Sunday, May 3, 2009

...... and the dramatic similarity between the situation in Venezuela and that of countries such as Myanmar, China, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Iran, and Rwanda, where the opposition was exterminated and the media silenced."
VenEconomy

04/28/2009

Annihilation and lethargy

In these times, with the revival of a blend of dictatorial projects and neo-communism, it is pertinent to recall the physiological experiment called “The Boiled Frog.” If you put a frog in a pan with boiling water, the impact of the heat makes it will jump out immediately to escape the danger zone. But if you put it in a pan with cold water and then put the pan on a heat source that warms the water gradually, the frog will tolerate the gradual increase in heat, until it realizes, too late, that he has neither the energy nor the will to jump out of the pan and save himself.
Like cooking a frog over a low heat, in these ten long years, the Hugo Chávez administration, slowly but surely, has been bringing Venezuelans to the boil as far as their human rights and fundamental freedoms are concerned.
Despite this, there is very little awareness in the population as a whole of how grave this loss of human and constitutional rights is, which will affect everyone one way or another. The degree of people’s lethargy is alarming and their lack of reaction is incomprehensible. Not only that, if this continues, it will, irrevocably, result in the consolidation of a neo-communist, dictatorial state in Venezuela.
Hence the importance of the dossier presented by the lawyer Gonzalo Himiob at the Geneva Human Rights Summit in representation of the NGOs Foro Penal Venezolano, Justicia Libre, and VIVE.
In his paper “New forms of intolerance: the Judicial System and Political Persecution in Venezuela,” Himiob sums up the most emblematic cases of politically motivated judicial persecution in Venezuela.
These cases include those of General Francisco Usón, the first “opinion prisoner,” who was imprisoned for three years and is currently on probation; and Captain Otto Gebauer, whose crime was to carry out orders and guard Chávez during his brief stay on La Orchila Island from April 11 to 13, 2002. He also made a special mention of the unjust and disproportionate sentence received by the Metropolitan Police captains Vivas, Forero, and Simonovis and the seven Metropolitan Police officers for their alleged involvement in the incidents of April 2002 inVenezuela.
Other cases documented by Himiob were those of the businessman Eligio Cedeño and the student Nixon Moreno, as well as the criminal investigations opened against former oil workers, members of the student movement, representatives of the media, and members of the political opposition (Leopoldo López, Manuel Rosales, Antonio Ledezma).
Himiob highlighted two facts that caused considerable surprise in this audience of international human rights experts: the level of ignorance of international observers with regard to the grave situation of people who are politically persecuted in Venezuela; and the dramatic similarity between the situation in Venezuela and that of countries such as Myanmar, China, Zimbabwe, Cuba, Iran, and Rwanda, where the opposition was exterminated and the media silenced.

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