Archive for October, 2010

In the face of defeat, Chavez dusts off failed projects and then some.

October 13, 2010

There is no question that Hugo Chavez is a great communicator. Except that he tends to focus on the “new”, the “promise”, the empty future that has never arrived in the last eleven years. Never on accomplishments, management, real things.

Since his party lost the Parliamentary election, Chavez has undertaken a double strategy of pushing forward his revolution and promising grandiose projects or plans for the future.

The first is easy to do, take over Venoco, owned by the Bolibourgeois clan that facilitated Hugo sending suitcases full of cash to help Cristina Kirchner’s campaign. Or Fertinitro or many others, taking over is easy, you send the Army, the military and a hundred employees from Ministry X dressed with red shirts, you occupy the property and claim you have the people to run the company, facility or whatever.

Reality sinks in later, from PDVSA, to cattle ranches, to Arria’s Las Carolinas, things deteriorate, go downhill, are abandoned, become just another failure. Somehow the few things that run, sometimes, are those managed by imported Cubans.

But Hugo presses on. Despite his inability to build, manage or accomplish much, he does not seem to know what to offer. So, he has been recycling himself and his failed past:

-The first promise was a housing program. If there has been a gigantic failure of the robolution, it is housing. The Chavez administration has been unable to beat a single year of the Caldera administration, despite a factor of eight difference in oil prices. A parade of Chavez’ military buddies has walked through the Ministry of Housing and, year after a year, the goals are not only not met, but come not even close from being achieved. This week, Chavez announced another effort in housing. What is it, Plan #5 or #6? It does not matter, the number is large, The plan will supposedly get US$ 1.5 billion from PDVSA, except that PDVSA does not have the money and needs all it has for its own projects. Hard to believe it will come to anything.

-And all of a sudden Chavez revives his now forgotten Bolivarian Circles. Like so many Chavez projects, one day funding ceased and that was the end of that. But now Chavez revives them, except he wants to focus on brainwashing five year olds. Cool, if the adults don’t stick around when the money disappears, try the kids! Yeah, sure, ask any parent in Venezuela who sent his kids to Catholic schools. Best way to make an atheist out of you!

-And whenever Chavez feels his popularity dropping, he revives nuclear energy and all related buzz words, “peaceful uses”, “thermonuclear” a word he clearly does not understand, Venezuela will jump directly into fusion, imagine that! Never mind we have no Nuclear Physicists, never mind we can’t even build simple houses, never mind we can’t even provide electricity with relaibility, we are going into fusion directly. What an ignorant fool!

-And from Brazil comes reality check, Venezuela is being excluded from the Pernambuco refinery. Venezuela was going to contribute with money when oil was at $100, no money, no Venezuela. Because Venezuela had nothing to contribute technically, as its own refineries are really in trouble and a mess.

So, Hugo goes to Russia, Bielorussia, he is going to export coffee, never mind that Venezuela does not produce sufficient coffee now to satisfy ts own needs. And he is going to buy military equipment. And he will start a bank, he must think banks print money. Oh! They do, but only in here Venezuela! And he will defend the Fatherland. And talk, talk, talk…blah, blah blah…

That’s all it is…eleven years running….


Autocrats of the World Unite: Chavez defends Xiaobo’s jailing by Chinese Government

October 11, 2010

I usually try to limit my posts to Venezuelan affairs. Sometimes I break the rule if there is a connection to Venezuela or there is a non-political angle like Vargas Llosa’s Nobel Prize, a joy to anyone who has ever read his work and a tribute to Spanish Literature. My reasoning behind this is simple: I don’t want the affairs of other nations to take over the discussions here, there are blogs about those foreign affairs all over and should be the place to discuss such topics.

Thus, although I was extremely happy to hear about the Nobel peace Prize for Chinese dissident Liu Xiobo, I had no plans to talk about it…

Until Hugo Chavez sharply criticized the opposition’s communique asking the Chinese Government to release the Nobel Prize winner. Chavez’ attacks are gratuitous, the MUD simply asks that someone be freed, much like others in the world asked that Mandela be freed at one time, because Chavez reveals his own autocratic spirit when he says that Liu Xiobo is a “dissident counterrevolutionary…who probably violated Chinese laws”.

