Franklin Brito’s death: A more humane society in Venezuela without compassion?

August 31, 2010

When I heard about Franklin Brito’s death last night, I decided to follow one of my basic rules: Don’t blog on your emotions. Thus, I just sort of reported it, without much commentary and detail, I had written about Mr. Brito’s story before, his death was a surprising and incredible end to a truly horrific tale of the misery of politicians and how they place their personal ambition above all, even in the face of human tragedy.

Franklin Brito’s  death is a failure not only of Venezuela’s Government, but also of the multilateral organizations which are funded and financed to protect human rights across the region, but are incredibly incompetent and inefficient in achieving these goals. From Orlando Contreras Zapata to Franklin Brito, they are just a simple failure. Money ill spent on paying the salaries of ambitious politicians or beaurocratic bon vivants in the name of the people of the Americas.

There is little to be said that has not been said beyond the internal outrage we all feel inside. But throughout the day, I have been utterly amazed at a single fact: How a revolution that claims to want to create a better, more humane society, has shown no compassion for Mr. Brito.

There is no humanity in the Government or a political system that has spent the day blaming Mr. Brito for his own death. There is no compassion in saying Mr. Brito was not in his right mind and this led to his death, without looking at how he got to the point that he got. There is no compassion in trying to use legalese to say why Mr. Brito was right or wrong in his claims against the Venezuelan State.

And it is totally despicable to suggest that Mr. Brito’s death was planned to occur before the election, some writers in Aporrea even giving it the name the “Britazo” or Government officials suggesting that Mr. Brito was used by the opposition.

Because in the end it was the Government that kidnapped Mr. Brito against his own will and that of his family and held him in a military hospital until he passed away. Supposedly this kidnapping was done to protect his life, a claim that now sounds absolutely empty given his tragic death under the watch and supervision of this heartless Government. It would have been more dignified for him to die when and where he wanted.

What does this Government mean when they talk about a more humane society? Is that a society that allows 20,000 homicides a year, a three fold jump in this crime during Chavez’ Government? Or is that a society where the police and National Guard can attack and violate the human rights of the opposition just because they oppose Hugo Chavez? Or where it is better to lie than to accept that health and nutrition indices have deteriorated because the beaurocrats don’t want to tell Chavez about it?

Compassion is caring about all this, as well as caring for all of the citizens of Venezuela, whether pro or against Chavez. Compassion is caring for the man in the picture below and his dead kid, two more nameless Venezuelans caught in the indolence of this Government in the face of a human tragedy that they seem to care very little for:

No society can be called humane, without compassion. No society can be thought of being more humane, when politics and Chavez’ whims are placed above the most basic rights of Venezuelan citizens.

39 Responses to “Franklin Brito’s death: A more humane society in Venezuela without compassion?”

  1. gordo Says:

    To me Franklin Brito represents something very important about life in general His farm probably was for him very much like my own business is to me. To a large extent, my business is more than property that is “mine,” it actually is me, myself in so many ways. It is my creation acording to my design that creates value for others, jobs, income for my family. My business is my dream made real by my labors, my values, my aspirations, and stands a monument before the world representing who I am, my pride and my joy.

    Having it taken away and disgraced as “unproductive” and being something that is so charished with enormous pride, is like having one’s soul wripped away and publicly defiled.

    I can feel his rage, the profound injustice he sensed, that something so beautiful could be stolen by a scurge of in eptitude that can destroy what it cannot produce itself.

  2. Alek Boyd Says:

    Miguel, I agree with your post, and would only add that Franklin Brito’s protest exposed the general amorality of Venezuelans that we were discussing the other day. For we never saw a parade of opposition politicians going to the hospital where he was imprisoned, to demand his freedom; we never heard them referring to the most horrendous violation to Brito’s rights, that of keeping him against his will in a military hospital for a “mental illness” that never was; we didn’t see anyone debate his case in the media; it was him, on his own, armed with nothing but his convictions and sense of justice against chavismo.

    Venezuelan society failed Brito, the country he died for failed him. That’s the take away message that I see in his death. In Venezuela, it is entirely irresponsible to immolate oneself, for no one gives a shit.

