Just a chat between a leader and his fellow citizens

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I'm popular, and I have a banner to prove it
I’m popular, and I have a banner to prove it

After a month of pot-banging and PR snafus, Nicolás Maduro is not taking any more chances. So when he decided to meet with community leaders from Baruta and Chacao, the two wealthiest Caracas districts, he decided to hold the meeting … inside a military base.

Who would have thunk that staring down at machine guns could help keep things civilized? Just a meeting between the leader and his people – don’t mind the armed guards that surround us, folks. Pretend they’re not here.

The meeting went so well, he should have another one real soon. In fact, I suggest Mr. Maduro stay enclosed in military bases for the remainder of his term if he wants to stay away from protesters.

It’s a win-win for everyone.

1 COMMENT

  1. Man, I´m totally miffed. Maduro held a meeting with Chacao Communal Councils, and I never got my invitation… must have gotten lost in the mail.

      • Yes…and makes me think we could better tie the violence of the street (that everyone wants stopped) with the violence that took place in the AN. Maybe something like…
        “The violence in the streets will not end without the removal of those that are violent within the government”

    • People like Loroferoz need to be slapped around a bit to teach them something about respect and obedience to their moral superiors.

          • Hal9000,

            Perhaps you need a good slapping around as well. Don’t worry, I’m sure Cabello and his boys have something planned for you.

          • LOL. Internet tough Commie. It’s 1923 again!
            Get your go bags and put them by the door.
            Nickolas comes a knock knocking at 3 am…. no… wait… it’s a bolivarian robolution, it’ll wait till 8 or ten. And tell this address shit is hard!

          • I’m screenshoting this, it’s simply too good to be forgotten. You’re a natural Hector, again, go to thecomedystore.uk and get started there!

          • Im not inviting violence hector…but in hockey we say…drop ur gloves bro…im game if u r…ill even give u my location.

  2. When a leader feels he has to hide behind the armed forces to do his job and does so on his own initiative you know he is in deep trouble.

  3. According to Gerardo Blyde, the meeting was held in a part of la Carlota that is actually located in the Sucre District (which is oppo anyway, despite the class propaganda), but well, Geography is not his strong suit.

  4. During the Vietnam war, Lyndon Johnson gradually stopped appearing in public. In that way, he avoided raucus student demonstrations. During the years 1967-68, he appeared only at military bases, in order to insure himself a respectful audience. Then, he resigned.

      • “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve”; IIRC. Wonderfully spoken. Would that Chavez had thought the same way when he was up for a third election.

        • If only Elena Frías de Chávez had said “let’s use condoms this time”, perhaps everything would have been easier.

        • That was the famous statement of American Civil War hero General William Tecumseh Sherman in response to rumors he would be nominated by the Republicans in 1884, More precisely, he said “I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected.”

          Johnson said “I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president.”

          U.S. Representative Morris Udall took it to another level: “If nominated, I shall run… to Mexico. If elected, I shall fight extradition.”

          • I once attended a family reunion in NH where the family had its own Family Reunion Song set to the tune of “Marching Through Georgia.” Obviously that family tree grew in the North. My family tree combines both Northern and Southern roots.

          • Heh, Marching Through Georgia is still kinda of delicate amongst those like myself of a genetic disposition to Yankee hatin…. 🙂

  5. Actually Chavez himself towards the end had most of his public appearances staged in la Escuela Militar or some other heavily controlled environment with an ocassional quick sortie to the outside world surrounded by his celebrated five rings of protection. Now Maduro, who is much less popular than Chavez (probably also less hated) is following suit and staging his public appearances in safe enviroments , where there is less risk of being showered with cacerolazos or other popular signs of dissaproval. He is forced to live in a besieged bastion , surrounded by a hord of goons and subservient accolites, fearful of showing his nose where that half of Venezuelans who fiercely oppose the regime may make their presence felt .

    • Of course he holds it in a base. Maduro needs to protect himself against the mad dogs who would gladly assassinate him and murder his followers in their beds. also, it is an insult to his dignity to deal with a bunch of oligarchic whiners who can’t deal with their money and privileges being taken away, and who respond by anarchy and destabilization.

