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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

VenEconomy: No Respect for Life by Chavez in Venezuela

From the Editors of VenEconomy

Today, VenEconomy repeats, even more forcibly, what it said on December 14, 2009: “What is happening to Franklin Brito, a worthy citizen and fighter for the cause of justice and freedom, sums up the barbarism that a dictatorial regime, such as the one in Venezuela, is capable of.”

At that time, Franklin Brito, a Venezuelan biologist and farmer, was taken violently and by force, under cover of darkness, from outside the OAS’s offices in Caracas to the psychiatric wing of the Military Hospital, where he is continuing his sixth hunger strike.

The demand that Mr. Brito has persistently made is that the land seized from him by the National Lands Institute (INTI) in 2003 be returned. That year, the INTI, arbitrarily and infringing the Lands Law, issued two agricultural charters covering La Tigrera, the small farm belonging to the Brio family located in Sucre Municipality, Bolívar state. This confiscation of Brito’s land is the revenge exacted by government for his having designed a project for solving a problem affecting land used to cultivate yams that contradicted the solution proposed by the mayor of Sucre Municipality, Juan Carlos Figarrella, a supporter of the government. At that time, Mr. Brito demonstrated that the solution proposed by Mayor Figarrella was not advisable and that there was a risk of the funds the Corporación Venezolana de Guayana was to allocate to finance the project being misappropriated. What a high price Mr. Brito has had to pay for having contradicted the regime!

Six months ago, when Mr. Brito was transferred to the Military Hospital, his family and many Venezuelans warned that the authorities planned to declare him mentally incompetent and put in a mental institution and that his life could even be in danger. Today, the danger is not that they will declare him mad, something they failed to do, much as they wanted to; the danger is that Mr. Brito will be allowed to die under the government’s silent homicidal gaze.

Although Mr. Brito has been kept in isolation at the Military Hospital for six months against his will and that of his family with the excuse of protecting his health, he has been denied the care of doctors of his choice, ignoring the precautionary measures issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Now his clamor is that the authorities allow him to be treated by doctors of the International Red Cross. However, although his health has deteriorated to the point where he may die, so far, the judge in charge of the case, Lenin Fernández, has refused him this human right.

Mr. Brito is dying, crying out in vain for justice in a country where it is imparted from the highest office in the land.

As in Cuba and other dictatorial regimes of today and yesterday, in Venezuela there is no respect for the most prized possession: life.

VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

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