Samuel Moncada

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Ten years ago Latin American history reached a turning point. In Venezuela, a US-backed military coup against the elected government of Hugo Chávez was stopped dead in its tracks after just a few days. It marked a clear break from the coups and subsequent dictatorships installed to defend economic elites that had cast a long shadow across Latin America. (Indeed, Pinochet's 1973 coup in Chile shows what could have happened in Venezuela.) A tide of progressive governments across the continent followed.

Over the three days of the coup many were killed. Like many others, I had a friend shot dead by coup police.…  Seguir leyendo »

Your article presents a disturbing picture of political freedoms under attack in Venezuela (Chávez accused of turning tyrant as even former allies languish in jail, 13  October). Allegations of a politically driven judicial system are backed up with a quote claiming: "There are 38 people in jail for political reasons disguised as corruption or public disorder offences."

If true, Venezuela would have political prisoners and such a substantial article into its democratic health would be warranted. But it is not. Among these 38 cited cases are people convicted of the murder of a public prosecutor investigating the 2002 coup; military personnel convicted for placing bombs in the Colombian and Spanish embassies; and police chiefs convicted for ordering gunfire against civilians on peaceful demonstrations with the aim of justifying a military uprising.…  Seguir leyendo »