War of words over Venezuela’s future

first_imgThis article was published in pagina12.com.ar on June 10. Translation by Michael Otto. Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and Caribbean. All of them fit within a day and a night. They overlap.  They create rhythms and dramas, especially for motorcyclists who flee the daily downpours. In only 10 minutes the sky seems to have emptied. It’s everyday life in a city where the country’s national politics are almost totally concentrated. What happens outside the capital is news when it involves strategic territories in the geography of war.One of those territories borders Colombia. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced the reopening [June 8] of the international crossing between the state of Táchira, Venezuela, and the city of Cúcuta, Colombia.  This story made headline news on Feb. 22 and 23 when the border bridges were transformed into a Hollywood set for a hostile attempt to enter Venezuelan territory by force. The reopening took place within a zone that normally combines fuel smuggling and Colombian paramilitarism with economic and media attacks on Venezuela.Media attention to self-proclaimed “president” Juan Guaidó has accompanied him into his decline. He spent barely four months in an ascension catapulted by [U.S. President] Donald Trump’s support for his current attempts to stick to his plan to replace Maduro. Guaidó’s tendency to lose strength is due to his own inability to fulfill his promises.  This arose from his initial miscalculation, which led him to announce the imminent fall of President Maduro’s government.What kind of outcome did Trump have in mind when he blessed Guaidó with a tweet? One similar to what happened with the conflict that [Washington] opened against Mexico on May 30 and was resolved last Friday night [June 7]. That threat was based on an asymmetry of power, the cornering of the adversary and a forced negotiation with Trump’s shots fired via Twitter. Then Trump used the result with Mexico to display an international trophy for his domestic program, which is already taking the form of a presidential campaign. Defeating Bolivarian Venezuela was also supposed to be a quick victory.But it didn’t work for four reasons: Venezuela diversified its markets — mainly with China and Russia — to seek a way out of the economic blockade.  The Bolivarian government was able to counter such scenarios due to their experiences in 2014 and 2017 [when faced with right-wing violence]. The coup plotters’ were unable to crack the Bolivarian National Armed Forces.  And the practice of holding regular mobilizations in the streets was a way to support the internal balance of power within Chavismo, among other things.Opposition forces dividedThis is compounded by what U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recognized: the divisions and personal ambitions within the Venezuelan right wing. “Keeping the Venezuelan opposition united has been diabolically difficult for us,” he said in a recent audio, adding that 40 opposition figures have presidential ambitions. (venezuelanalysis.com, June 6)This division within the opposition is public. One sector maintains that force alone can lead to the fall of Maduro and does not recognize Chavismo as a political player.  Another states that the outcome may include dialogue with Chavismo, provided that the roadmap begins with the departure of the current president. Still another remains cautious in its statements in view of the present lack of clarity surrounding the situation.Elliott Abrams, U.S. special envoy for Venezuela, stated in an article in the June 5 Miami Herald that the resolution of the conflict should pass, in part, through the departure of Nicolás Maduro and the recognition of the National Assembly by Chavismo.  In other words, representatives will return to the National Assembly chamber. Three interpretations follow:  First, Abrams’ public message maintains that President Maduro must leave, while at the same time it recognizes Chavismo — mainly the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) — as a political actor in Abrams’ scenario for the future. Second, that one of the core points of the current attempt at debate and dialogue concerns legislative authority, which include both the National Assembly and the National Constituent Assembly — and a possible electoral resolution. Third, Abrams seeks to divide Chavismo with his words in order to create false paths. These private and public  machinations are aimed at locating points where Chavistas might split.End the U.S. blockade!Maduro has referred to the National Assembly on several occasions.  He has repeatedly stated that Chavismo must prepare for an early election campaign and has reaffirmed the constituents’ decision to extend the National Constituent Assembly’s operation until the end of 2020. As for  economic issues, the Venezuelan government demands that the U.S. blockade must end, while John Bolton, U.S. national security advisor, states that it will be intensified, particularly in the oil sector.Those are the last public statements of each side. It is not yet known if there will be another round of negotiations in Oslo, Norway’s capital, the city where the first steps have been taken [in meetings this spring]. In a statement in which he expressed his support for a peaceful resolution, President Vladimir Putin of Russia confirmed that his government is neither creating a military base in Venezuela nor deploying troops.Putin declared: “Let’s elect a US president, a British prime minister, a French president like that. What will it be? — where would that lead? I would like to ask those who support this kind of thing — Have you gone mad? Do you understand where this can lead?” (AFP, June 6)Putin was referring to what is at stake with Guaidó’s self-proclamation as Venezuela’s president. Putin’s statements were made during the meeting attended by People’s Republic of China President Xi Jinping at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, where cooperation agreements were signed between Venezuela and Russia.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

