Archive for October 21st, 2011

Friends of CIDH compare Hugo Chavez’ Supreme Court to Fujimori’s Military Courts

October 21, 2011

You know I am no friend of the Carter Center after its action in Venezuela in the 2004 recall vote, but you have to love this press release issued by the Carter Center entitled “Declaration of the Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter on the Venezuelan Decision Regrading the Ruling  of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights”. The declaration is signed, among many others by Cesar Gaviria, Jorge Castaneda, Andres Pastrana, Sergio Ramirez, Alejandro Toledo and Jimmy Carter. The bold face on the part about the military Courts of Fujimori is mine. Can it be clearer than this?:

“We, the undersigned, regret the announcement of the Venezuelan Supreme Court that it will not be feasible to comply with the decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Leopoldo Lopez vs. Venezuela issued on September 1, 2011.   The Inter-American Court together with the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights constitute a human rights system that serves as a model for the world.  Based in the American Convention on Human Rights, the system is an achievement of Latin American and Caribbean states (neither Canada nor the United States have ratified) that should be jealously protected by all.

We note with concern that to our knowledge, with the exception of the military courts rulings during the Fujimori regime, this is the only country in the hemisphere where the merits rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have been rejected by the Supreme Court in expressly declaring them non-binding and unenforceable.

The failure to comply with the findings of the Court by a signatory state under the jurisdiction of the Court, and departing from its international obligations as dictated by the American Convention, threatens not only the Court itself but also the collective defense of human rights in the hemisphere.”

The Doctor Speaks Out on Hugo Chavez’ Health and His Intentions

October 21, 2011

Last week there was a lot of fuzz over an interview with Dr. Salvador Navarrete in a Mexican magazine in which the Doctor said that Chavez’ life expectancy was limited and gave lots of details about Chavez’ past health, when supposedly he had been part pf the medical team taking care of the Venezuelan President. Most of the analysis focused on the veracity of the interview and whether the doctor was or not unethical in revealing information about his former patient. There were also reports that the Doctor had been taken to the intelligence service SEBIN for an interview.

Well, today Dr. Navarrete has published an open letter in Tal Cual, in which says he has left the country. In his letter, Dr. Navarrete says among other things:

“I was thinking about the ethical dilemma which represents to watch over the health of the most important person in our country, at a time that he has been diagnosed with a malignant illness and the lack of foresight in the face of a possible absence, whether temporal or definitive, in the handling of the Nation due to a lack of a clear medical communique about his current condition”

“I am concerned that the President and his political surroundings do not know the magnitude of his illness due to the complete secretiveness with which it has been handled. The consequences of a fatal ending and the importance both to his organization as well as the groups that back him, as well as the political groups that oppose him, were the reason that made me tackle such a delicate subject”

“The analysis of the current condition of the President is based on official information that in some cases has been issued by the President himself and is nothing more that a clinical exercise that can be completed by any medical professional to reach a diagnosis and a presumed prognosis, which is never definitive”

Clearly Dr. Navarrete did not have access to the President on this subject, but claims to be making an educated medical guess on the President’s health based on the information he has. He clearly believes that this is not being handled correctly by Chavez and his entourage, believing that if the President’s condition worsened it could create an undesirable situation in the country and within his political movement.

This whole thing and his interrogation lead us once again to the question of the secrecy that has been maintained on this issue. What is the need for this secrecy? Is the matter of the Doctor speaking out , a matter for the intelligence services? Why did he feel he had to leave the country, despite being an important member of PSUV and a founder of Chavez MVR movement?

Nothing new in all this, just another bizarre episode in the already abnormal every day life in revolutionary Venezuela.