Prosecutor follows Chavez’ command, orders Globovision owner jailed

June 12, 2010

(To those that complain, I remind them that there is Justice here)

A few days ago, Hugo Chavez said in no uncertain terms:

“Guillermo Zuloaga (The President of TV station Globovision) said that I ordered the killing of people and he is still free. This only happens in this country…This should not stay this way…I will not sue against a bourgeois, but there is a system that should put things in their place.”

Never mind that Zuloaga was referring to a true fact, when Chavez tried to unleash Plan Avila against a peaceful march in April 2002, which has been ratified by the Generals that refused to accept that order. Plan Avila was the same plan activated in 1989 by Carlos Andres Perez, a military plan sharply criticized by international organizations as repressive and designed to violate human rights. The activation of the plan in 1989 led to over 200 people being killed. There were over 20 killed and almost 200 injured on that day even if the Chavez’ order was never followed.

Never mind that Zuloaga made the statement outside of Venezuela, where Venezuelan law does not apply. He was investigated and freed on those charges after the Prosecutor barred him from leaving the country in early April.

So, yesterday, the ineffable Prosecutor Luisa Ortega revives charges against Zuloaga and his son for usury and “conspiracy” in the case of a car distributor that Zuloaga is part owner of and in which the Government accused him of “hoarding” the cars because they were being held in the parking lot of a house owned by Zuloaga.

Thus, the Prosecutor, a figure supposed to be independent, but who nobody believes is by now, orders Zuloaga captured, with which Globovision is left with no visible head after Alberto Federico Ravell was let go under pressure by the Government, closing in this way another chapter of censorship and limitation of the right to free speech.

Chavez should be obviously very pleased and Oswaldo Alvarez Paz quite worried, as Chavez made a similar request against him a few days ago.

Another chapter in the consolidation of this Dictatorship, which persecutes anyone that opposes it at its convenience, from butchers to the media.

Who will be next? Well, my bet is that when the new foreign exchange “market” fails in a couple of months and shortages become widespread, the banking system and the food division of Polar will be nationalized for blocking the path of the revolution.

And the stupid cheerleaders of the robolution will celebrate the continued destruction of Venezuela by this band of ignorant and resentful revolutionaries who still have no clue as to dimension of the destruction taking place.

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38 Responses to “Prosecutor follows Chavez’ command, orders Globovision owner jailed”

  1. loroferoz Says:

    Getting rid of Chavez… Good… Yeah… Great… Stars in my eyes.

    To do what? For what purpose? To have him back some years into the future? To go back to the old practices that made him almost inevitable and almost unstoppable?

    Chacao is a showcase, and maybe that is because it is a sort of freak. But still, it shows what can be done on just municipal taxes. It should get a lot of publicity, if already it does not. It is not an isolated fiefdom, but it works. It is under attack, but it works. It surely does not receive the fraction of income tax that it generates, but it works. It is enough evidence that in the absence of an effective government, a local government can still manage most everything.

    There’s also contrast with Libertador, all the contrast between a livable place and hell itself. Crossing the municipal border from Chacao to Libertador feels like crossing the Mediterranean in a flash, going South.

    What laws that are good for all are we going to suggest that will make people vote for the opposition in Calabozo and El Tigrito?

    How about government that provides real service? How about commitment to your job? How about public servants instead of public petty lordlings? How about that for a start? How about practical, living, breathing examples of the above, instead of empty words?

    Yes, Chavez has the Army. Chavez has oil. Chavez controls government. Chavez is set to blow up Venezuelan society.

    But we still have to do a lot, besides showing that he is too powerful and mad. We have to show that there’s life after he goes.

  2. m_astera Says:

    Here’s my suggestion for a fun law:

    Any government official or employee who cannot account for 100% of his income and expenditures will be imprisoned for a minimum of two years, and any property he owns (mueble or inmueble) that cannot be shown to have been acquired through transparent and legal means will be sold, with 50% of the proceeds going to whoever provided evidence to convict him of corruption.

  3. GWEH Says:

    Kepler, I don’t share your thoughts for the future of venezuela which is bleak in my opinion. For me the country’s demise began after Perez Jimenez not defending PJ but the military officers of yesteryear where a lot brighter and prepared than Chavez’s generation. It has been a slow and steady decline since then now gradually accelerating into chaos and despair. The point of no return was crossed a long before Chavez.

