The Dissociated Press really needs a truckload of coal dumped on its head tonight. They call THIS reporting?
Chavez orders halt to construction of Caracas mallCARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — President Hugo Chavez says he was heading through downtown Caracas when he was shocked by the sight of a huge, nearly finished shopping mall amid the high-rise offices and apartments. “They had already built a monster there,” Chavez said. “I passed by there just recently and said, ‘What is this? My God!'”
They’re making it sound like Chavecito and Evo are both nuttier than a tree full of squirrel nests. The former for impulsively ripping down shopping malls (oh, the poor beleaguered crapitalists, where will they peddle their overpriced garbage now?); the latter, for squawking again and again about how the oppos, with help from Uncle Sam, are trying to kill him, like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. And of course, they get an opposition member to back their lazy, disparaging “reporting” up, instead of phoning up the Bolivian military and police authorities to get a word of confirmation or denial from THEM!Meanwhile, here’s the real truth…which, as usual, you can only get if you know some Spanish, and if you visit alternative media sites.The ‘Cito is not the only one who wants the Sambil dead. Local residents turned out en masse to protest it. See these videos:The centre, which has parking space for 3500 cars, would cause even MORE traffic problems in an area which is already congested. Three of Caracas’s busiest avenues–Urdaneta, Libertador and Andrés Bello–intersect around this monster. It’s also ecocidal: local historian Johny Acosta says that they cut down ten mijao (Anacardium excelsum) trees. These trees can live for over a century and would make excellent trees for a park–something the residents of this highly-populated neighborhood have been denied, although they could undoubtedly do with some green space that would help to get the car crap out of the air and make the city, which is surrounded by mountains, more breathable.Aside from that, as you can see from the picture, the building is just deathly ugly–less impressive than oppressive. It’s a huge brick-and-concrete cube, with no windows. I once worked, briefly, in a retail mall that had one major thing in common with it–no windows. Only the corridors had a poor semblance of windows–skylights, badly constructed ones shaped like prisms or pyramids, their glass sides set at a steep angle that grabbed a lot of sunlight but didn’t soften it. The glass was not polarized or filtered in any way. This made for a nasty, stinging glare in the eyes–a glare you could only get relief from by ducking out of the middle of the hallway, and moving closer to the storefronts. I’m sure that was no coincidence! It was a depressing, dispiriting place to work, and I didn’t last long there. That place was BORING. It wasn’t much more satisfying to shop in, either. What shopping mall is, really? You feel like you have to rush for everything; you are funneled this way and that by the movements of the confined crowds. Even when you CAN sit down in places like that (usually only in a food court), there are no windows to look out of and relieve your eyes. There is nothing there but metal chairs, plastic tables, greasy food, and staring, anesthetized people. There aren’t even any real plants. The trees are plastic, too. You feel squirrely in places like that–inadequate. Like you won’t fit in unless you buy something, some cheap, disposable “fashion” you really don’t want. Which, I’m sure, is no coincidence either. So I can’t honestly say I blame the people of La Candelaria for wanting this mall gone. I used to live across the road from the mall I mentioned above, and the congested traffic, the increasing alienation and the lousy view were what ultimately drove me away. Malls seem convenient and choice-laden on the surface of things, but deep down, they are fascist: far from being convenient, they compel you against your true free will, by forcing you to drive, by forcing you to move in ways you don’t want to move, to buy things you really don’t want to buy, to spend money you can ill afford to spend. The fact that what’s offered for sale is not a ticket to true freedom, but to conformity, is conveniently glossed over. Fashion as self-expression? Phooey. When’s the last time you saw a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, fair-trade garment being sold in a mall? You are more likely to get sweatshop goods there than anywhere else, and those turn a profit only for a very few. And those few do not produce or sell them by hand; the many who do, are paid too little to live on. At a hard economic time like this, the last thing anyone needs is one more fucking mall. But of course, the AP is bound not to inquire deeply into nuances like that; they equate the concept of “freedom” to that of “markets”. And of course, according to the AP’s line, the ‘Cito is a “tyrant” because he’s against the “free market”, which exploits the many for the benefit of the few. Surely, dear reader, you can see what’s wrong with this picture.Meanwhile, his good buddy, Evo, is also a target for ridicule…even though his complaints about being a target for assassination are all founded in fact. He’s been a target for a long time, as this account at ABI reveals:
Top officials from Morales’ government said on Monday that “extreme right” elements hoped to take advantage of Morales’ frequent visits to rural areas, where the socialist leader is often swarmed by large crowds of admirers under only minimal security.However, Luis Vasquez, senator for the opposition party “Podemos”, said he did not believe any details of the assassination plot, suggesting that it had been made up in order to attract attention away from other issues.
Gee, do you suppose the Dissociated Press could be persuaded to ferret out a copy of that article in Opinión? I probably could if I were a rep
President Evo Morales revealed on Tuesday that the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) planned to assassinate him when he was head of the coca-growers’ union.At an international press conference, Morales said that he had learned this information thanks to certain officials in the Armed Forces and the National Police, and that when he was a union leader, they enabled him to escape with his life on five occasions.“I salute these police and Armed Forces officials who sought me out and communicated what the DEA planed at what time, what day, in what place. I’m impressed that they told me the truth in time, and in detail,” said the president, who decided to suspend the DEA’s operations in Bolivia on November 1. Morales related that when he came to power, the security organisms of the Quemado presidential palace began to investigate these same denunciations. He commented on how a police officer revealed recently in the Cochabamba newspaper Opinión, that “the assassination of President Morales was planned on instructions from out of the country, from the north (i.e., the US).”
orter in country; in fact I’d have no trouble finding it on the Internet from where I currently sit. (I found the paper’s site; its police report section, alas, is broken, or I could have given you a link to that, too.) But then, doing a little fact-checking like that would lend some legitimacy to all Evo’s crackpot claims of being the object of a sinister plot orchestrated from Washington. We can’t have that at the AP!But then again, I’m not the AP. I don’t have an editorial line to follow (or else.) I’m just a humble bloguera who can’t resist ferreting…and look what else I ferreted out of the ABI piece:
Translations mine, as usual.Gee, y’know, that sounds a LOT more detailed than the AP’s derisive little non-report. Don’t you agree?
In 2005, according to Morales, the conservative sectors of the country wanted the then-president of the senate, Hormando Vaca Díez, to become president upon the resignation of Carlos Mesa.“Everybody said, ‘You have to abandon La Paz, they’re going to kill you.’ I said I was going by plane. ‘You can’t go there by plane, you’ll fall into the hands of the putschists’, they said, ‘because they’re preparing a coup d’état’, that’s what they were saying to me, and now the officials have confirmed it,” Morales said.At that time, he opted to travel by car, and was pursued by two vehicles without licence plates when he tried to leave La Paz for Cochabamba by way of Río Abajo with a fellow MAS member, now a parliamentary deputy, Gustavo Torrico.“We couldn’t leave La Paz, and ended up taking refuge in the Cuban embassy. At that time they were talking of a coup d’état in favor of Hormando Vaca Díez (against the government of Carlos Mesa), and the authorities warned me that there was a plan to kill me,” Morales added.