Archive for September 9th, 2008

El juicio en Miami sobre el ¨Maletagate¨venezolano parte III: Comienzan el juicio de Duran y los fuegos artificiales del caso

September 9, 2008


(In English here)

Hoy fue
el primer día verdadero del juicio Maletagate en Miami y tanto la fiscalía como
la defensa comenzaron sus argumentos. Los fuegos artificiales han comenzado y
está claro que habrá revelaciones interesantes en los próximos días si las
escaramuzas iniciales son indicación de lo que se viene encima.

Thomas
Mulvihill, el Fiscal del caso, presentó sus argumentos y dijo que el dinero transportado
por Guido Antonini a Argentina, en la maleta en el avión arrendado por PDVSA, fue
un favor al acusado Franklin Duran y que él mismo le había dicho a Antonini que el dinero estaba destinado a la campaña de la actual Presidenta Argentina Cristina
Kirchner. El Fiscal también denunció que el dinero procedía de PDVSA.

El Fiscal
Mulvihill dijo que presentará grabaciones que muestran no sólo que Duran y sus amigos
estaban actuando como agentes del Gobierno de Venezuela, sino ellos llamaron a
Guido Antonini a Miami desde la sede de la policía de inteligencia venezolana
(DISIP). Añadió que hubo una fuerte participación de la policía de inteligencia
venezolana en el caso y
que esta llegaba
hasta su Director Henry Rangel Silva.

La
defensa de Duran contraatac
ó diciendo que era Antonini que pidió
a Duran
y a su hermano Pedro a que le dieran una mano en el caso y que ellos
acudieron al actual Ministro del Interior y Justicia Tarek Al Aissami, en la
búsqueda de ayuda, pero que Duran nunca entr
ó en contacto con el Jefe de la
DISIP a quien nunca conoció ni trat
ó y que el nunca sugirió que Antonini
mintiera. La defensa también dijo que Duran le sugirió a Antonini que lo que
necesitaba era un abogado que lo defendiera en Argentina.

La
defensa trató de echarle la culpa a Antonini en buscarle una solución al caso y
denunció que Guido Antonini trato
de encubrir los hechos
y solicito que el Gobierno venezolano le pagara  2 millones de dólares con el fin de
encubrir el caso. Denunció que Antonini escribió una carta al Presidente Hugo
Chávez con ayuda del FBI, en la que solicitaba el dinero y que esa carta fue
enviada al Presidente a través del Cónsul de Venezuela en Miami.

La
defensa sugirió que el caso es simplemente político a fin de dejar mal al
Gobierno de Hugo Chávez y tratar de hacer ver el caso de un amigo tratando de
ayudar a otro, como un caso de espionaje.

El
primer testigo en el caso fue uno de los acusados que se declararon culpables, el
abogado Moisés Maionica. Maionica, quien tiene fuertes vínculos con el entonces
Vice-Presidente Jorge Rodríguez (Él era el abogado de la empresa Cogent que
fabrica las maquinas captahuellas), declaró
que inicialmente el caso
se dejó en manos del Presidente de PDVSA Rafael
Ramírez, pero más tarde este fue relevado del control de la situación.

Según
el testimonio de Maionica, Hugo Chávez directamente asign
ó la tarea de hacer
frente alproblema al Director de la DISIP y que Rangel Silva, le dijo que el Presidente estaba disgustado por
el manejo del tema desde el punto de vista operativo.

Mientras
tanto, en Caracas, el recién nombrado Ministro del Interior y Justicia (sic)
Tarek Al Aissami, dijo
que no responderá
a la basura de Imperio americano y que “ha ocupado
muchas posiciones, pero es sólo ahora que él está a cargo del Ministerio, que
este campaña comienza… menos de 24 horas después de haber sido nombrado, es que
sale esta basura esta”. Supongo que el Ministro no lee este blog, que
publicó la información de que iba a ser involucrado en el caso, mucho antes de
que nadie supiera que él sería nombrado Ministro.

Por lo
tanto, el primer día comenzó con una gran cantidad de fuegos artificiales por
ambos lados. Es evidente que la estrategia de Duran es decir que estaba
ayudando a un amigo, pero él no tiene la intención de ayudar al Gobierno de
Venezuela en el proceso. La Fiscalía, por otra parte, parece tener un montón de
pruebas en forma de grabaciones y documentos que podrían poner seriamente en
tela de juicio los argumentos de la defensa.

Manténganse
en sintonía!

The Miami Venezuelan Maletagate trial part III: Let the Duran trial and the fireworks begin!

