VIO News Blog

April 16, 2009

Venezuela Investigates Corruption, Post Finds it Threatening

Today, a Washington Post editorial asserts that Venezuela’s democracy is being threatened. The post claims that while the U.S. media has focused its attention on Cuba, Chavez has stepped up attacks against the opposition in Venezuela. It is important to note that several members of the opposition are being investigated on corruption charges, and that charges against these leaders will have to be proven in a court of law. Furthermore, the cases referred to by the Post were filed by prosecutors, not President Chavez.

Jose Pertierra, a lawyer representing the Venezuelan government, has said that the Chavez administration will soon repeat its demand for the U.S. to extradite Luis Posada Carriles, a Venezuelan citizen wanted in the 1976 bombing in Cuba, AP reports.

On Wednesday, more stories circulated on the new appointment of Jacqueline Farias as administrator of Caracas. In “Chavez’s Caracas Mayor Takes Post, Weakens Opposition,” Bloomberg appears to support opposition allegations that this is a political attack against the opposition. The article also quotes opposition-aligned Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma as stating, “This is making a mockery of the sovereign will of the people of Caracas.” He alleges that the government is trying to subordinate his authority, however lawmaker Jose Albornoz denied that the new law is politically motivated and stated that it will help improve basic services in the city, like trash collection.

Finally, Empresas Polar plans to invest $350 million in Venezuela, Bloomberg reports, despite recent government oversight at one of it’s rice plants.



  1. It’s Venezuela! What democracy? Just because there are “elections” doesn’t mean it’s a democracy. Hell, the Soviets “elected” their government officials as well and Iranians do so now, but neither nation could be even loosely described as democracies.

    Comment by jonolan — April 16, 2009 @ 2:38 pm | Reply

    • Venezuela is a democracy, not only because it has free and fair elections that have been certified by the Carter Center and the Organization of American States, but also because there is freedom of expression and assembly. Local people organize their own community councils. Newspaper, television stations, and individuals are freely, openly and vocally critical of the government. This was not true of Soviet Russia. Additionally, Soviet Russia was not the easiest place for Americans to visit. However, you can go to Venezuela without a visa and see for yourself. However, the tone of your statement indicates that you haven’t.

      Comment by VenWorld — April 17, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  2. Oh yes, I’ve been there and enjoyed my stays. Of course those were during the pre-Chavez years when most of what you’re describing actually was true.

    Comment by jonolan — April 17, 2009 @ 4:54 pm | Reply

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