Re: [OPE] Absence of political persecution in Venezuela; corruption by Opposition leader

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Fri Apr 03 2009 - 05:40:30 EDT

This does not deal with the arrest of Baduel who is a former supporter
of Chavez who fell out with him over term limits.

Gerald Levy wrote:
> Venezuelan Opposition Leader Rosales in Hiding to Avoid Corruption Charges
> April 2nd 2009, by James Suggett -
> Mérida, April 1st 2009 ( -- In Venezuela, a
> controversy has arisen over the unknown whereabouts of a prominent
> opposition leader and mayor of Maracaibo, Manuel Rosales, who faces
> corruption charges and is suspected to have fled the country.
> National Assembly Legislator Carlos Escarrá, who is also a vice president of
> the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), said in an interview on the
> state television station on Monday that Rosales secretly fled the country to
> Panama and may soon re-locate to Miami.
> “This person has in a cowardly way fled the country to avoid trial. This
> attitude is unforgiveable, from my point of view,” said Escarrá, without
> specifying the source of the information.
> Rosales participated in the April 2002 coup d’état against President Hugo
> Chávez, then ran against Chávez in the 2006 presidential election, which
> Chávez won in a landslide. Rosales is also the former governor of Zulia
> state, which produces approximately a third of Venezuela’s daily oil exports
> and borders Colombia.
> Last December, national anti-corruption investigators from the Attorney
> General’s Office presented evidence that Rosales had illicitly used public
> funds to accumulate private land and fill offshore bank accounts, and
> offered and accepted bribes related to public contracts.
> The investigation had been prompted by President Chávez’s public declaration
> that Rosales should be convicted and put in jail for corruption and aiding
> the infiltration of Colombian paramilitary soldiers in Venezuela.
> Based on the investigations, Venezuelan prosecutor Katuiska Plaza filed
> corruption charges against Rosales two weeks ago in a Zulia state court, and
> requested an arrest warrant for Rosales. A hearing has been scheduled for
> April 20th during which the court will decide whether to issue the warrant.
> The president of Rosales’s political party A New Era (Un Nuevo Tiempo), Omar
> Barboza, said it is “totally false that Rosales has fled the country,” and
> that instead Rosales has gone into hiding in “a safe place in Zulia” to
> avoid what Barboza called political persecution. “The UNT is taking all
> necessary actions to protect and assure the physical and personal safety of
> Manuel Rosales,” Barboza added.
> According to Barboza, Rosales has been followed by unidentified armed
> civilians and national investigators, and several of his private airplane
> landing strips have been occupied by government security forces. “It is not
> possible for Manuel Rosales to exercise his right to defense in Venezuela,”
> said Barboza. “He will not turn himself in to the pack of hounds that is
> pursuing him until it is possible for him to defend himself.”
> On Wednesday, Venezuela’s top public defense attorney, Gabriela Ramírez,
> assured that all of Rosales’s civil rights including due process have been
> and will continue to be respected.
> The controversy around Rosales comes amidst a broader political clash
> between the Chávez administration and a group of opposition governors and
> mayors who were elected last November.
> In Zulia, the opposition-dominated state legislature, with the support of
> Governor Pablo Pérez, declared itself in “rebellion” against the national
> government recently in reaction to the transfer of the administration of
> strategic transportation hubs to the national government.
> Following this, Rosales’s case was transferred to a Caracas court on the
> grounds that the political unrest in Zulia would impede a fair trial.
> On Wednesday, the president of the National Assembly, Cilia Flores, said the
> judicial process established in Venezuela’s Constitution and laws should
> proceed as usual with regard to Rosales. “The judicial process should
> continue. Security forces should implement a search plan to determine where
> he is,” said Flores.
> Flores added that if Rosales is absent from his post as mayor of Maracaibo
> for more than 90 days, he will be considered to have abandoned the office,
> and the people of Maracaibo may elect a new mayor in a popular vote.
> Source URL (retrieved on Apr 3 2009 - 04:55):
> .
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Received on Fri Apr 3 05:42:23 2009

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