Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Damned if you do, Damed if you don't! The saga of the US bailout bill is the perfect example...

VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes:
Politics in the cuckoo empire ... the USA is always exciting, and to foreigners such as yourselves must seem utterly insane; devoid of logic. But that is merely because you depend on CNN or FOX or the BBC to try to make sense out of it. You really need to pay attention to http://vheadlinevenezuelanews.blogspot.com/ to find a way to analyze what is going on and to hopefully find a way to keep yourselves from being immolated in the collapse of a world system of capital.

And the saga of the bailout bill is the perfect example.

Here we can see US politics in all its glory, policy like a Russian Easter egg: One layer, followed by another, by another, by another. Onward into the fog. No one must be better informed on imperial politics than the nations of South America, exposed as they are to predation from the north. For them it can be a matter of life or death at the hands of the Imperial Storm Troopers, aka the US Marine Corps. It is my job, my challenge to try to put forth to all of you the real motivations, the crunch where it is decided who wins and who loses...
  • The Wall Street elites would have loved $700 billions in treasury funds voted to them in one big package ... but, basically, business must go on, so the 700 some odd point fall of yesterday's DOW is followed by a better than 500 point rise today.
The masters of the universe tried to hold the Federal government to ransom: Give us in one way or the other the Social Security Trust Funds or we will stage a capital strike similar to that which occurred in Venezuela after the abortive coup of 2002. But these folks are really no better off than minimum wage workers: No one can afford to stay out of work more than a day or two. 'Tis merely that the numbers are larger.

Members of the House of Representatives flinched, faced with letters, FAX's, email and phone calls from their constituents running about 200 to one against the bailout/give-away. Usually US politicians are utterly obedient to sources of big money, of which Wall Street is the biggest. But conservative Republican congress-critters are aware of just how vulnerable they are this November due to the multiple failures of their party boss in the White House. And they do not want to lose their cushy jobs -- one of the few in the USA offering serious and completely comprehensive health insurance for self and family.

To say nothing of an absolutely wonderful pension after either defeat or retirement.

The result Monday was the defection of near two thirds of the Republican members from the program of their own leaders. The Democratic members expect to win in the November elections no matter how they vote on this issue, so they can afford to be much more obedient to the masters of the universe, and contemptuous of the electorate than their panicked Republican colleagues. Only about forty of their most left-leaning members dared vote nay. These people come mainly from poor and mostly Black urban districts where the racial and class divisions in US society are so acute that no Republican ever would have any chance at election whatsoever.

Beginning Wednesday the Senate will begin the somewhat anti-constitutional process of initiating the Bailout-Give-Away Bill: Appropriations are supposed to originate in the House of Representatives. The idea is that Senate members, serving six-year terms are more able to ignore the strong feelings of constituents (House members are up every two years) and do as they are told by the sources of their campaign funding. Relative to the wholesale hacking of the Constitution of 1789 that has occurred in recent decades this is only a minor violation.

I readily admit that I am somewhat amazed to be on the same side of an issue as are the most conservative members of the House of Representatives. But ok, let's take allies where we can find them.

Meanwhile, you good folks outside of our borders should look on all this as if it were an unusually exciting football game ... this is only about which elite factions here get to loot the vitals of the expiring US state.

And VHeadline will keep you up to date.

From the imperial capital

Chris Herz


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Venezuela's PEPSI-COLA shut down for 48 hours on orders from IRS/Seniat tax inspectors!

Venezuela's IRS/Seniat has ordered Pepsi Cola de Venezuela to shut down commercial operations for 48 hours after tax inspectors found irregularities with the company's ledgers, specifically with their accounting of Sales Taxes (IVA).

Ac cording to an IRS/Seniat press release, officials from the tax service found that Pepsi-Cola de Venezuela found that company accountants had failed to maintain purchasing ledgers in proper chronological order and had not maintained their books as required by law.

The company has now been fined 25 x Bs.F 1,150 (approximately US$14,500) according to Article 102 in the Organic Taxation Law which requires commercial enterprises to comply with regulations in law which require books to be kept in proper order and do NOT permit reporting delays of more than calendar 30 days.

Venezuela has a long tradition of endemic tax evasion which the Chavez government has sought to put a stop to by levying fines and ordering the several days trading closure of commercial premises where the owners have been found to have failed in their responsibilities to the Public Treasury.

McCain's geography lesson to the world: Chavez' Venezuela in the Middle East?

McCain's geography lesson to the world:
Chavez' Venezuela in the Middle East?

Presidents of Venezuela and Bolivia blame "capitalism," "imperialism" for crisis

Presidents Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and Evo Morales of Bolivia on Tuesday blamed "capitalism" and "imperialism" for the financial crisis that is shaking world markets.
"Nobody knows how far this crash will get. I am among those who believe that the crash of neoliberalism (extreme capitalism) will be worse than that of 1929, it will affect the whole world. No country can say that they will not be affected," Chavez said in the Brazilian city of Manaus. In the same city, Morales reiterated his comments that "where there is capitalism, there is looting, exploitation and poverty." In Manaus, Morales and Chavez were set to meet with Presidents Rafael Correa of Ecuador and Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, all of them exponents of the political left. The Bolivian leader criticized the 700-billion-dollar package proposed by US President George W Bush to bail out the northern giant's financial sector. "How can it be that the poor have to pay the price of the rich's crisis? In Bolivia, we nationalize (natural resources) so that the people have money. In the United States, they want to nationalize the debt and the crisis of the people who have money," Morales insisted. On Monday, Lula called for "wisdom" in the United States in the face of the ongoing credit crisis. "The emerging economies that did everything right cannot now be victims of the casino that (the bankers) set up in the United States," Lula said. He claimed that Brazil's economy - the tenth largest in the world - would not be "contaminated" by the financial turmoil in the north. "We are aware of the seriousness of the crisis, but we are sure that exports and imports are still fine, and that our industry is still fine. We are conscious of what is happening, but we are calm," Lula said. The four participants in the Manaus meeting were set to discuss bilateral issues, regional integration and the international situation, as well as the stalling creation of a Bank of the South.

Critics complain that CVG needs immediate resolutions to labor, production and investment problems ... but Sanz keeps on travelling with President Chavez!

VHeadline Venezuela News reports:
Although it has been announced that Dr. Rodolfo Sanz is to be replaced at the Ministry of Basic Industries & Mining (Mibam) with immediate effect, his main critics now complain that while the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) and its main subsidiaries need immediate resolutions to outstanding labor, production and investment problems, he remains as an integral part of President Hugo Chavez Frias' top administration team currently in Manaus (Brazil) for today's 3-nation summit -- Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia.

Sanz' main critics in the labor unions say there has been adequate opportunity over the last six days since a contingency plan was implemented at CVG-Bauxilum (aluminum processing), with 144 hours of continuous production and the mass participation of labor and union representatives towards a solution, for Sanz to reach a solution to a conflict that affects more than 3,600 direct employees at CVG-Bauxilum who fear for their jobs after four years of investment and managerial neglect.

The now-ex-Minister has chosen to travel internationally with the President of the Republic and CVG workers say it makes a mockery of any ministerial post may have claimed to exercise ... in fact he appears to have been so "out of touch" with the realities on the ground at the CVG (of which he has also been president & CEO) that he was shocked into making an international phone call from Beijing last Tuesday to fire Hector Herrera Jimenez, who has been president of CVG-Bauxilum for only 11 days after being appointed behind Sanz' back by Vice President Ramon Carrizalez.

The unions say that it is the responsibility of each executive at the CVG to concentrate on the job in hand -- i.e. managing the company and resolving labor problems etc -- and that Sanz is leaving behind him a string of broken promises ranging from the approval of more than US$100 million in funding to pay suppliers and contractors as well as outstanding liabilities to CVG workers and an investment plan which has not yet seen the light of day.