  4. Kepler Says:

    Loborefoz,

    I am talking about what to do further to, for instance, conquer the Asamblea Nacional and address the concerns of people we are not reaching yet.

    Of course managing public resources well is imperative, but I don’t think we have much more to expand on that given how limited our resources are, specially outside Chacao (ever thought what proportion of Venezuela’s population live in Chacao?). What the opposition can do in Miranda, in Chacao and due to the much lower ratio of wealthy population/total population to a lesser extent in municipio Sucre, Carabobo and Zulia, is clear, but we won’t get rid of Chávez by simply doing that. Chávez is right now taking more powers from those regions.

    Forget for a moment Chacao. We are not in the Middle Ages. Chacao cannot live as an isolated fiefdom.

    What laws that are good for all are we going to suggest that will make people vote for the opposition in Calabozo and El Tigrito?

    And what political actions can we take so that the great majority of the population opposes the desmantling of the Asamblea Nacional and its substitution by an Asamblea based on those “consejos” structures? (i.e. the soviet structures).

  5. loroferoz Says:

    “Even the good peope from the opposition tend to focus on problems such as repairing street holes in the few municipalities they sort of control. The problem is that we cannot build now from “street hole repairing” to show we are better than Chávez because the opposition controls nothing.”

    I disagree with this comment. You NEED people who are good at repairing street holes, who have real world skills. You also need people able to produce visions of what could Venezuela could be and to communicate them.

    But vision and communication without real world skill, is much much worse than skill without vision. At least the skill will fix something, or manage something else well. Vision and communication without skill will produce wasteful, hateful fantasies like that we live today.

    The fact is, that for example, Chacao municipality, speaks volumes about the real need that real people have for a central government, or central government income taxes (NONE!, NONE AGAIN!), for an Army (NONE!), or even a President (a figurehead or NONE can do). It is better, at it’s very worst, pound by pound than anything that the Venezuelan government was or could ever be, at it’s very best.

    Government should be, if it should be, about managing public resources WELL. Where public means public out of necessity. Not out of ideology. Used to solve real problems. Not to satisfy egos or ideological fantasies.

  6. Kepler Says:

    I think Firepigette is right, but processes can be accelerated with some incubators or multiplying agents.

    Unfortunately, we don’t have many.
    I sent some proposals to people within Primero Justicia. Nothing extraordinary, just things that can be turned into laws and would be attractive for everyone but high ranking chavistas.
    One of them told me: thanks, they are good, I am sending them to the whole directiva. I said they could use perhaps some of those items as MUD proposals for the AN: “nosotros, la oposición en su conjunto, va a llevar estas ideas a la AN”.

    My contact told me: oh, very good ideas, I think we should put them in practice in Miranda. I said: I don’t think Miranda would be the place to start, Chavistas will simply block them without anyone realizing you wanted to implement them (but for some Miranda workers). Please, if you think you can use any of them, just
    share them with the MUD and announce them to the general population as your (the MUD’s) ideas. Just announce laws that would lead to structural changes for the benefit of all Venezuelans.
    I did not get any further response. I have the impression they seem to be afraid of losing the “patent”.

    Guys from a EU foundation who have been to Venezuela have told me exactly the same thing about their experience with Venezuelan politicians.

    Venezuela is not in a normal situation, each party or group simply cannot afford to try to do it all on their own.

    Last time Mendoza was a candidate for Miranda (and lost) he said “I will announce the ideas that will transform Miranda” etc the day AFTER I am elected. I thought: why not before? Is he afriad of losing those ideas?

    He did not get elected. Even if there was a little bit of fraud or a lot or whatever: he could have obtained more votes if he had presented a more tangible dream that would move everyone there.

  7. firepigette Says:

    The problem with finding the right leader ANYWHERE, is that in all countries 70 % of a given population function on the level of a consensus mentality.That means that most of us will agree on what is good or what is bad.Unfortunately to rise above that you have to go against the grain, and few leadesr are willing to risk the votes.

    What makes Venezuela so difficult right now is that the consensus is that it is OKAY to live without working hard and being useful to others.

