Wednesday, December 28, 2005


A holiday mistery: the case of Chavez's phantom anti-semite remarks and a curious ghost blogger

Originally published here

Scanning Venezuelan news and blogs, your favorite ghost blogger was alerted by this article about Chavista anti-semitism, written by Alex Beech

I learned that the President was reported saying the following:

“Christmas is Christ rebellious, revolutionary, socialist” and “the descendants of those that crucified Christ have taken ownership of the wealth of the world, and they have concentrated it in a small number of hands”.

The remarks appeared on December 25 in Noticiero Digital , quoted from the “minute to minute” section of El Nacional. Now, if the reader goes to the link where it appeared, the news have been replaced by today’s “minuto a minuto” news. I even checked Dec 26^th El Nacional editorial (page A6) that mentioned the Christmas message, but found nothing about anti-semitism.

Annoyed by the lack of a formal referral link and puzzled by the editorial, I started digging the official sources:

VTV, ABN ,MINCI ,RNV and Aporrea :

They all reported a Chavista-Christian message of love and peace, and even (see RNV, Aporrea) wrote verbatim the sentence about Christ being rebellious, revolutionary and socialist, but nothing about any descendants of those that crucified Christ.

I then checked El Universal:and, strangely, the news was cited directly from Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias (ABN).

I even went to the Alo Presidente site, and there was nothing about the latest Chavez’s comments.

Finally thanks to Google, I was able to dig this link from a Chilean site.

Also thanks to Google, I got the magnificent « cache » from El Nacional that I am pasting at the end.

So, what happened? Was Chavez misquoted? Or is there a collusion of official information sites trying to clean the damaging remarks? What about the other Venezuelan private media? Why are they not reporting or just reporting the ABN version? Why El Nacional did not emphasize in their editorial the anti-semite message that was previously reported? Is this the effect of the muzzle law? Or is everybody on vacation?

Reporting from cyberspace,

Jorge Arena

Favorite ghost blogger.

*Internacionales* *Presidente Chávez asegura **que** "aún tenemos mucha pobreza"*

El presidente Hugo Chávez reconoció la tarde de este 24 de diciembre *que* aunque su gobierno ha “logrado cosas, todavía tenemos mucha pobreza” y pidió a sus funcionarios “centrar su atención allí”.

Dijo *que* para combatir la miseria será lanzada formalmente el próximo 14 de enero la "Misión Negra Hipólita" y adelantó *que*, como parte del programa, en cada barrio se formarán comités de protección social.

“Tiene ocho líneas de acción: primero *los* niños en situación de calle, luego *los* adultos en situación de exclusión extrema, las adolescentes y adultas embarazadas en situación de pobreza, la prevención y atención al consumo de drogas, la atención al desarrollo de comunidades indígenas, la atención a la familia en situación de riesgo, la atención a personas con discapacidad y la promoción de la participación popular”, detalló.

Las afirmaciones las realizó al finalizar un recorrido *que* hizo en el Centro de Desarrollo Endógeno Integral Humano "Manantial de *los* Sueños", ubicado en el estado Miranda, donde se recuperan 160 personas de la indigencia.

En el lugar, y con motivo de la Navidad, señaló *que* "*Cristo* debe vivir en nosotros". "Hoy está más vivo *que* nunca (...) La Navidad es *Cristo* rebelde, revolucionario, socialista", refirió. Para Chávez “*los* *descendientes* de *los* *que* *crucificaron* a *Cristo* se adueñaron de las riquezas del mundo y las han concentrado en pocas manos”.

Se declaró “decidido” a cambiar la historia y aseveró *que* cada día lo acompañan "más cantidad de jefes de estado y líderes en esa lucha”. Estima *que* “la cosa más grande” *que* ha hecho su gobierno es “libertar a nuestra patria del dominio norteamericano y de la oligarquía criolla”.


Saturday, December 24, 2005


From stolen radioactivity to the incredibly slow CNE: two low-key news from the chavista kingdom of Venezuela.

Originally published here
I grew up in Venezuela, so I am quite used to amazing news and a Macondonian way of life. However, since the arrival of President, soon to be King, Chavez, the amazing happenings are considered non-news, maybe because there are so many of them. This week, doing my job while Miguel is away, I came across these two pieces of news that left me speechless.

First, let us talk about radioactivity.

The Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias reports that the State of Lara police is desperately searching for stolen radioactive material. It seems that a truck that belongs to a radio inspection company was stolen in the State of Yaracuy by two individuals. There was radioactive material left inside. Now, this naïf ghost blogger asks the following questions: did the thieves know about the radioactive material or was it just bad luck for them? If they knew about it, why were they interested in it? Is it possible that radioactive material be transported without any signs of it? Why is just the regional police of the Lara State the one that is interested in this event? Why is there just one small article in the ABN about this? Why is the minister of the interior not talking about this?

A quick search on Google provides some alerts on the Internet, particularly on environmental sites. Reuters even reports a state of emergency called by the chief of the Defensa Civil in Venezuela. (see ) and another search in EUD gives just this small news item. Even after these results, I am still amazed at the little importance this very serious piece of news is been given both by the government and the media.

The second news that I want to comment on is the incredibly slow CNE. On December 22nd , El Nacional reported (page A4) that in a press conference Jorge Rodríguez said that there will not be a definite bulletin about the December 4 elections UNTIL after January 16!!! They have not verified the “actas” of some centers in 22 states!

So this humble ghost blogger asks the following: what is the use of tens (or is it hundreds?) of millions of dollars worth of electronic machines if the final results are available a month and a half after the election? Beats me!

Unless the CNE needs extra time for some creative vote counting....

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