Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Nov 24/04 - Sobre la Eleccion del SG de la OEA, el rol de Venezuela y las maromas de El Salvador

PMBComentario: la elección del nuevo Secretario General de la OEA continua llena de incertidumbre en cuanto a quien será el elegido, es mas, no se sabe a ciencia cierta quienes son los verdaderos aspirantes. Lo que esta cada día más claro es que Hugo Chávez colocó a Venezuela, no en la Secretaria General como algunos atarantados de su entorno aspiraban, sino en la nada envidiable posición de ser el único elector que al final contara; una suerte de súper veto que ridiculiza y enreda la esencia misma de la organización.

Esto se explica porque Chávez, y su habilidoso representante, Jorge Valero, han sabido explotar todas las debilidades de una institución que sobrevive más por costumbre que por utilidad a la región. Utilizando el chantaje económico – petróleo a descuento - y moral – prefiero no entrar en detalles - han reducido a un sin numero de países al rol de simples marionetas, y a sus representantes en jubilosos convidados a cuanto guateque monta Valero con su inagotable presupuesto.

Cabe recordar que Valero les ha advertido a sus colegas en numerosas oportunidades que la organización es “una cloaca” y los amenaza con soltar todo para afuera si es que ellos deciden actuar en contra del gobierno de Hugo Chávez. Dentro de la organización nadie duda de la seriedad de estas amenazas pues como muestra tienen a un Cesar Gaviria que terminó cual espantapájaros de utilería, desautorizado e irrespetado por moros y cristianos gracias, entre otras cosas, a información pecaminosa que con morbo hacia circular el eficiente representante Bolivariano. Le falto de todo a Gaviria para salirse del paso y permitir que la organización hiciese crisis por sus defectos de fondo y no por los deslices de su Secretario General. Miguel Ángel Rodríguez - demócrata cristiano transfigurado en apólogo de Chávez - no tardo en repetir la faena con pasmosa velocidad. ¿Y ahora que?

Abajo verán una serie de notas relativas a El Salvador y a su ex-Presidente aspirante a la Secretaria General Paco Flores. Espero que quede claro al leer esta pequeña muestra lo que arriba comento. El joven ex-Presidente, que dicen por ahí algunos que lo hizo muy bien en su país, ahora es capaz de desdibujarse (¿y mentir?) para lograr el apoyo de alguien que se la tiene jurada: Hugo Chávez. Y en cuanto a la posición de El Salvador en el asunto del asilo solicitado por dos perseguidos políticos no merece ni una letra que no sea de condena pues burla la noble tradición del Asilo Político en nuestra región con un solo objetivo: aplacar al Teniente Coronel y conseguir los votos que mantiene secuestrados.

Como es posible que tantos países, tantos recursos, tanta historia queden a la merced de quien es antitesis del propósito preclaro de la OEA. Democracia, Libertad, Derechos Humanos, convivencia pacifica entre vecinos…todos estos hoy convertidos en barajas de póquer por la ambición desmedida y la falta de escrúpulos de unos y otros. Da vergüenza ver este bochornoso espectáculo y lo que provoca es decretar la muerte técnica de un organismo que no ha sabido estar a la altura de los retos y aspiraciones de sus representados. ¿Posición drástica? Ya veremos. PMB

Cadena Global

Presidente salvadoreño: "No queremos interferir con la justicia venezolana"
Por: Cadena Global

Publicado el Domingo, 28/11/04 02:45pm

El presidente de El Salvador, Antonio Saca, dijo que si los comisarios Forero y Vivas tienen cuentas pendientes con la justicia, sería prácticamente imposible concederles el asilo que solicitan.

El presidente de El Salvador, Elías Antonio Saca, afirmó que su gobierno analizará con cuidado el caso de la solicitud de asilo presentada por los ex directores de la Policía Metropolitana Lázaro Forero y Henry Vivas, pero señaló que si éstos tuvieran cuentas pendientes con la justicia venezolana, el asilo sería improcedente.

"No nos gustaría adelantar criterios, pero si los peticionarios tienen alguna deuda con la justicia eso prácticamente imposibilita al gobierno salvadoreño a dar asilo a cualquier ciudadano", dijo Saca.

