Archive for May 25th, 2006

Corruption hits the fan or tales from the cesspool of the revolution

May 25, 2006

after last night’s post on the new Corruption Czar, it turns out that even a
bigger cesspool was opened up today by the Supreme Court Justice that was suspended
yesterday from his position by the Consejo Moral Republicano (CMR).

Justice, Luis Velásquez Alvaray, was none other than the writer, when he was an
MVR Deputy, of the new Supreme Court Bill, which allowed Chavez to increase
that Court by 12 members by simple majority. But curiously, that Bill also
included the possibility of having the CMR suspend anyone from the Highest Court in
the land if there were charges against him or her. Even more ironically, it was
opposition Deputies who opposed this feature of the Bill, since it was then
directed specifically at then Magistrate Franklin Arrieche, in revenge for him having
written the majority opinion that said there was no coup in April 2002.

Alvaray’s press conference was wide ranging
, quite juicy and even included
some taped conversations which he picked from what he called an “extensive
collection of tapes.” The now suspended Magistrate was charged with a corruption accusation related to the construction
of the new headquarters for the judicial system, named “Ciudad Lebrun”. There
are charges of Velasquez Alvaray profiting from the purchase of the land, as
well as kickbacks and bribes in the process of building the new headquarters of
that “Judicial City”. Velasquez Alvaray took offense to
the charges and the suspension, but reportedly he was told that he would not be
suspended by the CMR. But he was.

Alvaray’s statements show what happens when checks and balances disappear in a
political system and a single political faction controls everything. In
revealing what he did, he showed not only how corrupt the revolution and the
Government are, but also how he had kept that knowledge to himself, protecting
his comrades in arms, until he found himself accused of corruption and not
protected by his former revolutionary buddies.

His most
damaging charges were directed against the Vice-President, Jose Vicente Rangel,
the President of the National Assembly, Nicolas Maduro and his accuser Minister
of Interior and Justice Jesse Chacon. He claimed they wanted to remove him
because he has tried to stop them repeatedly. He called
“The axis of Chavismo without Chavez…which would not be socialism, but
capitalism of the XXIst. Century…who want to take over the state so they can
commit their abuses….”

He claimed
that President Rangel and Maduro knew who the members are of the infamous “Band
of the Midgets”, which is supposed to control the judicial system. However, he
failed to mention if he knew who they were. Why?

He repeatedly
made connections between Rangel and the case of murdered Prosecutor Danilo
Anderson. He asked aloud: “Why does the Vice-President keep such an eye on the Anderson case?” He
claimed that they started going after him when Rangel called him and asked him
to remove Judge Alejandra Rivas, who was in charge of the Anderson case. But, he claimed, he found the
Judge to be honest and decided not to listen to Rangel. But, he questioned, “What
is Rangel’s interest in all of this?”

played a recording in which he is talking to Judge Rivas and she describes to
him irregularities in the Anderson
case at the request of members of the National Assembly and another one in
which she says that Rangel knew who the “Midgets” were. Pretty amazing stuff, when you consider that
he is accusing the Vice-President and the President of the Assembly of trying
to intervene in a case that they should have nothing to do with under the
separation of powers. A case that has been extremely murky, in which the
Government has tried over and over to blame the opposition, but all evidence
points more and more to some sort of inter-Government fight as the explanation
for the assassination In any decent country heads would be rolling tonight, but
not in this autocracy which later has an absentee autocrat.

Alvaray then began asking why a whole bunch of recent millionaires are not investigated
by the Moral Council. Among others he mentioned:

Macaren. This character is none other than the owner of
Petrotulsa and North American Opinion Research, Chavez’ favorite pollster. The
same one that openly and publicly threatened bloggers calling us The Anglo
Venezuelan Connection (TAC), who said his cooperative was one of these “social”
programs, but apparently it is making him a millionare. Well, Velásquez Alvaray
accused him of enriching himself suddenly at the expense of the revolution. He called him one of the largest intermediaries
of the Government. What an impartial pollster, no? He is the one that says
Chavez ahs 70% popularity. Velasquez Alvaray also accused him of bribing a
Judge to accuse him.

Torres Ciliberto: One of the owners of Bankinvest, Alvaray called him the main financier
of the Government, suddenly a very rich man.

Chacon. The brother of the Minister of Interior and Justice has gone in three
years, as reported here in the Devil in 2005, from lowly employee of the tax office to part owner of a
and he
even put in
an offer of US$ 10 million to buy some milk pants from Indulac,
the milk producer. Of course, nobody investigates him, the Comptroller says
nothing and the Prosecutor says nothing, simply because they all know too much
about each other and how they are all becoming millionaires in the name of the “robolution”.

Moreno: Only last night I mentioned the
honorable judge Moreno
, the only convicted murderer in the world who has
been named a Judge after being released from jail. Alvaray played a recording
of Moreno
asking him to release someone, telling him the Vice-President of the Republic
was asking for it! This is the great “new” revolutionary judicial system Chavez

Of course,
Velasquez Alvaray claims he is so honest and just. But you have to wonder why did
he hide all these facts while being a member of the Supreme Court? How does
that fit with his claimed honesty? Shouldn’t he have reported it all? Denounced
it with the same vehemence that he does now?

But no.
The problem is that they are all covering each others asses, as the country is
being pilfered, robbed and abused in the name of the revolution. Meanwhile Hugo
Chavez is going around the world giving away the country’s money as if it were
his, while locally the bounty is being distributed by revolutionaries and the
enemies of the revolution alike. And nobody is watching. Absolutely nobody.
What a disgrace this revolution has turned out to be!

Rangel blames
the Justice’s emotional state for his statements, saying that “Each thief
judges others based on his own behavior”. Obviously he denies everything. What
else can he do?

But the
cynical Prosecutor rather
than saying
he will investigate, says that the audio tapes have no legal
validity. He says that if Velasquez presents evidence he will investigate. Of
course, everything else against his enemies he investigates, even if it is just
only hearsay. But Arne Chacon’s wealth is public knowledge. The audio tapes
were real. But that is not enough to investigate his own comrades in arms. Of
course, he does not want to touch the Anderson
case, where he has built a sand castle with his so called evidence to involve
opposition figures and reporters.

They all
protect each other. Where is the corruption Czar today? Robbing someone or
setting up his gym in his new office?

And the
pretty robolution marches on, while the absentee landlord/autocrat travels
around giving away the country’s wealth and caring little about what is going
on. How long can this go on?

not long…

National Guard raids the University of Los Andes (ULA)

May 25, 2006

The fascist roots of the revolution sprung up today, when the National Guard raided
the University of the Andes, violating, once again, the Venezuelan
Constitution, that gives university campuses autonomy. This has been
ver rare in Venezuela’s recent history, with the raid by Rafael Caldera
in the late 60’s being the one that generated the most controversy and
political conflict. Long gone are the days of the first year of Chavez’
Presidency when Generals visited campuses to show that this Government
was “different”.

The Guards went in to the campus to quelch
the protests in that University which arose from a decision by the
Supreem Court to suspend the elections for Student Union in that
University. Reportedly, the Guards removed the media from the
University and then proceeded to gas the students that were protesting.
There many students and police injured.

The Supreme Court
suspended the election in response to an injuction from a pro-Chavez
group that was asking for the CNE to organize the elections, rather than
the students themselves as has always been the case. This is also
considered to be a violation of the autonomy guaranteed to universities
by the Constitution. University autonomy is a right in most Latin
American countries.