Except in a democracy, being a dissident or a counterrevolutionary should be perfectly legal and under international law, there should not be laws that penalize it. And the Chinese attempt to make the matter a Government to Government conflict, when they know that the Nobel Committee is independent of the Norwegian Government. Moreover, the Chinese Government attempted to interfere with the Committee by threatening them even before the award had been announced when Liu Xiobo was known to be a front runner.

But autocrats will be always autocrats and no sooner had Chavez spoken when the Chinese Government announced the house arrest of Liu Xiobo’s wife Liu Xia. The same day, bloggers, academics and lawyers had also been arrested even if some were released afterwards.

Of course, Liu Xia’s only crime is to be married to Liu Xiaobo, thus for Chavez, who loves to bunch and lump people in groups, it must be ok to have a law that says you should not be married to a jailed dissident. Because Liu Xia’s only crime is to express her husband’s thoughts and to be loyal to him.

Liu Xiaobo’s only crime was to be part of the Chapter 8 movement which  demanded political reforms on the 60th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. The cynical attitude of the Chinese Government was revealed when Xiabo was harassed up to the Olympic Games but jailed only afterwards. Of course, Liu Xiaobo’s fight for human rights began decades earlier, always in defense of human rights, even before Tiananmen Square in 1989.

As for China being an ally of Venezuela, such an alliance only exists in Chavez’ mind, because he gets financing from the Chinese at the expense of Venezuela’s future. One day, Chavez may have to face trial for this and the Chinese may find that Venezuela’s priorities become the future of all Venezuelans and not of a particular political leader or movement.

As my colleague Gioconda San Blas said so eloquently today in Tal Cual, Liu Xiaobo is an example and “These universal figures serve us as guiding lights to value the dimension of the sacrifice that in our country is made with supreme dignity by those who are committed from jails to a similar defense of human rights”

The autocrats of the world may unite in their own defense, but much like in the Mandela case, the people one day will rebel and the ugly truth will be revealed about their abuses and violations of human rights by the autocrats.

And the freedom of our guiding lights will also be our own…

Added: Just to prove our point, another autocrat joins the fray: Evo Morales says that because he is an anti-imperialist he will never get the Peace Prize (Why should he? He is no pacifist or democrat). He also questions the prizes to Liu Xiaobo and to Mario Vargas Llosa. He will never get the Literature Prize either, that’s for sure.

When street crime and violence stares you in the face in Venezuela

October 11, 2010

Crime statistics are mostly treated like that: just numbers. Only today the Head of the new National Police began using Twitter to argue whether crime had gone down by one number or another. What we do know is that in the eleven years of Chavez’ Presidency, homicides have triples, give or take 10%. Crime and murder have simply gotten out of hand for the Government and arguing about ten percent more or less is not only frivolous, but simply offensive.

As crime has increased, not only does it get closer to you, but your self-imposed curfew grows and gets earlier. Your paranoia increases.

In the last four weeks, two people in my office have had attempts to kidnap them. The first one a month ago, four armed gunmen blocked his path forced them off the road and tried to take them away. Somehow, he managed to get the car out and escape in it.

This weekend it happened again, except that before the whole thing was over, one of my dearest people had been shot a few times, whether it was three bullets or five, it is unclear and it is simply another irrelevant statistic. What is relevant is that it is getting closer, it had to happen, it is not only the increased crime but it’s the profile, as I showed on August 29th. , it is either the poor or the the well to do that have the highest probability of being victims.

Somehow, three or five bullets missed critical areas, there was loss of blood, fingers were shattered, but everything else is fine. He came that close.

So did we. We came that close to the unimaginable. To the unexplainable. To the unthinkable.  To that which hits our basic humanity and makes you feel like wrapping yourself in a cocoon and not come out for days.

But instead you celebrate, you celebrate life, you celebrate survival. You celebrate that we all, somehow, beat the odds once again.

But those responsible for it are still in charge, untouched  and careless about the true human tragedy that touches thousands of Venezuelans every week.

Accused drug dealer claims to have paid off many Chavez Government officials

October 10, 2010

In any other country, today’s interview in El Nacional (reprinted here) with accused drug dealer Walid Makled, would have raised all sorts of alarms about corruption and graft, but in Venezuela we have become so accustomed to it that not much happens. Neither Government officials, nor opposition members have said much. Particularly disturbing is that those in charge of investigating have said little about the scandalous denunciations and accusations of Makled.

Because Makled makes may accusations, some general, some very specific, but claims to have proofs of payments to important Government officials and their relatives both in Venezuela and abroad.

