June 28, 2010 1 Comment
January 29, 2010 Leave a comment
Troops under United Nations command have opened fire on crowds of hungry Haitians seeking food, an ominous sign of impending confrontation between the people of the earthquake-wracked country and the armed forces dispatched there under the auspices of the imperialist powers. Read more of this post
October 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Venezuela’s socialist leader Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that U.S. President Barack Obama had done nothing beyond wishful thinking to earn the Nobel Peace Prize.
Chavez, who has mixed praise for Obama personally with criticism of his government’s “imperialist” policies, said he thought it was a mistake when he read the U.S. leader had won.
“What has Obama done to deserve this prize? The jury put store on his hope for a nuclear arms-free world, forgetting his role in perpetuating his battalions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and his decision to install new military bases in Colombia,” Chavez wrote in a column. Read more of this post
October 15, 2009 1 Comment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has ordered the obligatory acquisition of a Hilton-run hotel on the resort island of Margarita, it has emerged.
The move was ordered just weeks after the hotel housed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe during the Africa-South America Summit.
The hotel would help develop tourism projects in a “socialist framework”, a decree signed by Mr Chavez said.
Hilton Worldwide, which manages the hotel, said it was analyzing the move. Read more of this post
September 9, 2009 Leave a comment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has accused Israel of genocide against the Palestinian people, telling a French newspaper that the bombing of Gaza late last year was an unprovoked attack.
“The question is not whether the Israelis want to exterminate the Palestinians. They’re doing it openly,” Chavez said in an interview with Le Figaro published on Wednesday.
The Venezuelan president, who has just completed a tour of Middle Eastern and Arab countries, brushed aside Israeli assertions that its attack on Gaza was a response to rocket fire from Islamist group Hamas which rules the coastal enclave.
“What was it if not genocide? … The Israelis were looking for an excuse to exterminate the Palestinians,” Chavez said, adding that sanctions should have been slapped on Israel.
Israel launched an offensive against the Gaza Strip on December 27 2008 with the declared aim of curbing rocket fire from the region into southern Israel.
The land, sea and air assault lasted 22 days, and left some 1,300 Palestinians dead, according to medical sources.
Chavez said he recognized Israel’s right to exist, as with all countries, but added that the Jewish state must respect the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
The Venezuelan president said he wanted more clarity from the United States on its foreign policy, adding that he was disappointed by recent U.S. dealings in South America, including the installation of military bases in Colombia.
“Sadly, the arrival of Obama brought with it a lot of hope, but little change,” he said.
February 4, 2009 Leave a comment
Members of the US Congress have called on Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, to protect the country’s Jews following an attack on a Caracas synagogue.
Sixteen Republicans and Democrats wrote a letter demanding an “end to the intimidation and harassment of the Jewish community” in South America’s Opec state, which has fraught relations with Israel. The move came after a group of armed men broke into Caracas’s oldest synagogue last week, overpowered two guards, destroyed religious objects and sprayed antisemitic slogans.
Chávez condemned the attack and the authorities launched an investigation.
“We condemn the actions on the synagogue of Caracas,” he said in a televised speech. He hinted that “oligarchs” opposed to his self-styled socialist revolution were to blame. “It must be asked … who benefits from these violent incidents. It is not the government, nor the people, nor the revolution.”
Jewish groups in Venezuela, however, have accused the government of creating a climate of intolerance through its outspoken denunciations of Israel. Last month Chávez expelled the Israeli ambassador over the invasion of Gaza, which he likened to genocide. Graffiti and posters praising Hamas and Palestinian resistance have sprouted across Caracas, especially in slums such as 23 de Enero, which are bastions of support for the president. They are often accompanied by slogans such as “Jews out”.
The synagogue attackers numbered around 15 and appeared well-organised. They disabled security cameras and reportedly spent five hours breaking into safety boxes, desecrating the Torah and vandalising property. A week earlier the building was sprayed with graffiti linking the swastika to the star of David.
“This is an attack of antisemitic nature,” said Elias Farache of the Venezuelan Israelite Association. “The climate is very tense. We feel threatened, intimidated, attacked.”
The government said those responsible would be brought to justice and called on all Venezuelans to reject the attack. Jews had no reason to feel insecure, it said. A pro-government website that ran an article urging a boycott of Venezuelan Jewish businesses and verbal confrontations with Jewish people was removed yesterday after protests. Chávez has been feted in the Arab world for cutting ties with Israel, and he has forged an alliance with his Iranian counterpart, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has called for Israel to be wiped out.