September 9, 2008

(In Spanish here, en español aqui)

It was the first actual day of the Maletagate trial in Miami and both the
prosecution and the defense began their arguments. The fireworks have begun and
it is clear that there will be interesting revelations in the upcoming days if
the initial skirmishes are any indication.

Prosecutor Thomas Mulvihill presented his case and said the money carried
by Guido Antonini into Argentina, in the suitcase in the PDVSA leased airplane,
was a favor to accused Franklin Duran and that Duran himself had told Antonini that
the money
was intended for the campaign of Argentinean President Cristina
Kirschner. The Prosecution also charged that the money came from PDVSA.

Prosecutor Mulvihill sad he would present tapes showing not
only that Duran and friends were acting as agents of the Venezuelan Government,
but that they called Guido Antonini in Miami from the headquarters of the
Venezuelan Intelligence police (DISIP). He added that there was a strong
participation of the Venezuelan Intelligence police in the case all the way up
to its Director
Henry Rangel Silva.

Duran’s defense countered by saying that it was
Antonini who asked Duran and his brother Pedro to give him a hand in the case
and that they went to the now Minister of the Interior and Justice Tarek Al
Aissami, seeking for assistance, but that Duran never contacted the Head of the
DISIP whom he does not know and never tried to force Antonini to lie.The defense also said that Duran told Antonini to get a lwayer in Argentian to defend him in that country.

The defense tried to put the blame on Antonini seeking a
solution to the case and charged that Guido Antonini tried to cover up the
facts and was
requesting
that the Venezuelan Government pay him US$ 2 million in order to
cover up the case. He charged that Antonini wrote a letter to President Hugo
Chavez under the coaching of the FBI requesting the money and that such letter was sent to the President via the Venezuelan Consul in Miami.

The defense suggested the case was simply political in order
to make the Hugo Chavez Government look bad by turning the case of a friend
trying to help another into a case of spying.

The first witness in the case was one of the accused men who
pleaded guilty, lawyer Moises Maionica. Maionica, know to have strong ties to
then Vice-President Jorge Rodriguez (He was the lawyer for fingerprint company Cogent),
testified
that initially the case was left in the hands of PDVSA President
Rafael Ramirez, but he was later relieved of his control of the situation.

According to Maionica’s testimony, Hugo Chavez directly
assigned the task of dealing with the problem to the DISIP and that Rangel Silva, the DISIP
Director told him the President was upset about the matter from an operational
point of view.

Meanwhile in Caracas, newly appointed Minister of the
Interior and Justice (sic), said he would not respond
to the garbage of the US Empire and that “he has held many positions but it is
only now that he is in charge of the Ministry this campaign begins…less than 24
hours after being named, this garbage comes out” I guess the Minister does not read
this blog, which published the information that he would be involved in the
case, well before anyone knew he would be appointed Minister.

Thus, the first day began with lots of fireworks on both
sides. It is clear that Duran’s strategy is to say he was helping a friend, but
he does not intend to help the Venezuelan Government in the process. The
Prosecution, on the other hand, seems to have a lot of evidence in the form of
tapes and the like which could severely bring into question the arguments of
the defense.

Stay tuned!!!

Hugo Chavez’ perverse and undemocratic logic

September 9, 2008

Using his customary perverse and undemocratic logic,
President Hugo Chavez gave proof to the world that he does not believe in
democracy nor does he have respect for the laws. Moreover, if there were Rule
of Law in Venezuela, his words yesterday would be sufficient to overturn many
of the 26 Bills approved in the eve of the deadline for the Enabling Bill,
which allowed him to legislate, by decree for 18 months.

Chavez’ perverse interpretation was that he did not violate
the Constitution, because what he did was to legislate what the voters did not
want to have become part of the Venezuelan Constitution.  He could not be more dense and
autocratic than with this sentence:

“One thing is that it was not approved to include this or
that proposal in the Constitution and another one to do it as part of a Law”

Chavez even said that the vote was by a small minority, as
if democracy required a large majority. What is clear is that Chavez refuses to
respect what the people decided in December 2007 and will continue to do so,
unless people fight it and you can be sure that the November elections will not
be much of a fight.  The voters may
be able to rebel and elect half of the Governors of the country from opposition
candidates and Chavez will find a way to ignore that victory and boycott them.

What am I saying? He does not even need to do that, he can just use one of the 26 Bills and create a regional authority above each elected opposition Governor and short circuit and block them.

Which by the way, was one of the proposals rejected in December…

Absurd? Just wait and see…

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