Makled, who is in jail in Colombia, waiting to be extradited to the US, denies being a drug dealer, but among other pearls he says the following:

-Through then Governor Acosta Carles of Carabobo State, he gave US$2 million to the pro-Chavez side in the 2004 recall referendum.

-He purchased from the Governorship the concession for the Pto. Cabello port storage for BsF. 12 million, he says he gave Acosta five checks for Bs. 1 million and was invited to a public meeting in which Acosta Carles called the money “a donation”

-He accuses Generals Orlando Rodriguez and Cliver Alcala of planting the drugs in his farm.

-He claims to have vouchers, account numbers of Government officials and their relatives, including Ministers, Generals. Admirals, Colonels and five Deputies of the National Assembly. He also denounces General Nestor Reverol, who he says has run his companies since they were taken over by the Government, during which they have generated US$ 140 million which should have been deposited in an escrow account at a Court but haven’t.

-He is asked about the credential from the Venezuelan Supreme Court which he carried, but says that he will talk about that at a future date. Here is what the reporter is referring to, a credential identifying Walid Makled as a “Comissar” of Venezuela’s Supreme Court:

-Makled claims that he has proof of paying off 15 Generals of the Venezuelan Armed Forces, but there are and additional 25 “friendly” Generals that he also helped out “on the side”. When asked who they are, he says: “How can General Nestor Reverol live in a US$ 3-4 million home or that his family lives in Cabimas in a US$ 2 million home?”

-In closing Makled claims that each week he would ship 10 large containers of mattresses, refrigerators, washing machines, stoves, as a “favor” to the military and that the stiff was shipped out to Cuba, without any customs control.

True? False? In between? Who knows. But Makled gives names, facts and to start with, the Venezuelan Supreme Court has to clarify how Mr. Makled had the credential above in his possession and the General Prosecutor will have to investigate where those specific Generals live.

Whats is clear to me is how high drug money is getting in Venezuela. these accusations have become routine. The US has said Generals at the highest levels in the Venezuelan military are involved, but nothing is ever investigated.

Are we going the way of Mexico, but run by the military and foreigners?

The destructive power of the revolution in Hacienda Las Carolinas

October 8, 2010

Last May, President Hugo Chavez ordered that the Hacienda Las Carolinas owned by Diego Arria be taken over, because it was “unproductive”. The farm, seen above was  a model of production and had the best Jersey cattle in Venezuela.

and ts facilities were world class, with hygiene and technology at the forefront of the farm which gave work to dozens of loyal and hard working Venezuelans:

Yes, the cattle was pampered, happy cows give lots of milk and it does get hot in the area:

Yes, the cattle had fans, why not. Las Carolinas was a model of a farm, with a store that everyone coming from Barquisimeto stopped at, to get their regional products. You could tell workers were proud and happy to be and work there. As happy and proud as Mr. Arria’s daughter in the picture below

But as with most things, this has been destroyed by the relentless destructive path of the robolution, Las Carolinas lies abandoned today, the cattle stolen, the facilities destroyed and now truly not in use, because of the order from Dictator Hugo Chavez:

Dirty and unkept, a symbol and tribute to the hate and destruction of Chavez and his XXIst. Century revolution, Las Carolinas lies abandoned, a sad shadow of its former past. The people that used to work for Mr. Arria are now unemployed, trying to make ends meet.Victims of Chavez’ vindictiveness.

Wherever Mr. Arria may be, I wish him a great day, even if his property, his pride and his work has been violated and trampled by Chavez.

He will one day have his day in Court.

Way cool! Mario Vargas Llosa gets Literature Prize

October 7, 2010

Don’t have to say much, exciting and fun that he got it, have been reading him since La Casa Verde came out, too many years ago.

Venezuela, Spain and ETA: Goat that turns around breaks it’s neck off

October 6, 2010

For years, Chavez’ Government has been protecting members of Basque Spanish separatist group ETA. In reality, this is a long tradition by which Venezuela allowed some ETA members to come to Venezuela, the difference is that under Chavez these people have been hired by the Government and used in many activities, some legal, others not so legal.

Over the years, there have been many accusations, but the Chavez Government had a written party line for it: Just because a renegade terrorists says so it is not necessarily so.