El presidente subrayó que "no nos gusta intervenir en asuntos de otro Estado, mucho menos interrumpir el proceso de justicia que pueda haber en otro país".

Por su parte, el arzobispo de San Salvador, Fernando Sáenz Lacalle, pidió al Gobierno actuar con prudencia ante la petición de asilo de dos ex jefes policiales venezolanos que se refugiaron el viernes en la embajada de El Salvador en Caracas.

"El gobierno salvadoreño debe actuar con prudencia debido a que el tema de Venezuela es delicado", afirmó el prelado en una rueda de prensa celebrada después de la misa dominical en la Catedral Metropolitana.

La cancillería salvadoreña envió el sábado a Venezuela al embajador de su país en Costa Rica, Hugo Carrillo, para conocer la situación de los ex jefes policiales, quienes llegaron a la embajada salvadoreña con la aparente intención de hacer trámites y luego pidieron asilo político.

Internacionales, Noviembre 28, 2004

Francisco Flores desmiente que haya apoyado "golpe" contra Chávez

El ex presidente de El Salvador y actual candidato a la secretaría general de la OEA, Francisco Flores, desmintió que haya apoyado el golpe de Estado perpetrado en Venezuela en abril del 2002 y dijo que es un tema que "está esperando" conversar con el presidente Hugo Chávez.

En una entrevista publicada este sábado por el diario La Nación, Flores fue cuestionado por su respaldo al efímero gobierno de Pedro Carmona en Venezuela, ante lo que respondió: "al contrario, imagínese que nosotros presidíamos el comité de la OEA que tenía a su cargo la implementación de la carta democrática y los delegados salvadoreños lo que hicieron fue empujar el cauce democrático".

"Nuestras declaraciones en aquel tiempo fue que trabajaríamos con cualquier liderazgo que resultara del cauce democrático. Estas cosas estoy esperando la oportunidad de poderlas platicar con el presidente (Hugo) Chávez".

Las declaraciones de Flores contradicen la posición externada por su gobierno en abril del 2002, cuando, en el marco de la XVI cumbre del Grupo de Río en San José de Costa Rica, El Salvador emitió un comunicado oficial como el único país latinoamericano que le otorgaba su "voto de confianza" al efímero gobierno de Pedro Carmona.

"Consideramos la renuncia del presidente Chávez como la culminación de un proceso largo de polarización, enfrentamientos y abusos de los principios democráticos", había dicho entonces Flores en su comunicado.

Sin embargo, el 16 de abril del 2002, tras el regreso de Chávez al poder, el gobierno salvadoreño saludó entonces el retorno del presidente constitucional y abogó por "la promoción de la democracia".

La declaraciones del presidente Flores en San José fueron duramente criticadas por la principal fuerza de oposición salvadoreña, la ex guerrilla del Frente Farabundo Martí para la Liberación Nacional (FMLN, izquierda), según la cual con la postura que asumió el gobernante en ese momento dieron "vergüenza y lástima".

Flores aspira a la secretaría general de la OEA tras la renuncia del costarricense Miguel Angel Rodríguez, quien abandonó el cargo tras ser cuestionado en su país por corrupción.

La candidatura centroamericana "de consenso" lograda por Flores ya fue cuestionada por los presidentes Ricardo Maduro (Honduras) y Abel Pacheco (Costa Rica) luego de que el FMLN pidiera el pasado miércoles investigar el uso que Flores dio a una partida secreta por 136 millones de dólares cuando éste era presidente.

El Nacional - Domingo 28 de Noviembre de 2004

Internacional y Diplomacia

Castañeda: “México y Chile impidieron el golpe en Venezuela”

El ex canciller mexicano aseguró que en abril de 2002 los gobiernos de Washington, Madrid, Bogotá y San Salvador lideraron una propuesta para respaldar a Pedro Carmona.

“Tales iniciativas no fueron respaldadas por otros países americanos y europeos”, señaló al diario Reforma

El ex canciller mexicano, Jorge Castañeda, dijo que El Salvador y Colombia trataron de evitar que “Chávez retomara el poder” en abril de 2002

México y Chile impidieron en abril de 2002 que prosperaran iniciativas de Estados Unidos, España, Colombia y El Salvador para que tuviera éxito el golpe de Estado contra el presidente venezolano, Hugo Chávez, declaró el ex canciller local Jorge Castañeda al diario capitalino Reforma.