        • Hector,
          Both sides have guns. The difference is one side has uniforms and red berets and is controlled by Cubans.

          Moreover, the army may not be as supportive of Maduro as they appear.

        • Hector, you’ve taken a page out of Joseph Stalin’s playbook. “How many divisions has the Pope?” asked Stalin of John Paul II.

          • John Paul II was Pope three decades after Stalin died. you really are a dunce, aren’t you?

            Regardless, how many divisions do ‘you’ have? Or do you think you can win because you can run crying to the US embassy and get a few foreign imperialist leaders to do your fighting for you?

            The far left in 1962 were actually man enough to take up arms and launch an armed struggle against the governments. you folks are too soft and wussified to do that, you’d rather complain to the United States like a bunch of crybabies and natter on about ‘liberalism’, ‘humanism’ and Habermas.

          • How did that turn out for them? Or the innocent people killed in their reckless attempt at armed struggle?

            Unlike those folks, the majority of people in Venezuela are behind our cause, and that number is growing every day. Time is on our side.

          • The bigger difference is that the far left was actually fighting for a worthy cause, whereas you people are just fighting to hold onto your own ill-gotten wealth and privileges. If you folks were more courageous, tough and committed to your so-called ideals, you would be starting an armed struggle right now and revolting against the government. Instead, you prefer lounging around and quoting Habermas.

      • So, 50% of the country (the real number is higher) are oligarchs? Yep, that makes sense. About as much sense as anything else you spout.

          • Nah, most of the opposition voters are just duped by the leaders. it’s the oppo leaders and opinion makers like the ones on this blog that really need to be smacked down.

          • I don’t think Hector is actually real, he’s just trolling for shits and giggles.

            Real fascists never admit their violent nature, or only do so under very limited conditions, but hector has done so multiple times in just a few days. If he is for real he’s a sociopath, in which case there’s no point in arguing with him anyway, unless you enjoy doing so.

          • agree, Norske, on shit and giggle Hector, who is a do-nothing ninny with too much time on his hands and not enough honour behind his words. pathetic.

          • It is strange. I think this is the strangest troll I’ve seen on this blog. Jim Jones is dead, right?

            Anyway, it is a curious thing, which is my excuse for stopping, but not that curious, and I will move on.

  6. The whole subject of how the country is split between chavistas and the opposition is not a settled one , we know about the election results (however muddled by CNE shenanigans) and the estimates of some statistical experts ( namely A. Weils from Esdata ,who estimates that Capriles win over Maduro was probably in the 52/48% range ) . However the split in the country does not have to necessarily match the split in votes. One interesting point Wiels makes is that one would expect that if Maduro found some rejection among Chavistas not all of them would automatically vote for Capriles but would instead abstain ( feeling some continuing identification with the Chavez brand) , this would logically result in an increase in the abstention rate in april , which did not happen !! ( abstention in october and april according to CNE kept a steady 20%) Capriles recently stated that none of his votes had been ‘stolen’ but that Maduro’s votes had been ‘inflated’.
    This implies that abstention figures were actually higher than reported by CNE and that they only appear lower because abstaining chavista votes were transformed with the CNE’s connivance into fraudulent votes for Maduro . If we count the percentage of non cast chavista votes which CNE transformed into cast votes then the overall percentage of chavistas ( disgruntled or not) must be very close to the percentage of people aligned with the opposition . Giving us an evenly split country as of april . My own assumption is that unless the regime does something dramatic to win back its lost votes , then gradually the opposition will gain in strenght and size as the impact of past regime blunders and mismanagement become more palpable for everyone . The above is of course conjecture . If anyone one has a better idea, then please enlighten us.!!

  7. Enjoy:
    Charges Traders in Massive Kickback Scheme Involving Venezuelan Official FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    2013-84
    Washington, D.C., May 6, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged four individuals with ties to a New York City brokerage firm in a scheme involving millions of dollars in illicit bribes paid to a high-ranking Venezuelan finance official to secure the bond trading business of a state-owned Venezuelan bank.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Additional Materials
    SEC Complaint

    ——————————————————————————–

    According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Manhattan, the global markets group at broker-dealer Direct Access Partners (DAP) executed fixed income trades for customers in foreign sovereign debt. DAP Global generated more than $66 million in revenue for DAP from transaction fees – in the form of markups and markdowns – on riskless principal trade executions in Venezuelan sovereign or state-sponsored bonds for Banco de Desarrollo Económico y Social de Venezuela (BANDES). A portion of this revenue was illicitly paid to BANDES Vice President of Finance, María de los Ángeles González de Hernandez, who authorized the fraudulent trades.

