Archive for April 24th, 2007

The revolution sends its censorship brigade in the form of a Bolivarian Union of workers

April 24, 2007

The Bolivarian Assembly of workers
of the Venezuelan Institute
for Scientific Research ,
the country’s most prestigious scientific institution
, wrote the Communiqué below. This pathetic document
pretends to attack the integrity of some of the most distinguished scientists
by people who live off science but have no clue what it is or does for a
country. Once again, they attack one of the country’s most distinguished
researchers Claudio Mendoza who is called a traitor for is excellence in
research and his refusal to be quieted down by the hounds of the regime. This is clearly a censorship and intimidation brigade sent by the Government.

As if in synchrony with the
Minister of Communications, it is all made into a destabilizing conspiracy,
which supposedly has nothing to do with freedom of speech as if Dr. Mendoza
hasn’t been warned many times for going public. Moreover, it shows total
disrespect for many Venezuelan scientists that have distinguished careers and
who continue to work for the country. The accusations are ironically linked to
the shutdown and censorship of TV station RCTV, as simply being part of the
conspiracy that the opposition is preparing, as if free speech was not under
severe threat in Venezuela. In closing, they also manage to insult the
intelligence of foreign reporters calling them ignorant of what is going on in Venezuela.

This communiqué was so badly
written that there are some spots where it is basically impossible to fix the
writing without changing what was said in it, I did the best I could.

Thus, here you have it, the
Bolivarian union of workers of an institution of excellence, persecuting and
trying to shut down the same people that make that institution what it is,
simply because they dare say what they think and it goes against their
political ideas, if not fanaticism. I cant help but thinking that this letter
was prompted from above in what is clearly yet another campaign against the
basic human rights of a group of very distinguished Venezuelans.

Public Communiqué

The Bolivarian Assembly of Workers
of IVIC (ABTIVIC) publicly deplores the grave damage that has been caused to
the image of the Institute by the persistent campaign of lies and ambiguities
orchestrated in the printed media by Claudio Mendoza and political propaganda
groups invested in academic clothing. Like organized gangs, these irresponsible
people have elaborated a destabilization strategy using a discourse which
represents treason to the fatherland, making a scandal out of a domestic and
insignificant issue, which was the change in the Head of the Laboratory of
Computational Physics of this Institute; a transfer of responsibility that is
the exclusive and legitimate responsibility of the Board of Directors in use of
its attributions (For personnel of trust)

ABTIVIC recognizes behind the acts
mentioned the most decrepit ideals of the Fourth Republic, summoned to gestate
confusion in public opinion, restlessness and destruction of the fundamental
values that maintain our national institutions. With this regrettable advice, a
small group of activists come out in defense of the lies of Claudio Mendoza,
defaming and slandering individualities, sabotaging the organization of
scientific meetings of international character and destroying the little
credibility left in some national institutions such as the National Association
for the Advancement of Science (ASOVAC) and the Academy of Physical,
Mathematical and natural Sciences, driven to lose the reason for their
existence and reduced to roundtables for political discussion, condemning them
to disappear due to their loss of credibility. The members of these
“scientific” institutions are Dr. Carbonell, Dr. San Blas, Dr. Hilda Perez
among others, and all of the traditional members of the scientific community of
IVIC and of the Universities that oppose the end of their privileges and that
science once and forever finds the course of benefiting the country and not
small groups that they lead benefiting from the economic kindness of this
Government and persisting in their discourse that there are no possibilities to
do science in Venezuela.

ABTIVIC also publicly denounces,
that selling the image fabricated of a martyr Mendoza, these groups have
transgressed the imaginable limits of confusion, massively deceiving and at a
world scale, for which they have made improper and abusive use of scientific
journals. We energetically protest the Editor of Interciencia (one of the few
Venezuelan journals with ample world circulation), Dr. Miguel Laufer who
allowed himself the slip of publishing a yellow, superfluous and badly written
editorial, which relapses with stupidity and without foundation about the
fallacious statements by Mendoza about the use of nuclear energy in Venezuela,
accusing once again the authorities of IVIC of supposed violations of freedom
of speech. Dr. Laufer is a former Director of IVIC and we have evidenced how
the Institution through its authorities have backed him unconditionally, but
evidently neither him, nor his group have among their values the respect
towards the Institution that gave them everything.

On the bases of lies, this group
of agitators, abused of the ignorance of international reporters in relation to
the reality that the country is currently living, once again they publish an
Editorial and a news item in science journal Nature (London) where the grave
suggestions of Mendoza are treated as if it was a joke, which contrasts with
the national articles where he asserts that Venezuela wants to sneak into the
club of countries that have a nuclear bomb, together with Iran and Korea. It is
already customary for this stateless group of researchers to take this journal
to give negative information about the country.

That is why we denounce the
international relations of these people, with the actions deployed by the end
of the concession of RCTV and its non renewal on the part of the Executive, and
we insist that such a propaganda deployment is framed within a destabilizing
plan fro May 28th. of this year.

Letter to the President by Teodoro Petkoff

April 24, 2007

Teodoro Petkoff writes to the President telling him how he is violating the Constitution daily and he has become an autocrat in this militaristic charade called the Bolivarain Revolution.