“No sólo dijimos que no apoyaríamos al empresario Pedro Carmona, quien asumió brevemente el mando en Caracas sino que, sobre todo con los chilenos, volteamos la asamblea y gracias al trabajo de la ex canciller Soledad Alvear y mío, los presidentes del Grupo de Río decidieron mandar más bien una declaración de apoyo al orden constitucional”, dijo Castañeda en la edición de ayer del diario mexicano.

El ex canciller añadió que los gobiernos de Washington, Madrid, Bogotá y San Salvador lideraron en abril de 2002 unas propuestas para respaldar a Carmona, aunque tales iniciativas no fueron respaldadas por otros países americanos y europeos.

“Efectivamente, hubo esta propuesta por parte de Estados Unidos y España, de emitir una declaración con México, Brasil, Argentina y Francia de reconocimiento del Gobierno de Pedro Carmona”, dijo Castañeda, quien en 2002 era el jefe de la diplomacia del gobierno del presidente Vicente Fox.

Según el ex canciller, poco después del efímero golpe en Venezuela, “hubo en la Cumbre del Grupo de Río otro intento similar liderado por los entonces presidentes de El Salvador, Francisco Flores, y de Colombia, Andrés Pastrana, para evitar que Chávez retomara el poder”.

“En la Cumbre de Río, donde no estaban Estados Unidos ni España, pero sí estaban los centroamericanos, y en particular el presidente Flores, y en menor medida el presidente Pastrana, también trataron de mover las cosas en apoyo a Carmona”, afirmó Castañeda, actual candidato presidencial con miras a los comicios de 2006 en México.

Flores aspira a ser elegido como secretario general de la Organización de Estados Americanos, mientras que Pastrana vive en Madrid, tras terminar en 2002 su mandato presidencial en Colombia.

Los dos ex mandatarios admitieron públicamente en su momento su cercanía con Washington y con el ex presidente del gobierno español, José María Aznar, del conservador Partido Popular y acusado por el actual Gobierno socialista de José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero de haber apoyado el golpe contra Chávez.

Reforma atribuyó a Castañeda haber dicho que “ni siquiera tuvo que celebrar un acuerdo con Fox, porque su posición era claramente a favor del orden constitucional y en contra del golpismo en Venezuela, mientras que el presidente chileno, Ricardo Lagos, y su canciller tenían una posición similar”.

“Al día siguiente de las gestiones de Ciudad de México y Santiago se restableció el poder a Chávez y creo que mucha gente se dio cuenta de que habíamos tenido razón”, enfatizó.

De acuerdo con el matutino, el ex canciller mexicano también manifestó que “para un líder como Fox, representante de una democracia naciente, hubiera sido un detalle grotesco apoyar a un gobierno golpista”.

Fox, del centroderechista Partido Acción Nacional, asumió la Presidencia de México en diciembre de 2000, luego de haber ganado las elecciones de julio de ese año y puesto fin a siete décadas de gobiernos ininterrumpidos del Partido Revolucionario Institucional.


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Saturday, November 20, 2004

Nov 20/04 - On the a super Editorial from the Washington Post and on the assassination of a less than "holy" State prosecutor

PMB Comment: on Thursday night an all powerful state prosecutor was killed when his SUV was apparently blown up with a remotely operated C4 bomb. In which city of the world did this wicked crime occur? Baghdad? Mosul? Moscow? Madrid? Medellín? No, it actually occurred in the heart of Caracas.

Not surprising? Actually, in spite of unrelenting political tension – which has included its fair share of unresolved criminal acts - the killing of Danilo Anderson is Venezuela’s first (contemporary) instance of a targeted political assassination and, to boot, it has all the essential ingredients to stir up the country’s putrid pot.

While his formal title was “Fourth State Prosecutor for Environmental Matters with National Competence” Anderson was better known as Chavez’s chief henchman; a pit bull willing to carry out the Lt. Colonel’s most perverted schemes, a tropicalized version of Robespierre who – predictably - met his predecessor’s fate.

