The European Parliament voted today to condemn Venezuela for barring politicians to run in elections and for the expulsion of two Human Rights Watch Activists. Of course Venezuela denied everything.
From additional information not appearing in press at the time I type, this is in fact worse for Chavez than it might seem at first. I am not going back on the cases except to remind folks that notable opposition candidates were barred from running this November on specious charges, without a trial and even less of a guilty court ruling. That is, a public employee, Clodosvaldo Russian, decided on his own who could or could not run in November while he refused to check on the scandalous money bag trial in Miami, the "valijagate", which should be his first obligation. Of course anyone could see through it and now the European Parliament in Strasbourg took the pain to vote a condemnation of Venezuela for violating human rights. In the deal the obnoxious expulsion of Human Rights Watch workers was also included as another violation.
No, what is more interesting to discuss is what this will mean for Chavez.
First the lame excuse that the vote only included the right wing parties is indeed lame (and I pass on the disqualification of these parties thrown by some chavistas). True, they all voted for, but it is also true that the social democrats abstained. Only the left more or less on Chavez payroll took the floor to defend what cannot be defended. Then again the speakers from Portugal and Izquierda Unida at Strasbourg have benefited from junkets to Chavez activities. Or their co-religionists, same difference. They do not want to see one of their main donors and promoters look really bad.
What is interesting here is the silence of the socialists, the real ones, the good ones. Apparently they were divided on this sanction and in a time of crisis where it is important to show coherence they prefer not to participate in the debate and not to vote. In other words, a long condescending European left is now unwilling to follow Chavez whenever he wants. Heck, even those willing to vote in favor are comfortable with abstention! His actions are catching up with him. Only the fringe left still follows.
At any rate, one thing is certain, as of now Venezuela is on the watch list of Europe as a regime of the same caliber as Zimbabwe. We all knew it, it is now just official and as of now Chavez reception in europe will be colder and colder, when received. Poor Hugo, he loves so much being received in European capitals.........
But that is all fine, more dangerous news for Hugo are coming from Miami, dutifully reported by the Miami Herald, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. If they do not get Chavez for Human Rights violations they will get him for being a crook. One always lead to the other anyway.