Archive for March 25th, 2004

Opposition rebuffs claims of no political prisoners

March 25, 2004

The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.


 


 


The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


 


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.

Opposition rebuffs claims of no political prisoners

March 25, 2004

The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.


 


 


The legal counsel for the Coordinadora Democrática, which groups the opposition, expressed its amazement at the People’s Ombudsman for saying that in Venezuela there were no political prisoners, but politicians in prison. Delsa Solórzano said there are eighteen political prisoners in Venezuela from the events of February 27th. to March 4th.


 


Solórzano counted them saying there were nine at the La Planta jail, four at the El rodeo prison, three at Tiuna Fort and two at the headquarters of the political police DISIP. She said this does not include those jailed in Tachira state for the events of April 12th. 2002, nor General Carlos Alfonzo Martinez who is in the military prison of Ramo Verde.


 


Solórzano asked for respect playing with the words Pueblo (People) and Puesto (job) mocking Mundarain by saying “What we have is a Puesto without Defender and not a People’s Defender (the name for the position in Spanish).


 


She said that Chavez’ Government wants to deny the political prisoners and also that there were deaths in the demonstrations. How sad she said. A political prisoner is a person who is defending their political and constitutional rights. Ms. Solorzano asked for respect for those in prison.


 


One of the most curious side stories of this episode is that one of the best known political prisoners is Carlos Melo. Melo, a grassroots activist, was sent to the “El Rodeo”  prison for common criminals as a sort of “punishment”, believing that he would have a rough time there. Melo has sort of become a leader for the prisoners and has begun organizing them to improve the facilities at the prison. The Coordinadora Democratica is now receiving donations of materials to improve conditions at that prison and has now also started a project to improve the emergency medical facilities at the La Planta prison.

Weil strikes again

March 25, 2004

Weil strikes again with this cartoon on Ivan Rincon’s statement saying he only had allegiance to the Constitution and God



In my head I only have two things God and the Constitution. Reporter: And who is God for you. Rincon: Chavez

Paying homage where homage is due

March 25, 2004

I would like to pay homage to two people, one that I like and know, the other I don’t like much, but he has earned my respect:


Antonio Ledezma and Andres Velasquez had legitimate and earned aspirations to the positions of Mayor of Libertador District or of the Metropolitan area and Governor of Anzoategui, respectively. Instead, in the interest of unity they both declined to concentrate in the recall referendum.


I have never liked Ledezma too much, but in the last three years, he has been one of the few politicians that has been everywhere, fighting, swallowing tear gas and working weekends. Velasquez I have always liked and admired. He has very clear ideas. Despite his health problem (He had a bypass operation two years or so ago) he is today as feisty as ever, very critical of the Chavez Government.

Counting tricks in the regional election: Tricks #1 and #2

March 25, 2004

 


People argue about whether the opposition should or not participate in the regional elections. I am extremely weary about them. The reason is simple, if the process to gather the petition to recall Hugo Chavez was so open, so controlled, so visible and observed by international organizations and despite this we are in the absurd situation we are in today, what can I expect of a closed process, with machines controlled by the CNE and appeals in the hands of the CNE and the Supreme Court?


 


The answer is: not very much! In fact, it may become a trap to justify that Chavez is popular, we did not have the signatures and the opposition is a minority.


 


In fact, I will begin counting the dirty tricks involving the regional elections, which have begun in earnest. Here are the first two:


 


Trick #1: There will be no election for Governor of Amazonas state.


 


The pro-Chavez Governor of Amazonas state is asking the CNE to postpone the election for his position. The reason? He initially lost the election and then the Supreme Court voided some of the votes of his opponent. There were new elections and he won. He wants the period to begin from the time that he took over. He is reportedly behind in the polls and has done a terrible job.


 


Trick #2: Arias Cardenas will run for Governor of Zulia State


 


Former Chavez co-conspirator in the 1992 coup and Presidential candidate against Chávez in 2001 Francisco Arias Cardenas will run for Governor of Zulia State. The opposition there has a very strong candidate in the current Governor Manuel Rosales and the Chavismo has a very weak one in General Gutierrez. Arias has played a very ambivalent role since April 2002 and has also at times been rumored to be talking to Chavez about becoming Vice-President.  Reportedly, the strategy is not to reveal that Chavez is backing him and split the opposition vote in Arias’ favor. Arias’ own party UNION (what an irony!) of which he is President announced today that they will not back his candidacy.


 


Will keep counting…

Counting tricks in the regional election: Tricks #1 and #2

March 25, 2004

 


People argue about whether the opposition should or not participate in the regional elections. I am extremely weary about them. The reason is simple, if the process to gather the petition to recall Hugo Chavez was so open, so controlled, so visible and observed by international organizations and despite this we are in the absurd situation we are in today, what can I expect of a closed process, with machines controlled by the CNE and appeals in the hands of the CNE and the Supreme Court?


 


The answer is: not very much! In fact, it may become a trap to justify that Chavez is popular, we did not have the signatures and the opposition is a minority.


 


In fact, I will begin counting the dirty tricks involving the regional elections, which have begun in earnest. Here are the first two:


 


Trick #1: There will be no election for Governor of Amazonas state.


 


The pro-Chavez Governor of Amazonas state is asking the CNE to postpone the election for his position. The reason? He initially lost the election and then the Supreme Court voided some of the votes of his opponent. There were new elections and he won. He wants the period to begin from the time that he took over. He is reportedly behind in the polls and has done a terrible job.


 


Trick #2: Arias Cardenas will run for Governor of Zulia State


 


Former Chavez co-conspirator in the 1992 coup and Presidential candidate against Chávez in 2001 Francisco Arias Cardenas will run for Governor of Zulia State. The opposition there has a very strong candidate in the current Governor Manuel Rosales and the Chavismo has a very weak one in General Gutierrez. Arias has played a very ambivalent role since April 2002 and has also at times been rumored to be talking to Chavez about becoming Vice-President.  Reportedly, the strategy is not to reveal that Chavez is backing him and split the opposition vote in Arias’ favor. Arias’ own party UNION (what an irony!) of which he is President announced today that they will not back his candidacy.


 


Will keep counting…

Justice in Venezuela

March 25, 2004


Got this in the mail, could not resist to post, it describes how I feel about justice in Venezuela so well: Justice in Venezuela, it is not blind, it is not impartial, it is not independent…it is Chavista!


(Bottom right corner has a picture of a shark and it says: Squalids attacking)

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