All Notebook Entries

  • Entitlement

    Here I sit, the night before the momentous elections that will decide the fate of the Bolivarian revolution. I share in the excitement of the Venezuelans that are thinking that this time, this time will be the end of the interminable assault by the media, the wealthy and most importantly, the gorrilla of the north on a small attempt to address the inequality in this petrostate. I however, can´t help but feel, down in my heart, that this won´t be enough. Nothing is enough to placate the black heart of Petroleum consumers of the north and the puppet elites at home.
  • Carter: Venez Election "More Satisfactory than Florida"

    CARACAS VENEZUELA; AUGUST 14, 2004: Former United States President Jimmy Carter, at a press conference today in Venezuela where he leads a large delegation of election observers, noted that the organization of Sunday's presidential recall referendum will guarantee results "that will be much more satisfactory than those of 2000 in Florida."

    "We call on all citizens who want to participate to do it calmly and knowing that your vote will be secret," Carter told a large group of national and international reporters.

    Asked if he observes that there are human rights in Venezuela, Carter said, "There are free elections in Venezuela... There is transparency in the process... There is freedom of the press in Venezuela... For these reasons and more I believe there is respect for human rights in Venezuela."

  • Andres Oppenheimer's Hatred of Democracy

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA; AUGUST 14, 2004: More evidence pours forward every hour that the anti-democracy cheerleaders in the English-language press, who have spread knowingly false fictions again and again in recent years about the reality in Venezuela and its president Hugo Chávez, now see the writing on the wall about tomorrow's historic referendum in this oil-rich country of 24 million people.

    On Thursday, Narco News outed New York Timesman Juan Forero who, in an unguarded moment, revealed his true observation that Chávez will win tomorrow's vote. Flushed out on The Narcosphere, Forero had little option but to confess the same to his readers in today's NY Times. Forero, in serious cover-his-ass mode, scrambles to make up for months of lost time with these words in today's Times:

    "He (Chavez) now has the backing of about half of the Venezuelan electorate, according to some polls, making it harder for the opposition to muster the nearly 3.8 million yes votes it needs - at least one more than Mr. Chávez got when he was re-elected in 2000 - to end his term and bring a new presidential election. Even if the opposition gets the votes, if Mr. Chávez gets more votes, he will remain in office."

  • Estrategia de la Mentira Maestra: Intervencionismo Estadounidense en Venezuela

    Amigos,
    Otro artículo de relevancia revolucionaria, escrito por Jutta Schmitt, para el proceso emancipador después del 15 de agosto de 2004.
    Saludis,
    Franz.

    La Estrategia de la Mentira Maestra: Intervencionismo Estadounidense en Venezuela y el Mundo

    Por: Jutta Schmitt

    Diagnóstico de la situación actual

    A pocos años de haber comenzado el tan anhelado y esperado siglo XXI, lleno de sueños de un mundo mejor basado en la justicia social, el respeto a la naturaleza, el pleno despliege de las facultades creativas humanas, ancladas siempre en la sensatez, la responsabilidad y la solidaridad, lamentable y previsiblemente nos encontramos frente a una situación muy parecida a la de hace un siglo atrás, cuando el mundo presenció el primer colapso del sistema internacional, conocido como Primera Guerra Mundial.

  • Venezuela ... Alienation and Emancipation

    Because of the emancipatory tasks of the Bolivarian Revolution, after August 15, 2004, that pertain to the annihilation of global fascism, we reproduce the following article, published by VHeadline.com here.
    Saludos revolucionarios,
    Franz.

    University of Los Andes (ULA) professor Franz J. T. Lee writes:

    What is really behind the mass manipulation of the huge mass media in Venezuela? The pathological effects go far beyond the attempts of the "opposition" and of the Bush government to oust President Hugo Chavez Frias from political power. Its indoctrination serves the interests of global fascism in the making, it serves "Newspeak", mind and thought control, the eternalization of the current world order.

