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12 Nov 2011 13:33


U.S.: Venezuelan MLB player Wilson Ramos describes kidnapping

  • I was super scared, and even though they did not hurt me physically, it was something that was very painful. I didn’t think I was ever going to see my family again, and that hurt me so much. But now, I am with them again and it feels tremendous to be back.
  • Washington Nationals player Wilson Ramos • Discussing his kidnapping ordeal, which ended last night amidst a storm of gunfire. Ramos claims that, despite his kidnapping, his kidnappers treated him well. “They wanted money and they said they were not going to hurt me if they got their money,” he said. “They actually treated me well. They never hurt me. They fed me. They knew who I was and said it was not about hurting me. It was about money.” Ramos, who is from Venezuela, is the first known MLB player to be captured in this way, though it’s happened before with players’ relatives. source

10 Nov 2011 11:19


World: Wilson Ramos: Washington Nationals catcher kidnapped in Venezuela

  • The vehicle was found, but Ramos is still missing: In a harrowing incident sure to bring attention the the spate of armed kidnappings in Venezuela, four armed kidnappers took Wilson Ramos, who just finished his rookie season with the Washington Nationals, from his home in Santa Ines. The 24-year-old is one of hundreds of people captured in recent years — including 619 in 2009 alone. It’s gotten to the point where the wealthy in the country — including baseball players, who take part in winter leagues — pay for security detail. “Every Major League player has his own security, but we don’t know if at that time he had his security there,” notes Domingo Alvarez, vice president of the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. Our thoughts are with Ramos, his family, and his team. (photo by Keith Allison on Flickrsource

17 Aug 2011 20:46


World: Hugo Chavez wants to nationalize Venezuela’s gold mining

Someone else must’ve read in the New York Times that gold is gaining against the dollar these days. Also, seeing the still-recovering Hugo Chavez bald is incredibly weird. source

04 Jul 2011 15:36


World: Hugo Chavez returns to Venezuela

  • An unexpected homecoming: On the heels of revealing his medical plight to the Venezuelan public (he recently revealed he had cancer surgery), Hugo Chavez has returned to his homeland. “Here I am then, in my house and very happy!! Good day to my lovely Venezuela! Good day to the lovely people! Thanks to my God! This is the beginning of the return,” the leader wrote on Twitter. This comes as a surprise — he was expected to stay in Cuba for further treatment for some time, but it makes sense that he’d see a return as the only way to quell speculation he’s physically unable to remain President. source

01 Jul 2011 14:01


World: Hugo Chavez’s cancer surgery puts Venezuela in tough situation

  • Well, that’s no laughing matter. The Venezuelan leader — adored in some corners, criticized in others — finally made a statement on his bizarre leave of absence in the country he leads. He hasn’t just been hanging with Fidel Castro for kicks, guys. There was some real stuff going on. Cancerous cells, surgery, the whole bit. His vice president, Elías Jaua, says that he could stay out of the country for as long as six months, but he won’t take over his job in the meantime. So what does that mean for the country he leads? source

19 Mar 2011 16:20


World: Hugo Chavez: Nations in airstrikes “care nothing” about Libyans

  • For those who wanted to see Chavez in a hard hat, here you go. Enjoy. The Venezuelan leader, a key ally of Gaddafi, took some time off from his tour of a road-building project in Caracas to let everyone know what he thinks of the Libyan airstrikes: “They want to seize Libya’s oil and they care nothing about the lives of the Libyan people. These are the men of war … what irresponsibility. Behind this is the hand of the United States and its European allies, instead of taking the path that we have modestly proposed.” In case you were wondering, that peace mission Chavez wanted to make didn’t go anywhere because Saif Gaddafi essentially said Chavez wouldn’t have any idea what was going on. source

07 Mar 2011 15:38


World: Exactly what aim does Hugo Chavez have for Libyan negotiations?

  • Not to belabor the point: In a story that we’ve mentioned in days past, Hugo Chavez has been making noise about wanting to function as a peace negotiator in Libya. Setting aside for a moment arguments about the merits or lack thereof of the way Chavez runs Venezuela, you know what doesn’t bode well for this endeavor? Having your big time negotiator, who was a recipient of the self-evidently ridiculous “al-Gaddafi International Prize for Human Rights,” call reports of Gaddafi’s forces firing on citizens “a great lie.” Also, saying that “Gaddafi is not going anywhere, I’m sure. Gaddafi is among those men who die fighting.” So, that said, what exactly does Hugo hope to achieve for the people of Libya? source

05 Mar 2011 10:51


World: Hugo Chavez gains support for mission to Libya, wants all-star team

  • What do Jimmy Carter, Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Danny Glover and Sean Penn have in common? Word is that they’re on Hugo Chavez’s short list of a commission to go to LIbya to mediate peace. Confused about how Danny Glover fits into that mix? Well, it’s worth pointing out that Chavez is friends with Glover and has even offered money to help pay to make a Danny Glover movie. Anyway, Chavez earned some key local support for his endeavor from ALBA, or the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas. (The countries in the group include Bolivia, Nicaragua, Honduras and Ecuador, and the group itself was founded by Chavez.) Hugo’s all about making this happen. “We must make a very large effort, very large. We cannot lose even one day,” he said. source

04 Mar 2011 10:28


World: Roundup: Who wants Chavez to mediate in Libya (hint: just Gaddafi)

  • no The outside world has no interest in having Chavez involved in talks with Libya.
  • no The rebels have rejected talking to Chavez – Gaddafi’s ally – in any sort of negotiations.
  • no Gaddafi’s own son Saif doesn’t think bringing Chavez in to mediate is a good idea.
  • yes… However, Gaddafi thinks that Chavez would be a great fit for the negotiations. source

03 Mar 2011 10:34


World: Libya’s negotiator? Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez wants to mediate

Hugo Chavez and Muammar Gaddafi go way back, which is why Hugo wants to help moderate the peace process in Libya. But details of Chavez’s plan are lacking. source