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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:24 AM
Original message
Venezuela arrests bank chief close to government
Source: Reuters

Venezuela arrests bank chief close to government
Sun Dec 6, 2009 4:34am GMT

* Arrest in purge of businessmen with government links

* Minister calls for tighter financial regulation

CARACAS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Venezuela arrested the brother of one of President Hugo Chavez's senior ministers on Saturday, the latest move in a clean-up of the financial system that has closed banks and pointed to corruption close to the government.

Police arrested Arne Chacon Escamillo, president of one of seven small banks seized by the authorities this week, on unspecified charges linked to irregularities in the bank he ran in South America's top oil exporter.

"Chacon Escamillo, the president of Banco Real, was detained in the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 5, after handing himself in," the attorney general's office said.

The arrest of the banker, whose brother Jesse Chacon has worked with Chavez for nearly twenty years and is now science minister, shows the president clamping down on a new class of businessmen made rich by their connections to the government.

In a turbulent week for Venezuela, the government took control of the seven banks owned by such businessmen, who are known as "Boli-bourgeoise," in reference to Chavez's idol and Venezuela's independence hero Simon Bolivar.

Read more: http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKN0513222720091206?rpc...
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
1. Venezuela Arrests Banco Real President, Board Member (Update1)
Venezuela Arrests Banco Real President, Board Member (Update1)
By Steven Bodzin

Dec. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Venezuela arrested the president and an alternate board member of Banco Real Banco de Desarrollo after seizing and shuttering the company as part of a series of probes that has forced the closure of seven banks since Nov. 20.

Arne Chacon, 46, the bank president, will be indicted tonight for alleged connection with the investigation initiated as a result of the intervention of seven financial institutions, the countrys top prosecutor said today in an e- mailed statement. Milagros Vivas, an alternative member of the board of directors, will also be charged, according to the statement.

Attorney-General Luisa Ortega said yesterday she had requested 10 arrest warrants and 19 orders to block people from leaving the country in connection with the bank closures, according to the statement.

Ricardo Fernandez Barruecos, owner of four of the closed banks, was arrested for buying a bank with depsitors money. Jose Camacho and Caribay Camacho de Castro have also been arrested for alleged misuse of depositors money and improper lending, according to the statement.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601086&sid=a3J...
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 04:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Why can't we do that?
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Because we didn't stop it when business started buying our Congress
and now we're stuck with them. To keep us distracted, they'll bitch and moan about Chavez to demonize him.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 05:07 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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reggie the dog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 06:02 AM
Response to Original message
4. but I thought that Chavez was a dictator
a dictator would protect his set wouldnt he.???..??? this seems like actual justice...
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DissedByBush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Chavez is smarter than that
He's not the ham-fisted dictator of old. He is more subtle.

I doubt much will happen to the accused, but he needs to be trotted out in the fight against business.

Also getting an insider will make people think Chavez is doing something to clean up his government's corruption, which he isn't.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 09:12 AM
Response to Original message
5. Chavez arrests corrupt bankers, while Obama gives them cabinet posts.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 09:27 AM
Response to Original message
6. "...what some have described as a Cuban-style purge...". ???!!!
Rotters wins the Langley prize for the best anti-Chavez sentence written by a multinational contestant. (Did Murdoch buy Rotters, too?*)

"Five bankers have now been detained and 10 arrest warrants issued in what some have described as a Cuban-style purge of figures connected to the former para-trooper's decade-old Bolivarian revolution." --Rotters

Miami Hairball, eat dirt!

Associated Pukes, go back to kindergarten!

Rotters wins!

Rotten reporters Eyanir Chinea and Frank Jack Daniel, and editor Anthony Boadle get an all expenses paid weekend in Guantanamo Bay to watch a known associate of former strongman Fidel Castro while chained to the ceiling admit that Donald Rumsfeld's business partner, Saddam Hussein, buggered MIA Terrorist, Osama bin Laden, on at least one occasion in a Dubai hospital in 1983.

------------------------------

*Did you know that Rotters is partnered up with Big Pharma, Big Med, Big Ed, Merrill Lynch and the US federal government?http://thomsonreuters.com/about/company_history/
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peacetalksforall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
8. Watch and listen to the phrasing of comments coming from our State Dept on
Edited on Sun Dec-06-09 11:08 AM by peacetalksforall
Venezuela and Bolivia. Watch and follow the coup in Honduras.

It is anti-left just like previous administrations. It appears 'left' is not where this administration wants to be with this hemisphere any more than previous administrations. If 'left' means using resources to serve all the people, not just the top per cent of the wealthy.

Just remember, former leaders of countries in this hemisphere (some more than others depending on the earth resources we wanted) are living nicely in pleasant cities along coasts in Spain and Florida. Not all supporters of these leaders left their countries. This placement of leaders in these countries includes the barons who direct and the cooperation of men and women in Congress, banking, media, economic hit men, corporations, military, intelligence agencies, K streets, and regime change strategy experts.

