Venezuela has crossed the rubicon from democracy to totalitarianism. President Hugo Chavez has criminalized opinions. Thoughtcrime finally has become reality.

Former Zulia Governor Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a very senior figure in the Christian Democrat Copei party and an elder statesman of Venezuelan democracy, was arrested the night of 22 March by agents of President Hugo Chavez’s new Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (Sebin).

A criminal court ordered his detention on charges of disseminating false information, instigating hate and fear, conspiracy, and potentially even treason against the nation if government prosecutors wish to go that far. Alvarez Paz is being held at Sebin’s Helicoide headquarters, formerly the headquarters of the Interior & Justice Ministry’s political police (Disip).

The criminal charges against Alvarez Paz are based entirely on remarks he made on 8 March during an appearance on Globovision’s “Alo Ciudadano” opinion program, which always is balanced, objective and deservedly critical of the Chavez regime.

Briefly, Alvarez Paz expressed his opinion that the Chavez regime was doing a very poor job of fighting drug trafficking and terrorism. Very few (mostly Chavez and gang) would disagree with that opinion. There is an abundant and always growing public record of the Chavez regime’s official and unofficial (i.e. criminal) alliances with the FARC, ETA and other bad state and non-state actors. ETA’s top man in Latin America works in the security department at the National Lands Institute (INTI); a Basque terrorist in Venezuela actively sought by Spain’s judiciary is serving the Bolivarian revolution with a badge and a weapon.

Alvarez Paz said what he thought a week after a Spanish court issued an arrest warrant against 13 FARC and ETA members on charges that they conspired in Venezuelan territory to assassinate Colombian President Alvaro Uribe Velez, former President Andres Pastrana, and former Foreign Minister Noemi Sanin in Spain. The indictment also charges that they cross-trained each other in the manufacture of homemade explosive devices, mortars and urban terrorism tactics. The indictment also states that some meetings in Venezuela between the FARC and ETA were facilitated with the help of some officials in the Chavez regime’s intelligence services.

Indisputably, all this is public record. Alvarez Paz, like any other Venezuelan protected by the Constitution of Venezuela, had every right to express his opinions about an issue of critical national importance. However, for saying what he thinks, Alvarez Paz was slapped with criminal charges that could send him to prison for up to 16 years if convicted. Reportedly, the court also ordered that he must remain under arrest until the investigation and trial conclude, which could take years if the regime wishes.

Interior & Justice Minister Tarek al-Assaimi claims that President Chavez did not give orders that Alvarez Paz be arrested and jailed indefinitely.

The Minister said, “No one can stand here and defame, lie through a news media without anything happening. This individual states some premises or says something as serious as trying to link the government to drug trafficking and terrorist networks; and just as he has the responsibility of standing up in a (news) media to state this, so must he assume the consequences of what he says.”

However, Alvarez Paz expressed his opinion about a criminal indictment issued by a court in Spain. Alvarez Paz did not fabricate false allegations or spread any disinformation; and he certainly was not conspiring or seeking to instigate fear and hatred in the general populace.

But Chavez clearly has a political motive for putting Alvarez Paz in jail indefinitely. The criminal case against Alvarez Paz was officially requested by several members of the National Assembly, which Chavez controls. The Attorney General’s office, also controlled by Chavez, took the case to a court controlled by Chavez, which accepted the baseless charges recommended by the public prosecutors and issued the arrest warrant against Alvarez Paz.

Does Chavez want a conviction? If so, Alvarez Paz could spend some years in prison. Chavez was not boasting idly when he reportedly told a group of visiting Latin American Socialist/Marxist scholars very recently that in Bolivarian Venezuela, Chavez is the three branches of government.

The Chavez regime has persecuted and prosecuted dissenting and independent opinion for years. Alvarez Paz isn’t the first individual arrested and confined illegally for expressing critical opinions of the Chavez regime. He also isn’t the first person to be sent to jail for years on manufactured criminal charges because President Chavez wished it to be so.

But the bogus criminal case against Alvarez Paz is thoughtcrime, and Sebin is the supreme state security agency charged with fighting crimethink.

About Caracas Gringo

Representing less than 0.00000000001515152% of the world population as of 31 December 2011.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Thoughtcrime

  1. BOB says:



  2. Roberto N says:

    I think the nub of the whole thing is at 7:15 in this video.

    In what is clearly an opinion he states that Venezuela is not cooperating with investigations because they could end at the top of the food chain.

    Viewed through a pair of Esteban Chacumbele glasses, that was a smackdown of enormous proportions that could not go unanswered. Plus, you get to send a “don’t fuck with me” card to the rest.

    One thing he seems to have learned, unfortunately, is that a bird in hand doesn’t get to file for asylum, so off to Mordor he goes.

    I loved it when earlier OAP said he wouldn’t believe Chavez even if he was on his knees reciting the Our Father !

    I hope that OAP manages to beat this crooked process somehow. There are a few TSJ precedents that his lawyer brought up last night that may give him a leg to stand on.

    Rulings regarding citizen suits against Hugo Chavez Frias and the instigation to hate amongst other things. The rulings favor Esteban Chacumbele, of course, such as stating that as a Public Figure in the Political Arena he is entitled to some leeway in his speech, since the sharp, acerbic rhetoric of Political Speech brings forth ideas and debate.

    So the pulverizing and the bat swinging he has publicly endorsed is OK, and not instigation to hate. It’s going to be interesting to watch how the court spins this one.


  3. Martin says:

    I don’t know whether there was a precise moment when Chavez crossed over the line, but clearly now he is in the process of burning any remaining bridges, or ripping away any lingering democratic figleaves.
    What is still tragically missing, though, is the recognition of this fact by any major democratic world leader, preferably Obama, but even Sarkhozy or Brown would do for a starter. Haven’t any of them got the guts to stand up and condemn this regime with just those words as they do Iran, Burma, North Korea, or any other of those states that Chavez’s Venezuela is so clearly intending to emulate.


  4. Interested Observer says:

    Another good summary of the progressive collapse of Venezuela. I enjoy your analyses. Thanks


  5. Hugo Groening says:

    You can see and hear Álvarez Paz’s interview in “Alo Ciudadano” at the following YouTube address:


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s