Griping About the Students Hunger Strike

February 28, 2011


I did not write much about the hunger strike by the students. I was in the middle of moving, thus I had many distractions. By now, the hunger strike is over, the Government capitulated and it was supposed to be a victory by the opposition.

Well, not to me.

The reason is that I think countries can only function under the rule of law and the student’s victory required bypassing the rule of law. If we complain because Chavez and his Government do what they want with the judicial system, having them bypass the rule of law in order to satisfy the demands of the students leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.

When in hours after the agreement, the Prosecutors office released the elected Deputy in order to comply with the agrement with the students, the rule of law was bypasssed. The “victory” ratified what we say, there is no judicial independence, Chavez and his Government, not Judges, decide who goes to jail, who stays in jail and who is freed.

This can’t be good going forward. We are accepting the autocracy.

And since I am on the subject of the hunger strike by the students, I found the behavior of the pro-Chavez students, holding a barbecue right in front of where the striking students were, absolutely disrespectful and tasteless. I hope the balding student that led the barbecue display is removed from the The Government’s payroll or PSUV’s payroll. Next time, at least find some real students.

25 Responses to “Griping About the Students Hunger Strike”

  1. CarlosElio Says:

    What about Gandhi’s hunger strike?

    If there is no rule of law, what other choices are there to promote your causes?

  2. moctavio Says:

    Ghandi’s hunger strikes had as their objective the changing of laws and/or restoring the rule of law. No such ending resulted here. Why not ask that all political prisoners be tried in freedom and name them all? Instead, the hand picked who they wanted, we still have no rule of law. Note that the victory was clearly that the Government ended it so as to avoid further embarrasment, but the way it was done, leaves me a bad taste.

  3. torres Says:

    moctavio, I’m not sure. I see your point, but I think you may be analizing the situation at a different cutoff point. The way I see it, stealing back from a thief is not the same thing as stealing first. The students blackmailed a corrupt system into illegally letting these prisoners go, but they didn’t go first. The system had already shown the lack of respect for due process. The students have merely managed to get the system to undo what it had done, and at the same time demonstrate the political dependence of the judicial system *again*. I mean, before liberating these prisoners, the government may have stood a chance claiming everything was on the up and up; can they claim that now?

  4. maria gonzalez Says:

    MO I agree with you 100%. This is a clear example of how the government does what ever they want. How it is possible that in order to let Pillieri be recognized as a elected member of the Assembly, student had to be on hunger strike for so long…In Venezuela people are getting used to very dangerous reality. El gobierno aprieta y afloja a su conveniencia. Those student sure have the moral integrity that many others Venezuela are lacking this days…but I think the are canalizing their energy in a wrong way.

  5. Ira Says:

    I agree with Torres–also considering the fact that such “civil disobedience” encourages more civil disobedience, which is what ultimately topples governments.

  6. Bruni Says:

    I somehow agree with you, Miguel. I read an interview with one of Danilo Anderson’s sisters that was upset about the students doing a hunger strike to liberate the Guevara brothers, that she considered were justly sentenced for the material murder of her brother.

    I don’t know if they were or not guilty, I think that only those went through the judicial summary of the case can have a precise idea. What I know is that under Chávez, anything is possible. You can be guilty and sent out as innocent, or innocent and be jailed, or guilty and sentenced as guilty. Justice has become an appendix to the regime and it is manipulated as putty to adapt it to what Chavez wants.

    So, in that respect, I agree with your view. What the students did just reinforced that idea that Venezuela justice can be manipulated ad infinitum.

    On the other hand, Miguel, you suggestion is totally unfeasible. Let us imagine that the students went on strike to demand a fair trial for all those that have been jailed.

    Who decides? Who says that the trial was not fair? When do you stop the strike?

    The problem, Miguel, is that we have all completely lost our faith in Venezuela’s institutions. All institutions. The judiciary among them. When that happens, the society does not function.

    So, in my view, the student’s hunger strike was just to test the goverment weakness and in that respect they got an answer: the goverment is weak.

