Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meanwhile, back at San Jose, our future might be decided today

[UPDATED] There is one missing candidate for the presidential line up in Venezuela and his fate might be decided today. Or may not.

Leopoldo Lopez, ex Chacao Mayor, ex favorite candidate for Caracas Mayor at large, did not get his deserved reward because chavismo managed to bar him from running in 2008. It did not help them much as the opposition did take Caracas after all, forcing the government to further unconstitutional measures by stripping that high elected office of budget and attributes to give them to an appointed sycophant, who of course has done nothing for the city ever since.

But beyond the dirty politics of chavismo of which we are getting only too used to, the case is a violation of human rights, according to the Commission for Human Rights of the OAS. A novel case perhaps in that it addresses political rights of individuals, but a human rights case nevertheless, no matter what the Venezuelan regime thinks of. Whatever ruling the Inter American Court for Human Rights in San Jose reaches today, it is not only going to affect Leopoldo Lopez, the most visible figure in the case, but a bevy of politicians all across the continent where different governments like to use administrative tricks to ban them from political activity (including the rather distasteful FARC agent Piedad Cordoba). (1)

It seems that Lopez is going to win his day in court, but in international court because Venezuela has been consistently refusing to accept all sorts of adverse rulings against it, notably those concerning human rights abuses by the Chavez regime.  In spite of binding treaties, a prostrated and pimp-ish judicial system has declared that nothing can be above Venezuelan justice, meaning exactly that no international decision can bind the thugs that control Venezuela today with their very peculiar concept of justice.

The fact of the matter is that the regime will decide whether to allow Leopoldo Lopez to run for office at its convenience.  If it is convenient to keep Leopoldo barred from running, the regime will pay the international price.  If suddenly it is convenient for Chavez political strategy, suddenly Leopoldo will find himself allowed t run, preferably once the opposition candidate has been decided on February, with the hope of splitting the opposition vote.

But such maneuvers could backfire badly for the regime.  First, the idea of unity is so strong that even if Voluntad Popular is not allowed to nominate Leopoldo for opposition primaries, this one will support the winner no matter what and use the treachery of the regime to its advantage.  Second, the regime is weakening, Chavez is sick, and dirty tricks are perceived more and more by the chavista crowd for what they are, dirty tricks.  Once upon a time Chavez could accuse anyone of anything, demand sanctions against that person, and get them.  He might be still able to get sanctions against uncomfortable adversaries but he cannot tarnish them as easily as he used to do; and in the case of Leopoldo, the more he tries to damage him, the higher in the polls this one might rise.

O tempora, o mores...


Today, Thursday September 1, we learn the court has reached a verdict.  But it will not be published until it is typed up and translated in all languages of the OAS (5, I think).  All sorts of rumors circulate but my well informed contact on that subject has not written to me yet which can only mean that the court keeps a tight silence so far.  It is interesting to note that the court took longer than expected to deliberate and acknowledged it by saying that it was a very complicate issue involving more than one country.  I take it that positively in that the verdict must have been reached in order to emit a ruling that cannot be ignored by the sued countries.

We'll see.
Detailed information can be found here (PDF) or at the Leopoldo Lopez page Democracy on Trial.

1) The court seat is in Costa Rica, San Jose, but the deliberations of the court can take place elsewhere.  This time, it is in Bogota, Colombia.


  1. Charly12:52 PM

    Although it is not yet a foregone conclusion, it still looks more and more that this Chavez is a "has been".

  2. Glad to hear 'bout improvements in Unity.

  3. Daniel, the court is deliberating in Bogota, not in San Jose.

  4. 1979 Boat People11:24 AM


    Apparent string of errors unties WikiLeaks' bundle of secret cables

    Oh God!

  5. Alek

    Indeed. But I meant its permanent address. Still, I added a note to that effect.

  6. Charly7:50 PM

    Daniel, off subject. I had recently lots of difficulty reaching the comment section of your blog as well as others (Gustavo Coronel) and was wondering if these pieces of socialist crap at Cantv were not playing participative democracy as they all well know how to do it. Looks like some confirmation is on the horizon.

