Up to August 2004, I had followed Chavez revolution from afar. I had not voted for Chavez and I could not understand why anybody would vote for him. I have a very deep social conscience and I believed that something had to be done in
Among all the many events that have taken place during Chavez term, there were three that took me out of my political lethargy. They are critical points in my political assessment of Chavez government and, in my view, constitute the three most dangerous milestones in the
1. - the persecution of the Sumate directive,
2. - the refusal of the CNE to open the boxes after the Revocatory Referendum,
3. - the changing of the law to pack the Supreme Court and, consequently, the use of the single majority in the National Assembly to elect the judges.
The first event, persecuting the directive of Sumate, showed me the intimidation face of the Chavistas. The government really worked hard to find an obscure article, dating from the time of Dictator Juan Vicente Gomez that could be applied to the only effective opposition organization that was in place in
The second event of importance was the refusal of the CNE to open the boxes after the claims of fraud made by the opposition and after the publication of numerous studies showing inconsistencies in the results. Even though the
The last event is the latest strike to
Sadly, we are quickly witnessing the results of the last milestone. The TSJ recently reconsidered its own ruling on the acquittal of the military involved in the events of
To complete the dark portrait given by those three milestones, there is, of course, the infamous Tascon list according to which those that signed to ask for a referendum to revoke the president are blacklisted. There are also two new laws that have been recently added: the muzzle law, which controls the content in radio and television and the modification of the penal code that imposes tougher jail sentences that may restrict in some cases the freedom of expression. More recently, we have also witnessed the increasing militarization of the country, for instance, the government has proposed that 10% of the Venezuelan population be military reservists! (see here and here).
And, going back to the penal code, you may think that since the government had to change the code, they would have got rid of its anachronisms like the infamous Juan Vicente Gomez article, right? No such luck: article 132 is still there.
I really miss my days of political lethargy!