Sunday, November 16, 2014

Why the cruelty against Leopoldo Lopez?

The current Venezuelan dictatorship is unusual in that it has, relatively, few political prisoners. However this is amply compensated by the notorious cruelty that the regime has against such prisoners. The case of Afiuni has defrayed the chronicles. Simonovis had to be in a near death situation for the regime to give him home arrest so he could be treated. And "smaller" cases are also the target of human rights violations such as students raped or threatened with rape while arrested early this year. In addition to physical cruelty there is also a purposeful mental cruelty from all sorts of verbal abuses to trials that are postponed constantly so not even the illusion of justice is offered. But what is happening to Leopoldo Lopez is truly baffling, even by the regime "standards".

Before I get into this story let me add a comment. The current violence and almost randomness of torture, the abuse of power, the deliberate cruelty are alien to Venezuelan political "tradition". And it is a tradition with quite a story for itself, from the troubled civil wars of the XIX century to the longest of dictatorships with Gomez, to the anti AD expediency of Perez Jimenez. Whichever the case was in general the power in place tried to dispatch political enemies as fast as possible, be them killed quickly or interned in a camp after a fast trial of sorts. So why this totally novel form of crushing political dissent? I will advance two reasons.

The first one is that it is not novel, it has been duly tested in Cuba and imported from Cuba, even if newspapers that should know better, like the New York Times, exhibit suddenly short term memory.

The second one is that the regime needs to erase the memory of the previous system, the only system some Venezuelans can refer to. So, by committing more horrendous crimes than the pre Chavez era and by saying that from 1958 to 1998 Venezuela was under an unbearable tyranny sort of works, paradoxically, in the mind of some to make them believe that this is now a heaven of democracy. In particular for idiots of the Eva Golinger type blabbering now from the Putin TV propaganda network.

This comment will help understand what comes next.  As readers may know I have been following closely the career of Lopez once he decided to form his own party. Lately I have written less for a variety of reasons, none of them for lack of interest. After all the plight of Lopez is now of public worldwide notoriety and a blogger's voice is not essential anymore. Heck, even the UN has asked for the release of Leopoldo Lopez! So why the cruelty against Lopez?

Let's remind the reader that the visitations rights to Lopez are reduced to a minimum. That his trial according tot he "evidence" should be swift and instead is dragging in a particularly shameful way. That when he tries to shout from his window cell or that people try from outside to voice their support the Nazional Guard of whatever fascist military in charge play loud sirens. That in seclusion without access to water his cell was bombarded with human feces. And what not.

The two amazing things here is that the tortures are so well known and that in spite of international outrage the regime goes further in its abuse. It is almost as if the regime tried to make its lies on Lopez detention conditions even more dramatic considering the truth we know on them. It is not enough to invoke the influence of the Castro creeps of Cuba. Something else is playing here.

The latest scene was when two representatives of Chile's parliament, from the side holding power today, were denied access to Lopez even though they represented the International Socialist organization.

Clearly the regime must know that all of these will have negative consequences. Certainly foreign folks are reluctant to attack the regime for a variety of excuses but there is a point when these excuses will not hold any longer, at least in civilized societies that the regime may need desperately in the future.

We need to go further than the idea that Lopez is in fact a hostage in the faction wars inside chavismo. There are not many reasons that may explain why the obtuse and cruel treatment of Lopez.

The regime is sending an international sign that it is ready to become a pariah state like Cuba.

The regime sends a warning to all of  Venezuela citizens that Lopez fate is what awaits them if...

And worse, this behavior has become normal operating procedures for the regime. Totalitarian amorality reigns.


  1. Daniel, the use of terror was imported into Cuba by Castro. The system they use is a mixture of Stasi and KGB techniques. The Stasi was in part using Gestapo methods. This means the Castro repression machine has a very proud European torture and terror pedigree.

