Spanish – I listened carefully to the audio that the PanAm Post published on Wednesday, March 11. According to it, the clip is part of an “extensive conversation” that must have taken place following the reporting of the so-called Cucutazo, where a few thousand dollars were “misplaced.” This money had been allocated to help hundreds of military personnel who had crossed the border to “get on the right side of history” as the Venezuelan interim government had requested.
When I was listening to the lexicon and tone of Henry Ramos Allup’s expressions, the first thing that came to my mind was why the heirs of Gallegos’ party, Betancourt and Perez, who were great democrats, have tolerated Mr. Ramos as the only leader of that organization for 20 years (the same period that Chavismo has been around). Could it be that “conditions” have been created within the party to guarantee a lifetime position?
Ramos is loved by few and feared by many. His words and deeds are fierce. And I say this with full knowledge of the facts. I have been the target of persecution by Ramos and his friend Raúl Gorrín, who have been promoting falsehoods about my family and me for months. He and his inner circle utilize their connections within the regime – which they have many. They have ties to influential people because of their wealth produced under the protection of the revolution, and they use this to silence voices, to threaten detractors with prison or exile, and even the possibility of expropriating or bankrupting their companies or simply annulling their passports. I know this first-hand. I am still living through it. I know several who have confessed to me that they are also Ramos’ victims because they opposed some of his proposals. And they are afraid of him. I am not.
But let’s go to the audio part of this column. The first thing I want to highlight is the tweet that unleashed Ramos’ anger against Luis Almagro, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS), a man who has stood alongside Venezuelans in the struggle to rescue freedom in our country.
The tweet reads, “We request the competent jurisdiction to investigate the serious charges made here, to determine responsibility and demand accountability. There is no democratization possible behind the opacity of acts of corruption.”
Solicitamos a jurisdicción competente investigación esclarecedora de graves cargos aquí formulados, determinar responsabilidades y exigir rendición de cuentas. No hay democratización posible bajo la opacidad de actos de corrupción. https://t.co/3P9y5G75lI
— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) June 14, 2019
What has upset the Deputy? Is there a request for an investigation to clarify the complaint about the missing money, to determine responsibility, to demand accountability? None. What disturbed Ramos is what he called “the synchrony between the facts (the PanAm Post and Orlando Avendaño’s reporting) and the statement” of the high-ranking diplomat. What made the Deputy uncomfortable was that the accusations were made public and had repercussions. “It is not a lie that there was money involved and that there were complaints. That is not false. But it is about the way they take advantage of it,” he said. I repeat: the problem for Ramos was not the act of corruption. It was that the corruption scandal became public.
He reveals to his fellow citizens that “President Guaidó himself called Almagro ipso facto to complain and Almagro, as is the custom, because he is so irresponsible, gave Juan a devious answer…” What a pity! I would like to digress to express my gratitude and that of my family to the Secretary of the OAS for standing alongside the Venezuelans during these trying times when it has been his turn to lead the OAS.
Let’s get back to the point. The accusations about Cucutazo are true, according to the words of Deputy Ramos. Nevertheless, just because these accusations are not under wraps, the PanAm Post, journalists, and communicators who are not detailed, deserve to be called “commandos poceta” (toilet bowl commandos) and “palangristas” (sellout journalists). How do we describe those who reach out and negotiate with the regime to persecute and silence the media and broadcasters? Commando…? And judging from the recording and the tone, it seems that the boss of all of them is Deputy Ramos Allup.
According to the parliamentarian, the one who investigates and denounces corruption is a “poceta,” “a toilet bowl.” But, for your information, we journalists work for the citizens. And we investigate, scrutinize, analyze, compare, and report. Whether you like it or not.
Ramos goes further, accusing the independent media of “working for the government (regime) because it is a section of the opposition that suits the government (regime).” And I ask the question: Which is the section that wants to participate in elections? Is it Democratic Action? No, it is Henry Ramos and his inner circle, and he expressed it clearly this Tuesday at the march. So, who works for the regime? Who is willing to legitimize it again? While Guaidó, in his recent tour of Europe and the United States, expressed that Venezuela cannot stand alone and asked for help, Ramos was screaming quite the opposite from Venezuela. So, who is comfortable with the regime?
The Deputy refers to “financial criminals” (who have I heard that from before?) and says that the National Assembly, Guaidó, and political organizations do not depend on them. Who are the financial criminals for Ramos? Those who have done business with PDVSA, the Derwick or Helsinge bolichicos, Odebrecht, the gang of dwarfs, the “entrepreneurs” who made their fortunes in the shadow of the revolution? No. He doesn’t even mention those. It is strange that someone who describes Secretary Almagro as irresponsible and says that the U.S. government is a “cabronería” (according to the DRAE, 2019: “action by a bastard”) does not refer to “financial criminals” by their first and last names. Odd, isn’t it?
Finally, I still have some questions. Who was Ramos talking to in that conversation? Did they agree with what he said? Did they demand his pejorative expressions towards two of our great allies? Did they remain silent? Did they concur?
I would like to know Mr. Almagro’s opinion about this revealing audio. So would Elliott Abrams, Mike Pence, James Story, and the head of the U.S. government, President Donald Trump.
NOTE 1: In the DRAE (Dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy), no meaning of CABRÓN is benign. All are disparaging and humiliating.
NOTE 2: After this article, please pay attention to the reaction of the inner circle of Deputy Ramos Allup. We know his portals and news firepower for defamation. From Betancourt to Ramos.. long way adecos friends.