We know what happened to the leader in Haiti - snapped up into the air and transported to another country by the United States, France, and World Bank. We know what happened to the leader in Honduras (on this watch) using helpers from the Iran-Contra operation, also known as the Central American take out artists. We know what happened to Allende. And we know about the 49 year old pursuit to kill Castro.

We know there is a strategy in place because the same events keep happening and there are only peace talk tokens that flare up and fade away fast. We, US citizens, have little interest in these countries in general from the start since our historic interests always focus on our Civil War and our World Wars.

But these attacks in public keep appearing. Ground work for hard work to shape opinions of who is supposed to be our enemy, but these leadersare really the enemy of the baron-team.

One aspect of it should be highlighted. The central hub of planning and carry out is at the State Dept. In addition to all the coordination, they are the ones to strategize the elements of the thought campaign against the baron-team enemy.

Watch Bolivia, Venezuela, Honduras. Watch what comes to us in statements. This administration is in some ways no different than former administrations so far. Look at the miserable alliances in Columbia. Accusations of being 'left' are the most common with left implying Communism. Left implying Socialism. Left implying Dictatorship even when there are elections pronounced honest. The objective is to keep the people poor for cheap labor and too involved in the basics of living to object to what is happening to their earth resources even though they cannot ignore the wealth notch in their countries and neighbors.

Has anyone ever asked a stockholder of the corporations and the barons who are in on these strategies and are the driving force behind them - when is cheap labor cheap enough? When is control of the people tight enough? Why they should be extorting the earth resources for themselves and all who participate?

So watch the rhetoric and the assistance provided by the media. Watch as they demean efforts to spread the wealth of the earth resources to their own people.

Every word so far seems to be more of the same policy of previous administrations.
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 11:10 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. Watching and waiting
For the change I voted for.

All I can say is that at least there is a chance for change.
In fact, replace the C in chanCe with a G and what do ya get? Change.

It will be up to ordinary Americans to make our government change its approach to our southern neighbors. Threads like this, and comments like yours give that a chance. Thanks, peacetalks, and Peace Patriot, it is a beginning.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 12:51 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. There is a also a chance for "hope." Add an "n," drop a "c" and you have "enhance hope."
And now I will apply BeFree's Law to something else President Obama said: "we need to look forward, not backward." This would seem to have been determined by the Big Bang. No "lookin' backward" for human beings. No second chances. This and the next few seconds are it. However, humans have a remarkable evolutionary development called long term memory. Thus, we write histories of things; thus we try to learn lessons from the histories we write; thus we remember things that happened when we were 3; thus we hold criminals accountable in courts of law. All based on "looking backward, not forward." You paying attention, Mr. President?

We take persons accused of petty theft, petty drug possession, petty check kiting, and lots of other petty's to court, as well as bigger criminals--major thieves, murderers--and we review their PAST actions. We consult witnesses. We investigate circumstances. We examine evidence. All from the PAST. And, if convicted, both petty and major criminals are sentenced to non-rehabilitative punishment in our rancid, violent, scandalous, Medieval prison system--often for very long periods, including multiple-life sentences, or, say, 30 years for 3rd strike petty drug possession, and we also have a love for putting criminals to death while crowds of people watch.

Following me so far? These punishments are not inflicted for what the accused MAY DO in the future. They are inflicted for what a jury or a judge decide that they DID DO in the PAST.

So, using BeFree's Law on your statement, "we need to look forward, not backward," I hereby delete the "we" and insert the word "you," i.e., "YOU need to look forward, not backward." Why do YOU need this? Make a deal with the Bush Cartel crime bosses, did you? "We"--that is, "we, the people"--VERY MUCH NEED to look backward at these master criminals' actions over the last eight (if not 50) years, hold them accountable, punish the guilty and learn from the history of this abominable junta that seized our government, looted it, hijacked the US military for a corporate resource war, and slaughtered at least a hundred thousand innocent people and tortured many others. We NEED to do this, and YOU very much NEED to look the other way. Strange.

Applying BeFree's Second Law, for the rearrangement of words to make them true, here goes: "We need to look backward IN ORDER TO look forward." And by this means we can produce change and by this means we can have hope in our democracy, in our justice system and in our future. If our political and government leaders punish only "little guy" crimes, and let the really Big Monstrous Criminals go free, there is no chance at all for change and, as for hope, well, I have NEVER lost hope for American democracy and the American people, no matter how bad our leadership is. President Obama has no claim on my feeling of hope.

I voted for change, too--and I knew how unlikely it was that change would ever come from the top. I also paid close attention to what President Obama said during the campaign, in addition to all the airy nonsense about "hope." It was not a naive vote. My assessment of the Obama administration, to this point, on all major issues, including Latin American policy, is that I never dreamed that it would be this bad. I think the Obama administration is trotting right along for a Rumsfeld-designed oil war in South America. If the godawful corrupt toadying to the banksters is a shock, if insurance corp-run health care is a shock, if the "surge" in Afghanistan is a shock, nothing is going to match the shock to the American people when they find themselves mired in Vietnam-II in Colombia and Venezuela. I see that coming down the pipe within two years and NOBODY stopping it. It is being set up right now.