  3. Antonio Says:

    Perhaps Mr. Brito was not much of a role model, nor a person many people cared to sympathize with [sympathize: to feel or express compassion, as for another’s suffering, commiserate; to share or understand the feelings or ideas of another]. He was a working man, and many of us don’t think of work as something particularly desirable: much better to get money from the misiones or otherwise down the distribution pyramid. He started a business of his own, accepting risks, when many of us prefer to be public employees. He seemed to be an honest man, while many of us are, well… Was he viewed as not being left wing enough because he had commercial initiatives? One doesn’t support someone like that! Few cared when he stood up to the people in power to defend his rights: that was his own affair. Fraqnklin Brito’s actions were uncorfotable for many consciences, particularly of those who may be considering voting for the chavistas agin.
    So, we failed Franklin Brito. And ourselves.

  4. island canuck Says:

    Miguel, very well said.

    As I sit here on this Monday morning I have an inner rage that is affecting my life. My patience with normal things is getting shorter & shorter and this is not my normal self & will probably end up getting me in trouble.

    Here in Margarita we are suffering endless electrical cuts & brownouts that cause our A/C’s to quit & damage our fridges (we have a posada).
    Foreign tourism just took a death blow with the cancellation on the last regular charter flights to Margarita with Condor pulling out which will increase the already high unemployment here & close some of the bigger hotels.
    Chavez saying that the pueblo are his bodyguards & they are armed.
    Chavez saying that he will further radicalize the revolution after the Sept. elections.
    The introduction of the “good life” card.
    The threats & lies about the upcoming elections trying to instill fear in his followers.
    The $28 billion deal for electricity with China & the inevitable theft of this money.
    Judge Afuini still behind bars & without a trial.
    His insensitivity to Franklin Brito.

    Etc., etc., etc

    It’s getting to be too much. Unfortunately we are trapped here.

    I have no faith that the upcoming elections will have any impact on him no matter how many seats they win. He’ll just change the rules before the oppos get to sit in Jan.

    What are we to do?

  5. firepigette Says:

    Island,

    I am so sorry to hear what is happening to you in Margarita and unless the opposition comes together in great Unity for a strike to the finish, I am sure it will get much worse.It is not a matter of money..it is a matter that Chavez is well entrenched and protected.

    I long ago gave up on reclaiming my land in Margarita.It was always my dream to either retire or own a vacation home there, but no longer.It will take umpteen years to clean the vibrations of Chavismo enough for a sensitive gal like me to endure it.

    I have taken to prayer, even though I don’t believe in God.

    Good luck to all of you.

  6. sid Says:

    Well, Yoanni Sanchez writes (today), that the leaves of Cubans in Venezuela (Barrio Adentro) were stopped. The medical received venezuelan cédulas and will be taking part in Sept. elections on the side of Chávez´s red partido socialista. If it ends well for Chavez, they will be allowed to return home at the end of Sept. Highly motivated “foreigners”.

  7. Roy Says:

    Within Chavismo, they have dehumanized the opposition. There is no compassion for anyone who opposes them, for they have been rendered non-human in the eyes of Chavismo.

  8. Gordo Says:

    I think that Hugo is temporarily crippled. The economy is in shambles, and there isn’t much he can do about it, except blame the bourgeois and capitalists.

    For Hugo, right now, it is not worth fighting for a sinking ship.

    My guess is that even if the opposition gets power, Hugo will make sure they will get an even bigger brunt of the blame for the economic shambles we are in.

    On top of that, Hugo keeps executive power, and there will be a struggle between him and the NA. Hugo could also start a terrorist war to make things even worse for the NA. In the US, the Republicans are undermining whatever solutions the Democrats try to implement to fix the economy. The Chavistas will do the same.

    The NA has to find a way to remove Chavez, fix the economy, restore law and order, and create a government and constitution that resists future Chavez-type subversion.

    Removing Chavez has to be at the top of the list!

    Protecting the public (army), private enterprise, infrastructure, education, law enforcement, finance and banking, agriculture and trade will be impossible with Chavez and his resistance.

