Archive for December 19th, 2003

Letter to Isaias Rodriguez by Gustavo Coronel

December 19, 2003

I had missed this letter by Gustavo Coronel to Isaias Rodriguez, wish I had written it. To those from abroad, the position held by Mr. Rodriguez is the “Fiscal” more like a Prosecutor than an Attorney General, he is not part of the Cabinet and is selected by the National Assembly. If Mr. Rodriguez had done his job properly, I doubt Hugo Chavez would be President, or he would have behaved much differently, following the laws and the Constitution, but let me not take the thunder away from Coronel’s letter……..








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Mr. Rodriguez:

During the Accion Democratica governments you were a card-carrying member of Accion Democratica. During the COPEI governments you turned into a COPEI sympathizer. Since the arrival of Hugo Chávez to the Presidency of Venezuela you have become a revolutionary. Chávez selected you as his first Executive Vice President, nothing less than his alter-ego. In this capacity you were number two in the government and had, as your main task, the filling in for the President in all those events the President could not attend. What was required of you in that capacity certainly was not independence but total submission. You spoke with the voice of Chávez. No person could have hold this job unless he had the total trust of the President. After a while the job proved too stressful. You probably had to do and say many things that, if done in a continuous basis, would mark you permanently as a stooge before the eyes of the increasing number of Venezuelans for whom the Chávez government had rapidly become a travesty. You wanted to protect your political future. Therefore you respectfully requested from your boss to be given a less stressful position, that of Attorney General. Before you left the job, however, you managed to impose on the prestigious and exclusive government financed Ayacucho Book Collection the publication of one volume of your poems. I bought this volume so that I could verify its dismal literary value and your non-existent sense of the ridicule.

Overnight you went from the job of Executive Vice President, which required your total and blind obedience to the whims of the President, to a job which required total independence of action and opinion from any of the other sectors of government, the Presidency included. Many Venezuelans felt that this switch could not be made successfully, that you would, as Attorney General, simply continue to be a stooge of the President. I was one of those Venezuelans and, some years later, I have no doubt that you have failed miserably in fulfilling the duties of Attorney General, as defined in our laws.

The Public Ministry is the name given to your organization. You represent the Venezuelan public, not the President. You have the task of guaranteeing efficiency and celerity in the administration of justice. You have the duty to conduct the prompt investigation of criminal acts against Venezuelan citizens. You have the duty of prosecuting public officers, including the President, who might have broken the laws and the Constitution of the country. In all of these activities you are obliged to act with utmost independence from other government powers. In essence your office represents the balance between the Executive power, the Judicial power and the Legislative power. If you did your job properly, Venezuelan society would look up to you to put things into the proper legal frame to guarantee the equality of all citizens.

But this is not at all what you have done. You have openly violated your pledge to be impartial. You have remained Chávez’s man all throughout your tenure as Attorney General. You cannot imagine how indignant we feel to see and hear you trying to justify, at all times, the arbitrary attitudes assumed by the President and his constant departure from the laws of the country. Your very face in front of a TV camera produces the disgust of all decent Venezuelans. Your latest endorsement of the President has to do with the results of the signature collection made by the opposition. In your opinion “there was fraud” in this process but: 1. You offered no proof for your assertion and, 2. You are not the proper person to claim this. You are the speaker for the law and cannot give opinions without factual basis. You also claimed that Chávez had the right to ask for all the signatures against him. He has no such right. This right of verification rests with the National Electoral Council. He is the subject of the signature collection, not the arbiter.

Mr. Rodriguez. Your name, together with several others of your government colleagues, will go down in Venezuelan history as an indecent footnote. Venezuelan history is full of such footnotes: adulators, corrupt bureaucrats, turncoats and other specimens of similar nature have been numerous during most authoritarian Venezuelan governments.
This is so because sadistic leaders require masochistic followers.

