Archive for December 14th, 2006

A picture is worth 10,000 words #9: Net Foreign Investment

December 14, 2006

This graph was made with data from the Venezuelan Central Bank and shows the Net Foreign investment per year since the year before Chavez took over. The data is up to September and this year is negative because foreign companies have been sold to local investors and taken their money out. Some people may think Venezuela needs no foreign investment, but I disagree, GDP per capita here is low, Venezuela is not a rich country and needs all the investment it can get in order to raise the people’s standard of living.

Net investment in Venezuela by foreigners in billions of US$ since 1997. The data for 2006 is up to September. Source: BCV

A banner day for Injustice in Venezuela

December 14, 2006

It was a truly banner day for Chavista injustice in Venezuela. I imagine that some judges and prosecutors must be high-fiving each other behind the scenes, since they created such loopholes in order to screw their enemies. But the truth is that what they have done is so crude and crass, that some of those same high-fivers, must be feeling only shame inside:

—Venezuelan law is very clear, if you have been jailed for two years and have not been charged, accused or tried, after that you have to be tried in freedom. But this only applies to whomever the revolution wants it to apply and certainly not to Henry Vivas, Lazaro Forero and Ivan Simonovis. The three were part of the Metropolitan police on April 11 2002 and were jailed for being responsible of some of the deaths, but have not been accused or tried, because there is no evidence against them. Of course, we all saw the shooters of Puente El Llaguno, all Chavez supporters, who were not only speedily tried, but also exonerated and treated as heroes of the revolution.

—And how about the General Prosecutor, who presented today the “conclusive” act of the investigation of the assassination of Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, without concluding anything. The General Prosecutor criticized the law that limits the time he has to prove a crime, suggesting the law had problems because it was approved before the 2000 Bolivarian Constitution. Unfortunately the man in charge of preserving the law in Venezuela forgot that the same law was changed after the 2000 Constitution was approved, making his argument moot. Thus, instead of using the law and dropping the case against two of the people accused, he is “filing” the case against them and can reopen it at any time. This is simply not what the law says.

Curiously, the case against one of the accused, banker Nelson Mezherane, relies on the fact that his pilot is said to have taken part in one of the meetings and called some of the people involved, but curiously, the pilot has never been charged. In the case of reporter Patricia Poleo, because she fled the country, the case cannot be closed, in one very twisted logic since Poleo was accused because she had supposedly participated in a meeting in Panama in which the star witness had participated. Since then, the Prosecutor has determined the star witness was in jail in Colombia that day and Poleo was not in Panama when the meeting supposedly had taken place.

Thus, two years have gone by, the opposition was accused the first day, but not one single person has been charged and the investigation ahs been essentially useless. Meanwhile all of the avenues of investigation surrounding Prosecutor’s Anderson’s wealth have not even been followed.

—When PDVSA fired 18,000 workers in 2003 it did it in violation of the law, which prohibits massive firings, all cases have to be brought individually. Of course this has been irrelevant as labor Courts have yet to rule on a single one of those 18,000 cases, despite the fact that there are numerous irregularities and violations of the law. Well, today PDVSA began charging PDVSA workers individually by charging them with the company’s losses during the period odf the 2003-2003 strike. Very expensive almost full-page ads were published in two local papers, each ad charging one person. Reportedly 400 people will be charged this way. PDVSA is opening a penal and administrative case against each of these people with the intent of confiscating their savings plan, pension and property, as well as jailing them.

Thus, as Chavez and the Government speak of pardoning political prisoners, the President of PDVSA, waited until the election was over to proceed full blast with a heartless political revenge against his enemies.

Will he be charged one day for PDVSA’s loss of production and corruption in the same manner?