    First of all, the “flight” of capital will come back, the World Bank will help out, so will other international concerns, and there will be a huge surge in employment, commerce, infrastructure projects, and renewed faith in the future. So, I’m optimistic… and I’m going to get to work on my business projects that have been on hold for too long.

  9. A_Antonio Says:

    I think and suggest to the opposition about gets as much sits they can in NA.

    Then they should make an opposition in NA that deserves the respect from the people, some will get jail for that. And for one time, I expect that somebody do not run.

    I am tired of people that jump to the politic arena and then run with the tail between the legs when Chavez threatens with jail.

    We need lots of Brito or Nelso Mandelas to restore democracy.

    We need a big soul of to the side of the tyranny in from of him (or she)

  10. Maria Says:

    I do not who took the photo holding his son’s ID but I have never seen so much pain in a person’s eyes.

  11. Maria Says:

    I do not who took = Ido not know who

  12. moctavio Says:

    Exactly how I felt :-(

  13. lahy Says:

    Well. After reading the other side of the story, one wonders, what kind of opposition this is!

    The Government after all, had never confiscated any land, belonging to late Brito.

    Secondly, January 2010 some members of the opposition left Sn.Brito in a grave state in front of the local office of tle OEA-

    Thirdly, Red Cross was involved in his treatment until the day he died.

    There is many other cases in which one can criticise teh government, but the case of Sn. Brito is surely not one of them.

  14. Roberto N Says:

    I think, lahy, with all due respect, you must be reading Condorito instead of the news papers.

    The Government certainly did confiscate his land, then gave back a part of it, but left his new holdings without access to roads or other services.

    The government, only after Mr. Brito went on his first hunger strike, decided that the publicity was too much, so they tried to buy him off. First they gave him most of his land back, then tried to get him to accept tractors, money, etc. etc.

    All he wanted was for the government to admit in writing that they had done him wrong. He never did accept the money, the tractors, etc. He stood up for what is right and paid the ultimate price for it.

    The Red Cross was forever kept away from him until the last months, as he was locked up in the Hospital Militar against his express will.

    As for the politicians “leaving him in front of the OEA”, this is nothing but pure BS. He went there of his own accord. If any fault should be assigned to opposition politicians is that they did use his case, and Mr. Brito, to further their own ends.

    Perhaps you can stop reading your Condorito comic book and take a look here:

    http://www.eluniversal.com/2010/09/01/pol_art_seis-anos-de-reclamo_2023829.shtml

    I mean really, lahy, you should change your screen name to “lame” (English word, ojo!)

  15. lahy Says:

    Well, thanks for the suggestion anyway. It is better to be ojo than blind.

    I have read the article of the El Universal, . There is no mention of the fact that the land was given to him in 1999 by the Government. However, it is not clear to me that for some reasons, he did not make use of his land for long periods.

    There are also two more issues: with one reason or another, despite gaining compensation etc he did not end his hunger strikes. Was he after receiving an apology or something else, in other words, much more generous settlement?

    Even though we accept that he was struggling to receive an apology, he could have followed many other ways other than sustained hunger strikes or cutting his finger in front of cameras some years ago.

    The courts of the country at the end rejected his claims . Why it is than instead of producing in his land or finding someother ways of continuing his protest, he was to take such a self=destructive path?

    The Venezuelan Red Cross on the other hand, in his press release on Tuesday, has not blamed the authorities.

    Nonetheless, whatever the facts, his death is lamentable. Our condolonces to his family.

  16. moctavio Says:

    Yeah, sure, you bypass a Supreme Court decision in his favor and three unfullfilled agreements with him.

    Oh yeah, forgot his kidnapping and his death.

    Minor details.

  17. Isabel Says:

    Lahy: You know, when you have no clue what you are talking about you make stupid statements like the one above to dfeend your stupid and murderous revolutionary heroes.

    But you are SO wrong, besides the fact that you swallow what the Government says, you mention the Red Cross.

    The Red Cross has been asking the Government since it kidanpped Mr. brito to transfer him to a Red Cross Hospital. THIS WAS NEVER DONE.

