Thursday, July 24, 2014

Things you may not wonder about Leopoldo Lopez trial, a mere "Caracas Trial"

The real thugs/goons are not on the stand: two Nazional
Guards are not amused by this anti political prisoner
poster on the high court, TSJ, walls.
Today the long awaited trial of Leopoldo Lopez (together with 4 students that should be tried separately, if at all) has started. I am not going to bother the reader with the sordid details.

For one, we all know what the verdict will be: guilty. The only thing that remains to be seen is how long the trial will be and to which extent the regime will dare apply punishment. We already have a hint as the second session is already scheduled for August 6, and since judicial holidays are coming the third session may be pushed all the way to September. As it has been the case for all political trials (judge Afiuni anyone?) the regime loves to linger on those trials, even if it does not have the facts, even if it is an open masquerade. The point here is to inspire fear in future opponents so they await for public lynching if they dare oppose the regime. Totalitarianism of the XXI century, my friends, deal with it.

So what is left to wonder, to come to the title of this post.


The first thing, oddly, is the timing.  Since Lopez arrest 5 months ago and the alleged clear evidence one wonders why did it take so long for the regime to start the trial. Waiting for the end of guarimbas? A trial can restart them at any time. Waiting for folks to go on vacation? There are no flights out!  Expecting for scarcity problems to soften? They are not and will not for the foreseeable future. The answer is elsewhere, with the PSUV congress about to open. Some red meat thrown to the radical wing. Period, IMHO.

Another thing to wonder comes by asking the reverse question: why bother trying Lopez anyway? International pressure plays a role here, but not necessarily the way you may think. Sure enough there has been plenty of publications, the Washington Post for one pushing up the subject of Lopez dismal jail conditions. But the real deal brokers may be the people trying to organize Venezuela's financial rescue.

THEY do support Lopez, from all walks of life.
See, the Chinese of the French bank Lazard, to name some, could not care less about Leopoldo Lopez. They may even like him to stay in jail because if he were to be elected president someday he could default on debt on the grounds of corruption, grounds that Lazard and visiting Xi Jinping know very well exist. However, any "package" that creditors may agree on has already weak chances of success and they all want to increase the odds of success by the regime bringing some political peace, at least while the negotiations and agreements are reached. The problem then will not come from Lopez but from chavistas. For that we have the armed forces to use. Never mind that hanging Lopez could be a nice distraction while, say, the increase in gas price is announced, a small price for the chavista lumpen to pay for having Lopez guiltyfied (not a word but how so meaningful!).

I would like to remind readers that Latin America has abandoned the opposition totally. Can anyone point out to any recent offer of the UNASUR to mediate? Say, in the last two months? Thus Lopez is abandoned by LatAm just as the MUD did even though today a few tweets of support emerged here and there. I have in mind here in particular the infamous Colombian Santos who is starting a process of FARC incorporation into Colombian politics that not only will preclude him from helping democracy in Venezuela but may wreck Colombia within the next 5 years. But I digress.

There is also a trick question for which I have no answers, not even a conspiracy theory to offer.  Lopez dismal jail conditions have suddenly be eased this week end, just as his trial was about to finally start.  There was even a picture of him attending mass at his Ramo Verde jail, published briefly on Twitter and that may have been mere chavista propaganda (the Twitter account lasted only a few minutes apparently).  I wrote in June that Lopez was a bargaining token for Cabello, but this week events do not match my idea on how Cabello could use that token these particular days.

All this being said, stay put and worry not: Maduro has already announced that Lopez "was going to pay" and that is that. Maduro has been taking judicial decisions for years, why stop now? (1) In case you still do not get it, the trial starts with 138 "witnesses" for the prosecution and only 1, ONE, for the defense. Do the math. It is just another one of the "Caracas Trials", kind of like those in the Soviet Union in the 30ies....

Dangerous Lopez relatives awaiting permission to enter the trial.

Courageous leader showing support and who may be the next "Caracas Trial"

All pictures courtesy of Voluntad Popular.

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1) Exiled former justices like Aponte Aponte have said that meetings were held, presided by Maduro and/or his wife over the judicial heads, as to what should the coming trials and decisions be about. This when Maduro was foreign minister...  And some people thought that Maduro was a more dialogue oriented guy than Chavez...

4 comments:

  1. Dr. Faustus8:58 AM

    "I would like to remind readers that Latin America has abandoned the opposition totally."

    It is, perhaps, one of the most shocking and depressing aspects of the Lopez trial. Where are they? Rousseff? Mujica? even Bachelet? Don't you people remember? Have you forgotten your own pain and suffering because of political injustice? Is there NOT a clearer case than this kangaroo court in Venezuela? What incredible hypocrisy!
    Shakespeare's 'Julius Ceaser:' .." Cassius:
    "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings."

    ReplyDelete
  2. Charly9:35 AM

    Lopez sent to the beasts to satisfy the bloodthirsty in the coming PSUV circus? I just read the latest Runrunes. Looks like the circus goers now that there are only games and no bread are focusing on the real issues and their culprits, the PSUV nomenklatura. As for Lopez predicament, this experience should make him a wiser president in the making.

    ReplyDelete
  3. uribe is still speaking clearly about the situation in venezuela.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:51 PM

    the wicked ones sometimes advance in this world, but ultimately time will manifest who's who.
    the people can use the streets to make things better or they can just let the country be converted in a communism system, inside 3 years.

    ReplyDelete

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