Castroist-Chavist dictatorships in the Americas use justice as an instrument of political persecution to jail, exile, assassinate the reputation of members of the opposition, instill fear amongst the citizenry, and keep the regime in impunity. The legitimate function of the justice tribunals to ensure the existence of human rights, punish corruption, demand compliance with the Rule of Law, and control the constitutionality of the governments’ performance, terrorizes dictators and this is why the justice systems of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua are “despicable” and function solely to please their regimes, to coverup and assist in the commission of their regime’s crimes. Despicable justice sustains dictatorships while legitimate justice ends dictatorships.
The so-called Judicial Branch or government organization responsible for the administration of justice is fundamental for freedom and this is why “the separation and independence of the branches of government” is an essential part of democracy. The level of independence of the Judicial Branch is a sign of a State’s democratic health. Judges in their rulings and sentencing should only be focused on the correct application of the constitution and the laws regarding the specific cases in their dockets, this way they would become the main guarantors of the fundamental rights of the people as well as for the existence of the Rule of Law and the country’s institutionalism and democracy.
Judges who legitimately exercise their functions are a guarantee of freedom and democracy because they are responsible for controlling and in their case sanctioning the conduct and performance of other governmental branches or organizations. Decisions by the Executive Branch and its members are subjected to the Judicial Branch; decisions by the Legislative Branch and its members are also subjected to the Judicial Branch; the acts or performance of the Electoral Branch are subjected to the control of the Judicial Branch; in a nut shell, all acts of all citizens, either in a position of Government or privately, are subjected to the Judicial as a definitive control.
People’s life, liberty, human rights, dignity, and property and the very democracy itself -within the framework of the Rule of Law- are in the hands of, and are part of the responsibility of the legitimate competency of the Justice Tribunals. It is on this assertion wherein the importance of independent, and therefore legitimate, justice tribunals are based, tribunals removed from the manipulation or meddling by the ruling political power to whom instead of pleasing have the duty to control and limit their power on the basis of laws.
The importance of the Justice Tribunals is recognized by those violators of freedom and democracy, so much so that all of the constitutional and legal “reforms” of the regimes in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have been aimed at getting the government’s total control of the Prosecutors, Judges, and Justice Tribunals with whom the regimes have built an oppressive apparatus of “despicable tribunals” who far from being lawful are dictatorial. The existence of hundreds of political prisoners, thousands of politically persecuted and exiled, are living proof of people being charged and prosecuted by these despicable tribunals of the dictatorships for crimes committed by their accusers who use all the means from the state to libel their victims.
The dictatorships’ despicable tribunals have backed the electoral fraud in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. They have illegally made Nicolas Maduro eligible to be a candidate and have made ineligible those candidates from the opposition, thus legalizing the fraud committed; they have illegally allowed three reelections of Evo Morales and in a few days they will allow his fourth; they have rendered as legal the “muzzling law” of Rafael Correa and have approved and covered up all abuses against individual freedoms and the freedom of the press that has been committed for his personal benefit; they have acknowledged as a human right the illegal candidacy of Daniel Ortega in 2009 (just as Morales in Bolivia now intends) and have allowed the elimination of the opposition and democracy in 2016. These are the acts and performance of the dictatorships’ despicable tribunals.
On the other hand, legitimate tribunals have prosecuted for corruption presidents and businessmen in Brazil, as in the Odebrecht case, have set limits on executive rulings in Chile, Peru and the United States, have prosecuted acts of corruption in Peru, prosecute corruption cases from the Kirchner’s regime in Argentina, protect the right to own property and free initiative in Canada, the United States, Chile, Uruguay, and many more. This is normal performance and compliance of legitimate justice tribunals in those countries who respect the Rule of Law.
In this framework, there is a ray of hope for the Venezuelan people in their fight to free themselves of a dictatorship that oppresses them. Venezuela’s Supreme Justice Tribunal, legitimately designated and established by the National Assembly, whose members are persecuted by the dictator Nicolas Maduro, were forced into exile and have now set itself up at the Organization of American States (OAS) and has announced the resumption of its constitutional functions. This is a great breeze of hope that the Rule of Law will return to Venezuela with the judicial responsibility in the hands of its highest justice tribunal discharging its legitimate duties.
Despicable judges and tribunals sustain the dictatorships of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador but legitimate judges and tribunals can end those dictatorships.
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on Sunday October 22nd, 2017