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    Cuba and Venezuela: And God Created Them…

    Cuba and Venezuela: And God Created Them… / Cubanet, René Gómez Manzano

    Cubanet, René Gómez Manzano, Havana, 5 Abril 2017 — In recent days, the
    absence of a true rule of law has become evident in the two countries of
    “Socialism of the 21st Century,” an absence that reached the highest
    levels of arbitrariness and injustice: Cuba and Venezuela. In the second
    of these the iniquity took place at the highest level, the
    Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court.

    The brand new Chavista magistrates ruled: “As long as the contempt and
    invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persist, this
    Chamber will ensure that the parliamentary powers are exercised directly
    by this Chamber or by the body that it designates.” In short, the court
    replaced the parliament with itself.

    And in passing, the High Court also withdrew immunity from the country’s
    parliamentary deputies. It was a coup d’etat pure and simple; only not
    one undertaken by the military or the congressional branch, but by the
    judicial. Of course, it didn’t happen on the judges’ own initiatve, but
    because Maduro ordered it, because it is already known that the supposed
    independence of that power is now a fiction in the homeland of the
    “Liberator,” Simon Bolivar.

    The voices of protest did not hold back: in Venezuela, National Assembly
    President Julio Borges called the shameful ruling “trash” and ripped it
    up in front of the television cameras. The protests of students and
    others who disagree began. At the international level, the Permanent
    Council of the Organization of American States was convened, and Peru
    withdrew its ambassador from Caracas. Even complacent the mediators
    Torrijos, Fernandez and Rodríguez Zapatero rejected the gross maneuver.

    But not only democracy supporters weighed in. A character as little
    suspected of being anti-Chavez as the Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa
    Ortega (yes, the same person labeled the “Eternal Commander” as “the
    most humanist man that has ever existed on the planet” and totally
    supported the unjust imprisonment of Leopoldo López) described what
    happened in his country as a “rupture of the constitutional order.”

    Urgently convened, the Venezuelan Defense Council called on the Supreme
    Court to “review” the statements that left Parliament without
    functions. The obedient magistrates, in a fulminating manner, applied
    “what I meant to say was…”

    In Cuba, on the other hand, recent illegality had a lower level, in both
    directions of the word. Lady in White Lismerys Quintana Ávila, also
    urgently, was subjected to a spurious trial and sentenced to six months
    in prison — the maximum allowed penalty — by a docile Municipal Court.

    As a precedent for this injustice, we must remember the new trick that
    the political police use against these admirable women: At the outset,
    they impose a fine for a misdemeanor that does not exist. After the
    refusal to pay the illegally imposed penalty, the defendant (in this
    case, Lismerys) is taken to a Municipal Court to be tried.

    Now the offense charged is “breach of obligations arising from the
    commission of misdemeanor,” and is provided for in article 170 of the
    current Penal Code.Under this provision, “anyone who fails to comply
    with the obligations arising from a resolution that has exhausted its
    legal process, issued by a competent authority or official, relating to
    contraventions” may be punished.

    According to the final sentence of that rule, “if before the sentence is
    pronounced, the accused meets the obligations derived from that
    resolution, the proceedings will be archived.” The purpose of this,
    obviously, was not to establish a mechanism to send one more person to
    prison, but to dissuade her from not paying the imposed pecuniary penalty.

    But it is already known that, in Cuba, “whoever made the law, set the
    trap.” In the case of someone who disagrees and says so, any
    misrepresentation of the correct sense of the rules is valid for the
    Castro regime’s authorities. What real chance to pay the fine had
    Lismerys or her loved ones if she were detained and the latter did not
    know what her situation was?

    We know that the repressor who “cared for her” (who calls himself
    “Luisito”, but whose real name is known (unusual in itself) — Ariel
    Arnau Grillette) was truthful in the text messages with which he
    harassed this Cuban mother. We know what they said thanks to the
    inventiveness of the brave fighter Angel Moya Acosta: “the desicion to
    send you to prision is in my hands,” he wrote. A phrase in which we do
    not know what to admire more: his creative spelling or the confidence
    with which he says what everyone knows, but usually shuts up about …

    However, what is decisive in this case is not what the murky State
    Security intended, but the submission of a court to the design of that
    repressive body. This is how the “organs of justice” of Cuba and
    Venezuela, once again, have become brothers in ignominy.

    Translated by Jim

    Source: Cuba and Venezuela: And God Created Them… / Cubanet, René Gómez
    Manzano – Translating Cuba –