Prosecutor investigating anti-Chavez coup killed in terrorist attack

The explosion of two bombs in his car took the life of 38-year old State Prosecutor Danilo Anderson, late on Thursday night in Caracas, Venezuela. The terrorist attack took place at 11.50 pm in Los Chaguaramos, in south east Caracas, where Danilo Anderson was coming away from evening classes he was attending at the University.

From his role as State Prosecutor Danilo Anderson had waged a tireless struggle to get the leaders of the opposition prosecuted for the crimes they have committed and particularly for the military coup they organised on April 11th 2002.

In August 2002, Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled that in Venezuela there had been no coup d’etat. As amazing as this ruling can seem, the Court decided that there had instead been a “vacuum of power”, because Chavez had “resigned” (in reality he had given himself up when the coup organisers threatened to bomb the presidential Palace!), and that this “vacuum” had to be filled somehow and... Pedro Carmona happened to pass by and filled the vacuum of power! This surreal ruling prevented any action from being taken against those involved in the military coup for two years. Its main public figure, Pedro Carmona, was put under house arrest from which he fled to a comfortable exile in Colombia and Miami, and from where he has continued to pull the strings of the reactionary conspiracy to remove Chavez from power and put an end to Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution.

In spite of the scandalous ruling of the Supreme Court, recently Danilo Anderson had started a number of legal cases to bring the opposition leaders responsible for the coup before the courts. At the end of October he presented charges of conspiracy to commit homicide against former Caracas Mayor Alfredo Pena, Metropolitan Police (PM) Commander Lazaro Forero and Public Security secretary Henry Vivas, “for the (eve of the coup d’etat) events of April 11, 2002, in which 20 people died and 87 were injured on the Avenida Baralt.” None of them turned up to face the charges and the judge issued arrest warrants against Pena and the others and also orders preventing the three of them from leaving the country.

He also pressed charges against Capriles Radonsky, the opposition mayor of Baruta, Caracas, for his role in the siege of the Cuban embassy during the coup. He was also working closely in the case against the SUMATE directors, for receiving money from the US National Endowment for Democracy and plotting to overthrow Chavez.

At the same time Anderson presented charges for conspiracy and civil rebellion against the 400 people who were present at the swearing in ceremony of coup installed “president” Pedro Carmona (popularly known as Pedro “the brief” since his coup collapsed in less than 48 hours, defeated by the mass mobilisation of the people of Venezuela). Danilo used the attendance book for that ceremony, which took place on April 12, 2002, to cite everybody who had signed it as part of the conspiracy. This list reads like a “who’s who” of Venezuela’s oligarchy. They were all there: the hierarchy of the Catholic Church, the owners of the media, industry and banks, the corrupt and un-elected leadership of the CTV trade unions, etc.

Danilo Anderson’s investigation represented a severe blow against Venezuela’s oligarchy and was a serious attempt to put an end to impunity for those who have tried by all means (legal and illegal) to put an end to Venezuela’s Bolivarian revolution. His investigations mean that all those leaders of Venezuela’s reactionary opposition who are now pretending to be nice and democratic would be exposed. This is the case for instance with the current leader of Fedecamaras, Albis Munoz, the owners of the main private media outlets, the current leaders of the CTV, etc. As we have argued for a long time, these people should be in jail, and should not walk free and be left to continue to organise conspiracies to put an end to the revolution.

The death of Anderson clearly benefits all these people, and that is where the investigation into his assassination should point to. Because of the nature of his investigations, Danilo had already been the object of all sorts of threats. He was prominently displayed by the extremely reactionary Reconocelos web site which aims to “expose” leaders and activists of the Bolivarian revolution ( Danilo was also attacked by two opposition supporters while shopping in the well-known Sambil mall in October.

A section of the Venezuelan opposition, having been defeated on three separate occasions in their attempts to topple Chavez, has increasingly resorted to death threats. Former president Carlos Andres Perez declared openly that Chavez should be “killed like a dog”.

A rally has been called outside of the State Prosecutor’s office for this afternoon.

It is quite clear from their track record that the Venezuelan oligarchy will not stop at anything in their attempts to overthrow the Chavez government, put an end to the revolutionary movement of the masses and maintain their privileges. The revolutionary movement, which has proven on numerous occasions that it has the overwhelming support of the majority of the Venezuelan people, should act accordingly.

The only way to defend the revolution is by going on the offensive and wresting from the oligarchy all the levers of power that they still have. The property of all those involved in the April coup should be confiscated and put under the democratic control of the workers and the people of Venezuela. Otherwise they will continue to use their positions of power in the economy, within the judiciary, in the media, etc. to conspire to drown the revolutionary movement in blood.

From the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign we offer once again our support to the Bolivarian revolution. En Venezuela, no pasaran!