Archive for January 15th, 2005

Interview with INTI President: Chavez is the law!

January 15, 2005

Transcript of the interview with the President of the Land Institute (INTI) Eliezer Otaiza in El Nacional.


-It would seem to us that the decrees by the Governor of Cojedes took you by surprise?


 


I knew in particular that he was going to issue them.


 


-Do you disagree with the Governor’s decision?


 


I do not have disagreements with the Governor, he has his responsibility and I have mine. Since Nov. 10th. When the President gathered us and gave us that objective at Tiuna Fort, he told the Governors to make war on large farm states. The Governor of Cojedes did what agreed with his vision because of the problems that the large farm states have in his state.


 


-In Cojedes they used the word intervention, but that term is not present in the Yaracuy or Carabobo decrees.


 


The central problem is precisely the word intervention, which was eliminated by decision of the Venezuelan Supreme Court in the Land Bill and that is why it generates publicity. But when you see the procedures, you can see that INTI ahs not delegated its competence and its actions follow the law. Let me tell you that Cojedes was the first state we evaluated and we had to make a change in coordinator because all cases were paralyzed ever since Adam Chavez was President.


 


-So, prior Presidents of INTI were also responsible for the slow fight against large farm states?


 


No, because you have to remember the political circumstances…


 


-If the problem was one Government official, why didn’t the Governor wait for the INTI to act?


 


I don’t see the conflict of competence. I don’t think we can carry out the fight against large land states if the Governors do not participate, but to me the problem is not the decree, that may have some problems at the level of detail from the legal point of view, but I don’t care about the legal point of view, because in the end, INTI carries out the procedure.


 


-In the case of Hato El Charcote, some groups hope that you will guarantee their right of permanence.


 


Everything is ready and we have taken measures in the Board of INTI with respect to this one specifically.


 


-What are they?


 


I can’t tell you. They are part of a strategy, because that’s where politics is involved.


 


-Does INTI guarantee those rights even before the ownership of the law is defined?


 


Yes, it is not a binding decision. What happens in El Charcote? Many of the people that live there or in others are people that have lived and worked there for 20, 30 or 40 years. What did they do? Take care of it; produce a crop in one or two hectares, but their role was to take care of unproductive lands. Thus, we can not call them squatters, because there existed a work relationship with the purported owner of the land. ..Now, the squatter, the person that enters by force, gets nothing, but these cases are not many.


 


-How many?


 


Few. Less than 1,000 have been denounced, we can fix those very quickly.


 


-There is also the case of Hato Pinero that plays a role in ecotourism. Can’t you recognize that there is productive work there?


 


That is a decision to be taken by the President. I must say that the only difference I may have with the Governors is that to them the decisions are going to be made by President Chávez and not the Governors.


 


My take: There you have it, there is no law, who cares about legalities, measures have already been decided before the legal procedure is followed and Chavez will decide everything. Nothing new here, this is what we have seen the last six years. He is the law.

Interview with INTI President: Chavez is the law!

January 15, 2005

Transcript of the interview with the President of the Land Institute (INTI) Eliezer Otaiza in El Nacional.


-It would seem to us that the decrees by the Governor of Cojedes took you by surprise?


 


I knew in particular that he was going to issue them.


 


-Do you disagree with the Governor’s decision?


 


I do not have disagreements with the Governor, he has his responsibility and I have mine. Since Nov. 10th. When the President gathered us and gave us that objective at Tiuna Fort, he told the Governors to make war on large farm states. The Governor of Cojedes did what agreed with his vision because of the problems that the large farm states have in his state.


 


-In Cojedes they used the word intervention, but that term is not present in the Yaracuy or Carabobo decrees.


 


The central problem is precisely the word intervention, which was eliminated by decision of the Venezuelan Supreme Court in the Land Bill and that is why it generates publicity. But when you see the procedures, you can see that INTI ahs not delegated its competence and its actions follow the law. Let me tell you that Cojedes was the first state we evaluated and we had to make a change in coordinator because all cases were paralyzed ever since Adam Chavez was President.


 


-So, prior Presidents of INTI were also responsible for the slow fight against large farm states?


 


No, because you have to remember the political circumstances…


 


-If the problem was one Government official, why didn’t the Governor wait for the INTI to act?


 


I don’t see the conflict of competence. I don’t think we can carry out the fight against large land states if the Governors do not participate, but to me the problem is not the decree, that may have some problems at the level of detail from the legal point of view, but I don’t care about the legal point of view, because in the end, INTI carries out the procedure.