"We had to burn that village to save it" will become "We had to burn the western hemisphere to save it." --applying the BeFree Laws about chance, change, hope and truth. Switch them all around and they spell "Waterloo," or, "Those who do not study the past will repeat the mistakes of the past over and over and over again."

What a riff, BeeFree! Change a few letters and words around and truth emerges from the darkness. That's why I have hope.
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laughingliberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. I so appreciate your attention to this. Information about our activities there is disturbing and
hard to come by. I find many things shockingly unchanged with the new administration.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
12. UPDATE: Venezuela Pres Says Top Ally Resigns On Bank Scandal
DECEMBER 6, 2009, 6:12 P.M. ET.2nd
UPDATE: Venezuela Pres Says Top Ally Resigns On Bank Scandal

By Darcy Crowe
Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
CARACAS (Dow Jones)--One of President Hugo Chavez's top collaborators will resign from his post following the arrest of his brother as part of a brewing banking scandal.

Jesse Chacon, who currently serves as Science and Technology Minister, offered his resignation after his brother, Arne Chacon, turned himself in to the Venezuelan secret police on Saturday as part of a widening probe by prosecutors into the financial system.

Chavez moved Sunday to distance himself from the scandal and said that he had spoken directly with the government's top prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, and requested that she move quickly to punish the people responsible with the failed banks.

Chavez also said that he told the Venezuelan secret police to swiftly imprison Arne Chacon, the president of Banco Real and Baninvest, which were seized by the government Friday.

More:
http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-20091206-703404.htm...
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-06-09 09:38 PM
Response to Original message
14. I *know* the difference between Honduras and Venezuela, but there's a commonality:

Manuel Zelaya talks on his mobile phone within the Brazilian embassy while his white cowboy hat is held by a bodyguard, Boris Muos. Photograph: Esteban Felix/AP
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #14
66. JESUS! What's the commonality?
They're on the same continent? What a useless and silly post.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:13 AM
Response to Original message
15. Brother of government minister implicated in bank scandal in Venezuela
From Christopher Toothaker, The Associated Press, December 6, 2009 - 11:10 p.m.
Brother of government minister implicated in bank scandal in Venezuela

CARACAS, Venezuela - A top aide to President Hugo Chavez resigned on Sunday after the arrest of his brother in a banking scandal that has put Venezuela's socialist leader on the defensive.

Chavez said he accepted the resignation of Science and Technology Minister Jesse Chacon after prosecutors announced the arrest of his brother, banking executive Arne Chacon, and another banker, Giuzel Mileira, after the government took over management of three banks citing violations of banking rules.

Central Banco Universal, Baninvest Banco de Inversion and Banco Real are the latest of seven banks where the government has intervened in a widening scandal that opposition leaders have used to accuse Chavez of failing to crack down on corruption and cronyism involving top-ranking government officials and their private-sector associates.

Chacon was president of Banco Real, while Mileira worked as the bank's assistant director and accounting manager. Four others have also been detained, including Milagros Vivas, an assistant director of Banco Real. Prosecutors said Chacon and Mileira would soon appear in court.

Chavez said he regretted that Chacon's brother has been implicated in the scandal, but praised his close political ally for setting an example by offering his resignation.

More:
http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/headline_news/a...
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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
16. Venezuela Takes Control of Banks
Edited on Sun Dec-06-09 07:55 PM by alp227
Source: Simon Romero, The New York Times

LA PAZ, Bolivia The government of President Hugo Chvez of Venezuela, facing a crisis at several banks acquired by his supporters, moved to assert greater financial control over the weekend by detaining one of the countrys most powerful financiers and forcing the resignation of the bankers brother, who is a minister and a top Chvez aide.

The arrest on Saturday of the financier, Arn Chacn, and the removal of his brother, Jesse, as science minister, which Mr. Chvez announced on Sunday, points to a broadening purge of a group of magnates known as Boligarchs, who built immense fortunes this decade on the back of close government ties. Their nickname is derived from the combination of Russian-style oligarchs and Simn Bolvar, the historical icon of Mr. Chvezs political movement.

Besides Arn Chacn, Venezuelan authorities have detained several other bankers, including Ricardo Fernndez Barrueco, a billionaire who went into finance after assembling a business empire that sold food to state-controlled supermarkets. All the bankers are believed to be under questioning by the Disip, Venezuelas intelligence secret police.

