Not much news out of Venezuela, huh?

| May 30, 2007

Funny how there was a flurry of news reports the other day from Venezuela after Hugo Chavez ordered opposition TV station RCTV closed and Venezuelans took to the streets, but now there’s barely a peep.

Chavez decision apparently is effecting the financial markets there, according to Bloomberg;

Venezuela’s bonds fell to an 11-month low after the government’s shutdown of Radio Caracas Television sparked clashes between police and protesters.

* * * * *

“Venezuela is underperforming, reflecting the latest move against the television station,” said Alberto Ramos, a senior Latin America economist with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York. “Every single iteration reminds us of the moves against institutions that erode checks and balances in Venezuela.”

That prompted Venezuela’s announcement that they’ll be selling joint bonds with Bolivia this year, as reported by Dow Jones;  

Venezuela’s government plans to sell $500 million in bonds through a joint issue with the Bolivian government, as the country extends its debt issuance program, Finance Minister Rodrigo Cabezas said Wednesday.

The bond with Bolivia could be sold in the first half of this year, Cabezas told reporters after a finance commission meeting.

President Hugo Chavez’s administration is also looking to sell another joint bond with Argentina, dubbed the Bond of the South III, for between $500 million and $1 billion, Cabezas said.

What bubblehead would risk their capital in South American debt given the current climate?  Evo Morales, President of Bolivia and Chavez’ poodle, throwing his country’s treasury in with Chavez’ is guaranteeing a massive meltdown when those interest payments come due.

Bonds are only as good as the debtor’s ability to pay, and the investors’ willingness to buy debt – and things ain’t looking so good down there. Seizing oil fields and gas fields isn’t going to make foreigners want to buy – especially buy debt. Of course, it’ll somehow be the US’ fault.

And Chavez isn’t done destroying the infrastructure in Venezuela yet, either, according to Reuters today;

As tens of thousands of people marched here Tuesday in protest of President Hugo Chavez’s closure of opposition television station RCTV, the leftist leader called the news channel Globovision an enemy of the state.

The protests were in their fourth consecutive day, but state television showed hundreds of government supporters marching in downtown Caracas to celebrate Chavez’s move.

“Enemies of the homeland, particularly those behind the scenes, I will give you a name: Globovision. Greetings gentlemen of Globovision, you should watch where you are going,” Chavez said in a broadcast that all channels were required to show.

“I recommend you take a tranquilizer and get into gear, because if not, I am going to do what is necessary,” he added.

Chavez accused Globovision of trying to incite his assassination and of misreporting protests over the closure of Radio Caracas Television in a manner that could whip up a situation similar to a coup attempt against him in 2002.

But that hasn’t stopped Globovision from reporting favorably on the anti-Chavez protests today;

A las 11:00 de la mañana se concentraron en la Plaza Brión de Chacaito jóvenes estudiantes de las universidades Católica, Central, Santa María, José María Vargas, UNEFA, Metropolitana, con la intención de marchar a la Defensoría del Pueblo, donde exigirían al organismo defender sus derechos fundamentales.

(A rough translation: At 11 am this morning a concentration in [some town square] young students of [some universities] assembled with the intention to march on People’s Defense Office organized to defend the  fundamental rights of citizens.)

From Venezuela’s English-language newspaper, The Daily Journal;

Information Minister Willian Lara on Monday accused Globovisión of encouraging an attempt on Chávez’ life by broadcasting the chorus of a salsa tune – “Have faith, this doesn’t end here” – along with footage of the 1981 assassination attempt against Pope John Paul II in St. Peter’s Square.
“They incite the assassination of Venezuela’s president,” he said.
Globovisión director Alberto Federico Ravell denied any wrongdoing, calling the allegations “ridiculous.”

Today’s La Voz (The Voice) headline reads; “Estudiantes no abandonan las calles” (The students won’t give up the streets) 

Chavez needs enemies, either real ones or pretend ones to circumvent the laws – that’s why he needed Bush as his chief boogieman and he fired up the crowds with Bush’s evil intentions to assasinate him. Of course, his strut around the UN last year was just playing to the cameras for folks back home – just like Chavez’ pledge of support for Iran was playing to the US cameras for the anti-Bush Left.

All ya’all Venezuelans better not be around when Chavez runs out of enemies.

According to AP;

The State Department on Tuesday called on the Chavez government “to reverse policies that limit freedom of expression.”

However, I haven’t heard any of the so-called “liberals” condemning the loss of freedom for Venezuelans to hear an opinion that might be opposed to the government’s. Where are they? In fact, the usual suspects are strangely quiet given the extent of the news coverage last weekend and the holiday.

Great background on RCTV’s closure by Fausta Wertz at Pajamas Media.

Fox News’ Adam Housley still has a live blog from the protests up over there. Strangely, he hasn’t been blogging today although the Venezuelan press reports that protests are in their fourth day.

Category: Hugo Chavez, Terror War

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I find it fascinating that many in America are willing to actually defend Chavez’ actions! Many commenters on DailyKos regurgitated the public statements that Chavez has put forward. They claim that they are somehow silenced by President Bush, but then defend Chavez as he 1) closes down a media outlet and 2) begins rhetoric to shut down the only remaining independent news station soon. The whole situation is almost laughable.