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Venezuela: BBC reports inaccurately trial of Mayor

By Aleksander Boyd

London 23.06.06 | Readers may recall that a few days ago I wrote something regarding the obvious meddling in Venezuelan judicial affairs of Fidel Castro's Ambassador to Venezuela Germán Sánchez Otero. An insolently cocky 'diplomat' Sánchez Otero had the gall to declare in Venezuelan state TV that the only honourable thing left for Mayor Henrique Capriles to do was to ask for his forgiveness. Incredibly interviewer Ernesto Villegas, one of those sycophantic 'chauvinistic chavistas' that see no problem in allowing members of the repressive Cuban dictatorship to disrespect Venezuelan citizens in their own country, failed to remind the abusive Cuban that his comments were in clear violation of the Venezuelan constitution and those international diplomatic treaties he was so fond of quoting during his insulting barrage against a Venezuelan public official.

The BBC published an article from its Caracas correspondant Greg Morsbach, in which he fails to address, in customary fashion, the most relevant issues of this case. Namely:

- Morsbach fails to mention that the most important bit of evidence a video submitted by Capriles' defence, 'went missing' from the court;

- Morsbach contends "Cuba's ambassador has told local media Mr Capriles should have used his authority as mayor but did nothing to protect his embassy" (sic). However video evidence shows that indeed Capriles did everything in his power to protect Castro's representatives. As seen in the video Capriles, and others, met with Sánchez Otero, who accepted the help offered;

- Morsbach cites that "the ambassador says the opposition mayor entered the premises to demand that the building be searched for any fugitive pro-Chavez officials" (sic), which again is a falacy. Capriles entered the building to safeguard and guarantee the safety of all diplomatic personnel, as shown in the video, that, most curiously, went missing;

- Morsbach fails to address the statements given by Sánchez Otero during Ernesto Villegas' interview whereby he argues that Capriles is lying about the alleged involvement in the siege. I would like to draw reader's attention to the video below, and compare the tone and demeanour of Sánchez Otero to the one linked above;

- Morsbach fails to mention that Sánchez Otero spoke to Dog Mork Ulnes Norwegian Ambassador to Venezuela, who offered to mediate, and is on the record saying "there's no conflict, absolutely no conflict, we are conversing and dialoguing as two sister nations, it's a misunderstanding that it's been resolved in this instance..." (sic);

- Morsbach fails to mention that Sánchez Otero is on the record recognising the authority of Pedro Carmona Estanga, declaring that he had sent a message to president Carmona Estanga and further stressing that the responsility of any act that could take place against them would lay on the shoulders of the President of Venezuela, its Foreign Secretary and ultimately its government, i.e. Venezuela's Executive;

- Morsbach fails to mention that Capriles has already been imprisoned for 120 days in relation to this very same case. Some particulars of his case can be read here;

In sum the BBC's correspondant does another botched job by presenting a fifth of the story, conveniently failing to report issues of great relevance, which by the way, are in clear violation to Venezuela's sovereignty and legislation.

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