Spanish Pundit (II)

junio 23, 2007

Evo Morales ya tiene su película

Filed under: América del Sur,Bolivia — Nora @ 1:04 pm

 Es curioso: no se llama “el Estado soy yo” o algo así…

El rodaje de la película ‘Evo Pueblo’, dedicada a la vida del presidente de Bolivia, Evo Morales, ha concluido con la filmación de una escena sobre la muerte del líder indio Tupac Catari, que fue descuartizado durante la colonización española.

El director de la cinta, el boliviano Tonchi Antezana, señaló que la escena fue la última y más compleja que filmó porque necesitaba de una logística especial, con vestuarios y armas antiguas, pero será la primera de la película cuando se estrene en septiembre u octubre próximos.

La adaptación de la muerte de Catari, quien fue destrozado en sus extremidades por cuatro caballos, fue filmada en el hipódromo de la ciudad central de Cochabamba, con un sistema de montaje digital para reproducir una escenografía altiplánica. La filmación de toda la película duró casi seis meses desde que se inició a mediados de diciembre pasado.

Catari, quien es uno de los líderes indios que inspira a Morales, dirigió una sublevación en 1781 contra las autoridades coloniales que lo condenaron a morir descuartizado en la localidad andina de Peñas, en tanto que su esposa, Bartolina Sisa, fue ahorcada.

‘Evo Pueblo’ cuenta la vida de Morales desde su infancia, en el caserío andino de Orinoca, los diversos oficios que desempeñó para sobrevivir, su liderazgo sindical en la zona cocalera del Chapare, su ingreso a la política y su llegada a la Presidencia de Bolivia, en enero de 2006.

“Es simplemente una historia, no pretende ensalzar a un Evo superhéroe, ni busca denigrar a una persona. Simplemente es una historia”, dijo Antezana.

Evo Morales ya tiene su película | elmundo.es

A ver, ¿alguien me puede explicar lo que tiene que ver la vida de Evo Morales -que vive ahora– con la vida de un señor que fue ejecutado en 1781? ¿Alguna razón además del indigenismo y la lucha contra la colonización-española-desde-hace-500-años? smile_sad

mayo 21, 2007

Venezuela: luchando por la libertad de expresión

[English version here].
Chávez ha retirado la concesión de una de las emisoras de TV más antiguas de Venezuela y una de las más populares: Radio Caracol TV (RCTV). Ayer decenas de miles de venezolanos salieron a la calle para protestar por el cierre, que podemos decir es la crónica de una muerte anunciada, ya que los ataques de Chavez hacia la libertad de esta cadena por no obedecerle han sido continuados y se han ido incrementando a lo largo del tiempo. Podeis ver varios vídeos (1, 2, entre otros) sobre el asunto que son más que indicativos de la saña con la que Chávez se metía con la cadena.
Los periodistas mientras eran atacados por la turba cuando iban a cubrir los acontecimientos protagoizados por Chávez, quien insistía en que estaban “envenenando las mentes del pueblo venezolano“.
Para defender la cadena se ha constituido una plataforma, Free RCTV, en cuya primera página hay un vídeo que también es muy indicativo [aunque citar a Chomsky al final no me parece muy correcto, teniendo en cuenta lo que le gusta a Chávez este sujeto. ¿O sí? 😉 ].
Asimismo, Chávez primero consideró que el Benedicto XVI ( 😉 ) no le había criticado -cuando dijo lo de que en Sudamérica estaban creciendo mucho los totalitarismos-, pero ahora parece haber encontrado un filón de críticas. Durante su viaje, Benedicto defendió la labor evangelizadora que consideró había aportado mucho a los indígenas.
Es cierto que se cometieron errores, pero nadie duda que la civilización europea del siglo XVI era más evolucionada que la indígena americana. Además, las leyes promulgadas por la Corona de Castilla fueron las primeras que defendieron la igualdad de los indígenas de América, respecto de los ciudadanos peninsulares. Si alguien se molesta en leer el testamento de Isabel la Católica, una de las cosas en que más insiste es precisamente en que no se puede obligar a nada a los indios, incluido a la conversión. ¿Que se incumplieron las leyes? Pues como en todos los tiempos y lugares.
Pero lo que más llama la atención es que Chávez, que se ha declarado partidario del sosialihmo bolivario -que no es si no una mezcla entre el socialismo-comunismo revolucionario y el populismo sudameriano- con todo lo que ello conlleva actualmente, se escandalice de lo que pasó hace 500 años. Pero claro, si consigue que la Iglesia venezolana disminuya en influencia, lo tendrá muchísimo más fácil para conseguir el poder absoluto… del que ya está cerca.
En cuanto al genocidio indígena, sólo hay que ver a Chávez y a Evo -que ya ha dicho a la Iglesia que elija entre hacer política o ayudar a los pobres…- para darse cuenta de que no es muy cierto que digamos. En Bolivia, por ejemplo, el porcentaje de indios es del 65%. Si hubiera habido genocidio después de 500 años hubieran desaparecido.
Yo siempre que hablo con personas sudamericanas, comparo la dominación -lo pongo así porque el porcentaje de españoles en América siempre fue muy pequeño- española con la dominación romana de España. Cuando los romanos llegaron España tenía oro, plata y mercurio. De ellas, a la caída del Imperio, sólo quedaba el mercurio; de los otros nunca más se supo. España era exportadora de cereales, aceite, material de guerra, caballos, mujeres -sobre todo, bailarinas de Cádiz, aunque ahora parezca mentira, eran muy exóticas- y hombres -los íberos tenían reputación de excelentes y fieros soldados (ZP&Co. todavía no había nacido…)-, entre otras cosas.
Cuando San Isidoro de Sevilla escribe las Etimologías (siglo VI d.C.), insiste en lo que nos habían legado de bueno -el derecho, la lengua, la filosofía,etc.-. Pero no da la tabarra con la crucifixión de Indíbil y Mandonio y la violación de sus mujeres e hijas ni con el asesinato de Viriato. Porque 200 años de conquista dieron para muchas atrocidades -Sagunto en la segunda guerra púnica y Numancia frente a Escipión el Africano como más importantes, aunque seguro que si pienso un poco me acuerdo de más-.
Hecho este breve excursus histórico-filosófico, paso a linkar una noticia que por tremenda, ha de ser comentada que, señores, ha pasado ahora, bajo Chávez y sin Imperio/ dominación española:

La semana pasada, en una funeraria de Bogotá se estaba velando un ataúd sellado. La ceremonia fue discreta y rápida. Adentro estaba el cuerpo sin vida del capitán Camilo González, oficial de la inteligencia militar adscrito a la regional de Inteligencia de la Primera División del Ejército, más conocida como Rime uno, ubicada en Santa Marta. Su cuerpo tenía señales de torturas brutales: choques eléctricos, quemaduras con ácido y varios disparos de fusil. Dos semanas atrás, en Bogotá, habían recibido un cadáver con señales similares. El del cabo Gregorio Martínez. Ambos militares estaban desde hacía varios meses en Venezuela en una operación encubierta contra importantes jefes de las Farc que se refugian en ese país.
Según pudo establecer SEMANA, guerrilleros de esa organización sospechaban que los dos hombres, que actuaban como infiltrados, eran en realidad militares. Hace poco tiempo los siguieron hasta Santa Marta, donde corroboraron que se trataba de uniformados. A finales de abril, los guerrilleros los dejaron ingresar de nuevo a Venezuela y allí les tendieron una celada. Versiones entregadas a SEMANA por fuentes venezolanas aseguran que los dos militares fueron llevados a la sede de la Guardia Nacional en Santa Bárbara del Zulia, cerca del lago de Maracaibo. No se ha logrado establecer si sus muertes se produjeron dentro o fuera de esa guarnición. Lo que sí confirman algunas fuentes de esta revista es que miembros de este organismo, en compañía de un guerrillero de las Farc, los sometieron a penosas torturas. Ellos habrían confesado que eran militares. Luego los mataron. Otras agencias de inteligencia internacionales, sin embargo, aseguran que quienes actuaron en el doble crimen eran miembros de la Disip (servicio de inteligencia de Venezuela).

