Archive for May 18th, 2005

Why is the Venezuelan Government so interested in extraditing Posada Carriles?

May 18, 2005

For a Government that is so inefficient in carrying out Justice, the Venezuelan Government has been amazingly diligent in the case of Cuban exile Luis Posada Carries. Posada Carriles, who is 77, is accused of plotting to blow up a plane from Cubana de Aviacion in 1976 while in Venezuela. In fact, Posada was jailed, tried twice and acquitted by both a Venezuelan military and a civilian Court, but the case was appealed at that time and Posada was jailed again. He escaped disguised as a priest.

Cuba also wants Posada Capriles for bombings in that country, but Venezuelan authorities had requested the extradition of Posada, using the reciprocal extradition treaty with the US, even before he had officially resurfaced in the US, which would take precedence over any Cuban request. Castro held a rally asking the US to jail Posada, which the US did the minute he resurfaced, but has not asked that he be sent to Cuba. The US, of course, would never turn Posada over to Cuban authorities, where he might not get a fair trail and would be jailed or sentenced to death, by a fairly bad system of Justice.


The question is why is Venezuela so intent in extraditing him? You see, Venezuelan law is very quirky. For reasons that I have never been able to understand in Venezuela, if you are over 75, you can not be jailed. I imagine there is some intent of being merciful there, but it still boggles my mind that such a law exists in our penal code.


Thus, if Posada Carriles, who is 77, were to be sent here, he would be seen by a judge the first day and then he could have his lawyers request that the Court substitute whatever location or place he pleases as a substitute to jail time. Given that Posada Capriles has no home in Venezuela, he could choose a Hotel, for example, and the Court would have to grant it automatically, it would have no choice, as long as he does not step out of its boundaries .The latter is definitely an important cost to the Nation.


Thus, you have to really wonder when the Vice-President says that Venezuela will not turn Posada over to Cuba, whether he really means it. The other option is to have Posada solve a few of his personal problems at once: He would have a country to live in, a comfortable place to stay and the assurance that he can not be extradited anywhere. Moreover, he has lived in Venezuela before. Given his current status as a man with no country, that certainly seems like an extremely nice choice. At the same time, Venezuela would look really silly after fighting to get him with such intensity, to have him half-free and holding Court in front of the press daily.


The only thing there is no chance of, is that he will be found innocent for a third time.


Note added: The Penal Code actually says this applies for people above 70, not 75 and that house arrest will last up to four years.


A piece of revenge by Teodoro Petkoff

May 18, 2005

A piece of revenge by Teodoro Petkoff in today’s Tal Cual


Venezuela has the peculiarity, that what does not happen in Caracas is almost as if it never happened. Sometimes, things happen in the province, quite horrible things such as the action of police extermination groups that it is only when they bounce back to Caracas, as in the case of Guarico for example, through the parliamentary investigation about Governor Manuitt that they resonate nationally.


This sort of opacity that coats the province allows the officialdom to commit abuses, run over people or act arbitrarily, and which rarely are national news, which insures the impunity of the authors.


What is happening with Orlando Fernandez Medina in Lara state is truly scandalous and it is necessary to shed light about all of it. Orlando was the Governor of that state and is a social fighter, well known in all of the Central-Western part of Venezuela, and even in Caracas, as he was a Deputy in the National Congress.


Fiery, tough and so daring that it borders on temerity, Orlando not only garnered the backing and even devotion of thousands of poor larenses, but he was also the nemesis of the corrupt, sleazy and bandits of all kinds, some of which were tried based on his  accusations, which were always well documented. With the regional political group that he leads, “OFM”, he backed the beginning of the Chávez Government, but very quickly he became disenchanted and since them he has acted as an intransigent critic of the Reyes Reyes administration (the current Governor), maintaining himself as the consequent defender of all popular causes.


In the recent elections he was the axis of an opposition group and came in second place in the race for the Governorship.


The harassment that he has been the subject of recently, reaches almost grotesque levels, as we reveal today here(page 3). His daughter, a worker for the last sixteen years in the Educational Zone of the state and a union leader, was fired, “for signing” as well as for not paying attention to the unusual request to “untie” herself politically from her father. An injunction that protects her from being fired was not recognized with audacity, because in that Educational Zone “that has no value”. There was also an attempt to revoke the election of the two regional deputies of “OFM” proclaimed and functioning since months ago, through a strange agreement with the CNE, aborted up to now given the absurdity and illegality of the attempt, but still pending of a definitive decision by the CNE. Threatened with being kidnapped, the judicial measure ordered by the Attorney General of protecting his home has not been executed. But the final cherry on the top is the attempt to reopen against Orlando an old homicide case, which his then enemies accused him of at the time, with the result that the then Supreme Court (not composed precisely by political friends of the larenese leader) dropped the charges and declared his innocence. Well, a few days ago, someone named Gaston Silva, a former convict and jailed for fraud and now buddy of Luis Velasquez (a Supreme Court Justice) in the judicial “cleansing” in Lara, announced publicly the reopening of that old case, which on top of that has already been tried. All of the scoundrels of Lara that Orlando fought for years are dancing on one foot. They think that this is the hour of revenge.  The ironic and sad thing is that the “revolution” has placed itself at the service of that revenge.


Daniel has more on the provinces’ plight here