Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The embarrassing judicial system of Venezuela

The judicial system of Venezuela is becoming such an embarrassment that one would rather not write about it again.  But of course I do because I cannot resit every single opportunity to point out how low people like Luisa Estela Morales Lamuño and Luisa Ortega can fall, "las cachifas de chavez".  Four items, listed in no particular order of importance.

Exhibit one

Guillermo Zuloaga went to Washington to the Inter American Commission for Human Rights, the OAS department in charge of Human Rights protection.  He went there after having been in hiding for a few days.  he went there to tell them that he wanted the Venezuelan government to exhibit its charges against him there.  He cannot get a trial here of course, but he serves notice to the OAS that if something happens to him they will not be able to say that they were not warned.  Now the IACHR is in the delicate position of having to issue a protection measure to Mr. Zuloaga so he can go back to Venezuela and face trial in fair conditions, which is what he wants.

See, under Chavez orders Luisa Ortega, the general prosecutor of the nation, has reopened a dossier against Zuloaga, owner of Globovision (just a coincidence of course!), in which he was investigated for overpricing a few cars, allegedly.  Maybe he did and maybe he did not but now the government wants him in jail for the duration of the trial.  We all know now that trials in Venezuela last for as long as the regime wants them to last.  The sole object to send to jail and open a trial on something that can be decided simply through a fine is to put pressure on Zuloaga and force him to sell Globovision to the state, the latest ploy Chavez has found to take over Globovision and silence it.

For our embarrassment you can rad it in the Wall Street Journal (in Spanish, sorry, I have no subscription to the English version)

Exhibit 2

The European parliament had to vote on the case of Judge Afiuni.  Yes, that is right, the international scandal is becoming so extended that the European Parliament felt compelled to discuss it and vote on it.  You can find, for our increased embarrassment, that it was voted in a Human Rights session that included a vote on Zimbabwe and North Korea.  The company you keep.... (English text of the resolution here, and the agenda here where it is stressed "Venezuela, in particular the case of Maria Lourdes Afiuni"!!!)

It is interesting to observe that if the North Korea and Zimbabwe resolution were voted unanimously the Venezuelan one was 46 to 20.  I would like to talk to the 20 who voted against asking them if it is OK for a president to demand that someone is thrown in jail, to be obeyed within hours and to insult whomever opposes his decision.  Will these people be willing to live under such a judicial system?

At any rate, the point here is that now it is clear that the Judge Afiuni case has illustrated for those willing to investigate that there is no independence of power in Venezuela, that the judicial system does whatever Chavez want it to do.  Enough negative votes in the European Parliament account of that change in perception by the world.

Exhibit 3

Luisa Estela and the Cardinal.  Since now at least 130,000 tons of food have been lost, without much of chance to recover the funds involved in the accompanying corruption (corruption of the flesh and the mind!), Chavez is desperately trying all sorts of gimmicks in the hope that the news will stop focusing on the wreckage of PDVAL (and the implied wreckage of PDVSA).  One of the items tried is to pick up another fight with the Catholic Church because Jorge Cardinal Urosa had the nerve to say that Chavez is leading us towards a Cuba like Communism (he did not even used the word Cuba, communism was enough to use as we all know very well what he meat).

Luisa Estela versus the Cardinal
I do not need to defend Urosa, who is right anyway, and who can defend himself very well putting all chavistas on the spot.  No, what is interesting here is that the who's who of chavismo has quickly jumped on board accusing the Catholic Church of all sorts of sins (curiously pedophilia was not one which tells you volumes about the political nature of the thing and about the respect that the Catholic church holds in Venezuela).  This Sunday the High Court of Venezuela published a half page advertisement in the newspapers.  I got the one in El Universal which left me speechless, and forced me to scan it for your reading pleasure. 

You do not need to read it if you are busy, only if you want to know what a discombobulated case chavismo is able to advance when it wants to send someone to the pyre of public opinion.  In short, according to Luisa Estela Morales Lamuño, this paragon of judicial restraint, so much so that she offered Chavez legal caution to eliminate the separation of powers inside Venezuela, the Vatican should also submit itself to Chavez due to previous agreements between Venezuela and the Vatican.  I suppose she meant that Venezuelan Cardinals and Bishops should also be maned by Chavez, or something.