Resumen: Colombia sospecha fundadamente que Venezuela está amparando a las FARC. De modo que manda a unos militares del servicio de inteligencia a investigar. Así que los guerrilleros de las FARC los tienden una emboscada, los conducen a una prisión militar venezolana, donde los militares chavistas -o el servicio de inteligencia-los torturan brutalmente y finalmente los matan.
Y, ahora viene la pregunta: ¿por qué estas torturas no han salido en la prensa y sí salen las de Guantánamo? Por mucho que estén realizando una operación encubierta, la tortura lenta y minuciosa a la que fueron sometidos es demasiado, sobre todo, porque, podían simplemente haber denunciado que estos ciudadanos habían entrado allí con permiso no válido.
Penoso.

mayo 15, 2007

Colombia’s situation (I): US Dems, FARC and the paramilitaries

Filed under: América del Sur,Colombia,USA,violencia — Nora @ 2:30 pm
Some days ago I spoke with my friend Kate from A Colombo-Americana’s Perspective, about Colombian President Uribe. She had written about Nancy Pelosi not considering even considering a meeting with Uribe, although afterwards she had to reconsider it and meet him. Considering that the so-called Plan Colombia is helping the country to combat the narco-lords and to bring peace to the country, this position is, at the very least, idiotic and stupid. The Counterterrorism Blog has a very good analysis of the situation:
[…] according to both long-time critics of Plan Colombia (the multi-billion dollar U.S. aid package to Colombia) and long-time supporters the trip was apparently a debacle. The Democratic congress is not keen on Plan Colombia or a U.S.-Colombia Free Trade pact. The Democrats have been accused of using revelations of human rights abuses as a fig leaf for doing the AFL-CIO’s bidding and killing the Free Trade Agreement. This is not entirely fair, as the human rights situation in Colombia is abysmal (although it has been abysmal for decades now). There have been a steady stream of revelations about high-level contacts between the military, the para-militaries, and politicians close to Uribe. Uribe himself has remained popular.

The Democrats should consider their next moves carefully. It is easy to bash Republican policies (although Plan Colombia was initially formulated under the Clinton Administration.) Only a decade ago, Colombia was on the verge of being a failed state, now the situation has stabilized. But much remains to be done, and it is entirely conceivable that the situation could take a turn for the worse.

At the same the FARC remains a major concern, a well funded terrorist group with both the desire and the capability to wreak havoc not only in Colombia but throughout the hemisphere (for more read this report on the FARC’s hemisphere-wide reach.) While the paramilitaries are absolutely loathesome, they are not expressly political (they were formed when the state proved unable to secure large sections of the country). Despite conventional wisdom that the FARC are really just about drug trafficking, at least some parts of it remain a Maoist guerilla movement that explicitly seeks to overthrow the Colombian state and spread its radical ideology. The FARC needs to be kept under pressure – failure to do so will destabilize Colombia and its neighbors.

Finally, bashing Uribe sends the wrong message to Latin America. If the U.S. turns on its closest, most loyal regional ally, other leaders will not be tempted to support American initiatives. […]

This last point is without doubt very important for the US. Especially because at the same time, Pelosi wanted to have a chat both with Ahmadinejad, who cannot be considered as a Human Rights’ supporter, and with Chávez, whose last deed has been to close a TV opposed to his Bolivarian regime and whose treatment of the press has been criticized by two reports recentlysomething which can lead to a new crackdown on disidents-.

Another reason to consider the stupid position of Mrs. Pelosi is the fact that Uribe’s popularity has risen to an astounding 75% of the Colombian people.

Of course, the picture of the Colombian-US relations should be finished by pointing out that the same people who are supporting the Dems’ position, demonstrated heavily against Bush when he visited Colombia some months ago.

The accusation against Uribe is that some of his closed collaborators have some kind of linkage to paramilitaries. As I did not know a lot about them, I asked Jaime Restrepo from Colombian blog Atrabilioso to enlighten me on this subject:

The paramilitaries appeared as an answer from peasants and rich land owners to the abuses of the FARC and the guerrilla in general, as the absence of the State in a lot of Colombian regiones was hugh: till 2002, more than 200 villages (more or less 20% of the total number of villages in Colombia), did not have police, nor teachers, judges nurses or any other civil servant.
Those peasants organised themselves or sponsored some movements of self-defense. Even the State (from 1970 till 1990) promoted them or supported the organization of these movements using the Army for that. In the mid-80’s, the narco-market appeared in Colombia and step by step the so-called Medellín’s cartel begins to control those groups of self-defense not only to defend themselves from guerilla, but also to steal lands, make their enemies and informants disappear and to eliminate in general every suspicious body.
The first thing to consider is that we cannot speak of a paramilitary structure alone, because there are some organizations that appear in different regions, independently, without an organised command and without unified criteria: in practice that is kept till today, as the peace process with the paramilitaries was made with many of these groups, but not with all of them. They were operating without a unified command and only achieved a sort of union for negotiation with State. But they also penetrated the State and involved some corrupted politicians, with no scruples and criminals in their cause.
Of all of these groups that were not in the peace process, the 3rd generation of paramilitaries is created (in 1992 they made another negotiation in only one region of the country that resulted had been a sham). Some weeks ago one of their leaders was captured and the guy shouted that as long as the FARC exist, the paramilitaries will also exist: I believe that this is what a lot of Colombians consider about this, because they consider that the FARC are the main generator of violence and death. The FARC also nearly succeded in coming to power in a sort of peace process made between 1998 and 2001 Distension Zone from San Vicente del Caguán.
Of course, people know that the paramilitaries, like FARC or ELN, have not done any good: in their history they have only caused death and destruction. For me, the difference is that the FARC are the cause and the paramilitaries are the consequence, but this can only explain the facts and never the justification, because the blood split has none.

I have translated what he wrote to me as I think that it is very important to read the people who live in the country without any kind of intermediaries.

Although the situation has really being improved, the FARC are now focusing on kidnapping children. This year alone 27 children have been kidnapped, that is to say that the 22% of the kidnappings which happened this year have been against minors. They are now the favorite target of the criminals, even greater that the businessmen, who are the most affected group by this crime. In 2006, 110 children were kidnapped, while 95 businessmen, 57 employees and 6 civil servants.

Related news:

This is a production for Atrabilioso: freedom for all the kidnapped in Colombia.

marzo 8, 2007

Cuba Archive: the Castro’s murders

Filed under: América del Sur,Cuba,Derechos Humanos — Nora @ 9:55 am
Ya No Mas: Castro’s regime has killed more than 8.000 victims (in Spanish):

The chief executive of the project “Cuba Archive“, María Werlau,presented in Madrid the first data from a registry that documents the deaths that have been produced during the process whose head has been the dictator Fidel Castro.



The partial results of this investigation show that between Jan 1st 1959 and Oct 31st 2006 there has been 5.775 documented cases of executions, 1.231 unlawful murders, 200 cases of disappeared dissidents and y 984 deaths in prison, which sum up to a total of 8.190 deaths. Deaths in prison are up to a total of: 159 murders, 209 deaths because of medical negligence, 264 suicides, 21 accidents and 331 by “supposed natural causes“, about which Werlau said that “the death rate in prisons is higher that the rate shown by the rest of the population”.



The especialist added that the rate of deaths is higher but that the process is slow and difficult as the registry has not only the Castro’s dictaatorship -1959-, but also the Bastista’s dictatorship -since 1952-, to consider all of them as victims.

Thanks to El blog de Martha Colmenares.



Más en ABC.es.



Related with this, Babalu Blog has reported the beatings Guillermo Fariñas, Reporters without Borders Prize 2006, has suffered (link in Spanish) in the city of Santa Clara last March 2nd. He was beaten in the face with evident results: haematomas and inflammation in the face, bruises in the head and injuries in the skin. The independent journalist was handcuffed and driven in the patrol car from the Revolutionary National Police (PNR) to the 3rd unit of the PNR where he was detained for 1 hour, till he was freed by orders from La Habana.



He had been invited by the artist Miriam Fernández and other members of the emergent Cuban civil society in Villa Clara, who had been invited to a show of alternative art to realise in La Habana.

febrero 25, 2007

Evo Morales thinks that the causes of floods in Bolivia are…

Filed under: América del Sur,Bolivia,desastres — Nora @ 12:28 pm

… ta …cha cha … tchan…

the climate change, and the rich countries, and the fault to comply with Kyoto:

The floods have killed nearly 40, with tens of thousands of people forced from their homes. Health officials have also reported outbreaks of dengue fever.

While aid has arrived, landslides are delaying the evacuation of flood zones.

President Evo Morales blames the floods on developed states failing to tackle climate change. Meteorologists say the El Nino phenomenon is the root cause.

Issuing an appeal for $9.2m, the UN described the flooding as the country’s most devastating disaster ever, warning that water supplies and sanitation conditions have been severely contaminated.

The first shipment of international aid has now started arriving in Bolivia from Venezuela and neighbouring Peru, with Argentina, the United States and others also lending assistance.

The International Red Cross says that more than 350,000 people have been affected, many of them poor indigenous people in remote areas of the country.