  • Cena na Bolivia Esquenta

    La Paz, BOLIVIA - Um assassinato insólito, um conflito cultural e uma sacudida nos movimentos sociais marcam o novo momento sócio-político na Bolívia. No dia 14 de junho deste ano, o então prefeito do pequeno municipio de Ayo Ayo, Benjamin Altamirano, foi seqüestrado, torturado, assassinado, queimado e, finalmente, exibido morto em praça pública. O ato foi assumido por toda a população local, predominantemente da etnia indígena Aymara, e justificado pela tradicional idéia da justiça comunitária. A partir desses acontecimentos, diversos líderes de movimentos sociais da região foram presos preventivamente sem a existência de provas concretas. Entre essas prisões, esta a de Gabriel Pinto – líder do MST boliviano – ocorrida na manhã desta quinta-feira (12/08), e que poderá desencadear uma série de ações de revolta por parte dos movimentos socais em todo o país.
  • The Big Day Looms....

    Today is the 14th of August, it's pretty steamy here in Caracas, as usual, and the campaigns are wrapping up. In Sabana Grande, it's contested territory, posters and graffiti announcing the aims of both the opposition and Chavez supporters appear on every wall. So far, my favorite slogan is "No al Sí!". You can of course, expect the usual behavior by the corporate commercial media although toned down a bit for the elections observers.
  • Landless Movement Regional Leader Jailed

    by Benjamin Maurice Melançon
    with Vladimir Costés

    2004 August 12, Thursday

    LA PAZ, BOLIVIA - At 11:55 a.m. today a district judge further criminalized the social movements of Bolivia when he ordered that a regional leader of the landless movement be held in preventative detention for the killing of a mayor, despite the failure of prosecutors to offer any physical evidence connecting him to the crime. The national leader of the landless movement said his group would fight back.

  • Forero in Caracas: "It's Over" for the Opposition

    CARACAS, VENEZUELA; AUGUST 12, 2004: Never mind what he says (or what they let him say) in print: New York Times Andean correspondent Juan Forero admitted today, in person, that he believes that Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez will win the historic referendum vote scheduled for Sunday, August 15. For the Venezuelan opposition, Forero told two reporters today in Caracas: "It's over."

    Kind reader: Are we living inside a dream? Juanito Forero - defender of coup-mongers and Plan Colombia mercenaries, simulator of the English-language news from South America to Broadway - chose to confess his secret opinion to none other than this Narco News reporter (who Forero also called "my great antagonist").  Bearing witness to this strange encounter, in the halls of the Miraflores presidential palace, was also Lee Sustar, Labor Editor of the international Socialist Worker.

    Yes, to be in Venezuela on this historic week is to live inside a kind of dream… the inspirational dream that comes before the Great Awakening, when history is made anew again...

  • Rebellion in the J-School

    “Charlie, can I speak with you?”  It was Natalia Viana.

    “Sure,” I replied.

    “In private.”

    “In private?”  I wondered what it could be.  Was it possible that she wanted to confess her sins since she knew that I was formerly a Catholic priest?

  • La Quintaesencia Emancipatoria de la Revolución Bolivariana

    ¿Qué realmente está en juego el 15 de agosto de 2004 en Venezuela y en el mundo? ¿Cual es la quintaesencia de la Revolución Bolivariana? Definitivamente esta está determinada por la realidad transhistórica de su complemento, es decir por el fascismo global, actualmente liderizado por los EE.UU.

    En un sentido normativo, el concepto de “revolución” está determinado por la clase o las clases sociales que realizan esta revolución. Está compuesta de una Afirmación y una Negación. Revolución y contra-revolución. Si la revolución resulta “positiva” o “negativa” para el futuro de la humanidad depende de las clases sociales antagonistas participando en ella a nivel global. Por ejemplo, en cuanto a la Revolución Francesa, tanto el idealista objetivo Hegel como el materialista dialéctico Marx, estaban fascinados con los cambios momentáneos; sin embargo, aquellos que perdieron sus cabezas bajo la guillotina tenían una opinión completamente diferente. También, desde esta revolución capitalista burgués democrática, “revolución” no es la prerrogativa exclusiva de la clase obrera contra sus amos.

