NYT: One of Chávez’s Most Arbitrary Acts Has Finally Been Reversed

There are 33 replies in this Thread. The last Post () by Rice.

  • One of Chávez’s Most Arbitrary Acts Has Finally Been Reversed

    Venezuela has a chance to start loosening the grip of harsh disunity by releasing all of its political prisoners.


    By Leonardo Vivas, Noam Chomsky and Charlie Clements

    For four years, the authors actively sought freedom for Judge María Lourdes Afiuni.

    • July 22, 2019

    July 5, Venezuela’s Independence Day, came with a precious piece of news for all those who hope for the country’s future: Michele Bachelet, the United Nations High Commissioner for human rights, announced that the Venezuelan judge María Lourdes Afiuni had been released from parole, after almost 10 years of confinement. But her release came with conditions — the judge in charge of her case left in place restrictions that precluded her from traveling abroad and limited her freedom of speech. Judge Afiuni was liberated along with a journalist, Braulio Jatar, and 20 other political prisoners. Thus, one of Hugo Chávez’s most arbitrary acts has finally been reversed.


    Ms. Afiuni had remained in prison without trial for more than a year. Her crime had been to remand a banker, Eligio Cedeno, who himself had been jailed for more than a year without a trial, to supervised parole; the court demanded his passport and he had to report weekly to the judge. Instead, the banker fled the country and the judge was accused of “corruption, abuse of authority, aiding escape and association to commit crime.” In the women’s prison where she was confined, she suffered sexual and psychological abuse (death threats from inmates she had sentenced) and her health was seriously compromised.


    Among many who sought to liberate Ms. Afiuni, we conducted direct negotiations with the Chávez government to press for her release. When the judge’s health was in jeopardy, she was granted house arrest. In the end she was put on parole, but for years no definite sentence ended the nightmare she had to endure. So we received the news of her release with a mixed reaction, because although it’s a step in the right direction, it was delayed far too long and is incomplete. The dire suffering of a brave and resilient woman of the law should have never occurred.


    After years of protracted political confrontation in Venezuela, making María Lourdes Afiuni’s release fully unconditional would be an important step. But an estimated 590 people remain detainedas she was, without trial, for political reasons and under harsh circumstances.


    All of this makes now the right time for Nicolás Maduro to free all political prisoners. Venezuela is facing the most severe humanitarian collapse in Latin America’s recent history, a result of years of steady political deterioration, an economic meltdown accompanied by almost total international isolation and crushing United States economic sanctions. As a result, four million Venezuelans have fled their country, creating stress and havoc in neighboring countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil and Peru.

    Releasing prisoners was a cornerstone decision in the resolution of the decades-long Northern Ireland conflict that tore the social fabric of that part of the world. It led to the recognition of the political nature of the conflict, no matter how bloody, and in the end opened up an opportunity for a peace agreement and the normalization of the political situation. Mr. Maduro seemingly finds himself at a similar juncture, at which he could act decisively and break the stalemate that has marked earlier attempts at political solutions in Venezuela.


    The role taken by the United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner in assessing the human rights situation in Venezuela may be an opportunity for a negotiated solution to take place after failed attempts to foster political dialogue between Mr. Maduro’s government and the opposition. Recent meetings in Norway, Sweden and Barbados could provide a way toward free and fair elections that would solve the country’s political gridlock. The ball has begun to roll, and for those like us who worked on the Afiuni case, it is clear that the best possible solution would be a political settlement that leads to a transitional period in which democratic institutions can be restored, the humanitarian crisis stopped and the economic crisis reversed, allowing Venezuela to get back on its feet.


    The release of Ms. Afiuni is something to celebrate, and we do so wholeheartedly. But it could also lead to a more solid path toward a political solution in Venezuela. We encourage Mr. Maduro to liberate all political prisoners, both military and civilian. This next big decision would show the world that he and the leadership accompanying him are ready to advance in the restoration of the Venezuelan nation. Internally, it would involve a huge leap that could encourage skeptical opposition leaders to seek a negotiated solution among Venezuelans. It could be a critical moment for free and fair elections as the solution to one of the most significant political conundrums of recent times in the Americas.



    Leonardo Vivas, a lecturer in international politics at Emerson College, is a former program director in the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School. Noam Chomsky is a professor at the University of Arizona and a professor emeritus at M.I.T. Charlie Clements is a former executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights at the Harvard Kennedy School.

  • I thought Noam Chomsky was always pro Venezuela anti American.......claiming America trying to make chaos in Venezuela.....

    Now he is giving his opinion to this???? :scratchead:

    The pope has also suddenly changed his opinion.....the absolute most discusting personage I know of today, considered his involvement in fleeing kkuka money through the Vatican.

  • “Involvement in fleeing kkuka money through the Vatican?” Are you accusing the Pope of laundering money for Cristina?

  • “Involvement in fleeing kkuka money through the Vatican?” Are you accusing the Pope of laundering money for Cristina?

    Its first time you hear this????

    Its quite a well-known thesis.....