Antonio Rivas, general secretary of the CVG-Suprabaux union says it demonstrates the (lack of) commitment by the (now ex-) Mibam Minister to the Guayana region and its workers, who have been patiently waiting for the investment plans to kick in to guarantee the fiscal continuity of the CVG subsidiaries. "We want to secure the administrative and operational continuity of our company, which, if it falls apart, will be the product of a critical lack of input material as well as the scarcity of spare parts because of the crippling debts the CVG has with its contractors, suppliers and cooperatives without whom CVG-Bauxilum could not have been kept afloat for the last eight months."

Rivas adds that "everyone is aware of the situation, which is why we've raised the use of the company resources with the directors to repotentiate the company, above and beyond the debts it already has with labor, since we are dependent on our jobs. Our labor liabilities have remained unpaid since 1991, and when Sanz does not inject necessary resources into the company, it means only bread for today while hunger awaits us for tomorrow."

"For CVG-Bauxilum to remain in business, it is NOT about defending the interests of a President or a political party but of the entire industry ... so we demand a solution is reached soon before the crisis gets any worse. We are NOT protesting the sacking of Lt. Col. Hector Herrera Jimenez or of General Carlos Acosta Perez ... what we want is for the presidents to assume the reins of CVG Bauxilum to be aware of the company processes and last longer in the job so as to give greater administrative and operational continuity."

VHeadline Venezuela News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) president and CEO, Rodolfo Sanz, feels full "attack of vultures" as rumors run wild of imminent departure!

VHeadline editor & publisher Roy S. Carson writes: Strong rumors are flourishing at the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) of the imminent resignation of CVG president and CEO, Rodolfo Sanz who is also Minister of Basic Industries & Mining (Mibam). Sanz is reportedly feeling a full "attack of vultures" within the administration and his departure is being mooted as a strong possibility after last Tuesday's escalation of the CVG-Bauxilum conflict with his long-distance telephone dismissal of the aluminum subsidiary's president Hector Herrera Jimenez who had been in the key job for just over a week.

Unofficial sources quoted by the regional newspaper Correo del Coroni say that there is "a perverse political maneuver" demanding the removal of Sanz, who has endeavored to get a mine-operating contract with Canadian transnational Crystallex International on the road towards a re-launch of the gigantic Las Cristinas gold deposit, said one of the richest mineral reserves in Latin America.

Mining sources claim that President Hugo Chavez was in position to define Crystallex' situation but that some Bolivar State politicians and business leaders had been concerned about their participation within the Canadian consortium, and that this had triggered a imminent confrontation.

If he does depart from the CVG and the Mibam Ministry, Sanz could take up a more prominent position in President Chavez' executive team. Meanwhile it is said that it would leave a vacuum in the CVG that could possibly be taken over by Major General (Army) Jose Gregorio Montilla Pantoja, who was until recently head of Army Operations Theater 5, which could negate the ambitions of some representatives of Bolivar State Governor Francisco Rangel Gomez who had originally intended to take the reins of the CVG.

Government sources who prefer to remain anonymous are quoted in Correo del Coroni as saying that a "blunder" made by Vice President Ramopn Carrizalez in appointing former military Herrera Jimenez to head CVG-Bauxilum could easily have been exploited by other factors of power within the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV).

Roy S. Carson

IN LATE BREAKING NEWS: President Hugo Chavez Frias has decided to relieve Dr. Rodolfo Sanz of his portfolio as Venezuela's Minister of Basic Industries & Mining (Mibam) as a result of prolonged labor, production and investment conflicts at the state-owned heavy industry conglomerate, the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) of which Sanz is also president and CEO. Although Sanz' successor as Mibam Minister has yet to be announced, it is understood that former Labor Minister, Jose Ramon Rivero in in the frame for the job while Bolivar State military commander, General Pantoja is unofficially slated to become CVG president and CEO. Sanz, who is accompanying President Chavez at today's tri-nation summit in Manaus, Brazil, may replace Vice President Ramon Carrizales in Chavez' top ministerial executive. Carrizales and his wife, controversial Environment (MinAmb) Minister Yubiri Ortega de Carrizalez are expected to take up ambassadorial appointments in Moscow and Paris respectively while Venezuela's Paris ambassador, Jesus Arnoldo Perez is expected to return to leading MinAmb.


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Gulfnews: Failure on all fronts is Bush legacy

Americans should be admired for their patience and fortitude. In a matter of less than eight years, the misguided policies and ineptitude of their not so great leader have damaged their country's reputation and their pockets, perhaps irreparably.
Who could possibly have imagined that in such a short period a massive Federal budget surplus of $128 billion would be frittered away to be replaced with a $ 357 billion deficit? And who can blame Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota for predicting Bush "will be remembered as the most fiscally irresponsible president in our nation's history"? Who would have believed when Bush moved into the White House that, eight years later, the mighty dollar would be turned into funny money to the extent that Egyptian landlords are now demanding Euros instead?

Not so long ago, even the most reputed financial seer would have been ridiculed if he or she had divined the fire sale of Bear Stearns and Washington Mutual or the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers.

Bear Stearns managed to survive the crash of 1929, Washington Mutual has been in business since 1889 and Lehman Brothers was founded even earlier in 1847. Is it mere coincidence that three "rock solid" institutions should collapse on Bush's watch?

Those who bought into the American Dream and admired America's status as the wealthiest country in the world were shocked at the poverty prevalent in the state of Louisiana, laid bare by Hurricane Katrina, and at the contemptuous way Americans were left to fend for themselves or herded into stadiums to face squalor. And now they are horrified by tent cities and soup kitchens that have sprung up all over the country to house and feed the growing numbers of homeless, who are victims of house repossessions along with burgeoning food and fuel prices. The "lucky ones" are sleeping in their cars.

Should we suppose that Americans have short memories or are blessed with a more forgiving nature than the rest of us mere mortals? Now taxpayers are expected to cough up $700 billion just to keep the people who got them into this mess afloat (and prevent the global economy from collapsing like a house of cards with unimaginable consequences for the rest of us). Yes, there is anger in certain quarters but whereas in most other countries, whether democracies or otherwise, people would be out in the streets en masse, Americans appear to be taking blows on the chin without much complaint. Even more surprising, slightly less than a third of all Americans actually approve of the president's job performance overall, while polls show that Bush clone John McClain is neck-and-neck with his rival.

Bush has obscenely plunged billions into wars of choice and rewarded the super-rich with massive tax cuts even as 28.6 million now require food stamps to feed their families.

Americans were manipulated and lied to over Iraq, sacrificed 4,173 of their sons and daughters, and have paid $557 billion for the pleasure. They have been duped to believe the so-called surge has produced a peaceful Iraq when, in reality, cash payments to former insurgents to switch foes and turn against Al Qaida was the key to a decrease in violence. The irony is today Iraq is enjoying a budget surplus. They were told their "nation's finest" were in Afghanistan as part of their "War on Terror", but how many know that in spite of their efforts the Taliban are winning. Moreover, the US is hated around the world more than it's ever been in its history and if the "War on Terror" was meant to make Americans safer it has failed dismally. But there's worse. Bush & Co. have not only managed to consolidate old enmities, they have managed to turn powerful friends into potential foes. Their backing of Georgia that instigated aggression against the people of South Ossetia has alienated Moscow and reduced America's clout in the UN Security Council. Their attempts to bring down Hugo Chavez has pushed Venezuela into the arms of Russia and spurred its nuclear ambitions.