The Venezuelan leader said there was no trace of antisemitism in a foreign policy that condemned those responsible for inflicting bloodshed and suffering in Gaza.
January 7, 2009 1 Comment
Venezuela has expelled the Israeli ambassador to protest against the country’s assault on Gaza, after the Venezuelan president described it as a “holocaust”.
The move on Tuesday came hours after 40 Palestinians were killed at a UN school where civilians had taken shelter amid the offensive.
“The Holocaust, that is what is happening right now in Gaza,” Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, said in televised comments.
“The president of Israel at this moment should be taken to the International Criminal Court together with the president of the United States.”
At least 660 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began its offensive on December 27, in what it says is an attempt to halt Palestinian rocketfire from Gaza.
Venezuela’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Israel’s campaign constituted “flagrant violations of international law” and the use of “state terrorism”.
“For the reasons mentioned above, the government of Venezuela has decided to expel the ambassador of Israel and part of the personnel of the embassy of Israel,” the statement said.
On Monday, Chavez, a strong critic of Israel and the US, had accused Washington of poisoning Yasser Arafat, the late former Palestinian president, to destabilise the Middle East and justify US-backed Israeli incursions.
The United States, which Chavez describes as a decadent empire, firmly backs Israel, its principal ally in the region. On Tuesday, the White House said it would support an “immediate” ceasefire in Gaza but only if it was likely to be “durable”.
December 8, 2008 Leave a comment
Former Belize Prime Minister Said Musa is declaring his innocence in the face of a charge that he stole US$10 million which the Venezuela government had given his administration to build and repair homes for poor citizens.
Mr Musa appeared in court yesterday accused of illegally diverting the money, half of a US$20 million grant, to a privately owned hospital. He was released on US$100,000 bail and ordered to reappear in court on January 9 next year. If convicted of the charge, he faces a maximum 10-year jail term.
But Mr Musa has insisted that he did nothing wrong, saying that he was acting in good faith when he used the funds to settle a debt owed by Universal Health Services (UHS).
He has been embroiled in controversy surrounding the grant, given by the Hugo Chavez Administration in December last year, since his People’s United Party lost the government to Dean Barrow and his United Democratic Party in the February 7 general elections.
The former prime minister had said earlier this year that the debt he used the money to pay arose out of a government guarantee of a loan made by UHS and had been the subject of litigation that could have resulted in the Belize government having to pay the entire sum due from taxpayer funds.
Following a directive from the country’s Central Bank, the money was returned to the government coffers from the Belize Bank which received the funds to clear the UHS debt.
Recent statements from Prime Minister David Thompson on millions stashed in overseas accounts by BLP members have yet to materialised, confrimed and the wheels of justice rolling.
Waiting to exhale can be a painful process.
November 16, 2008 Leave a comment
President Hugo Chavez said he would “expropriate” Venezuela’s banks if they are hit by a finance crisis like the one that has rocked the world economic system.
“If something similar comes to pass in Venezuela, you should not have the slightest doubt that I won’t give a penny to the banks – I’ll expropriate them,” said Chavez, speaking yesterday in the southeastern state of Barinas.
The Venezuelan leader said he found it “strange” that rich countries which have said “that they have no money to fight poverty, from one day to the come up with billions of dollars (to bail out the banks).
They remain unable, he chided, to finance “the production of food and medicine or to support education, but can help out the bankrupt bankers.”
He added however, that so far the global banking crisis has not affected Venezuela’s economy “thanks to the revolution, which has strengthened it.”
Source: Times Of India
September 13, 2008 Leave a comment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez expelled the US envoy to Caracas and threatened to halt crude exports to the United States on a day he highlighted the recent arrival of two Russian Tu-160 strategic bombers.
Chavez ordered US ambassador Patrick Duddy to leave the country within 72 hours, in a move he described as an act of solidarity with Venezuela’s ally Bolivia, which also expelled its US envoy.
“Starting at this moment the Yankee ambassador in Caracas has 72 hours to leave Venezuela,” Chavez said at a public event in the port city of Puerto Cabello, 120 kilometers west of Caracas.
He said it was “in solidarity” with the leftist government of President Evo Morales in Bolivia, which on Wednesday ordered the US ambassador to La Paz to leave. Washington expelled Bolivia’s ambassador to the United States on Thursday.
“We will send an ambassador when there is a new government in the United States, a government that respects the people of Latin America,” he declared at a political rally.
Chavez then threatened to halt the supply of oil to the United States, its main client, if Washington attacks his government.
“If there is any aggression towards Venezuela” from Washington, “there would be no oil for the people of the United States,” said Chavez, who used coarse expletives to disparage the US government.
