Archive for March 23rd, 2004

Fascism at work at Venezuela’s premier research institution

March 23, 2004

While the Ministers of Labor and Health get entangled in their own lies and contradictions, I get these lists of workers from the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research that did sign the petition to hold a recall referendum against Hugo Chávez. Now, these detailed lists are the result of organized crime, somebody with access to the Electoral database took the time to look up each and every employee to see if they had signed.  They even classified them by rank and whether they enjoy a pension or not. With what purpose? Well, it’s anybody’s guess, from intimidation, to extortion all the way to firing them. Those at IVIC that support Chavez should examine their own conscience and remember that there will be a day of reckoning and everyone will ask why they were not in these lists below.


 



Meanwhile, my good friend and one of Venezuela’s premier scientists, biophysicist Carlo Caputo wrote this letter to his colleagues around the world, which I have taken the trouble of translating:


There is a pro-government group that works at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), which no doubt has the authorization of the party leadership that supports the Chavez Government, which is circulating, in the anonymous fashion which is typical of cowards, a list of IVIC workers that signed the request to recall the mandate of Hugo Chávez Frias. Similar lists have been drawn up and are being circulated in many offices of the government, Ministries; institutes etc. and in some of them they have begun firing those that appear in the respective list. Last Saturday March 20th. the Minister of Health, a certain Roger Capella, declared as terrorists all workers of the Ministry that signed asking for a referendum and thus can be removed from their positions. The Minister of Labor Maria Cristina Iglesias, cynically has said that in the files of those fired, it does not appear as the cause the fact that they had signed, attempting to cover up with hypocritical formalisms the abuse that has been committed.


Hugo Chavez has said that those that signed did not do it against Chávez, but they signed against the country, that is I, Chavez am the country (Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot etc, also said it). There are already complaints that some of those that signed are being denied citizen rights under the umbrella of the same Chavista Constitution, like the right to obtain a national identification card or passport issued.


These methods are common to all incipient dictatorships and belong to what Umberto Eco called Ur fascism or that is, fascism in its primitive state. The most incredible thing is that some pro-Chavez people or those that sympathize with him, especially abroad, still consider Chavismo to be a sort of idealized socialism. Can they be that blind?


In the opposition marches, Chavistas induce violence at the request and convenience of the boss and there are already dozens of deaths, assassinated by the Venezuelan “tonton macutes” (do your remember Papa Doc?). When there has been no violence, it has been used a deterrent, but with little success as demonstrated by the massive participation of people in these marches.


To circulate the list of those that signed is another one of the threatening and intimidating tactics of the Chavismo. Even before, there had been threats that they would excrete (sic!) those not addicted to the process.


But like everything this Government starts, these tactics are destined to fail. Those of us that have signed because we are against this corrupt and inefficient Government, authoritarian and criminally violent, consider it an honor to be on that list.

Fascism at work at Venezuela’s premier research institution

March 23, 2004

While the Ministers of Labor and Health get entangled in their own lies and contradictions, I get these lists of workers from the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research that did sign the petition to hold a recall referendum against Hugo Chávez. Now, these detailed lists are the result of organized crime, somebody with access to the Electoral database took the time to look up each and every employee to see if they had signed.  They even classified them by rank and whether they enjoy a pension or not. With what purpose? Well, it’s anybody’s guess, from intimidation, to extortion all the way to firing them. Those at IVIC that support Chavez should examine their own conscience and remember that there will be a day of reckoning and everyone will ask why they were not in these lists below.


 



Meanwhile, my good friend and one of Venezuela’s premier scientists, biophysicist Carlo Caputo wrote this letter to his colleagues around the world, which I have taken the trouble of translating:


There is a pro-government group that works at the Venezuelan Institute for Scientific Research (IVIC), which no doubt has the authorization of the party leadership that supports the Chavez Government, which is circulating, in the anonymous fashion which is typical of cowards, a list of IVIC workers that signed the request to recall the mandate of Hugo Chávez Frias. Similar lists have been drawn up and are being circulated in many offices of the government, Ministries; institutes etc. and in some of them they have begun firing those that appear in the respective list. Last Saturday March 20th. the Minister of Health, a certain Roger Capella, declared as terrorists all workers of the Ministry that signed asking for a referendum and thus can be removed from their positions. The Minister of Labor Maria Cristina Iglesias, cynically has said that in the files of those fired, it does not appear as the cause the fact that they had signed, attempting to cover up with hypocritical formalisms the abuse that has been committed.


Hugo Chavez has said that those that signed did not do it against Chávez, but they signed against the country, that is I, Chavez am the country (Mussolini, Stalin, Pol Pot etc, also said it). There are already complaints that some of those that signed are being denied citizen rights under the umbrella of the same Chavista Constitution, like the right to obtain a national identification card or passport issued.


