July 20, 2009


Juan Cristóbal says: - The head of Venezuela's Supreme Tribunal of Chavista Justice had a fit of anger the other day. During a press conference, Justice Luisa Estella Morales was pressed by El Nacional reporter Vanessa Gómez on her views regarding recent criticisms of certain rulings of the court by prominent jurists.

In a deliciously candid moment, Head Justice Morales went ballistic and responded:
"Well Vanessa, maybe if you knew me from before - like others who know me, right Eligio (Rojas)? (You would know) it's dangerous to mess with me because I'm also like the spine tree that blooms in the savannah. You don't know me well, but check."
Morales was referring to a popular saying in the Venezuelan plains. It references the spine tree, which blooms in the savannah, "gives off a nice aroma to passersby, but thorns those that shake it." This saying has been used by Hugo Chávez on numerous occasions.

(Eligio Rojas, reads the accompanying note, was a journalist that was shunned from the Court because he reported on an order from Morales barring certain newspapers from circulating inside the country's courthouses.)

Morales' outburst is in the mold of former President Jaime Lusinchi. Lusinchi once threatened a TV journalist who was asking him pointed questions by repeatedly saying on camera "don't you f*** with me!"

Morales' outburst prompted IESA Professor (and friend) Pavel Gómez to write an open letter to her. It's also worth a read.

This comes as no surprise. Morales is no friend of the press nor of transparency, as can be seen in the video above of another outburst in front of a reporter asking pesky questions.

Yes, the woman in the video, the one going on about how "kind" and "splendid" and "humble" she is by allowing reporters to ask a couple of questions - she is in charge of safeguarding freedom of expression in our country. Run for your lives and hide the children.

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