Posts Tagged ‘Eladio Aponte Aponte’

The Carnival of Latin America and the Caribbean

Monday, June 4th, 2012

The Star: Argentina overtakes Venezuela as South America’s biggest default risk

Argentina’s economy
The blue dollar
Another step towards a siege economy

Argentine official denies devaluation planned

El joven Borges y Argentina
Por Edwin Williamson
Se ha querido ver en Borges a un escritor poco interesado en la política y ajeno a los problemas de su país. Sin embargo, como cuenta en este ensayo su biógrafo Edwin Williamson, el joven Borges estuvo atento a las grandes corrientes ideológicas de su tiempo y participó en las grandes disputas políticas, y singularmente históricas, de la Argentina del siglo XX

Obama Administration Fails Jewish-American Citizen Detained in Bolivia

Bolivian Drug Accuser Seeks Asylum in Brazil

The stakes are high. Bolivian drug trafficking has become a domestic issue for Brazil, which has become one of the world’s biggest consumers of cocaine amid a decadelong economic boom. Brazilian officials say much of the cocaine consumed in Brazil either originates or passes through Bolivia.

Caribbean integration
Centrifugal force
Half a century of small islands with big egos

Codelco v Anglo American
Ore war
A mineral battle in business-friendly Chile

Chilean power firm Colbun puts project on ice
One of the two firms planning to build the giant HidroAysen dam in Chilean Patagonia has frozen the project, citing lack of government backing.

FARC leader lives at Chavez’s brother’s house: Priest

In an interview with RCN Radio, priest and Venezuelan journalist, Father Jose Palmar, said FARC leader Rodrigo Londoño, alias “Timochenko,” and two other members of the FARC secretariat frequently spend the night at the estate of Adam Chavez, brother of President Hugo Chavez and governor of the Venezuelan state of Barinas.

“Part of the FARC Secretariat live in Venezuela,” said Palmar who is a priest in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo and often crosses the border. “That I can assure you,” he added.

Palmar is an open critic of the Chavez government and swears that the 19th, 41st and 59th fronts of the FARC operate with impunity in the Venezuelan state of Zulia. It is from here, he claims, that they organize raids in Colombia, such as the attack by the 59th Front Monday which killed 12 Colombian soldiers in the department of La Guajira.

Colombian volcano spouts ash

Mariela Castro hopes Cuban-U.S. relations can normalize in Obama second term

Journalism in the Americas: Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa asks citizens to boycott press

Despite Deaths in Honduran Raid, U.S. to Press Ahead With New Antidrug Policy

Honduras sets up anti-corruption body
The Honduran government has set up an anti-corruption commission to target rogue officials in the judicial system and police force.

The Economist Debate: Mexican Elections.

Puerto Rico bets on American tourists to repay debt

Sic Transit Gloria Mundi: Hugo Chavez is wearing Fentanyl Patches and Diapers

Dan Rather says Chavez’s cancer is “at end stage”.

Aponte Aponte is singing like a bird: Fugitive Venezuela judge helps elite U.S. anti-drugs unit

USA Today: Venezuela’s PDVSA oil company is bloated, ‘falling apart’

One thousand car bodies deteriorate in Venezuelan-Iranian auto plant
The National Assembly is investigating whether the Venezuelan-Iranian auto plant Venirauto is causing “property damage” to the South American country

Venezuela bans private gun ownership
Venezuela has brought a new gun law into effect which bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition.

The week’s posts:
Property rights are human rights

Smart diplomacy: Fast and Furious ‘poisoned’ Mexican public opinion of US – UPDATED

Brazil power: Spain out, China in.

Hugo Chavez and the singing judge

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Chávez was supposed to return to Venezuela yesterday; instead, the Venezuelan TV stations broadcast a video he taped in Cuba Lord-knows-when,

He says he forgives those who wish him ill, claims to have made a pact with God, and rambles on with other nonsense,

“For those who have bad wishes for me, I pardon them … I have great faith in what we’re doing in this intense work against the disease that ambushed me last year… To live, to continue living and each additional day to continue giving this life to a people, to a revolution,” the leftist leader said.

The new images come after on Monday Chavez, who has been in Cuba since April 14 to undergo radiation therapy, quashed rumors about an alleged worsening in his health.

He said in the video that he had made a kind “of pact” with God “for the treatment” that he is “rigorously following to have supreme success” and that he can “continue stepping up the pace.”

The real news, however, are the revelations by former judge Eladio Aponte Aponte,

It happened every week. On Friday mornings, Venezuela’s top prosecutor, the justice minister, the solicitor general, assorted Supreme Court justices, police chiefs and top officials would meet in the vice president’s office to review politically sensitive court cases and decide how they should be handled. In each instance, the vice president had the last word: dismissal, acquittal or conviction.

Venezuela’s entire criminal justice system, it turns out, is an elaborate pantomime — a farce in which politicians bark orders and judges carry them out, no questions asked, or pay for their insolence with their jobs or even their freedom.

This is an account of Venezuela you might expect to hear from one of President Hugo Chávez’s right-wing opponents. In fact, it comes not from some aggrieved party but from one of the principals: Eladio Aponte, formerly the president of the Venezuelan Supreme Court’s Penal Chamber — the country’s final arbiter in all matters criminal — who gave a tell-all interview last week to a Venezuelan journalist working for the Miami-based television channel SOiTV.

Aponte earned his revolutionary bona fides as the military prosecutor general, establishing himself as a loyal Chávez lieutenant, willing to follow orders from on high without hesitation. His promotion in 2005 to the highest level of Venezuela’s justice system followed as a matter of course. That perch gave him the authority to decide which lower-court judge would preside over any given case. It also made him privy to the extraordinarily sensitive information handled at those Friday meetings.

Then — and these details are still murky — Aponte seems to have stepped on some very important toes. Earlier this year, the National Assembly, which is Chavista through and through, dismissed him from his post on the Supreme Court and moved to charge him for a relatively minor crime. Aponte, who knows the beast from the inside, could see which way the wind was blowing and fled the country.

Last week a plane from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration took him to the United States, where Aponte, who reportedly had specialized in getting politically connected drug traffickers within the Venezuelan military out of trouble, began to collaborate with U.S. counternarcotics investigators.

In the whistleblowing interview, Aponte says that “everyone from the president on down” would call him to ask for trials to be tampered with in different ways. Political opponents of the regime were routinely framed, including elected officials like José Sánchez Montiel, a member of the National Assembly who served years in jail on a murder charge that Aponte describes as purely trumped up. And to hear Aponte, that was all in a day’s work.

Indicted drug kingpin Walid Makled says Aponte was on his payroll to the tune of 300million bolivares per month (approx. US$70,000). Makled is on trial in Venezuela since the Obama administration dragged its feet.

Meanwhile, an opposition newspaper claims the rumors on Chavez’s health are meant to be a distraction from the very explosive Aponte testimony.