A couple of events this week have gone completely unnoticed by the MSM: 1) illegally imprisoned banker Eligio Cedeño was freed, and allegedly has already left Venezuela, and 2) the Inter American Court of Human Rights ruled that the case against Francisco Uson must be annulled in its entirety.
These two events are relevant, for both of them are circumscribed by the new administrator of justice in Venezuela: Hugo Chavez. Eligio Cedeño, as gossip would have it, was jailed for he had dumped Chavez’s daughter after a rather tormented love affair. I visited Cedeño in El Helicoide in September 2008. He said then that he had handed himself in for he had nothing to hide, and was confident that he would be able to prove his innocence in court. The truth is, he spent 34 months in jail, on charges that were never heard in court, for authorities kept delaying the trial, which has not even started. This practice has already been condemned by the European Parliament. In light of his long, and illegal, imprisonment, Judge María Lourdes Afiuni freed Cedeño. But following the letter of the law is not something that Chavez tolerates, especially when it goes against his personal designs. So now, Judge María Lourdes Afiuni has been arrested, and Chavez has asked that she’s sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
Francisco Uson, on the other hand, spent five and a half years in prison for having expressed an opinion on a TV program. He was tried and sentenced by a military court, on trumped charges. The Inter American Court of Human Rights has ruled that Uson’s case had no merits, military authorities involved had no jurisdiction over the case, and, more importantly, has ruled against Venezuela for violations to legality principles, due process, and freedom of expression. The Inter American Court of Human Rights has also ordered the Venezuelan State to pay more than $100,000 in damages to Uson. Now, what are the chances of Chavez actually enforcing such a ruling?