Archive for December 10th, 2002

More Justice

December 10, 2002

-A judge in Carabobo state ruled that the Government and the National Guard, could not go into private companies and takeover property as this violates the Constitution. The decision applies in four central states but has legal implications nationwide. The Chavez Governemnt issued a decree that allows the Ministry to take over private property to reestablish gasoline supplies.

-The Supreme Court ruled that it could not grant an injunction banning the Feb. 2nd. referendum because it was not a Constitutional issue but an electoral one and the should go to the electoral hall to clear the matter.

-The Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court composed of eight of the twenty justices of the Court announced today that it would not work due to the violent atmosphere and the persecution against them. The Hall said it would only work on urgent issues. This news was actually reported in some international agencies as if the opposition was the one at fault, but the latest Associated Press cable has it right:

“Eight of the 20 judges on Venezuela’s Supreme Court suspended work Tuesday to protest what they called political harassment from the government during the opposition’s crippling general strike against President Hugo Chavez”

The march, the billboard and the three radicals

December 10, 2002

Huge march today around the military airport in Caracas as seen in the top left. To Right: Huge billboard with a saying by Simon Bolivar that Hugo Chavez said over and over when he was a candidate:” Damm the soldier who turns his weapon against the people”, showing the picture from last week of a soldier firing at point blank during the peaceful demonstration.

Bottom: Three violent-looking radicals detected at the march: An old man in a wheelchair, a kid and yours truly.

Tal Cual’s Headline

December 10, 2002

Headline in today’s Tal Cual newspaper, writen by Teodoro Petkoff:

Night of Terror

Chavez said it, Diosdado did it

(Diosdado is the Minister of the Interior and Justice)

A little Justice: Supreme Court voids Assembly decision

December 10, 2002

In a glimmer of hope for justice in Venezuela, the Constitutional Hall of the Supreme Court voided last week’s decision by the Chavez controlled National Assembly to remove one of the Justices of the Court.  The Court said the decision violated the principle of separation of powers, it represented interference of one power over the other and violated the rights of the Jutice himself. Coincidentally or not, the Justice was the one that wrote the majority opinion that the high ranking officers who refused to followed Chavez’ orders in April were not involved in a coup.

According to the country’s Constitution, the National Assembly names the Justices, but it is the Court itself the one that can approve first the possibility of removing a justice.

The agression on the media

December 10, 2002

Last night, organized crowds of Chavez’ violent “Bolivarian Circles’, simultenously attacked a large number of TV and radio stations. In some, there is considerable damage, particularly those that are not in Caracas. In others, it was just the threat of uncontrolled violence which is not only physical, but also psychological. Chavez’ Assembly Deputies led the attack in many cases. Only when the Secretary General of the OAS warned the Government, did they some of them change sides. This is a not only a violation of Venezuelan law, but also International Treaties on Human Rights and Freedom of Speech. The General Strike has to continue, it is clear what Chavez and his partisnas want. We have to get rid of him!

(By the way, I find it amazing how few reports (if any) there are so far in the international media about what happened last night)

A view from the outside

December 10, 2002

I subscribe to a single investment newsletter, the one written by Don Hays I not only find it useful, but it is also honest and very insightful. When Venezuela was mentioned twice in the newsletter I wrote to Don and he actually mentioned this site in his newsletter. Yesterday, he mentioned it, once again, and I think it is interesting, particularly for us Venezuelans to read his view on how important our battle has become:

“The strangest thing about human nature is that so often this massive restructuring of a country or a world is not made without tremendous unrest and almost always a bloody struggle as those that refuse to admit their “failed” policies, do everything in their power to hold on to power. That is certainly the way it looks to me now in Venezuela and Iran, two countries that are striking and being attacked by the “failed” regimes of those countries. My heart goes out to those that are having to suffer, but unless my vision is totally clouded, their suffering and battle will set the stage for the reinvigoration of these nations to greatly increase the freedom and Democracy for their children, grandchildren and off-springs for many decades to come. I cited this link to you on Friday, but if you want to follow the progress of the Venezuela situation from one of those brave dissidents that is a subscriber of mine in that country, you can do so on this link: I donít personally know this gentleman, but the on-the-spot news is refreshing in that it hasnít gone through the media or government filter. It is the emotions of the man on the street in that “

So keep those thoughts in mind when things get tough!

Instant Analysis: Did Gaviria foil a Government plot?

December 10, 2002

The events of tonight appear to have been an attempt by the Chavez Government to manipulate the media in a manner very similar to what it did in April. As the general strike has progressed, the government can no longer deny that it is extremely succesful, much like the April strike at the oil company which ended with a massacre, Chavez’ brief departure and return, “then the people asked him to come back”. This image that there was a coup and thousands of people then took to the streets calling for Chavez’ return  has been perpetuated ever since.

I get the feeling a similar plan was on tonight. Chavez’ Bolivarian Circles, who are just paid hoodlums, would go to all TV stations, surround them and then the Minister of the Interior would go on TV and say this was just the “people” defending their President. However, before the Minister of the Interior came on, Cesar Gaviria, who happened to be dining with some members of the media, adressed the nation asking the Government to act immediately to stop the organized attack on the media. Later, the Heads of all the major TV stations also came on TV asking people to stay home. When a few minutes later the Minister of the Interior came on, it was very clear that these were not spontanous acts by the people, but a coordinated attack, thus discrediting the Minister’s speech or simply short-circuiting it.

To me it is now quite clear why the Government had been so quiet all the day, it was planning how to counterattack the media and international success of the opposition. Unfortunately for them, while in April the world was not watching Venezuela, it is now, particularly through the eyes of  OAS Secretary General Cesar Gaviria, who in the last four weeks has clearly seen the cynicism, lies and treachery of Chavez and his partisans. Gaviria is still too trusting of the Chavez Government and I think he will regret it, but at least he is playing an important role in containing the Government, if only so far.