Archive for March 12th, 2003

Chacao’s Mayor on possible charges against him

March 12, 2003


Loved the response of Chacao’s Mayor Leopoldo Lopez when he said today commenting on the fact that he has been called to testify, as an accomplice, in the escape of oil manager Juan Fernandez from last Saturday’s rally. Lopez simply said:


“What I have to clarify, is that we have not, and we will not, be accomplices to the excesses of the Disip (intelligence police), everyone sees the manner in which they run over and react out of proportion, they use tear gas for everything, we have to evaluate the action, not of Poli Chacao, nor the Metropolitan police, but of the state polices, this is another way of turning what is a reality, it is Disip that has been using force against the citizens.”


He added” we are here, we will not run away. We have never had a response from the Attorney General, when we caught a vehicle spying on my office, which was the same one seen the same day of the explosions in the Spanish and Colombian Embassies, nor when we showed the bribing by the Director of Disip of some of functionaries of Poli Chacao, in the best style of “Montesinos”.

Government thinks Chavez can run if he loses recall referendum

March 12, 2003

I have always wondered why the government has always said that the only way out of the political crisis was the recall referendum in August. Politically, it seemed to me to be a lose-lose proposition for President Chavez. First of all, he would be running against only himself. Second, he has little chance of surviving a recall referendum as demonstarted by the “Firmazo”. Finally, if he lost a recall referendum, he would not be able to run as a candidate in the elections aftwerwards. In contrast, by accepting an early election Chavez could wish that the opposition would split into various factions and either win or at least have a respectable showing coming in second place. (note I said “wish).

Well, today we hear Vice-President Rangel explaining, that Chavez, even if he lost a referendum would be able to run in the election that follows and that “nothing” in either the Constitution or the electoral law bans it. Now, I am definitely not a lawyer, but as explained again quite well by Deputy Gerardo Blyde today, article 233 of the Constitution says that once the mandate of the President is revoked, the Vice-President will assume the Presidency until a NEW President is elected within thirty days. Now checking the seven definitions of “new” in Webster’s dictionary or the nine for “nuevo” in the Royal Acadamy of the Spanish Language Dictionary it certainly does not appear as if Chavez would fit any of them. But, of course, when you have bought the Supreme Court, you never know how they might interpret it differently.

One interesting aspect of this statement by the Vice-President is that, as noted by my boss, for the first time ever the Government recognizes such a possibility exists….interesting.