Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A note to the chavistas reading this blog: the HRW report

In fact, the note can even go directly to the vice, JVR, Jesse "James" Chacon and the most infamous Isaias Rodriguez and his accomplices at the high court. Not to mention "el reyezuelo".

The Human Rights Watch report has published its 2006 report. In English. In Spanish.

It web page title is:

U.S. Policy of Abuse Undermines Rights Worldwide

Now, I recall all the times that you and your leaders have tried to make a case, with no success I must add right now, that the HRW was a pro US group dedicated to sabotage Chavez. I will pass on the delusional idea that you are so important that the HRW group is dedicated exclusively to monitor Chavez. Many times I did point out (as did other bloggers) that the HRW did cover quite a field besides Venezuela. But no, so incensed were you by the "lies" that you just turned deaf, blind but unfortuantely not mute.

Now I would like your opinion on the HRW when one of your favorite pet peeves is in the title of the report.

And before you entertain the mildest of hopes that the HRW might have been bought off by Chavez petrodollars stolen to his own people, read a few gems below.

On Cuba:
Cuba remains a Latin American anomaly: an undemocratic government that represses nearly all forms of political dissent. President Fidel Castro, now in his forty-seventh year in power, shows no willingness to consider even minor reforms. Instead, his government continues to enforce political conformity using criminal prosecutions, long- and short-term detentions, mob harassment, police warnings, surveillance, house arrests, travel restrictions, and politically-motivated dismissals from employment. The end result is that Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law.
And this is just the introduction. I need not paste anything from the body of the text.

On Venezuela:
Since winning a national referendum on his presidency in 2004, Hugo Chávez and his majority coalition in Congress have taken steps to undermine the independence of the country’s judiciary by packing the Supreme Court with their allies. They have also enacted legislation that seriously threatens press freedoms and freedom of expression. Several high profile members of civil society have faced prosecution on highly dubious charges, and human rights defenders have been repeatedly accused by government officials of conspiring against the nation. Police violence, torture, and abusive prison conditions are also among the country’s most serious human rights problems.
This is the introduction. Nothing, NOTHING that you have not read first in this blog.

This next one concerns also bloggers, or will some day soon when the government gets around to it.
In March 2005, amendments to the Criminal Code came into force which extended the scope of Venezuela’s desacato (disrespect) laws, and increased penalties for desacato, criminal defamation, and libel. By broadening its desacato provisions, Venezuela ignored the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and bucked a continent-wide trend toward the repeal of this type of law.
And about the repressive system that Chavez is installing or at least abetting. First on the three students assassinated by the police a few months ago.
According to an eyewitness, men in civilian clothes wearing hoods captured Montenegro and Quintero in an alley, made them lie on the ground, and shot them in cold blood. The police reportedly planted weapons on the scene to make it appear that they had been fired on first.
And more, though note the objectivity of the HRW.
Hundreds of police executions have been reported over the past several years, although the problem long predates the current administration. While the Attorney General’s Office and the human rights ombudsman have denounced these abuses, little progress has been made in prosecuting the police responsible or introducing the reforms necessary to combat the practice.
And about prison conditions, a post for which I got a lot of flack from some of you:
Conditions in Venezuela’s prisons are notoriously abusive. Overcrowding is chronic and armed gangs maintain effective control within the prison walls. Prison riots and inmate violence claim hundreds of lives every year.
And last but not least the concerted attacks on human rights groups in Venezuela. Impressive, even making the connection with the servile judiciary.
Public officials and government media have continued pursuing efforts to discredit Venezuela’s nongovernmental human rights organizations. Government officials and pro- government legislators publicly accused Humberto Prado, coordinator of Venezuelan Prison Watch and a prominent critic of prison policy, of starting a prison protest. In January, Prado reportedly received anonymous threats on his mobile phone. In March, COFAVIC, a respected human rights organization, reported that official media had insinuated that the organization had taken a share of money paid by the State in reparation to the victims of police killings during the Caracazo riots of 1989, a claim the organization vigorously denied.

In August 2005, the Supreme Court rejected a petition by another human rights organization, PROVEA, to order President Chávez to retract public statements he had previously made suggesting that both groups were participating in a U.S.-backed conspiracy against the government.
And what has been the Venezuelan response on all of those well documented cases? "Shoot the messenger", just as you do when any of the opposition blog does point out Chavez failings.
In response to the IACHR, the Venezuelan government maintained that the IACHR’s analysis and recommendations regarding Venezuela in its 2003 report infringed upon the country’s national sovereignty. The commission had criticized Venezuela’s weak separation of powers, the concentration of power in the executive branch, and the growing participation of the armed forces in government. In its 2004 annual report, published in early 2005, the commission noted that the government’s position was “incompatible with international law and with the American Convention itself.”
So please, next time you visit this blog on these issues, be preapared to bring real arguments or you will be suspected fo supporting the US actions across the world. In other words, "put up or shut up!"

PS: as of this post and for the next few days, I will do the Quico thing and try to write on things that could be of interest of the visitors from the Social Forum. Perhaps some of them might want to read something else than the propaganda that will be doled to them by the regime.

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