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Statement by the family of Franklin Brito

Following the tragic and wasteful death on Monday of Venezuelan hunger-striker, Franklin Brito, his family issued a statement which this blog would like to see publicly branded on the foreheads of Messrs Chomsky, Pilger, Stone and Penn.

It follows in full….

It is with immense sorrow that we inform the Venezuelan people and the world of the following:

Today, August 30, 2010, the exhausted body of our husband and father, Franklin Brito, stopped breathing. After a struggle of more than six years, more than eight hunger strikes, the mutilation of a finger and unlawful deprivation of liberty, the body of Franklin Brito today ceased to perform its vital functions.

All this does not mean, however, that Franklin Brito has died. Franklin lives on in the struggle of the Venezuelan people for property rights, access to justice, for life in liberty and respect by government for collective and individual human rights. Franklin Brito, no longer flesh, becomes a symbol, a banner for all who are trampled by abuse of power, for those offended by the arrogance of their rulers, for those who believe that truth and justice are always above circumstance and convenience.

The body of Franklin Brito died in a military institution where he was kept detained against his will. The government of President Hugo Chávez ignored Franklin’s petitions, the cries of his family and the pleas by international agencies to allow access to trustworthy medical care of his own choosing. Therefore, the Brito family at this time abstains from issuing opinions about the direct cause of death because of the unusual and inhumane circumstances surrounding it.

However, what we can say with certainty is that Franklin Brito’s struggle continues. We, his family, will fight for his children’s heritage. His conscious sacrifice will not have been in vain while the children of Venezuela are also willing to defend the moral and physical heritage of the nation.

At a later date, when the pain permits, we will issue a new statement. For now, know, Venezuela, that violence could not defeat Franklin Brito, could not frighten him, could not threaten, bend or corrupt him. For this and much more in these times of death and pain, Franklin Brito is a symbol of decency in life.

We are certain that Franklin’s soul, through the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, will follow us in light, because his struggle, which should be the fight of everyone, CONTINUES!

Elena Rodriguez de Brito
Ángela Rodríguez Brito
Brito Rodríguez Francia
Franklin Brito Rodríguez
Franklin Jose Brito Rodríguez

Hospital Militar, Caracas

Monday, August 30, 2010. 10:20 PM.

Absolutely nothing to add.


Franklin Brito….another victim of Oliver Stone’s ego

Today this blog would like to tell you about Franklin Brito, someone whose name most of you will almost certainly have never heard.

For those who are unfamiliar with Brito’s story, he had a productive livestock farm in Venezuela until a certain Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías decided to “expropriate” it, declaring property rights to be at an end at that henceforth, “all Venezuelan land (would) belong to the people.”

Brito tried to recover his property through the legal system, a herculean task in Latin America generally and all but impossible in Venezuela, where matters of right have been settled at the whim of the regime for years. He was unable to get an explanation, let alone a hearing.  So, in desperation, Brito resorted to a  hunger strike, which until yesterday had lasted nine months. I say until yesterday because that’s when his body and spirit gave up the unequal struggle for justice.

Franklin Brito

The poor fellow really should have known better than to expect a dictator to pay the slightest attention to a hunger-striker. No doubt we’ll be hearing more weasel words about “bandits” today from Mr Chávez’s friend, President Luis Inácio Lula da Silva of Brazil, who, as the crocodile tears cascade down his cheeks like the Iguaçu Falls, will doubtless also be fielding further awkward questions about his Workers Party’s support of the FARC in Colombia.

This blog would be particularly intrigued to know the thoughts of Noam Chomsky, John Pilger Sean Penn and Oliver Stone, four men who would no sooner live in Chávez’s Venezuela than they would on Jupiter (but are quite happy, it seems, for others to do so) on this most Latin American of outrages.

Brazil has a presidential election in October. It will probably come as no surprise to anyone with more than two functioning synapses that Lula’s anointed successor is Dilma Roussef….


You got that, right? Sean Penn thinks people who refer to Chávez as a dictator should be jailed.


No prizes for guessing whose side the MercoPress Agency is on in the Brazilian election….

José Serra

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Sunday Sequence 01 – Classic Rock

Just a few tunes this blog thinks are pretty gleaming to while away your Sunday afternoon….

Spooky Tooth – Evil Woman

Savoy Brown – Hellbound Train

Family – Burlesque

Heavy Metal Kids – Rock ‘n’ Roll Man

Joe Cocker – Delta Lady


I write like HP Lovecraft

It’s true. Really.

I write like
H. P. Lovecraft

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

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Quote of the week

From the redoubtable John Ward, describing Ben Bernanke’s speech suicide note….

If there is one thing that concerns me more than a bearded rabbit in the headlights, it’s adult male and female professionals taking this crap seriously. Bernanke’s speech today represented a lengthy overture of sightless denial followed by a cacophony of contradictory ideas – literally, a blind man stabbing at darkness he cannot see.

It’s a bank holiday in the UK. We should all relax: it will stand us in good stead in the coming months.


The funny side of domestic violence

This blog hasn’t laughed so much since the Lord Meddlesome of Fey Green Slime Incident.

Con-Dem partnerships can be tricky……

Coalition partners resort to violence.

Liberal-Democrat councillor Christine James has been charged with assault and will appear in Weymouth Magistrate’s Court on September 9th.

Feeling are running high amongst the tribal ground force. Passions inflamed as agendas are compromised. Who did she assault?

Her alleged victim is believed to be her husband of 19 years and Conservative Borough council colleague, Ian James.

Mr James is a champion of the Weymouth and Portland Domestic Violence and Abuse Forum and sits on the Community Safety Partnership…..

At a borough council meeting earlier this month, Christine James said that campaigners from the Friends of Weymouth Refuge for battered partners had proven that a refuge like this is both relevant and needed’.

Respectful tug of the forelock to the mighty Al Jahom.


The Devil finds work….

Having little else to do this morning, apart from fielding a complaint from my eurozealot neighbour and his harpy of a wife about this flag….

….which has been fluttering gaily atop my summer house roof since Sunday, I thought I’d have a little fun with Old Holborn’s Labour List Automatic Quote Generator (scroll to bottom of homepage).

The results are startlingly accurate….

Q: What is David Milliband’s position on pubs?
A: Millibands, eh? Chimpy wants Cuba for the oil! As a baby seal, I am crestfallen. Imperialists!!!

Q: Does Harriet Harman’s equality legislation help or hinder the country’s return to economic prosperity?
A: Why do you say legislation!? We’ve seen this before, in Tibet. Bu$h lied about THAT too!!! (Or is that supposed to be a secret!?) This is an outrage!!!! What next!!!? If you aren’t dissatisfied about this Boy King, then you must concede you are a Replicant empty-HEADED gopher of Rupert Murdoch!!!

Q: How can anyone ever trust Labour again after it reneged on its promise of a referendum on the EU Constitution?
A: Constitution, eh? Say goodbye to gender parity and free health care!!!! So long!! I reject neocolonialism AND COLONIALISM!

Depressing, isn’t it, that you get more sense out of an insensate piece of software than you do from Labour’s grass roots?

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