Venezuela : The conqueror writes history
15.03.05 | This “bulldozer” government continues rewriting the history of Venezuela according to its royal whim. On the one hand, it has decreed that there was a coup d’état on April 11, 2002, and, on the other, it has decided that titles to property going back more than 150 years are not valid. Against any kind of logic, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice has ignored what actually happened and has decided that, on April 11, 2002, there was, in fact, a coup d’état and not a vacuum of power as stated in a previous decision handed down by the justices of the Tribunal’s Plenary Chamber.
The most serious aspect of this decision is not that the truth is being manipulated, a series of publicly known facts are being ignored, and that they are saying that “what happened” “did not happen.” The dreadful part of all this is that, for the first time, a body of the Supreme Court has annulled or reversed a decision handed down by the Court in Plenary Session. This is a judicial coup of unprecedented historic importance that confirms the demise of the Rule of Law in Venezuela.
In rewriting history, the government is making Venezuelans pay too high a price simply in order to satisfy its thirst for vengeance against officers who refused to obey the order to attack a peaceful protest march and to mount a persecution against more than 400 people who have been charged on the grounds of having taken part in the decree proclaiming Carmona’s government, what they are now calling the “Carmonazo.” With this decision, the government also hopes to set a legal precedent to avoid being judged in an international court at some future date, as happened with President Slobodan Milosevik of Serbia.
Besides the absence of the Rule of Law, the concept of private property has now been suddenly eliminated in one fell swoop. The decision by the National Lands Institute to not recognize the property rights of the owners of five estates located in Cojedes, Nueva Esparta, and Miranda states (among them Hato El Charcote and Hato Piñero) is illegal and arbitrary. It does away with any vestige of the right to property and makes investment, both domestic and foreign, impossible, since investment requires legal security and respect for the rights of individuals and companies.
With this double murder of the Rule of Law and the right to property, plus the pressure that is being brought to bear on the freedom of expression through coercion and sanctions, the country is now definitely under a dictatorial regime.
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