WSJ: Cuba’s Role Behind the Turmoil in Venezuela

Marvinia Jimenez #Cookednews

The bloodshed in Caracas over the past 12 days brings to mind the 2009 Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain, where President Obama greeted Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez with a huge grin and a warm handshake. A couple of months later the State Department attempted to force Honduras to reinstall pro-Chávez president Manuel Zelaya, who had been deposed for violating the constitution.

Brows were knitted throughout the Americas. Why did the U.S. president favor the Venezuelan dictator, protégé of Fidel Castro, over Honduras, which still had a rule of law, press freedom and pluralism?

Fast forward to last Wednesday, after four peaceful student-protesters had been confirmed as having been killed by the government’s armed minions. Mr. Obama took notice, pronouncing the brutality “unacceptable.” That must have been comforting to hear amid the gun shots and pummeling on the streets of Caracas.

That same night the government of Nicolás Maduro —Chávez’s handpicked successor—unleashed a wave of terror across the country. According to Venezuelan blogs and Twitter posts, the National Guard and police went on a tear, firing their weapons indiscriminately, beating civilians, raiding suspected student hide-outs, destroying private property and launching tear-gas canisters. Civilian militia on motor bikes added to the mayhem. The reports came from Valencia, Mérida, San Cristóbal, Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz and elsewhere, as well as the capital.

Venezuela has promised 100,000 barrels of oil per day to Cuba, and in exchange Cuban intelligence runs the Venezuelan state security apparatus. The Cubans clearly are worried about losing the oil if their man in Caracas falls. Opposition leader Leopoldo López, who heads the Popular Will political party, spent several years building a network of young recruits around the country. Last week’s unrest is a testament to that organization, and it is why the 42-year-old Mr. López is now behind bars.

In Ukraine, the European Union has pressured the government to reach a compromise with the opposition. Venezuelans are getting no such help from the neighbors. Only Colombia, Chile and Panama have objected to the crackdown. The rest of the hemisphere doesn’t have even a passing interest in human rights when the violations come from the left. The Organization of American States is supposed to defend civil liberties, but since Chilean Socialist José Miguel Insulza took the OAS helm in 2005, it has earned a disgraceful record as a shill for Cuba.

Venezuelans seeking change face daunting odds. The crowds in the streets of Caracas in recent days have not been significantly bigger than in many prior-year protests, including 2002, when a march in Caracas almost unseated Chávez.

This time the repression has been fierce. Besides injuries and death, hundreds have been detained and it would not be surprising if many are given long sentences. Mr. Maduro needs scapegoats for the violence he unleashed. Iván Simonovis, the former head of the Caracas Metropolitan Police, has been a political prisoner since 2004. Chávez made him take the fall for the 17 people killed in the April 2002 uprising even though video evidence points to chavista snipers. Photos of the once-fit policeman, frail and gravely ill from the inhuman circumstances of his long incarceration, are chilling.

Another problem is the division within the opposition. The governor of the state of Miranda, Henrique Capriles, represented a broad coalition of anti-chavista parties when he ran for president in 2013. But when he conceded to Mr. Maduro amid strong evidence that the election had been stolen, Mr. López and other members of the opposition broke with Capriles supporters.

Students have also been hamstrung by a communications blockade. The government controls all Venezuelan television and radio airwaves. When the violence broke out, it forced satellite providers to drop the Colombian NTN channel. Internet service has been cut in many places.

Getting the very poor on board for a regime change is a challenge. Some still see chavismo as their government, even if they have no love for Mr. Maduro and suffer from high inflation. Others don’t dare speak out, for fear of losing state jobs or their lives. The barrios are terrorized by the chavista militia.

Mr. Maduro says he will use every weapon to quell the unrest. On Friday afternoon the son of a Venezuelan friend sent me photos from Caracas of troops massing at the Francisco de Miranda air base in the middle of the city. The Cuban-backed Venezuelan high command, Cuban intelligence (the country is thick with agents) and plainclothes militia will play rough.

On the other hand, the government is bankrupt, and food and other shortages will get worse. Mr. Maduro may pacify Caracas, but food is harder to find in the interior of the country than in the capital. It is there that the fires of rebellion, burning for the first time under chavismo, might race out of control. Many army officers come from lower-middle-class families, and it is not clear that they will stand by and watch large numbers of civilians being slaughtered. Many resent the Cuban occupation.

