Monday, September 20, 2004

Crime And Punishment

"Crime":

Venezuela's electoral authorities say an audit of the vote on President Hugo Chavez's rule found no proof of fraud.

"The results of the audit were very positive... allowing us to turn the page," said National Electoral Council director Jorge Rodriguez.

Mr Chavez won 59% of the vote in the 15 August poll, sparking claims of vote-rigging from the opposition, who refused to take part in the review.

It is the third time that international observers have endorsed the result.

The audit was carried out by the Venezuelan National Electoral Council and international observers from the Carter Center and the Organization of American States (OAS).


Mitigating Factor ONE:

Chavez, rightly, says "Fuck you, gringos."

Mitigating Factor TWO:

The US has tended to avoid direct criticism of President Chavez, whose country is a major oil supplier.


Result:

he Bush administration's decision to stop supporting $250 million in loan requests that Venezuela has before international financial institutions has gone virtually unnoticed. Yet, by invoking such sanctions now, Washington risks making another mistake in dealing with Venezuela's mercurial strongman, President Hugo Chávez.

In announcing its decision earlier this month, the White House cited Venezuela's role in the international trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. The administration deserves credit for making this issue a high priority.

There are, however, serious questions about the motives behind the decision. The trafficking rationale seems particularly odd.


Conclusion: You're not a democracy unless you're for sale, and at our price. Also, being a friend to the poor and letting your petrodollars fuel infrastructure and education projects instead of lining the pockets of our campaign contributors foreign investors and multinationals really pisses US off. For another thing, never meet Castro or say a nice word to him; it tends to piss off a valued constituency. If Nixon II Bush II wins in November, and you haven't cleaned your act up, we may have to give you the "Allende" treatment.

"Crime":

SANA’A - After much delay, Prime Minister Abdul-Qader Bajammal on Wednesday announced the cancellation of the oil deal concerning the sale of the state’s share of oil in Block 53, in the Governorate of Hadhramaut.


See also here, here, and general background here.

Mitigating Factor ONE:

SANAA: Yemen’s army on Friday killed an anti-US Muslim preacher who styled himself as a "Prince of Believers" and led a near three-month bloody rebellion against the authorities from the mountainous north of the country. The defence and interior ministries said in a joint statement that the death of Sheikh Hussein Badr Eddin al-Huthi had brought the deadly rebellion to an end and that all military operations in the vast Saada province near the border with Saudi Arabia had now ceased.


Mitigating Factor TWO:

A Muslim cleric fighting extradition to the United States has been remanded in custody after appearing before magistrates by video link.

North London-based Abu Hamza al-Masri faces 11 terrorism-related charges, including involvement in the 1989 Yemen kidnapping in which three Britons died.


Mitigating Factor THREE:

Verdict on USS Cole suspects Sept. 29, US wants justice

The Penal Court concerned with crimes of terrorism decided to pass the verdict against the USS Cole suspects on September 29th, while the suspects still deny the accusations against them of involvementments in terrorist attacks, claiming they were subjected to torture.


Bonus Points:

‘Yemeni socialists backed rebel leader’

SANAA: The Yemeni government said yesterday that a rebel preacher from a minority Shiite Muslim sect who was killed by the army last week had been receiving help from parties outside Yemen.


Result:

Robert Hindle, the World Bank’s Country Manager based in Sanaa said that Yemen is demanded to do much more in its economic reforms. He emphasized that the World Bank could not continue providing the same level of funding and assistance, if the country did not implement the necessary reform measures needed and agreed upon.


See also here.

Conclusion: We've "altered the deal; pray we don't alter it any further." Or, put another way, we don't like it when you prevent multinationals from buying your resources for pennies investing in your petroleum industries, but if you persist in killing whom we want killed -- or in extradicting whom we wish extradicted -- then we'll let you off with a strong warning, this time. But stop that democracy shit, it's too expensive for US when you do that. You know, like with Mossadegh. What did you say? Iraq? Democracy? Bwahahahaha that was never the plan; we just had to replace the puppet. It happens from time to time. So shut up.

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