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The Political Prisoner count increases in Venezuela

By Daniel Duquenal

Thursday 10, June 2004 - Today was a rather infamous day for the chavista cause as a few people were either arrested, or maintained in jail, or indicted regardless of the judicial merit of their indictment which in some cases actually did not happen as people are being arrested for the lamest excuse such as the "he might flee the country" of Capriles Radonsky.

Let's see TODAY'S unbelievable count.

Maria Corina Machado was indicted today for "conspiracy" (as in betrayal to the father land) because she organized Sumate to remove Chavez from office. She is not arrested yet as apparently the case against her is a little bit shaky. But of course she cannot leave the country and risks final arrest at any time (I am sure as soon as the work of Sumate organizing the August 15 journey starts imporving the polls of the opposition).

Dulce Bravo and Vasco da Costa were denied their appeal against unfair arrest. Theirs is a more obscure case where apparently they claim that the "proof" was hidden in their belongings. Apparently the proof is some kind of pamphlet very far from explaining the complete scope of the conspiracy to which their name has been associated. Thus they will remain in jail while the prosecution tries to find something more convincing.

Three colonels arrested a few days ago lost an appeal and will have to remain 15 more days in jail while the prosecution tries to build a more convincing case. This was related with the "paramilitary" affair, for which NO HARD EVIDENCE has been shown to the press yet. But somehow the government will find somebody "guilty" long enough, at least until something else happens and people forget how clumsily the government directed the whole scam.

Leonardo Carvajal received a citation to the prosecutor office to account for charges of conspiracy and betrayal to the fatherland. The citation is for June 21, and according to Carvajal it is because this week end, while representing the opposition at the OAS Ecuador summit, he had strong words with the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS. Carvajal came to notoriety in 2001 when he organized the very first street protest against Chavez, a movement that last week eventually managed to activate the Recall Election process. He landed in Caracas to find the citation waiting.

The Tachira 9, a group of people arrested in Tachira state for some of the troubles that occurred in Tachira during the April 2002 events. Today they reached 1 year in jail and their release was denied. Now, maybe they are guilty of something, but after one year they should have reached trial by now. Nothing of the sort, and actually their indictment seems quite shaky to justify ONE YEAR in jail.

And to close the day with a firework, ex-general, ex security director of Chavez, Ovidio Poggioli, has been put to jail. What is absolutely amazing is that Mr. Poggioli benefits from an order to the High Court against unjust prosecution and this was disregarded by the military judge on the case. Yet again the decisions of the High Court are disregarded by some of Chavez lackeys. Mr. Poggioli and his lawyer have refused to sign the indictment because it was, they claim, illegal and because the charges are not deserving of a preventive arrest.

Not bad for one day: 1 new arrest, 14 confirmed arrests and 2 indictments, all for political reasons. And this is already too long a post to recall the ones already jailed that were not in court today. Meanwhile some "journalists" overseas are claiming that there are NO political prisoners in Venezuela. You can see it all in my preceding post. And a long list for the reader to wonder how much of democracy is left in Venezuela.

Maybe I should start planning for the day when this blogger will be accused for "conspiracy and betrayal to the father land" for saying mean things against the glorious leaders of the gloriouser bolivarian revolution. Any one can point me to a good lawyer? I might be kidding at this time, but who knows, someday Venezuelan bloggers might not be kidding anymore. Because I am not stopping, nor anyone else, just as we salute all the people that were in the news today as ALL OF THEM SAID THAT IT DID NOT MATTER, THAT WE SHOULD KEEP FOCUSED ON THE RECALL ELECTION OF AUGUST. Brave people!

Gloria al bravo Pueblo!

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