Venezuela: Chávez buys 20% of Globovisión and announces an Internet regulation

Hugo Chávez

The Venezuelan State has just “bought” 20% of Globovisión, although that would not change (for now) its political positioning, as the majority stakeholder will continue to be Guillermo Zuloaga. Globovisión is the only independent TV station, after the Government shut down RCTV.

The Venezuelan Government is also going to impose its “revolution” on Internet. As Venezuelan blogger Martha Colmenares writes, the Government wants to impose its hegemony in the media, and that includes Internet. So they have sent to the National Assembly a draft of amendment to the Law on Social Responsbility in Radio and RV to regulate “the Internet and reform aspects of the Law concerning the media in general“. It will be presented next week in the plenary sessions.

The amendment refers to all digital media, including websites and blogs, and the use of social networks such as Twitter or Facebook. As a result, all the messages that don’t support Hugo Chávez, that are against Hugo Chávez even occasionally or that show Venezuelan reality, will be affected by the new law. “This is just pure censorship“. And of course, the dissidents won’t go unpunished.

Wikileaks: Saudi youth ‘frolic under princely protection’

The full range of worldly temptations and vices are available — alcohol, drugs, sex — but strictly behind closed doors. This freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible merely because the religious police keep their distance when parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and his circle of loyal attendants

Religious police/CPVPV (Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice) were nowhere to be seen and while admission was controlled through a strictly-enforced guest list, the partygoers were otherwise not shy about publicizing the affair. According to a young Saudi from a prominent Jeddah merchant family, the Saudis try to throw parties at princes’ houses or with princes in attendance, which serves as sufficient deterrent to interference by the CPVPV. There are over 10,000 princes in the Kingdom, albeit at various levels and gradations

Alcohol, though strictly prohibited by Saudi law and custom, was plentiful at the party’s well-stocked bar, well-patronized by Halloween revellers. The hired Filipino bartenders served a cocktail punch using “sadiqi,” a locally-made “moonshine.” While top-shelf liquor bottles were on display throughout the bar area, the original contents were reportedly already consumed and replaced by sadiqi. On the black market, a bottle of Smirnoff can cost 1,500 riyals when available, compared to 100 riyals for the locally-made vodka. It was also learned through word-of-mouth that a number of the guests were in fact “working girls,” not uncommon for such parties.

One contact, a young Saudi male, explained that up to a few years ago, the only weekend activity was “dating” inside the homes of the affluent in small groups… As one high society Saudi remarked, “The increased conservatism of our society over these past years has only moved social interaction to the inside of people’s homes.

via US embassy cables: Saudi youth ‘frolic under princely protection’ | World news | guardian.co.uk.

Iran: Hossein Derakhstan, aka Hoder, released temporarily after paying $1.5MM

Hoder aka Derakhshan

An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Hossein Derakhshan was released last night on the unprecedented bail amount of $1.5 million. Derakhshan had requested a prison furlough after a lower court sentenced him to 19.5 years in prison in September. The informed source told the Campaign that Derakhshan’s family is immensely happy to see him released and hopes that the upcoming appeals court ruling could keep him from returning to prison.

Wikileaks: US is worried about Catalonia being “the main center of Mediterranean jihadism”

Nothing we did not already know, about jihadism in Catalonia, but it is interesting to see U.S. concerns on the subject.

The U.S. Embassy in Madrid believe that Catalonia is the hottest spot of radical Islam in Spain, a scenario that should be monitored and controlled as a bridge to the Mediterranean. The strong presence of Moroccan and Pakistani community in Barcelona and the effervescent activity of Islamists in towns such as Tarragona, Hospitalet, Badalona and Reus concern to U.S. intelligence services. IN fact, they consider this community as its first research objective. The secret documents of the State Department define Catalonia as the main center of Islamism in the Mediterranean.

So concerned they were, that they have opened some offices in Barcelona for “a multi-agency co-ordinating the fight against terrorism, crime and intelligence information to combat the growing threat jihadist and criminal activities in the region” in collaboration with our Spanish hosts. ”

Background:

  1. Catalonia: the meaning of the Pakistani terrorists’ detentions (for translation to English, scroll down).
  2. Spain: No1. place in recruitment of Islamist terrorists in EuropeMost of the Islamist terrorist choose the Muslim communities in Catalonia to create sleeping cells. 80% of the police operations have taken place in Catalonia and 31% of the 130 Islamists who are now in prison were arrested in Catalonia.
  3. Spain: alleged Al-Qaeda financier belongs to Socialist Party’s Executive Board.
  4. Spain: Salafist criminal “procedure” condemns a woman to death on adultery charges.
  5. Spain: Islamic Moral Police in action.
  6. Spain: Italian Prosecutors’ report showed AQIM recruitment.
  7. Spain: Salafist Imam Charged for Coercing a Woman to Wear Hijab.
  8. Spain: Seven accused of setting up a Sharia court, freed.
  9. Spain: the dangers of locating mosques in industrial areas.
  10. Spain: pro-independency Catalonian entity wants to show the “bonds that historically have existed between Islam and Catalonia”.
  11. Spain: police arrest 7 linked to al-Qaida