    Lopez is being mistreated to scare those venezuelans who may dare oppose the regime to the extent he did. This method seems to work. Venezuelans aren't predisposed to facing cuban designed jails and mistreatment. There's also zero response by the international community. Where can a venezuelan go from here? Either leave or stop working for the regime. Working for the regime means doing ANYTHING. Do you realize what this implies? This would be the mother of peaceful resistance movements. Alas, the venezuelan people lack the collective moxie (cojones) to pull it off. This means the optimum solution is to pack your bags and leave. If every engineer working for PdVsa decided freedom was worth more than the few bolivars they get, stopped working for the regime and left the country they won't find enough cubans to fill the gaps. But that won't happen.

    1. It is moral for us to heap derision on those who are cruel because we would all be better off if we were to all do the same thing.It is immoral to do nothing.The Venezuelan opposition is acting in an immoral way by not standing up to cruelty.


    2. The base reality: People in general will be able to take a moral stand if they come to realize that the only solution to their shared problem is a collective moral solution. Individuals who choose not to join in the effort become properly recognized as a threat to the happiness of all others.


  2. Anonymous12:43 PM

    "Totalitarian amorality reigns." More like chaos I believe. The reason they are pursuing Lopez is pure resentment, nothing more. Before he was jailed, let us not forget that the Eternal Scoundrel himself had him impeached for years. Lopez represents everything they aspire to be and will never achieve because resentment does not elevate one, much to the contrary. Just look where the Eternal Scoundrel is these days. Proves the point. When you run a beautiful revolution that will change the face of the planet for ever, you do not die like common Joe Blow. I am convinced his resentment killed him, nothing else. But as they say:" Mono, mismo vestido de seda, mono queda" (Maria Gabriela anyone?). And this what enrages them. At least, this is small consolation for the rest of us.

  3. In civilized environments, people do not normally resort to physical violence, but it's not because they aren't inspired by their anger to do so. They are. It's just that their anger is inhibited by Fear...the one force that is powerful enough to conquer the 'Anger Instinct.'


  4. It's really down to the rest of Latin America, how long these other countries (or their governments) are prepared to go on in denial of the Emperor's state of undress. If Cuba is anything to go by, the same state of affairs is going to go on forever. This is the real Chavez legacy - the refusal to see the dictatorship as it is and treat it accordingly because it would be blasphemy, and would be tacit recognition that the devil (the United States) was right all along about everything. This is the holy of holies in Latin American consciousness; the alter on which the images of Che Guevara, Allende, Chavez and Fidel are indelibly placed. It is more powerful than Christianity. Question it at your peril

  5. I see the Lopez cruelty as fairly simple. He is a poster child for what happens if you take an active leadership role in leading an opposition against the revolution. And a perfect one as he is highly disliked by the poor who see him as not a solution if was to replace the current gov't. Obviously they could tuck him away in a dark corner to never speak of again but that is not what you do with a poster boy. Lopez did a lot of damage when he came forward to be active in the protests. I believe it was mostly his political aspirations that got him to come forward but the ground swell of the protests included all the population until Lopez joined in then it lost the support of the poor (majority of country). The oppositions needs to be driven by someone all people can believe in and Lopez is best to support from behind the scenes only. If a ground swell starts again you can guarantee the gov't will let Lopez speak from behind the bars and through his wife all he wants.

  6. Milonga8:12 PM

    Translating Fernando Mires on Tintori asking Pablo Iglesias of Podemos to plead for Leopoldo´s release: What better opportunity does he requires to show public opinion that the ethical principles he and his followers proclaim are above personal friendship and questionable ideologies? Leopoldo's plight shows that all pseudo democracies in the region are alike and can't be called so while they support Maduro. Ethical principles were art thou?

  7. Milonga8:14 PM

    Did you read about the robbery at Alek Boyd's apartment in London? There´s an article in Caracas Chronicles. It's becoming more dangerous each day to blog on Venezuela. Be careful my friend!


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