Archive for December 10th, 2008

On Human Righst Day, not much to cheer for in Venezuela

December 10, 2008

As the world celebrates Human Rights Day, not much to cheer for in Venezuela:

Human Rights organization Provea reports an
increase of 31% in freedom of speech violations during the last year in
the country, led by aggressions against reporters and intimidation by
security forces. In 103 of the 186 cases reported, the State was
responsible for the abuses. Provea’s 2007-2008 report here.
—Opposition candidates that won in the regional elections are either barred from assuming office, or attacked as they do, as Chavez defends his
indefinite reelection, rejected last year in a national referendum,  as
being in the hands of  the “people” and proof that this is a democracy. 
—And
members of political party Podemos, who used to support Chavez but
split with him over his attempts to create a “unique” party, are denied the right to speak as rightful Deputies of the National Assembly by its President, on the proposal to amend the Constitution to allow Chavez’ indefinite reelection. 
And pro-Chavez Deputy Iris Varela proposes that
Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa be expelled from the country after
Universidad Simon Bolivar gave him an honorary degree. Varela accused
Vargas Llosa of conspiring against the Government. Vargas Llosas said
Chavez’ political project should be “resisted, denounced and unmasked”
because of its authoritarian nature and the danger it represents for
Venezuela and Latin America. 
—And two former Governors, one opposition and one who used to be pro-Chavez
are prosecuted for corruption as most such cases are ignored and in one
case former Governor and Presidential candidate Manuel Rosales is found guilty even before he knows what he is being charged for.
—While
the right to life appears to have been suspended in Venezuela as the
grandson
of former major league great Luis Aparicio is found dead of
multiple shots, another senseless victim of the tripling of homicides
since Hugo Chavez became President ten years ago. According to Provea there
were 13,236 homicides in Venezuela in 2007, up from 4,550 in 1998 the
year Hugo Chavez was first elected President. The only positive sign is
that the number of people killed resisting arrest has dropped 30%,
after rising four-fold from 1998 to 2003.
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