Thursday, December 16, 2010

The International fallout of Chavez coup is starting

The slow motion coup d'état that Chavez is performing these days is starting to be noticed, and big time.  I will pass on the obvious, for example the US government that states that Chavez is subverting the expression of the people.  That is, the US indicated clearly that Chavez is acting AGAINST the will of the people since he is not recognizing such opinion as expressed in a variety of votes, starting with the referendum of 2007.   The legitimacy of the Chavez regime is now been openly questioned, even if under still rather diplomatic terms.

But much, much worse is the communique from the Inter American Court for human Rights, IACHR.  This is all but a complete condemnation of the Chavez regime which has already been chastised often enough by the IACHR.  What they are doing is finally starting to put the OAS member countries in front of their obligation to promote democracy in the Americas.  Below I am putting some excerpts that you cannot miss:


Washington D.C., December 15, 2010 – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and its Office of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression express their concern regarding three draft laws that could be approved in the next few days in Venezuela: an Enabling Law, and bills that would modify the laws on Telecommunications and on Social Responsibility in Radio and Television.

The executive power has asked the National Assembly to approve an Enabling Law that delegates to the Executive the power to sanction laws for a period of one year. Both the constitutional provision and the delegating law fail to set the limits necessary for the existence of true control over the executive branch’s legislative power, while there does not exist a mechanism to allow a balanced correlation of government power as a guarantee for the respect for human rights.

The separation of powers as a guarantee of the rule of law also demands an effective and not merely formal separation between the executive and legislative branches. [-----]. Notwithstanding, the protection of human rights requires that state actions affecting the enjoyment of such rights in a fundamental way not be left to the discretion of the government but, rather, that they be surrounded by a set of guarantees to ensure that the inviolable attributes of the individual are not impaired. Moreover, the principle of legality, which must be respected when imposing restrictions on human rights, is jeopardized by permitting the delegation of legislative authority in terms that are overly broad and that could extend to criminal matters. [------]

The Enabling Law currently under consideration by the National Assembly is of special concern to the IACHR with regard to the power delegated to the executive branch to create norms that establish the sanctions that would apply when crimes are committed. Moreover, the Enabling Law will allow the executive power to legislate in matters of international cooperation. In this aspect, the IACHR reiterates its concern regarding the possibility that the capacity of non-governmental human rights organizations to do their important work is curtailed. [-------]

 Additionally, the Assembly is discussing the modification of the laws on Telecommunications and Social Responsibility in Radio and Television, in order to extend their application to the electronic media, impose disproportionate obligations that would make impossible the continued operation of critical outlets such as Globovisión, and interfere with the content of all communications media.

The draft laws prohibit all media outlets from issuing messages that “incite or promote hatred”, “foment anxiety in the citizenry” or “ignore the authorities”, among other new prohibitions that are equally vague and ambiguous. In addition, they establish that Internet service providers should create mechanisms “that enable the restriction of (…) the dissemination” of these types of messages and they establish the liability of such companies for the expressions of third-parties.

By holding service providers responsible and extending the application of vague and ambiguous norms that have been questioned by the IACHR and the Office of the Special Rapporteur in their report Democracy and Human Rights in Venezuela, the draft law targets freedom of expression on the Internet in an unprecedented fashion. The initiative includes ambiguous norms that sanction intermediaries for speech produced by third parties, based on assumptions that the law does not define, and without guaranteeing basic elements of due process. This would imply a serious restriction of the right to freedom of expression enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights.

[-----] the bill requires all broadcasting license-holders to re-register before the competent authority despite the fact that their licenses were issued appropriately. In the case of corporations, the bill requires the new registry to be done “personally” by every one of the shareholders. This odd requirement could affect the license of Globovisión, since its principal shareholders are the subject of criminal proceedings for reasons unrelated to their ownership or administration of the channel, and they have requested political asylum in another country in the region. The draft legislation tends to create very effective mechanisms for interfering with content in order to prevent the circulation of information that proves uncomfortable for the government and creates a de facto public monopoly that restricts in an absolute way the principles of diversity and pluralism that should govern broadcasting.

The IACHR and the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression consider that these measures represent a serious setback for freedom of expression [-----]

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in a personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.


  1. Beautiful letter, wonderful points and clear in it's denunciations.

    Unfortunately, it will do jack diddly squat to change our government's slow motion coup or make life easier for anyone living in Venezuela.

