Monday, November 03, 2008

Is there a state left in Venezuela?

When I look at what has happened today in Venezuela, in a single day, I wonder if there is a state left in Venezuela. There is also the option to think that Venezuela has become a failed state and we are about to become aware of that.

Let's start with the latest one. We just learned on TV that the grand daughter of ex-president Leoni has been found murdered in her apartment, possibly with her youngest child having witnessed it all, her mother near death next, both stabbed several times. The murder, by the way is in her Santa Paula apartment, a few blocks away from where I stay when I visit Caracas. A middle class neighborhood. What is the difference between Lorena and, say, any of the Chavez bothers? She had a small apartment in Caracas, he has large estates in Barinas. She had no body guard, he has all the body guards he can think of, taken away from the police corps, and thus away from the streets where they should be busy protecting the common citizen from crime, such as Lorena Moreno Leoni. Lorena is the grand daughter of a president that did not get rich while in office. She and her siblings have had to work all their lives for whatever they had as their grand parents left them only the family home. Another ex-president who died a simple man was Herrera Campins whom his friends had to help with his final medical expenses. The Chavez clan has become in ten years filthy rich, and let's not start with all the associates of the regime...

Or rather, let's start with these associates as the Miami trial is finally over and Franklin Duran has been declared guilty. Guilty as in guilty of being an undeclared agent of the Venezuelan government in the US. That is all, but it is much, much more than what it seems.
  • It means that indeed Chavez regime is dispatching people to the US to commit actions that at the very least fail to meet the ethical label. In other words, Chavez agents in the US are up to no good, the more so when they are not registered.
  • It means that the evidence presented at the trial demonstrates that the jury believed that corruption in Venezuela was at the root of sending such illegal agents. NOTE: the jury could not emit its opinion on corruption per se but the defense could not prove that the actions of Duran where not motivated by trying to cover up corruption in Venezuela.
  • It means that the jury accepted that Venezuelan corruption is spilling over the US and as such should be stopped.
What are the implications?

Venezuelan government now cannot pretend the 800,000 dollars in the suit case just happened to be there. In fact, today, Antonini now free of the trial constraints talked in public for the first time, on CNN nothing less, to say that the money in the bag was for Cristina Kirchner campaign. Cristina and Hugo can chose to ignore Antonini declarations but the rest of Latin America who watched CNN "en español" now can wonder about the corruption in both countries (and in theirs if they are associated in any way with the bolivarian mafia). Well, they are not wondering, of course, as Argentina and Venezuela are considered quite corrupt even by our very lax Latin standards. No, they are going to wonder if these two crooks are going to do something about it. They will not have much of a choice anyway as in Argentina already the opposition is getting ready to cash in.

But in Venezuela, instead of investigating the huge corruption scandal of giving money to foreign campaigns, the Venezuelan mafia in charge uses law artifacts to remove one by one any opponent that looks to win at the coming polls. Yesterday it was Lopez, Mendoza and others. Today it was Lapi's turn. Tomorrow expect Salas Feo, Capriles and Rosales. That is the only way that chavismo can win an election, remove those who are running against them.

And while all of this took place, while European Human Rights observers were barred form doing their job, while Lech Walesa was "convinced" not to come to Venezuela, Chavez appealed to the racial card to try to get a date with Barak Obama. The Spanish original carries better the idea that Obama is black, like us. Chaevz simple assumes that Obama is misinformed. A little bit more and Obama is XXI centruy socialism Uncle Tom, if Chavez knew of that image.

Can there be a state in a country where the president behaves in such ways, say such things, jail or bars whoever he wants? Can there be a state when the daughter of an ex president is fighting for her life because somebody stabbed her in her home while the same state gives away 16, SIXTEEN, luxury 4 wheel drive, armored vehicles to make sure that Evo Morales is not going to get mugged in La Paz streets?

There is only one explanation to make sense of all of this: Chavez plays deliberately at the destruction of the state, an encumbrance that blocks him from enjoying his loot.

-The end-

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