Why is the Venezuelan regime so intent in making the trial of Leopoldo Lopez such a travesty?
It is common knowledge in Venezuela AND now overseas that the judicial system of Venezuela is a farce, a mere tool of the executive to get away with whatever it needs to get done. In Venezuela all political cases and all cases against the state are decided at the convenience of the executive branch which will allow only an extremely rare “victory” of third parties when that one may serve a given side within the regime apparatus against other factions.
In short, when you fall into the hands of the regime judicial machinery you know that the final verdict, if it ever comes, will be a political decision. We are ALL potential political prisoners to be disposed of at will. This is the most powerful tool chavismo has to try to control opposition: those who do not have the nerve flee the country; those who dare to resist end up like Judge Afiuni or Leopoldo Lopez, poster victims to scare away potential protesters.
And yet, in spite of the gloomy assessment written above, the Lopez “show trial” is reaching new and unnecessary levels. Why?
I will pass on the piped up reasons to arrest Lopez: on the show that that arrest was with Diosdado Cabello accompanying Lopez to court; on the multiple and constant vexations that Lopez has suffered in jail; on him even being roughed up in his cell by masked goons. No, let’s look at today’s court ruling to make my point.
Today was one of the infrequent sessions of Lopez trial. The regime is doing its utmost to delay and delay that trial. Today the only matter at hand was to hear the decision of whether judge Susana Barreiros would allow the defense to present its evidence. That is right, in a previous session that judge, whose name will join the extended infamy list of those who will go to trial when the regime leaves, had decided that the defense had no valid evidence to present. The defense of course appealed and today the judge ratified her previous decision.
Let me make that clear for the reader: the defense will not be allowed to present its evidence nor its witnesses. The only evidence and witnesses that will be allowed in court are the ones from the prosecution. The defense, we hope, will be only able to cross examine that evidence. Since we know that Venezuelan judges under chavismo can silence cross examination as they want, there you have it. Of course, I am sure that as the trial moves on the judge may allow the defense an item here, an item there, just to pretend that a trial did take place, but is not going to fool anyone. It is also true that in any serious trial the judges can dismiss useless evidence such as the nephew of the accused selling boy scout cookies as a character reference, but this is not the case here. What is going on here is outright denial of justice, it is a show trial, a kangaroo court, a pre-ordained execution.
Why is the regime taking such an international risk with a figure that has already won in international courts sentences establishing that the regime was unfair towards him?
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