What comes next is hard to predict. But no one should underestimate Cuba‘s comparative advantage: repression.

#Venezuela #Cuba #Cookednews


Vogue Fashion’s Night Out di settembre, dal 6 al 18, a Milano, Roma e Firenze anche il caffè è di moda

Per la Vogue Fashion’s Night Out di settembre, il 6 a Milano, il 13 a Roma e il 18 a Firenze, anche il cibo si unisce alla moda. E a darne prova il caffè Lavazza. Che per l’occasione realizza una Limited Edition di lattine di caffè ¡Tierra!

Fondata a Torino nel 1895 – e ancora di proprietà della famiglia stessa – Lavazza è l’azienda italiana produttrice di caffè tostato che è da sempre attenta alla qualità e alla tradizione per il gusto oltre che all’innovazione del prodotto e alla salvaguardia delle risorse naturali:un’azienda responsabile, per uno sviluppo sostenibile.

Proprio seguendo il cammino verso la sostenibilità nel 2002 viene sviluppato il progetto ¡Tierra! con l’obiettivo di migliorare le condizioni di vita e di lavoro nelle comunità dei paesi produttori di caffè attraverso assistenza tecnica e sociale. Dopo i primi interventi di successo in HondurasPerùColombia, e con il lancio sul mercato della miscela ¡Tierra!, Lavazza ha coinvolto per la seconda fase BrasileIndia eTanzania. Proprio in Tanzania nasce l’idea di creare una edizione limitata per l’Africa di Lavazza ¡Tierra!.

Lavazza e Fashion 4 Development – partner operativo dell’ONU che attraverso la moda vuole incrementare la crescita di un’economia sostenibile – hanno chiesto a sei stilisti italiani di fama internazionale di rivestire a proprio gusto la lattina e la miscela di ¡Tierra!MarniRoberto CavalliMissoniEtroVersace e Moschino hanno dato così vita a una speciale limited edition che sarà venduta esclusivamente durante la Vogue Fashion’s Night Out nelle serate di MilanoRoma e Firenze.

Vogue Fashion’s Night Out è un’iniziativa globale nata nel 2009 ed organizzata daVogue. La manifestazione, ormai al suo quarto anniversario, vuole avvicinare il mondo della moda al grande pubblico coinvolgendo tutti i cittadini di diverse città del mondo in una serie di eventi poliedrici che si tengono in una notte prefissata di settembre.

Per l’edizione 2012 l’evento internazionale dedicato allo shopping e alla moda sarà ospitato – oltre che dall’Italia – da diciannove Paesi nel mondo che hanno confermato la partecipazione a settembre dando così il loro sostegno al mondo dello stile: 6 settembre (InghilterraFrancia,Stati UnitiGermaniaSpagnaRussia,MessicoAustralia e Korea), 7 settembre(CinaIndiaGermania e Russia), 8 settembre(Taiwan e Giappone), 10 e 12 settembre(Brasile), 13 settembre (PortogalloTurchia,Olanda e Messico),  20 e 25 settembre(Grecia).

Gli omini ‘fluo’ di Alienatio animano le notti italiane firmate Vogue

#Occupy Montenapoleone

Vogue Fashion’s Night Out

Milano: giovedì 6 settembre
Roma: giovedì 13 settembre
Firenze: martedì 18 settembre


Tsunami warning: rientra l’allarme terremoto in El Salvador

English: Locator map for Costa Rica, El Salvad...

English: Locator map for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Nederlands: Localisatiekaart voor Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras en Nicaragua. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Rientra l’allarme Tsunami sulle coste del Pacifico. L’allerta è di questa mattina alle ore 6:37registra lo Us Geological Survey. Era stato inizialmente diramato un allarme Tsunami per Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Panama e Messico, poi per fortuna rientrato.

Il sisma di magnitudo 7.4 al largo delle coste di El Salvador ‘ha generato uno Tsunami’ è stato l’allarme diramato in mattinata dal Centro d’allerta tsunami del Pacifico (Ptwc), che ha rilevato un’onda anomala al largo di Acajutla.

L’epicentro è stato localizzato a 138 chilometri a Sud Sud Est di San Miguel, mentre l’ipocentro a 53 chilometri di profondità. Per ora non sembrano esserci danni o feriti.

On Twitter #Tsunami El Salvador el salvador earthquakeel salvador tsunamicosta ricausgssnet

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