  • Strength and Weakness of the Bolivarian Revolution

    Greetings Franz and Jutta, I forward you an important material that obviously will be of interest to the analysts of the North and to London; it´s written in Spanish but if you have some time to translate it into English and send it to the BBC and the press of the Organization of American States, I assure you they will respond immediately. Go for it, comrades, all the more that we are in the final phase of the electoral battle.
    René Colmenares,
    Prensa Presidencial, Miraflores, Caracas.
  • Environmental Damage from Common Pharmaceuticals

    More than just clandestine drug labs hidden in the jungles of South America may pollute the environment such as, the legal worldwide narco company Eli-Lilly, the makers of Prozac.  It appears one the world's most popular drugs to treat depression Prozac (fluoxetine) may have potentially negative environmental effects.  A report from the
    UK's Telegraph
    8-8-04 states Prozac has been found in Briton's water supply. An earlier report last year in the U.S. is even more disturbing; in an article by Scott Streater of the Star-Telgram 10-17-03, Prozac was found in fish brains, along with some alarming effects from other common pharmaceuticals.
  • This is What Democracy Looks Like

    After some nine days in Cochabamba, Bolivia, participating in the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, I’m finally starting to get used to the thin moutain air here in the Andes. More importantly, I have gotten a glimpse of another culture, of a land that is experiencing democracy in a more vital way than I have seen play out in the canned elections we experience in the United States.

    Here, it seems to me, the stakes of the game are very real, very much in front of the people. In my short time in this country in the heart of South America, I have heard about the struggle to change the country from the bottom up. Although divided at times over strategy, labor and farmers are unified in their quest to return control of the nation’s natural resources to the people in an effort to foster job creation, enhanced living conditions and a brighter future for Bolivia.

  • Venezuela: The Revolutionary Factors that led to the Recall Referendum

    An extensive hour and a half radio interview with Jutta Schmitt, that explains the whole current problem in Venezuela.
    Franz.

    A HISTORIC REVIEW ABOUT THE REVOLUTIONARY FACTORS THAT LED TO THE RECALL REFERENDUM IN VENEZUELA

    By Jutta Schmitt

    Friends,
    It is imperative to recollect what happened over the last six years in Venezuela, to understand the political show-down on August 15 next.

    Kindly tune in to the interviews that we made concerning the current situation, as published on Black Op Radio, Canada, see below.

    For an hour and a half, we covered the whole history of the Bolivarian Movement, indicating its democratic legitimacy and its revolutionary programmes.

    Have fun!
    Jutta
    jutta@aktionspotenzial.de

    http://www.blackopradio.com/

  • White House Anti-Drug Tsar Admits Plan Colombia's failure

    In this BBC story, John Walters, Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), is quoted as saying, "We have not yet seen in all these efforts what we're hoping for on the supply side, which is a reduction in availability." This flies in the face of all public statements and statistics released by his office so far, which always stick to the party line.

    It must be said, however, that the candor of this admission is only partial since, according to the same story, Mr. Walters hopes to see a reduction in the drug supply during the next 12 months.

    An interesting quote nonetheless.

  • Militar boliviano sostiene: La paz en el Chapare se debe a Evo Morales

    Habla la voz de las fuerzas de lucha contra el narcotráfico: el Coronel Jaime Cruz Vera, comandante de la Unidad Móvil de Patrullaje Rural, UMOPAR, la fuerza de interdicción a las drogas y a las fábricas de cocaína. Cruz Vera también es comandante del cuartel central de las fuerzas de lucha contra el narcotráfico en Chimoré, en el Chapare, y por eso conoce todo lo que pasa en la lucha militar contra las drogas de esa región. Así, cuando nos recibió el 3 de agosto pensábamos escuchar las mismas respuestas que dan todos los militares y que ya conocemos de memoria.
  • Deconstructing the art of journalism

    Every art has it's tools to shape content. Writing is no different.

    The Narco News School of Authentic Journalism held a session earlier this week in Bolivia that addressed those tools. The session, hosted by journalists George Sánchez and Reed Lindsay, focused on several structural elements that are integral to a news or feature story. This essay on writing incorporates the topics covered in that session as well as a few other approaches that can be used in crafting a story.

