Egypt: The Evolution of The Revolution

Now that Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi decreed himself Pharaoh some other voices are joining the “unrest” in the streets.

First, the judges, whom Morsi particularly stomped on in his power-grab, are calling for a nationwide strike

Egypt’s judges have called for a nationwide strike in protest against a decree by President Mohammed Mursi granting himself extensive new powers.

After an emergency meeting, the judges union urged Mr Mursi to retract the decree they see as an “unprecedented attack” on the judiciary. Mr Mursi says he wants to protect the revolution.

According to his decree, no authority can revoke presidential decisions.

It includes a bar on dissolving the assembly drawing up a new constitution.

Work on the constitution has been plagued by legal complaints questioning the make-up of the assembly.

Police fired tear gas to disperse crowds outside the court where the judges met, while pro-Mursi demonstrators tried to disrupt the judges’ meeting.

Opposition politician Mohamed ElBaradei said there could be no dialogue with Mr Mursi as long as the decree was in force.

Speaking to reporters, he said he was waiting to see strong condemnation of the move by the international community.

Thursday’s decree sparked angry demonstrations, and attacks on offices of Mr Mursi’s Islamist FJP party.

‘Unprecedented attack’

The Judges Club – the union which represents judges throughout the country – called for “the suspension of work in all courts and prosecution administrations” after emergency talks.

It said that Abdel Maguid Mahmoud, prosecutor general since the Mubarak era who was sacked as part of the decree, should be reinstated.

In a statement earlier, the Supreme Judicial Council – Egypt’s highest judicial authority – called Mr Mursi’s move “an unprecedented attack on the independence of the judiciary and its rulings”.

Judges and prosecutors in Egypt’s second city Alexandria have already begun a strike, saying they will not return to work until the decree is reversed.

However, another group known as Judges for the Sake of Egypt has backed the decree, according to state TV.

The response of the judges has been tough, if fairly predictable, says the BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo.

One judge told the BBC their concerns were for Egypt, not their jobs.

“We can’t work like this, we have to change it and we will change it,” Ahmed Shannan said.

“Officers” of the Egyptian army are backing the anti-Morsi protests

According to the report, the “Officers of the Egyptian Army” organization distributed leaflets during Friday’s demonstrations saying the protests were “legitimate. However, the army has yet to respond officially to Morsi’s decree, which exempts all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected.

Busted “Spring”: Well Now! Who Saw This Coming??

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party president Mohamed Morsi is being dubbed Egypt’s New Pharaoh as he seizes dictatorship powers over other branches of the new Egyptian government. I realize some in the West believe the meaning of democracy might be cyclical in any given region of the world, but it really is not. The Egyptian people are again crowding the streets in mass protest as they find out

Protesters stormed the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s party in Alexandria on Friday, throwing chairs and books into the street and setting them alight, after the Egyptian president granted himself sweeping new powers.

Supporters of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and opponents also threw stones at each other near a mosque in the city, Egypt’s second largest, a witness said.

[…]

In Port Said, another port on the Mediterranean, hundreds of protesters gathered outside the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice party headquarters and pelted it with rocks. Some tried to storm it but did not enter, another witness said.

In Cairo, thousands demonstrated against the decree issued on Wednesday night.

Morsi’s decree exempting all his decisions from legal challenge until a new parliament was elected caused fury amongst his opponents on Friday who accused him of being the new Hosni Mubarak and hijacking the revolution.

Morsi’s aides said the decree was to speed up a protracted transition that has been hindered by legal obstacles but Morsi’s rivals were quick to condemn him as a new autocratic pharaoh who wanted to impose his Islamist vision on Egypt.

“Morsi a ‘temporary’ dictator,” was the headline in the independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm and hundreds of protesters in Tahrir Square, the heart of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising, demanded Morsi quit, accusing him of launching a “coup”.

Buoyed by accolades from around the world for mediating a truce between Hamas and Israel, Morsi on Thursday ordered that an Islamist-dominated assembly writing the new constitution could not be dissolved by legal challenges.

Morsi, an Islamist whose roots are in the Muslim Brotherhood party, also gave himself sweeping powers that allowed him to sack the unpopular general prosecutor and opened the door for a retrial for Mubarak and his aides.

[…]

The president’s decree aimed to end the logjam and push Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous nation, more quickly on its democratic path, the presidential spokesman said.

[…]

The president said any decrees he issued while no parliament sat could not be challenged, moves that consolidated his powers but look set to polarize Egypt further, threatening more turbulence in a nation at the heart of the Arab Spring.

“The people want to bring down the regime,” shouted protesters in Tahrir, echoing one of the chants that was used in the uprising that forced Mubarak to step down.

Read in full

For some reason Obama comes to mind when I read this.

Oh, and you will be heartened to know the United Nations is concerned about this. Feh…

Venezuela on the road to normalcy?