Except that in most cases denounced in Spain, one name appears over and over: Arturo Cubillas. Cubillas was deported in the late eighties to Venezuela, married a Venezuelan of Basque origins. But rather than lead a quiet life, he continued his ETA activities, linking up with the FARC, according to Reyes’ computer files. Cubillas also managed to get himself hired as an aide to the then Minister of Agriculture Elias Jaua, now the Vice-President of Venezuela.

But through it all, Zapatero’s sympathies for Chavez and his socialist pseud-revolution, held off the cries of the Spanish opposition for a formal complaint.

Until now.

Hot from having a Spanish Deputy formally kicked out as an electoral observer, even if the decision was turned over, and scandalized with the manipulation of the Sept. 26th. election, Spain’s Partido Popular came back home after the election ready to establish a zero tolerance policy for Hugo.

And no sooner had they said September 26th. on the way back, when a Spanish Judge  revealed that two ETA terrorists arrested last week had testified that they were given weapons training in Venezuela and specifically with Arturo Cubillas in Venezuela during the summer of 2008. This was not the first time a JUdge asked Venezuela for information on Cubillas’ activities, except that it was almost met with either silence or denial.

And Chavez appealed to the textbook explanation: “It’s a broken record…it’s a conspiracy…it’s a farce” easily dismissing the news and the request from the Judge.

Except the Spanish National Audience sent a formal request against and vouched for the “total credibility” of the witnesses, at the same time that a TV station showed video of the training taking place in Venezuela. And to make matters even worse, Venezuela’s Ambassador to Spain, former Prosecutor Isaias Rodriguez, held a press conference not only denying any link with ETA, but suggesting that the two ETA players were tortured in Spain to say this and saying he had serious doubts about their statements. Rodriguez, the same guy who once “knew a false witness was telling the truth because he looked him in the eye” and made a farce of Justice in Venezuela while being the General Prosecutor, also dismissed the fact that Cubillas was a “seventh or eighth” category official within the Venezuelan Government.

This truly irked the the Partido Popular who requested the Spanish Government elevate a formal protest to the Venezuelan Government. They were particularly irked by Rodriguez’ suggestion and undiplomatic statements about Spain and the Spanish Government.

That’s what happens when you have bumbling fools as diplomats to reward them for their loyalty. Unfortunately, that’s the story of Chavez’ Government, incompetent fools everywhere.

And today, the Spanish Government put the screws on Venezuela, asking Rodriguez and Foreign Minister Maduro to please look into the matter. And the charges and the pissed-off Spaniards forced the Venezuelan Government to investigate.

What changed?

Easy. These charges are very serious. This is not linking up to FARC, this a middle level Government official training terrorists in Venezuela, now, as recent as 2008. But more importantly, ideology and business have always been Zapatero’s justification for cozying up to Hugo Chavez.

But now there are hints that Chavez’ hold on power may end in 2012 and Chavez is nationalizing a Spanish concern Agroisleña, which I am sure has Zapatero up in arms, but he is likely trying to learn as much as possible about the expropriation before he launches his next formal complaint.

For Chavez, backing down is novel vis a vis the Spaniards. There is a Venezuelan saying: “Chivo que se devuelve se esnuca” (A goat that turns around breaks its neck off), which loosely translated means “What is done is done”.

But this is a new reality for Hugo. Some see the possibility of his reign ending and that changes the rules of the game. He nationalized Agroisleña, but that has an impact on the Spaniards. He denies the ETA connection, but Cubillas is right there at a middle level (not seventh category, more like third or fourth) position in his VP”s former Ministry.

It stinks to high heaven…but Chavez has always thought he could do things and have nobody notice. But it is beginning to back fire.

What will he do? Extradite Cubillas? Revert Agroisleña’s nationalization?

Chivo que se devuelve se esnuca…

Venezuela’s Destructive Spiral by Veneconomy

October 5, 2010

As I said last night, others know more than me about Agroisleña. I quoted Daniel’s article last night, I leave you today by this excellent and detailed article from Veneconomy that tells you how this nationalization is a total disaster for Venezuela.

Destructive Spiral by Venconomy

The decree officially announcing the expropriation of Agroisleña was published in Gaceta Oficial on Monday, as ordered by the President in a nationwide networked broadcast last Sunday when he said “Agroisleña is expropriated; come to me, I’ve got the winning hand,” the phrase with which he seals all his revolutionary death blows.

