Archive for December 5th, 2007

December 5, 2007

Venezuela no se convirtio en una Cuba

Lo mas interesante de este reportaje es que se origina en Rusia. Traduccion cortesia de google

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti internacional comentarista Ivan Zakharchenko) – Algunos venezolanos no les gusta Hugo Chávez, porque temen perder el poder y el bienestar.

Otros, en cambio, aman su presidente, pero aún temen que podría ir demasiado lejos en sus intentos de construir “socialismo democrático”, y nunca resolver los problemas sociales.

Al parecer, los que temen que pueda ir demasiado lejos se han multiplicado, lo que llevó a la derrota del líder venezolano en el último domingo del referéndum sobre la reforma constitucional.

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December 5, 2007

El poder de la ubicación de la coma !!!

Lea y analice la siguiente frase …..
“Si el hombre supiera realmente el valor que tiene la mujer andaría en cuatro patas en su búsqueda”.
Si usted es mujer, con toda seguridad colocaría la coma después de la palabra mujer
Si usted es hombre, con toda seguridad colocaría la coma después de la palabra tiene

December 5, 2007

Venezuela: A New Player in the Mix

The Venezuelan government lost its constitutional amendment referendum in a national vote Dec. 2, emboldening the opposition and dealing President Hugo Chavez his first electoral defeat since he took office a decade ago. This is hardly the end of the line for Chavez, but something new is taking shape in the country: a competent and capable opposition.


Contrary to Venezuelan government predictions, a constitutional referendum that would have consolidated President Hugo Chavez’s power has failed by a slim margin, reports indicate. This is the first electoral defeat for Chavez since he became president in 1997; he has survived not only elections but also recall referendums and even a coup. What makes this vote different, however, is not that Chavez lost, but how he lost.


Chavez’s inability to stamp out the embers of opposition has raised hope among his detractors — many of whom call him “the world’s worst dictator” — that he will one day make one mistake too many and be swept aside.


Stratfor does not agree with this assessment. Although he is personally unpredictable and many aspects of his rule are erratic, as a political operator, Chavez is among the savviest we have ever seen. His use of oil revenues to solidify his power base and export his ideology has proven remarkably successful, and the arming of his Chavistas with automatic weapons has hugely mitigated the chance that any “People Power” revolution can displace him. (Do not confuse these comments with an endorsement; being a competent power broker is not the same as being a competent leader.)

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December 5, 2007

Maria fled Cuba for a better life here (Canada)

‘Left in a little boat’; Sacrificed for her daughters to prosper

AMY LUFT, The Gazette

Published: Tuesday, December 04

Maria, a Cuban native, faced a dangerous escape from her homeland with her two young daughters. A doctor, she risked her life and fled the communist nation to join her husband in Canada.

Now separated, and with little money to support her children, Maria has given up working as a doctor and knows she made the ultimate sacrifice for her daughters to prosper in Canada.

Maria has lived for three years here without employment, learning first to speak French, and now English, and surviving on welfare. She scrapes by on handouts from the community and pinches every penny.

Maria and her daughters are among the thousands of Montrealers who are to receive $125 from The Gazette Christmas Fund. The money helps needy individuals and families during the holiday season.

Maria is struggling in Canada. She hopes the future will be brighter, but she misses her family and friends in Cuba. She feels isolated because she hasn’t yet integrated into society. Going through a divorce, without work and still learning the local languages, she finds it hard to make friends.

But after her escape from Cuba, she feels lucky to be in Canada. Though they tried to leave legally, Maria and her young daughters were barred from doing so, and escaped the only way they could.

“I left in a little boat. It took us two days to get to Mexico and it was very dangerous,” she said. From Mexico, Maria and her young daughters travelled two days on foot to the U.S. border, then rode by bus to the Canadian border, where she received a temporary residence visa. Three years later, the girls, age 6 and 7, are now enjoying life in Montreal, but Maria is lagging behind.

“I can’t work as a doctor or a nurse here. There’s a wall up against people who are trained elsewhere,” she explained. She plans to study to get her Canadian credentials as a nurse after she completes her English courses in six months.

