Archive for February 24th, 2003

The world tough on Chavez today

February 24, 2003


The world was very tough on Hugo Chavez today. First, the Colombian foreign Ministry “energetically” asked Chavez to collaborate on the fight against guerrillas and terrorism, in reference to those groups that use Venezuela as a ground base for operations in Colombia, without the Government doing much about it. Then, the US State Department issued a press release in which it condemns “inflammatory statements like those attributed (sic) to President Chavez which do not help to advance the dialog between the opposition and the Government to achieve a peaceful way out of the current situation”.


But perhaps the most complete (and sincere!) statement was made by Spain’s Senator Tamayo who said that Spain’s Foreign Minsiter had been “extremely prudent” and that he was “enormously” surprised by Chávez’ reaction which showed “a lot of nervousness”. But, in my opinion, his best statement was:”Venezuela has subscribed international treaties of obligatory fulfillment and by signing those all of us are subject to international criminal justice” . This is at the crux of the matter, subjects like Human and Civil Rights are covered by international treaties that, in the case of Venezuela’s Constitution, are above it. Hugo Cahvez refuses to accept this.

COFAVIC asks Government to carry out sentence

February 24, 2003


In 1989, there were riots in Caracas that led to 277 deaths due to military and police excesses. (Nothing to do with Chavez!). Throughtout the years, Chavez used this case as an example of the excesses of previous Governments and the lack of justice in Venezuela. A human rights group was created around this tragedy. The group called COFAVIC persevered over the years and brought the case to international courts which oversee treaties that have been signed by Venezuela. At the same time, COFAVIC, has become the premier human rights organization in the country, due to its consistent, persistent and apolitical work.


COFAVIC won the case for the family of the victims and last year the Interamerican Human Rights Court found the Venezuelan Government guilty and ordered it to compensate the families, change the way police and military security plans are implemented and publish the complete decision in a nationwide newspaper and the official gazette.


Today, on the 14th. anniversary of the tragedy, COFAVIC called on the Chavez Government to comply with the decision, since the Chávez administration which in the words of COFAVIC “has attempted to “make use of political flags with the victims” or has responded to the Interamerican Human Rights Commission attempting to criminalize those affected”. So far, the Chavez administration has failed to comply with any of the aspects of the decision. So much for caring.

Explanation by municipal police of PDVSA shoot out

February 24, 2003


Imagine this: Last Saturday, there was a shoot out near PDVSA headquarters, which has been surrounded by Chavez’ “Bolivarian Circles” since mid-December. As a result of the shoot out, one Metropolitan police officer was shot dead and eight were injured. That’s it, nobody else. According to the Metropolitan police version, one cop was shot at while he was going to the funeral of another one three blocks away, he called for help and when other cops showed up, they were ambushed by gunmen…


Explanation by the Director of the municipal police of the Libertador District, whose Mayor, is strongly pro-Chavez (and was filmed unloading guns at night near PDVSA headquarters Dec. 4th. or 5th.): Two civilians without identification and armed showed up at PDVSA headquarters. They stopped the cops as they went by and there was a shoot out, which led to the dead cop. They were taken to the headquarters of the municipal police, right across the street from PDVSA, and metropolitan police cops came from two directions shooting at them, leading to the injured. The Director of the police then said that he “thought” the Bolivarian Circles were not involved, because they are not allowed to have weapons even if they have a permit. Do you believe all this? I just ask a simple question: How come there were one dead and eight injured and ALL were Metropolitan Police?

A tide shift?

February 24, 2003

I agree with Francisco Toro that the tide of international public opinion is shifting against Hugo Chavez (at last!). This Newsday article, from Associated Press is simply proof of the incredible shift taking place. This is the full text about last night’s incident where one cop was killed and eight injured by Chavez’ supporters, which I had posted on below:

“gunmen loyal to Chavez ambushed a group of policemen overnight, killing one officer and wounding five others, said Miguel Pinto, chief of the police motorcycle brigade. 

The officers were attacked Saturday night as they returned from the funeral for a slain colleague and passed near the headquarters of the state oil monopoly, which has been staked out by Chavez supporters since December.

Chavez’s government has seized thousands of weapons from city police on the pretext that Police Chief Henry Vivas has lost control of the 9,000-member department. Critics allege Chavez is disarming police while secretly arming pro-government radicals. “

Even the disarming of the police had previously gone largely unnoticed by the international press when it happened.


Chavez blasts just about everyone

February 24, 2003

Last year, after Chavez resignation, coup and return, his collaborators sought the aid of OAS Secretary General Cesar Gaviria, who immediately after Carmona “the brief” issued his now infamous decree, issued a statement condemning the break in Constitutionality. Last summer, Chavez brought Gaviria back to “mediate” with the opposition. In November Gaviria had to move to Venezuela once he understood the severity of the crisis and how Chavez was the crux of the problem. Then Chavez thought of the idea of creating a Group of Friends as mediators as a way of undermining Gaviria and enrolled Brazil‘s President Lula Da Silva to form the group. Unfortunately for Chavez Lula got together with the US and formed a group which was not to Chavez’ liking to actually back Gaviria. Spain and Portugal were added as Chávez thought they were friendlier towards him. Chavez even went to Brazil to convince Lula to change the friends group.

Well, today Chavez blasted Gaviria and the Spanish Foreign Minister for their comments on the detention of opposition leader Carlos Fernandez. I actually thought Gaviria’s declaration was too diplomatic, given that they had signed an agreement for peace and violence the day before. Chavez also criticized the US and Colombia for intervening in the country’s affairs. Slowly the world is getting to know the true Hugo Chávez. Note: I did think that the statements by teh Colombians were undiplomatic, but not the others. When people say they are concerned, I don’t think they are getting involved in the affairs of a country, they simply are concerned, so are we!