Monday, November 07, 2005

Sumate leaders charged and prohibited from leaving the country

Originally published here

Continuing in its attempt to intimidate and block the opposition just prior to the upcoming elections for the National Assembly, a Judge decided tonight to charge four of the Directors of Sumate for conspiracy against the Government. The charge comes form receiving funds from the National Endowment for Democracy for electoral education. Sumate has been a thorn in the Government's shoe as it activities allowed the opposition to gather the signatures to be able to call for the recall of Hugo Chavez. Sumate has unveiled all of the problems with the electoral process in Venezuela and its leaders have been going around the world presenting this document (in English here) about the State of Democracy in Venezuela. In contrast to the Government that uses State funds for party activities without accountability, Sumate has provided all of its financial information on the web, including contracts with funding agencies, as well as its financials.

This is simply another fascist act by the Government: find a way to criminalize the opposition activities in order to stop them and intimidate them. The Prosecutor handling the case is Prosecutor Luisa Ortega, who has taken over most of the responsibilities that Danilo Anderson used to have of handling political cases. Meanwhile, all accusations against the Government, including murders, abuse of power and corruption are simply shelved or "decided" by a Judiciary that is totally controlled by the Government.

Did I forget to say some people claim this is still a democracy?

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