We have been watching in awe at everything that has gone on over the past week, from the collapse and runs on the banks to the revolution eating its own, said Russell M. Dallen Jr., who oversees capital markets operations at BBO, a Caracas investment bank.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/07/world/americas/07vene...
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Doctor Cynic Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. Could it be Chavez getting rid of rivals within his own party?
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Yes, but they are criminals.
There is a right-wing Chavismo, and it is riddled with corruption.
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Doctor Cynic Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #18
28. I am cynical (hence my username) but there is more to it.
Despite Chavez's anti-rich bluster, he tolerated certain oligarchs' corruption and ill-gotten wealth as long as they served a purpose for him. It's impossible Chavez was unaware of their activities. Hence, his tolerance of a tycoon who supplied his "mercales" during the 2002/03 oil strike. But something made him decide to turn against his friends. Perhaps discontent within his party and within the public is forcing him to show his populist credentials. Perhaps those oligarchs had become too powerful for comfort and he had to beat them down before they could become rivals.

In China, the Communist Party leadership occasionally purges any potential rivals to the bigwigs on the grounds that they were corrupt, even though the Party itself is corrupt from top to bottom and it's impossible that the bigwigs are unaware of corruption by lower level cadres. This is just another example.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #28
34. First, these people are not from the oligarchy. Second
they are not politicians.

It could be they just went over the top and had to be reeled in, Doc.
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Doctor Cynic Donating Member (965 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #34
36. "It could be they just went over the top and had to be reeled in"
In a country like that, you can bet your last penny that every businessman who makes a fortune like that will be making funny deals, and that politicians are totally aware of it.

Could it be because those tycoons were supporting/funding a rival to Chavez, or were becoming too "over the top" for his comfort? If you think it's only now that the businessmen became corrupt, then I have beachfront property in Dubai to sell you for cheap.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
38. "In a country like that"?
As opposed to what, the United States of Banksters?

Tell us who made a fortune "like that" here who wasn't making "funny deals"? What percentage of fortunes "like that" didn't involve "funny deals"?
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #36
45. There is a lot of corruption in Venezuela, that's true.
But there is no reason to think that Chavez targeted them.
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #28
35. Regarding CPC, I do not agree.
Not all CPC cadres are corrupt at different levels. And it would probably be impossible to arrest all the wrongdoers at once without destabilizing the CPC rule.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #35
46. Just as it would bring our government to a grinding halt
should all the corrupt members be arrested.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #17
20. Yes, it could be. Except it is the case that a group of men were caught
misappropriating deposits.

Where is the headline "Chavez government clamps down on corruptions"?

lol
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RufusTFirefly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #20
31. Chavez threatens U.S. hegemony. Also, he doesn't look European.
That's enough to make him Public Enemy No. 1 with U.S. corporations and with the predominantly Spanish South American elites.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #31
33. I'm sure just looking at him makes some of those vultures flip like pancakes.
:evilgrin:
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JonQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #20
41. Dear leader
heroically rescues the people from american spies and counterrevolutionaries, long live the revolution!

Spontaneous expressions of love for dear leader are planned later this evening, attendance is mandatory, followed by a military parade and the voluntary executions of repentant saboteurs.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
19. Hugo will leave office in a bag or castro style..
bet on it.
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #19
22. Yes, in Castro style he will outlast 8 or 9 US presidents, & serve his
people well.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
23. And he (Fidel Castro) still has the people's overwhelming support.






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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #23
32. Of course he does.
When you murder people who disagree with you, people tend to stop disagreeing with you.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #32
40. Murder? Really?
Why not cite examples?

Care to stack up the numbers under Castro (or Chavez), compared to every other country in the Caribbean basin, usually with a US-backed or installed government, over the last 50 years?

Guatemala? El Salvador?

Mexico?!

How about compared to Cuba under Batista, or Venezuela prior to Chavez?
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YouTakeTheSkyway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #40
43. Just curious...since figures seem to vary wildly
what do you consider the most accurate number of people killed under Castro to be?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 01:10 PM
Response to Reply #43
69. There were a lot of executions back in 1959, even before the US started its covert war on Cuba...
I may be missing a lot - I'm willing to be wrong - but it seems while there is obviously an old-style surveillance state with a number of political prisoners, Cuba doesn't kill opposition members.

Since you're asking, why don't you point us to the differing estimates you mention? And again, how does this compare to the normal situation in all of the rest of the Caribbean basin nations? (There are exceptions of course, like Costa Rica, but most places there have US supported governments with records like Colombia's, El Salvador's and Haiti's.)

How would it have looked under another 50 years of Batista and his successors, or if the Bay of Pigs invasion had succeeded? Do you acknowledge that the US waged a low-intensity conflict on the island for decades, and still infiltrates and stirs up the opposition?

People who really want to see change in Cuba should be for ending the insane policy of embargo and sanctions. Long as the US does not renounce its history of covert war on that nation, long as there are threats to "restore the property" of every Miami exile, the Havana government will have its justification of defense against aggression. Or pretext, if you prefer.