America's relationship with its ally nuclear Pakistan is at risk due to the US military's repeated violations of Pakistan's sovereignty. They have even failed to bring nuclear North Korea on side. Instead, Pyongyang is strengthening its "self-defensive capability" due to what it calls a hostile US policy and it may begin reprocessing nuclear material within two months. As for Bush's promise to bring into being a Palestinian state before he leaves office, there's only one thing to be said. But this is a family paper so I'll refrain from saying it.

We can only hope that the era of arrogance, mendacity, aggression, broken promises, fiscal recklessness and mismanagement will soon end. If it doesn't because Americans, whether purposefully or blindly, choose more of the same then the blame is entirely theirs. That's the thing about democracies. "We the people" ultimately get the leaders we deserve.

Venezuelan blames 'criminals' for financial crisis

A Venezuelan official blamed the U.S. financial crisis on «criminals of the ruling class» Monday during a speech to the UN General Assembly.Venezuela's ambassador to the Organization of the American States, Roy Chaderton Matos, expressed sympathy with «millions of our United States brothers and sisters.His speech followed news that the U.S. House of Representatives rejected the Bush administration's $700 billion bailout plan and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 777 points, its biggest single-day fall ever.Democratic leaders said the House would reconvene Thursday, leaving open the possibility that it could vote later in the week on a reworked version.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Clue witness ready to testify in suitcase money scandal

María del Luján Telpuk, the former Buenos Aires airport security police officer who last year (August 2007) caught US-Venezuelan businessman Guido Antonini Wilson attempting to smuggle into Argentina a suitcase with 800,000 dollars, said that she was “afraid” and ratified that she was willing to have a face-to-face confrontation with Antonini. The money allegedly was to help finance the electoral campaign of then presidential candidate Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and originated in Venezuela’s government owned oil corporation PDVSA, a contribution from President Hugo Chavez. Antonini fearing the consequences of the disclosure of the incident and distrusting Argentine and Venezuelan officials returned to his home in Miami where a couple of weeks later he turned in with the whole story to the FBI. Ms Telpuk arrived Sunday in Miami to testify in the trial against Venezuelan lawyer Franklin Durán, accused of acting as an illegal foreign government agent in the US. “This is not easy for me, I’m in the land of Antonini and it is new for me,” Telpuk said. The former Buenos Aires airport officer had to open her luggage when she arrived at Miami International Airport. US airport officers seized her makeup set, banned for security reasons. “I’m a little afraid” Telpuk admitted. She refused to give details of her forthcoming statement in court. Furthermore, she claimed not to know the exact date of her testimony. “I have come to Miami to tell my side of the truth,” Telpuk said. “I’m not afraid of Antonini in particular, I’m afraid of everything because it’s all brand new for me.” Asked if she was ready for a have a face-to-face confrontation with Antonini, she replied, “I didn’t come (to Miami) for that, but yes, I would do it.” Antonini, also a witness, testified on Thursday in the US trial. His statements contradicted Telpuk’s account of events. Antonini accused Telpuk and former Argentine official and close advisor of former president Nestor Kirchner Claudio Uberti of being involved in the seizure operation. Antonini alleged that Uberti had cleared Customs with a suitcase containing a far larger sum than Antonini Wilson’s 800,000 dollars. Two days after his arrival in Ezeiza International Airport, Antonini Wilson said, Uberti offered him “whatever you want from Argentina” as a reward for the “service” he had performed for the country. The prosecution claims the money was sent by the government of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez to fund Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s presidential campaign but both governments have vehemently denied the claims. Antonini said Buenos Aires airport officials accepted bribes and that Customs insinuated he would be allowed to keep half the suitcase’s contents if he admitted it was his. In the separate Buenos Aires investigation, led by Argentine Judge Daniel Petrone, Telpuk said last Thursday she could not ascertain whether another suitcase had cleared Customs, as Antonini claimed. Asked who the suitcase belonged to, Antonini said it was his own, according to Telpuk. But other than ownership, Antonini claims to have no idea of the suitcase’s content, and that he learnt when Argentine Customs officials ordered it open. According to Telpuk, before she opened the suitcase, Antonini said it contained “books,” then “some bits of paper,” and finally, “60,000 dollars”. Telpuk achieved notoriety following the discovery of the money stash on August 4, 2007. She has posed naked for Playboy magazine and has since appeared on TV gossip shows.

Venezuelan attorney general asks court to freeze assets of 2 jailed in Miami

Venezuela's attorney general said Monday she is seeking to freeze the assets of two Venezuelans jailed in the U.S. in a case involving the seizure of a cash-filled suitcase.
Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz said her office has asked a Venezuelan court to seize property and accounts belonging to Moises Maionica and Carlos Kauffman. The two are wanted in Venezuela for alleged corruption. They also have been accused in Miami of acting illegally as Venezuelan agents in an alleged scheme to cover up the source of US$800,000 seized in a suitcase in Argentina last year. Maionica has testified that the Venezuelan government hired him to ensure that the businessman who was carrying the suitcase did not reveal the money's origin or destination. U.S. prosecutors say the money was from Venezuela's state oil company and was intended for the campaign of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez. Both Fernandez and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez deny the allegation.

Venezuela's Interior Minister: DEA is an accomplice of drug trafficking cartels

According to Tarek El Aissami, Venezuela's Minister of Interior and Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) "is an accomplice of and is engaged with the main international drug cartels." El Aissami compared the work of Venezuela's National Anti-drug Office (ONA) with the activities of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) upon leaving a meeting with transportation leaders." They (the DEA) know the names of the US drug-traffickers but the US authorities have not implemented any effective measures against these mafias in their territory." The minister explained that Venezuela is making "huge" efforts to arrest the leaders of drug cartels as well as drugs distribution and use. El-Aissami wondered why the United States had not made similar efforts.

Black Monday?

VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes:
At 206 aye, 223 nay on the Give-away Act, at this hour the US House of Representatives are "holding the vote open." This means that the leaders of both parties are at this moment telling those who voted no that if they ever want another nickel from the Federal Treasury for their districts or their pet programs, they'd best switch their votes on this one.

I was surprised the no vote was so large, but I know from contacts in a couple of congressional offices that the calls and letters from constituents were about evenly divided -- between simple "no" and "hell no".

I expect the strongarm stuff, every bit as heavy handed as anything that happens in the British Parliament, will have its effect, and that by the end of the day enough congresscritters will switch to give the kleptocracy what it wants.

The Senate and President are pretty much totally under the thumb of big money and can be depended upon to deliver on order. This is the big vote.

Stay tuned...

IN UPDATE NEWS: The US House of Representatives cannot meet again for reconsideration of the Big Give-away Bill before Wednesday at earliest. The negative vote stands for the moment. With only 13 votes separating the yeas and nays, we may expect the most fearsome pressures on the weaker nays. I am surprised no anthrax laden letters have yet appeared.

Chris Herz


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Patrick J. O'Donoghue's round up of news from Venezuela -- September 29, 2008

President Chavez has harangued his United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) candidates stating that it is possible to win all State Governorships and municipalities in the country. Speaking a week after the electoral campaign officially opened, President Chavez says what is important this time round is to unite revolutionary and socialist conscience and that means "working very hard each hour and each minute with conscience, with ideas and taking the battle to the whole country." The President admits that political consciousness among his followers is "not totally awake" and at the required level and he calls on candidates to avoid the pitfall of triumphalism in their campaign. Chavez points out that the main cause of desertions has been ideological and warns candidates not to surround themselves with the petite bourgeoisie, which will always end up being anti-revolutionary. Chavez' message is summarized in the following manner: candidates must not to betray the people.

It has been revealed that the President of China, Hu Jintao suggested to President Chavez during the latter's visit to Beijing setting up a mechanism of cooperation and relations between the Chinese Communist Party and the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) as a means of strengthening relations between the two countries. President Chavez made the statement during a meeting of PSUV activists in Caracas. Chavez says that the PSUV has made a big impact on the world because of the way it was created and the strength it has acquired. The surprise revelation follows news reports indicating that Chinese leaders had stated that they do not necessarily agree with all of Chavez' ideological assumptions.

