Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Peruvian exile for Rosales

That Peru was going to grant political asylum to Manuel Rosales is no surprise. For simple practical reasons Colombia is not a good choice as it is too close for comfort: a Venezuelan death squad in conjunction with FARC help can take care of you fast. Brazil does not speak English or Spanish. Argentina is only too willing to sell off anyone. Chile is too far, and too boring?, even if the wine is good. Ecuador too small and too chavista these days. Bolivia is, well, a godforsaken but beautiful country that you need to be Bolivian to love, besides the fact that Evo Morales would ship you back to Venezuela post haste. Thus Peru is really the only choice today, with Mexico perhaps. Besides it is a booming country which has been so far moderately affected by the word crisis and which is taking much better steps to avoid further damage than what Venezuela is doing.

But there is more to Peru. First it has become really a land of asylum since democracy returned. After all, after the long dark years of Odria and Velasco, followed by the dynamic but equally condemnable Fujimorazo, it seems that they have learned best their lesson and can smell a tyrant before anyone else. For them it was not difficult to perceive fast that whatever charges were levied against Rosales, the real reason for his prosecution was political.

Of course chavismo is upset and recalled its ambassador and again accuse Peru of all sorts of crimes against International Law. Chavismo goes even to the ridicule of calling upon the Interpol after Chavez attacked it mercilessly after Colombia had it examine incriminating FARC computers. Chavismo also forgets conveniently that under Fujimori dozens of murderous conspiring coup mongers military of 1992 where granted asylum in Peru. Way more dangerous criminals than Rosales.

There was a time where our local dictators were just happy to see their opposition flee the coop and remain outside of the country. But under Chavez things are different: he wants revenge as he cannot accept that anyone can beat him electorally, or even disagrees with him. All must be punished; exile is simply too light a sentence on them. One wonders if death penalty is not something that Chavez is secretly caressing in his future projects. Legal death penalty I mean, as the surreptitious death penalty is already in place in Venezuela.

But such type of actions are counterproductive and betray a real weakness within chavismo where the elimination of opponents is the only way they can sleep soundly at night. Thus it is heartening to read such pieces as Duncan Currie for NRO where he describes how resistance is growing in Venezuela against the budding "legal" dictatorship that is being installed. Diego Arria tells it like it is, as I have already reported, even though I do not agree with his conclusion on the now legendary Obama-Chavez encounter.

Certainly the coverage of NRO is refreshing when one compares it to the BBC coverage of the Rosales asylum grant, an article that could come straight out of pro-Chavez Venezuelanalysis or Aporrea in its partiality, where the BBC does not blink from writing such inanities as "He is facing multi-million-dollar corruption charges relating to a previous term as governor of Zulia state. [...] Government supporters accuse him of taking part in a short-lived coup against Mr Chavez in April 2002."

I mean it might be fair to write such things if you were writing on Venezuela's corruption in general, including the Cabello and Chacon brothers, but the not so veiled intent of that BBC piece is simply to make look Rosales bad and Chavez ambassador recall adequate. Fortunately, and curiously, the BBC Mundo piece on this subject is completely different, and a world away in objectivity, which raises the interesting question as to whether the two BBC correspondents even know each other, or have visited the same country. For one thing the BBC Mundo does not burden itself with the chavista ritornello of April 2002, the universal excuse to everything that only weak minded folks use today. Why is it that the BBC coverage on Venezuela in English is consistently so inconsistent, so poorly researched, even so out of tune with real chavista arguments and propaganda? I mean, even the Guardian arguably to the left of BBC is more crtical of Chavez!

-The end-

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