  7. moctavio Says:

    As I said, the stroke is a success, I am not sure the goal was correct and the result is agreeable.

  8. jsb Says:

    Asking for the students to strike till the rule of law is restored would result in some very emaciated or dead students. …cause that just isn’t ever going to happen under this government.

  9. bobthebuilder Says:

    I found it quite amusing to hear the Chavistas had a BBQ next the hunger striking students – smelling freshly cooked burgers after 20 days of not eating would definitely test your resolve! Attempting to lead the students in to temptation is surely better than beating them up or shooting them?

  10. Der Jens Says:

    Anyhow they been to fat, them pathetic students.
    As usuall the old geeser has no knowledge at all of the true facts in this comedy mounted by Globovision and their gang of truth-twisters.
    If you really want to be informed about the venezualian way to the light and the happiness not only of the native people of Venezuela but of all the Americas than read

    http://www.tribuna-popular.org/

    Independant information written by well known and international recocnized reporters.
    Don´t be trapped anymore by the blogs of imperialistic geesers and old farts.

    PS
    I got blocked here by the geeser so I had to change my nick.

  11. moctavio Says:

    I dont know who the geezer is, but I ahve not blocked you. Your posts are amusing. A PSF is a PSF.

  12. Roberto N Says:

    Dear Jens:

    It would help if you could spell better, that way we could understand you.

    I have been trying for years to get away from these imperialistic blogs, but my keyboard is stuck and my computer resolves all addresses that I type in to devilsexcrement.com.

    Even my Ipad does this, I do not know why. Must be because I’m an old geezer I guess. Or perhaps because it was made in Capitalism? Maybe you can help me get one of those new Canaima computers so I can stop surfing imperialistic, lying websites like this one.

    Oh well………….

  13. jeffry house Says:

    My sympathies are 100% with the students. When confronted with a tyranny, all nonviolent means are justified if they rectify wrongs such as had been perpetrated by Chavez on Pilieri, Afiuni, etc.

    No doubt you could be critical of the people in Cairo, too. Their main demand wasn’t “rule of law”. Their main demand–to a legally elected, but otherwise illegitimate President, was “get out”.

    “Free the political prisoners” sounds pretty defensible to me.

  14. NicaCat Says:

    PFS Jens, your joke about your link leading to, in your words, “Independant information written by well known and international recocnized reporters” is off by at least a month!! Today is NOT April Fool’s Day, it’s MARCH 1. Because it surely is a joke that the PCV (Partido Comunista de Venezuela) website is what you say it is!!

  15. NicaCat Says:

    Oops – that should have been “PSF Jens

  16. moctavio Says:

    Jeffrey: that is precisely the point. The students strike is over. Now what? There is no rule of law, Chavez is still around. What changed? Asking for an Anmesty Bill would have been legal and all econpassing.

  17. firepigette Says:

    Miguel, you said, “The reason is that I think countries can only function under the rule of law”.

    The FACT is though that there are countries who have no real rule of law, and one of them is Venezuela, so a practical person knows that we cannot win by FOLLOWING A RULE OF LAW THAT DOES NOT EXIST.

    Even in the realm of idealistic Buddhist philosophy a practical stance is AlWAYS taken that in order to achieve a lofty goal one must always work with circumstances.The crucial differences between methods are :

    1. the intention
    2. the goal

    I think most of us are now clear about the intentions and goals of Chavez.I doubt seriously that the goals and intentions of the students are wrong.

    If we want to continue worshiping the rule of law where it does not exist , we will find the opposition banging its head on the wall ad infinitum , which feeds right into the hands of the evil of Chavismo and discounts the higher intentions and the bravery of those willing to step forward.

    The rule of law is important, but not more important than the morality of a people.


  18. Jens, you are a union leader or candidate to be one, no? Well, union leader Ruben Gonzlez was sentenced to seven years for the horrible crime of…

    protesting

    So, please come over to Ciudad Guayana and join the union movement, see if you can manage one day in a Venezuelan jail for union leaders…

  19. amieres Says:

    Miguel
    I disagree with you on this one. This is a political victory, not a step in the path to restore legality. The students showed their strength and the government flinched, this boosts the students’ public image and makes the government look weaker.