    Re-education takes generations.

    In the mean time we can only hope some will be learning some valuable lessons.

  8. jamesjohns Says:

    Thanks Kepler. Some very good points. I, along with many, am almost as unhappy with the opposition as with chavismo. Are there any leaders from education, business, engineering…not necessarily politics… that could arise and bring together the disaffected chavistas and opposition? Someone needs to present understandable solutions to problems. People need hope and solutions. I certainly agree with your description of a leader. I wish we could find that person.

  9. m_astera Says:

    Riffing on Kepler’s last comment:

    I’m reminded of a story from a schoolbook in primary school. We were learning about the countries of Europe. Switzerland stood out because they were prosperous without having many resources. What the book said was that the Swiss would buy steel for fifty cents a pound and turn it into watch springs worth $500 per pound.

    Venezuela has the resources, both human and raw materials. Venezuela could and should be making use of those for high-value finished goods, rather than selling them off in raw form. Changing the paradigm to that of a country that makes and sells valuable value-added finished goods would require some re-education in values, beginning with learning that there is pride and honor in making things of value as opposed to being a thief and parasite. Why should there be honor in being a person who contributes nothing of value to society?

    What else has to happen? Readers will no doubt think I am crazy for saying this, but that is because they have not done their homework. Both Hitler and Stalin fed large amounts of Fluoride to concentration camp and gulag prisoners. Fluoride blocks Iodine, which is necessary for proper thyroid function. Fluoride poisoning makes people slow, stupid, and passive. As far as I know, Venezuela is the only country in the world that puts Fluoride in the table salt, ensuring that every person in the country suffers from Fluoride poisoning. Think it might help the country a bit if people’s thyroid glands functioned and their brains functioned too? Fluoride poisoning alone can account for much of the difference between Venezuela and other South American countries.

  10. Kepler Says:

    Another thing: oppos must challenge Hugo Chávez time after time to an open, permanent debate between him and his honchos and them.
    They should first inform everybody how open debates happen in the civilized world.

    It would be interesting if people could put subtitles to recent debates with the German top politicians, with the British, with the Dutch, with the Belgians, hell, even show the debates Chileans and Colombians have had.

    Then challenge and challenge time after time and not through Globo, as Globo preaches the choir, but through radio and flyers.

    99.9999% chances Chavez won’t accept. That is not the point.

    The point is to portray him as a coward.

  11. Kepler Says:

    It is always difficult to compare countries and one will always, always manage to compare only some few parameters.

    Anyway, I won’t go here into the things where Pinochet was worse and Chávez worse, because that is futile.

    My point is we can always find the way if we try. For that we must get a critical mass of “leaders” with vision and balls (or ovaries) and not too many skeletons in their closets (sin rabo de paja).

    As I said earlier, the main problem is that in Venezuela people are still thinking in feudal terms, they are all selfish caudillos con rabo de paja.
    Even the good peope from the opposition tend to focus on problems such as repairing street holes in the few municipalities they sort of control. The problem is that we cannot build now from “street hole repairing” to show we are better than Chávez because the opposition controls nothing.

    Right now the opposition should do as follows:
    1) have an open and fast discussion about why on Earth Venezuela has 20 (pseudo)-social democratic parties and 20 “Christian democratic” parties and 20 “republican parties” and the like
    2) merge those that are compatible
    3) every group should put in writing their general vision, one that is distinctive and that makes it clear how they are going to improve the lives of those that are not convinced yet.
    4) UNDERSTAND for once in their lives the demographic issues of Venezuela. Most Venezuelans do NOT live in Caracas-Maracaibo-Valencia. If you want to conquer Venezuela, you have to send people to penetrate specially in all those cities with more than 100 000 people and less than 1000 000. We are talking about the secondary cities where 70% of Venezuelans live.

  12. jamesjohns Says:

    Good point Kepler about Pinochet. But his removal and the subsequent transition to democracy hinged upon the 1988 plebiscite on his presidency. In other words the integrity of the electoral process was of paramount importance. For democracy to work there has to be an election process that is legitimate and transparent. Chile managed to do it under a military dictatorship. How do we in 2010 or more importantly 2012 insure a legitimate election? I’m not asking a rhetorical question but seriously wondering how do we do it?