E-HR

first_img Comments are closed. Previous Article Next Article Related posts:No related photos. E-HROn 2 Nov 2004 in Personnel Today Case study: OfcomAbout the organisationOfcom was formed at the end of 2003 as a result of the Communications Act, which merged the Broadcasting Standards Commission, the Indepen-dent Television Commission, Oftel, the Radio Authority and the Radiocommunications Agency into one super-regulator. Ofcom now has 850 employees, mostly based in London but with regional offices in Glasgow, Cardiff and Belfast.The challengeThe five original organisations all had different systems and working practices. Much of the HR data was paper- and spreadsheet-based. The HR team needed to transfer the data onto one HR system prior to the new organisation’s launch, bringing together five different sets of terms and conditions of employment. The supplierOxfordshire-based HR and payroll software provider Snowdrop Systems already supplied HR software to the Independent Television Commission and Oftel. Ofcom retained Snowdrop to manage all the HR data across the whole of the new organisation. The approachSnowdrop implemented its Ever-green (HR), Fountain (training), Spring (recruitment) and U-Access (self-service HR) modules – customised to accommodate the changes of the merger and branded in line with Ofcom’s new image. The new software needed to link in with as many other business systems as possible to help the HR team make the best use of its data. HR operations manager John Donnelly sees the Snowdrop system as a key driver for changing the way HR supports the whole business.“Our aim is to work smarter and minimise administration, devolving some of this responsibility to staff and line managers,” he says. “This frees up our time so we can support the organisation at a higher level.”The solutionSnowdrop worked with Ofcom to bring together all the data from the different organisations into one system. The system is known internally as ‘e-colleagues’. Employees can now view and change basic data through Ofcom’s intranet, and managers can access key data on their teams, such as absence records. Paper-based administration is reduced thanks to online sick forms. Snowdrop set up workflows – automatic e-mails to line managers generated by the system – to help them keep track of key performance indicators such as sickness absence and training and development data. The system links directly with Ofcom’s recruitment website and data captured online is fed directly into Snowdrop’s recruitment module, which will speed up hiring processes. Snowdrop also links in with Ofcom’s flexible benefits software so that new starters can choose their preferred benefits as soon as they join. The system is fully compatible with Ofcom’s existing payroll software, automatically updating changes to bank account details, salaries and bonuses.The bottom lineThe system continues to streamline Ofcom’s processes, paper-based administration has been reduced and business systems now feed into each other. In the future, Snowdrop will link to Ofcom’s new e-learning system, the Ofcom University. As soon as employees have completed a course online, their training records will be automatically updated, enabling managers to spot development needs and allowing individuals to manage their own career process.Data mineNot yet up to speed on the forthcoming Information & Consultation Directive? Cut straight to the essential info via these links:www.acas.org.uk/info_consult/consultation.htmlFind the Acas good practice guide here, which it prepared in collaboration with the DTI, CBI and TUC. It also lets you find your nearest Acas office.www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/empreltns/consulatn/infocondir.htmDetailed CIPD factsheet of what the directive will mean and suggestions for practical consideration. Links direct to relevant areas in the members-only law section.www.dti.gov.uk/er/consultation/proposal.htmKeep up with latest DTI developments and download regulations, guidance and papers. www.partnership-at-work.comPersonneltoday.comwww.personneltoday.com/ 25404.articlewww.personneltoday.com/24031.articlewww.personneltoday.com/25433.articleLots of workplace partnership-in-action examples including case studies, best practices and policies from the Involvement & Participation Association (IPA). You can find the IPA parent site at www.ipa-involve.comGadget of the month: Blackberry 7100vWhat is it?One of the neatest hand-held mobile e-mail and voice devices around. It is being pitched at the business community and is the latest addition to the Blackberry from Vodafone range (BlackBerry is developed and manufactured by Research in Motion). What will it let me do?Reply to e-mails and view and forward e-mail attachments (in a variety of formats including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Acrobat) while on the move – and, of course, it’s a mobile phone. The beauty of Blackberry is that it uses push technology which allows e-mails sent to your office- or home-based e-mail inbox to be delivered to the handset without any need for manually connecting to the internet.How much does it cost?The device is free to customers on Anytime 400 or 1000 or 82.50 for Anytime 100 customers.Where can i find out more?www.vodafone.co.uk/blackberry  where you can also view an interactive demo.Troubleshooter We have a competency management module as part of the organisation’s HRIT system. How can we get more benefit from it?Many larger HR application suites contain competency management, succession planning and career planning modules. They are covered by the initial licence fee, yet many companies never get around to even turning them on. Part of the problem is that these kinds of applications are only as good as the data you put into them in the first place – and for competency management in particular, that can be a big headache.Part of the problem is that competency management in itself provides minimal business value. The trick is to get both employees and managers to see that populating the database isn’t a goal in its own right – it is merely the starting point for improving training, performance management, workforce planning and compensation management. Like so much in human capital management, the real business value – and the best management information – comes when these different components work together.By Keith Rodgers, co-founder of Webster Buchanan Research, specialising in IT and human capital management (www.websterb.com). It will shortly be publishing a report on the IT implications of accounting for people, in association with Personnel Today. New productsUsers of the Mitrefinch TMS time and attendance and Time & Attendance.net systems can now take advantage of a new Job Costing module. It allows organisations to track employee and organisational productivity in real-time and provides detailed and accurate at-a-glance management information.www.mitrefinch.co.ukSaba Express is a new suite of hosted Internet applications that allows HR departments to begin with a small human capital development and management initiative and then grow the project over time. The system allows management to monitor the performance of employees against goals and objectives and ensure they have the right skills for the job. www.saba.comOracle is simplifying the configuration and implementation process for HR applications with its HRMS Configuration Workbench. The Workbench’s tools include Quick Start, which guides organisations through system set-ups using processes based on best practices learned from hundreds of Oracle HRMS customers. www.oracle.comTop resourceFederation of European Employerswww.fedee.comThe Federation’s online presence is an essential bookmark for any employer operating across Europe. HR professionals can sign up to their own forum and the site’s other chief selling point is its comprehensive European employment law section. If you need a crash course in workplace issues affecting your European counterparts, try here first.last_img read more