    Although there is not one right way to write a story, you still have to learn how to swing the bat before you can play the game. The formulas outlined below, if applied, should get you up to the plate in the writing game. Where you take your writing from there is all about heart.

  • Ecological Debt Campaign: the next great social movement

    "One of the greatest lies that the mass media feeds you today, maybe the worst lie, is the theory of development," Giuseppe de Marzo told a small and engaged crowd tonight.  A campaign about ecological debt will help expose this flawed concept of development and the other great lie of third world debt, de Marzo argued in his talk.  Charlie Hardy, with help from bilingual audience participants, translated de Marzo's remarks to English, which this journalist relied on.
  • "Are the Polls Credible in Venezuela? Vote NO"

    Currently in Venezuela a variety of information is being released by national and international polling groups in an attempt to predict the results of the Referendum coming up in two short weeks.  Unfortunately, the impartiality of these polling groups has proved to be virtually non-existent. It has become a routine practice of the opposition to blatantly report information from groups of their choice that have strong interests in the removal of Chávez from power.  These “facts” are then being distributed to press throughout the world.  
  • Monitoring the Washington Post: Democracy in Venezuela

    In reference to the upcoming recall referendum vote on President Hugo Chávez, a July 30th editorial by the Washington Post titled “Monitoring Venezuela” alleges the Venezuelan opposition group Súmate is leading the charge for democracy in Venezuela.

    "The vote itself will have a greater chance of being staged and judged fairly thanks to Sumate..." says the Post. In fact, Súmate is a partisan group in oppostion to the government whose sole mission since being founded in 2002 has been to collect signatures and promote a referendum to unseat the president. The more than one million dollars the NED in 2003 funneled to Venezuela went overwhelmingy to opposition groups.

  • Referendo: "Ainda não temos nem idéia do tamanho da interferência estadunidense"

    Não dá para medir o tamanho da interfêrencia estadunidense no referendo na Venezuela. A constatação é de Jeremy Bigwood, jornalista free-lance que em janeiro deste ano revelou a ajuda financeira do governo estadunidense a entidades oposicionistas da Venezuela através da NED – National Endowment for Democracy, instituição privada sem fins lucrativos que recebe verbas do Congresso e do Departamento de Estado.
  • Live from Cochabamba, Narco News ¡Presente!

    They arrived via the airports of Sao Paulo, of Buenos Aires, of Bogotá, of Mexico City, of Miami, of Detroit, of New York, of Washington DC, of La Paz and Santa Cruz... Some took all night "flota" buses... but by the six o'clock hour last night, 58 of 61 Narco News School of Authentic Journalism scholars and professors had arrived on our campus in Cochabamba.

    Every single one, bar none, made sacrifices to get here. This is a rare school where professors are unpaid, and come at their own expense... where no tuition is charged to any student... And where with every word spoken, with every glance in any direction, all the beaming, smiling, faces of journalists - not a profession known for its glee nor sense of humor - it is evident that the Authentic Journalism renaissance, more than alive and well, has grown by leaps and bounds since the last time we met 17 months ago in Mexico...

  • Journalists interview journalists about journalism

    The only objective reporting on the Internet: a Spanish-ignorant gringo's dispatches from Bolivia

    2004 July 30, COCHABAMBA - Reporters reported on reporters reporting on reporters reporting on reporting this morning in an upstairs room in downtown Cochabamba.  Print, radio, and television reporters, commercial and authentic, nearly filled the room as they interviewed each other on the topic of journalism.  They recorded one another, took notes on one another, filmed one another, and took pictures of one another.

    This scene resulted from the start of the 2004 session of the Narco News School of Authentic Journalism, held near Cochabamba and in the Chapare region of Bolivia.  Reporters from much of the Cochabamba media came to a press conference organized by Alex Contreras Baspineiro, a professor of the School.

  • Venezuela: ¡No to the Return of the Zombies!

    Friends,

    here is an excellent picturesque summary of the current situation in Venezuela, written by Jutta Schmitt.

    Saludos,
    Franz.

    Venezuela: ¡No to the Return of the Zombies!