Though Christmas is a season for extra spending, especially difficult when it’s already hard to get by, the St. Laurent resident is looking forward to the holiday. It’s one time of year Maria doesn’t feel lonely.

“I get to see people from Cuba I never get to see. We have a party where we dance and play Cuban music and eat together. We have fun. I wish it happened more often,” she said. She plans to use The Gazette donation to buy educational toys for her daughters.

Maria is especially thankful for the help she has received in Montreal, and for the generosity of others. When she first moved here and settled in Dorval, she did not have a cent, and charitable neighbors provided her with a mattress, dishes and food.

“People are very generous,” she said.

“We never would have received this in Cuba.”

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Christmas Fund

How you can help: Send donations to The Gazette Christmas Fund, PO Box 11057, Succ. Centre-Ville, Montreal, H3C 4Z4.

Please use the coupon on Page A13. Fax it to us at (514) 987-2244, or drop off a donation at 1010 Ste. Catherine St. W., or phone us: (514) 987-2400, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or donate online:

December 5, 2007

Venezuela has not become a second Cuba


Opinion & analysis

Venezuela has not become a second Cuba

19:08 | 04/ 12/ 2007

MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti international commentator Ivan Zakharchenko) – Some Venezuelans don’t like Hugo Chavez because they fear losing power and wellbeing.

Others, on the other hand, love their president but still fear he might go too far in his attempts to build “democratic socialism,” and never solve social problems.

It seems those who fear he may go too far have multiplied, which led to the Venezuelan leader’s defeat at last Sunday’s referendum on constitutional reform.

Chavez had put up 69 amendments to the fundamental law of the country for consideration, including lifting all the restrictions on reelecting the same person president, introducing the practice of appointing not electing the heads of local administrations, declaring martial law for an indefinite period of time, and limiting the freedom of the press.

Their adoption would have meant the proclamation of socialism in Venezuela, the country considered to be the fourth largest supplier of oil to the United States.

Observers note that most Venezuelans have shown that they do not share Chavez’s views, no matter how attractive his social and economic projects could be; he wanted to cut the working day from eight to six hours and set up public councils for the distribution of government funds.

The amendments were only supported by 49% of the referendum voters, while 51% opposed them.

A year ago more than seven million people backed Chavez in the presidential election, but now he has lost the support of some three million.

True, there is the view that many failed to turn up, secure in the knowledge that Chavez would win anyway. But this did not happen.

The 53-year-old president, who came to power in 1998 and conceded defeat at the present referendum, explained the situation by doubts and fears felt by the population. He also attributed it to the lack of time for explaining the gist of the program leading to the victory of socialism. But, analysts believe, Chavez simply overestimated his popularity in the country.

Emil Dabagyan, a leading research fellow at the Center for Political Studies of the Institute of Latin America, said the referendum results are a “good barometer of the sentiment changes in Venezuelan society.”

“The opposition managed to accumulate these sentiments, while the ruling bloc began breaking up, and a shaky balance set in, with Chavez losing support from the upper and middle classes and from the ruling camp as well,” the expert said.

Reports from Caracas say that Chavez’s socialist program did have success in the past nine years owing to his populist policies and rising oil prices, but many of his former supporters are now disappointed with the shortages and high prices of essential items, such as milk, eggs and sugar. They are also dissatisfied with the growth of crime and the president’s growing personality cult. The people have finally expressed their disagreement and reluctance to follow Chavez all the way to the socialist future unless he satisfies their current needs.

Still, the opposition’s victory at the referendum in Venezuela has not knocked Chavez out. He still has five years in office ahead of him, and he will make every effort to reach his goals. The opposition parties are still weak and disunited; they do not have a leader who would be a match for Hugo Chavez.

Moreover, he is already trying to use the results of the referendum for his own ends making it out as an encouraging sign of a functional democracy, and therefore the accusations of him being a dictator are groundless and poorly argued.

Chavez’s social programs, including healthcare and education, are still popular with low-income families. The president, who is obviously a very gifted politician, swore he would continue to build socialism and was not going to change his plans.

