The trial was described as "a travesty," by Human Rights Watch, a "political lynching," by former diplomat Diego Arria and a "farce" by [Leopoldo] Lopez's attorneys, while U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry worried aloud over the apparent "use of the Venezuelan judicial system to suppress and punish government critics."After all, this has only been going on for years, in Maduroland. The latest outrage being;
Technically speaking, Judge Susana Barreiros's ruling was the act of the independent Venezuelan judiciary. Yet during the lengthy trial, Lopez, a 44-year-old Harvard-trained economist and former Venezuelan mayor, was barred from presenting physical evidence and allowed to call only two defense witnesses -- direct violations of Venezuelan due process -- and the media was locked out of the courtroom.Which she had little choice to do since the most powerful man, aside from Presidente Maduro, in Venezuela;
The prosecution, on the other hand, summoned more than 100 witnesses, and though none placed Lopez at the scene when violence flared, Barreiros gave him the maximum sentence.
National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, had already [spoken out about the trial and verdict] "I don't agree with just 11 years," Cabello declared on nationwide television, on the eve of the Lopez verdict. The final sentence? Thirteen years, nine months, seven days and 12 hours.When Judge Barreiros's predecessor, Maria Lourdes Afiuni, defied the Maduro government in the Eligio Cedeno case and ordered that banker freed, she herself was promptly imprisoned and tortured. Judge Afiuni is now standing trial on charges of...something.
We missed John F. Kerry's astute commentary on that.