Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Russian the ruffian's List

Teodoro Petkoff today published a damning article on the Russian list. Now, there is nothing new it it, you might say, as this blogger has been covering the issue. But it is new because he spells it all clearly, numbers and all. In fact, the way the front page editorial is written it is impossible that the ruffian of Russian cannot reply to it (not to mention Chavez). If anything is false in what Teodoro writes then Tal Cual should be fined or closed and Teodoro should stand trial for defamation. If Russian and Chavez do not address that editorial then they are implicitly admitting that Teodoro is right. With all the consequences that this implies.

For those who do not subscribe to Tal Cual, I lifted the article here. Translation below.

--- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

Russián announces more disqualifications.

Surely they will have the same political distribution of those already included in the list that bears his name. Over 80% of the disabled do not belong to the world of officialdom. What a coincidence! A government that has its people at all levels of public administration, manages (so to speak) 27 ministries and any number of autonomous institutes, which holds in its fist the Parliament, the Judiciary, the Prosecution, the Ombudsman and, of course, the Comptroller offices, which controls 21 of 23 states governorships and the Metropolitan Caracas Mayor's office and nearly 300 out of 335 mayorship, and their municipal councils, only "brings" less than 20% of disabled . The opposition, which calims its own 2 of 23 states, about thirty mayors, and is out of all public authorities, provides more than 80% of the disabled. And then, this infelicitous ventriloquist doll that holds the Comptroller's office contends shamelessly that his administration is impartial and free from political bias.

How does Russián explain this aberrant correlation that exists in the list that has made him so notorious? But let's get to the merits of the case. It is absolutely impossible, if you stick to the Constitution, that a citizen can be punished, even administratively, without due process or court trial. When the comptroller "disables", basing himself on the Law of the Comptroller's Office (nerver minding that such decisions relate only to appointed civil servants rather than elected ones), he takes a precautionary measure because one is presumed innocent in Venezuelan legislation and the Constitution (Article 49, paragraph 2: "Everyone is presumed innocent until proved otherwise"), and only a judge may decide whether the "disabled" is really guilty of the crime or irregularity that motivates the disqualification. If the verdict were guilty and is also confirmed in the higher courts, then and only then people would lose their political rights. Article 65 of the Constitution is very clear.

The disqualification therefore sets a legal aberration really Kafkaesque. A person whose guilt has not been demonstrated through due process and, therefore, was not sentenced to any penalty misses a fundamental political right, as is to be elected, by a simple administrative decision. This is as serious or even more than Sapo Law [the decree law that Chavez emitted and had to cancel a few days after as it was creting a nation of finks, sapo in Spanish]. Chavez should go through the tremendous international repudiation that this fact means to his government. He only reads the foreign press releases submitted to him by Izarrita [The communication minister who screens what Chavez receives].

[Chavez should] have canvassed political opinions in other countries to really know how they see that Russián list.

-The end-

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