The opposition, inspired by its first victory, also has time and will have plenty of opportunities to launch an offensive. For example, certain experts have mentioned the constitutional possibility of holding a referendum on Chavez’s early resignation. One such attempt was made in 2004, but the president won that round.

The current situation could prove different, and whatever Hugo Chavez’s political talents, Venezuela will never be a “second Cuba” in South America.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.

December 5, 2007

Cuba: 29 dissidents detained in less than two weeks

December 4, 2007

Cuban police have detained 29 anti-government activists in less than two weeks and seven remain jailed, including a man who called for the communist-run island to tolerate independent universities, a human rights leader said Monday.


Independent education activist Rolando Rodriguez was arrested last week after announcing that 5,000 signatures had been collected in support of autonomous universities in Cuba, said Elizardo Sanchez, head of the Havana-based Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation.


Sanchez, whose organization is not recognized but is tolerated by Cuban authorities, said the arrests come as government critics prepare to mark International Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.

He said the detentions began Nov. 21, when five government critics in Havana were detained by police without charges, then released.

December 5, 2007

Chavez: Venezuela not ready for socialism

Complete note: Chavez: Venezuela not ready for socialism
UPI Tue, 04 Dec 2007 11:38 AM PST
Venezuela might not be ready to accept socialism, said Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez following the defeat of proposed changes to the constitution.

December 5, 2007

Venezuela: A Victory for Democracy

Source:Venezuela: A Victory for Democracy

New America Media Wed, 05 Dec 2007 2:08 AM PST

LOS ANGELES — Democracy triumphed in Venezuela as voters limited the leader’s popular support, editors of Spanish-language La Opinion report. The victory of the “No” vote to the constitutional reforms proposed by President Hugo Chavez temporarily suspends his plans and gives the opposition a sense of the importance of its current political role. The election results also put to rest fears that Chavez would not tolerate a defeat. Merely recognizing the opposition’s victory elevated the president’s image, editors write, even if it was a grudging acceptance. In his message to the country, Chavez was more interested in delegitimizing the opposition than in recognizing his errors. Editors write that they hope Chavez continues to respect the will expressed Sunday by voters and does not take advantage of his support in the legislature to unilaterally push through the referendum’s failed measures. Interestingly, editors add, millions of Venezuelans who voted in the presidential elections sat this one out: The high abstention rate reveals how tired and displeased the electorate is with the whole political process. In a democracy, editors write, reconciliation is the next step after elections. Chavez and the opposition should work together to advance the less controversial aspects of the reform, the editorial concludes. Venezuelans deserve the effort.

December 5, 2007

Bush: Venezuela’s Chavez Defeat a ‘Vote for Democracy’

Bush: Venezuela’s Chavez Defeat a ‘Vote for Democracy’

04 December 2007

Wolfson report – Download MP3 (323k) audio clip
Listen to Wolfson report audio clip

President Bush says the people of Venezuela cast a vote for democracy when they rejected changes in their constitution proposed by President Hugo Chavez. We have more from VOA White House correspondent Paula Wolfson.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, 13 Nov 2007
Hugo Chavez (file photo)

Among other things, President Chavez wanted to change the Venezuelan constitution to enable him to run indefinitely for re-election. Fifty-one percent of those who cast ballots voted no.

President Bush hailed the results at a White House news conference.

“The Venezuelan people rejected one-man rule. They voted for democracy,” he said.

President Bush was then asked how the United States can best counter Mr. Chavez’s efforts to gain influence throughout South and Central America.

President Bush answers reporters' questions during press conference at White House, 04 Dec 2007
President Bush answers reporters’ questions during press conference at White House, 04 Dec 2007

Mr. Bush said one way is to increase U.S. trade ties with its neighbors to the south. He made specific mention of the pending U.S. free trade agreement with Colombia. He said if Congress kills the agreement, it will send the wrong signal.

“It would be an insult to a friend. It would send a contradictory message to a country led by a very strong leader, who is working hard to deal with some very difficult problems, one of which is armed gangs of people that are ruthless and brutal people who just kidnap innocent people for the sake of achieving political objectives,” he said.

Congressional opponents of the deal say their objections are based on lingering concerns about the Colombian government’s human rights record.

Source: VOA News