    On June 11th. the General Prosecutor AGREED TO ORDER BRITO transferred to the Red Cross Hospital.

    THIS WAS NEVER DONE

    So, stop your ignorant propaganda and stop defending a muderer which is what Chavez is.

    Fucking PSF!

  18. lahy Says:

    The feelings are running high here. I am not engaging in propoganda but trying to learn, what is going in the case of Brito. Frankly speaking, the matter is not becoming clearer by arguing like this. contrary to your assumptions, We do really care what is the truth, it is better to know the truth whether we like it or not.

    if you stop shouting and began thinking you may reach different conclusions. If I accept that above arguments are true, these are hardly justifications for the hunger strikes, which had been undertaken by Mr.Brito. Not at all.

    The fact that he was actually a beneficiary of the government land reforms speaks for itself.

    Red Cross actually said that the government used all the medical tecnolojies to save the life of Mr.Brito. According to the RC, they had vsited him daily; they did not make a complaint against the government either.

    You can blame the president Chavez for many things, but he is not a murderer at all. By arguing like this and fuelling the hate you are actually not serving the cause of democracy. Not at all!

  19. Isabel Says:

    yada yada yada

    Once again you have no clue about you are saying, I know what the Red Cross said and did from up close and what you are saying only exists in the mind of the Chavista Government, Red Cross did not say the Government used all the medical technoligies, the Government said the Red Cross said that, the Red Cross is pissed at the Chavez Government they agreed repeatedly top hand him over and never did. Wake Up PSF!

    Refer to June 11th. newspapers when an agreemnet was reached to transfer Mr. Brito between the General Prosecutor and the Red Cross, I was involved in the legal end of that, IT WAS NEVER DONE.

    Yes, I scream because I can not believe the stupidity of fanatism.

  20. Isabel Says:

    BTW, that same miserable, lying Prosecutor, now wnats to prosecute Mr. Brito’s family for inducing him to commit suicide.

  21. GeorgeS Says:

    We did everything within the law and the jerk died, oh well, another one…

  22. Antonio Says:

    The agriculture minister, Juan Carlos Loyo, said that Brito was not on hunger strike, but following a prolonged voluntary fast (prolongado ayuno voluntario). The general prosecutor, Luisa Ortega Díaz, says that his death was suicide under pressure from his family. However, Brito died in government custody. Is it too much to ask these governmet representatives to investigate whether the voluntary diet was under pressure from the military?

  23. lahy Says:

    Thank you for your reply.

    After your response, I have again listened the Hernan Bongioanni, Secretario General de la Cruz Roja Venezolana, at

    http://multimedia.telesurtv.net/31/8/2010/15202/cruz-roja-venezolana-certifica-cumplimiento-de-protocolos-medicos-en-caso-brito/

    Going through news items to investigate about your claims I came across a news, states that Minister Loyo visited Mr. Brito in prison. This was hardly action of a government that was not interested in saving the life of Mr.Brito.

    “”In his last few days, my father agreed to receive an IV drip and some medications, with the hope of engaging in talks to reach a solution with people from the government, but he didn’t hold out,’ his daughter Ángela Brito told IPS ”

    In the Brito case, one can see that there are things, which are not clear cut. After all fighting against the state agenciés at any form, rightly or wrongly, is not an easy task in itself. However, after reading the efforts of the authorities I have concluded that the govenment should not have been blamed for the death of Mr.Brito.

    Who was responsible then? Was Mr.Brito a victim of his actions? Blaming him for his own death, is not going to help to improve the political climate either- I think it is important that in the future there shall not be cases like Mr.Brito.

    As for prosecuting the family of Mr.Brito, for inducing him to commit suicide,
    I hope that this is not going to take place.

  24. A_Antonio Says:

    The Regime has the big face to use prosecutors to investigate Brito’s family by the charges of instigation to commit suicide.

    This is inhumanity.

  25. Roberto N Says:

    Unfortunately, lahy, the fact that they are even considering prosecuting his family for inducing suicide is a testament to the utter idiocy with which this government operates. What it shows is a government desperate to clutch at any straw that will help them save face. It is a sign of how nervous they are about the upcoming election.

