“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Al Qaeda Threatens Venezuela? Allah Akbar!

I have no theories on this at all. I was looking at some stories about Chavez threatening to nationalize butcher shops and supermarkets in Venezuela and found this in a Venezuelan newspaper. Poor Hugo is trying to convince Venezuelan butchers to put a chicken in every pot, regardless of price and at the same time he is getting out-flanked by Al Qaeda. Imagine if George Bush would have suggested that this was a possibility. I thought maybe Hugo's new buddies in Iran could help, but to my surprise The Bush Administration is suggesting US assistance.

Al Qaeda launches threat against Venezuela

Wednesday 14th

Al Qaeda suggests striking Venezuelan oil premises

The Saudi branch of terrorist group Al Qaeda Wednesday made a call to launch attacks on oil facilities based in countries outside the Middle East supplying oil to the United States, and suggested nations such as Canada, Mexico and Venezuela, AFP reported.
"In the long term, the United States will no longer need the Middle East (for oil supplies) or is to curb dependence, and it will be supplied with oil from Canada, Mexico and Venezuela," the Saudi faction of Al Qaeda said.

"We should strike petroleum interests in all areas which supply the United States, and not only in the Middle East, because the target is to stop its imports or decrease it by all means," said the group on the on-line magazine Sawt al-Jihad (Voice of Jihad).

Thursday 15th

Venezuela to verify "illogical" threat from Al Qaeda

Rear admiral Luis Cabrera, one of the members of President Hugo Chávez' Joint Chiefs of Staff, Thursday asked for verification of the "illogical" threat Al Qaeda allegedly launched against Venezuela, as this country is fighting US imperialism too, but using other methods.

"We should confirm the authenticity of these reports. It seems illogical that Al-Qaeda, which is against the US imperialism, is going after a State that is precisely fighting this hegemony, this imperialism, yet using other methods," Cabrera told official TV channel VTV.

Cabrera stressed that the means to fight the United States "are different" because Venezuela fight "with the Constitution, with legality, moral and the truth, rather than terrorist attacks."

Oil market ignores Al Qaeda threats

Experts weighed Thursday on the impact of Al Qaeda threats against oil facilities and noted the ordinary nature of such a geopolitical risk and the fact that the market has exceeding stocks.

Governments involved conceded that they had taken seriously such threats. However, financial markets were even-tempered.

Neither oil nor gold prices changed at all following the news.

Minister of Defense advocates reinforcement of security vis-à-vis Al Qaeda threats
Following Al Qaeda call to Mujahideens to strike petroleum facilities in the countries selling oil to the United States, including Mexico, Canada and Venezuela, Venezuelan Minister of Defense General Raúl Isaías Baduel advocated reinforcement of existing security mechanisms and seeking new methods to find any "alleged abnormality."

He asked for patience, claiming these are "very sensitive" issues and "have to be dealt with tact," as they create "uneasiness" in the Venezuelan people. "We hope it is not like that."

He added that military intelligence agencies have joined the State security and prevention bodies to be "on alert" and "implement security plans that have been outlined in advance."

Venezuelan Congress committee attributes Al Qaeda's threats to the US
Lawmaker Saúl Ortega, chair of the National Assembly Committee on Foreign Affairs, Thursday attributed to the United States the threats Al Qaeda launched on Wednesday to strike oil facilities worldwide, including premises in Venezuela.

According to Ortega, such reports are a US "terrorist maneuver" aimed at intimidating the nations that are at odds with Washington and having an excuse for likely interventions.

He added that the alleged threat was not launched directly by the terrorist group, but through a translation reportedly made by US intelligence agencies under the Central Intelligence Agency.

Friday 16th

Al Qaeda threat should be taken seriously

International terrorist group Al Qaeda's call to strike Venezuelan oil premises should not be dismissed, warned foreign policy expert and former Venezuelan ambassador Julio César Pineda.

"This thread should be taken seriously," as for the organization headed by Osama bin Laden "this involves a strategy to advance a asymmetric war," Pineda explained.

He explained that beyond Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez' anti-US stance, in Al Qaeda's view, Venezuelan, Mexican and Canadian oil supplies are fueling US troops in different areas, particularly in the Middle East.

Hughes: Al Qaeda's threat should be taken seriously

US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Karen Hughes in Guadalajara Friday said terrorist group Al Qaeda's threats should be "taken seriously."

Mexico and the United States should not take these threats "lightly, but we have to take them seriously," the official said when asked about reports published on Thursday that an alleged online magazine published by Al Qaeda urged the group's activists to strike any country supplying oil to the United States, including Canada, Mexico and Venezuela.

US willing to help Venezuela face Al Qaeda threat

A senior US official Friday said his country is likely to help Venezuela face terrorist group Al Qaeda threat against countries supplying oil to the United States.

Alberto Fernández, director of Public Diplomacy, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State, Friday told Caracas-based Unión Radio that "in the face of this serious threat, the important thing is saying that the United States is willing to cooperate with Venezuela in the world fight against Al Qaeda."

He stressed that such cooperation is necessary despite President Hugo Chávez' frontal and continued criticisms against Washington and his calls to combat the US empire, Efe reported.


  1. Deuce,

    After reviewing the CIA Factbook, I was deeply troubled to discover that Costa Rica has an insignificant to non-existent Muslim population.

  2. Hard to imagine Chavez allowing the US to intervene in its internal security affairs.

    Could you imagine Chavez being an uneasy ally like Putin in the future? Chavez's reputation in Latin America constraints him in a way that Putin's doesn't.

  3. Very troubling indeed Allen. It is about as non-Islamic as you can get. Christians and Jews and no one notices who is what.

  4. Chávez allegedly closing aluminum plant in Costa Rica amidst impasse with President Arias

    President Hugo Chávez is allegedly closing an aluminum processing plant Venezuela operates in Costa Rica because he is at odds with his Costa Rican counterpart Oscar Arias, who has slashed out at the Venezuelan ruler, Costa Rican newspaper La Nación reported, as quoted by AFP.

    According to La Nación, workers with Venezuelan company CVG Alunasa forwarded a letter to Arias showing their concern about the likely shutdown of the 400-worker plant based in Esparza, 100 km west San José.

    The report claimed that Chávez is moving the plant to another Central American country.

    The mayor of Esparza -one of the poorest regions in the country, and where Alunasa is one of the largest employers- said the plant for several days now has halted imports of aluminum for processing.

    Chávez is allegedly "mad" at Arias' statements last February 1st, when he said that the special ruling powers the Venezuelan Legislature gave Chávez early in February were "a denial of democracy."

  5. Just picked up Edward W. Said's From Oslo to Iraq the second time round, and I can't say I agree with much of what he's saying.