Truly since December 2 the glorious bolivarian revolution has been redolent of moral decomposition.
This past weeks, as people are less and less afraid of Chavez and when scandals are more and more difficult to hide and ignore, we are witnessing an acceleration of accusations and "sudden discoveries". We started this year with already such lingering scandals as the Antonini 800 000 money bag to Argentina (by the way, this incident seems to have faded early Cristina K. presidency as she is going from new problems to new set backs, just as if her administration were already an exhausted one). But what has happened in the recent weeks make all of these previous scandals children game. Of course, each one is due to a judicial system hijacked since 1999 by the executive and which has failed miserably to exert any of the controls needed in civilized society. Moral and financial corruptionS are now so extensive that after the December 2 rupture, well, it all starts coming out, like worms escaping the rotten carcass. In no particular order of importance, since we do not know where will the next stinky bomb explode.
The Anderson case is reopened
Long time readers of this blog of course are aware of the scandalous investigation of the murder of prosecutor Danilo Anderson. To this date we still do not know who paid the alleged murderers (by a bomb in Anderson car). Still, with what looked like a manipulated trial, the Guevara brothers were put in jail. But that is not all. Using basically a single witness that Isaias Rodriguez personally trusted from "looking inside his eyes", he, the General Prosecutor of the Republic, thought it was enough evidence to arrest or point out to dozen of people. Today all are free though many are still under investigation, while several of them, including journalist Patricia Poleo had to exile themselves because they decided that under the present situation they could not benefit of a fair trial. Judging by how many people were shot and what happened to the Guevara brothers, her concerns were certainly not unfounded.
That the famous witness was confounded as a fraud did not change much to the results...
Well, last week one of the prosecutors in charge of the investigation of the Anderson case declared, accused, Isaias Rodriguez of having manipulated the evidence, fabricating some, dismissing any evidence that could have spared unjust blame, and other manipulation of justice. Today, after the government removed his body guards, Hernando Contreras went to ask protection at the OAS office in Caracas (by the way what is this that anyone in government seems to have at least one body guard in Venezuela while this bloggers is been robbed at least once a year since Chavez is president?). The initial reply of Isaias has been less than convincing...
So, what will happen with the Guevara brothers if they have been condemned unjustly? Will Patricia Poleo be able to return to Venezuela? What about the other guys accused on just an impression? Will they receive a reparation for the injustice made to them? Will Isaias go on trial in turn? Will we ever know who killed Anderson? Apparently from what has been said these days it seems that the cover up order came from somewhere inside the higher ranks of the government, that is, Anderson was ordered killed because... he knew too much? He charged too much the extortion victims his gang managed? went too far with a given minister? risked to expose accidentally someone else?
Yaracuy governor indicted, of sorts
Yaracuy actual governor, Gimenez, a user, an incompetent manager and apparently also incompetent thief has finally been nailed. Not because he was a thief, mind you!!! We in Yaracuy knew already that before he made it to the State Mansion. But for the hoi poloi he was Chavez candidate and that was enough reason to vote for him 3 years ago.
One of the first things he did reaching office was to prosecute former governor Lapi over some public works in Yaritagua. I do not know whether Lapi was guilty of any wrongdoing, there was never a trial. However Lapi was duly jailed for months during "the investigation" and eventually had to escape jail because his life was in danger. Now, like Patricia Poleo he is in exile, a much better thing for chavismo than to have to judge someone with insufficient evidence against him or her.
Meanwhile, Gimenez and his family who seem to have stolen more money than whatever Lapi could dream, or need in his exile, is walking the streets without much problem except some public embarrassment. See, the reason why of all chavista officials he is one of the few that got sort of caught is because he was very clumsy about stealing and they need him out of Yaracuy sate house for many reason that have nothing to do with good governance. Because if good governance were chavismo goals, Gimenez would have never been put as governor.
Chavez family as XXI century socialist landlords
And while we are talking family business the Gimenez are not the only ones who benefited from nepotism. With about half a dozen of siblings and parents the Chavez pack seems to have enough hands now to have become the biggest landlords of Barinas state in less than a decade. Oh, sure, they did it through front men and stuff like that, but the locals apparently know that some of the front men never had a penny saved to buy the dirt off the land they now own.
Now, we all knew or suspected of it for years but suddenly a representative for Barinas, Azuaje, who apparently has personal ambitions has decided to ask for an investigation on all of these suspect properties. See, apparently even though he is in the chavista party and even though he seems to have gained some merits of his own in Barinas (remember, merits in chavismo are mostly related to you abilities to suck up), he is miffed that some of the Chavez lousy brothers will inherit the state house of Barinas while he thinks of himself to be a little bit more valuable than a Chavez brother. He is probably right but that is not the point. The point is that as soon as he accused the Chavez clan of illicit enrichment the whole apparatus system and judicial system started to move in gear to shut him down. At flash speed a local judge declared that there was nothing to investigate. The parliament said that he was talking because of his ambition but no commission of course was dispatched to at lest look into the matter, though some perfunctory investigation was promised. However they also decided to investigate Azuaje. After all it would be very simple to investigate if one wanted to: you ask one of these front men to explain where they suddenly got the money to buy a given ranch. Surely they must have retained a copy of the winning lottery ticket? No?
On a judicial point of view of course I do not expect an investigation to be started, this is Venezuela and no sitting president has been investigated on illegally appropriated money even though many left Miraflores more prosperous than they entered (Carlos Andres Perez was unseated because he misplaced funds, not because he took them for himself, -1-). No, what is interesting here is that suddenly we are talking about those things, in particular the locals in Sabaneta, Chavez hometown, who say candidly on TV that having the brother of the president as mayor has not brought them any advantage. That is how clumsy chavistas are when they steal, they do not even bother to toss a bone to their local homies, as the Adecos had the intelligence to do....
So there you see, the consequences of the absence of an independent judicial system. And it is just starting.....
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1- of the democratic era Betancourt and Leoni left Miraflores with only their pension as ex-president. None of their relatives has been reported having become suddenly rich. Caldera also lives in the same house he had and with the same life style although at least one of his sons seem to have benefited from his closeness to power. Luis Herrera did not even had a car when he died and we learned that some of his expensive medical bills were paid by his friends. Only Lusinchi and Carlos Andres are rumored to have acquired a significant fortune. Yet, if the Barinas tales are true, the Chavez clan will have taken from public treasures amount fo money never seen since the times of Gomez!