    I bet if somebody took a poll anywhere in Venezuela about that announcement they’d get 98% of respondents to say the same thing I just did. (The remaining 2% would be idiots like Jaua, et al)

    The fact that Mr. Loyo visited him in prison has no meaning per se. He could have gone to ask him what horses he should pick in The Rinconada, for all we know.

    And as for Mr. Bongioanni’s statement, all he says is “we’ve been with him since June…..” aside from his condolonces to the family, and that the Drs. at the Hospital Militar provided him with decent care.

    The Telesur reporter asked him at least twice if the family had access to Mr. Brito’s medical files, and both times Mr. Bongioanni sidestepped the question in favor of platitudes. Why, I’m not sure, but he could have said yes, no or I don’t know. That in itself is telling.

    Mr. Brito died because he insisted the government own up to its mistakes in his case, and they chose not to. THey chose instead to buy him off, something he refused to accept.

  26. Isa Says:

    All PSF’s are alike, they know more than we do.

    Do you think I dont know who Bongioanni is? When has he ever said anythng negative about this Government? Evene when the Chavez Government does not supply the Red Cross budget he shuts up. Do you think a once a day visit is enough? The Red Cross Dr. said Brito had septic shock a week before he died. did they do anything? Did Bongioanni complain about the agreemenst never fillfilled?

    Never, so please go stuff yourself you ignorant PSF.

    Once again the guy was kidnapped and he died.

  27. loroferoz Says:

    Antonio, you hit the nail on the head with your comments. Brito was a honest man. Well…

    “…has shown no compassion for Mr. Brito”

    I can only add that he did not want compassion. He wanted justice. Compassion is being benevolent beyond what justice gives. But he wanted justice.

    What the government and is doing now is REVOLTING beyond injustice. Justice would have sufficed and they did not only do JUSTICE. But insisted on courses of action that were hateful, and insist on them yet.

    Of lahy, I can only ask. If they did try to save him? Why did the military kidnap him? Or is this the kind of Soviet compassion that invariably led to death?

    Lahy needs not be insulted. Just to be seen defending this kind of “humanitary” Cuban/Soviet/Nazi intervention should be disgraceful enough for anyone.

  28. Alek Boyd Says:

    Oh, now we are going to be lectured about Venezuelan issues by a Turk. He/she surely knows better.

  29. lahy Says:

    I am amazed to see that you are complaning about foreigners! If this is so, why then. are you following a blog, which is written in English? Why i s it that? something wrong in speaking or writing in spanish or is that you would like to share your opinions with the english speaking people?

    if you are not able to discuss and explain your case, what is the point of coming here and discussing this or that? is this a place for people to vent up their anger,frustrations and hate or a place to share their opinions?

    As I said I am discussing the case of Mr.Brito in order to learn, but I can see that the feelings are running high and that it is difficult for some of you, to make a reasonable judgement.

    I said the feelings are running high- Some of you are feeling excluded from power and, perhaps, even persecuted. This should actually make you sympatize with the poor people, many of whom, prior to 1999, did not even have an ID card to vote.

    I think there is a common ground here. Venezuella is not going to be another Cuba, but not going to return the days of the past either. Why not recognize this and be positive as much as possible.

    We can see from afar that it is not possible to turn the clock and go back.

    Why do you think we are troubling ourselves to follow what is happening in your country? We see that despite all its short comings and problems, many good things are taking place in your country.

    I believe that Venezuela could be the best place to live in Latin America in ten or twenty years time, but, there is the necessity of building a consensus- this is no doubt the responsibility of the opposition as well as the government. If you are so keen on building a better and much humane society and avoitr cases like Mr. Brito, you need to recognise this. If not. Why not?

    One can scream and shout instead. Why not? please continue to do so, but, do remember that this will be at your own peril.

  30. Alek Boyd Says:

    As I said earlier, a Turk knows better:

    “This should actually make you sympatize with the poor people, many of whom, prior to 1999, did not even have an ID card to vote.”

