A few minutes ago, lawyer Tulio Alvarez has been detained (arrested?) as he was trying to board an airplane to go back to Caracas. No reason given so far, and the reader may note that it was the Nazional Guard, not just the cops that were trying to arrest him, in a very intimidating manner (as far as this blogger can tell so far). Info is still sketchy, but Mr. Alvarez being a good lawyer, he is refusing to surrender or to allow to let the guard search him until someone from the attorney general office shows up. That is right, in this now military regime we live under, the army feels that it can arrest whoever it wants and whenever. But Alvarez has shown some mettle in the past and he is not about to surrender like that to Nazional Guard thugs.
Updates here, later as needed.
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No reason advanced yet. But readers of this blog will already know that Mr. Alvarez was the one leading the group of people that established the claim of electoral fraud in August and September 2004 after the Recall Election. He published his report, but that report was not used by the opposition parties who preferred to run in October 31 2004 for the regional elections and who met the disaster that Alvarez had predicted they will get into in September. That report, by the way, can be consulted PDF here.
Thus we know already which is the real reason behind this aggression, no matter what charges the government will try to pin on Mr. Alvarez.
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The motive advanced was that the car in which Tulio Alvarez was being taken to the airport was a car "reported missing". Right...
So, if I get this right, Mr. Alvarez, who was told by hotel personnel that he was being followed, called a friend to give him a ride to the airport and the friend would take his wife and 4 year old kid in a "missing vehicle" to take dangerous international terrorist Tulio Alvarez on a commercial flight to Caracas. Not even, I should point out to try to escape to Miami, which he could have tried from Maracaibo had he wanted to escape. But Tulio Alvarez, like Maria Corina Machado and Alejandro Plaz have that nasty habit of not leaving the country, or coming back to it, and be willing to stand trial which greatly infuriates chavismo that has no real charges to accuse them.
No wonder Tulio Alvarez was adamant in refusing to be searched until a public prosecutor showed up, declaring calmly that he was not going to allow the Nazional Guard plant evidence in his personal belongings as it has become its habit (Carlos Melo and the Lopez Castillo being two of such notorious case where "evidence" was planted to jail the accused folks, even if eventually the maneuver failed).
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Update 3 (and last for the day)
The news came in that Tulio Alvarez was eventually released and could board his airplane. The people that accompanied him had to go to the Nazional Guard post but were eventually released too. TV tonight showed a few governmental characters with some egg on their face. Even Jesse Chacon declarations were rather hollow trying to insinuate that Tulio Alvarez was going to be investigated for some kind of illegal weapon possession. Gee... Tulio Alvarez would be THAT stupid as he knows he is a primo target to walk around, at airports, with illegal weapons.... Pleaaaase....
So, what was this show all about? Tonight Tulio Alvarez declares that it is just a stepping up of the continued harassment he has been enduring lately. Rumors run that initially there were informations as to the arrest of Tulio Alvarez on some charges on the web pages of the administration, web pages promptly removed when the airport show started failing. And more. but no need to specualte too much. We have already seen this type of actions and this blogger for one thinks that they tried to get Alvarez but this one has been ready for a long time and knows how incompetent chavismo is. You should just listen to the declarations of the head of the commando when he sarted accusing the driver of cowardice in attacking the pure National Guard! Yeah, the driver was in front of a dozen Nazional Guard and the Nazional Guard feels like a victim, not the arrested guy! Sometimes one wonders whether to laugh or cry.