    By: Jutta Schmitt

    Date: 30.07.04

    Whether it is the ride you take to town in a tightly packed buseta full of vividly disputing passengers, your arepa con queso that gets stuck in your throat when eyescanning the newspaper headlines at lunch break, the conversation with friends or the brief chat that you have with a street artist at the traffic light, in these days, your every move, act, thought and word are all determined by the “magic date”, August 15th, 2004.

  • VENEZUELA: TO SUSPEND OIL SHIPMENT TO USA: IS THIS TRUE?

    CORRESPONDENCE LEN OSANIC (BLACK OP RADIO) AND FRANZ LEE.

    29/07/04.

    Franz...

    We need to hear what is going on in Venezuela.
    Will you come on Black Op radio for an interview
    to talk about this. There is no news at all up here.

    Thanks,

    Len Osanic.
    Len <osanic@prouty.org>

    *

  • House of Death plot continues to unfold

    The Washington Times breathlessly reported the following from El Paso, Texas, earlier this week:

    An unusual narcotics slaying in neighboring Juarez, Mexico, last summer has law-enforcement officials here and in Washington, D.C., asking serious questions about the role of government agencies in handling undercover informants.

    Narco News reported in-depth on this story in April. The story revealed that an informant for the U.S. government was implicated in a series of murders in Juárez, Mexico -- located just across the border from El Paso, Texas.

    The informant’s handlers, agents with the El Paso office of the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), were allegedly fully aware of the informant’s complicity in the murders, yet did nothing to stop the killing for fear of jeopardizing the cases they were trying to make with the informant’s help.

    The recent Washington Times story also pulls the following out of the air:

    Some "bad blood" between ICE and the DEA remains, sources told The Washington Times, because Contreras was once involved in an aborted attempt to kill two DEA agents in Juarez. Some DEA agents think ICE was aware of the scheme.

    Again, Narco News reported the whole sordid affair in April. Here’s a teaser:

  • Venezuela: How To Read Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-four Critically Today

    Certainly, all over Venezuela, at this moment can be witnessed revolutionary fire among the youth as never before, all over Bolivarian patrollers are organizing the masses, are guarding the victories of the revolution.  However, what is somehow lacking is the profound understanding of the global transhistoric truth about this decisive moment in Venezuelan and Latin American history, the threat of global fascism, in its real violent, brutal consequences.

    We studied George Orwell's "1984" again and underlined that what we lived in Venezuela across the last five years, and that what is to come within the following weeks.

  • En Vísperas de una Revolución Social Continental en Venezuela

    Érase una vez un monje extraño que apuradamente cruzó la plaza de Wittenberg (Alemania) hacia la catedral. En todas partes habían campesinos ociosos, discutiendo sobre sus cosechas, sus confesiones, la Iglesia y sus maravillosos amos, observando el espectáculo insólito. Poco después se escuchó un fuerte ruido proveniente del portal de la iglesia; como loco, „lleno de amor y consideración por la verdad” el extraño estaba clavando pedazos de papel sobre el portal gigante, sus famosas 95 tesis. Después desapareció igual cómo había llegado. Desde entonces nadie de los espectadores hablaba más del asunto.
  • Vivanco Wants Foreign Money in Venezuela Campaign

    Human Rights Watch "Americas Division" chief José Miguel Vivanco falls deeper down the slippery slope of anti-democracy lobbying now with his claim that foreign government funding of partisan electoral groups in Venezuela is okey-dokey by him.

    First, a reality check and public service announcement for those who might not be familiar with United States campaign finance laws:

    If you want to make a donation to the campaign of George W. Bush in the United States (we're not recommending it, for the record) and you go to Bush's website and click "donations" and you will find that, before you can give him money, you have to affirm:

    "By clicking on this box I acknowledge that contributions from corporations and foreign nationals are prohibited."

    Likewise, if you want to make a donation to the campaign of John Kerry in the United States (neither are we recommending this) go to Kerry's campaign website and click "contributions," and there you will have to affirm:

    "I confirm that the following statements are true and accurate:

    1. I am a United States citizen or a permanent resident alien...

    Those who have violated these laws against foreign contributions have been prosecuted in the United States…

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