They're Not Going Anywhere

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a sec but first…Our friends at Caracas Chronicles had an article that primarily dealt with the release of the latest report (number four) by the UN-Human Rights Council-FFM (Fact Finding Mission) which we’ve previously covered but there were a few new items.

 One is that while it is true that arbitrary detentions for the period from 2020-2023 diminished by 92% compared to the years 2014-2019, (Both 2014 and 2017 saw huge protests and the 2017 protests lasted for months at full strength and lingered for months more) the reduction is not because the government is following any recommendations it received from the Human Rights Council (As they would have you believe). It’s simply the fact that there are fewer protests (hence fewer protesters). The Maduro regime using the reduction in arbitrary detentions as evidence of progress is pure sleight of hand.

 A second report (or part of the report) tells that DAET, a branch of the BNP (Bolivarian National Police), created in July,2022, is no more than a rebranding of the notorious FAES, Maduro’s killers (who we’ll cover in detail in Venezuela : Down The Rabbit Hole in the chapter titled “The Three-Headed Monster) that former UNHCHR (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights), Michele Bachelet, demanded be disbanded. (At the time Maduro said “Long live FAES”, in short, “They’re not going anywhere”)

The government just readjusted the corps, new name, new uniforms, same practices and, just like FAES, operations are directly approved by Maduro.

 Preserving it’s grip on power is the only thing that matters to the Maduro regime, far more important than being recognized as a legitimate government by the international community and securing sanctions relief (Although many seem determined to give them sanctions relief anyway, as undeserving as they might be).

 Then we have Reuters reporting that Venezuela’s government criticized Guyana’s oil bidding round and said companies seeking up to eight blocks will not have rights to explore the maritime areas, which will be subject to international claims.

 Venezuela categorized the bidding by Exxon Mobil and Total Energies as an “illegal licensing round” saying “These actions will not generate any type of rights to third parties”.

 For their part Guyana responded, “We are very clear…We’ve allowed this matter to go to the ICJ (International Court of Justice) and have continuously encouraged Venezuela to participate in the process and for both parties to respect the outcome of the process.”

 It looks line Guyana is expecting the ICJ to resolve the long-standing border dispute in their favor, and conversely, Venezuela isn’t quite so optimistic.

 Then we have Rio Times telling us that Venezuela and Cuba have inked a new agreement for their state run oil firms, PDVSA and CUPET, to collaborate.

 The deal covers many areas including oil exploration, production, refining, and sharing of technology. Is this really news?

 Now. let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 12/ continued…

 …Although the TSJ made numerous questionable rulings during the Chavez years, not much was said due to the overwhelming Chavista majority in the National assembly. When Maduro took over the reins of power when Chavez died in 2013, things would begin to change. There would be no more pretense or subterfuge. The gloves would come off. To understand the TSJ under Maduro it’s necessary to take a look at his president of the court (similar to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in the US), Maikel Moreno.

 Moreno was convicted of murder in Bolivar state in 1987 while a member of DISIP, the Venezuelan Political Police (whatever that is). It’s not clear if he ever actually served jail time. In 1989 we was involved in the murder of Ruben Gil Martinez in Caracas and has been linked to the death of attorney Danilo Anderson.

 In 2004, in a recorded conversation, he pressured Caracas judge, Luis Melendez, to release Saul Cordero, being held on arms and drug trafficking charges. Cordero was never officially charged, was released, and was later named police chief of the municipality of Caroni by the pro- Chavista mayor. He also worked in the early Chavez years as both attorney and judge on the same case with two different suspects. I guess when you’re ethically bankrupt you can’t have a conflict of interest.

 In 2007 Moreno improperly released two murder suspects. He was also implicated in extortion rings and drug trafficking in an investigation ordered by Chavez. When he was defrocked he reportedly said he wasn’t worried, his good friends Cilia (Maduro’s wife) and Nico Nicolas Maduro) would take care of him…and so they did.

 In 2007, in his capacity as Foreign Minister, Maduro gave Moreno diplomatic posts in Italy, followed by Trinidad & Tobago. Moreno also spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic and Miami. When Chavez died in 2013, Maduro called Moreno back to Venezuela and nominated him to the TSJ. Two years later, Maduro named him President of TSJ. This must be one of those “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” kinda’ deals.Chavez’s Constitution states that the President of TSJ must be of “good repute”. “Good repute” must be in the eye of the former Marxist bus driver. In the two years leading up to his appointment as President of TSJ, Moreno established a reputation for ruling on cases rejected by both attorneys and judges. It is also well known that he has ties to corrupt billionaire, Raul Gorin, who is facing money laundering charges. Sounds like “good repute” to me. Regarding Maikel Moreno, former judge, Luis Velasquez said, “The greatest affront to the people is to put a criminal in charge of the justice system.”

 More tomorrow….


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