Today the weekly edition of Tal Cual offers us a piece for thought (1). They compared the time spent by Chavez in jail after his coup of 1992 and the one spent by Leopoldo Lopez since he has been accused of who knows what last year, as he is slowly rotting though his hunger strike. I summarize below.
Chavez has the blood of around 60 people on his hands from 1992. And more if we add the failed putsch of November 1992. Then among the targets was the attack of the presidential house which had ONLY the president's family as the president rarely slept there, or the defenseless state TV. Yet he was jailed with all the "respect" due to his middle military rank which included a constant stream of visitors that included from relatives to all sorts of journalists. His opinions on the profane and the divine circulated widely. At times it is true that he was briefly shut out but even then he had access to all possible commodities his detention center could offer and NGO visits as needed. That we know of, no torture report exist on Chavez or any of the people associated with his putsch and detained along him at the time.
Leopoldo Lopez is short three months of the detention time that Chavez served. And yet compared to Chavez his detention time has been truly gruesome. It has included beatings, deprivations, long isolations, denial of visitation for his relatives lawyers NGO journalists and more. All public is international knowledge. He is accused of crimes that he could not have not directly ordered even if he had wanted to. And the case is so farfetched that he is suffering of denial of justice through a travesty trial which is abundantly denounced even outside of Venezuela. Leopoldo Lopez is currently on hunger strike, Chavez never had to resort to anything of the like. And I am not talking of the dozens of people that have been incarcerated along Lopez who have suffered from torture to other unspeakable horrors.
Then again in 1992 Venezuela was a democracy and today it is a tyranny.
The only question here is how come this fact is not more vocally denounced around the world. What gives? Are ethics so in disfavor today? Has the left so abandoned its raison d'être?
1) reminder, Tal Cual was forced through spurious law suits and lack of paper to shut down its daily edition and go to a weekly tabloid format, leaving Venezuela with only two national independent-opposition newspapers, El Nacional and El Nuevo Pais. Period.