Friday, May 27, 2005

The "Majesty" of the High Court of Venezuela, TSJ

What was perhaps the most interesting part, for this observer, of the visa suspension yesterday was the argument advanced by the brilliant legal mind of Omar Mora. This one, the president of the Venezuelan High Court, has had his visa to enter the USA "suspended", and made a big fuss of it yesterday.

I am not too sure what are the real reasons. We know that the US hand does not shake when it wants to "suspend" visas nor does it feel compelled to account for such actions (even sitting presidents have been denied visas).

But when I read the following from Omar Mora, I can only wonder about the mental abilities of the president of the Venezuelan High Court:
But more than the personal consequences is the institutional consequences (...) I think it is an attack to the dignity of the Venezuelan Judicial Power
I have a newsflash for Omar Mora: he is one of the great culprit that the dignity (or majesty as he says later) is shot in Venezuela. The US cannot add anything to that grave. How can anyone respect a judicial power that:

  • Was elected by a new law that was clearly violating the 1999 constitution
  • Was packed by increasing its membership from 20 to 32 by the simple majority vote of the pro Chavez side of the National Assembly
  • Saw its few independent members fired through the new illegal law
  • Saw these independent members, once elected by a constitutional 2/3 vote, replaced by Chavez supporters elected with a bare majority
  • Saw people of very questionable credentials reach the court, such as widely criticized Carrasquero who demonstrated the outmost partiality to chavismo in his previous job
  • Saw the new members initiate quite an activist agenda as soon as they reached office
  • Demonstrated a great willingness to go against precedent and thus break the rule of law
  • Saw the new president, Omar Mora, have a militant discourse "pro revolution" that would have been unseemly even in a local county Jury clerk
  • Saw the court fire and hire judges all around the country based on how faithful they are perceived to el Supremo cause
  • Saw indecent procedural delays for any cause that does not favor the central administration
  • Saw humble people have to start hunger strike at the doors of the TSJ to get justice for their assassinated relatives
  • And more, much more
Such a court as long lost its dignity or majesty. There is no fig leaf big enough to hide the servility of such a court, its submission to the designs of Chavez power. In fact, the present TSJ is fast becoming a symbol of all that is servile in Venezuela.

No Mr. Mora, the US is not attempting against the majesty of your office. No crime can be committed when there is no material to commit a crime against. As a lawyer you should know that.

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