    The students are not in capacity, at this moment, to work to improve the legality of the system. They can demand it, but that is task for the government and we know this government is opposed to that. So the government has to change first before we can expect improvements in that area. That’s what the students are working on, that is their non violent struggle and in that sense this is a good victory for them… and all of us.

    Besides, they asked for justice, they didn’t ask the government to circumvent legality in any way, they did that on their own.

  20. Ira Says:

    Jens:

    Is “Reflexiones de Fidel” written by one of those internationally reporters you speak of? (Or “international recocnized, ” as you write it?)

    At least the site had the good sense to put this link way at the bottom of the page!

    But is that really a political piece? Anyone with a brain knows that this column is pure COMEDY! Or Greek Tragedy. Take your pick.

  21. loroferoz Says:

    I disagree.

    A law somewhere in a book is not just because somebody put a seal on it.

    A sentence is not just because they found a judge willing to decide.

    Rule of law is not about the individual laws and decisions.

    It’s about laws and judicial decisions conforming to certain principles. These principles are at times encoded into Constitutions, but are previous and much older than them. Due process, speedy process, knowing what you are accused of, seeing proof for and against, presumption of innocence until proven guilty, your having right to do as you see fit where the law is silent. And equality too. The law should be applied equally to all.

    You might respect the law, if it can be said to be fair. This is no individual morality matter or about whim and fancy. It’s about well written rules and limits for lawmaking, judicial decisions and law enforcement that have been broken.

    This government has voided Rule of Law for the sake and with the excuse of Revolution. Any claim they might have to enforcing Rule of Law are completely void. They have RAPED AND GUTTED the institutions tasked with controlling such enforcement.

    The Students are, in my view, infinitely more respectable than a gutted Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, and better guarantors of rule of law than such a worthless institution. That we must still pay lip service to the TSJ, I admit.

    The fault is with the kangaroo courts that would be forced to “free” persons without actually exonerating them fully and publicly, on the orders of the Executive, if that’s what bothers us here.

  22. firepigette Says:

    Loroferoz,

    “This is no individual morality matter”

    Laws are an attempt to institutionalize and legalize moral ideas and actions in a society.Morality, not in the religious sense, but in the sense of fairness.

    Because of this, EVEN where there IS rule of law, an honest and moral person will put fairness above the law in something important.Also where there is rule of law, most will attempt to respect the law.People who respect the law usually have a country that is run by laws.

    In the case of Venezuela, it is dog eat dog- only the powerful and well connected can win.So in Venezuela more than in a country where rule of law is possible or habitual, one must follow one’s own conscious when determining a course of action.

    At such time when the judicial system in Venezuela becomes fair and honest, then we can talk about rule of law in a way that is more pertinent.

  23. loroferoz Says:

    Firepigette: Not to disagree in my agreeing with you.

    I understand that respect for others’ rights, and a sense of fairness should be inherent in law and be the principles that guide lawmaking. If you are not actually doing something heinous against the rights of others, you have a conscience that can be used to decide whether a law is just or unjust and decide to resist, skirt, or obey said law.

    But what I am saying, is that the principles of fairness openly infringed by this government ARE WELL ESTABLISHED. Habeas corpus, presumption of innocence and many others. They are a firm basis for any law that can be considered fair.

    The students did not go into civil disobedience and hunger strike because they decided to change bad laws and decisions they considered unjust.

    They went into it against the brazen destruction of anything resembling fairness in law.

  24. pjk Says:

    really? I thought the barbecue was kind of hilarious, in a dark way. especially because that hunger strike was silly… chavez is an autocrat, but the opposition da vergüenza.

  25. loroferoz Says:

    More hilarious would have been to spray the barbecuers with the hottest possible, red variety of guasacaca at high pressure. Them and their meat head to toe.

    10 points for hitting the eyes.


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