Confession letter forwarded by Venezuelan ex-Magistrate Aponte Aponte
Aponte: "I am prepared to ratify everything at any really independent courts, with unbiased judges and in a country where there is true democracy and freedom"
San José Tibás
Henry Vivas Lázaro Forero
The undersigned, Dr. Ramón Eladio Aponte Aponte, former magistrate of the Criminal Court, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, holder of Venezuelan Identity Card number three five one one zero four, attest:
It is my peremptory duty to avow you, and everyone, that I have committed the sin of having issued to the judges who prosecuted you the order to sentence you to 30-year imprisonment at whatever cost. I was just following direct orders from President Hugo Chávez Frías, who instructed me to do it.
I do not purport to be held harmless from what I have done, because nothing will justify it. I just would like to confess in order to make my conscience somewhat rest, for now I am feeling myself what is it like to be chased.
I ordered Judge Anabella Rodríguez, of the 13th Trial Control Court in Caracas, to decree a bench warrant, as requested by Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz, even though said judge was not the speaker judge of the case based in Maracay (the capital city of central Aragua state). I also kept in touch with Judge Marjorie Calderón, of Maracay, and public prosecutor Haifa El Aissami, for them to do everything possible to protract the trial, thereby causing you any and all plights concerning transfers, and for the ultimate purpose of producing a judgment of conviction at whatever cost. I delivered such a judgment in digital format to said judge, which judgment was prepared by one of my assistants. Afterwards, I acted likewise with the judges of the Court of Appeals of Aragua, Fabiola Colmenares, Antonio Perillo and Francisco Coggiola, to whom I delivered as well a judgment on the appeal made by defendants by means of their defense attorneys.
Finally, in this case, you made an appeal to a higher court at the Criminal Court, where I would take on it. Forthwith, I made prepare the draft judgment declaring groundless because of a manifest unfounded appeal. This, without having even read it, as it was quite extensive and the order expressly given to me by President Chávez was to "Get out of it at the earliest," "Condemn them right away." So I did. As soon as we had the draft, we would sign it on May 18, 2010, and the ruling was released on May 21, under judgment 173, upon the approval of myself, Deyanira Nieves, Miriam Morandy and Héctor Coronado Flores. I made know to each of them that it was Chávez's order. Therefore, they rushed to initial it, except for Blanca Rosa Mármol, who refrained herself from voting.
May this confession help you find any solution to your problem. I am prepared to ratify everything at any really independent courts, with unbiased judges and in a country where there is true democracy and freedom. San José Costa Rica, this sixteenth day of April, year two thousand and twelve.
Dr. Ramón Eladio Aponte Aponte
Ex-Magistrate, Criminal Court, Supreme Tribunal of Justice,
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
I attest to it:
William Monge Solano, Esq.
José Vicente Rangel clearly said: "We are not conducting negotiations threatened with a gun in the head." He warned behind closed doors in the midst of the social upheaval occurred during the oil strike in 2002 and 2003. Dissenting Timoteo Zambrano answered back that no other option was available: "The thing is that otherwise, you do not negotiate."