    “These traders triggered a fraud that was staggering in audacity and scope,” said Andrew M. Calamari, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “They thought they covered their tracks by using offshore accounts and a shadow accounting system to monitor their illicit profits and bribes, but they underestimated the SEC’s tenacity in piecing the scheme together.”

    The SEC’s complaint charges the following individuals for the roles in the kickback scheme:

    Tomas Alberto Clarke Bethancourt, who lives in Miami and is an executive vice president at DAP. Known as “Tomas Clarke,” he was responsible for executing the fraudulent trades and maintaining spreadsheets tracking the illicit markups and markdowns on those trades.
    Iuri Rodolfo Bethancourt, who lives in Panama and received more than $20 million in fraudulent proceeds from DAP via his Panamanian shell company, which then paid Gonzalez a portion of this amount.
    Jose Alejandro Hurtado, who lives in Miami and served as the intermediary between DAP and Gonzalez. Hurtado was paid more than $6 million in kickbacks disguised as salary payments from DAP, and he remitted some of that money to Gonzalez.
    Haydee Leticia Pabon, who is Hurtado’s wife and received approximately $8 million in markups or markdowns on BANDES trades that were funneled to her from DAP in the form of sham finders’ fees.

    In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced criminal charges against Gonzalez as well as Clarke and Hurtado.

    According to the SEC’s complaint, the scheme began in October 2008 and continued until at least June 2010. BANDES was a new customer to DAP brought in by DAP Global executives through their connections to Hurtado. As a result of the kickbacks to Gonzalez, DAP obtained BANDES’ lucrative trading business and provided Gonzalez with the incentive to enter into trades with DAP at considerable markups or markdowns without regard to the prices paid by BANDES. Gonzalez used her senior role at the Caracas-based bank to ensure that its bond trades would continue to be steered to DAP. As the scheme evolved over time, the traders deceived DAP’s clearing brokers, executed internal wash trades, inter-positioned another broker-dealer in the trades to conceal their role in the transactions, and engaged in massive roundtrip trades to pad their revenue.

    For example, the SEC alleges that in January 2010, the traders and Gonzalez arranged for two fraudulent roundtrip trades with BANDES as both buyer and seller. These trades – which lacked any legitimate business purpose – caused BANDES to pay DAP more than $10 million in fees, a portion of which was diverted to Gonzalez for authorizing the blatantly fraudulent trades.

    The SEC further alleges that, giving rise to the adage of no honor among thieves, Clarke and Hurtado frequently falsified the size of DAP’s fees in their reports to Gonzalez, which enabled the traders to retain a greater share of the fraudulent profits.

    The SEC’s complaint charges Clarke, Bethancourt, Hurtado, and Pabon with fraud and seeks final judgments that would require them to return ill-gotten gains with interest and pay financial penalties.

    The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, was conducted by Wendy Tepperman, Amanda Straub, and Michael Osnato of the New York Regional Office. The SEC’s litigation will be led by Howard Fischer. An SEC examination of DAP that that led to the investigation was conducted by members of the New York office’s broker-dealer examination staff. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    • Dear Heckling Hector, I’m sure that when you made this comment above “…whereas you people are just fighting to hold onto your own ill-gotten wealth and privileges.”, you were referring to these lovely folks, right?

      • No chica, this is all a trick gestated by the oligarchs of the US in combination with the traitors of the opposition to sully and besmirch the glorious revolution that Chavez started and which, Marx willing, Hector and his pals will finally bring to safe harbor.

        It is well known that the ideologically pure suffering workers of the 5th Republic would never get involved in such things, despite the Hummers, Rolexes and Yatchs parked in Morrocoy.

        Coño Gata, stop the lies chica!

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