Venezuelan judicial system has been characterized for a basically dysfunctional one for decades. In fact, one of the planks of Chavez election was to reform justice. Something that not only he did not do, but made it worse by intervening it in a planned chaos which allowed him after a few years to totally pack the High Court of Venezuela with subservient judges, many of them not even qualified to be justices of the peace.
While this was taking place, the beyond dismal Venezuelan jail system kept its own degradation and human degradation functions. For the first time in years we saw prisoners dying of typhoid fever, a disease that can be avoided just by providing inmates with clean water. Earlier this year we were subjected once again to the sorry spectacle of rioting jails demanding, of all things, some speedier justice.
Then there is the police corps. It has also been decades that police brutality is routinely reported, another one of the unfulfilled plank in Chavez 1998 promises. During the Vargas 1999 disaster all sorts of brutality took place. And ever since reports have not stopped, most from chavista held areas: Guarico with governor Manuitt being the most recent example.
Another one of the left litanies in Venezuela, and certainly justified in part, was the regular beatings and killings of students by police during protests. Well, this one nightmare came back this week. In a still unclear string of events 3 students were killed by cops who mistook their car for another, shot before even asking questions. Three other in the car were injured.
Now, this could have been some last page news, but this time it was different. It was three students and you do not kill students INSIDE their car without a real reason. Today the truth could not be held as in many universities students started to protest. Revelations kept pouring. In Tal Cual it was revealed that the rogue cops had an order to kill three people (students? deliquents? passer-by?). A police supervisor admitted that the cops had fudged the evidence so as to pretend that there was a fight with the students.
The reaction of the government for once was swift as can be read here , here and here. Suspiciously swift at that. How come?
Venezuela, or rather Chavez, is holding a summer camp in August: the XVI th world festival of youths and students. This one has nothing to do with the same type of summer camp held by, say, John Paul II. The title this year? "We will fight against war and imperialism". I would have preferred "for peace and against war" or some more peace oriented slogan. But that slogan says it all: a union of all sort of left wing organizations, some probably genuine and respectable, some not so, particularly the ones from Venezuela and Cuba with a clear agenda that has nothing to do with subjects not designed to glorify their beloved leaders. The announced program is quite edifying, leaving nothing to the imagination.
No wonder the government was so swift in denouncing the student massacre!!!!! Talk about a public relation disaster only 38 days before opening ceremonies!
But that is what it happens when instead of doing your job, to clean up the judicial system, from the judges to the cop, you let things go to seed because it actually serves your political ambitions.
Meanwhile three very innocent victims lay dead in the bloom of their youth while 3 other hang to life by a thread. I wonder if we should warn those students visiting in August.
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Note added a few hours later.
I meant to include the following item earlier, but it was late and I forgot. So here it goes now.
The government is of course advertising that youth festival. The adds are so clearly political that Globovision had to resort to the full extent of the "gag law" to show these adds.
According to the law, the government has the right now to have every private network broadcast a certain amount of governmental announcements (read: 90% propaganda) for free. So what is doing Globovision to protest such incredibly unfair advertisment for that pseudo youth festival: before broadcasting it, it announces that "according to rule X, chapter Y of the 'gag law' (written of course in its official name but all get it) we have to broadcast the following message" with white letters over black background.
In other words Globovision not only makes it clear that it does not endorse such a blattant and crass propaganda on false premises to attract innocent youth, but it stresses futher the point by not putting this preamble before the other announcements of the government that it must broadcast. It is intersting that so far they have been able to get away with it without any official complaint. But they will not complain, as Globovision would probably put that preamble everytime, perfectly legal, reminding people the increasing intervention of the government in the already restricted freedom of expression.
Manipulation of youth, another sign of wanna-be totalitarian.