This lapidary phrase puts an end to an agro-industrial company that has operated for more than 52 years in Venezuela to become its biggest supplier of inputs for the agricultural sector.

This expropriation of Agroisleña will have far greater consequences than any of the hundreds of expropriations already carried out by this confiscator government.

Agroisleña is a company with Spanish capital that has 90% of Venezuela’s agricultural market and covers a wide range of agricultural activities, among them supplying 70% of the sector’s agricultural chemicals; supplying seeds, in particular for the cultivation of 80% of the vegetables in the Andes, Lara, and Guárico; the supply of farm machinery and equipment; technical consulting services for farmers; and storage services in eight silos belonging to the company. In addition, it finances 90% of the inputs it supplies.

Equally important is the fact that Agroisleña has stood as direct guarantor to some 18,000 domestic producers engaged in producing a wide range of products that are of fundamental importance for Venezuela’s food security. In this cycle alone, it backed the planting of 235,000 hectares of cereal and oil seed crops. It is currently carrying out a special program with some 3,000 agricultural producers, for whom it is standing guarantor for the harvesting of 800,000 tons of a variety of crops, including corn, rice, and sorghum.

It should be remembered that Venezuelan banks are being forced by the present administration to allocate 21% of their loan portfolio to agriculture. Agroisleña has facilitated those loans and has been an ally of small producers by standing as their guarantor, which gives them access to credit that they would have found it difficult to obtain otherwise.

What will happen to those loans now? Who will stand as guarantor? Will this be yet another blow for the banks?

Another sad fact is that the expropriation of Agroisleña will result in a large number of these producers being left up in the air. Who will now stand as their guarantor? A government that has been proved to be in default?

Apart from the perverse effects that this measure will have for these producers, there are the impacts it will have on the country’s already shrunken productive capacity. There are reasons for thinking that the future holds more acute shortages, higher unemployment, and greater dependence on imports.

The government, exasperated by its defeat at the polls and seeking to achieve total control of the productive sector, is once again fueling its destructive spiral to continue swelling the company cemetery with industries that were once in full production.

This is a hold up

Chavez’ Reverse Midas effect moves forward in Venezuela

October 4, 2010

The opposition is a majority. The opposition is a majority. Of course, that would only be important if I were a Democrat. True?

Some people were remarkably surprised by Chavez’ announcements this weekend to nationalize Agroisleña, arm his militia, take over land in Caracas and allowing workers to blackmail Polar’s ice cream company EFE, despite the fact that a new collective bargaining agreement was signed a couple of months ago.

I wasn’t. This is precisely what I expected.

This is Chavez’ history, he has used the ballot box only to justify being President, but he is no democrat. He showed it in February 1992 and November 1992, where he plotted and connived to overthrow and kill people. He repeated it in 2003, when he ordered armed confrontation with a peaceful march which resulted in many death. He came back contrite, but as he did, he was plotting how to erase any trace of his acts, the Truth Commission was stone walled and the “coup” tale was successfully spinned.

Then came the Constitutional referendum, which he lost, but proceeded to pass laws that approved precisely what the population had rejected, thanks to an Enabling Law that gave him legislative powers for months. The only thing he could not legislate was his own indefinite reelection, so he held an unconstitutional referendum that allowed him to run again. Finally, facing a Mayor of the Capital District that he did not like, he created a regional authority over him, removed responsibilities and funding and basically castrated the newly elected Mayor of the Metropolitan District.

None of the above are the actions of a democrat.

And neither are those taken this weekend. Chavez lost his mandate a week ago, but he only uses the ballot box at his convenience. This time around it is not convenient to accept defeat, over half of Venezuelans said they want something else, Chavez was deaf to this call.

Unfortunately, Chavez does not learn either from all of the myriad of mistakes he has made. He has tried over and over again to create parallel structures, all of which became largely unsuccessful. People don’t even remember he threw money at a Government-sponsored baseball league to compete with the professional one. That league played all of one game, which started two hours late waiting for Hugo to throw the first pitch.

Chavez also started Mercal to distribute food and once it became inefficient, he nationalized Exito and Cada in the belief that if he can’t start something that works from scratch, then taking it over from those that run a working structure can do it.

But PDVSA says otherwise, as seven years of Rojo Rojito Incredibly Incompentent Management have destroyed the company and its structure, driving the people who knew how to run it to the competition in Canada and Colombia, both of which have either strengthened their heavy oil industry or, as in the case of Colombia, come out of nowhere to become an important player thanks to Venezuelan brain power and know how. Meanwhile PDVSA languishes in its own problems, including Pudreval, falling exports and no new projexts.

