Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Same, same in the new land of Magical Realism
Another judicial ruling, another OAS round of insults, a new horrible crime, but a soccer victory

Wednesday 31, March 2004

The Constitutional Court, early this evening emitted its new counter rebuttal to the Electoral Court. That ping pong game, far from resolving anything keeps miring the Recall Election into the legal limbo of the full Court decision. And the ruling of tonight, even for bystanders like me, looks quite silly. Just another stalling measure, from a Court that tries desperately to assume its supremacy over the other courts. The main argument of the Constitutional Court is that since there is no law to regulate referenda, then it is to the Constitutional Court to decide anything electoral since they are the ones that named the Electoral Board. This is just making the rules of the game as you go along making sure that you keep winning. Really... To be continued.

Ah! And a summary editorial in English from El Universal about the sorry state of justice in Venezuela.

Meanwhile back at the OAS. In the line of recent days (Chavez insulting the International Labour Organization, the Foreign Minister creating a new "bolivarian foreign policy", etc, etc...) the Venezuelan ambassador to the OAS spoke today to complain of US intervention during the April 2002 events, and ever since. Announcing that Venezuela has plenty of texts, videos and all sorts of evidence (that we have yet to see in Venezuela). As it is now usual, there is no reply as to what has been going on since February 27. But there is now a laundry list on how 2 something million of dollars were given by the National Endowment for Democracy to diverse Venezuelan groups. As if 2 million dollars were enough to overthrow a government that disposes of 20 billion in revenue from the oil industry alone. Pleaaaase! Does he think that other OAS ambassadors do not know how an election costs even in a small Caribbean Island?

The US ambassador was very prompt in qualifying the declarations of the Venezuelan ambassador as irresponsible. I think that he was kind.

But while all these denunciations of US abuse took place in the Washington seat of the OAS, in Zulia states 8 soldiers put into retention (in a way supposedly illegal now) were almost burnt to death, in a clear abuse of military authority in Venezuela. According to the officer in charge a cigarette butt was the start of the conflagration. According to the parents of the victims and at least one of the survivors, they were in jail because they had signed the Recall Election drive and they had been menaced with being burnt the day before, AND the extent of the fire was not normal nor the lateness of the help received. This incredible event reminds of the famous Siccat case when a lower ranking officer did burn alive a soldier in detention in a show of sadistic power. This soldier has been protected obscenely by the armed forces that now in Venezuela refuse to let civilian courts investigate murders in garrisons. Showing again how much into a strange military dictatorship we have advanced. And of course the first signs of blocking the investigation and stalling are already seen in Zulia.

But to compensate for all this intellectual misery from a government that is feeling like a cornered dog, we had tonight an uplifting victory of the Venezuelan soccer selection, La Vino Tinto. Venezuela trashed Uruguay 3 to 0, IN MONTEVIDEO, in the hallowed Centenario stadium! Not only it is the first time that we beat Uruguay at home (I think), but a 3-0 score at that level is quite something for Venezuela, the former Cinderella of South American soccer.

The irony of course is that Chavez does not like soccer, the only thing he has not seriously meddled with and the only thing that seems to work in Venezuela these last years.

Arango, the main scorer of La Vino Tinto

End of game historical hug

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