    Take it from a Turk to tell us that in Venezuela, prior to Chavez, poor people did not have cedulas.

    Right. Next arguments coming all the way from Turkey, where they know more about Venezuela than Venezuelans: prior to Chavez, poor people didn’t have access to health and education… Chavez nationalised the oil industry… Chavez eliminated illiteracy… Chavez ended poverty…

  31. Lim Says:

    lahi is not in Venezuela: wrong time zone. 1/2 hour west of Venezuela, I would say. I have nothing against communists, much less agaist a friend from Turkey who is trying to learn.

  32. moctavio Says:

    No, she/he is not trying to learn, she/he is parroting the official line and defending the official line lock/stock and barrel.

    “Many good things are happening in your country”
    Where?

    poverty has not changed in 11 years, human rights violations are the ruile of the day, crime is up three fold during Chavez’ eleven years.

    Come on people, wake up! We have seen PSF’s year after year after year with the same story.

    Move here if you think things are so good, just dont get killed and get ready for 30% inflation.

  33. Roberto N Says:

    lahy: On the one hand you say you are here to learn the truth

    On the other you make statements of fact that are nothing but the official government news line. Which also happens to be more lies.

    This is perceived as not being research, or learning, or anything like it.

    Do not wonder then, why you are taken to be someone who is not here to discuss or arrive at the closest approximation to the truth.

    Perhaps because your native tongue is Turkish, your sentence structure does not convey meanings exactly as you wish them to be.

    And also perhaps you have not read more sources other than official government sources and other sources that are clearly inclined towards the official line.

    Your country has gone through military dictatorships in its past, where civil rights and freedoms were curtailed and any sign of protest quashed violently. While we here in Venezuela on the surface seem to live in Democracy, the fact is that our leader has manged to create a virtual dictatorship that only on the outside looks like a democracy. You do not need to dig deep to find that all our Democracy is is a thin veneer disguising an authoritative state that is actively pushing us towards Cuban communism. Any dissent is met with overwhelming force, be it of a legal or physical nature.

    My suggestion to you is to look at both sides of the coin before you make statements like your last post.

  34. lahy Says:

    Thank you for your comment above.

    I am not here to repeat the oficial line. I wanted to emphasize the fact that between opposing forces, there are actually many common grounds on which a consensus can be built. For instance, taken Brito case as an example, one can see that ıf the opposition cares for the dignityç individual life and freedoms, this should be taken a as a principle and be defended at every turn. A revolutiıonary government is one that also cares for the dignity and life of its own citizens. Of course, the people here in general believe that the government is responsible for the death of Mr.Brito. They may also think that I am rather naive in my believe that there is perhaps a common ground, but perhaps I am not wrong. I think, some people in this forum should consider the possibility that I am right.

    On the other hand if you indeed believe in democracy, you should not discard the posssibility of building a common ground. Otherwise there is no point of belivieng in plural democracy. If you do not believe the building or working through a consensus is the way forward, democracy is then, no more than a slogan.

    You are suggesting that there is no democracy in Venezuela. The government is an authorative one in essence. I did indeed lived under the military dictatorships. There were of course similar periods ın your country as well. I know how a dictatorship look like through my personal own experience. There is indeed an important difference, between a state that authorative in essence and authorative in appearence. On the second there wont be any political parties or freedoms etc. Do not underestimate this difference, because it is a very important one.

    I think the problem is an authorative state is in making or not? A Cuban type perhaps?

    I do not think that Cuban experience can be repeated in Venezuela. I do not think that Cubans have this illusion either. On the contrary I thought that the Venezuelan effect should encourage Cubans to move away from the one party state. There ıs índeed this possibility- This is where my support comes, because I think that there is something original and different that taking place in Venezuela and is having an effect on other countries´including Cuba. So, I am trying to learn what is happening not only positively but negatively as well.

    But you may say that there is a question to answer: Venezuela is a regime or will be one, “where any dissent is met with overwhelming force” ? The fact that the elections are taking place and the fact that the opposition may gain an important number of seats stands out against this statement. It does not mean that there isn´t authorative tendencies within the regime there can be- there will also be parties on the right, who are not believeing in democracy and who are ready to impose a dictatorship if they had the chance. Negatives and positives should be be judged together; opposing forces will be exist together, this is what the democracy is all about.

