Tim Padgett, corruption apologist

Meet Leopoldo López…corrupto, violent agitator, and “popular” politician of the Venezuelan far-right. And apparently, the crushboy of a certain crap “reporter” for TIME Magazine…

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights concluded this week what just about everyone in the western hemisphere already knew: leading Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López was denied due process of law in 2008, when socialist President Hugo Chávez’s government barred him from running in elections for six years because of an accusation of corruption in his past. The Costa Rica-based court ruled that López should be allowed to challenge Chávez in next year’s presidential race, and Chávez should let it happen – not merely because it’s the right thing to do human rights-wise, but because it may well be the smart thing for him to do politically.

The law that snared López is, admirably, meant to curtail corruption, oil-rich Venezuela’s most chronic plague. But critics say in reality it’s an arbitrary means of keeping opposition candidates off the electoral playing field – especially popular pols like López, 40, the former mayor of the Caracas municipality of Chacao, who represent a threat to Chávez’s bid for indefinite re-election. Since 2007, some 800 Venezuelans have been declared politically “inhabilitado,” or debilitated, and not surprisingly about 80% of them have been opposition figures. More unsettling is that many if not most of those inhabilitados, including López, were never convicted of any crime – which the Inter-American Court said violated López’s rights in his case.

“Never convicted of any crime”? Guess Tim Padgett, the crap-writer responsible for the dreck above, hasn’t heard the news. López is, indeed, a well-known criminal:

Venezuela’s previous Comptroller General Clodosbaldo Russian (2000-2011) banned Lopez from holding public office after uncovering an illegal donation accepted by Lopez in 1998. The donation, worth $160,000, was made out to Lopez’s Primero Justicia Civil Association (ACPJ) by then employer Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA). The donation, in the form of a check, was signed by Lopez’s mother, who also worked for PDVSA at that time.

Anti-corruption laws in Venezuela strictly prohibit any donation by the publicly-owned oil company to employees or functionaries, direct family members of employees, or foundations or entities related totally or partially to any of the said parties.

Escarra explained that while Lopez cannot hold public office for another two years, he maintains his constitutional right to vote, to engage in the political life of the country, and to participate in political debates individually and/or within political parties.

Poor widdle Leo, how his rights have been trampled by that evil, wicked Chávez in an effort to keep rivals from challenging for power!

Of course, that idea only holds water if you discount the fact that it was not Chávez that barred him, but the democratically-enacted laws and constitution of Venezuela, as implemented by the Comptroller General of the Republic, Clodosbaldo Russián.

And it only holds water if you think that a politician getting his own mother to embezzle large amounts of public petro-dollars for his political campaign isn’t illegal or even morally wrong.

And it only holds water if you think a gringo-biased kangaroo court based in Costa Rica should have jurisdiction over a sovereign state…which, the last time I checked, Venezuela was:

Speaking to reporters on Monday, Escarra explained that Venezuela’s fight against corruption “would be left unarmed” if the Venezuelan government allowed an IACHR de cision to override the nation’s judicial authorities.

According to Escarra, theLopez case has gone through the appropriate legal channels, including the country’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), and the nation’s Comptroller General needs “the option” of “administrative sanctions” so as to prevent corruption by public officials and to punish those engaged in such illicit activities.

Regardless of the IACHR’s opinion in the Lopez case, said Escarra, “the problems of the Judicial Branch, the internal and structural problems, will be decided in Venezuela and not outside of the country”.

German Saltron, Venezuela’s representative at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), explained that Lopez’s sanction “does not violate Article 23 of the IACHR because he (Lopez) can still exercise his political rights”.

“What he can’t do is nominate himself to a position elected by the popular vote because he has a sanction for acts of corruption”, said Saltron.

“To decide in favor of Leopoldo Lopez is to encourage corruption”, he concluded.

Tim Padgett, why do you love corruptos? And why do you hate the sovereign laws of countries not your own?

Now, as to the notion that Leopoldo López is a popular politician, or even a serious challenger for the presidency (!), here’s what actual Venezuelans have to say:

National Assembly deputy Robert Serra, of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), said on Wednesday that the Venezuelan right-wing has always considered Leopoldo López a “loose cannon”, and for that reason, they do not want him to participate in the opposition party primaries.

“Remember that they threw him out of Primero Justicia, he went to Un Nuevo Tiempo, they threw him out of there, he had to arm his own party,” said Serra in an interview with the VTV show Toda Venezuela.

Translation mine.

Whoa. Not one, but TWO right-wing parties kicked him out, because he was a “loose cannon”? “He had to arm his own party”? Totally what you’d expect of Mr. Popularity, eh?

Tim Padgett: Not only totally ignorant about Venezuela, but an apologist for unpopular corruptos who don’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hades at the Venezuelan presidency — even without laws barring their candidacy and a popular, incorruptible democratically elected president going through chemo.

Yer Honor, the prosecution rests.

PS: Chavecito has weighed in. Seems the IACHR is a kangaroo court indeed…it never indicted Pedro Carmona for the well-documented human rights violations of April 11-13, 2002. One of which was the kidnapping and near-murder of none other than Chavecito himself. Just one more reason why neither they nor their backers in ANY country deserve to be taken seriously.

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