What is wonderful here is that her understanding of the pre Chavez agreement is binding for the Vatican, but she is on the record as stating that all sorts of pre-Chavez, and even during-Chavez agreements are not binding for Venezuela, in particular when Human Rights are concerned.  For example, the TSJ has refused to apply the sanctions to Venezuela sent by, say, the IACHR, the Human Rights dependency of the OAS.  This is not even a matter of double standards, it is a matter of NO standards for Luisa except whatever her boss tells her to do.  

And then you wonder why Zuloaga bailed out of Dodge....

Exhibit 4

Patricia Poleo gets arrested in Lima by the INTERPOL.  The INTERPOL, the international police system, so decried by Chavez when it went against his interests during the Colombian lap top findings is now diligently used by chavismo noting the bureaucratic nature of the INTERPOL monster.  Patricia Poleo is a journalist that chavismo would like very much to punish, from the time she demonstrated that Montesinos was hiding in Venezuela protected by governmental sectors.  Montesinos, you remember, the dark soul of Fujimori.

Well, now that she has political asylum in the US and that she can travel again she did her first trip to Lima and lo and behold, the INTERPOL stops her at the airport because she has supposedly been tried in Venezuela and was condemned to all sorts of penalties, including a life time in jail.  The problem was that there is no such trial and even less of a sentence considering that the sole witness in the Anderson case was demonstrated to be a forgery made by the national prosecutor office of Isaias Rodriguez, now the washing mop ambassador of Chavez to Spain.  The witness disappears, the case dies but Patricia Poleo accusation remains in the books, and not only that, she is even condemned without a trial!

The Venezuelan government fed false information to INTERPOL hoping that this one would catch Ms. Poleo and ship her to Venezuela.  You draw your own conclusions about how serious the INTERPOL is.....

Of course, within a few hours after a few phone calls Patricia was released and could continue her trip leaving an Interpol deeply embarrassed that her Caracas branch never bothered to confirm the validity of the cases submitted for international search!!!  Now we can all shake in horror when we go to through and airport wondering what the Interpol has in file against anyone Chavez doe snot like.  You laugh?  Do not laugh that much as twitter accounts in Venezuela are now enough to land you in jail.


Truly, justice in Venezuela is not even a joke, it is a tool of domination in the making, and quite made in some aspects.


  1. Boludo Tejano7:50 AM

    So sad. When I worked in Venezuela, never in a thousand years could I have imagined that it would have turned out like this.

    Venezuela used to be a country of refuge from tyrants. Spaniards fled Franco for Venezuela.Cubans fled Castro: I knew some in Maracaibo. Isabel Allende and her family found refuge in Venezuela. Now Venezuela is a refuge FOR tyrants.

    I remember encountering a Venezuelan on the streets of Guatemala City in the early 1980s. I don't remember how we struck up a conversation. He pointed out that not only Guatemala and most Central American countries at that time had military regimes, but Mexico also had one party controlling for a half century. At the time, Venezuela was a pleasant contrast to those countries. No more.

    So sad.

    It can happen here, it can happen there.

  2. torres2:57 PM

    "...Varela ... Criticó de igual forma los casos de pedofilia en el seno de la Iglesia Católica y dijo que deberían revisarse las relaciones diplomáticas con el Vaticano."


    They're now willing to mention pedophilia.


  3. Torres

    Oh yes, it was just a question of time!

    That session at the Nazional Assembly last night was awful. With so many real problems harassing us they had to create an irrelevant one by attacking the Church.

    The worse was when Cilia Flores shut up Pastora Medina saying that she was the Christian and Pastora the sinner!!!!

  4. I have not been by in a good long while as I am trying to keep out of trouble but not always successfully.
    This post of your reminded me of why I had to leave Venezuela even though it is always in my heart.
    Daniel, be careful!


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