  7. Glenn9:01 PM

    Daniel the day is done and I don't see a decision on Lopez. When can a ruling be expected? I couldn't find this info online.

  8. RabbiBulla9:10 PM

    "Once you have an Executive who
    thumbs his nose at the other
    branches, legislative, andjudiciary-then a coup has occured." quote from writer
    Naomi Wolf I think.
    Point is- why continue to believe
    in democracy in Venezuela?
    And why believe the "deomocratic process" of elections has any chance of ousting Chavez next year?

  9. Anonymous9:57 PM

    From Ravell's twitter:

    Bogota.Urgente.Extraoficialmente se conocio q la decisiion de la CIDH fue favorable a Leopoldo Lopez.

  10. torres11:24 PM

    They did make it a point to state that the decision reached was unanimous...


  11. Island Canuck7:21 AM

    The problem with posting comments appears to be the general connection to Blogspot from inside Venezuela.

    It does not affect the Wordpress websites.

    Sometimes the connection will hang for up to 2 minutes & the comments mini window will not open - it times out.

    In ND they are reporting a Twit from Ravell as saying the decision is in favor of Lopez. This will be an interesting decision for Chavez.

    He fears Lopez but the political back wash may be more problematic. An outright denial of the decision may be an indication of where the country is headed.

  12. One can fully expect an outright denial of the decision by Chavez if it is not in his favor. He has consistently claimed sovereign rights ahead of any international organization and has condemned OAS on many occasions. Why would he change now? It has been a very long time since anyone had to wonder which way Chavez was headed.

  13. RabbiBulla12:08 PM

    "wonder which way Chavez was[is] headed"

  14. I got this from LL's page.

    We'll have to wait few days more.

  15. Milonga3:43 PM

    If the verdict doesn't need to be obeyed (your next post) then it's obvious what the verdict was. Right? And also off-topic, you and your readers should read this rubbish from a Stanford professor emeritus (?)

  16. RabbiBula, if you hate Chavez and Venezuela so much, why don't you go to Israel, I think you would be right at home? I always wonder why some people seem so dedicated to want Chavez to fail, why they can't accept anything but the neo-liberal model of limited government. Why can't you just leave Venezuela to its path??

    Who is paying to bad mouth every left wing government? I guess it should not surprise me that right wing scums can't stand to see the people empowered.

  17. RabbiBulla2:11 PM

    "It’s what remains of chavismos international strategy, which tried to present Hugo as a peaceful, popular president engaged in reform for the people, beset by a bunch of violent coupsters…"
    "RabbiBula, if you hate Chavez and Venezuela so much, why don't you go to Israel",-
    Judi- Judi- (Ive seen you here before too-)Yes-- I absolutely hate CHavez-

    No I never hated Venezuela-and never will.

    "Why can't you just leave Venezuela to its path??"
    Why don't you just move to
    Cuba and grow some neurons?

    "can't stand to see the people empowered." Re-Cuba, again...
    Get a life, troll.
    I am not Israeli-am not paid.
    Am not a chavez bootlicker
    and am not a Castro apologist.

  18. RabbiBulla2:16 PM

    Milonga- youre right.
    Pure propaganda from a well-known
    propaganda writer-Donald Bray.
    True "jackass"for Castro.

  19. Milonga,

    Thanks for the reference.

    "Dr. Donald Bray is one of the original founders of the Latin American Studies "

    I have to "laugh" between quotation marks to hide my tears :)

    This scholar made 4 spelling mistakes and 3 blaring grammatical gaffes, not to mention making a willful display of ignorance on LA politics.His use of the word progressive, uh, er, please !!!:

    The route of social justice:

    SJ programs fought for in the name of social justice, by politicians who seek a guarantee of not being voted out of power because they have 'benefitted up' a large majority -- who will keep voting them in -- against the threat of their losing power and their hugely expanded poor-constituency's chance of losing the blanket privileges that those same pols brought in in the first place.

    Unfortunately it does NOT require intelligence or integrity to become a scholar.That would not be

    "socially just".


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