News and opinions on the situation in Venezuela

Coup d’etat arrest warrant issued against former Venezuelan Chief Justice Cecilia Sosa Gomez


Published: Saturday, October 22, 2005

Bylined to: Reporters

Venezuela’ Prosecutor General’s Office has issued an arrest warrant against former Chief Justice Cecilia Sosa Gomez for her participation in the April 11-12, 2002 coup d’etat against democratically-elected President Hugo Chavez Frias which saw USA-backed dictator Pedro Carmona Estanga seize control of the Venezuelan government.

President Chavez Frias was returned to office just 48 hours later when Carmona Estanga … who, with the help of Washington D.C., had immediately dissolved the Constitution, Congress and the Judiciary in an interim military-civilian dictatorship … was forced to stand down and later fled to live in political asylum in neighboring Colombia.

Sosa Gomez has not yet turned herself in to law enforcement officers, but has told Radio Union Network that she had not been formally notified of the arrest warrant but that she will remain within Venezuelan jurisdiction to answer any formal charges laid against her.

“The only information I have received has been from several media representatives of what the Prosecutor General’s Office is accusing me and that they have asked for my detention because they consider me to have been a conspirator associated with the (coup) decree issued by Mr. Carmona,” Sosa Gomez said.  “I imagine that this form of operating, which is slightly suspect, is the PGO’s idea … always on a Friday afternoon, after 3:00 p.m. when they know the courts have closed for the day and nobody can effectively know for certain what they have in mind.”

Nevertheless, Sosa Gomez has already called Attorney General Isaias Rodriguez “to corroborate if the information is correct or not, just in case we’re talking of something that isn’t.  However, from various sources, especially from people who were present (when the arrest warrant was issued), we know the court is now closed for the weekend…”

The former Chief Justice reiterates that she will remain in Caracas “to confront what has happened since on April 11 (2002) I was NOT a conspirator … there was no conspiracy … much less any thought of changing the Constitution through violent means … neither did I participate in the discussion of this (legal) instrument that are calling a decree, nor at its presentation, its elaboration or in its editing.  I did not meet with Mr. Carmona in this way, on the contrary, I was determined to make my position publicly known on April 11 ,,, I will defend my rights and liberties henceforth.”

Sosa Gomez emphasizes that there are certain aspects that the Public Prosecutor’s Office doesn’t want to investigate, such as the (alleged) resignation of the President announced by General in Chief Lucas Rincon.  “While I am accused of having gone to Miraflores to tell Carmona that he could not be President … because he was already the president of Fedecamaras, and I wanted to see the President’s resignation (which they never showed me), I also went to the Public Prosecutor and denounced Rincon and the Public Prosecutor’s Office for having no respect (for the legalities),” Sosa Gomez said.

“What I want is for the Attorney General of the Republic to begin a thorough investigation into each of the crimes committed on that date, because there are still many things that remain unanswered.”

Main Index >> Venezuela Index >> Media Index