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Re Venezuela: is CEPR taking issue with Vcrisis?

By Aleksander Boyd

London 28 June 2004 – Apparently my writings are of nuisance to some. As such Eva Golinger, having failed to take up my advice to produce an account of the relationship between the Venezuelan Information Office and herself, sent me a final message where she stated “Look, I don't feel that anything has been achieved whatsoever by these exchanges and I am just not willing to dedicate more time to explaining to you my beliefs, values, life story, experiences, etc., especially when your final goal only seems to be, as you stated previously, "to destroy my credibility."” It is quite revealing to realise that the advocates of Hugo Chavez lack the moral and intellectual capacity to defend themselves coherently.

The VIO files, however, have become --according to a friend in Washington-- the talk of town in circles of analysts and policy makers concerned with Venezuelan issues. The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) is of course one such think tank where self-appointed ‘experts’ opine in matters related to the current political crisis and the performance of Hugo Chavez at the presidency. Mark Weisbrot and Todd Tucker have written numerous misleading reports, ‘armour plated’ with academic literary flair, that up until recently were sort of the obligatory reference for those interested in our state of affairs. Making use of their reputable position, CEPR employees have distributed no small amount of propagandistic articles and papers in support of Hugo Chavez and his Bolivarian Revolution. Thus, we have seen how Greg Wilpert (another ‘impartial’ advocate of the revolution) presents his book about Venezuela in DC and the person in charge to provide further information is none other than Todd Tucker.

WHOIS also provides interesting information concerning the registration of the VIO web site by Jennifer Russell, who purportedly hired the services of a computer technician to register said domain. Interestingly enough said technician, by some very odd lapsus mentis, provided twice an email address of the CEPR domain whilst registering the VIO domain. The technician, who identified himself as David Levy, sent me an email recently which I shall reproduce here:

Subject: Feedback for vcrisis
From: David Levy, levy-listsonly@cox.net
Date: 27/06/2004 04:59
To: aboyd@proveo.org

Dear Mr. Boyd,

I would like to respond to your allegations that Jenny Russell, of the Venezuela Information Office, used "email addresses of the domain cepr.net". I assume you used the WHOIS database information for veninfo.org as the pretext for these allegations, since Jenny Russel was listed as the domain name administrator and was listed as the administrator email.

First of all, as you well know, the WHOIS database specifies only one email address. She never used multiple "email addresses of the domain cepr.net". And the one single one specified in the WHOIS database doesn't work and never has.

The reason for the "levy-listsonly@cepr.net" listing as the contact information was simple. I am a computer technician with multiple clients, one of which is CEPR, from whom I kept an email address. Somehow, in the process of registering the veninfo.org domain name, I mixed two of my email addresses together. The correct address should have been , an address I created just last year which, as you can see, is a functioning address. I assume you tried to send an email to and had it bounce back as "user unknown". That is because the address is not a valid address and never has been.

I'm afraid you are barking up the wrong tree. I advise that you take your penchant for exaggerations and distortions elsewhere.

However, if you really believe in truth and accuracy, you will publish a correction on the web site. But I doubt that is your purpose.

Sincerely,

David Levy

P.S. If you want confirmation of the above, you can contact our domain name registrar and ask if notices of our domain name expiration have been bouncing. Thank you, by the way, for reminding me to renew the domain name registration, since our registrar was not getting through.

I don’t know folks, this ‘computer technician’ is either incredibly absent-minded or utterly stupid. He first quoted "email addresses of the domain cepr.net" while assuming that I used the WHOIS database as the pretext for the allegations. Well Mr Computer Technician, if one is to check upon the identity of the registrant of a domain, where else if not from WHOIS can one find such information? Secondly, are you implying that the information contained therein is false? Continues the technician with “She never used multiple "email addresses of the domain cepr.net"” If you were to read what I wrote in that respect you will find that the word multiple is not there, ergo is of your using. My quote is “Can anyone provide a reasonable and coherent explanation with respect to the registrant and administrative emails provided by Jenny Russell? Why would someone from CEPR.NET be put in charge of registering or administering a website with the aim of informing about the ‘official’ Venezuelan situation??”

Quite obviously David Levy can not provide a reasonable and coherent explanation for it. He starts his explanation saying “I am computer technician with multiple clients, one of which is CEPR, from whom I kept an email address.” He then says “Somehow, in the process of registering the veninfo.org domain name, I mixed two of my email addresses together.” However Levy admits that the address from CEPR has never worked. David Levy, computer technician with multiple clients, registered the VIO domain but somehow mixed his two email addresses; not two functioning addresses, no. One in working condition and the other one invalid, yet he does not provide details of the valid one when registering the VIO domain but rather the one that “…is not a valid address and never has been.” Why would a computer technician with multiple clients, such as CEPR, maintain an invalid email address? Furthermore, why did Levy register a domain utilising false contact information?

If there is one thing typical of those who champion for Chavez is their sheer mediocrity, so in customary fashion David Levy concludes his message with much subjective interpretation in regards to my purposes without failing to emphasize about my “penchant for exaggerations and distortions.”

Quite frankly I feel that Levy’s message is an insult to my intelligence. His arguments are so pathetic and so easy to debunk that I shall not even engage in corresponding with him. There is a perfect adage for this instance “todo ladron juzga por su condicion” meaning something like all crooks believe that everybody else is a crook. I Googled David Levy computer technician CEPR, alas there is no record of him. However, I took away the computer technician bit and I found 138 results. David Levy seems to have had evolving roles at CEPR; as research associate; as press release contact person; as media advisory contact; further he authored an article titled “Poverty up 10-20% in Latin America” (please check the email address at the bottom of said article); he provided information about worldwide anti-war protests to a forum; he called the people who control the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund “laissez-faire mafia”; in sum this ‘computer technician’ seems to be up to his ears in campaigning for ‘social justice, economic freedom’ and other leftist 'revolutions' similar to the one Venezuela is undergoing.

Is his message genuine or is it a covert attempt by CEPR to take issue with me? Either way I couldn't care less.



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