Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 25th, 2014

Changes in Venezuela? International Media Asleep?

The people in Venezuela have been experiencing shortages in almost every thing for many years.

There is tacit world embargo on Venezuela, lead by the USA for years, on the ground that the kind of “democracy expressed in  Venezuela” does not match what the US expects from a developing State.

The US pressures on Venezuela are similar to Cuba, with the exception that Venezuela is a big oil exporter and the US relied heavily on this oil.

The western regions of Venezuela are a war zone: The Colombian drug cartels have infiltrated this zone and the government is feeling impotent to overcome this calamity.

Apparently the US pressures are bearing fruits: the citizens in Venezuela are ready to let the elite classes do as they wish, as long as the supermarkets are stuffed with goods.

President Nicholas Maduro have asked the USA to open the lines of communications.

The uprising is mostly done by students and this Gocho movement sweeping the country.  (I’ll post jeastborough@gmail.com article on the subject tomorrow)

Gocho” is a term used to refer to people born in Táchira, Venezuela.

Their cultural differences and phonetic accents are noticeable among inhabitants of other states, just as a Texan would stand out in the middle of New York.

“Gocho” is used as a term of endearment among Tachirans, but carries a distinctly negative connotation in almost all other states of Venezuela, implying that Gochos are clumsy, naive, and easily fooled – i.e. “Country Bumpkins”.

“Soy Gocha y tengo de sobra lo que a algunos de ustedes les falta” – “I am a Gocha, and I have plenty of what some of you are missing”. Image h/t @Rpolicial, explanation h/t @Pirouette_G3.

Gocha with balls

Angry Birds, Gocho-style. Original image h/t @lucho3008, captions mine.

Angry Birds, Gocho Style

 posted this Feb. 21, 2014

The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

San Cristobal ayer

City of San Cristobal on Tuesday night

Dear International Editor: Listen and understand.

The game changed in Venezuela last night.

1. What had been a slow-motion unraveling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

2. What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

3. Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting.

People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees.

There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings.

We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street.

And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out.

Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning.

I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country (Ukraine?), we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…

Nothing.

As of 11 a.m. this morning, the New York Times World Section has…nothing.

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Best gift to myself: Box of Chocolate

I love chocolate. Can’t get enough of chocolate.

I once installed a tracking device on a box of chocolate, and presented it as a gift.

The box made the tour of Lebanon.

Ten days later, the box was back to me. As a gift.

Theme: Save your money. Purchase  the most “common of gifts“. That you can use.

Rape victims during Gadhafi to be compensated? And rapes after this chaotic “Revolution”

Rape is a taboo subject in most countries, particularly in conservative North African States such as Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco…

Women raped during Libya’s 2011 uprising that toppled long-time ruler (40 years) Muammar Gaddafi should be recognized as war victims, Libya cabinet has said.

The same treatment as the wounded ex-fighters, the raped women would be entitled to compensation.

Why for only those during the uprising?

Rape was also and consistently used as a weapon during the reign of Gadhafi.

And what of the raped victims after the demise of Mu3ammar?

And why the selected “to be compensated” 60 raped victims will be equally distributed from the main 3 regions in Libya?

The BBC posted this February 20, 2014

Libya Gaddafi rape victims to be compensated

Libyan women with taped mouths take part in a silent march in support of the women who were raped during the conflict in Libya, in Tripoli -26 November 2011
Rape is a taboo subject in the the conservative North African country

Its decree, which needs congressional approval, would put the women on the same level as wounded ex-fighters and entitle them to compensation.

Pro-Gaddafi forces are alleged to have used rape as a weapon.

As Libya marks three years since the uprising began, voters are electing a body to write a new constitution.

“Start Quote

Unidentified woman at the Libyan-Tunisian border

Some victims can’t go to school… they are suffering in silence and reconciliation efforts are suffering”

Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Marghani told the BBC that the decree offers 12 measures, including financial assistance and physical and psychological health care.

Money would also be available for things “like sending the parents of victims to Hajj – this is to elevate the status of victims, so they are not looked at as a burden”, he said.

The justice ministry says it will not wait for the national congress to pass the decree in order to avoid further delays.

It will be made up of 60 people – 20 from each of Libya’s three regions.

No burden‘ to the family or the community?

During the revolution, the International Criminal Court said it had collected evidence that Col. Gaddafi had ordered the rape of women as a weapon against rebel forces.

The BBC’s Rana Jawad in the capital, Tripoli, says recognizing rape victims is an unprecedented move in the conservative North African state, where it is a taboo subject.

Our reporter says it is not clear how many will come forward, but it is believed hundreds of women were raped.

Voters spoke to the BBC’s Rana Jawad at a polling station in Tripoli

Officials hope it will allow the country’s national reconciliation efforts to move forward as it is seen as a significant step towards transitional justice, our correspondent says.

“Some victims can’t go to school… they are suffering in silence and reconciliation efforts are suffering from all these outstanding issues,” Mr Marghani told the BBC.

Libya has been facing increasing challenges across the country, with worsening security conditions and political divisions that have stalled progress since the conflict ended, our reporter says.

According to the AFP news agency, only 1.1 million of 3.4 million eligible voters have registered for Thursday’s vote, compared to 2.7 million for the election of the interim parliament 19 months ago.

People look for their names at a polling station in Benghazi, Libya - 20 February 2014
Many Libyans have not bothered to register to vote

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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