by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Venezuela’s crisis is a genuine nightmare, but it now also has elements of farce. The nation’s most famed political prisoner has been released to house arrest, and the attorney general who put him behind bars has changed sides and denounced the “state terrorism” of strongman Nicolás Maduro. In turn, Maduro’s supreme court is on the verge of ousting the attorney general on flimsy charges and has illegally named a Maduro loyalist to be her deputy. The deputy has been denied access to the Ministry of Justice, so last week she entered the building in the trunk of a car to gather evidence against her new boss before she was discovered and thrown out of the building. Politics in Venezuela is a cross between a Latin version of House of Cards and an Inspector Clouseau movie.
Venezuela’s socialist dictators have so mismanaged the nation and trampled so savagely on human rights that street demonstrations now occur daily and have left 90 people dead since March. By transferring noted political prisoner Leopoldo Lopez from prison to house arrest after three years of brutal confinement (over a third of which was in solitary), the government of Maduro, whom Hugo Chávez’s chose as his successor, may finally be showing weakness.