Wednesday, January 02, 2008

My thoughts exactly 

To ring in the New Year President Chavez announced a sweeping amnesty of people who stand accused of "political" crimes. That is all cases against people having participated in the April 11th coup - including those who wrote the Carmona Decree, those who signed it, those who stormed government offices in an anti-Chavista witch hunt in states like Tachira, and those who shut down the VTV television station - and who participated in the oil strike of later that same year are being dropped.

So presumabely Pedro Carmona and Carlos Ortega can walk any Venezuelan street and not have to worry about being arrested.

Now, of course, Chavez himself benefited at one time from a presidential pardon. So maybe he feels he owed this to these people.

Ok, well if he wants to feel that way he can, and he is president so his opinion is the one that counts.

Still I would think there would be an awful lot of Venezuelans out there who have loyaly supported this government - no, who have loyaly supported the DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED government and Constitution of Venezuela - and who have shed blood, sweat and tears defending it who would be more than a little perturbed by this pardon. I know I sure would be (but hey, I'm a gringo and as you know we gringos have a hang up with the "you do the crime, you do the time" notion).

But in reading through Aporrea today I noticed that indeed some Venezuelans were in fact very upset about this. Although I just don't have the time or energy to translate it right now I found this article by an Aporrea reader to be, as they say, spot on.

I too wonder, as the writer hints, if Chavez isn't now concerned more with others, be they Colombian hostages, wealthy Venezuelans to whom he can't seem to give away money fast enough, or in this case with people who had no compunction about shedding blood and creating great hardship on their fellow Venezuelans to overthrow his government, than with the welfare of his own supporters.

What gives, Hugo, what gives?


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