Government contradicts itself

February 20, 2003

While Hugo Chavez said at noon that he was informed at midnight of the “decision by a judge to detain” Carlos Ortega and Carlos Fernandez and he said “go ahead” (whatever happened to independent powers”, a half dozen of Chavez’ MVR Deputies had already appeared on TV to back the decision by the judge “live” from the Vice-President’s office. Chavez was so cynical as to say “I think” he has been captured, but he cant fool anybody. Moreover Cahvez said when he was told about it, he smiled with pleasure. What a sadist, no?

Meanwhile, besides the information that the judge ten months ago was the lawyer that defended those caught shooting at the demonstration when 19 people were killed, the prosecutor who brought the charges happens to be the niece of the Attorney General who was Chavez’ first Vice-President. The Attorney General has sat on his ass on dozens of cases that include almost 50 deaths and 700 injured, but is quick to find vaporous charges agasint the most important leaders of the opposition.

Meanwhile, while one of Chavez’ Deputies said there was a list of one hundred people that were going to be detained, the Attorney General said he has “only and so far” ordered the capture of the two Carlos’, who are the natural leaders of the unions and the private sector. By the way, the Head of the Federation of Unions Carlos Ortega, said that he will not hand himself in as he fears for his life. He has gone into hiding, but refuses to leave the country.

Now, even the People’s Ombusdman, one of the most pathetic characters of the Chavez Government said the detention “was not transparent” since there was nobody present, no order to capture Mr. Fernandez and Mr. Fernandez was detained without access by his lawyers for twelve hours. Does this mean the end is near and the Ombusdeman is trying to distance himself?

Curiously, many politicians now interpret yesterday’s actions as the reason why Chavez did not go on his trip to Malaysia as well as a ploy to distract attention from the succesful number of the referendum petitions known as the “Firmazo”, which was presented last night. I disagree, this is a step towards more repression. What I am afraid of is that coming so close to the Declaration against violence and for peace and democracy, we can only expect things to get worse from now on.

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