Of all Western actions during the Cold War, what (if anything) helped to bring down the Berlin Wall? It wasn't confrontation and arms race. It was Ostpolitik and detente.
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Mika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #69
70. The hit squads were Batista's.
Most of the "reports" about Castro's "death squads" were false flag ops of the blood soaked CIA supported Batistano henchmen. Many of the Mami Cubans recite the death squad BS, but when one tries to nail them down on the time line of these events it turns out to be while Batista was running RW death squads that the Batistano press was reporting as the violence of the young Revolutionaries.

Too bad that (non Cuban-)Americans can't freely go to Cuba to learn about this from the actual newspapers & clippings and TV clips that Cuban schools and historical museums have on display for non-Americans tourists, who are free to go, can see.


:hi:


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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 12:20 AM
Response to Reply #70
71. Not death squads. Executions.
In the early years after taking power the July 26 Movement held "people's trials" that ended in executions for many members and pillars of the former regime.
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proteus_lives Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #40
51. So you like dictators who murder the opposition....
Just as they come from the left?
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #51
68. No, but (to illustrate your fallacy) obviously you must support death squads if they're the CIA's...
but have problems with authoritarian regimes that don't massacre their peoples, if they're not.
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Pavulon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. all about perspective. some would love to have gwb in office for ever.
personally i prefer the option to have a guy leave office. But hey I am sure cuba is a wonderland and no one would ever want to leave there and come here..
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #22
44. Of course he can outlast US presidents because they changed their constitution to let him run for..
unlimited terms. Whereas in this country presidents can only run for two terms. So the fact that he can outlast US presidents is no great accomplishment.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #44
49. uh, no they didn't.
That amendment was put to a popular vote and was defeated.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #49
52. Proposed as a stand-alone issue, the amendment lifting term limits passed, w 54% of the votes.
The Chavez government and the National Assembly proposed a package of 69 constitutional amendments to the voters in 2007, and the entire package was narrowly defeated (by 1% of the votes). The defeat was variously attributed to their inclusion of an equal rights for women and gays amendment (in Catholic Venezuela, which has particularly rightwing upper clergy) and voter confusion--too many amendments. Most of the amendments were economic--such as slightly shortening the work week and providing pensions for street vendors. The package included lifting the term limit on the president.

A year later, lifting the term limit on the president and other offices (such as governors) was proposed to the voters as a stand-alone issue, and won with 54% of the vote.

Venezuela has one of the most transparent, honest and aboveboard election systems in the democratic world (far, far more transparent than our own).

The Founders of the US opposed a term limit on the president as anti-democratic and did not include it in the U.S. Constitution. Our own Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran for and won FOUR terms in office, and died in his fourth term. (He was "president for life." And he, too, was called a "dictator" by the rightwing.) The U.S. did not have a term limit on the president until the mid-1950s, when Republicans pushed it through Congress to prevent a "New Deal" from ever happening here again, and to begin dismantling the one we had (which they are close to achieving, by means of deregulation and massive looting by the super-rich).

The main democracy issue that term limits raises is not having or not having term limits. Democratic countries vary on that question. The main issue is TRANSPARENT elections. As Jefferson, Madison and other Founders believed, the people should be able to vote for whomever they want and need as president.

I find it amazing how little credit is given to the Chavez government for, a) proposing equal rights for women and gays, at the risk of losing their entire package of 69 amendments, in the first vote; b) putting important issues of economics and power to a vote of the people, and c) running one of the best election systems in the democratic world, transparent on the facts of the system, and certified by every major election monitoring group, including the Carter Center, the OAS and the EU.

The Chavez government is never given credit for ANYTHING, by our State Department and its scribes in the corpo-fascist press, including some great achievements, in addition to their clean election system, such as an amazing 10% economic growth rate over the 2003-2008 period, with the most growth in the private sector, saving $43 billion in international cash reserves while fully funding many new social programs, meeting all of their Millennium goals, poverty reduction and innovative programs for providing health care, literacy/education, land reform and citizen participation programs for poor communities.

Chavez has maintained a 55%-60% approval rating throughout his tenure. This is why. The Chavez government is the best government Venezuela has ever had, from the point of view of most Venezuelans. But our government and media Chavez haters won't acknowledge even the most obvious and demonstrable accomplishments of this government. And I am very worried that the reason is more than their fear and hatred of socialism and "New Deal"-type bootstrapping of the poor; our rulers intend aggression against Venezuela, to serve the interests of US-based global corporate predators and war profiteers.

One result of our rulers' relentless lies and disinformation about Venezuela is posts like the one you just made, saying that the term limit amendment was defeated, and failing to note that it was later passed by the voters as a stand-alone issue (without the confusion of the 68 other amendments). I don't think that the ignorance and disinformation about Venezuela that is so prevalent in the US is an innocent phenomenon. It is so intense, so total, so unfactual and so vicious that it is very likely a pre-war psyops campaign. And, lo and behold, we have now seen the disclosure of a secretly negotiated US/Colombia agreement for a huge US military buildup in Colombia (adjacent to Venezuela) and other signs of US bad intentions in the region (Honduras).