Also yesterday Chavez announced that his government had uncovered a coup plot hatched by active and retired military officers, which he said had tacit US approval.
A military prosecutor said two officers – retired general Wilfredo Barroso and retired major Elimides Labarca Soto — will be tried for incitement to rebellion, a charge punishable by five to 10 years in prison.
The Venezuelan leader also told those gathered at the rally that he had ordered a reduction in flights to Venezuela by US airlines.
Adapted from International News Reports
July 15, 2008 1 Comment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said last night oil prices could hit $300 per barrel if US oil company Exxon Mobil again freezes Venezuelan assets in a dispute over a nationalized oil project.
Exxon won court orders freezing $12 billion in assets held by Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA after the OPEC nation took over a multi-billion dollar oil project, heightening tensions with the United States and helping to raise oil prices.
A London court later overturned Exxon’s temporary asset freeze, but Chavez said the company could seek further action against Venezuela.
“If they freeze us there will be no more oil for the United States, and the price will go to $300,” Chavez said during a televised meeting with Caribbean and Central American leaders as part of an energy cooperation scheme called Petrocaribe.
Chavez also said oil prices were being influenced by a “speculative bubble”, the collapse of which could send prices as low as $70 per barrel.
This contrasted with his Saturday statements that geopolitical tensions, particularly the threat of an invasion against Iran, could push oil prices to $200 per barrel.
“Years ago I said oil was going to go to $100 per barrel, now it looks like it is headed toward $200,” he said.
Source: Irish Times
July 14, 2008 Leave a comment
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Sunday touted a pact delivering fuel to Caribbean nations and loosened the financing terms to aid countries struggling with high oil prices.
Chavez said nations taking part in the Petrocaribe initiative will now be required to pay just 40 percent of the bill within 90 days — down from the current 50 percent. He said the rest can be paid over the next 25 years at a fixed interest rate of 1 percent as long as oil prices are above US$100 a barrel.
“That could compensate for the horrible curve of the jump in oil prices,” Chavez said.
He added that 70 percent of payments may be deferred if oil rises above US$200 a barrel.
Chavez said Venezuela aims to continue strengthening the Petrocaribe accord and make it into an “anti-hunger shield” for countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Three years after Petrocaribe began, though, figures released by officials show the initiative is still not operating at full strength because of transportation and storage problems.
Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said member countries other than Cuba are receiving a total of 86,000 barrels of oil a day — significantly less than their quota of 125,000.
Ramirez said Venezuela expects performance will improve with the expansion of an oil distribution network in the Caribbean.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines expects to complete construction of a storage facility next year with Venezuelan help, allowing it to boost the 300 barrels a day it currently receives — less than a third of its Petrocaribe quota, said Thornley Orsino Myers, who heads a St. Vincent electrical utility and accompanied his country’s delegation.
[Antigua/Barbuda, Bahamas, Belize, Cuba, Dominica, Dominician Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.Kitts/Nevis, St.Lucia, St.Vincent/Grenadians, Suriname and Venezuela are signatories to the Petrocaribe Agreement]
Adapted From Taipei Times
May 28, 2008 Leave a comment
A few days ago after after violating Venezuela air space, the Pentagon has announced that it will reactivated the Navy’s fourth fleet to patrol Venezuela waters.
That’s right folks. The US navy is gearing up their patrols in the area. Of course Chavez will have something to say about that.
“They don’t scare us in the least. If a North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] exists, why can’t a SATO exist, a South Atlantic Treaty Organization?” Read more of this post
May 20, 2008 2 Comments
The Venezuelan government is to summon the United States ambassador to explain the violation of its airspace by an American military plane.
Foreign minister Nicolas Maduro said the plane was detected near the Caribbean island of La Orchila on Saturday.
The Pentagon has acknowledged that a US Navy maritime surveillance jet DID did stray into Venezuelan airspace after experiencing what it called “intermittent navigational problems”.
The State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the US respects Venezuelan sovereignty.
But Mr Maduro said the ambassador will still be called in. His colleague, defence minister General Gustavo Rangel Briceno, says he thinks the flyover was deliberate.
Source – BBC Caribbean Read more of this post
March 15, 2008 4 Comments
President Hugo Chaven dared the US on Friday to put Venezuela on a list of countries accused of supporting terrorism, calling it one more attempt by Washington to undermine him for political reasons.
Chavez said the threat to include us on the terrorist list ‘is Washington’s respone to his government’s successes in the region”.
Further reading – www.startribune.com/world/16685676.html
Related stories -http://www.miamiherald.com/news/americas/story/457593.html