Archive for October 11th, 2005

The not so Supreme Court

October 11, 2005

A couple of days ago I reported how the National Assembly was
considering expropriating the Coca Cola plant because supposedly
Panamco had not paid fired workers what they were due. Today I learn
that the Court’s have actually resolved the issue. In fact, according to today’s Universal it was the Supreme Court, which in 2004 ruled that the workers’ demands were not warranted.

Then yesterday I reported
how a person democratically elected to the city council of the
municipality of Sucre in Caracas, was never reinstated to his elected
position despite the Supreme Court saying that he could not be removed.

Well, today I read
that the Supreme Court ruled that the Santa Rita farm had been taken
over illegally by the Government and had to be returned to its rightful
owners. But this does not seem to help them, as the Head of the Land
Institute (INTI) said on Saturday that the Court’s decision was simply
a technicality and that the people who had taken over the land were
doing productive activities and would be protected by INTI. He also
said that he did not discard that the cooperative working the land
would leave one day and return the next with new papers gving them th
rights over it. Well, it seems like they are going to have to remove
the word Supreme from the Court as nobody in this Government seems to
take it seriously or have any idea that Supreme means the highest
ranking authority in the land.

So much for the rule of law in the not so pretty revolution!


Who is on first?

October 11, 2005

Last week
the Electoral Board’s (CNE) President Jorge Rodriguez gave a press conference
in which he came very close to accusing the opposition for the killing of the
CNE representative in Amazonas state. This man was taken from his Hotel at
gunpoint, driven in a car and then knifed to death. The whole thing was a
little bit too much, Rodriguez was calling for the military to begin the
operation that protects the electoral process, as this is the second CNE
representative killed this year. While Rodriguez was making the accusations,
saying that attacks of the Electoral power had to stop, the investigative
police (CICPC) was saying that this appeared to be a robbery by common
criminals. I decided not to write about it, thinking that Rodriguez was simply
shocked at the news.

Well this morning the
Prosecutor makes statements
saying that this is indeed a robbery and not a
political crime and he can “responsibly say that up to this point the
investigations do not suggest such a motive but it is a common crime”. But
then he says that the investigative police have been removed from the
investigation because “some officers may have participated in the crime”.
I said: Waaaaaait. This was a “common” crime committed by officers of
the investigative police? Is this a common crime?

Just a couple of hours later, the Minister of the Interior and Justice who
happens to be the boss of the investigative police comes
out and says
that it has been ruled out that it is a crime of passion and
it is either a political crime or it was done for economic reasons. He then
rambles about how the dead CNE officer imposed supervision which eliminated
“corruption” in electoral activities in that state and that once
“profits” disappeared from electoral activities, some groups tried to
“displace” him to “regain” control. He even says that they
tried to simulate a robbery to hide the true objective.

Hold it! Can someone explain to me how you make money within the electoral
process? This is not political? How is this a common crime? Why does the
Prosecutor, who is the one that is supposed to substantiate crimes, say it is a
common crime, while the Minister of Interior and Justice says the opposite just
hours later? What is going on within the Government? Why the charges and countercharges?
Is this public infighting?

It just
reminds of the Marx brothers movie when they asked:Who is on first?

Truly, who
is on first?

(Note added: Somebody noted that this is a line from the Stooges, I
guess I was thinking of Why a duck? Will leave it as posted, but
I stand corrected.

Correction to the correction: I guess I can’t shoot straight the
comment said that it was Abbot and Costello and I switched it once
again this time to the Stooges. I guess it was not from I love Lucy for
sure. Sorry guys)