Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Letting bygones be bygones?

Certainly not in this blog who endeavors to keep reminding all that is unacceptable from the Chavez administration. No fat chance, as they say!

The new year start is a good time to resume again a few of the issues pending from last year. No idle task, as the resolution of these issues will confirm whether we are in democracy, or in a dictatorship, or just a plain mess "lead" by a lunatic. To simplify things I suppose that a format by themes would be helpful. Then as the year goes by we could refer to it and count the items which were solved one way or the other. The criteria of course will be very lax as the term "officially forgotten" can be accepted as one way to solve an issue. And to simplify even more I am only listing some of the main issues, although not in any particular order.

Basic Human Rights issues

Will the mystery of the soldiers burnt to death in Fort Mara be –really– solved? (I mean, besides accusing the attending MD of malpractice)

Will the folks abused, tortured [too many to list] and/or killed [Zambrano, Carrizo] during the period of February 27 and March 10 find some form of redress? (some of the tormenters have already received medals, by the way)

Will the assassins of Maritza Ron, who made the front pages of the papers while shooting her in Plaza Altamira, be sent for trial? (One was seen at the funeral of Anderson as if nothing).

Political Right to Life Issues (as a separate issue of HR)

Will Silvino Bustillos, disappeared by the Army on October 31, reappear? (at least his body)

Will we find out who ordered the assassination of Danilo Anderson? (in particular if the order came from inside the Chavez administration)

Accounting issues

Will we find out what PDVSA really produces, or at the very least how much oil it really pumps out? (besides what is guessed by international agencies)

Will we find out where the money goes? (there is an important portion that goes outside the normal budgetary procedures)

Corruption issues

Will any of the cases reported by the press ever be fully investigated? (including the misappropriation case of the FIEM by Merentes, who was just sent back to the chair he left because of that case)

Or for that matter, will any of the major corruption cases of the last 20 years be ever investigated and people sent to jail? (the present administration was elected to punish former corrupt officials, but in 6 years we have still to see any result)

Perseverance in administration issues

Which misiones will survive? (that is, which ones will be forgotten to allow El Supremo to create new ones for campaigning purposes)

Will the chavista governors be kept in a tight leash? (that is, will they need to go to Caracas regularly to be told what to do at home)

Electoral issues

Will we have a statement of campaign expenses from the 2004 elections? (or any other for that matter)

Will we have an independent electoral board? (I know the answer of that one already: NO. The only question is whether the 3 to 2 2003 pro Chavez majority will be expanded to a 4 to 1 or even a 5 to 0)

Will we even move towards a more trustworthy electoral system? (quite important as we will be having 3 elections again this year)

Freedom of expression issues

Will the new media law be only a regulatory mechanism or will it start the process toward control of freedom of speech? (including the press and perhaps even the internet by late 2005)

Will the new penal code be used to silence important opposition voices? (I am afraid that I already that answer, and it is YES)

Militarization of society

Will Chavez be satisfied with 50% of his governors, a good third of his ministers and vice ministers and appointed officials coming from the armed forces? (this proportion of "public servants" coming from the army is even higher than the one observed in previous bona fide military regimes)

And while we are in army matters, will we ever know who coordinated the alleged paramilitary invasion of last May? (since their arrest we only know that many were Colombians brought to Venezuela under false pretenses)

Ethics at home

How long, for a bowl of rice, will philochavistas keep supporting such an administration? (I am afraid that the Adecos have got too many used to silence their conscience for any handout; and "bowl of rice" is of course a metaphor that encompass anything from Mercal to the handouts for pro Chavez "capitalists")

Ethics overseas

Will the fellow travelers that accompany Chavez adventure realize that it is becoming a simple military based regime? (But of course militaries from the left seem to be allowed to commit the atrocities frowned upon for militaries from the right, a distinction that remains unfathomable for this blogger, but a distinction that does not seem to distract a few pseudo-intellectuals from their sleep).

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