Archive for March 5th, 2003

US Congressmen ask Powell to invoke Democratic Charter

March 5, 2003


 US representative Lincoln Diaz-Baralt, sent a letter to Secretary of State Colin Powell asking for the US Government to invoke the OAS Interamerican Democratic Charter. In a very short and succinct letter, the Florida Congressman, uses arguments very similar to those used here to justify calling the Venezuelan Government a Dictatorship to ask the US Government to invoke Article 20 of the Democratic Charter which says the Charter can be invoked whenever an alteration of the Constitutional order takes place in a member state. Congressman Diaz-Baralt cites the detention of opposition leaders, the murders of the three dissenting military of Altamira and the Chavez’ Government ties to terrorism. (I tend to emphasize the first two, have few proofs of the last one). The letter was also signed by the following Congressmen according to another source: Mario Diaz-Balart (Florida and brother of Lincoln); Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Florida); Roy Blunt (Missouri); Curt Weldon (Pennsylvania); Dan Burton (Indiana) and Chris Smith (New Jersey). I have been trying to find the letter in English, will link to it if I find it.

Tal Cual Editorial: And poor Joao what?

March 5, 2003


I thought of summarizing the following Editorial from today’s Tal Cual newspaper. But it has little in excess, goes to the point. This is the same Government that quickly finds evidence to detain opposition leaders, but forgets the dead, from either side. But Teodoro Petkoff explains it quite well:


And poor Joao, what?


Tomorrow it will be three months since the murders of Plaza Altamira, perpetrated by Joao De Gouveia.

The trial has been postponed several times and is virtually paralyzed. The trials for the crimes of April 11th. are also not moving and, besides those that are in jail, which are four, the other five have not been detained. The investigations about the bombs thrown against the headquarters of Globovision and Asi es la Noticia never went beyond the state in which Jose Vicente Rangel and Diosdado Cabello announced, with a face full of circumstance, that “ the corresponding investigations will immediately be open”. The families of those dead in the demonstrations of Los Proceres and Charallave are also awaiting for the detention and trial of the reported authors of those murders, also reportedly identified. We also know nothing of those responsible for the men that died in San Juan de Los Morros, nor the one shot down in Plaza Bolivar. The homicides of five peasants of the South of Lake Maracaibo have also not been clarified, despite the fact that in the region it is a loud secret who paid the murderess.

If we restrict ourselves to the precedents, there is no doubt then that, as soon as public opinion begins to forget a case or is shocked by a new one, be it the terrorist that placed the bombs in the Embassies of Spain and Colombia, “pointed out” (by Chavez) and everything, they will all fall into the territory of forgetness.


The same luck will probably fall on the investigations over the ambush and massacre of La Campińa, the same as those that never went past the point of a show off in the horrendous crime of the three soldiers and the women accompanying them.

Impunity is the name of the game. It is a dangerous game. Because not only political crimes remain without sanction, but dozens and dozens of common homicides are never clarified. We are facing the bankruptcy of our police institutions, clearly overflowed by the flood of crime and also severely affected by political events. The Metropolitan Police of Caracas is almost an ornament , unarmed like it has been, and the old PTJ(Investigative police), whose impractical name is almost a symbol of the organizational disaster in which it has been submerged by the double “chavizmo” which overwhelms it (Hugo’s and Marcos, its Director) and everyone laughs at it. The Disip (Intelligence police) gallops to the rescue of Digepol (its predecessor). And to think that many of Chavez’ voters believed that what the country needed to confront personal insecurity was a military officer.

Catching up: Inflation up 5.5% in February

March 5, 2003

Going through things that happened in my absence I find the news that inflation was up 5.5% in the month of February, (this is not 5.5% annualized, this is only February) which Hugo Chavez immediately blamed on the opposition. Imagine, this is the first month with price controls! Now, according to the Central Bank, food and beverages went up “only” 4% thanks to price controls. Way to go! 

Highlights of my absence

March 5, 2003

A bomb exploded on Sunday in Maracaibo…..very similar to the ones that damaged the Colombian and Spanish Embassies…..Chavez continued to blame the opposition for the bomb….despite the fact that 1,000 kilos of explosives were found in the border with Colombia…..they were carried by the FARC, closer to Chavez than the opposition….no arrests over the weekend…..maybe it was a time of disguises…no negotiations either as Gaviria and Government traded sharp words….