Teodoro Petkoff is starting today a series of what he calls examples of “Chavista McCarthyism”. He starts with the cae of Carlos Ayala Corao, a well known Human Rights activist and lawyer in Venezuela who was going to be charged today by the Prosecutor’s office for going to the Presidential Palace (He was told to come back next week without explanation). The whole thing is so ridiculous, that this case alone shows how trumped up and silly the whole thing is. Carlos Ayala has been a Human Rights activist for a very long time, even before it was “fashionable”. He was a member of the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights. He has been a defender of the Human Rights of indegeous people, adviser to COFAVIC and trainer and teacher in the program for Human Rights of the OAS (More of his CV here). COFAVIC, which I consider to be this country’s premier human rights organization has called the charges “an attack on the Human Rights movement” and Human Rights Watch said “This is a clear case of political persecution, whose target is the most effective critic of Chavez’ record on human rights…this accusation is outrageous and would be rejected by any independent Court”
This man inspires the black list of the Prosecutor’s office by Teodoro Petkoff
The Republic’s Prosecutor has decided to charge lawyer Carlos Ayala Corao on the events of April 12 2002.
This reminds us that when this writer suggested the creation of a Truth Commission, after the coup of April 2002, the Prosecutor, Isaías Rodríguez, called me by phone to ask that we convince Carlos Ayala so that he would accept to be part of that commission and if my memory serves me right, I believe he even suggested that he should preside it. This reflects the high esteem that Isaías had for him. And now, the Prosecutor decides to charge Corao.
The Prosecutor does not ignore that it was Ayala that on April 11th. , together with other human rights defenders, who went to the intelligence police to protect Tarek Williams Saab and ask for his liberation and that he stayed there for five hours in front of the headquarters of the political police, as it is registered in the report of the Special Parliamentary commission to investigate the events of April 2002, without receiving by the way, any information about the status of Deputy Saab.
He does not ignore either that Carlos Ayala not only did not have anything to do with the ineffable Carmona decree, but that he openly challenged it, expressing his absolute disagreement with that document.
Then, why does the Prosecutor charge him? We find no other explanation that the Prosecutor’s office has decided to take on the role and personality of Joe McCarthy, pretending to demolish the role of Carlos Ayala as an activist and defender of Human Rights. Isaías, apparently, is pretending to give his own original contribution to the scoundrelly line of political apartheid which was inaugurated by the infamous Tascón list. Ayala is being charged in order to intimidate others. Because the way things stand, the charge by itself becomes a punishment. Much like McCarthy in the US, at that time of rats that that country lived through, when the sinister and mad Senator searched all over with his “black list” , which is now also present among us, the destiny of many Government adversaries is written in that scoundrelly list of Tascon. Carlos Ayala, of course, is in it, but besides his job as a jurist, his role as an adviser to Human Rights organizations, makes it look as if they see him as a pebble in their shoes that needs to be eliminated. They will probably ban him from leaving the country, with which they will block his presence at the Interamerican Human Rights Court. Ayala is an activist of Human Rights and nobody should feel more responsible to defend him that the old human rights activist Tarek William Saab. Not only because of gratitude, but also because of an elementary sense of justice.
But Ayala’s case is not unique. It is part of a systematic practice by the Government, of political segregation and discrimination of its adversaries, which is not only unconstitutional but also inhuman, which we will begin to denounce starting tomorrow, in this page, with the most dramatic cases of Venezuelans that have been the victims of the Chavista McCarthyism.