Letter to Isaias Rodriguez by Gustavo Coronel

December 19, 2003

I had missed this letter by Gustavo Coronel to Isaias Rodriguez, wish I had written it. To those from abroad, the position held by Mr. Rodriguez is the “Fiscal” more like a Prosecutor than an Attorney General, he is not part of the Cabinet and is selected by the National Assembly. If Mr. Rodriguez had done his job properly, I doubt Hugo Chavez would be President, or he would have behaved much differently, following the laws and the Constitution, but let me not take the thunder away from Coronel’s letter……..








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Mr. Rodriguez:

During the Accion Democratica governments you were a card-carrying member of Accion Democratica. During the COPEI governments you turned into a COPEI sympathizer. Since the arrival of Hugo Chávez to the Presidency of Venezuela you have become a revolutionary. Chávez selected you as his first Executive Vice President, nothing less than his alter-ego. In this capacity you were number two in the government and had, as your main task, the filling in for the President in all those events the President could not attend. What was required of you in that capacity certainly was not independence but total submission. You spoke with the voice of Chávez. No person could have hold this job unless he had the total trust of the President. After a while the job proved too stressful. You probably had to do and say many things that, if done in a continuous basis, would mark you permanently as a stooge before the eyes of the increasing number of Venezuelans for whom the Chávez government had rapidly become a travesty. You wanted to protect your political future. Therefore you respectfully requested from your boss to be given a less stressful position, that of Attorney General. Before you left the job, however, you managed to impose on the prestigious and exclusive government financed Ayacucho Book Collection the publication of one volume of your poems. I bought this volume so that I could verify its dismal literary value and your non-existent sense of the ridicule.

Overnight you went from the job of Executive Vice President, which required your total and blind obedience to the whims of the President, to a job which required total independence of action and opinion from any of the other sectors of government, the Presidency included. Many Venezuelans felt that this switch could not be made successfully, that you would, as Attorney General, simply continue to be a stooge of the President. I was one of those Venezuelans and, some years later, I have no doubt that you have failed miserably in fulfilling the duties of Attorney General, as defined in our laws.

The Public Ministry is the name given to your organization. You represent the Venezuelan public, not the President. You have the task of guaranteeing efficiency and celerity in the administration of justice. You have the duty to conduct the prompt investigation of criminal acts against Venezuelan citizens. You have the duty of prosecuting public officers, including the President, who might have broken the laws and the Constitution of the country. In all of these activities you are obliged to act with utmost independence from other government powers. In essence your office represents the balance between the Executive power, the Judicial power and the Legislative power. If you did your job properly, Venezuelan society would look up to you to put things into the proper legal frame to guarantee the equality of all citizens.

But this is not at all what you have done. You have openly violated your pledge to be impartial. You have remained Chávez’s man all throughout your tenure as Attorney General. You cannot imagine how indignant we feel to see and hear you trying to justify, at all times, the arbitrary attitudes assumed by the President and his constant departure from the laws of the country. Your very face in front of a TV camera produces the disgust of all decent Venezuelans. Your latest endorsement of the President has to do with the results of the signature collection made by the opposition. In your opinion “there was fraud” in this process but: 1. You offered no proof for your assertion and, 2. You are not the proper person to claim this. You are the speaker for the law and cannot give opinions without factual basis. You also claimed that Chávez had the right to ask for all the signatures against him. He has no such right. This right of verification rests with the National Electoral Council. He is the subject of the signature collection, not the arbiter.

Mr. Rodriguez. Your name, together with several others of your government colleagues, will go down in Venezuelan history as an indecent footnote. Venezuelan history is full of such footnotes: adulators, corrupt bureaucrats, turncoats and other specimens of similar nature have been numerous during most authoritarian Venezuelan governments.
This is so because sadistic leaders require masochistic followers.