Fishermen in the states of Anzoategui and Sucre are complaining about a growing threat from pirates in the area. In Anzoategui this year, three industrial fishing boats have been attacked on the open sea, losing all the fish they had captured worth around (Bs.F) 150 million bolivares. Anzoategui Fishing Association director, Vicente Avallone says the attacks have been prevalent since April and he himself has suffered from one such raid, which, he states, are becoming a daily occurrence. At the beginning of September, Avallone's fishing boat was intercepted by three launches and boarded by 12 heavily armed men, who unloaded 3,500 kg of fish, valued at 60,000 bolivares. One group of pirates operating in Sucre state was dismantled last year.

Liliana Hernandez has clinched the opposition candidacy of the (Caracas) Chacao Mayor's Office after a grueling and bitter internal struggle with rival candidates. Launching her campaign with a cavalcade through the municipality, Hernandez highlights the importance of women in the political life of Venezuela. Hernandez insists that she was far ahead of her rivals in a poll survey in April and therefore has earned the right to represent the opposition in Chacao. One of her first criticisms was towards Interior & Justice Minister, Tarik El Aissami and his accusations that opposition groups are planning to assassinate President Chavez. In a remarkable statement demonstrating her closed vision of Venezuela's political realities, Hernandez claims that Chavez has done nothing for Venezuela in the 10 years he has been in office, adding that from here to 2012 he will not achieve anything either and has no intention of doing so.

Patrick J. O'Donoghue


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Floods of Red Ink: I am utterly flabbergasted at such a level of sheer financial recklessness!

VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes: This morning the US Federal Reserve, NOT waiting for the action of the Congress on the pending give-away to the banks issued to its member banks fully $650 billions in new credit. This is on top of its commitment in the past two or three weeks of approximately $400 billions. Add these figures to the forthcoming $700 billion and you begin to get an idea of the dimensions of this latest increase in the flood of unsupported dollars already sloshing around in the world capital markets.

Further, taking advantage of the cover provided by the on-going banking crisis the US Senate passed an appropriation for the Pentagon of fully a trillion dollars. This last went with hardly a mention in the corporate press.

I am utterly flabbergasted at such a level of sheer financial recklessness.

  • This exceeds the panicky and useless (except to deepen the disaster) reactions of the bankers of 1929 by an order of interstellar magnitude.

Please don't get me wrong; I am rarely surprised at any crime committed by Wall Street's masters of the universe and their sycophantic wholly-owned political subsidiaries here in Washington. But generally speaking they pull out all the stops to protect their own positions at the apex of human society. To preserve their exaggerated social advantages for a few more short months or years they now finish the job of killing the host organism upon which these parasites have always depended. Like the rulers of the old Austro-Hungarian Empire, they know they are doomed, but they choose to go down doing as much damage as they possibly can.

We shall now have a massive write-down of the whole 55-trillion derivative market. All US securities, stocks included must now plunge in value as the dollar which backs them falls. And there never was much value in most of this paper to lose. The inflation caused by the catastrophe must spread world-wide, wherever US securities have been bought in the past. The whole of the good faith and credit of the US government is now in the dustbin with all the worthless sub-prime and derivatives paper.

The fruitless actions of the European Central Bank and other such organizations over the last few months in trying to prop up the dollar have all been undermined -- to the point where Europeans themselves are now flocking to buy Polish Zlotys and Czech Korunas, trading in their Euros to do so! Can you imagine -- Poland the new Switzerland?

The longer this goes on, the more damage to Euroland.

There might have been some small chance of saving the major structures of the US economy, and those of the rest of world finance, those that yet survive 30 years of silly neo-liberalism had the decision been made to let the worst malefactors on Wall Street crash, and use State resources to rescue productive enterprises dependent on capital from these banks. But now we will have both government and private sectors helpless in the face of the building tsunami.

But, 'tis an ill wind that blows no one no good. And this well-deserved credit blizzard offers to those hitherto suppressed by the Empire their moment to escape forever. At the end of all this all will see a new US economy somewhere between one-quarter and one-third its present size.

Carpe diem!
From the imperial capital

Chris Herz


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Fred Cederholm: Gravy (in its essence) is nothing more than a palliative cover-up to mask the foul taste of an entree going bad...

VHeadline commentarist and money market expert Fred Cederholm writes: I've been thinking about our United States banking/ financial mess, WaMu and Wachovia, the stock market indexes, the $700 BILLION bailout proposal, Congress, and gravy. Gyrations are spasmodic oscillations whose ongoing spinning activity seeks to return to some pre-determined norm despite any repetitive fluctuations. The US financial/and economic systems are in the tank and sinking fast. Uncle $ugar via the US Treasury, the FED, and now the additional $700 BILLION (a blank check) bailout proposal before Congress is trying to gyrate a return to normalcy.

It is unfortunate that their "normalcy" means to continue going deeper and deeper and deeper into debt.

You see revelations to the American public regarding the banking/financial mess that is shaking the very foundations of our way of life continues to unfold - but only by fits and starts, and only after another financial BIGGIE bites the dust. Each week brings to the forefront of the news, another takeover and another bailout. Each chapter is proving to be a bigger (and more expensive) domino to control. Last week's episode couldn't even wait for the weekend as WaMu was seized and the valuable parts sold to JP Morgan/Chase for $1.9 BILLION midweek. They cherry-picked the deposit side, leaving the so-called investments -- mortgages and mortgage related derivatives - for someone else to gag down.

These clearly have little, if any, determinable value and will be warehoused by some undisclosed government entity -- ultimately meaning the US taxpayers.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) was not IDed as the new custodian/ repository for these dogs. I fear this was so because they presently lack the where-with-all to shoulder another such a huge amount. FDIC reserves are still absorbing the Indy Mac and the other eleven failures since January 1. There have been no hard figures released as to the projected costs of WaMu resolution. WaMu was failure number 13 for calendar 2008.

This Monday morning we earned that Citigroup will absorb Wachovia. They will chow down up to $42 billion of losses on a $312 billion pool of loans. Citi was forced to "eat" Wachovia in a deal only made palatable by FDIC concessions. The FDIC will be responsible for the losses beyond the $42 BILLION and was given $12 billion in Citigroup preferred stock and warrants in return for that guaranty. The FDIC emphasized that Wachovia "did not fail."" However … what waddles like a duck and quacks like a duck is not some soaring eagle, is it? The spin and word massaging now being foisted on the American public boarders on being criminal. Where is all this going to end? And… at what cost?

The stock market indexes responded by gyrating downward Monday. At the Friday closing, the Dow Industrial (a roughly 30 company index) was down almost 22% from its 52 week (and record) high of 14,280. This was after a totally unexplainable goosing upward of 121 points. The stock indices are no bell weather oracle of how the economy is doing. Neither are they any representation as to the soundness of the component corporations, their product lines, or their potential for growth and profitability. We have seen them morph into nothing more than who is the most connected in Washington, DC and who has the inside track for more (US) government bailouts, tax abatement loopholes, and special goodies to be borne on the backs of the American taxpayers for generations to come!

The $700 BILLION bailout in Congress is but the latest in a long line of ill-conceived "patches" from Uncle $ugar. On-line polls indicate that something like 80% to 90%+ of the American public opposes it. The original three page proposal drafted by Treasury Secretary Paulson swelled to 42 pages in the week after Congress got a hold of it.

Today's version is 110 pages and continues to grow. The gravy train is going to have to stop sometime -- and soon.

Gravy (in its essence) is nothing more than a palliative cover-up to mask the foul taste of an entree going bad. It is neither nutritive nor healthy.