Letter to the President by Teodoro Petkoff in Tal Cual

In my condition as citizen
of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in full use of my political rights and
precisely because of the duties that they impose on me as a citizen, I address
you publicly to get to you some considerations about some recent acts of yours
in relations to the National Armed Forces.

You expressed on April 12th.
, in a speech at Fuerte Tiuna the following concepts: “The so called
institutionality of the Armed Forces was way of hiding and of assuming a
position opposed to that of the Government (…) All commanders of units are
obligated to repeat from their soul and raise the flag with the slogan
“Fatherland, socialism or death” without ambiguities (…) If someone feels
uncomfortable because of this, it is better that they process their discharge”

Those phrases happen to be
a grave violation to the Constitution of the Republic, which in its Article 328
establishes that the Armed Forces are “an essentially professional institution,
without political membership, organized by the State to guarantee its
independence as a Nation and insuring the integrity of the geographical space
via military defense, cooperation in maintaining internal order and active
participation in national development”. Similarly, Article 330, which gives the
military the right to vote, forbids them however, from “participating in acts
of propaganda, membership or political proselytism” 

When you affirm that the
Armed Forces are a “roja, rojita” institution and when you ask its commanders
to voice slogans of political parties, you place yourself outside the
constitutional norm and, if this were not enough, you request that active
military do it too. The profession of the armed forces, exercised by its
members, is incompatible with the request that the institution assume the role
of a political party, because with it you would consecrate a contradiction of
an armed party in the midst of a system in which no political organization is
armed and least of all in the magnitude of an organization that handles
powerful war weapons. When you declare it “roja, rojita” you attribute to it
the color of the political party that you direct and when you ask that they
make their own a clearly political slogan, the property of the political party
MVR, you are demanding that they solidarize themselves politically with this
party, placing themselves in a position contrary to constitutional norms. The
armed forces are subordinated to the civilian political power and the
Constitution does not attribute them with the role of being the arbiter in the
Venezuelan political controversy.

What could arise from the
political project known as XXIst. Century Socialism pertains only to civil
society and it is not to the Armed Forces, which are called to decide on it.
You should remember that the only political compromise of the armed forces is
with democracy because precisely that is what is established in the
Constitution, when it defines the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela as a democracy.

In that same order of
ideas, it constitutes an unheard of and unacceptable transgression of
constitutional mandates as well as of the respect that the institution
deserves, to use military installations such a the Theatre of the Military
Academy or the Honor Patio to place slogans and hold events with the clear orientation
of a political party. In the same manner, it violates constitutional
regulations to use military vehicles to exhibit political slogans as happened
in the parade of June 24 2006 in the Carabobo Battlefield. The participation of
cadets from the Military
Academy in the political
meeting of the recent April 13th, in front of the Presidential
palace, is simply inexcusable.

There is no prior precedent
of such political manipulation of the students that the whole nations is
forming so that once they graduate they represent them, without distinctions of
gender, in the custody of national sovereignty.

It is also necessary that I
also mention, as contrary to the constitutional letter and spirit, the
designation of General Alberto Muller Rojas, who is the Chief of State of the
Commander of the Armed Forces, as a principal member and spokesman for the
advisory committee of the PSUV political party. In the already mention Art. 330
of the Constitution it is very clear and specific: active military officials
(the General is this once again, after 25 years of retirement) are not allowed
to participate in acts of “propaganda, membership or political proselytism”.
The public conduct of the General mentioned has been one of a political
militant, in open attitude of proselytism and political propaganda.

All of this accentuates the
militaristic features that characterize the regime, the climax of which was
achieved with the reform of the Organic Bill of the Armed Forces (Lofan) in
whose Art. 40the military grade of Commander n Chief was created for the
President of the Republic. To the constitutional condition, strictly political,
of the President as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, it is now added the
purely military condition of the President as Commander in Chief. The Armed
Forces an institution of the State, has derived, simultaneously, in an
institution of the Government.

In closing and with respect
to the institutionalism of the Armed Forces, it must be mentioned that if this
one was born literally as the praetorian guard of General Gomez, and later, in
some fashion, it was also that of General Perez Jimenez, it is also not less
true that after 1958 it began to assume an ever increasing national and
institutional role. It is true that there ere cases in which not a few number
of officers looked for “godfathers” in AD and COPEI, in order to obtain
particularly promotions, but the Armed Forces, as an institution, was never at
the service of any of those parties nor of any of its leaders. In fact, during
the four decades in which the Armed Forces settled with some institutional
criteria subordinated to civil power, without involving itself in the field of
political parties.

When you pretend to destroy
institutionalism, in truth what you are aspiring to is to make it obey again as
a praetorian guard, this time at your personal service, in clear negation of
constitutional postulates. Surely you have in mind to reform the Constitution
in these aspects, to consecrate the condition of political armed forces and
ideologically compromised with your project, but for now, the 1999 Constitution
is valid and you are fragrantly violating that which is one of its more
substantive norms for obvious reasons, that one which establishes with all
precision the attributions of military power and its relation with national

I write this letter, Mr.
President, to ask you if you are conscious of the position that you have
assumed in front of the Armed Forces and that it represents a definite and
systematic violation of the democratic and constitutional order.


Teodoro PetkofF