Work continues on Eve the plesiosaur

first_imgWork is continuing at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History on piecing together the remains of Eve, a 165 million year old plesiosaur discovered in a Cambridgeshire quarry. The museum, which has been working on the skeleton since it was donated in November 2015, recently sent the skull to have a CT scan in the Royal Veterinary College, and subsequently to Bristol University, to create a digital reconstruction.Cherwell was taken behind the scenes to see the ongoing excavation of the creature’s skull, which has been rotated 190 degrees so it can be easier examined. Examiners have so far spend around 70 hours working on the skull, added to an estimated 600 hours piecing the jigsaw of bones together. Work on the skull has revealed a large collection of Belemnites, tiny squid-like sea creatures, which presumably either made up the creature’s last meal or settled on the dying animal.Although existing in the same period as the dinosaurs, the plesiosaur is in fact a huge aquatic reptile: currently it is unclear whether these creatures are closer to snakes or crocodiles in ancestry. Hopefully the ongoing investigation on Eve, Oxford’s plesiosaur, will yield more information about these creatures.There is a fascinating display case containing information on and sections of the plesiosaur skeleton, on exhibit in the entrance hall of OUMNH until the 25th of July.last_img read more

3 ways to save during wedding season

first_imgSpring is here and summer is right around the corner. That’s right everyone: It’s wedding season! To some this is a dreaded side effect of their favorite time of year, but to others it’s something they’ve looked forward to since wintertime. One thing is for sure: a busy wedding season can be downright expensive. If you plan on attending numerous weddings this year, here are a few ways you can save a few bucks.Buy your gift earlyWhen it comes to wedding registries, we’ve all seen those items that made us think, “Who in the world can afford to buy them that?” You want to make sure those items aren’t the only ones left when you head down to Bed Bath & Beyond. Check out that list as soon as you know it’s available, so you can be sure and secure a gift that’s both awesome and affordable.Prioritize your invitesIf your sister is getting married 30 minutes down the road, you’re obviously going to attend that wedding. If she’s getting married on the opposite coast, let’s be honest, you’re going to find a way to go. But if it’s your cousin getting remarried 3000 miles away, you may want to send an awesome gift and just stay home. Unless every wedding this year is taking place in the town you live in, you may have to make some tough choices so you can spend less money.Make it a group activityIf you’re traveling for a college friend’s wedding, you probably have other friends that are going as well. If this is the case, plan ahead. If the wedding destination is drivable and others live close to you, carpool and split that gas bill as many ways as possible. Look for a place to stay on Airbnb that can house you and all your friends who will be in attendance. Nothing like a little reunion party while everyone is together! 51SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,John Pettit John Pettit is the Managing Editor for CUInsight.com. John manages the content on the site, including current news, editorial, press releases, jobs and events. He keeps the credit union … Web: www.cuinsight.com Detailslast_img read more