Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Meanwhile in Venezuela

Nelson Bocaranda Sardi claims that Venezuela Finance Minister Tobias Norbrega is very nervous because Barreto insists on asking him for 11 billion bolivares for his electoral campaign .... "Barreto boasts of secret meetings with police officers and firefighters on grassroots levels to undercut Mayor Pena's support with economic offerings that he will find difficult to fulfill."

Another high profile deputy, Bocaranda Sardi maintains, was angry because he didn't get $350,000 from the outgoing Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) president, General Rangel Gomez.
  VHeadline article

Hmmmm....a little insight into why I was asked to quit taking pictures in that opposition territory restaurant...who's financing whom.

I don't have the information at this point, but the article seems to indicate that the government provides at least some campaign financing even at the level of mayor, which is what Barreto is running for. Although - it's a little confusing even there, because Caracas has several districts, each of which have a "mayor", and then a "mayor of mayors" - and that's the position that Barreto seeks, as I understand it.

Juan Barreto

It's interesting to me that this article refers to Barreto as a journalist. Another of the Assembly members we met had also been a journalist. I don't know what that says, but it strikes me as an interesting note.

And further...

National Assembly (AN) deputy Willian Lara (MVR) is proposing a deal with the governments of Colombia and the United States of America to exchange the right-wing Colombian paramilitaries captured last Sunday, for the return of Venezuelan fugitives Pedro Carmona Estanga, Carlos Fernandez, Carlos Ortega and Carlos Molina Tamayo.

That should be interesting. These particular fugitives were involved in the 2002 coup.

And further...

The political discourse of our neighbors to the South is typically much more colorful than our own. In fact, in Venezuela, it seems that it is one of the things that makes the ousted elites cringe. National Assembly member Tarek Saab (whom we met on our tour) is not even native Venezuelan, but apparently dishes with the best of them.

Tarek Saab

To Tarek William Saab, president of the Permanent Foreign Policy Commission of the National Assembly (AN), statements released by Florida governor Jeb Bush ... younger brother of the US president ... reveal that mental retardation runs in this family.

...Saab urged the Florida governor to turn over "those Venezuelan criminals and not harbor them as he has been doing. The state of Florida, where he is governor, is the center of operations for terrorism against Venezuela."...

The MVR deputy characterized George Bush Sr., as well as the two sons George W. and Jeb, as "a decadent family group that thinks that they can, on their whim, not only direct the destiny of an empire like the US, but also intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela in their false belief that Venezuela is a part of their empire."

Yeah, I'd call 'em mentally retarded. Emotionally retarded and spiritually retarded, as well.

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