Chavez gets NO credit for anything because Chavez is still a US target.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #52
54. Thanks for keeping the points in public view which the fascists try so hard to ignore, deny.
This is typical for the methods used to mold public idiot perception since many decades ago. It's relentless, but only true fools buy it after seeing the same pattern implemented time after time after time. No one can be that stupid, really, so I imagine it's actually they don't care how dirty, obviously deceitful it gets in order to remove democraticly elected leftists.

As you probably have noticed, many, many of us appreciate the time you've taken from your life to see the truth gets out there. Those of us who respect the truth share what we've learned in our daily lives away from D.U., too. Eventually our concern about the truth, and about dignity and respect for others will win. It only will take time for people of character to outlast those seeking personal gain at the expense of other people.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #54
60. You're welcome! The lies that our gov't and media tell about Chavez and the L/A left infuriate me.
Two of the biggest ones are that Chavez is some kind of tyrant and lifted his own term limit, when the matter was entirely left up to the voters of Venezuela in a national plebiscite, a big majority of whom approved it when it was separated from the other 68 issues. The entire constitution was put to a vote of the people in 2000, and every amendment to it has to be voted on by the people. How democratic can you get? Lula da Silva was right when he said, of Chavez, "They can invent a lot of things to criticize Chavez, but not on democracy!". It is a total lie that Chavez is not a democrat.

And the other current Big Lie is that Mel Zelaya in Honduras proposed lifting his term limit, WHICH HE DID NOT DO! The Honduran Constitution has a peculiar provision forbidding anyone from even talking about lifting the presidential term limit. This is what the rightwing Junta accused Zelaya of doing--of proposing a popular vote on lifting his term limit--a completely false accusation that is repeated as fact again and again and again, in our corpo-fascist media! Honduras' constitution (which Oscar Arias, a US ally, has called "the worst constitution in the world") was written by Reagan's henchmen in the 1980s, and likely limited the president to ONE four year term, and forbade any talk about changing this (a violation of free speech guarantees in the same constitution) in order to prevent any FDR-type leader in Honduras from ever achieving sufficient power to act in the interest of the poor majority against the rich oligarchy and its "School of the Americas"-trained military. But whatever the reason for this strange provision, Zelaya did NOT violate it, neither technically nor in spirit. His proposal for constitutional reform had NOTHING TO DO WITH TERM LIMITS, and it came directly from labor unions and grass roots groups all over the country. It was their proposal. It was furthermore a mere advisory vote of the people--basically, 'Do you want reform?'--and, if passed, would have taken years to implement, long past Zelaya's term of office.

Yet, he is constantly, relentlessly, accused by our media and our rightwing on the basis of the Junta's lies and not on the basis of the facts. They never quote Zelaya's proposal. They never say it was a popular movement (and still is). They never discuss the poor majority's objections to Honduras' putrid political/economic system. They create the impression that Zelaya is would-be "dictator" just like guess who? This hysteria and panic, on the part of our own political establishment, at the election of FDR-type leaders in Latin America is palpable, and I greatly fear that it is also pre-war hysteria. They cannot tolerate democracy in Latin America, and they want to restore US global corporate predators control of the oil and other resources.

What most bothers me about this situation is the complete collapse of independent news media in this country. We saw this with the Bush Junta and the non-existent WMDs in Iraq. And we are seeing the same phenomenon now, about Latin America. Deliberate bald-faced lying, across the board. It is disgusting on a persona level--all these reporters and editors having been lobotomized by their corporate overseers (or worse, having willingly become propaganda whores)--and it is nothing short of a catastrophe for OUR democracy.
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #60
61. They have disappeared, reminding you of Colombia! If corporate news sources actually told the truth,
they'd have NOTHING to use to stir up the unstable right-wingers to gain support for some direct aggression, if they get enough of it, as with Saddam Hussein, or with indirect financing of destruction of the political leftist base, as with so many Latin America governments, or with assassinations of leftist leaders and activists, or even SUSPECTED leftists, or POTENTIAL leftists, as acknowledged by former economic hitman, John Perkins, and former CIA sources.

They can't afford to let the truth get a good airing, since it doesn't give them any advantage, ever, so they foul the air with putrid lies, and wait for the idiots to take the filth and run with it, as complete asses must.
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totodeinhere Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #52
67. Meanwhile, my point remains valid.
Chavez is not perfect, as no leader is. But he has done a lot to help the common people of his country. But that doesn't excuse disinformation from either his opponents or his supporters. Just like in the case of Castro, the fact that he can outlast US presidents is beside the point.