It only serves to make whoever partakes of it fat, sluggish, and non- productive. Enough already!

Fred Cederholm


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Primero Justicia (PJ) party leader, presidential challenger, Julio Borges says Chavez has squandered more than $40 billion on trips around the world!

VHeadline Venzuela News reports:
Primero Justicia (PJ) party leader, presidential challenger, Julio Borges has criticized President Hugo Chavez Frias' and claims that his much-publicized visits to China, Russia and other world capitals have cost Venezuela at least US$40 billion ... which he says has been a waste of time and resources and done mainly to enhance Chavez' ego-tripping on a world stage. Borges insists that Chavez should deal with important issues at home in Venezuela first and put his strutting on the world stage on the back burner until he has resolved the more important issues facing Venezuelans on their home turf.

"We will not tire of demanding that the President puts Venezuela and the Venezuelan people first ... in the process of these past 10 years of permanent travelling hither and thither, he has thrown more than $40 billion down the tube ... for what? And each time the amount grows larger and the expenses grow more lavish but he doesn't pay anything out of his personal check book ... NO ... it is the Venezuelan people that have to foot the bill!"

Borges is hyper-critical of the latest massive loans that Chavez had asked for, and received, from the governments of China and Russia. "Most of it is going to continue to buy even more war materials ... what benefits is there in that to the Venezuelan people? How many jobs are being generated from these visits and which if the people's problems are being solved with the toys of war that he has just been buying on his latest spree?"

"Faced with this situation, we must urge that with the November 23 local and regional elections it is time to put a stop to the President's incessant travel arrangements ... with a change of governors and mayors we must promote the necessary changes and to require the President to place Venezuela and Venezuelans as the top priority in his agenda!

Meanwhile the regional vice president of legislative affairs for the Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) party, Alfonso Marquina, has accused the Chavez government of using the law to suppress opposition leaders and media owners. He claims political persecution is being implemented in the President's latest allegations of a planned coup d'etat and his possible assassination. Marquina says the (spurious) charges are intended to distract the attention of the Venezuelan people away from discussing issues of national interest "on which the government has failed miserably"

"We are concerned about the persistent prosecution of politics in Venezuela, because it can lead to arbitrary arrests and unconstitutionality!"

VHeadline Venezuela News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


COPEI-Guayana says organized criminals are more organized and equipped than the regional government and/or the security services!

VHeadline Venezuela News reports:
Guayana Christian Socialist (COPEI) party leader, Pedro Jose Rivilla says the largely industrial region of Venezuela is in a state of total economic and political collapse with an alarming growth in organized crime kidnappings and killers-for-hire hired killers. He says crime levels are terrorizing the population and that there is no response from either local or regional government. In the last week alone, there were three abductions and there has been nothing heard of what (if any) the police are taking or indeed the whereabouts of the victims.

In less than 24 hours there have been two assassinations ... on Sunday a well-loved doctor, Antonio Lapadula and his wife were killed, their bodies riddled with bullets as they returned home from Puerto Ordaz. A possible motive was robbery. "It is a well-known fact that there are homicides all over the regional capital, Ciudad Guayana, each day, but, most serious of all, these deaths go unpunished and there appears to be no intention on the part of government to deal strongly with these attacks."

Rivilla says "there is great nervousness in the market and foreign businessmen, especially Arab and Asian executives, are making arrangements to return home to their respective countries while they can. It is creating a situation of serious dis-investment in the Guayana region that is affecting investments in the private companies that have been developing slowly, but with good prospects for the future.

While a special (Bolivar State) Anti-Kidnapping Command was activated last Friday with much fanfare by State Governor Francisco Rangel Gomez. Rivilla emphasizes that he does not see any serious move towards effectively dealing with the soaring criminality that affects the region ... "it seems that organized crime is more organized that the government in all respects," he adds.

"Quite frankly the criminal underworld is defying the regional government, clearly demonstrating that it is they (organized crime) that is more organized and equipped than the government and/or the security forces." COPEI, he says, has responsibly challenged the government to step up to the plate and deal with the situation "or else Guayana will suffer a social explosion with untold consequences for the Venezuela as a whole."

VHeadline Venezuela News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Roosting Chickens! -- Wall Street to deplete US Treasury

Mohawk Nation News (MNN):
Who will control "Wall Street", which some are now calling "Wail Street"? It's the age old battle over control of the eastern part of Onowaregeh, Turtle Island, known as Haudenosaunee [Iroquois] territory. "Wall Street" is at the end of Manhattan Island. It was the dividing line between the Dutch colony and the Indians. This is where trade and commerce took place between us and our European visitors. It became the financial capital of the world for goods, money, buying and selling. We never surrendered our land. Every inch of soil they stand on is ours. We hold it for the benefit of future generations. Those latte-guzzling Armani suits don't think about this. That $24 payment to somebody for our island is another white man's delusion.

The big gambling houses that buy and sell stocks in New York City are in jeopardy.

The US corporation known as the "government" is extracting $750 billion of the taxpayers' money to pay off these thieving loan sharks. Of course, it must be remembered that the people of US and Canada have made their money through the exploitation of Indigenous resources and destruction of our environment.

The "bail out" looks like a way to get control of Indigenous territory by grabbing our land in lieu of unpaid housing mortgages and businesses of the unsuspecting U.S. people. There is very little public outcry over this highway robbery except on the internet. These obscene carpetbaggers make the robber barons look like boy scouts. In this credit and borrowing "shake down" the oligarchs hope to snatch $4 trillion worth of our real estate. It's illegal. It's fraud. It's a power grab. The outcome will be financial tyranny on the populace.

The Indigenous owners of the territories and resources have not been consulted. We would never give our consent to setting up a "king and feudal" system. Everyone has to eventually deal with a simpler lifestyle of less consumption to save the planet.

As Malcolm X said: "Show me a capitalist and I will show you a blood sucker". He meant that capitalism needs the blood of the helpless and the earth to suck on to stay alive. If the nations of the world free themselves from capitalism, it has less victims and less to suck on. It becomes weaker. It tries to get a transfusion but the blood is just not there. It's only a matter of time before it will completely collapse. The consequences of the colonial visitors' actions are making themselves felt. When persons do wrong, the "pay back" might not be immediate. There has been too much greed and corruption in the past. Now the chickens are coming home to roost. It couldn't happen to more deserving people.

It is the evil of the holocaust on Turtle Island that caused the downfall of the US and Canada as world powers. We are seeing how the murder, enslavement and theft are now bringing colonial America to its knees. We hope that all traces of their gluttony will be removed from this planet for good. The US and Canada are going to pay for their abuse of humanity.

This western European Christian world they created has come to the end of its rope. They are losing their power to covertly steal, oppress and exploit. They have no shame. They're doing it out in the open. We all can see their dirty underwear. Their last ditch stand to continue their lost cause is pathetic. They look like scurrying vermin as they come in and out of that room on Capitol Hill in Washington. They're trying to figure out how to make off with as much as they can. They don't intend to destroy the wealth. They just plan to take the money and run. [The Ryder trucks are standing close by.]

Colonialism is supposed to be dead, according to international law. Capitalism is in its death throes but still can do a lot of harm. Now they're more dangerous because they're desperate. They want to bomb somebody as soon as possible to take the peoples' minds off the economic disaster their greed has caused. The end of the world means the end of their idea of civilization, which is made up of "have-nots" and "have-mores" as US president George Bush arrogantly told his supporters at a function.

The U.S. elite refuses to study, reflect and learn from its own history. It invents history. It corrupts government, politicians and the people. The people are guilty too for embracing this colonial system. Many are going down with this last ditch stand. "Spin doctors" have been hired to try and fool their own people into thinking they are going to save them.

