Blog of Mass Distraction

Monday, March 14, 2005

Enemies of Democracy

Documents were recently released that show US intelligence officials knew about the planned coup against President Hugo Chavez in April 2002.1 This was widely expected anyway because of the strong support the elite oil managers in Venezuela get from the US. The US also came out strongly in support of the coup after it happened only to get egg on their face when Chavez triumphantly returned. Chavez has said he's not at all surprised by the US involvement and expected even more, to be assassinated even for the reforms he's put in place in Venezuela. Because of the changes Chavez has undertaken, the standard of living has risen in Venezuela and the poor are better off now than before. While the rising standards have been slow, Chavez has been fighting an uphill battle against the wealthy elite in his country which are backed by the US. The US is highly concerned about Chavez, whom the Bush administration considers an enemy of democracy. Anyone whom considers the interests of their own nation rather than the interests of US investors would likely be considered an enemy of democracy.

The IRA has been in the news recently as well because of the murder of one Robert McCartney, 33.2 He was killed in a pub by members of the IRA. The act was condemned by other IRA members and Sinn Fein, political wing of the IRA, but there was criticism for what was seen as a cover up of the investigation into the death. There was a supposed code of silence that wanted to stop the members of the IRA from being found and held accountable for the crime. McCartney's five sisters waged a serious battle to bring their brother's killers to justice, and were supported by Gerry Adams. The killers have since been named and the IRA even offered to execute them, though the family of McCartney refused saying they want justice, not revenge.
many have used the perceived cover up and ensuing outrage to attack the legitimacy of Sinn Fein as a political organization.

Finally, the President of Malawi, a small country in Sub-Saharan Africa, has left his 300 room palace because he thinks it's haunted. The palatial residence, which also houses the parliament, was constructed during the dictatorship of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda. The current President Bingu wa Mutharika said he feels rodents crawling over him at night and hears ghosts, even though there's nothing there when he turns on the lights. Currently, the President and members of Parliament have moved to other locations and called in some Christian preachers in hopes of getting the spirits exorcised from the palace. Maybe Dr. Mutharika just has some skeleton's in his closet. Or maybe he should just cut down on the methamphetamines...

1. Senior Executive Intelligence Briefs from the CIA were released a little while ago. It says they were approved for release in October 2004, but I'm not sure when they were actually first seen.
2. Robert McCartney, a Catholic living in Northern Ireland was murdered in late January.


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