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Venezuela: the Reign of Cynicism

By Aleksander Boyd

London (22.11.03) – Yesterday I was interviewed by Maria Elena Lavaud, presenter of a TV programme called “Grado 33”. The questions asked had to do with the reaction of the Venezuelan ex-pat community in regards of the decision of the National Electoral Council (CNE) of prohibiting our participation in the collection of signatures to request Hugo Chavez’ recall referendum.

As a law student, with some empiric knowledge of the rights enshrined in the Bolivarian Constitution, I replied saying that such absurd and unconstitutional measure evidenced the true colours of the regime led by Hugo Chavez. The dictator’s-in-waiting sycophants could argue that such resolution was taken by the board of directors of the CNE as an independent power. However no right-thinking person can affirm that Venezuela boasts a system of separation of powers. Given the seriousness of that premise, we shall take all the appropriate measures to denounce internationally the utter encroachment of our rights.

Purportedly the Foreign Secretary, Roy Chaderton, expressed that the CNE’s decision would not in any manner harm the democratic façade of the Venezuelan government. It does not? It has to be borne in mind that the constitution in question was drafted and implemented by the current administration. Now, after violating it, they say that it would not have international repercussions. Mr Chaderton, what constitutes in your view an act that would corrode Venezuela’s democratic cloak, perhaps the declarations made by Chavez in Bolivia regarding its right to access to the Pacific? Or the fact that for the first time in history a Venezuelan president will be judged for crimes against humanity?

Then Francisco Carrasquero –director of the CNE’s board and Chavez’ sympathiser- said on television on Nov. 19th “we are all the same before the law, we all merit that the mechanisms and regulations contemplated in the constitution be observed and respected, we deserve to transit the democratic path that we all have constructed”. No comments…

MP Liliana Ortega, was addressing parliament in relation to the passing of the bill which will increase the number of judges of the Supreme Court, that in turn will lead to ceding greater judiciary powers to Chavez’ ruling party. She was interrupted repeatedly by the president of parliament and members of the government’s party “out of order, out of order!!” they were chanting. She pointed out though, that the draft of the bill that they were trying to discuss and about to pass was not delivered to the seats. She stated “Mr President of parliament, how can you even suggest that I am out of order, when the bill that we are about to pass has not being read by all MPs owing to the failure of parliament to distribute it?”

Venezuela does not have MPs, it has clowns. Venezuela does not have independence of powers, it has crawling yes-men running institutions. Integrity is not a pre-requisite in Chavez’ Venezuela –it never was-. Nonetheless the levels of cynicism of the empowered rabble are revolting.


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