Freddy Bernal, bank robber, was interviewed for a U.S. website.
who is GLORIA LA RIVA?
According to the site Gloria La Riva is a national leader of the U.S. Party for Socialism and Liberation, a marxist-Leninist political party that celebrates its annual meetings in a Wolkswagen. She ran for president of the United States in 2008 and received 6000 votes.
And to judge by her first sentence in this interview she is either an ignorant about Venezuela or a liar. She speaks about the Carlos Andres Perez dictatorship. Perez was a democratic president, freely elected in transparent elections, very different to the electoral farces that Venezuela has experienced for many years under Hugo Chavez and Nicolas Maduro.
She interviews Freddy Bernal, whom she describes as a Venezuelan revolutionary. Freddy Bernal is a Venezuelan with a criminal record. He led a gang of bank robbers before joining forces with Hugo Chavez to stage a coup d’état in 1992 that caused the death of dozens of innocent Venezuelans. See: http://aserne.blogspot.com/2012/04/coleccion-vacas-sagradas-n-6-freddy.html
Can you explain the current situation with police forces in Venezuela, their relation to the people and the restructuring of those same forces that is in the news?
When we rose up on Nov. 27, 1992, we rebelled for various causes. One was to tell the country that not every man in uniform was a delinquent or a violator of human rights. That was the fundamental motivation for a police rebellion, and our joining with the movement that Comandante Hugo Chavez was leading, who at that moment was in jail.
Comment: This uprising of November 1992 was unanimously rejected by the Venezuelan people. It was a failure, left many innocent Venezuelans dead and their main figures flew out of the country in an act of cowardice. Bernal was a minor figure in the coup and was never punished. He was only dismissed dishonorably from the Caracas police.
In Venezuela, we have advanced significantly in terms of the police in recent years. We created the Experimental University of Security Sciences, and in that university, the Bolivarian National Police is being formed. It is in a process of creation and growth…. President Nicolas Maduro has ordered a revolution in terms of the police. Just one month ago, he gave me the honor, together with a team, to carry out the transformation of the police forces, to end up with police forces that do what the Revolution deserves, what the people deserve.
What is a police force? A police that is effective and efficient in the struggle against crime.
Comment: Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world, 82 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants. It used to be 7 per 100,000 inhabitants before this regime came into power. Is this, as Bernal says, a “significant advance”? The truth is that the Venezuelan police are often the perpetrator of these crimes and that today the police and the criminal gangs are often one and the same. In fact, the Venezuelan political regime has publicly defined these criminal gangs (“Colectivos”) as their main supporters.
A police should principally be a guarantor of human rights. A police should be a police that generates confidence, respect and affection for the citizen. A police must not generate fear, it must generate respect and exercise authority. That is the task we have been given, and we will make the greatest effort to see that it is done. Although we have had 15 years in the government, there are still elements of human rights violation in some police forces. Although we have 15 years of Revolution there are still corrupted police groups involved with narco-trafficking of organized crime, with paramilitaries, with some mafia operations in the peasantry and in the unions. These are bad elements we have not been able to correct 100 percent. But the important thing is that in Venezuela, there is political will by the President of the Republic and that is fundamental for the transformation.
Comment: the truth is that the Venezuelan police have reached a record level of corruption during the 15 years of the Chavez, Maduro regime. Over 90% of the criminal cases in Venezuela remain unsolved, see a pro-regime website report in: http://www.noticias24.com/actualidad/noticia/298938/pj-%E2%80%9Cmas-del-90-de-los-asesinatos-por-armas-de-fuego-quedan-impunes%E2%80%9D/. Bernal grossly distorts the truth when he says that they have not been able to correct 100% of the problems. Most of the problems are in existence and are mostly generated by corruption and inefficiency.
I am a general commissioner of police, a graduate of a police academy with a degree in security sciences. And I have always had the dream of being able to participate in a police force that we deserve as a country.
Comment: Bernal is also a member of a list of the U.S. Treasury Department, 2011, made up of Venezuelans who have cooperated with the terrorist group FARC of Colombia.
…. we will be relentless in the struggle against crime. I have said this: either you are a police officer or you are a criminal, but you can’t be both.
Comment: In today’s Venezuela, many of the members of the police are criminals. They have been involved in murders, kidnappings and extortion. In one of the most horrible cases three brothers were kidnapped and murdered in 2006 by police agents. More recently, two of the accomplices in the murder of Congressman Robert Serra, a corrupt member of the government’s party, are members of the Police.
The police officer is a man or woman of ethics, of morality, of principles, of decency, who should be at the service of the people, to protect the people, to respect the rights of others, not to trample on them, or abuse or beat them or murder them, as we unfortunately see in many police forces in the world and in particular at this time, in the police of which it is said is the “best democracy in the world.” The government of the United States, which wants to give us morality classes, tries to tell us how to form our forces of public order. Yet, facing the smallest demonstration, the most minimal protest for human rights, for one’s needs, it ferociously represses its citizens. It persecutes them for being Latino, for being Black, for being Asian, a country that claims to be the guarantor of human rights, permanently tramples on the human rights of its people.