 


-In the case of Hato El Charcote, some groups hope that you will guarantee their right of permanence.


 


Everything is ready and we have taken measures in the Board of INTI with respect to this one specifically.


 


-What are they?


 


I can’t tell you. They are part of a strategy, because that’s where politics is involved.


 


-Does INTI guarantee those rights even before the ownership of the law is defined?


 


Yes, it is not a binding decision. What happens in El Charcote? Many of the people that live there or in others are people that have lived and worked there for 20, 30 or 40 years. What did they do? Take care of it; produce a crop in one or two hectares, but their role was to take care of unproductive lands. Thus, we can not call them squatters, because there existed a work relationship with the purported owner of the land. ..Now, the squatter, the person that enters by force, gets nothing, but these cases are not many.


 


-How many?


 


Few. Less than 1,000 have been denounced, we can fix those very quickly.


 


-There is also the case of Hato Pinero that plays a role in ecotourism. Can’t you recognize that there is productive work there?


 


That is a decision to be taken by the President. I must say that the only difference I may have with the Governors is that to them the decisions are going to be made by President Chávez and not the Governors.


 


My take: There you have it, there is no law, who cares about legalities, measures have already been decided before the legal procedure is followed and Chavez will decide everything. Nothing new here, this is what we have seen the last six years. He is the law.

A very personal note

January 15, 2005

Over the last two and a half years I have been writing this blog, without much concern about what I said or about whom. This is no longer the case. After recently receiving public, veiled and private warnings and threats, many of you may have noticed that my blog has become more newsy and and I have made it less opinionated or reduced the amount of color that I add to the news. This will be the case while I figure out where to go from here.


I have privately kicked around some ideas with friends and so far, the only one that has some appeal to me is to open my blog to posts from other people. I would moderate them, but people could write whatever they wanted and I would not identify them to protect them (and me!). The blog would be more of a collaboration and thus I could not be accused of saying anything in particular. The only thing I would ask people to do is to use lots of links to prove points and not throw facts up in the air without backing. What do you think? Please send comments privately or leave them below in the comments section.


 


Similarly, during the last two years and half I have never censored comments, even if some people felt at some point that I did. Ever since my successful newspaper “Se Dice” was censored in my high school when I was fifteen, I have believed in freedom of speech. (It was actually not censored, it was prohibited!). However, at times the comments section has been dominated by individuals in ways that I felt took away from my blog. A blog is a personal diary by definition. 


 


I love when people make comments, even if I disagree with what they say. But when someone makes two dozen posts in three hours that exceed my own posts in the last five days, it stops being my blog and becomes someone else’s. More so if the topic is not precisely that of this blog or the writer has his own blog. If someone wants to prove that Vladimir Putin is a crook, or there was no Holocaust or the FARC are peace loving angels, do it somewhere else, not here. Start a blog about it if you want, but junk should be somewhere else, not here.

The “crisis” heats up

January 15, 2005

President Uribe throws the gauntlet at Chavez inviting him and other Government officials from other countries to a public discussion “in the framework of a wider discussion about terrorism”. This, of course, places Chavez in a tough spot, the FARC are asking him where he stands and so is Uribe. My guess, he will not accept, as we say in Spanish you can’t be in good terms with God and with the Devil at the same time.


The whole FARC discussion is very tricky for Chavez. Thousands of the Colombians that were speedily nationalized last year to vote in the recall vote, support Chavez but are in Venezuela escaping from the guerrilla activities of the FARC and would not support any sort of accommodating policy with FARC in Chavez’ part. This are not just a few thousand Colombians, we are talking hundreds of thousands. 


 


While Colombian newspapers are reporting at least one border location which is now closed to Colombians, the Commander of the CORE 1, denies this is true.


 


Our own esteemed (Word used only to satisfy the new Penal Code) Vice-President, says this whole crisis has been caused by reactionary, anti-Venezuelan forces in Colombia. Well, if I recall correctly this whole “crisis” was started by the FARC itself in a communiqué in their website asking the Venezuelan Government to take a stand on the Granda case, which it did not do at the time.


 


Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Colombia said that the US Government agreed with the FARC “for the first and the last time” in their call to ask President Chavze to define his position with respected to the guarantees the FARC have to visit Venezuela. The US Ambassador said that Uribe’s statement was “moderate, analytical, of transcended importance not only for Colombia but also for the anti-terrorist fight in the Andean zone.

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