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News digest from Venezuela

By Miguel Octavio

Cover up is on, get ready for it

- Chavez awards medals and praises the acts of National Guard repressors of February and March.

- Chavez calls the video with the dead soldier “fake”

- Chavez defends the integrity of the Armed Forces

- Chavez attacks the media, particularly Venevision

- Chavez announces the approval of an all time high budget for the armed forces.

The cover up is on, please excuse me, I have to go throw up.

11:10:08 PM

Kerry calls Chavez Dictator

Sen. John Kerry said today to the Spanish TV network Univision that Venezuela is rapidly approaching a dictatorship. Kerry said that a referendum should be held before the deterioration of democracy continues. Kerry said ”During his term President Chavez has undermined democratic institutions using extra-legal means, including jailing his political opponents in order to consolidate power”

Is he saying it because Bush doesn't?

10:31:47 PM

Municipality “lost” from CNE records

A whole municipality in Tachira state was wiped out of the map by the Consejo Nacional Electoral when none of the 1837 people who participated by signing the recall petition against President Hugo Chavez appear in the database with all of their signatures appearing s not having participated in the process.

Such is the fate of the Michelena municipality in Tachira state.

And then the Chief CNE cynic Jorge Rodriguez has the audacity to call the whole process transparent and fair!

10:30:22 PM

Slight burns by Teodoro Petkoff

Parts of today's Petkoff’s Editorial in Tal Cual: Slight burns!

Where are they (the witnesses). Why is it that there has been no way to get their testimony? If there is a regulation that places under civilian jurisdiction crimes against humanity or against human rights committed within the military jurisdiction, but also jurisprudence from the Supreme Court, when it annulled the military trial against Lieutenant Sicat which it sent to the civilian jurisdiction; why does the military tribunal take thirty six days in declining competence, so that the case can be assumed by civilian justice? General Garcia Carneiro, the Minister of Defense, asks the media to “contain” the treatment of the event, but has not realized that while the Army maintains the investigations secret and no official and information exists that can be trusted about the results, the media can only express its suspicions that arises from a conduct that appears to be too much like a cover up of a crime.

Even the assembly committee that is investigating the case had its leg pulled at Fort Mara. “Coincidentally”, all of the officials and soldiers who were on duty the day of the fire at the military facility were “on leave” the day the committee went. They could not speak to anyone. How does Garcia Carneiro not expect us to have suspicions and that people talk about something fishy in the dark management of the event? A responsible military administration would have provided the information immediately which it could easily get from the officials, sub-officials and soldiers at Fort Mara. But the first thing they did was to divert the attention, releasing about an accident with cigarette butts, blaming from the beginning, like in the Sicat case, the victims themselves. Later, other speculations with a military source, spoke of matches and lighters always blaming the soldiers. Then the official silence fell upon the matter and one can not but remembers then Simon Bolivar “under the shade of mystery only crime performs its job”. In the middle, even the President himself issued his hurried diagnose about “slight burns”, doubly denied by the deaths of Bustamante and Pedreáñez. Which is not an obstacle for Chavez, with great arrogance, as well as that famous humanist Jose Vicente Rangel, that they felt obliged to censor the tortures in Iraq while validating, justifying and honoring the local torturers.

Can you imagine the gallons of ink that Rangel would have poured over Cato-like if an event like that of the “slight burns” had taken place during that distant past in which he faked being concerned for human rights? And there are still people that believe that this constellation of Tartuffes are the leaders of a revolution!

9:08:33 PM

From Tal Cual: Date with the word

“We would appreciate it if the media gave the family of this fellow from the Army the due consideration that they deserve”

The Minister of Defense after the death of soldier Angel Ciro Pedreanez

Tal Cual’s response: We would appreciate even more if you, fellow member of the Army, told us what happened at Fort Mara.

9:06:54 PM

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