One of the main difficulties we’re facing is actually to help proper access to the most forgotten and most affected areas,” said Giorgio Ferrario, the head of the regional delegation for South America of the Red Cross.

Health officials have reported more than 1,600 cases of dengue fever and 1,400 cases of malaria since the current crisis began.

Speaking about the devastation, Mr Morales, an outspoken critic of the US, accused wealthy countries of ignoring the Kyoto Protocol which seeks to halt climate change.

He said poorer nations were being made to bear the brunt of what he described as the uncontrollable quest for industrial growth by richer ones.

This type of action, he said, demonstrated a lack of concern on the part of the developed world in altering climate change and the fate of the planet.

However meteorologists say the extensive rains are connected to El Nino, the periodic phenomenon which begins with a warming of waters in the eastern Pacific.

In its 1997 incarnation, El Nino brought drought to parts of Asia and Australia, and heavy rains and floods to Latin America.

It is not thought likely to reach the same strength this year.

So, he is wrong: this is said to be a consequence of El Niño phenomenon, nothing to do with Kioto or climate change.

This comes to complicate even more the Bolivian situation: last week, some Bolivian miners were to defend their mine with shots and dynamite.

Also the new Parliamentary Regulation obliges MAS (Movimiento al Socialismo, that is Movement to Socialism, Morales’ Party) to seek agreements with the opposition. Another opposition’s conquest is that two thirds of all the Parliament seats are going to be needed to approve the new constitution. Debates for this will begin on Monday.

Bolivian Exterior Minister is going to declare in the Parliament about Evo Morales’ party and government’s relationship with terrorist groups’ such as ETA. The opposition says is very worried about the prespective of their country being converted into a terrorists’ sanctuary.

Resumiendo: ha habido una serie de inundaciones en Bolivia (podeis leer el Mundo), que pueden producir una catástrofe humanitaria porque hay dengue (400 casos confirmados y 1.300 sospechosos) y malaria (1.500 enfermos) y no hay suficientes infraestructuras para que puedan llevarse los medicamentos apropiados. Tampoco están ayudando los corrimientos de tierra, que dificultan o impiden el tránsito hacia Beni, la zona más afectada.

Los metereólogos han señalado que es una consecuencia de El Niño, pero Evo Morales ha echado la culpa a la “búsqueda incontrolable de crecimiento económico por los países ricos y la negativa de éstos a controlar sus emisiones.

Por cierto, que mañana empiezan los debates para la nueva constitución, para cuya aprobación será preciso los 2/3 del Parlamento en una conquista de la oposición. La otra conquista importante es que el nuevo Reglamento Parlamentario obliga al MAS a buscar acuerdos con la oposición.

Asimismo el Ministro de Exteriores Boliviano deberá declarar en el Parlamento sobre la relación del partido y el Gobierno de Evo Morales con grupos terroristas (entre ellos ETA).

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febrero 14, 2007

Al-Qaeda in South-America

Filed under: Al-Qaeda,América del Sur,terrorismo,terroristas,USA,Venezuela — Nora @ 10:56 pm

Martha Colmenares quoted in her blog US Subsecretary of State, Mr Burns, saying that “Iran is the first world bank of international terrorism” and that it is possible that “South-America is one of the places chosen by Al-Qaeda terrorists to place their terrorist activities“.

Today I was reading Fausta’s blog and one of the preferred places is … Venezuela:

The group, the Saudi arm of Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network, claimed responsibility for a thwarted February 2006 suicide attack on the world’s largest oil processing facility at Abqaiq in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province. The group also is believed responsible for other attacks against the Saudi energy sector.

Last week’s message is contained in Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad), the group’s online magazine. A feature article, titled “Bin Laden’s Oil Weapon,” encourages al-Qaeda operatives to continue to follow directives from Mr. bin Laden to strike oil targets not only in Saudi Arabia, but elsewhere, according to a translation by the SITE Institute, a non-profit U.S. group that monitors terrorist websites.

Three western countries are singled out in the call-to-arms — Canada first, followed by Mexico and Venezuela. Would-be attackers are instructed to target oilfields, pipelines, loading platforms and carriers.

As Fausta says, Al-Qaeda’s terrorists are not very moved by the Bolivarian revolution.

(Read Fausta’s link: shortage of doctors, mid-class people fleeing from Venezuela, drug trafficking… A very interesting summary of the real portrait of Venezuela today).


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