We have to wonder what are the objectives of the Venezuelan regime as it keeps piling up international errors. We can of course start by the continually renewed support to Qaddafi even as evidences of abuse, crime, luxury and cowardice are impossible to hide anymore. Even Russia and China, alleged friends and models of Chavez, are finally backing down on their opposition to the Libyan rebels, as Brazil is also caving in, not wanting to be left out completely from the Libyan reconstruction. And this support comes at a time where the collusion between Chavez and Muammar are about to be revealed as Libya's finances will start be explored in earnest with whatever documents can still be found.
But if this was not bad enough, Chavez's regime and his sycophants are about to push yet another milestone as they seem ready to assume the risk of becoming pariah in their own continent. These days Chavez minions seem ready to send packing once and for all the Inter American Court for Human Rights as a ruling about to be released this week is looking more and more to be adverse. That is, we must suspect that the regime must have got wind of the IACHR decision and is already in frontal attack mode, not even damage control mode.
The decision in itself is one that will allow on paper Leopoldo Lopez to run for presidential office. The details of the case already explained matter little. Suffice to say that he was banned from running for office on the charges of corruption even though he did not get any money and no fair trial was held against him. Simply put, he used one account to pay for another account in Chacao town hall admistration because the regime was not sending on time the money it owed Chacao. The IACHR ruling is expected to say that yes indeed, a government can ban someone from holding public office but a real trial must take place, not a mere administrative decision. Certainly the decision will not be absolutely clear cut since several countries are involved with different legislation, but Chavez regime will be on the losing end, creating political problems at home.
And yet this is not what matters. What really matters is that if Venezuela does not comply with the ruling it will be the 13th time it does so leaving a very tarnished Chavez who might not finally be able to escape some sanction since this case has become quite notorious.
International courts of justices are a tricky thing. You may be able to escape their sentencing for a while, a long while even, but you cannot escape them all the time. At some point there will be financial sanctions, arrest warrants and the like and even your friends will want you to comply because they do not want the trouble to extend to them. They may think that in a few cases you are right in protesting and ignoring the sentence, but when you do that too often their amused leniency fades.
But chavismo is going undeterred, going as far as recovering its gold deposits abroad least they are siezed through some adverse judicial decision. Chavismo recognizes this way that indeed they did wrong and that they do not give a damn, my dear.
In the case that minds us today the regime has already sent no one else but the high court of justice head, Luisa Estella Morales, to say that Venezuela will not accept a ruling that violates its Constitution even though while saying this she does violate the constitution. See, this one was voted in 1999 and in 2001 the regime ratified the OAS Human Rights Chart which implies a recognition of the IACHR and its validity with the Venezuelan 1999 Constitution. Luisa Estella Morales knows that very well, that the Venezuelan constitution forces the country to recognize treaties willingly signed, that Venezuelans are allowed to appeal to foreign justice once they have exhausted all their recourse at home, and that public servants have to obey the Constitution and international treaties of Venezuela, risking a potential of several years of jail if they do not do so. She knows all of that and yet she persists.
The only conclusions we can come up with is that either the regime denial is deeper than what we thought, or this one is getting ready to leave the tenuous legality still used as a fig leaf. In any case the issue of freedom for Venezuelans is being posed crudely on the International Stage and this one will have to notice because, if anything, other Latin American countries are not as willing to send the IACHR packing.