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Venezuela News Review 10.04.06

By Aleksander Boyd

• Venezuela's Minister of Elections Jorge Rodriguez, arquitect of many electoral victories of Hugo Chavez, walked Peruvian presidential candidate Ollanta Humala to the polling station. The move could have been part of an overt strategy seeking to convince both Peruvians and Venezuelans that he heads an independent, unbiased institution.

• Hugo Chavez stated on Sunday that should US Ambassador William Brownfield continue 'provoking' poor Venezuelans, by means of donating baseball gear, he will declare him "persona non grata" and could expel the American diplomat. Chavez referred to Brownfield's actions as those of a demagogue. Political analysts are yet to comment on the demagogic differences between an Ambassador donating bats and gloves in an utterly impoverished banana republic and a President giving away millions in subsidised oil to some citizens of America's richest states...

• Marxist cum Vice Minister of Energy Bernard Mommer affirmed in London that private investment is key for the development of Venezuela's energy sector. "We need private investors for they're very useful" stressed Mommer. Useful indeed, especially taking into account that not even Venezuela's president respects sanctity of contracts or private property.

• William Lara, Venezuelan (dis)Information Minister defined US Ambassador -or was he talking about his idol?- as a troublemaker and a bully.

• Some individuals handed themselves in, voluntarily, to police forces in connection to the brutal murder of the Faddoul brothers.

• In the meanwhile nobody has been detained, charged or sentenced regarding the three students assassinated by police officers in Barrio Kennedy a few months ago.

• The 6th Appeals Court annuled a sentence (+11 years) handed down to the assassins of Maritza Ron Messrs. John Jiménez Esalas, Pedro Ramos Poche and Henry José Parra Linero, arguing that a few objects left in a car used by them had not been analysed. Mrs. Ron died as a consequence of shooting into a crowd that had gathered to protest the results of the recall referendum of August 2004.

• Colombia's President Alvaro Uribe gets dragged into exhibit 7.908 of assassination plots geared at riding La Gran Colombia from the Chavez pest. For most of his tenure President Uribe has managed to out-chavez Chavez by refusing to enter the realm of media-politics, where his neighbour has the clear advantage. In this instance news about a plot to kill Chavez have been revealed by a disgruntled former operative of DAS, Colombia's secret service.

• The e-voting fiasco caused by Smartmatic/Sequoia machines in the primary's event held in Chicago on March 21 is poised to bring Hugo Chavez's ambitions of manipulating electoral processes in the USA to a sudden, unexpected end. Concerns vis-a-vis Smartmatic's owners and its connection to the Chavez regime are garnering strenght in all quarters.

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