These methods are common to all incipient dictatorships and belong to what Umberto Eco called Ur fascism or that is, fascism in its primitive state. The most incredible thing is that some pro-Chavez people or those that sympathize with him, especially abroad, still consider Chavismo to be a sort of idealized socialism. Can they be that blind?


In the opposition marches, Chavistas induce violence at the request and convenience of the boss and there are already dozens of deaths, assassinated by the Venezuelan “tonton macutes” (do your remember Papa Doc?). When there has been no violence, it has been used a deterrent, but with little success as demonstrated by the massive participation of people in these marches.


To circulate the list of those that signed is another one of the threatening and intimidating tactics of the Chavismo. Even before, there had been threats that they would excrete (sic!) those not addicted to the process.


But like everything this Government starts, these tactics are destined to fail. Those of us that have signed because we are against this corrupt and inefficient Government, authoritarian and criminally violent, consider it an honor to be on that list.

Primero Justicia threatens to withdraw from regional elections and says Hall took away rights

March 23, 2004

The Primero Justicia Party which holds a number of seats in the national assembly and has a number of important mayors in Caracas, announced this afternoon that their party will not change regional elections for the recall referendum and if there is no referendum, they will withdraw all of their candidacies to the regional elections.


The unanimous decision was announced when the leaders of that party registered the candidacy of fugitive Mayor Henrique Capriles. Capriles is in hiding since the Prosecutors have not allowed his lawyers to se what he is being charged with in his arrest warrant. Primero Justicia deputy Julio Borges said that the CNE and the Supreme Court were violating the rights of 3.4 million Venezuelans with technicalities and subterfuges which gave no guarantees that the law would be respected in the regional elections by either instance. First he said, people had to choose between impunity or justice, between fear and freedom and between chaos and peace.


Separately Primero Justicia deputy Gerardo Blyde said that the decision by the Constitutional hall of the Supreme Court is the first sentence in the country’s new dictatorships the Hall eliminated rights that people never thought they would lose. Blyde, a constitutional expert said that the decision by the highest Court modifies the Constitution with the only objective of avoiding the recall referendum. Blyde said that the principle of presumption of innocence was eliminated with this jurisprudence by the Constitutional hall; he said the electoral hall is there to resolve Electoral matters but the Court says it is not and acted on it. Finally Blyde said that there is also a principle that was violated, that when the law is clear, the interpreter can not go against the clarity of the law. He said the Government wants to reach August without a recall referendum.

Constitutional Hall voids Electoral Hall decision

March 23, 2004

 


There is a lot to blog about, but I really feel like I have no energy for it. The decision by the Constitutional Hall which is here, which voids that of the Electoral Hall on many grounds, some which I understand, some which I do not, seems to me to have been constructed for the occasion and to suit Chavez’ desires. Let me try to summarize the reasons why it was voided:


 


-It violated procedures.


-It did not give the CNE the right to defend itself.


-Says their decision (today’s) is not a threat to the right of citizens to express themselves (!)


-It says that changing no rules were changed, claiming that the criteria used were in place in September (!)


-Says the criteria applied by the Electoral Hall to validate the signatures does not apply in this case, because the CNE has to certify who signed. (What are signatures, witnesses and high security forms for?)


-It says the Electoral Hall could not rule the period for ratification was too short, since that period had not been established (False: CNE Director Jorge Rodríguez publicly announced it would be only two days on the same day that the decision on the signatures was announced)


-It says the Electoral power can draw up regulations on its own and the Electoral Hall violated its independence.


-Says that the Electoral hall decided on the issue not on the injunction.


 


Well, except for the first point and the last, for which I can not give an opinion because I am not a lawyer, the others seemed to me to be absurd: The decision does threaten my rights, the rules were changed on the way, the only valid identification is the signature and the fingerprint is there too just in case, if the Electoral Power is autonomous then what is the Electoral Hall for then?


 


What is clear to me is that the dice are loaded against the opposition with these guys. They will always be able to find a legal argument to stop the recall referendum or now that regional elections are in the works, to say that so many votes from here or there are invalid. That seems to be our future.


 


Now, the Electoral Hall will decide whether it challenges the decision by taking it to the Full Court or not. I understand that it will and that since Ivan Rincon was involved in the descion a different Justice will decided whether it goes to the full Court or not. But I also understand that they can stop it for a while, reject it temporarily and otherwise delay the whole process. Such is the law in a totalitarian state. Chavismo is the law in Venezuela, Chavez is the law, our very own Louis XIV.


 


God help us, we are in the hands of unethical and immoral Justices, leading the country into a tragic confrontation.

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