Spanish Version

Is the Legislative Branch Controlled by the Executive?

Is the Judicial branch controlled by the Executive?

Is the National Electoral Council controlled by the Executive?

Is the new Citizens' Power (the Public Prosecutor, the Office of the Comptroller and the Peoples' Advocate) controlled by the Executive?

Are the Supreme Court Justices biased in the discharge of their Duties?

Is the Independence of the Judicial Career respected?

Do Venezuelan Courts respect Constitutional Law principles?

Is the Supreme Court at the service of the Administration?

Is the National Electoral Council (CNE) an Impartial Body?

Does the CNE Address The Interests of Civil Society or those of the Government?

Does the National Electoral Council Act In Conformity to the law?

Is voting by way of electronic machines reliable?

Does the Electoral Register (RE) contain true and precise information?

Are the media really independent?

Does the Penal Code limit freedom of expression?

Are journalists persecuted, threatened or harassed because of the way they cover the news?

Are human rights violated in Venezuela ?

Does discrimination on political grounds exist in Venezuela?

Are there political prisoners in Venezuela ? Are people persecuted for political reasons?

Are those active in the defense of democracy in Venezuela persecuted and imprisoned?

Are private life and private property respected?

Is freedom in education respected?

Have the human rights of the April 2002 victims been respected and have those responsible been indicted?

Is the Executive ruling under a military style?

Is the political parties system declining in Venezuela?

Are traditional trade-union organizations being respected?

Is the civil society allowed to exercise the functions conferred by the Constitution?

 
Respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms
DOES DISCRIMINATION ON POLITICAL GROUNDS EXIST IN VENEZUELA?
 
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Summary

  • CNE proposed to publish on the press, the identity card numbers of the signers requesting the Presidential Revocation Referendum (RRP), as a condition for the collection of such signatures.
  • Signers requesting the RRP are threatened and are object of discrimination and retaliation, by government officials and entities.
  • Discrimination to signers requesting the RRP has been reported through several media networks.
  • Luis Tascón, a representative of the Government party in the Legislature, was the main responsible for publishing the list of signers requesting the RRP.
  • The President of the Republic corroborates discrimination of signers requesting the RRP.

1. The National Electoral Council required that the identity of those signing in favor of the Recall Referendum be published in the press, and of the leakage to the government and to members of the National Assembly, by some of the Council's members, of the final list of those who signed the petition.


2. A vast number of the more than three and a half million people who signed the petition for the Presidential Recall Referendum find themselves threatened, discriminated upon or the object of reprisals, such as, among others: loss of employment or impossibility to find one; refusal of acceptance into state educational institutions or denial of scholarships; refusal of credits in public financial institutions and difficulties in obtaining identity and travel documents.


3. Some media have denounced this situation. They have reported on the cases of duly identified individuals who have dared to make their cases known and how they have been discriminated. The following are just some of them:

  • Lisbeth Calzadilla, a young journalist, was denied employment at the National Fund for Science and Technology, FONACIT, a public institution dependent of the Ministry of Science and Technology, on the basis of having petitioned for the Presidential Recall Referendum;
  • Jesús Moreno, who until 1996 worked in CORPOVEN, a subsidiary of PDVSA, was denied a job opportunity in 2004 in the maintenance area once a former supervisor, who proceeded to order him expelled from the refinery grounds, identified him as a non-sympathizer of the government;
  • Mrs. Ana Kosa, was expelled from the Deposits Guarantee Fund, FOGADE, on June 15, 2004 , after 4 years of service, under the accusation of being 'a spy for Yankee imperialism'.


4. Congressman Luis Tascón, of the pro-government party Fifth-Republic Movement, is held responsible for this situation, as he was the one who placed on the Web the list of all those who signed the petitioned for a Presidential Recall Referendum. This list, which came to be known as the 'Tascón List', was presumably obtained by Tascon after processing the rolls with the signatures handed by the National Electoral Council to the President.


5. The existence of such a list and its use to foster discrimination against those whose names appear therein was acknowledged by the President himself. On April 15, 2005 on the occasion of the Fifth Cabinet Meeting held outside Caracas, at the Caroní Eco-Museum in Puerto Ordaz, the President mentioned that he was constantly receiving complaints from Venezuelan citizens who felt that they were being denied job opportunities because their names appear on the Tascon List. He went on to state: 'I say this because I have received letters that make me think that in some quarters the Tascón List is still used to determine whether someone will get a job. I order the list to be buried' (El Nacional, April 16, 2005 , page A-1). ".It was a moment that is now behind us.the famous list surely played an important role at a specific time, but this is now in the past". (Tal Cual, Editorial of April 18, 2005).

6. Notwithstanding the petition to bury the Luis Tascón List made by the President of the Republic, this has not occurred.  Instead, every day more employees of the Government and of State institutions are victims of political discrimination, for having signed the petition for a Recall Referendum against President Chavez. The aforesaid was the reason of the realization of a documentary by the ONG “Ciudadanía Activa” compiling the testimonies of such victims (Watch Video) as well as the subsequent publication -by the Civil Organization “Súmate”- of the book “APARTHEID OF THE XXI CENTURY: Computing to the service of political discrimination in Venezuela”, written by Ana Julia Jatar, which documents the systematic and generalized use of political discrimination in order to cause fear in the population. (See Executive resume)

7. It is a fact that political discrimination has increased in Venezuela, moreover with the closeness of the presidential elections of December 3rd, 2006.  This is evidenced in a video released by Gerardo Blyde, in which the Ministry of Energy and Oil, Rafael Ramírez, addressing PDVSA’s employees, threatens them with dismissals if they do not follow the political and ideological linings of “President Chávez revolution”   (Watch Video)