One more thing to celebrate

Amid all the hoopla over the anniversary of the coup and counter-coup in Venezuela five years ago, we have this short but sweet item:

President Hugo Chávez Frías, announced this Friday that Venezuela paid off the debt that it owed to the World Bank. “Yesterday (on Thursday) we paid the last installment of the debt (. . .) to the World Bank.”

Thus he highlighted it during a ceremony that was held around the Palace of Miraflores, right at the heart of Caracas, to commemorate the 13th of April of 2002, the day when a civic-military rebellion restored the constitutional order in Venezuela.

“With this last payment (to the World Bank), paying off the debt that was almost 3 billion dollars in 1998, I can say to them today that we don’t owe a cent of debt either to the International Monetary Fund or to the World Bank,” he exclaimed.

The Venezuelan head of state declared that he felt “happy” about the end of this obligation, after reminding the audience that Venezuela helped the “sister Republic of Argentina pay its debt to the International Monetary Fund.”

“I feel very happy that Venezuela has helped Argentina free itself from the International Monetary Fund. Argentina no longer owes anything to the IMF, among other things, thanks to the support of Venezuela,” he said.

“We have then transformed Venezuela, from an indebted and bound country that we were, . . . to a modest but important country and financial center that supports other countries and peoples,” he added.

This Friday, on the 13th of April, Venezuela was a scene of popular and military ceremonies presided over by President Hugo Chávez, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the civic-military response that “squashed” the coup d’état of April 2002, which had interrupted for 47 hours the mandate of the Venezuelan president.

Chavecito is wise to get out of that noose as soon as he did, because apparently, Paul Wolfowitz is not leaving the notorious World Bank anytime soon. What chutzpah, considering the scandal of how he wangled his girlfriend a job–and a huge pay raise–at the State Dept.

What I find most remarkable is that anyone could be attracted to this slimy character at all:

Paul Wolfowitz goobing on his comb

A man who would rather goob on his comb than spring a few bucks for hair gel is a creep in my books.

PS: Click here to see finance minister Rodrigo Cabezas do the math on how Venezuela ditched its debt (article and video in Spanish.)

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