  2. Roberto

    That is not the point, the IACHR has no military divisions it can send against Chavez.

    The point is that with such notes people cannot anymore pretend ignorance. And that is a prerequisite if we want some day some real international reaction.

  3. I agree with Daniel.

    As far as I'm concerned, the three laws treated in the IAHRC letter mandate the demise of democracy and the basic human right to freedom of expression in Venezuela once they enter into effect.

    Every country in the region - and the world, for that matter - should be put on notice that democracy has come to an end in Venezuela, or will, once these laws go into effect.

    The OAS and its Secretary Wimp - sorry, Secretary General should be challenged (not asked, they should be challenged) to call for the derogation of these three acts of tyranny. As well - and I know this is strong - someone needs to make it clear that if these laws are allowed to stand then open season for a golpe de estado against Chavez should be declared...

  4. 1979 Boat People4:51 AM

    Where are those useful idiot Sean Penn, Oliver Stone, etc.?

  5. AuVienLobo8:57 AM

    who could have thought stripping a naked emperor could take so many words...

    i bet craps has better odds of a decent ascribing nuance.

    how many angarams can spell the redrum of a society.

    La La OLa, obla di, I thought I heard the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela demise in the old lyrics...

    Maybe in the bible, the oldest story(popular gaga), told mouth to ear, present to lyrics, ahhh, if they wouldnt have written about cycles in the past we could cash in, in this sad story...

  6. Expect Chavez/Venezuela to renounce its membership in the OAS in a fit of pique over that communique.

    With such an open condemnation, Chavez will conclude that the OAS no longer serves any useful function for him. He will claim that the OAS is merely a arm of the "The Empire" and that Venezuela will no longer endure the insults of the OAS against its sovereignty.

    And, since I am playing Cassandra at the moment, I predict that Chavez will declare before the end of this year that there are no other political parties except the PSUV, which represents "the people". Why so soon? Why not wait until the presidential elections in 2012? Because he will not be able to tolerate the Opposition in the AN. Even as emasculated and dis-empowered as they will be, he will not be able to tolerate them having such an official public forum.

    Note that in Nazi Germany, the time from the Enabling Law to the "Night of the Long Knives" was a mere 15 months.

  7. Anonymous2:07 PM

    I am not shocked by any of this except the trick to close Globovision. Requiring Globo shareholders to report to be arrested or face closer of Globo is just dirty. When will there be consequences for these actions.

  8. Oops! I just read my comment above. I meant that all other parties will be made illegal before the end of NEXT year.

  9. Daniel is absolutely right that international opinion is an important element in isolating the Dictacomandante.

    There are many scenarios--including even free elections if they are permitted!--which will end this Presidency.

    International pressure is an important element of the struggle.

  10. Auvienlobo,

    You criticize poetry yet your words turn nicely into a Dada poem, rather than clarify points.I don't know what you are trying to say.I turn your words every which way, and still get nothing.Can you write it in Spanish?I am curious.

    Your words and few of mine:

    Oh anagrams
    spell the redrum of a society
    La La Ola,
    obla di,

    I thought I heard the B Republic
    of Venezuela's demise in old lyrics
    swallowed up
    by the furious throat of God

    Oh anagrams
    spell the redrum of society
    La la Ola,
    obla di

    Maybe in the bible,
    the oldest story(popular gaga)
    told mouth to ear,and
    present to lyrics

    ahhh anagrams
    spell the redrum of society
    La La Ola

    if they wouldn't have written
    about cycles in the past
    we could cash in
    this sad sad story...

    spell the redrum of society
    La La Ola
    obla di

  11. Daniel et al:

    How many "condemnations" do Burma (Myanmar) and North Korea have?

    How many "denunciations" has Cuba received? Zimbabwe?

    I have yet to see any of these become the lever with which those regimes crumbled.

    ABout the only thing that may make a difference is what Tambopaxi said above regarding "open season".

    Look, I get it, makes Chavez look bad, gives ammo to shut down silly PSF's and other Kool Aid drinkers.

    But in the end, it is the military that hold the keys. Not even "el soberano", nor the MUD, nor the Church nor any other institution which in a normal country could effect civic change can do anything about this dictator we have as our leader.

    And wishing for the military to do something might end up being a "Guatemala/Guatepeor" (frying pan/fire for our English readers).

    I guess I've just reached the point where I have to conclude our country is fucked forever.

    Sorry for the optimistic note.


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