  13. deananash Says:

    I’ve been saying it for 6+ years here on M.O.’s blog. If you want to see how this sad story ends, read the tail end of Atlas Shrugged.

    In it, you’ll that the moochers do their thing until there simply isn’t anything left to steal. Having previously destroyed capitalism and the means of production, this comes along pretty fast. (Sound familiar yet?)

    From that point on, it’s a society that descends into chaos as people revert to animal (basic) survival instincts. In other words, the law of the jungle and every man for himself.

    The big difference between Cuba and Venezuela is that the Cuban people were slowly but surely transformed into spineless animals. I don’t imagine the Venezuelan people suffering so quietly. (Castro also kept opening the relief value to let his opponents flee. Look for Chavez to do likewise.)

  14. GWEH Says:

    Miguel, I think the regime has been conducting surveillance of these guys alongside with human intelligence and knows something.

  15. loroferoz Says:

    Nah, it will not be “democratic means” that oust Chavez.

    Democracy can do no better, and yes, much worse, than the voters. This has to do with the fact that politics is about handling other people’s money (or at least money produced through no work, risk, exertion or initiative of oneself’s).

    Most Venezuelan voters (which means adult Venezuelans: all of the chavistas and most of the opposition) are in for a harsh, painful lesson, live from reality. If they are not already experiencing it.

    Most probably, it will be economic, institutional, social, in short, general failure of the country that does Chavez in.

    But no, no conspiracy, no more than PDVAL containers or the collapse of the currency markets set up by the BCV is a conspiracy.

    It is improbable that it is nonviolent. He and some of his cronies might get shot. But I sincerely hope this is not the case. Being shot is too easy and dignified an exit for such a set of insanely huge jackasses. The only shots I want Chavez to get should be given by a psychiatrist after he collapses.

  16. A_Antonio Says:

    Sorry for the orthography of last comment. I didn’t use the word correction.

    I really think, and I have a lot aversion to Chavez, that violent way is NOT the answer.

    I’ll wait that Venezuela hits the bottom; provably the remaining people there have to build the country beginning putting stone over stone.

    Maybe in the next generation, the majority will be better and think how we generally did it so badly, and they will do more with fewer resources.

    I pray for Venezuelans to learn some lessons about this sad time.

    But, I getting exhausted of seeing that history is repeated again and again. No lesson learned.

    At least, I never vote to Chavez, I wait some time, 11 years ago, that he will do well.

    I was willing to put on my head a red cap, if Chavez demonstrated that I was wrong, he did not, I did not put on that.

  17. A_Antonio Says:

    MO, just erase those comments, saying why you make that.

    These comment is ilegal in Venezuela and for the people that live there, more is only you have a media that publish these comments that are not your own comment. That biszarre is the Law.

    But, I think because you are not chavizta and not agree with Chavez, you already in trouble my friend.

    m-astera, I agree with you, that is the venezuelan seft interest is the problem, they do not have any idea about the future of their acts and decisions.

  18. Roy Says:

    jamesjohns is correct.

    We have passed the point at which Chavez can be removed through the existing institutions. Unless you count a “people power” revolution as “democracy”.

  19. Miguel Octavio Says:

    Dear friends: things are tough down here, any talk of gettind rid of Chavez by violent and non democratic means could get me into trouble. The regime goes after people in somewhat random fashion, let’s not have this randomness oriented to me

  20. loroferoz Says:

    “Chavez should be obviously very pleased”

    Just as pleased as any fascist dictator, that they who have their jobs because of him follow orders.

    Automatons like Luisa Ortega Diaz only make their master angry when they don’t perform on cue.

  21. Kepler Says:

    I agree again. Venezuelans on the surface seem like the most patriotic: they wear their flag everywhere, they have national anthem for breakfast, for dinner, they send each other thousands of emails about how Venezuela is so superior, they usually have a view on a mythical past as few in the Americas
    and yet when it comes to where it counts national commitment vanishes instantly.

  22. m_astera Says:

    How about this:

    The vast majority of Venezuelans are solely concerned with their own self interest. They will play along with anyone or any situation that promises personal gain, or even holds out the potential for personal gain. Hence we have had many who do not support Chavez in any way nonetheless playing along because the system still allowed them to enrich themselves through Cadivi, the bond market, or other forms of currency exchange.

