Archive for March 14th, 2003

Head of Federation of unions gets political asylum in Costa Rica

March 14, 2003

The Head of the Federation of all Unions CTV, Carlos Ortega, sought political asylum in the Costa Rican Embassy today. Costa Rica granted the asylum later in the day. Ortega had a detention order agaisnt him for his role in the general strike. He was elected as Head of CTV in October 2000 in an election forced by the new Constitution. Ortega won by a margin of 56% to 19%  by the Government’s candidate Aristobulo Isturiz., the current Minsiter of Education. The Chavez administration refused to recognize Ortega’s victory arguing there were irregularities. Ortega then became Chavez; most formidable opponent, organizing marches and strikes against the Government and became one of the main leaders of the opposition. Reportedly, Ortega was told by a source, that the order was not to capture him but to kill him if detained. This is a severe blow to the opposition.

Attorney General on the spot

March 14, 2003

Up to now, the Attorney General’s office has failed to make any decision in the 18 cases against President Chávez on a variety of charges. Essentially, in Venezuela, if the President is accused, the Attorney General has to bring the case to the Supreme Court which will decide whether to remove the immunity of the President or not. In the case of Chávez, the Attorney General’s office has simply not decided in any case against the President, thus making it impossible to bring charges against Chávez. On the 11th. of March, one of the Prosecutors of the Attroney General’s office sent him a letter saying that there was evidence agaisnt Hugo Chávez in the case of the oil supplied to Cuba. Venezuela supplies Cuba with oil at a discount and easy financing based on an agreement signed between the two countries on Octuber 30th. 2000. However, that agreement was never submiitted for approval by the National Assembly as established in the Constitution and in violation of anti-corruption laws. The Attorney General will now have to decide whether to bring or not cahrges in front of the Supreme Court. Knowing him and how negligent he has been in the last two years when it comes to accusations agaisnt the Government or assasins, we simply doubt it.Other fairly straightforwrad cases against Chávez include the campaign contributions by Spain’s BBVA and the “missing” funds from the macroeconomic stabilization fund.