Preoccupied with some health issues of close relatives I missed tonight's confession of Aponte Aponte, the fired judge of Chavez now talking back to his ex-master(S). But it does not really matter: to summarize it, he is just confirming what we have known all along, that important judicial decisions are not decided by courts but by political hacks at Miraflores palace, when not Chavez himself. And this at regular Friday meeting at the vice president's offices. You can see it below if you wish and understand Spanish and care for the gory details.
Entrevista completa a exmagistrado Aponte Aponte... por Globovision
The real questions are elsewhere, since he merely confirms what we all knew/suspected.
Why is he confessing at this point? Just because he feels betrayed? No conscience, remorse anywhere?
Is he exaggerating, or in fact underplaying the situation?
How conscious he is of what he has done, and does today? After all he recognizes that his loyalty was more to Chavez than to the Constitution...
How many people in real high positions besides himself were in cahoots?
Why is he sweating so much? Just obesity?
How come we have not heard any voice from other justices or former justices that should have known better (with current justice Marmol de Leon as the honorable exception)?
Note that I am not wondering what will happen in Venezuela: chavismo will simply dismiss him as an agent of the Empire and try to create yet another scandal to send this one into oblivion. Though I doubt very much that this time around it will work as well as it did for notable corruption cases like Antonini or Pudreval. See, we know now that innocent people have been put into jail deliberately, sometimes with life sentences, for political expediency. That can happen to you tomorrow just because your chavista neighbor does not like the way you park your car in the street.
I wish to close this note with a kind of personal vindication. I have taken upon me to detail as often as possible the disastrous judicial system of Venezuela to which adjectives like corrupt and venal do not do full justice. I was even seen as boring blogger for coming back over and over of what I consider is the real support of the Venezuelan dictatorship, military in its operators but judicial in its workings, "legal" mechanism achieved through judicial decisions.
For example, already in January 2011 I was writing about Aponte Aponte when even in the written press rare those were describing the acts of a given TSJ justice. I got only two comments. Not that I seek hundreds of them, I do not, but I would have liked a couple more comments from people realizing deeply that all the evils of the current regime started in December 1999 when Chavez did his first attempt at packing the courts. It just kept developing my Cassandra complex.
When I hear Aponte talking, his lack of remorse and rather the "let's see how many I can take down with me" motivation for talking I can only worry about how we can recover the country. With a Capriles saying that he does not plan to shake anything up I wonder if I should just give up altogether and forget about elections.
The real problem of the Aponte scandal is how it reflects on us. Tonight Blanco Marmol de Leon was on TV and the best thing she said was that she made her occasional warnings and yet she never saw anyone standing up within the judicial system, write a collective protest, even when Afiuni was jailed. Is she trying to tell us that basically none of the current judges is capable of redemption? That they are nothing but a bunch of cowards?