Chávez Arrests Defender of Democracy

Update 2010-07-19 10:31 – A report from Alejandra Peña Esclusa, from inside his prison on July 17, in Spanish, has been published at Fuerza Solidaria.

Last updated 2010-07-15 09:36, first published 2010-07-13 11:34 ET: Alejandra Peña Esclusa, director of UnoAmérica, former presidential candidate (in 1998), was detained in his house Monday evening in Venezuela, according to information from his wife. Only hours earlier, Peña Esclusa had posted a video editorial online, which explains the situation (here with English subtitles, part I, part II). He predicted that he would be arrested the next day, but he was arrested just hours later. It makes that video essential for reporters to see since it provides his point of view, as a counterweight to the propaganda lies from the dictatorship in Venezuela.

Headquarter of SEBIN, the Venezuelan political police. This is Chavezs GULAG, where he keeps political prisoners.
Headquarter of SEBIN, the Venezuelan political police. This is Chávez's GULAG, where he keeps political prisoners, including Peña Esclusa.

Peña Esclusa is accused of having links with terrorism. The other day an alleged terrorist from El Salvador was shown on TV in Venezuela, but the opposition sniffed out that something wasn’t right with the story. This Chávez Abarca confessed too easily, was only allowed to be interviewed by TeleChávez (aka TeleSur), and his story was not credible. The Venezuelan regime said that Abarca was arrested when arriving in Venezuela for carrying out terrorist acts, but Mrs. Abarca said that her husband was kidnapped in Guatemala and brought to Venezuela against his will. He was then immediately flown to Cuba and stuffed away in Castro’s GULAG, unavailable for questioning.

The video editorial also shows how this defamation has been going on for a long time. As one of the more egregious examples he shows footage of how he has vilified for defending the sovereign right of the Republic of Honduras to govern itself according to its own laws. Obviously this is within his role as chairman in UnoAmérica. He explained simply that since president Zelaya was attempting to overthrow the constitution (on orders from Hugo Chávez), the judicial system in Honduras had every right to remove him from office. (In fact, the civil servants did not just have the right to do it, they had a constitutional obligation to do it.) Thus, he concluded, it was not a military coup, and Micheletti was the constitutional president of the republic. For expressing this opinion, including before the International Criminal Court, he was charged with treason.

In an appearance on Colombian TV, LA NOCHE, Wednesday night together with Honduran ex-president Micheletti, Peña Esclusa’s wife Indira Ramirez de Peña said that her husband since 1994 has been denouncing Chávez’s plans to spread the Cuban revolution in Latin America, exposing him as a front man for Castro and the narco-guerilla FARC in Colombia. Recall that this is just 2 years after Chávez’s failed military coup in 1992. Peña Esclusa is effectively the main political opponent of the ruler, opposing his plans all over Latin America. She further pointed out that it is absurd that her husband would keep explosives in his apartment even when he knew that he was going to be arrested, as evidenced by the video he posted hours before.

Micheletti in no uncertain terms stated that the free and democratic countries of the world must stand up for the falsely accused, and that “his words are strong, his words are brave, and logically this scares Mr. Dictator Hugo Chávez.” Other quotes: “It’s inconceivable that when that mummy on Cuba is releasing political prisoners, this guy is putting new ones in.” About Hugo Chávez he said that men should not believe themselves Gods, and that even though Chávez calls him “goriletti” (combination of gorilla and Micheletti), he is not participating in the name-calling because he doesn’t want to insult the apes.

The dictatorship is consolidating itself

The parliamentary elections on September 26 have to be won by Chávez party for him not to lose control. He appears to be prepared to go to any length to “win” the elections. At what point shall his title change from “president” to “dictator”? I would say today. The last democrat to leave, turn off the light.

There is only one significant independent TV station left in Venezuela, Globovisión which reaches 42% of the households, and its majority owner Guillermo Zuloaga and his son went in hiding after an arrest order had been issued on trumped-up charges. See Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. They have now turned up in the US where they allegedly are considering applying for political asylum.

Media: Venezuela: Opposition politician arrested on explosives charge, Venezuela’s Chávez jails his political opponent‎, Freedom Activist Arrested in Venezuela on False Charges. Associated Press is publishing PURE PROPAGANDA from Caracas, leaving out essential information such as UnoAmerica and his former run for the presidency, while printing all the government’s ridiculous accusations. In Sweden, a liberal politician has found that the leftist party is funneling tax money to support Hugo Chávez communist revolution.

6 thoughts on “Chávez Arrests Defender of Democracy”

  1. It is outrageous. And it seems like the only people that can do anything about it is the venezuelan people, we must hope they don’t get so enslaved as to become cubans with the dissidence in exile and only pockets of dissenters at home, who can’t make a real response to papa government due to the gag on freedom of expression.

    1. Pepe Lobo owes his presidency largely to those that Peña Esclusa defended, a defense for which he had to answer to treason accusations in court.

      It would be appropriate and dignified by president Lobo to clearly condemn the harassment of a person who just executes his right to free speech, especially as he does it in the defense of democracy.

      What all Hondurans can do is to encourage Lobo to do this, and in no uncertain terms. Contact him!

  2. Great summary of what happened. Thank you for doing the work to expose this Chavez and his “revolution.”

  3. For those who want to take a closer look into the case, I strongly recommend two things:

    1) Watch the video (with English subtitles) Mr. Peña Esclusa recorded a few hours before he was arrested by Chávez, explaining why the Venezuelan president wants to incriminate him as a terrorist. Here are the YouTube links:

    2) Watch the video Brazilian philosopher Olavo de Carvalho recorded denouncing Chávez’s fraudulent arrest of Mr. Peña Esclusa.

    1. A third point just came out, an audio recording from July 9, in which Alejandro Pena Esclusa talks to a friend about his concerns that they are both being framed, and shares the suspect things that have happened: Phone calls, emails… one of which arrives during their conversation.

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