Venezuela may soon be free of Chavez, praise God.

Venezuela’s marathon man looks to run down Chavez

Henrique Capriles, an opposition leader who runs marathons in his spare time, hopes to give Hugo Chavez a close race in elections next weekend, reports Philip Sherwell.

Soaked by rain and perspiration, Henrique Capriles retreated reluctantly inside his campaign bus as the horn-blowing, flag-waving convoy crept through the pot-holed streets of the slums of Maracaibo, Venezuela’s second city.

A late evening tropical thunderstorm had finally forced him from his place atop a pick-up truck after a typical 12-hour day of rapturous rallies and rock-star receptions for the dashing 40-year-old opposition leader.

Undeterred by the downpour, the exuberant crowds outside chanted his name as firecrackers erupted in the pitch-darkness that is graphic testimony to the failure of the country with the world’s largest oil reserves to deliver electricity to its own poor.

In Venezuela’s presidential elections on Sunday, Mr Capriles faces one of the toughest challenges in global politics – defeating Hugo Chavez.

The socialist autocrat dominates the airwaves and is tapping the state’s deep oil coffers to fund his campaign and “buy” votes with a calculated explosion of investment in populist social programme in the weeks before the vote. […]

The simian king is losing, God willing

As IBD asks, is he man enough to accept defeat?

All signs are pointing to a public turning its back on dictator Hugo Chavez and his failed 13 years of socialism. The big question coming up on Oct. 7 is whether he’ll accept defeat.

As if there wasn’t enough turmoil elsewhere in the world already, bubbling up from Caracas is the prospect of a violent explosion over a hotly contested election where Hugo Chavez is facing his strongest challenge ever.

Vote for Chavez or “expect a civil war,” Chavez told voters last week, which is pretty much the tone of the campaign now. As for his challenger, Henrique Capriles Radonski, Chavez said the latter could be expected to leave this election “on a stretcher.”

Maybe that’s because anyone subscribing to Capriles Radonski’s Facebook or Twitter feed can see daily signs of Chavez’s challenger’s tremendous popular support — pulling in million-strong crowds at times, often from Venezuela’s poorest shantytowns.

The 40-year-old governor of Miranda state has run a disciplined, efficient campaign despite tremendous odds, connecting well with voters even with draconian limits on his media coverage and limited funds.

It stands in sharp contrast to Chavez’s unlimited media coverage and capacity to shovel cash, which has nevertheless amounted to a slipshod campaign with all the inefficiencies of his socialism.

On Sunday, huge crowds dotted the cinder block streets of Petare, one of the poorest and most crime-riddled parts of Caracas, and shouted support for Capriles.

Venezuelan sources tell us it looks like a toss-up, but the electoral momentum is clearly with Capriles. While some observers see the race as roughly tied, others say Capriles could win — despite at least one poll showing Chavez with a 13-point lead.

A Venezuelan consultant, who asked to remain unnamed, met with all five of the country’s top pollsters Monday and found they all had one common conclusion: Chavez’s support is capped at 48% of the vote. […]

Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing? Chavez and Obama defeated in the same year. The mind reels with ecstasy…

Urging ODCA to push for an investigation of the deaths of Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero

In this video, Osmel Rodríguez of Movimiento Cristiano Liberacion (MCL) urges the Christian Democrat Organization of America (or ODCA, for Organización Demócrata Cristiana de América) to seek an independent investigation of the deaths of MCL leaders Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero.

In Spanish / En español

Venezuela Getting New Currency

UPI reports that El Burro Chavez is instituting new currency in Venezuela:

CARACAS, Venezuela, March 31 (UPI) — Venezuela will introduce a dual currency to alleviate pressure from a devalued bolivar and record-high inflation, a government financial adviser said.
“The intention is to finish with the parallel market and instead allow the dollar to trade through a global bond on the local stock market, transparently and freely,” said an adviser to the Venezuelan finance minister on condition of anonymity.
The bolivar was devalued about 100 percent against the dollar in 2007, which in turn prompted a 22.5 percent rise in inflation during the same period, The Financial Times reported online Monday.

I managed to get an advanced copy of how the new currency will look:
hugo money.jpg

Banana-Head!

Babalusian, Chuckwalla just couldn’t help himself.
Following yesterday’s post titled “Chavez’s Never-Ending Delusions,” we received this example of interpretive photo-shopping after having referred to Venezuela’s “maximum leader” as a “banana-head.” Enjoy!
-Anatasio Blanco
-1.jpg

One heck of a cartoon

El Mico Putumayo is finally being put in his place with this knock-em-dead political cartoon, one of the most exquisitely terrific cartoons I’ve ever seen. Who did it? We were looking around for awhile and sure enough, it was our much-admired friends in Peru, who’ve always had the Venezuelan thug’s number. We love the Peruvians!

See this kickass cartoon that beats the crap out of hugo chavez here.