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Chavez clamps down hard


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Ten days ago Chavez handed Izarra a still-bigger stick: a new penal code that criminalizes virtually any expression to which the government objects -- not only in public but also in private.


Start with Article 147: "Anyone who offends with his words or in writing or in any other way disrespects the President of the Republic or whomever is fulfilling his duties will be punished with prison of 6 to 30 months if the offense is serious and half of that if it is light." That sanction, the code implies, applies to those who "disrespect" the president or his functionaries in private; "the term will be increased by a third if the offense is made publicly."


There's more: Article 444 says that comments that "expose another person to contempt or public hatred" can bring a prison sentence of one to three years; Article 297a says that someone who "causes public panic or anxiety" with inaccurate reports can receive five years. Prosecutors are authorized to track down allegedly criminal inaccuracies not only in newspapers and electronic media, but also in e-mail and telephone communications.




The VE gulag stocking project has begun.

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50:50 chance THIS is what Chavez/Fidel are playing for:




The Dutch Antillies - why build more refining capability when you can steal someone else's? Snatching Curacau would tie up the whole "extort the US over oil" package with a neat yellow ribbon, control drug trans shipment and money laundering at the same time too.


The Dutch are wimps, the only NATO presense in the Carribean is the US, and he'll have us over a barrel - literally.


60 new Russian fighters, VE military training with Fidel, US and NATO distracted elsewhere, the UN in disarray, Fidel looking for some payback over Grenada...


If I were a scummy would-be commie dictator in Chavez's position I'd be looking hard at it and having the generals war gaming it.

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Can anyone whup VE before the oil supply dries up and paralyzes the US east coast?


Will the Dutch be willing to contest it and ask for NATO help? They don't strike me as having the same sort of resolve Thatcher did. They're certainly in no position militarily to do it mostly themselves as the UK did.

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The Netherlands Antilles? The British would be there. The Dutch would certainly want to defend these islands as they are extremely loyal to the Dutch crown.


Many people don't realize, but the Royal Dutch/Shell Group is under control by both the Brits and the Dutch.


I wouldn't count it from happening, but the USA, Brits, and Dutch will not allow it. Could this be Grenada II?

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