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  HOME | Opinion (Click here for more)

VenEconomy: In Venezuela, Giovanni Redux?

From the Editors of VenEconomy

The revolution is springing leaks everywhere. That explains the desperation that is leading the government to resort to the old tactic of manufacturing a situation designed to draw public attention away from the country’s real problems and try to build up support for Hugo Chávez.

The intention now is to organize another ambush to get rid of any dissenters and opponents of the Chavez-led process of setting up a communist regime in Venezuela.

One such situation involves the murky case of the Salvadoran national, Francisco Chávez Abarca.

According to the Venezuelan government’s version, Chávez Abarca was arrested at Maiquetía International Airport on July 1st when he displayed “suspicious behavior” while trying to enter the country. One week later, on July 7th, Chávez Abarca was extradited to Cuba, a country that had put out an order for his search and arrest through Interpol because of his alleged role in a bomb that exploded in the Meliá Hotel in Havana in 1997.

According to his wife, Chávez Abarca was seized in Guatemala by Venezuelan authorities and brought to this country against his will.

For Venezuelans what is really important in this case is that, during his short stay in the country, Chávez Abarca allegedly “confessed” to the existence of a large-scale plot aimed at destabilizing the government of Hugo Chávez. And, – oh surprise! – according to him people such as retired General Néstor González González, Henry López Sisco, Antonio Ledezma, Marcel Granier, Guillermo Zuloaga and Alejandro Peńa Esclusa are among the plotters.

In other words, there is now a new list of enemies of Chávez who will feel the heavy hand of government persecution.

This whole frame-up has been so badly staged that it would be hard to take it seriously, were it not for the precedent of a similar case: the assassination of state prosecutor Danilo Anderson, where the government invented its “star witness,” Giovanni Vásquez.

This renewed persecution of alleged conspirators is already under way. On Monday, July 12th, the SEBIN – Chávez’s political police – raided the home of Alejandro Peńa Esclusa, one of the people mentioned by Chávez Abarca. Alejandro Peńa was arrested on Monday and is to be taken before the 6th Court, with jurisdiction over matters of terrorism, this Wednesday.

Peńa was one of the first people to begin sounding the alarm concerning Chávez’s alleged ties to the Sao Paulo Forum, the regime of Fidel Castro, and the FARC, when he first ran for president in 1998. Since then, Peńa has never stopped speaking out on the international stage regarding Chavez’s intention to spread the influence of Castro-style communism throughout the Americas.

Official sources have announced that further arrests will be made, and warned that “the investigation is underway.” There is no reason to doubt that the Chávez Abarca case marks the beginning of a new wave of persecution and suppression of any opposition to Chávez’s communist regime.

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

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