Tuesday, March 28, 2006


An official note proving that there is no presumption of innocence in political trials in Venezuela.- The case of Capriles Radonsky.

Originally published here

Scanning the official Ministry of Information pages of the government of Venezuela (the MINCI pages), I found the following news:

“The Ambassador of Cuba will ask that the major of Baruta be investigated”

Here is the link:

I was quite intrigued by the title and, as a curious ghost blogger that I am, started reading and digging some information about the case.

Henrique Capriles Radonsky is the very popular mayor of the town of Baruta, in the East part of Caracas where the Cuban Embassy is located.

During the events of April 2002, a group of angry and radical anti-Chavez people were protesting in front of the Cuban Embassy. After being called by the Cuban Ambassador, Capriles Radownsky went to the site and talked with him. According to Capriles, he assured the Ambassador that he was going to do whatever was possible to insure the security of the diplomatic personnel and he asked the protesters to leave the place, which they did.

After those events, the Public Ministry started an investigation on the case and the Fiscalia accused Capriles Radonsky. Capriles was actually put in jail for several months supposedly to prevent his leaving the country because the prosecution said that he was not present on three occasions after being called. According to Capriles, his lawyers were denied the access to the file where the prosecution declarations were stated.

It follows a long and complicated judicial tail.

At one point even the TSJ declared that Capriles had been sent to jail in an unjustified manner, but somehow the case was reopened.

The Capriles version of the events can be found here and here.

Capriles asked recently that he be judged in an impartial manner and he denounced that the Cuban Ambassador had meetings with representatives of the Judicial Power (see here).

After this long introduction, I can take you back to the note that called my attention and that appeared on March 23, 2006, on the very official MINCI pages.

The page shows the communiqué of the Cuban Embassy not only denying the allegations of Capriles (which would have been the normal thing to do for a diplomatic entity) but also ASKING THE GOVERNMENT OF VENEZUELA TO INVESTIGATE WHY HE IS MAKING THOSE ALLEGATIONS…I mean, the guy was put in jail, has been harassed for several years for this event, his case has been reopened ….In my humble ghost blogger opinion the guy has every legitimate right to be concerned about the fairness of his trial and scared at the possibility that the Cuban representatives be in contact with anyone in the Venezuelan judicial system that is going to judge him…

But although I am quite bothered by the answer of the Cuban Embassy, that is not what bothered me the most. What really put me in the alarm mode and triggered me to write this post was the following paragraph that clearly demonstrates the current state of justice, fairness and separation of powers in Venezuela. It was written by the officials in charge of the Venezuelan Ministry of Information pages (I copy it verbatim in Spanish)

“El alcalde, que en los días del golpe de estado de 2002 tuvo una participación en los actos de asedio a la embajada cubana, al no impedir que la turba violenta mantuviera incomunicada a la sede durante 3 días, acusa al embajador de conspirar en el país.

A continuación la nota completa emitida por la sede diplomática:”

The translation :

“The mayor, that during the days of the coup of 2002 had a participation in the acts of siege of the Cuban Embassy when he did not prevent that the violent crowd maintained the Embassy without communications during 3 days, accuses the Ambassador to conspire in the country.

In what follows we present the complete note issued by the diplomatic see”.

So what we essentially have here is the OFFICIAL pages of the Goverment of Venezuela SAYING that a citizen that will stand trial is already GUILTY. The note is written in the affirmative, there is no presumption of innocence whatsoever in this note.

…And this is the same government that claims that there is justice and independence of Powers in Venezuela.

Reporting from Cyberspace,

Jorge Arena
Curious ghost blogger

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