaces to change many things, including ideological or cultural topics, very sensitive in a society, however, these are the hardest to change. Anti-capitalist revolutions emerged more from dictatorships than from poverty. In Venezuela there was no dictatorship and poverty was not important in Chavez' ascent, even if is today to defend him. All revolutions are austere and this is not known by Venezuelans from either the right or the left. Venezuela is neither an industrial, nor an industrious capitalist country, but rentist and consumerist. Chavez is strengthening the economic role of the State redistributing oil income and forming new economic elites via populism, business opportunities and corruption. All of this is neither new, nor a revolution, nor is it socialism. Chavez does not have a revolutionary party but a fragmented political structure, composed by a diverse ideological mix. To his right are the military, to his left some intellectuals and below him a multicolor base. To turn that into a party implies to confront a whole bunch of leaders who are accustomed to express their dissent. Chavismo has done something positive in giving power and identity to thousands of Venezuelans that were excluded but its political structure is not cohesive neither by its ideology, nor by its history, but by oil income. Chavez does not have a revolutionary army; on the contrary, the Army has defeated him twice (1992 and 2002). The current complicity of the Army depends on weapons purchases, which are not in preparation for combat but lucrative corruption, and are precisely these privileges that shutdown the path to revolutionary ideas. The Venezuelan army will not kill nor die for Chavez. Fidel Castro survived innumerable attempts on his life, Ortega led a triumphant insurrection and Evo Morales jumped from the barricades to the Presidency. Chavez, on the other hand, sells oil to the Americans, in two occasions has surrendered without fighting and sleeps with an enemy's army. This pushes him to use provocations that allow him to obtain his revolutionary credentials, at least with an insult of Bush. The attacks strengthen him and his tolerance weakens him. He needs external enemies that help him hide the corruption of his civil servants, the incompetence of his Government, the divisions among his ranks and the insecurity in the streets of the country. With the closure of RCTV, Chavez is reverting against him the process of accumulations of strengths and is revitalizing a demoralized opposition. Perhaps Chavez may make changes in Venezuela, but he will never be able to eliminate elections and in these, there are no unmovable majorities, nor eternal alliances, nor insurmountable fraud. The money from oil can help Chavez to do many things, but it will never allow him to buy a

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chavez Buddy Has 5 Million Dollar Jet Busted

Shopping Trip Cut Short

So a five million dollar private jet arrives in Ft. Lauderdale on May 17. The DEA is suspicious, since it is wrongfully registered as belonging to US Nationals. Normally, characters like Dope dealers, arms traffickers and money launderers prefer US registration because it means less nosy customs and DEA people lookin at your Lear Jet. The DEA ends up seizing the plane, after talking to the passengers.

Passenger included the wife of the owner, a certain, Mrs. Daniela Steppa Martín. And the owner ends up being a certain Ricardo Fernández Barruecos, who it turns out is not only a Venezuelan national, but he happens to be a major Chavez crony, a "Boliviarian Businessman" as The Nuevo Herald put it. He is the owner of "Industria Venezolana Maicera Pronutricos", and a partner in the Proarepa conglomerate, that has been making crazy money off the regime's dispensing of petrodollars to friends.

I wonder if the Mrs. was here to do some shopping or maybe to look after their properties? She is not the only Chavista-friend who flies into South Florida in a private jet.

Friday, June 08, 2007

EVO WATCH: Morales Meets With Mr. Humanitarian" Castro


Noah Rudovsky / AP Photo

Bolivia's leader, who describes himself as "very much an admirer of Fidel" meets with his hero for nearly 3 hours. According to the Miami Herald Evo left the nearly 3 hour meeting feeling "very satisfied," after an "intense and productive" meeting Morales told state media before boarding his flight home Thursday night. He found the aged dictator "fairly recovered" from his health woes.

And what did the Marxist-Leninist tyrant and his eager coca-growing disciple talk about? Evo on Cuban TV, seen here in Miami on Jaime Bayly's TV show, and reported by the Nuevo Herald they talked about "advances in the integration....through the so-called "Bolivarian Alternative For The America's" Where Bolivia - whose trade with the island was worth about 10,000 dollars last year- and Cuba will become "solidarity" trade partners.
But above all and due to Castro's "preocupations with life and with humanity" they discussed "energy, about economic development of countries, about health, and above all,thinking about all of humanity, on the environment."

This is hilarious stuff. A leader of a democratic country jets off -hopefully on Chavez dime- to visit the longest running dictator of Latin America, who has pretty much ravaged his country economically. To talk about global warming, development, and healthcare. The only good advice Castro can give about 3rd World Development is to do completely opposite to what he did. You do not learn economics from Marxists, the only thing they know how to do is destroy them. And Bolivia's economy is based on gas, the only gas Castro knows about, is the one that rises up from his colostomy bag.