In today’s Miami Herald,
Disloyalty is costly for Hugo Chávez backers
Hugo Chávez’s revolution in Venezuela targets more than the president’s enemies. Even supporters are punished when their loyalty comes into question.
Readers of this blog are familiar with Chavez persecuting opposition leaders, among them Manuel Rosales and two governors. However, there’s a new trend in the Bolivarian Revolution: persecuting their own.
In recent months, a string of allies or former allies of Chávez have run afoul of a justice system critics say is completely controlled by the executive. Their crime, it is alleged, is that they failed to show unquestioning loyalty to the man who likes to be known these days as “comandante-presidente.”
For human rights lawyer Himiob, there is no “shadow of doubt.”
”The courts were biased — mainly against the poor — before Chávez came along,” Himiob said. “But these days, it’s crystal-clear that it’s the president who runs the criminal justice system.”
General Alberto Mueller Rojas, the PSUV’s former vice-president, insists that the party investigates all allegations of corruption against its members. But he rejects the idea that there can be such a thing as an impartial justice system.
”All human beings seek to benefit themselves or their group,” said the general, who is now in charge of the PSUV’s ideological training commission. “No one with the capacity for thought acts innocently.”
Asked if there was therefore no possibility of a judge acting with neutrality, he replied, ”None.” The point, he said, was to, “seek the greatest legitimacy, which is obtained when the people consider that your actions are equitable.”
Additionally, Chávez is stocking public libraries with indoctrination books, such as Why am I Chavista? while PDVSA’s president goes on TV to say “We are replacing private property with social property“, whatever that may be.
It will get worse.