Today was a terrible day for Chavez. [UPDATED 1 & 2]
First it started with a judge in Spain emitting an indictment that states among other things that ETA terrorists get cover and help just as the FARC ones do, in Venezuela. While there, they plotted killing two Colombian presidents as well as other Colombian figures. There goes the constant Chavez complaints that all want to kill him.
The Spanish governments are always serious when they deal with Basque separatist threats of the ETA, and the current one is no exception even if it tried at first to engage the Basque early in its tenure. Today active collaboration with French police has weakened the ETA to an historical low. Zapatero government is not going to dodge that issue which single handedly could bring his government down. Diplomatically they asked Venezuela to account for itself. and we can sure that if the response is not adequate, Moratinos for all his Chavez love will have to take action. And so goes the Spanish connection, the last one Chavez still had in Europe.
Why you may ask? Well, the first reaction of the regime is not very encouraging. Assuming that all the judicial systems of the world are submitted tot he executive will, as is the case in Venezuela, they accuse the Spanish judge to make politics and find unacceptable the ruling. Of course, just as for the IACHR report, we see wholesale rejection, and not the flimsiest attempt at rebuttal.
The rest of the day would bring further bad news to finish off Venezuela's image overseas.
The Washington Post did hit with a very strong editorial about the latest IACHR report that says that in Venezuela there is no separation of power, that the failure of the knee bent judicial power are the sources of moist of our evils. It is worth to quote the last paragraph
To read the report is to be dismayed anew by the silence of Venezuela's neighbors and of the principal OAS organs. Mr. Insulza, characteristically, responded to the report with an arms-length statement that underlined the commission's autonomy and suggested "dialogue" between it and Mr. Chávez's government "to clear up doubts and differences." Mr. Insulza is running for reelection as secretary general, so far without opposition; the United States supplies 60 percent of his budget. If his reaction to the report is any indication, Congress will be expected to fund OAS tolerance of Mr. Chávez's repression for five more years.
And sure enough we get later in the day a bipartisan request to the US representative at the OAS to start a discussion on this report, signed by Lugar and Dodd. Cannot ignore it....
Bad timing for Chavez because the criticism of Lula and the rest of Latin America about the murder of Zapata in a Cuban jail has been noted and is stinging. Could it be that the US (and Canada?) want to play hardball and expose the real reasons why these creeps want an OAS without the US and Canada? Is it an early bluff calling?
And these two above items were not enough, the International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) comes out saying that due to corruption and laxity Venezuela has become a main transit route for drugs. I was listening to Beatriz de Majo on Alo Ciudadano a little bit ago. She claims that she does not believe that there a policy for Chavez and the Venezuelan army to promote drug trafficking. However, she also said that as long as the regime keeps harboring and helping people like the ELN or the FARC, drug trafficking will exist and corrupt the country further. Which ties up nicely the end of this post with the way it started.
Special treat today: all references in English!
Update! And in Spanish, sorry!
Chavez had another one of those "famous last words" moments. Since he cannot refute any of the accusations his regime has been subjected to, he and his sycophants, shoot the messenger. Tonight we have a classic. He called the actions of the Spanish judge, "left overs of colonial past", rezagos de pasado colonial. And then he added in his newly found royal style ("¡expropiese!"): 'condenadme. La historia me absolverá' condemn me, history will absolve me! Which is, now that I think of it, Castro-Royal, though much less thrilling than the original one who had at least had flair for these things.
We need to make a short pause here to meditate on the conception of justice for chavismo. This is not the first time that Chavez dismisses foreign courts. The other day the French government had to let Chavez know concerning his wishes the see freed the noted terrorist Carlos, the Jackal, that the French government would not dream to question a court decision even if they disagreed with it. Same thing in Spain where the adventures of Garzon and Pinochet where rather an embarrassment for the government but where it let Garzon go ahead anyway, to our great delight today as he started a trend that we hope irreversible: Human Rights violators cannot hide forever.
Of course the idea that Chavez could end up in some international court someday must be bothering him, but what I detect is something else: utter misunderstanding, and thus disregard for justice, thug/mafia style. Justice must be controlled, bought, tamed, whatever, but is not to be considered as an equal ever, or even a need that could well be convenient in the future. Such people live in the present and justice for them represents a memory of a past they want to forget, and an obstacle to a future that they want to control. Observe that in Venezuela not only the judicial system (as well as the legislative one) chases after Chavez to "legalize" whatever decision he made on the spur of some TV show, to the point of having the High Court chief question the need for separation of powers. Without having the courtesy to resign from her job to show that she lives by her standards and values.
That is why I have always said that I do not wish whatsoever Chavez's death: he looks forward becoming a martyr if he must since he will get at least his face on t-shirts the world around (though he is cowardly enough that he would chose jail over death, even a sure life sentence in, say, Miami a la Noriega). I want Chavez in jail as soon as possible and for the rest of his days. That is the very best punishment we can met on him.
Update 2, next day.
PMB has come up with a nice summary of all of these accusations- No wonder Chavez prefers to plead insanity! I suppose that in his case it is worth trying.......
Our very own Alek Boyd, imagine that!, already had told us long ago about ETA FARC collusion in Venezuela.