We Indigenous know about these "spin docs" who are hired by the colonial governments to pose as our friends and leaders. They work at smearing and destroying us. Their job is to make us think that integration into this doomed colonial society will solve all our problems. In fact, they're trying to push us into the "quick sand". The main interest of all these politicians is to stay in power and keep getting their checks for a lifetime and not to share one stinking thing with anybody. Where will they put all this stolen money when all the banks might be closed up?

The Indigenous are being used by politicians. They're called democrats, republicans, conservatives, liberals, NDP, Bloc Quebecois, Green Party and Independents. They are Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Atheists, labor and protestant liberals. They all work together to help each other over to the Indigenous trough. Our sell-out token "Indian" leaders who trail along behind are mentally dead.

The struggle is all based on the land that we Indigenous people are part of. It's who we are. The colonists who came to visit us are landless. We cannot compromise or negotiate with these landless enemies. They are trying to hold our people in check and to keep us in their grasp by creating "leaders" for us. We have no leaders. We have the truth.

It's always an in-your-face tip-off when the government endorses one of our people. [A friend of our enemy is our enemy.] They own Phil Fontaine and the other so-called stooges lock, stock and barrel! Now that the colonial economic show is over and they purport to have found a solution that will benefit the few bankers and their political hacks, the people are still going to be without food, property and homes. The women, children and elders will continue to be victimized.

Canada and the U.S. are now being judged by their own beliefs and actions. In our opinion, they must atone for their crimes before there can be any turnaround. This could be the beginning of harsh consequences coming down upon their heads, followed by worse calamities. The murder of 115 million of our people, of 1 million Iraqis, the slaughter in Central and South America, the wanton killing of untold numbers of Afghanis and others is being pushed under their contemptible table.

Subconsciously they know they are guilty and suppress the knowledge. The guilt over these murders to steal our possessions and that of others is deeply buried in the minds of the Canadians and U.S. people. Will their own beliefs engineer their own punishment and downfall of themselves and their whole system? They may deeply feel they have to become a poor third world society or worse to make amends for the horrors they've perpetrated. Or psychologically they can't exist without thinking they are better than others. They are afraid of being treated as badly as they've treated others.

They have to redeem themselves for what they've done to us and humanity. If they don't, we're all sunk. Otherwise, life is going to be a living hell created by them. When the mortgages, loans and taxes come due, let's see what happens to those who sat back and didn't try to stop it. Today we are experiencing the economic "melt down" engineered by the financial czars of the world.

Next comes the "hard kill!"

Mohawk Nation News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Chavez' good advice to organize a constituent assembly and craft a new democratic constitution for USA ignored!

VHeadline's Washington DC-based commentarist Chris Herz writes:
President Hugo Chavez Frias advised that North Americans should organize a constituent assembly and craft a new democratic constitution for their country. But even in the unlikely event were the totally corrupt US media to mention this suggestion, and then in the still less likely event were the US population to act upon it, the results would hardly be what the Venezuelan president could hope.

Certainly under the present arrangements US society is incapable of becoming anything the rest of the world could live with. But no other possible arrangement of its government could be any better.

Many times in recent decades the US population have been offered the opportunity to turn from militarism and fascism only to contemptuously reject each and every person or program which did not offer total submission to Wall Street, its Pentagon enforcers and to corporate neo-liberalism. Wacky as this governing class of oligarchs have become, they well suit and reflect accurately the views of the overwhelming majority of our citizens. In fact our people express by solid majorities fear and loathing of any modification to the existing order.

Almost all of our citizens understand that should the USA become a normal country which had to make its way in the world by its own labors and use only its own resources, their ability to shop at WalMart or Costco every week would come to a rapid and speedy end. It is the devout hope of every true American that we will somehow yet be able to conquer all that Arab oil. We really like our monster-mobiles.

These people turned against George McGovern for suggesting that the Vietnam War was an act of international piracy. They voted in a landslide for Richard Nixon who promised a crack-down, using all the resources of the State on treasonous and unruly Blacks and hippie-faggot demonstrators. They got what they wanted: The war continued until there was no move left but to evacuate the US Embassy and their hangers on from the roof-tops as the Vietnamese patriotic forces overran the city of Saigon. And they got what they wanted at home: The world's largest police forces and prisons. Therein do we find the sort of affirmative action we prefer for our uppity Blacks. And there too, do the pot-smoking hippies find their place in the sun.

The mere suggestion by Jimmy Carter, that American citizens attend to the realities imposed by then-pending peak oil was met with his decisive defeat at the hands of Ronald Reagan. Of course Carter's unwillingness to slaughter Iran had much also to do with his defeat.

Our people were delighted with Reagan, and credit him with the destruction of the hated and feared Communist enemy. They liked the reorganization of our society, turning it into the most economically stratified of all the industrial countries. After all, anyone may win the lottery and wish to defend his winnings from taxation. They enthusiastically voted for Bush I and enjoyed another frission of orgiastic violence in Gulf War I. Then after the abortive attempt at the presidency by H. Ross Perot divided the conservative vote, resulting in the election of Clinton, Slick Willy discovered he could govern only by appropriating from the fascists the program of racism at home and war abroad. Having few principles save the desire to jump on any attractive female in sight, the great liberal Clinton even ended Aid to Dependent Children. And enthusiastically supported and signed the legislation that destroyed government's ability to enforce real accounting on the banks. Hence the news of this last week.

The story of the Bush II regime is too disgusting to be repeated here. Suffice it to say that he was re-elected. And despite the terrible economic news his annointed successor enjoys much more of a chance at the job than he could expect in most other countries.

The structural features of government set up by the constitution of 1789 are no better, but no worse than those established in most other countries. What is unique, or was at the time, to our constitution was its codified protection of various individual liberties from governmental intrusion. But if there is one thing that unites both conservatives and liberals here it is their distrust of constitutional strictures on the police powers of the state. It is their discomfort with rights that suggest women may control their own reproduction. Or worse, suggest their kids are no better than those Black kids in the ghetto: Both deserve nourishment and education equally.

Really, it is ridiculous that constitutional protections apply to the publications of socialists, commies and atheists. Worse yet that the Southern Baptist Church cannot be the established religion of our country. Those, the prohibitions of government assault on liberty, not the right of government to attack other nations, are what would be deleted from any new document. And repeatedly, over the years, the polls bear this out.

If President Chavez wishes to destroy the empire, he should not expect much help from this side of the Rio Grande del Norte. He is best advised to continue the speedy extraction of Venezuela from under the dominion of the dollar. The Bolivar should be pegged to the Renmenbi or the Euro. Oil and other produce of his country should be sold in prices denominated ONLY in those currencies. By so doing he could help best his own country -- and mine.

From the imperial capital

Chris Herz


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


CVG-Bauxilum debts are the result of executive mismanagement, violating laws and contracts at the expense of workers owed some $345 billion

VHeadline Venezuela News reports:
After five days of labor protests, Sutracarbonorca, Sintrabauxilum, Suprabaux, Sutralumina and Sunep-CVG labor unions say there is NO serious proposal by Basic Industries & Mining (Mibam) Ministry officials or central government in Caracas to end the conflict or to resolve, once and for all, the overriding questions of meritocracy, investment and production of aluminum at CVG-Bauxilum.

Emilio Campos (secretary general of Sutracarbonorca), Valentino Edgar (general secretary of Sintrabauxilum), Antonio Rivas (general secretary of Suprabaux), Jose Sanchez (secretary general of Sutralumina) and Juan Gomez (secretary general of Sunep-CVG), met on Sunday to reiterate their warning that if the debacle at the bauxite plant is not relieved by investment, there will be no way to recover the nation's aluminum industry.

