Iris, unfiltered

Iris Varela’s plan to deal with prison overcrowding by simply freeing 40% of the prison population is nice and all, but … aren’t judges supposed to be the ones who decide who goes to jail and who doesn’t?

Not a problem, says the new minister for prisons:

“If a judge gets in my way, I’ll ask the head of the Supreme Tribunal to fire them…”

No sweat!

There’s something refreshing about the way Iris just blurts this stuff out, unfiltered. We know – it’s now beyond obvious – that this is how chavistas in general think: the separation of powers is bourgeois phantasmagoria. There’s no need to tangle yourself up in knots about it when a quick call to the TSJ will get the job done.

Iris, though, stands virtually alone in refusing to even pretend she thinks something else.

This, on the other hand, I have zero respect for. Solid institutions? Who the hell is he kidding?

Hats off, Iris. At least you’re not pretending.

20 thoughts on “Iris, unfiltered

  1. Oh Iris…the gift that keeps on giving.

    I agree that I would probably respect chavismo more if they had more Irises and fewer JVRs. It’s the idiot dissimulation that gets me, the swearing-they’re-not-doing-what-they’re-obviously-doing, the swearing-they-don’t-believe-what-all-their-actions-show-they-believe. It’s the sheer hypocritical falseness of chavismo that drives me up a wall.

    Iris is enviably free of that. You want to hug her, almost. Almost.


  2. More substantively, though, Iris’s contention that 40% of the people in Venezuela’s jails aren’t dangerous is CRAZY. As crazy as she is.

    It’s one thing to note that most inmates haven’t been convicted – and that’s true. But it’s also true that the inmates awaiting trial are inmates who’ve been refused a “Regimen de Presentación” so they can remain free as they await trial. A judge has looked at the prima facie evidence against them and determined that it’s too dangerous to let them go free as they await trial. And judges are WELL aware what prison conditions are like – they’ll largely do that when they’re handling somebody they have some reason to believe is dangerous if left on the outside.

    Now, they haven’t been convicted, so we can’t really know if any individual prisoner is guilty or not. But as a group, those 15,000 people Iris wants to let loose is certainly top-heavy with hardcore choros. And Iris wants to release them willy-nilly, under the threat of firing any judge who doesn’t play along.

    Many, many crimes will be committed by these people: people who’ll be freed following a political order by a government that has catastrophically failed to create the prison capacity to jail them when they should’ve been jailed.

    It’s not too cynical to hope MUD makes that case in public, is it?


    • What a rare hard-line, tough-on-crime comment from you!

      (I agree completely, so you should be worried)


      • Well, think about Venezuela’s justice system. It’s *so*easy* to get away with crime in Venezuela. People get away with murder, literally, every day. Multiple times a day.

        If you make any half-way-decent attempt to avoid detection, chances are, you get away with it. Which means the people who end up in jail are overwhelmingly people who not only did it, but who were too witless to avoid getting busted.

        And if they’re in jail awaiting trial it’s because then a judge saw a preliminary recap of the evidence against them and thought to himself “pinga, I can’t let this guy out before trial!”

        That doesn’t mean that any given individual is guilty. But it does mean that almost certainly the vast majority of the members of the group are guilty.


        MUD should work this angle. It’s a vote rich environment.


        • Rest easy Quico. Iris has already promised she’s not going to let any bad guys loose:

          “Tenga el pueblo venezolano la seguridad de que no voy a echar los lobos a la calle.”


        • You’re right about that the MUD should work that angle.

          Remainded me of that “Revolving Door” ad that George Bush Sr. used on the 1988 campaign against Dukakis.


          • That was effective. I still remember Willie Horton, though I couldn’t tell you the details about his case. OK, I do, but only because I just looked it up. The point is, the name stuck with me after all these years, and just because of the uproar at the time.


    • They may just be thinking that letting loose gets more votes than keeping imprisoned. I really don’t think they are thinking crime, procedures, or “doing the right thing” too much.


    • I agree with you.
      And yet let me show you their side:
      15000 times 7 is 105 thousand votes. How many votes would be lost? Who would have voted otherwise at this stage?
      Are MUD members capable of expressing things in such a way that they don’t look like Venezuelan versions of Javert and the Thénardiers once Chávez talks?


    • Exactly. It seems hard to believe that Venezuela’s crime rate could get any worse… and yet Chavismo always seems to find a way!


  3. I got an idea…
    Lets release 20,000 prisoners into the streets… it doesnt matter how long they have been there and we probably have no records of why they are there. We have no system to “ease” them back in to society… but Im SURE that they would never go back to a life of crime considering its near to impossible to find a job and inflation is only 30%.

    PS: Will wardens be selling get out of jail free cards?


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