    These new moves, e.g. shutting down the bolsas and private exchanges, seem to be directed at the private sector: non-government, non-connected people. The government and insiders wish to keep the largesse only to themselves and cut everyone else out.

    The consequences of that could be that all support, even tacit support through participation, will evaporate. When there is no longer anything to be gained by playing along, it raises the possibility of active sabotage, or at the very least passive refusal to participate in or support a system that no longer offers the possibility of personal gain.

    How that will affect the the lower economic strata is anyone’s guess, but it’s worth noting that many of those who shop at Mercal get their paychecks from the private sector; when those paychecks are no longer forthcoming because the private sector no longer has income…..we shall see.

    There is no loyalty or patriotism at any level in Venezuela, only self interest.

  23. island canuck Says:

    Charley:

    I agree with Kepler & Kevin.

  24. Kepler Says:

    James,

    Pinochet, the man that was supported by Kissinger, was removed peacefully.

  25. Kevin Says:

    Charly,

    You have about as much respect for democracy as Hugo.

  26. jamesjohns Says:

    When in history has a dictator ever been democratically removed? How do you win in court when he controls the courts? How do you win an election when he controls the election system? He has said the revolution will not accept electoral defeat. We need a solution, but I can’t see what democratic options we have.

  27. Kepler Says:

    Charly, you are a disgusting racist.

  28. jeffry house Says:

    How far will the fall be? Unless something is done, democratically, you will be looking at food rationing for fifty years, as has happened in Cuba.

    So if a family of four eats more than one half chicken a month where you are, it’s gonna be grim.

  29. island canuck Says:

    A_Antonio:

    The coming months will show you just how far we can fall.

  30. A_Antonio Says:

    As I see, most of comments here came from the minority that see things like outsiders, we see how the country is destroyed, we can make analysis, good comments and we can arrive to the same conclusions, but we are powerless to do something to change the destiny.

    I am wondering how deeper Venezuela can go before touch the bottom floor.

  31. Charly Says:

    Until someone ……. Amen

    I hate censoring comments, but sometimes I have to. Sorry Charly

  32. Kepler Says:

    I agree with Astera. The more I think about it, the more I believe Venezuelan politicians still have a feudal mentality. We are living in the Middle Ages.

  33. m_astera Says:

    Speed-

    Probably about as soon as the US population does something about their totally corrupt government. At least Chavez hasn’t invaded any countries or started any wars based on lies. He likely would if the army would cooperate, but they won’t.

    One big problem in Venezuela is that the opposition doesn’t offer any better alternative leaders. Guess they don’t in the US either.

  34. NicaCat Says:

    I am so sorry, but all that I can think of is: “What the f**? What the f***?”, over and over and over again.

  35. speed Gibson Says:

    so when are you gonna do something about it?

  36. Roy Says:

    A_Antonio makes a good point. The jailing (or future jailing) of Zuloaga has passed practically without notice while Venezuelans are mesmerized by the World Cup coverage.

    Robert,

    In the real world, operating with real free-market rules, you are correct. However, this is Venezuela, where, like in a Fun House room of mirrors, everything is distorted. In the economy of Chavezlandia, because of the economic distortions, it is actually possible that Zuloaga just might have been sitting on the cars waiting for the market to turn before selling. So, why should the State care? Well, you have to remember that these cars were purchased and imported with dollars changed at a subsidized price.

    Anytime one accepts the Government’s “largesse”, one accepts that that largesse comes with strings attached. So, in this case, because of the subsidy, the Government feels justified in sticking their nose in. Not because it really matters, of course, but because they want to persecute Zuloaga.

  37. Robert Says:

    I still can’t get over the concept of “hoarding cars.” Who cares? Who in society is hurt if they were sitting on the vehicles? And if I remember correctly, didn’t the government confiscate those vehicles? Of course we know it’s all political persecution and next in line is Polar. But hoarding cars? I just don’t get it.

  38. A_Antonio Says:

    MO, good post

    I will repeat in this comment a question:

    How many arbitrary and repressive acts will we see during the World Cup as “Smoke screen” ??

    Who will next during the World Cup ??


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