Suprobaux' Antonio Rivas says he will continue fighting to get the financial resources for CVG-Bauxilum to invest in technological adaptations which should have been implemented five years ago ... "what it implies is that we have to continue (the strike) even if in the short-term it affects the production processes!"

Rivas adds that documentation shows how his union has demonstrated its tolerance, respect and patience ... according to a document signed in September last year (2007), outgoing Mibam Minister Jose Khan had promised to pay off labor liabilities and that he was already working to put substantial investment into the company. Another document shows a request to the IRS/Seniat asking for the reimbursement of bonds and taxes. He warns that the fight will continue and clarifies that, for the moment aluminum production is not at risk ... that lies only with the input of raw material and much-needed investment. "On March 13 (2008) we went to Caracas to protest the lack of support for CVG companies that are on the edge of collapse ... but, to this day nothing has been accomplished."

Sutralumina's Jose Sanchez stresses that a committee from Caracas had offered a staggered payment proposals which was rejected by the unions. Bauxilum's interim president Alfredo Arcila offered US$10 billion to pay first and second week liabilities with an investment of $43 billion in bonds and Bs.F 27 billion in Certificates of Deposit from the sale of bauxite, but the unions called for an immediate injection of resources -- rather than the "fractured proposal" -- because of operational chaos and lack of supplies and maintenance. "There are no spare parts to repair 160 damaged equipment breakdowns ... it is NOT the first time we have asked for this situation to be resolved ... we also warned the (former Mibam) minister, Jose Khan, about the risks that the company would collapse. The new Mibam Minister, Rodolfo Sanz, was able to verify the situation with his own eyes, and concluded that aluminum companies has come to the point of no return ... they cannot continue for more than a few months in these conditions ... they do not appear to want to expedite the processes which are very slow and time is short".

Sanchez adds that CVG-Bauxilum and national executive labor liability debts are the result of executive mismanagement inasmuch as they believe that they can violate fundamental labor laws and contractual agreements at the expense of the workers, who are now owed some $345 billion.

Sintrabauxilum's Valentino Edgar says that they are committed turning the protest into a political manifestation --- "We are not fighting for the restitution of former CVG-Bauxilum president Hector Herrera Jimenez ... that is not the point ... what we want is for Mibam comply with the commitments they already made to the employees of CVG-Bauxilum ... the protest came about because only 30% of the outstanding labor liabilities were paid while 70% were not paid and it was done in a discriminatory fashion ... we are asking central government (which has the prerogative to appoint and remove executives) to refrain from removing and appointing new presidents every week ... we had one that lasted 4 months, another lasted only 9 days, and now we have an interim president, and tomorrow, another one will be appointed so that in less than a month, we will have had four presidents."

Emilio Campos says it is "disturbing" that there have been NO serious answers given to this problem. The problem of labor and environmental liabilities is the same as always. I ask Mibam Minister, Rodolfo Sanz, "where is the point of balance that we have not found in 4 months?

VHeadline Venezuela News

Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) promotes improved environmental conditions in agreement with the Environment Ministry (MinAmb)

VHeadline Venezuela News reports:
The Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) is promoting improved environmental conditions at the Ciudad Guayana industrial zone after a framework agreement was signed by CVG representatives and the Environment (MinAmb) Ministry. CVG president & CEO, Rodolfo Sanz, says "the initiative seeks to improve the quality of air we breathe," as well as to meet the MinAmb guidelines.

In a report carried in today's edition of the regional newspaper El Diario de Guayana, Sanz explains that the plan to improve environmental conditions at CVG-Carbonorca will be developed over the next eight months and includes optimization of the carbon anode management systems, repairs to bathrooms, locker rooms and workshops in the mill, reconstruction of the maintenance workshops, erection of a perimeter fence and other maintenance.

The agreement covers the creation of corporate environmental management involving all public and private CVG companies in the regional industrial conglomerate to allow for further action in environmental health, fitness and care in the handling of by-products generated by heavy industry.

Sanz highlights work being done to refurbish systems that capture dust in the milling and compacting unit and to reduce levels of pollution generate by both necessary processes in the manufacture of carbon anodes as integral parts of the planned environmental projects being carried out at CVG-Carbonorca.

VHeadline Venezuela News

Sunep-CVG union refuses to call off today's strike and negotiate until the CVG honors its commitments to the workforce

VHeadline Venezuela News reports: Labor union representatives at the Venezuelan Guayana Corporation (CVG) are refusing to answer a call to negotiations from the corporations HR directorate, saying that the state-owned heavy industries conglomerate must honor its commitments to the workforce before they can call off today's Sunep-CVG strike ... they say any meeting is "irrelevant" since labor issues are still being analyzed by the government's Labor Inspectorate. A meeting at the Labor Inspectorate is scheduled for Thursday (October 2) and the unions want to continue the proper legal process and the issue of its final report before setting the date for any new agreement.

CVG management has reiterated its readiness to fulfill a Sunep-CVG list of demands which is already 95% resolved ... of 21 clauses, only two are pending and in process (payments and provision of uniforms).

CVG Corporate Office of Human Resources says it is in compliance with its obligations and that on the instructions of the CVG president & CEO, Rodolfo Sanz, it has responded to the workers' demands. he workers. As for the payment of social benefits to employees on the monthly payroll, the CVG has signed-off on arrangements with its bank and the situation is currently under review by that bank's Legal Adviser.

The CVG says that it considers it inappropriate for Sunep-CVG to call a strike since the corporation has demonstrated its willingness to honor its commitments. Meanwhile, authorities have refused to enter into discussions with Sunep-CVG union representatives. A sticking point appears to be a payment of Bs.F 35,000 which the CVG says has been excluded by the Labor Inspectorate as having no legal basis. The union, nevertheless, says it intends to maintain its demand.

VHeadline Venezuela News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chavez says Venezuela will develop nuclear power

President Hugo Chavez says Venezuela will develop a nuclear reactor for peaceful purposes, in another challenge to Washington just days after Russia offered nuclear assistance to the socialist Latin American leader.
"In Venezuela we are interested in development of nuclear energy, of course for peaceful purposes, for medical purposes, for purposes of electricity generation," Chavez said at a political rally. "Brazil has various nuclear reactors, so does Argentina. We will have ours." Chavez noted that Venezuela, which is a member of the oil-producing cartel OPEC, developed a nuclear reactor decades ago but abandoned it under pressure from the United States. He said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin had offered help with a reactor, adding that "we already have a commission working on this issue." Chavez did not offer details or say when a reactor could be ready, but the news could further strain relations with Washington, which views Chavez as autocratic and erratic. He has repeatedly challenged Washington, notably by defending Iran's nuclear activities despite strong condemnation by the United States and Europe. This month Chavez expelled the US ambassador to Venezuela and repeated his frequent threats to halt oil sales that make up around 10 percent of US oil imports. Venezuela has boosted cooperation with Moscow since Russia came under strong US condemnation for fighting a war against Georgia last month, strengthening ties between two of the United States' strongest critics. Russia and Venezuela have also signed 12 arms contracts worth a total of US$4.4 billion in the last two years, according to a Kremlin source.

Legislative councillor claims illegal deforestation achieved by fraudulently obtaining permits, with the proven involvement of MinAmb officials

VHeadline Venezuela News reports: Bolivar State Legislative Council (CLEB) councillor Juan Linares is highlighting the illegal deforestation of more than two thousand trees in the area of El Tigrito and La Broma in the Cedeno municipality of southeastern Bolivar State. Linares says the situation is very grave considering the multiplicity of complaints raised over illegal exploitation of lumber and forest resources and that in one particular case, he alleges that regional officials from the Ministry of the Environment (MinAmb) were implicit in delivering the wood in La Broma to the lumber exploiting companies.

