Friday, December 15, 2006

So much for justice in Venezuela - NOT 

Today the mayor of Baruta, a wealthy section of Caracas, Capriles Radonski, was found not guilty of participating in an attack against the Cuban embassy during the coup against Chavez in April 2002.

During the coup a mob formed outside the Cuban embassy and attacked it. They stormed the gates and when they couldn't fight their way in they proceeded to rip up water and power lines in attempt to force the people inside what should be a protected embassy into submission. During this mob attack the mayor of the locality where the embassy is located, Henrique Capriles Radonski, arrived on the scene and rather than using his police force to disperse the crow and protect the embassy, as under international law it should have been protected, he insisted on entering the embassy to "negotiate" with the Cuban personnel. What he would need to negotiate with the Cuban ambassador, as opposed to simply enforcing the law, is something of a mystery to me.

In any event, the coup ultimately failed and Capriles Radonski was later put on trial for having entered an embassy without authorization, among other things. The case turned into a he said, they said affair with Radonski insisting he had entered the embassy at the Cuban's request.

Of course, many of the facts of the case as well as the detials of the laws involved are things I don't know. It is possible that this verdict is correct. It is just interesting that in a country where there is supposedly no justice an opposition mayor with a seemingly strong case against him managed to beat the rap.


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