The magnitude of this democratic effort

December 19, 2003

Good editorial in today’s front page of El Universal entitled “Another Stage”. I particularly enjoyed the comparison between the effort by Venezuela’s opposition to gather the signatures and that of Californians, since one still hears people both here and abroad (and in this page!) trying to minimize the meaning and magnitude of the democratic effort by the Opposition in Venezuela. The numbers are indeed impressive. Here is the translation of that particular paragraph:


If anyone had doubts about the dimension of this democratic success, sufficient to compare those 3.5 million signatures subscribed in four days under all forms of obstacles and intimidations, both physical and material, as well as formal-read the CNE regulations-with the 1.6 million signatures, that a well financed and organized opposition like that in California, gathered in a universe of 15 million registered voters (12 million in Venezuela), in three and a half months of uninterrupted effort to summons and succesfully recall former Governor G. Davis.


Well said!

Signatures are in!

December 19, 2003

The signatures for Chavez’ recall were succesfully handed in to the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) this morning. There was no attempt at violence and everything went very smoothly with heavy security in the early hours of the morning. The CNE now will have thirty days to say whether the 2.4 million valid signatures are there or not.

Signatures are in!

December 19, 2003

The signatures for Chavez’ recall were succesfully handed in to the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) this morning. There was no attempt at violence and everything went very smoothly with heavy security in the early hours of the morning. The CNE now will have thirty days to say whether the 2.4 million valid signatures are there or not.

Reading Scott’s Burtonterrace

December 19, 2003

I love regularly reading  Scott’s Burtonterrace blog (the only blog by a non-Venezuelan under “For a better Venezuela” on the left) there are always interesting links, stories and articles and he does have a genuine interest in the problems of Venezuela. In the last few days he has had a number of interesting posts that I enjoyed:


-It does give you perspective to read the letter by poet Manuel Vasquez from jail in Babalu blog, posted by Val Prieto. All of those that admire the Cuban revolution should pause and read this sentence in Vasquez’ letter:


“Of paradise, Cuba has only had the perilous passage, a danger-strewn Styx, that daring navigators have desperately discovered in the Straits of Florida, in which they envision the promise of a better life after having faced Cerberus”


or this one


“Thousands pay with their imprisonment the quota of suffering that periodically punishes the nation. Faced with the impossibility of lowering social pressures through another massive exodus, the regime has been forced to substitute imprisonment for migration”  


Follow the links and you will enjoy the reaction by Little Tiny Lies blasting the pro-Castro apologists or Chicago Boyz blasting tourist ads by Cuba.


-There is also a link to Haitipundit, a regular blog from that island which is so close yet so far.


-Or a link to the cult to that strange Venezuelan deity “Maria Lionza”.


and you have to love Scott’s question:


Neo-conservative-liberalism?
Is it just me, or have the poles flipped? Right is wrong, and up is down. Just decades ago, mention Pinochet and the left would tremble with indignation. But today, they coddle Castro, cheer on Chavez, oppose overthrowing Saddam and think we should give Kim Jung Il whatever he wants to keep to himself, no matter that he’s starving his own people. Who’s really liberal and or conservative anymore? Seems the left is suddenly for “status quo”. Conservatives now are for overthrowing the old paradigms and creating a huge swath of self-determined peoples, free from the shackles of tyranny. Free speech, basic human rights, government by the people were once hallmarks of the liberal intellectual. It was conservatives who installed and coddled dictatorships. Why the sudden seismic shift?


Think about it, I do all the time…

Porras snaps back at the Vice-President

December 19, 2003

In a suprisingly strong statement Bishop Porras replied to the statement by Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel I blogged about last night. Porras said that “it was pathetic  to hear the things that Rangel had said, which were nothing but an expression of the huge irresponsability of someone who everyday has less credibility”. Porras added that “the least that any authority may do in its own country is to condemn the barbaric act of decapitating religious images related to the country’s primary faith”. Strong words by someone who usually tries to be diplomatic in his relations with the Government. I guess I was not the only one that was outraged by the Vice-President’s statements and cynicism.

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