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Venezuela: Local news [20.01.05]

By Miguel Octavio | The Devil's Excrement

-- In a country where an opposition Mayor is jailed for months on a minor civil charge, the Constitutional Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court rules that the National Guardsmen being accused of murder of some prisoners should be tried in freedom! This overturns an earlier decision by the Penal Hall of the Supreme Court and shows that it is a privilege to be a member of the military in this country.

-- The Government of Colombia confirmed today that it has handed over the information on members of the FARC who are believed to be in Venezuela. As reported by Caracas daily El Nacional this morning, there are seven names on the list. And according to El Tiempo de Bogota, the list contains cellphones numbers, bank account numbers, car models and license plates as well as the names of the places where they move around.

-- Jorge Rodriguez was named as the new President of the National Electoral Council. Oh! He was not the president already?

-- Venezuela will ask Colombia​ to detain General Felipe Rodriguez for his role in the explosions at the Colombian and Spanish Embassies. Wow! It took them two years to ask for the extradition. But wait, I thought “the opposition” placed the bombs and they are all mostly in Venezuela!

-- Deustsche Bank downgraded its outlook on ConocoPhillips, due to concerns about the Venezuelan Government treatment of foreign oil companies. Umm, I wonder how many other companies they downgraded. Did they downgrade the Chinese oil company? Or any of the French ones? I just wonder.

-- Rodrigo Granda’s wife entered Venezuela from Bogota, with a courtesy visa from the Venezuelan Embassy in Cuba. Granda himself went to the Caracas airport to get her through when the immigration authorities stopped her.

-- Rodrigo Granda’s daughter worked in 2003 and 2004 in the International relations Department of the Libertador Municipality of Caracas. The Mayor of that municipality is pro-Chavez supporter Freddy Bernal. I love revolutionary solidarity! Hire the daughters of the big shots even if they are foreigners! I guess pull works everywhere!

-- Is former Vice-Minister of Finance Jesus Bermudez being protected by the FBI due to fears that he will be killed while he negotiates telling all he knows with US authorities?

-- Was the rate to get out of being charged with being at the Presidential Palace on April 12th. 2002, US$ 300,000 with a down payment of US$ 20,000? Figure it out, 200 times 300,000 and you are talking big money!

-- Now that the Government has declared mortgage lending for homes a not for profit activity, banks will have to lend 15% of their credit portfolio for home mortgages. The not for profit rate this time will be 11.5%. With inflation at 19.8%, I can't wait to remortgage my home at this rate, and buy a dollar denominated Venezuelan Governent bond that yields 10%, with the first devaluation...just imagine!

Sorry to be so brief, it’s late.., but I wanted to fit all these news for completeness sake.

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