It is the reverse Midas effect, anything Chavez touches turns into you know what. And he continues.

And I will not delve into the details of Agroisleña, Daniel knows orders of magnitude more than me about it, but it is the same story. The Government tried to compete with Agroisleña and it failed. Failed for many reasons, the first one being that the Government’s expropriations and take overs of land had reduced Agroisleña’s business to start with. But more importantly, Agroisleña’s success comes from its gigantic network of stores, its decades of working with people advising them technically, financing them, buying crop from them and having the good credit abroad to import seeds, pesticides and general supplies.

Imagine what will happen now when some retired sargents and colonels are mixed in with improvised graduates of Chavez’ universities and told to manage Agroisleña.

The result is terrifying, but is exactly what has happened with every institution that has had a brush with the reverse Midas effect of Hugo Chavez. Remember Sidor? Iranauto? Conviasa? Venalum? The Cement industry? The Sugar industry with Cuban processing plants? The Rice miracle? The first housing plan? The fourth housing plan? The first employment plan? The ninth employment plan?

You get the picture.

Chavez goes relentlessly forward destroying value and scaring the talent, people and values that he does not understand are necessary for the prosperity of the country. All for nothing, except for the promotion of Hugo Chavez.

And this will continue for two more years. The value destroyed will be immense, the time lost will be invaluable. But get ready for it, because that is what is in store for us for the next 27 months. Chavez has not learned anything about management or how things work in the last 11 years, he is not about to start now…

Bandera Roja, La Masacre de Cantaura and last Sunday’s Elections in Venezuela

October 3, 2010

Explaining what has happened in Venezuela in the last decade can sometimes be quite a task. People talk about the “opposition” as if it were a homogeneous group with a common ideology. Besides the social-democrats, social christians and socialists, people always stare at me when I describe Bandera Roja, a Marxist/socialist organization that is part of Venezuela’s opposition and a member of the Mesa de Unidad (MUD) which fielded unified candidates in Sunday’s election.

Bandera Roja began as a Maoist guerrilla group. They were in fact, the last guerrilla group to abandon the armed fight and become a political party in 1992, to become the extreme far left in Venezuela. Despite this, Bandera Roja never backed Hugo Chavez, arguing he was no socialist or marxist, but an opportunist whose only project is his own self-promotion.

In 1982, what was then the Alejandro Silva front of Bandera Roja (picture above), held a meeting in a farm in Cantaura, inviting students that were simpathetic to the movement, many of whom were unarmed. The military somehow found out about it and started a military operation which began by bombing from airplanes in order to disperse those on the ground. As they dispersed, they were met by military ground forces which proceeded to capture many of those present. Reportedly, most were originally captured alive, but were later found dead.

The case was revived during the last few years, as Venezuela’s General Prosecutor’s office exhumed the bodies and began an investigation of the massacre in which a total of 23 people died.

In early September, Human Rights organization Provea, denounced the fact that one of those being investigated, was retired General Roger Cordero Lara, one of the leaders of the massacre, who piloted one of the Broncos that led the attack. Provea asked Chavez’ party PSUV to withdraw the candidacy in order to stop the impunity on these cases.

Last Sunday, Roger Cordero Lara was elected as a Deputy for Circuit 2 of Guarico State under the PSUV party and now has immunity from Prosecution, unless the National Assembly and the Venezuelan Supreme Court removes it. This led Proeva to send this letter to Hugo Chavez and his party, noting the incoherence of backing Cordero Lara, as well as the precedent of impunity that this constitutes. Chavista groups have also raised their voices to protest, to no avail.

In the case of the Cantaura massacre, much like in other similar cases, military courts exonerated those involved, including General Cordero Lara in the Cantaura case, but the General Prosecutor has reopened the cases with the Cantaura case, being opened at the request of Hugo Chavez, but has yet to rule on any of them, which Provea suggests is due to the fact that many of those exonerated are pro-Chavez retired high ranking military like Cordero Lara. So much for the caring revolution!

But given that Chavez and PSUV did nothing when they could remove him as a candidate, it is highly unlikely that they would go through the complicated process of removing Cordero Lara’s immunity and impunity on the case will continue to prevail.

So much for the revolution…