Anderson was behind every single legal case in which the law was subverted in order to intimidate Chavez’s opponents, or to cover the tracks for the amoral regime he served with obsequious delight. To millions of common Venezuelans Anderson was THE “boogeyman”. While all this does not justify, much less excuse, an assassination it might explain why he was its target.

Evil and so forth, who had him killed? Who gains most from his death? Who or what is next? Who knows! The fact that there are so many credible hypotheses and scenarios is proof in itself of the sorry state we have reached as a society. Fingers point to “U.S. trained opposition paid terrorists”, “individuals he had – or was planning to - indict”, “competing factions in the complex web of opportunists that Chavez has weaved around himself”, “chavista provocateurs seeking excuses to pounce on their opponents”, “tried and tested Cuban shenanigans”, and everything in between.

An environment in which anything flies is Hugo Chavez’s demented legacy to Venezuela and the region. While no effort should be spared to unmask and punish those that planned and carried out this crime, there is no doubt that Mr. Chavez bears some of the responsibility personally for setting the stage and providing potential motive. How can we forget that citizens’ rights have been trampled upon, institutions have been demolished, justice has been booby trapped, free press is about to be gagged, and the electoral system was finally gutted during the recent regional elections. An old Spanish proverb aptly states: If you sow winds, you will harvest storms.

In today’s superb Editorial, the Washington Post reminds its readers – once again – of a tragedy called Venezuela, and from their description of our affairs it must be obvious even to the occasional observer that we did not find a democratic, peaceful, low-carbohydrate solution to our problems through the intervention of Jimmy Carter (who ever has?) and the O.A.S. (R.I.P.?). The editorialists do a very good job summarizing the state of play and - once again - call on the Bush administration to get off its butt and focus attention on the region in general and on Chavez in particular. At least incoming Secretary of State Rice is on the record with some very tough language that, if pundits are correct, reflects word for word the thinking of the re-elected President. Will W do better the second time around? We Will Wait and C. PMB


The Washington Post
Editorial

Watch Venezuela

Saturday, November 20, 2004

THIS WEEKEND President Bush visits Chile and Colombia, two nations that he will rightly celebrate for their capable democratic governments. But it is foolish to pretend, as does some of the administration's rhetoric, that democracy is thriving across Latin America. In fact, while the Bush administration has been ignoring the region over the past four years, political conditions have seriously deteriorated in several key countries -- and the prospect is of still worse developments, especially if U.S. neglect continues.

The likely focal point of trouble is Venezuela, a country of 25 million that supplies the United States with 13 percent of its oil. In August, after months of heavy-handed governmental actions to influence the outcome, President Hugo Chavez survived a recall referendum; since then his supporters have gained control of 21 of 23 states, as well as the capital, in local elections. Those triumphs have prompted the erratic former military rebel to accelerate what he calls his "Bolivarian revolution" -- a push toward authoritarian rule at home and a deepening alliance abroad with Cuban leader Fidel Castro and other antidemocratic movements.

In the past Mr. Chavez has been assailed by independent media who sympathize with his opposition; he has responded with a new media law that will allow his government to suspend the licenses of radio and television stations for content deemed "contrary to the security of the nation." A new penal code will outlaw most forms of public protest and designate some as terrorism. An expansion of the Supreme Court will allow the president to stack the only judicial body that has retained some independence. A campaign has been launched against civil society groups, beginning with the election monitoring group SUMATE, whose organizers are threatened with charges of treason. Mr. Chavez is using Venezuela's oil revenue to fund antidemocratic or populist movements in nations such as Bolivia and to subsidize Mr. Castro's bankrupt regime.

Late Thursday, state prosecutor Danilo Anderson was killed, apparently with a car bomb. He had been preparing to bring charges against some 400 people who signed a statement of support for an interim president after Mr. Chavez was briefly ousted in a 2002 coup. The apparent assassination was a shocking and despicable act, from which the opposition -- made up largely of mainstream politicians, and business and church leaders -- should quickly disassociate itself. But it should not provide a pretext for Mr. Chavez to continue seeking the imprisonment of nonviolent political opponents.

