Luis Miquilena, one of Chavez’s earliest supporters and Minister of Justice in 2001-2002, said on a radio show yesterday that Chavez was “a phony” who lied to Venezuela in order to achieve personal goals. On a show hosted by Leonardo Padron, Miquilena said:

I’ve come to the conclusion after getting to know Chavez intimately that he was a phony. After selling a program to the country, he came out with another one.

Miquilena said that during the early stages of their relationship, he believed that Chavez was a “truly sincere” man, but that the tremendous amount of corruption inside his party proved him wrong:

Hugo Chavez came to power when there was a crisis of the political parties. The parties had entered a state of decay. Corruption was common, but it was nothing compared to that of these people.

Miquilena resigned from his post as Minister of Justice in 2002, and he points to one specific moment as the cause for his separation from Chavez:

We met in Margarita, in a hotel. I told him, ‘you’re making a huge mistake by heading down the path of statism and communism in make-up. This is a really shoddy thing you’ve got here – expropriating things, attacking private property, which has existed since primitive times”. I showed him all these things. How can you show up and take a factory away from someone? Not one of these experiments has been successful. If you don’t rectify this, find a new minister. I won’t stand by this for one more day.

Miquilena said that Cuban President Fidel Castro was in the room when he had the discussion with Chavez, and that he was amazed by the fact that “that miserable Castro remained silent” throughout his rebuke.

Padron asked Miquilena what his greatest regret was, to which Miquilena replied, “not really knowing the man”.

Rosales Trial to Start November 12

Manuel Rosales’ trial has been set to start on November 12, just two days after he arrived in the country after six years of exile. Rosales will remain in custody at the headquarters of the country’s intelligence body, the SEBIN, in its El Helicoide in Caracas.

Rosales has been charged with corruption while he was governor of Zulia state from 2000 to 2008.

Rosales’ lawyer, Jesus Ollarves, attempted to visit Rosales in El Helicoide last night, but was denied access to the building. Ollarves told Union Radio:

Starting yesterday at 4:00 PM, we haven’t had access to speak with Manuel Rosales. We don’t know his state, his physical and emotional integrity. We only have a single statement from his wife who said that his rights have been respected.

Ollarves also pointed out that every accused has the right to speak to their counsel, and that the state does not have the power to deny that right.

Rosales’ trial will take place before Tribunal No. 19 in Caracas, with judge Nurbia Arenas presiding.

Guevara: Gov’t Tried to Trick Us

Freddy Guevara, the national coordinator for the Voluntad Popular party, called the agreement signed between the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) and the PSUV to respect the December 6 election results “a joke”, and said that he considers the agreement a trick.

Guevara said:

The government tried to trick us when the PSUV proposed that the CNE write up an agreement regarding the election results. That’s not an agreement. It was never an attempt at an agreement. It’s a piece of paper, a joke that the PSUV sent to the CNE, which it then approved and then asked us to sign without even sending it to us.

Guevara explained that the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD) was never given a copy of the agreement, and so no one in the bloc knew what it contained exactly. Guevara said:

The [CNE] rectors told us: “Go to the [signing ceremony], listen what [CNE head] Tibisay Lucena says about the agreement, and if you don’t like it you can get up and leave”. That’s what the CNE told us.

For Guevara, the agreement was nothing more than to force the opposition into a bad situation:

What they did was set a trap. They wanted to put us in a dilemma: first, if we signed the agreement, we tied our hands because any complaint we made to the CNE would come back as, “No, you agreed that you wouldn’t do anything”. This would obviously have caused an enormous level of internal discomfort to the opposition. The other option was that we didn’t sign, which made us look before the world as people who would reject the elections and ignore the results. The position we took was such that the government appears to be off-balance.

Rodeo II Inmates Take Guards Hostage

Inmates at the Rodeo II prison in Miranda state took an unknown number of guards hostage yesterday, and are demanding that they be transported to other prisons, including PGV, Tocoron and Puente Ayala.

National Guard soldiers have been on scene since the start of the event, as have worried family members.

Capriles Speaks with Former Chavista

Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles uploaded a video to YouTube showing the testimony of a former Chavez supporter who plans to vote for the opposition in the December 6 parliamentary election.

Below, the video along with my translation;

Capriles: Ok, Yuraima. I’m here with Yuraima. Yuraima, show me your tattoo. She has a tattoo of President Hugo Chavez on her arm. There it is, and here she is with me, for all of you who said that change wasn’t possible. She’s here with me, and you were telling me about how you wanted change as well. Why do we need a change right now?

Yuraima: [unintelligible – but I caught what sounds like, “they only care about us when it’s election time, and the rest of the time they go like this [raises middle finger]”]. One year ago, I lost my car, and I campaigned for Carlos Rodriguez… in the Independencia municipality. I lost my car, and they’ve yet to give me an answer. Not even a phone call. But now they’re calling me to campaign for them. Well, on December 6, Yuraima Rondon will give them this [raises middle finger]. I’m tired of being ignored until they need me to vote for them.

I support this guy right here, Chavez, not you. You’re an inept, corrupt, good-for-nothing gang [unintelligible].

Capriles: Everyone wants change. It’s impossible for that to be clearer. Look, she even has a tattoo of Chavez on her arm. That means that the people who once believed in the government’s project cannot change. Change is inside all of us.

Yuraima: No, you know what, Radonski —

Capriles: We all need to find something better. It’s the time that we’re living in, and we can address that on December 6.

Questions/comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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