Comment: It is absurd, cheap politics, to compare the police forces of the U.S. with the current Venezuelan police. In the U.S. a country of 300 million people, there are relatively few abuses by the police and, when they occur, they become issues of national importance. In Venezuela, a country of 30 million people, 20,000 citizens are murdered every year, many by the police and these tragedies remain largely unknown and go unpunished. There are no civic protests against the police because civic protests, in general, are harshly repressed by the armed forces.
Impunity is finished in Venezuela for the individual who uses the uniform to violate the rules that exist to serve the citizens. It will be a good example for the United States to follow, for President Obama, for the state governors, and for the mayors of cities, who without a doubt have fascist police forces, totally repressive, who abuse and torture with rubber bullets and jail against men and women who are only raising the banner of freedom.
Comment: Bernal lies. The Venezuelan police cannot be an example for any country on earth, much less to the United States. Impunity is far from finished in Venezuela. On the contrary, it has become a fact of life in the country. Even in the Venezuelan prisons there are hundreds of deaths every year, including a recent horrible tragedy in which 43 prisoners were poisoned. No one has yet been indicted. The Minister of Prisons, Mrs. Iris Varela, has created a policy that allows the prisoners themselves rule the prison (called “prans” or Kingpins). They establish their own rules. Inside the prisons there are weapons, narcotics, murders and prostitution, all under the tolerant view of the regime. Guards do not dare to go in.
To move ahead in the task of transformation, we are going to reform the law regarding police, and incorporate an extremely important element called the “Citizens’ Committees of Police Control.”… a group of persons will be elected from among the social and community leaders of each community, to whom the police will have to render accounts of their work on a permanent basis… The other element that we’ll introduce is the preventive police. In the municipal and state police, the formation of communal police will be required. The communal police is a police force that will work hand in hand with People’s Power, that will be permanently with the citizenry taking care of diverse problems of the community.
Comment: We will have to wait and see how much of what he promises will be actually done. The Venezuelan regime has a habit of talking only in future tense, never actually accomplishing much of what they promise. His ideas about police control and preventive police sound extremely improbable.
Did you see the video of the African American man in New York, Eric Garner, who died by chokehold?
… Sadly, what happened in New York, which everyone could see, was a vile murder in cold blood.
But the biggest shame for the United States is not only that they murdered a citizen in such a vile manner, but that there was no justice, there has been no trial, they violated the rights of that person. We are talking about a regime that tramples the Constitution…
Comment: I agree that the unfortunate death of Mr. Eric Garner, seen in national TV, seemed to be a clear case of excessive force on the part of the New York police. The answer by Bernal, however, reveals his ignorance of how institutions and checks and balances operate in the U.S. He says “they murdered a citizen”, suggesting that the government did it. He can only think of government in terms of what happens in Venezuela, where there is no separation of powers and the president and his cronies (Bernal is one of them) do what they want. In the U.S. there is no trampling of the constitution, as is the case in Venezuela. There are civic forces in movement, within and without the government working to see justice done.
There is a development underway in Venezuela regarding solidarity between the people of Venezuela and the world. Can you explain that?
Besides heading up the complex task of the police forces, I along with a group of men and women of the Bolivarian Revolution have been given the task of heading up the Venezuelan Institute of Solidarity with the Peoples of the World. Those who raise the flag of the legacy of Chávez, those who raise the banner of freedom, those who raise the banner of socialism and for socialism in the streets of the United States, to those people, we express our appreciation from Venezuela, our affection and our immense commitment of love for freedom-loving men and women in the world.
Comrades, we want not only to extend our hand but ask that you extend your hand to us, because Venezuela is being besieged by the United States government. We have faced already 15 years of a profound economic war, and who is behind this war is the U.S. State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies. They want for the fascist opposition in Venezuela to obtain through violence what they could not get by the vote. Behind that operation is the U.S. government.
Comment: Encouraged by the leading question from Ms. La Riva, Bernal gets paranoid about the U.S. besieging Venezuela. The Venezuelan regime has, among other delusions, an exaggerated sense of its own importance. They are sure that President Obama spends much of his time plotting against Venezuela, together with members of his Cabinet and of the top U.S. military brass. In truth the U.S. government has kept a rather indifferent posture regarding Venezuela, a rather negligent attitude towards the abuses of power and the undemocratic alignments of Venezuela with all the rogue regimes of the planet, from Iran to Syria, Cuba and Belarus. Bernal’s assertion about Venezuela suffering “15 years of economic war promoted by the U.S.” is unmitigated gall.
Bernal goes on to give Ms. La Riva his own twisted version of what happened in Venezuela earlier this year, when protester agiainst the regime took to the streets. He talks of 43 Venezuelans killed by the opposition. In truth, almost all Venezuelans killed were members of the opposition protesting in the streets. This has been well documented by international Human Rights groups and this is why the U.S. has taken action in sanctioning a group of guilty Venezuelans, a list of military personnel and civilians who were behind the violations to human rights during and after the demonstrations. As we said before, Freddy Bernal is one of the Venezuelans fingered by the U.S. government as cooperating with terrorists and highly resents this dubious distinction.
Let me end my comments saying that that Ms. La Riva did a very good job. She did what was expected of her: giving Mr. Bernal the opportunity to badmouth the United States. The members of the current Venezuelan regimen are actively in the business of blaming the U.S. for all the ills of the world.