It is difficult for the United States to respond to Mr. Chavez, in part because he has adopted Mr. Castro's practice of portraying the United States as an enemy bent on imperial intervention in Venezuela. Mr. Bush's choice for secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, was quoted recently as describing Mr. Chavez as "a real problem" and saying that "the key there is to mobilize the region to both watch him and be vigilant about him and to pressure him when he makes moves in one direction or another. We can't do it alone." That sounds like a wise policy; once she takes office, Ms. Rice should end the administration's passivity toward this important region and pursue it.


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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Nov 17/05 - On Condi Rice's Nomination: What is in it for Hugo?

PMBComment: On the day after Condoleezza Rice was nominated to be Secretary of State, I will let the principals do the talking:

George W. Bush [Formal nomination announcement, 11/16/04]: “During the last four years I've relied on her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated her sound and steady judgment. And now I'm honored that she has agreed to serve in my Cabinet. The Secretary of State is America's face to the world. And in Dr. Rice, the world will see the strength, the grace and the decency of our country.”… “Above all, Dr. Rice has a deep, abiding belief in the value and power of liberty, because she has seen freedom denied and freedom reborn.”

Hugo R. Chavez [Radio Program, 01/10/04]: “"[Condoleezza Rice] is a real illiterate; I have no other word to describe her. I am going to tell Fidel [Castro] to send her the Robinson method [literacy program implanted in Venezuelan with Cuban advice]. This woman comes and releases her indignant artillery against Venezuela, against our people, against our government. Saying among other stuff that Chavez has to respect the referendum, in the first place: what the hell do you have to do with a referendum in Venezuela…..She [Rice] comes and says yesterday that they continue to be concerned; that I will have the opportunity to demonstrate if I am following the rules of democracy, so that they can declare me a democrat, why should I care a hoot how they qualify me there?; I do not give a damn, absolutely nothing bothers me”. [Alo Presidente, 01/11/04] “[Rice] came out to applaud the coupsters here, and to welcome the tyrannical government that they installed. Is Ms. Rice a real democrat? Or, is she one of those hypocrites Pharisees that Christ singled out with his verb: hypocrites Pharisees Christ our Savior would say.”

Condoleezza Rice [Interview, 10/23/04]: “I think President Hugo Chavez is a real problem. I think he will continue to find ways to subvert democracy in his own country. He will continue to find ways to make his neighbors miserable. He will continue his contacts with Fidel Castro, maybe giving Castro one last fling to try to affect the politics of Latin America, which is not a good thing. He's involved in ways in Colombia with the FARC (Marxist rebels) that are unhelpful. The key there is to mobilize the region to both watch him and be vigilant about him and to pressure him when he makes moves in one direction or another. We can't do it alone. This is a region where if we try to do it alone, we actually probably strengthen him. But the OAS (Organization of American States) can do a lot. We're hopeful that the recognition that he's not following a democratic course will help mobilize the OAS to do that. They have done it before -- with Peru they did it. Watching his activities and making it costly at least politically for Chavez to carry out anti-democratic activities either at home or in the region is really about where we are.”

News Item BBC [Group of Rio Meeting,11/06/04]: He [Hugo Chavez] also mentioned a letter [interview above] in which White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice attacked him. Even with the Brazilian position at stake, Lula responded in a conciliatory tone. "Look, Chavez, don't worry about that letter, because they talk badly about me over there in English and I prefer the good things they say about me in Portuguese," he said. The Brazilian president then related how, in his recent 90-minute meeting with US Secretary of State Colin Powell, he spent half-an-hour talking about "everything good that Chavez has done for Venezuela's poor". The Venezuelan president thanked him. [Note: Hugo Chavez failed, among other harebrained initiatives, to get the Group of Rio to issue a declaration denouncing Dr. Rice].

Enough said…more to come? PMB

Below, transcript of President Bush’s statement when announcing Dr. Rice’s nomination.

President Announces Nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State
The Roosevelt Room

12:33 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. I'm pleased to announce my nomination of Dr. Condoleezza Rice to be America's Secretary of State. Condi Rice is already known to all Americans, and to much of the world.

During the last four years I've relied on her counsel, benefited from her great experience and appreciated her sound and steady judgment. And now I'm honored that she has agreed to serve in my Cabinet. The Secretary of State is America's face to the world. And in Dr. Rice, the world will see the strength, the grace and the decency of our country.