    Have you never wondered WHY so many kkukas was in close bond with him?

    The Vatican was in financial dire and found a great partner in crime......who is more holy than the pope?

    The problem by stealing these amounts of money is always the banking system......even Switzerland don't do this anymore! But by luck the most holy institution in the world has their own banking system! And after passing through there, the money is more clean than clean and holy blessed on top!!!!!

    This is not just a cheap conspiracy theory.....if you Google a little around you will see some scary evidence!!!!!

    The guy has blood on his hands also, look at his other friendships, like Venezuela......and their corrupted connections to terror institutions like farc and drug money laundering........to say it mildly: I hate the guy and get discusted by seeing his stupid face and listening to his crap!!!

  • .....try and look into who was in charge of a lot church money, spendings here in Argentina etc.....all connected to the Vatican.....guess who....the wife of Julio De Vido, Alessandra Minicelli......do I need to say more????

  • Jan, I appreciate your honesty in admitting your bias (“...to say it mildly: I hate the guy and get discusted by seeing his stupid face and listening to his crap!!!“).

    .....try and look into who was in charge of a lot church money, spendings here in Argentina etc.....all connected to the Vatican.....guess who....the wife of Julio De Vido, Alessandra Minicelli......do I need to say more????

    I wouldn’t have the rank or resources to “look into who was in charge of a lot of church money, spending here in Argentina etc.” Nor, obviously, would the people behind this kind of rumormongering.

  • Jan, I appreciate your honesty in admitting your bias (“...to say it mildly: I hate the guy and get discusted by seeing his stupid face and listening to his crap!!!“).

    that was mildly and diplomatic said from me!!!!


    Regarding the "rumormongering"......by googling u get a lot, lot information......

    Try and do it with her name......!!!!!


    U could also argue that the "cuadernos" is rumor mongering.........even that they list exact dates, times and and and, even confirmed by the log books in the different places and even by the suspects themselves!!!!


    Rumor mongering is also saying people are dieing in Venezuela....have u been there and seen it????


    So basically it's all just smoke without a fire......let's not worry to much!

  • Like Jan, I thought this stuff about the Pope was at least failry well known.


    I had no problem with him until I did some research, and don't really have a horse in this race either way. The guy is dirty and has been for years and yes, even a quick Google search turns up some eye opening information. It just seems it is very hard to get anywhere in Argentina without being a corrupt scumbag. It's unfortunate because even as a non-Catholic. I thought he offered plenty of hope when he first landed the gig.

  • Semigoodlooking ...


    Yep, that's how it is....

    The Vatican bank "IOR",

    (Instituto para las Obras de Religión),

    Have multiple money laundering charges pending and multiple closed cases, found guilty......when you then see who the good Francis meet with, then I think it should be pretty clear! As I stated, Alessandra Minicelli was involved in many DIRECT transactions between Argentina and the Vatican bank.....one involving 1.000.000.000 USD!!!!! Simple googling her name, and the Vatican bank IOR, and the pope brings up some interesting reading!!!!

    The question is not IF the pope is dirty....it's: HOW dirty is he.....

  • JAN can you post links to the sources of your information please?

    After all, if it's in the public domain...

    I could, but to me that would be to try and convince someone about something.....

    I don't like to try and push anything....each should build their own picture.....

    So therefore, just her name, Vatican bank IOR, papa francisco and then u decide yourself which link to open.....there are plenty!!!!

  • I think the question is whether sources and verifications for accusations are provided, or whether we take the attitude that if “it’s on the internet,” or “people say so,” then we can accept everything as fact.


    The question isn’t whether anyone likes, doesn’t respect, or hates someone. In logic class, this is called an argumentum ad hominem.

  • Rice....

    Thats exactly why I haven't provided links....anyone can build their own picture that way.


    If I say I discust the guy, the pope, it's just my opinion......or are you only allowed to discust neonazis, Trump, right wing , killing the whales etc etc????

  • Something else I don't get...:

    I'm a big fan of DW, Deutsche Welle, and their programs.....very diverse, very "adult", (less titti stuff, dancing with the Stars etc). Anyhow, it seems like they use the worst right extremist, right populism, female liberation etc., Every 2 minutes.......at a certain point it gets redundant and without any meaning......at the same time they can make a whole program about Venezuela, about the horrors, the powerty and and and.... without using the word left extreme or populism!!!! Hard for me to grab!

    Also they made a program of the feminism, including a lot from here and rest of South America.....again not in anyway mentioning anything about populism......

    Without liking or have to deal with, I would prefer to live with the right populist and racist Trump as with the left populist Maduro!!!!

    But ok, I need to accept populism is a right from center attitude and does only come in that form!!!!

  • Here are a few that I found on Alessandra Minnicelli.

  • Splinter ...

    U don't think it's constructive to tell you to look for other server with higher capacity, for the plentiful fotos there are with the pope and argi goons???

    The remarks I have made I find more than critical comments!

    It's my thread???? Jubiiiiiii :D

    Seems like someone doesn't like my opinion.....