    Have a nice weekend.

  35. moctavio Says:

    Lahy: With all due respect, your message shows you know very little about Venezuela, it is very naive and does not recognize what our country has gone through in the last few years. This blog has documented the human rights abuses, divisiveness and autocratic rule the country has been subjected to for eight years during which Chavez has made no attempt to talk to even his supporters. Thus, I will not repeat in a comment thousands of posts, nor can’t.

    On human rights abuses, you don’t even have to read my blog, go to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Human Rights Foundation or the Inter American Commission for Human Rights all of which have complained repeateadly about the abuses of the Chavez Government to no avail. The last one has not been allowed into the country since 2002 in violation of the OAS charter.

    As to elections being the hallmark of democracy, you are absolutely wrong. Our last Dictator also held elections and he always won.

    But it is not a democracy, when the Constitution is violated. Take the upcoming election, the Venezuelan Constitution says there should be proportional representation. Well, the Venezuelan Electoral Board via redistricting and gerrymandering has made it such that in the upcoming election if the ersult is like that of the last election, Chavez will get 70% of all Deputies.

    That is not the rule of law or democratic. All attempts to have this turned over by the Supreme Court have not been considered.

    But let’s look back to the 2007 referendum which the opposition won. The military told Chavez to accept the result. Chavez proposal was “defetaed” , that is democracy, no?

    Not in Venezuela under Chavez.

    The National Assembly gave Chavez extraordinary powers to legislate and he proceeded to pass laws which contained EXACTLY what the “people” had voted not to approve.

    Is that Democracy?

    I could go on and on, but can’t. You can either read eight years of my blog. Or simply go, for example, to the Tascon Facist List and read how the Chavez Government discriminated everyone that signed the petition to have a referendum to remove him from office. If that does not insult your basic principles as a human being, we would have very little t talk about.

  36. Antonio Says:

    Miguel.
    This guy/lady is just winding us up. I think of people like this (a Communist perhaps?) as one of nature’s mechanisms of preserving mankind. There are others, of course. They keep us on our toes by displacing us slightly from our comfort zone. People react eventually and society reemerges strengthened by the sad experience. This guy/lady has done his/her duty. The problem is that one thing is society and another one is that I am sitting here wasting my time because of this guy/lady. In the words of Lucy (of Charlie Brown happy memory) “I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand”.

  37. Roberto N Says:

    Many politicians that do not conform to Mr. Chavez’ autocracy did indeed stand with Mr. Brito, helped get his story to various international authorities, and did care about him and his cause. They showed the respect for the wishes and dignity of an individual.

    This was not evident in the governments actions. They sought to impose their will by any means at their disposal without any regard for dignity or decency. Again, I point you to their desire to investigate his immediate family to see if they induced him to commit suicide as an example of the intransigent behavior of those in power. All the man wanted was for the president to order an investigation on how his rights as a landowner had been trampled and what should be done to avoid this in the future.

    This was a man who spent years on the edge of a bridge threatening to jump while the firefighters sent to prevent it ended up pushing him off.

    The time for the seeking of common ground will only be once Mr. Chavez leaves power. Their never has been, and if he continues his plans, never will be, common ground with him because he is not interested in common ground period.

  38. GWEH Says:

    Lahy, you can keep someone who cannot/refuses to eat alive. The US government does it everyday at Guantamo where terrorists go on hunger strikes and are forcibly tube fed. None of them are emaciated or have died. Your only defense is to imply the venezuelan regime condones euthanasia. If Brito was declared ‘mental’ by a court then it seems they had the duty to feed him for he was incapable of taking care of himself. I am losing you here Lahy. Please explain to me what happened… you want to tell me it was an accident Brito died… as in a slip-up “se les fue la mano”

  39. moctavio Says:

    Petkoff and Franklin Brito’s death (In spanish):

    http://www.globovision.com/news.php?nid=160462


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