Both Condi and I have been proud to serve with our friend, Secretary of State Colin Powell. He has been one of the most effective and admired diplomats in America's history. Secretary Powell has helped to rally the world in a global war, has helped to resolve dangerous regional conflicts; he's helped to confront the desperate challenges of hunger, poverty and disease. He has been tireless and selfless and principled, and our entire nation is grateful for his lifetime of service.

I'm also grateful that Steve Hadley has agreed to become my new National Security Advisor. Steve served Presidents Nixon, Ford and Bush before me, and he has done a superb job as Dr. Rice's deputy during these past four years. Steve is a man of wisdom and good judgment. He has earned my trust and I look forward to his continued vital service on my national security team.

When confirmed by the Senate, Condoleezza Rice will take office at a critical time for our country. We're a nation at war; we're leading a large coalition against a determined enemy; we're putting in place new structures and institutions to confront outlaw regimes, to oppose proliferation of dangerous weapons and materials, and to break up terror networks.

The United States has undertaken a great calling of history to aid the forces of reform and freedom in the broader Middle East so that that region can grow in hope, instead of growing in anger. We're pursuing a positive direction to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, an approach that honors the peaceful aspirations of the Palestinian people through a democratic state, and an approach that will ensure the security of our good friend, Israel.

Meeting all of these objectives will require wise and skillful leadership at the Department of State, and Condi Rice is the right person for that challenge. She's a recognized expert in international affairs, a distinguished teacher and academic leader, and a public servant with years of White House experience. She displays a commitment to excellence in every aspect of her life, from shaping our strategy in the war on terror, to coordinating national security policy across the government, to performing classical music on stage. Above all, Dr. Rice has a deep, abiding belief in the value and power of liberty, because she has seen freedom denied and freedom reborn.

As a girl in the segregated South, Dr. Rice saw the promise of America violated by racial discrimination and by the violence that comes from hate. But she was taught by her mother, Angelina, and her father, the Reverend John Rice, that human dignity is the gift of God, and that the ideals of America would overcome oppression. That early wisdom has guided her through life, and that truth has guided our nation to a better day.

I know that the Reverend and Mrs. Rice would be filled with pride to see the daughter they raised in Birmingham, Alabama, chosen for the office first held by Thomas Jefferson. Something tells me, however, they would not be surprised. (Laughter.)

As many of you know, Condi's true ambition is beyond my power to grant. (Laughter.) She would really like to be the commissioner of the National Football League. I'm glad she's put those plans on hold once again. The nation needs her. I urge the Senate to promptly confirm Condoleezza Rice as America's 66th Secretary of State.

Congratulations. (Applause.)

DR. RICE: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President. It has been an honor and a privilege to work for you these past four years, in times of crisis, decision and opportunity for our nation. Under your leadership, America is fighting and winning the war on terror. You have marshaled great coalitions that have liberated millions from tyranny, coalitions that are now helping the Iraqi and Afghan people build democracies in the heart of the Muslim world. And you have worked to widen the circle of prosperity and progress in every corner of the world.

I look forward, with the consent of the Senate, to pursuing your hopeful and ambitious agenda as Secretary of State. Mr. President, it is an honor to be asked to serve your administration and my country once again.

And it is humbling to imagine succeeding my dear friend and mentor, Colin Powell. He is one of the finest public servants our nation has ever produced. Colin Powell has been a great and inspirational Secretary of State. It was my honor to serve alongside him, and he will be missed.

It will, of course, be hard to leave the White House, and especially to leave behind the terrific NSC staff who have served their President and their country so ably in this most challenging of times. Yet, I can leave confident in the knowledge that they will be led by the consummate professional, a man I know and admire, my colleague and friend, Steve Hadley.

Finally, let me say that in my 25 years of experience in foreign affairs, both in and out of government, I have come to know the men and women of the Department of State. I have the utmost admiration and respect for their skill, their professionalism and their dedication. If I am confirmed by the Senate, I look forward to working with the great people of the Foreign Service and the Civil Service. And one of my highest priorities as Secretary will be to ensure that they have all the tools necessary to carry American diplomacy forward in the 21st century.

Mr. President, thank you again for this great opportunity, and for your continued confidence in me.

THE PRESIDENT: Good job. Thank you all.

END 12:40 P.M. EST


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