Bill Clinton is a case in point. If he had been allowed to run for unlimited terms, he very well might be president even today and he might be able to outlast Chavez. But the fact that he was limited to two terms is no reflection whatsoever on his political staying power.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. This is classic Simon Romero:
"Mr. Chvezs government still faces questions about the quick accumulation of fortunes by the arrested bankers, who drew deposits to their banks from deals with regional governments controlled by the presidents followers, leaving open the possibility that the purge could spread."i]

No, Simon, the government doesn't face questions. The government is asking questions of the thieves it arrested.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #21
47. Thanks, because I've often had to read to puzzle out the truth
behind the usual anti-Chavez slant of the stories.

You'd never guess he was exposing the corruption within his own administration.

Never did see Cheeney or Bush say we'd no longer be dealing with Halliburton, Blackwater/Xe, and their KBR pals. Even after billions in fraud.
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #47
48. Simon Romero at the Times and Tyler Bridges at McClatchy
are about the worst in the corporate media on Venezuela. Bridges just got canned. Finally.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #48
53. Hey, I hadn't heard that about Bridges. Thanks for the good news! nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #48
55. God, that's great! They must have had a moment of sobriety there at McClatchy. Thanks, a lot. n/t
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WriteDown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #21
62. The government does face questions....
These people were in power for a long time. Either the government is incompetent and just ineffectively unaware or they are complicit. Can't have it both ways.
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Union Yes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
24. Chavez sets another example that 'Murikkka should follow. knr nt
Edited on Sun Dec-06-09 09:02 PM by Union Yes
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readmoreoften Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
26. Fine by me!
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
27. Is there anything left?!1 n/t
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. I *know* the difference between Honduras and Venezuela, but there's a commonality:

Manuel Zelaya talks on his mobile phone within the Brazilian embassy while his white cowboy hat is held by a bodyguard, Boris Muos. Photograph: Esteban Felix/AP
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Thickasabrick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #16
30. Whatev....I'm starting to just not give a shit about other countries - it
just takes attention away from all of our problems here.
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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
37. Hugo....
....is doing a fine job of ridding his country of corruption and corporate fascists....it's a dirty job, but someone has to do it....

"...assert greater financial control over the weekend by detaining one of the countrys most powerful financiers and forcing the resignation of the bankers brother,..."

....when our 'hank the wank' did this he was heralded as a hero....
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JonQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
39. Oh that's good
I'm sure the people of Venezuela were very concerned that the banks were not being run by dear leader.

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
42. I heard that Hugo's trying to get Barack to loan him Larry and Timothy for a few months.
That oughta get those banksters back in line.

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New Dawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
50. We need to do the same thing.
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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
56. Romero and the NY Slimes hate Chavez. Here's an alternative to their tripe...
I've highlighted some of the more interesting points, including that Venezuelans enjoy FOURTEEN PERCENT INTEREST on savings deposits in the Bank of Venezuela!

What do we do here? Permit the super-rich to LOOT savings & loans institutions and destroy jobs, savings, poor and middle class homeowners and small businesses with criminal banking practices!

What do they do in Venezuela? REWARD those who save, and arrest the banksters!

---------------------------------

Venezuela Nationalizes Two Banks, Investigates Others for Bank Law Infractions

Published on December 4th 2009, by James Suggett - Venezuelanalysis.com

Mrida, December 4, 2009 (venezuelanalysis.com)-- As part of the governments effort to reshape the financial sector, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the nationalization of two small banks on Thursday.

Confederado and Bolivar Bank encompass 2.8% of the total financial market and serve 170,000 depositors. They have been under national investigation for a series of banking law infractions, along with two of their partner firms, Banpro and Canarias, which the government decided to liquidate earlier this week. All together, the four banks, which make up the Bolivar Financial Group, serve almost 750,000 depositors and encompass less than 10% of the financial market.

The governments Deposit Guarantee and Banking Protection Fund (FOGADE) will secure more than 95% of the deposits. In accordance with the General Law on Banks and Other Financial Institutions, FOGADE will guarantee up to 10,000 bolivars (US $4,650) to each depositor in an initial phase, and will announce further guarantees once the banks assets are re-evaluated.

FOGADE President Humberto Ortega Daz said the fund is prepared to pay out between 1.3 and 1.6 billion bolivars (US $600-740 million), the estimated amount that is required to secure all deposits in the four banks.

All deposits were temporarily transferred to Venezuelas third largest bank, the state-owned Bank of Venezuela, which began processing depositors withdrawal and transfer requests this week. Eugenio Vsquez, the president of the Bank of Venezuela, said the bank aims to attend to every depositor by the end of the year.

President Chavez encouraged depositors in the nationalized and liquidated banks to open new accounts in the Bank of Venezuela, which the government purchased from the Spanish Santander group in May.

The president offered incentives, including an increase in the interest rate on savings accounts from 12.5% to 14%, promises of generous government credits to come, and possible restructuring of their debts.

I recommend that you leave (your money) in the Bank of Venezuela... it is more secure there than the reserves in the Orinoco (Oil Belt), said Chavez, referring to Venezuelas vast extra-heavy oil reserves.

