The idea must have occurred to Godgiven C that fateful weekend when General Hugo Carvajal was suddenly jailed in Aruba and barely escaped deportation to the US. At that point it must have been clear to Godgiven, no more Miami, Andorra, Panama and the like in the future for him. Except for places he would not like to visit, like China, Cuba, Iran and Russia, he was now trapped in the hellish country the former Hugo created and he helped destroy. Not even his family could safely visit the Empire or even neighboring countries, as you never knew what trick could Obama play against them with all his influence. Well, he must have thought, if I am trapped in Venezuela and feel so claustrophobic about it, I will make sure my enemies are too. Because he felt truly awful. What would he spend all his money on if he was trapped in Venezuela?
Thus, why jail them? Why not sue the few remaining media outlets in the country and have the Judge ban their owners, Directors, legal counsel from leaving the country and thus subject them to the same unfair punishment the gringos imposed on him?
And so he did. The first chance he got, a really preposterous case, he sued for defamation everyone of importance at El Nacional, La Patilla and Tal Cual and a friendly Judge complied his wishes and 22 members of the respective Boards, including Miguel Henrique Otero, Teodoro Petkoff (again!) and Alberto Ravell (who is not in Venezuela) are now prohibited from leaving the country.
The case is so preposterous that all these media outlets did was simply to reproduce verbatim what Spanish newspaper were saying about Godgiven. This not only violates freedom of speech, but even international treaties exempt such reproductions of news items from legal liability, except for the source.
But it gets even worse. According to Venezuelan law, the Court had to notify each of the defendants, something that has yet to be done and under no circumstance can the Judge rule that the defendants were prohibited from leaving the country or be a flight risk if she had not even talked to them or knew in detail anything about them, other than they were on the Board of these media outlets.
And to add insult to injury, the defamation case got really speedy consideration and resolution in a country where the average prisoner has not seen a Judge in the first few months after its detention and most spend two years without sentence.
Of course, their name is not Godviven C. (A pseudonym used to protect the author of this blog).
Oh! his power! His manipualtion of Justice!
The intent is clear: To intimidate. If the simple reproduction of news items published outside or inside the country by any media outlet can be a justification to sue you for defamation and block you from leaving the country, the few media outlets that maintain some form of independence will be silenced even more.
And reporters, media owners, Directors will all be trapped in Venezuela and with Godgiven to boot. Just think, none of them can take a jaunt to Aruba to get some shampoo, soap or even Harina Pan, let alone enjoy their wealth.
The worst part is that at some point they may even be trapped for hours with Godgiven in Court.
It is hard to think of worst punishment for them…