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A few vulgar details in Venezuela: chavismo reveals its class, yet again

By Daniel Duquenal

Friday 14, May 2004 - It is in such moments that the true colors of people are revealed, when decisions must be taken rather fast and based on heartfelt principles, without forgetting a minimum of clear headed cogitation. I have already translated articles of Milagros Socorro (1) who has made a specialty at demonstrating the lack of principles and values of people that are still surrounding Comandante Chavez (though not necessarily lack of value, singular, depending on the price one is willing to pay for).

I have gathered a few little things, some rather small news, but elements that will describe the mettle and moral corruption of many a chavista follower.

Iris Varela. One of the loudest Assemblywoman in chavismo's bare majority, has managed amazingly to have the National Assembly vote a petition to tribunals to strip of their Venezuelan citizenship a few notorious journalist that happen to have been born outside of Venezuela (and disagree with Chavez). As if this neo-fascist approach to obtain "truth" in journalism were not enough, this morning on a TV talk show, she admitted her sympathies for the Colombian guerillas (FARC and ELN). At least one good thing came out of this disgraceful moment, it turned out that about half a dozen chavista assemblyfolks left the room instead of having to vote on such an outrage.

Ismael Garcia. This other Chavez supporter is the campaign head of the various chavista electoral efforts. The leader of a quasi fringe group he has gained quite a notoriety by saying the most outrageous things, not bothering to present a minimum of credible evidence to support them. Today, not to be left behind of the Chavez/CNE offensive against the outside world he accused the Carter Center and the OAS to have received funding from the opposition. But Mr. Garcia does not realize that in other countries standards are a little bit more elevated than in the glorious Bolivarian Revolution. Swiftly, and briefly, the OAS replied that it was not true. Period. Leaving Ismael to either bring real proof or wipe the egg from his face.

Isaias Rodriguez. The General Prosecutor, a supposedly independent position within one of the "5 powers" of the Bolivarian Constitution (2), has served notice to Justice Martini Urdaneta that he was under investigation. The reason? Improper procedures followed when he ruled on the validity of the signatures objected by the CNE. Now, Isaias Rodriguez has no business to rule in that matter, certainly none until the High Court rules on the conflict of between the Constitutional and Electoral Courts. That is, not until somebody entitled to put a claim against one of the Justices. The diligence of the prosecutor in this case where chavismo interests are directly at stake is to be contrasted with the unbelievable delays that his office has put on matters such as of the April 2002 deaths investigation. Few people are as discredited as Mr. Rodriguez in Venezuela.

Fidolo Salcedo, the Capriles Radosnki judge. This judge, a provisional judge, has been warming up a few benches for three years, not deserving enough under chavismo eyes. On Alo Ciudadano tonight, Gerardo Blyde a Primero Justicia Assemblyman and one of the best legal minds of the country, regaled us with quite a story. Apparently, for having accepted to break the law to put Capriles in jail (3), the judge finally got yesterday his long awaited promotion. And it turns out that he is a dentist turned judge 5 years ago. Blyde was wondering if he still is collecting his paycheck from teaching at dental school.

President Chavez. We could not leave without the latest from the ring leader. After having accused Colombia and the US of being behind the paramilitary episode of Sunday, today when the Colombian Foreign Minister, Carolina Barco, came to town to discuss serious matters we observed quite a backpedaling on the issue. This afternoon at a press conference only for foreign correspondents (Chavez does not give press conferences to Venezuelan media) he said that the Colombian government had nothing to do with the affair! What? In 48 hours Colombia goes from the invader to a bystander? But he still could not resist to comment that although he had no proof of US implication in this sordid invasion, he still believed they were behind it. And Chavez is surprised when people do not take him seriously! Maybe one day he will realize that silence is golden.

Yes folks, this are the people that are the "decision makers" in Venezuela. No wonder we are in so much trouble.

(1) The op-ed of Ms. Socorro yesterday was another little gem of simplicity and of important questions.

(2) The "citizens power" is comprised by three people, the General prosecutor, the Ombudsman and the General comptroller. Their basic function is to instruct prosecution cases for judicial trials, monitor public servants and check out the Nation's accounting, respectively. Together the three of them can "investigate" in specific circumstances members of the other powers.

(3) There is a strong rumor going around that the arrest of Capriles Radonski, which has no leg to stand on the evidence presented, is a personal request of Fidel Castro. Apparently he thinks that in Venezuela putting political enemies in jail is as easy as in Cuba. Well, it is not, but it is getting there.

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