Chavez said that in contrast to previous governments, his administration is cracking down on irresponsible banking by prosecuting banking executives. As of Friday, the Attorney Generals Office had issued ten arrest warrants for bankers suspected of involvement in the crimes and prohibited nineteen other bankers from leaving the country. The principal stockholder in the Bolivar Financial Group remains in police custody.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Finance Minister Ali Rodriguez announced that the Superintendent of Banks will initiate new investigations, and temporary closures, of three other small banks: Central Banco Universal, Baninvest, and Banco Real.

Re-Orienting Public Banking

The recent interventions in the banks are part of the governments plan to strengthen and re-orient the public financial sector to give further impetus to national production, including food and energy production as well as manufacturing.**

For more than half a century, oil has dominated and produced imbalances in Venezuelas economy. Currently, the fossil fuel accounts for more than 90% of export earnings and 38% of the national budget, while the country imports most foods and other basic items.

In addition to the recently nationalized banks and the Bank of Venezuela, the state also controls Banfoandes, Banco del Tesoro, the Industrial Bank (Banco Industrial), and the Agricultural Bank (Banco Agricola). These account for 24% of all deposits in the country as well as 22% of the banking workforce, almost 16,400 workers, according to the Venezuelan daily El Universal.

Chavez said the government would also intervene in the administration of a series of food production and distribution companies that held significant deposits in the Bolivar Financial Group. These companies must be secured, we must draw up a timeline for intervention and a profile for each one, he said.

The president urged Venezuelans not to believe the alarmism of opposition leaders and some private media outlets that have attempted to create panic among depositors by spreading spread false information about the bank measures and implying that there is an impending crisis.

Nobody should be fooled by the alarmism of some sectors that will always be conspiring against the country, said Chavez. Not only the government, but the banking system will emerge stronger from this, and the peoples confidence will increase, he said.

Private Bankers say Measures Are Appropriate and Necessary

In a joint statement released on Wednesday, two major private banking associations, the National Banking Council and the Banking Association of Venezuela, said the governments measures are appropriate and necessary and that the financial system as a whole is in good shape.

The National Banking Council and the Banking Association of Venezuela have supported and will support all those measures directed toward correcting and sanctioning the conduct which is unconnected to the best banking practices, the groups stated.

We believe that these measures will contribute in a positive way to guaranteeing that the Venezuelan financial sector as a whole, which is characterized by health and prudent administration, will not be affected by any situation related to the measures adopted by the executive, the statement continued.

In the past, the Communist Party of Venezuela has repeatedly called for the complete nationalization of the private financial sector, but Chavez and his United Socialist Party of Venezuela have not heeded the call.

On Thursday, Victor Gil, the president of the National Banking Council, told the press, The private banking sector does not fear nationalization because the president of the Republic has been very clear... that he would not hesitate to nationalize any bank that does not fulfill its obligations according to the Banking Law.

With regard to the several thousand employees in the two liquidated banks, the government said it will uphold all labor laws concerning severance pay and other benefits, but it did not specify how many of these employees would lose their jobs and how many would be incorporated into the public sector.

Chavez announced the nationalizations during a ceremony for the graduation of the eighth class of students in the Ribas Mission, a social program that grants high school degrees to adults who had dropped out of or never attended high school.


http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/4981
(my emphases)

----------------------------------------

**(Just wanted to say, about this point--the Venezuelan economy's dependence on oil--that I would like to see the Venezuelan government take more aggressive action on diversification of the economy and promoting local manufacturing and other job creation and economic self-sufficiency measures. They have identified many problems, and have come up with innovative programs on many fronts, including diversification, but, as we have seen in this country, if the banks don't do their job--for instance, as to small business loans--the government MUST act. And I'm glad to see this association being made between the financial sector and diversification. It needs to be a joint private/public endeavor and it needs to be strongly focused on greatly reducing Venezuela's dependence on imported goods.)
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beyond cynical Donating Member (150 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #16
57. As many have predicted, Chavez is determined to lead Venezuela
into the realm of Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

What a loser...
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harun Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #57
58. Yah, when confronted with corrupt out of control looting bankers it is just so much
more civilized to loot the tax payers to pay them more money then to bring them to justice.

:sarcasm:
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beyond cynical Donating Member (150 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #58
59. Yes, I am sure every banker in Venezuela is corrupt...
I'm sure that Chavez is the only honest man in the entire country.

:sarcasm:
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EFerrari Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #58
63. Some of these posters should just post numbers like "#5"
Edited on Mon Dec-07-09 11:36 AM by EFerrari
because they post the same thing no matter the actual topic. lol
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #63
65. it makes me wonder how low their IQs are
Edited on Mon Dec-07-09 11:41 AM by fascisthunter
do they really think people fall for their disengenous shit flinging? Pure flame baiting and nothing gets done about it.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-07-09 11:39 AM
Response to Original message
64. good!
sleaze bag
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