Linares says that as a result of his request that Environment (MinAmb) 3rd District Supervisor, Hugo Nunez, should immediately be dismissed for "culpably complacent attitudes" together with the former coordinator of the National Land Institute (INTI), Pier Damian Plancheta, and two beneficiaries of the MinAmb logging permits, Hermes Luces and Clayre Cervantes.

The councillor says that charges against the accused have been "fully verified and presented in full chamber of the Legislature" which took the decision to dismiss and to file criminal and administrative charges for the crime of serious damage caused to the environment in the General Manuel Broma Cedeno municipality by the illegal deforestation of natural tree species by fraudulently obtaining permits, with the proven involvement of MinAmb officials.

"The Legislative Council has asked the Attorney General of the Republic to appoint a special prosecutor to objectively address objectively the charges."

Linares adds that he is certain that MinAmb-Bolivar has "openly and contrary to reason and logic failed to do its duty ... the Attorney General of the Republic has been met with silence since they have favored the actions of environmental predators and timber smugglers ... MinAmb Vice Minister Merlys Garcia must visit Bolivar State again to decide what is to be done with the lumber seized from organized crime activities (in her ministry) which have issued permits totally ignoring the decisions of this parliament and, based on this evidence, that they should be removed from office forthwith." He says that previous complaints lodged with MinAmb had been sent to the accused who had manipulated their excuses.

MinAmb regional director Hugo Nunez, Linares claims, is directly involved in a series of other cases of deforestation in El Tigre where sawmills have been operating illegally, with unauthorized environmental permit extensions granted by Nunez without any further authority.

VHeadline Venezuela News


Venezuela is facing the most difficult period of its history with honest reporters crippled by sectarianism on top of rampant corruption within the administration and beyond, aided and abetted by criminal forces in the US and Spanish governments which cannot accept the sovereignty of the Venezuelan people to decide over their own future.


Urmia factory exports 150 tractors to Venezuela

Urmia tractor manufacturing factory exported 150 tractors to Venezuela, the managing director of the company stated in Urmia on Sunday. Hossein Darbandi Azar told the Mehr News Agency that 430 tractors worth $3.5 million have been exported to Venezuela in the past three years. He added that the factory’s target countries for the current year are Syria, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iraq, Turkey, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Libya.

Fidel Castro Ruz: The Democratic Socialism

I did not want to write a third consecutive reflection, but I can not leave that for Monday. There is one accurate response to Bush’s “democratic capitalism”: Chavez’s democratic socialism. There wouldn’t be a more accurate way to express the big contradiction that exists between North and South in our hemisphere, between the ideas of Bolivar and those of Monroe.

Bolivar’s great merit was having stated so at a time when modern communication media did not exist -not even the Panama Canal did. There was no US imperialism. There were just the English speaking Thirteen Colonies which, united, gained their independence in 1776 with the support of France and Spain. The Liberator, as if he were capable of seeing through centuries ahead of his own time, proclaimed in 1829: “The United States seems destined by Providence to plague America with misery in the name of liberty.”

Hugo Chávez is a Venezuelan soldier. In his mind, Bolivar’s ideas germinated only naturally. Suffice it to observe the way in which his thinking went through different political stages, starting from his humble origin, the school, the military academy, his readings of History, the reality of his country and the humiliating presence of the Yankee domination. He was not a General; he didn’t have any armed institution under his command. He didn’t perpetrate a coup d’état; nor could he do so. He did not want to wait; nor could he. He rebelled himself; he took up full responsibility for the events and turned the prison into a school. He conquered the sympathy of the people and gained their support for his cause while being out of government. He won the elections under a bourgeois Constitution. He took an oath under that agonizing document and swore allegiance to a new Constitution. He clashed with both right and left preconceived ideas and started the Bolivarian Revolution in the midst of the most difficult subjective conditions in the whole Latin America. For ten years, from the presidency of his country, he has not ceased to sow ideas inside and outside his homeland.

No honest person should have any doubt that in Venezuela there is a true Revolution in progress, and there is also an exceptional struggle that is being waged against imperialism.

It is worth mentioning that Chávez does not rest, not even for a single minute. He struggles inside Venezuela and at the same time he systematically travels to the capitals of the Latin American countries as well as important nations of Europe, Asia and Africa. He keeps permanent communication, hour after hour, with the national and international press. He is not afraid to address any issue; he is listened to with respect by the main leaders in the world. He makes a correct and efficient use of the real power his country has -the biggest proven oil reserves in the world, in addition to abundant gas- and he is designing an unprecedented national and internationalist program.

With the signing of an association agreement between Gazprom, from Russia, and PDVSA, from Venezuela for the prospecting and exploitation of hydrocarbons, he created a consortium in that field that is equal to no one in the world. His economic association with China and Russia, some countries of Europe and others of Latin America and Africa with abundant resources, has released the liberating forces that will pave the way towards a multipolar world. He did not exclude the United States from the energy supply or the commercial exchange programs. That is an objective and balanced conception. He thinks about a socialist revolution for his own homeland, without excluding important productive factors. At this historical juncture, after being hit by Nature and the criminal ravages of the decadent empire, our country is truly privileged o be able to count on Chavez’s solidarity.

We never heard a more internationalist and fraternal phrase as the one he said to our people: “The country of Venezuela is also your country!”

Imperialism is trying to get rid of him politically or eliminate him physically no matter the cost, without realizing that his death would be a catastrophe for Venezuela as well as for the economy and stability of all other governments of Latin America and the Caribbean. My conversations with him are characterized by one point of view I defend: at this point in time, the most important thing is to save Venezuela from the political onslaught of the US government. During his last visit we discussed the magnitude of the assistance he is giving to us as well as the assistance he wishes to give to us, and our suggestion that he should concentrate the biggest possible amount of resources on the domestic battle that he is waging today against the offensive launched by the media and the conditioned reflexes that imperialism has been creating for many years. Starting from now until November 23, the battle to be waged will be of great transcendence, and we don’t want his support to Cuba to be used as a pretext to damage the Bolivarian Revolution. The 92 Venezuelan construction workers who are members of the Socialist Voluntary Work Brigades, who were sent to build houses in Pinar del Río, are a symbol of our times.

We are living through very important moments. The popular referendum to approve the new Constitution in Ecuador the day after tomorrow will be of great significance. Chávez will meet with President Lula in Brazil on Monday. Tonight there is a televised debate between Obama and McCain. These are all important news. That is why I did not want to leave the writing of these lines for Monday. Tomorrow Saturday, Chávez will be back to his country and on Sunday he will be addressing his people. He always makes use of some excerpts of these reflections in his battle.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Venezuela sees no further OPEC output change

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has no further plans to alter production levels as oil prices remain outside of control of fundamental factors like supply and demand, Venezuelan Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Saturday. "The price has been affected by speculation. The sitation is outside of control of the world fundamentals... There are no plans to alter production, there is not much we (OPEC) can do," Ramirez told reporters in Lisbon. Earlier this month the cartel announced an unexpected oil output cut to support oil prices, which had plunged to around $100 a barrel from July's record highs of $147, but are still much higher than a year ago. The group meets next on Dec.17. Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has said he saw $100 per barrel as a fair price for oil, and Ramirez has previously said oil could stabilize around that level, but on Saturday he abstained from commenting on the price, currently around $106 for U.S. crude. Ramirez accompanied Chavez on his tour to China, Russia, France and Portugal this week. Asked about the possibility of Russia, with which Venezuela has developed close ties, joining OPEC, Ramirez said "they are more than welcome in OPEC". But he said that for now the oil cartel and the world's second-biggest crude exporter only wish to deepen cooperation. OPEC's last meeting in Vienna on Sept. 9-10 was attended by a large Russian delegation, headed by Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin, who is also the chairman of Russia's biggest crude producer, Rosneft.