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The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela v Sumate

By Aleksander Boyd

London 02 Oct. 04 – Having been ‘legitimised by the people’ Hugo Chavez advances rapidly in the path towards authoritarianism. Not two weeks had passed since the referendum of August 15th when an overly confident Chavez addressed the National Assembly, in customary patronising fashion, ordering them to speed up legislation of the “Gag Law”, the National Police Law and to ‘revise’ the constitution. One of the brown-nose sycophants from his camp came up with a 21 point proposal to amend the constitution, that included indefinite re-election of Chavez, just to provide a sound legal framework in which the permanence in power of the neo-fascist Master until the year 2021 could be democratically achieved.

The monumental fuck up (for lack of a better word) of the Carter Centre’s and OAS’ electoral observation missions is reaching epic proportions. Suffice to say that the fraud issue has moved from a public outcry originated by the opposition in Venezuela to an international acknowledged and condemnatory stance towards the regime for having failed and having impeded proper audits according to international standards. Not content with the fraudulent electoral results, Hugo Chavez ordered an environmental attorney –you read it correctly, i.e. a public prosecutor for the Office of the Attorney General whose expertise are environmental issues- by the name of Danilo Anderson to prosecute all the signatories of the Carmona decree; all the assistants to the swearing ceremony to the presidency of Pedro Carmona and all the visitors to the presidential palace during the brief -48 hours- government of Carmona.

First people to be called are of course media barons and Sumate directors. The man whose public announcement of the resignation of Hugo Chavez generated a series of events which led to the appointment to the presidency of Pedro Carmona by the high military command will not be called upon by Danilo Anderson. Said man was until very recently Minister of Interior of the Chavez regime and back in the days he was the head of the Comando Unificado de las Fuerzas Armadas Nacionales (CUFAN), Gral. Lucas Rincon Romero. Quite odd isn’t it?

The regime is hell bent on imprisoning Sumate directors solely due to their sheer efficiency in denouncing electoral fraudulent behaviour perpetrated by the chavista majority of the electoral board namely Carrasquero, Rodriguez and Battaglini. The following I wrote on 19 May this year:

The situation begs for a number of questions; since when it is a crime to receive money from international bodies? If such were to be the test then Hugo Chavez, as head of state, needs to be charged as well for he accepted illegal campaign contributions from the BBVA –that mounted to $1.5 million according to Judge Baltasar Garzon.

Second I am dying indeed to see the prosecution’s legal interpretation. Which law, statute, article or provision has been breached by the directors of Sumate? NONE. Prosecutor Luisa Ortega summoned them to declare for treason and conspiracy charges. According to Venezuela’s Penal Code (Art. 128) “Any person who, in accord with a foreign nation or enemies, conspires against the safety of the country’s territory, or against its republican institutions, or makes any hostile actions in that respect, will be punished with 20 to 30 years imprisonment.” Article 129 cites “He who from within Venezuela or from abroad, with or without the complicity of another nation, attempts in itself against the independence of the republic’s territory, will be punished with 20 to 26 years imprisonment.”

The name of Mohammad Merhi springs to mind, after having lost a son (assassinated) in the tragic events of April 11 2.002 and requesting at both national and international level for an independent truth commission to investigate the killings of the day he was also charged of treason by Chavez. What constitutes treason in Chavez’ dictionary? Let us see, Sumate can not organize and uncover the trickeries of the administration regarding a constitutional right called referendum, for its actions are deemed as treason to our territory. Its efficient ‘hostility’ evidences the countless violations to our republican institutions as such its directors must be punished.

Hugo Chavez on the other hand can open our frontiers to the Cuban G2 (giving them Carte Blanche so that they can set our soldiers on fire); he can give away Venezuelan citizenships to Colombian peasants; he can turn our territory into guerrilla paradise and gateway for the drug trade; he can bring the country to the brink of civil war; he can grant free oil to the Cuban dictator; he can bequeath the country’s resources to American oil firms; he can waste Venezuelan money in American PR companies; he can ally himself with the universal human scoriae to further advance his ‘project’; he can ruin our institutions and seed hatred amongst Venezuelans; he can wipe his ass with our constitution; surprisingly enough none of that is considered treason by the general Attorney.

I am still waiting for Eva Golinger’s and other paid advocates of the regime to bring forth the piece of Venezuelan legislation that renders illegal the acceptance of foreign funds by Sumate. I am also waiting for a coherent explanation as to why Hugo Chavez was/has not been prosecuted for illegally taking $1.5 million from the Spanish BBVA.

It seems rather clear that the regime will turn the screws on those it considers its enemies, Sumate’s proficiency and work has become an insurmountable obstacle for the rapid ‘electoral and democratic’ advance of the revolution, hence the trumped up charges and the State prosecution to its directors. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court reads:

Article 7
Crimes against humanity

1. For the purpose of this Statute, "crime against humanity" means any of the following acts when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law;

(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court.

Mohammad Merhi, another conspirator in the eyes of the regime, took his case along with 70 others to the International Criminal Court. His action has the support of Venezuela’s Bar (Colegio de Abogados) and the case against Sumate will be added to the growing list of crimes committed by Hugo Chavez and his thugs. Venezuela will not just turn the page and shall the going get tough; the tough will indeed get going.

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