What was expected finally happened today: a second tier lousy state prosecutor asked for Maracaibo's mayor indictment on corruption charges. Ex Zulia governor, ex-presidential candidate and now Maracaibo mayor Rosales had it coming: Chavez demanded jail for him during the last regional election campaign. Rosales in turn asked then for jail for Di Martino, ex mayor of Maracaibo. No news about how the investigation on Di Martino is proceeding. Nobody is expecting him to be indicted anytime soon in spite of all evidence accumulating against him. But we are pretty sure that Rosales is in deep trouble because these type of orders from Chavez are always followed through.
What is important here is not the news. The timing has been chosen because Chavez needs people to discuss something else than inflation, crime, the Guyana workers nearing a general strike situation, the PDVSA suppliers that are not being paid, etc, etc...
What is not important here is whether Rosales is a corrupt public servant. For all that I know he might have dipped in the public coffers. However there is one thing that I am willing to bet my life on it: Rosales might have stolen public monies but I am absolutely sure that Diosdado Cabello or the Chavez family have stolen more, much more than Rosales could. Why I am so willing to bet my life on it? Because Rosales was closely monitored at all times during his rule whereas none ever could monitor Diosdado Cabello in Miranda or the Chavez family in Caracas, or Miraflores for that matter. Try as a simple citizen to get info on these guys and tell me how far you will go.
What is not important here is whether Rosales will be denied to go on trial as a free citizen. The important thing to note here is that even notable chavistas, pursed for corruption such as my own ex-governor of Yaracuy, Gimenez, are far from reaching the trial status and they are freely walking the streets while Rosales could be arrested as early as tomorrow. As far as I know the Gimenez corruption crimes listed at the time by the High Court president herself sounded way worse than what Rosales is supposed to have done. Other names of chavista walking the street free are Velazquez Alvaray or Manuitt to name two famous ones spectacularly discarded.
To close this I will make a precise comment: if people think that getting rid of Rosales is after all no big deal, that perhaps the opposition could benefit from having less leaders and perhaps become somewhat more effective, that any corrupt public servant unmasked is always a good thing, well, they are thinking wrong. What is at stake here is allowing Chavez to decide who will be permitted to become his opposition. The way the different opposition leaders respond to an eventual jail for Rosales will be crucial for their future, and the future of the country. Rosales is not going to jail because he stole money: he is going to jail because he beat Chavez last November. If you fail to understand that then you understand nothing about Venezuela.