Interview: The man who Chavez wants dead
Ravell told Raheem Kassam that his family have been repeatedly threatened, and that if he were to return to Venezuela, he would be killed
Yesterday, we brought you the story of Federico Medina Ravell, a man whose house has been raided by Chavez’s thugs in Venezuela.
Today, The Commentator is pleased to bring you an exclusive interview with Federico, who is accused of being an ‘online terrorist’ through the Twitter account @LucioQuincioC – a charge he robustly denies.
Raheem Kassam (RK) was in touch with Federico (FMR) shortly after the news broke. Federico’s responses have been translated from Spanish.
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RK: Thank you Federico, for giving us an opportunity to speak with you about the latest shocking developments in your country, and specifically with regard to what has happened to your family over the past 24 hours. We understand this must be an incredibly sensitive subject to you, but would you mind telling us a little bit about the background to this incident, and why you are specifically being targeted by Chavez's thugs?
FMR: Greetings and thank you very much for the international coverage. My house was raided on Sunday afternoon on instructions from Mr. Mario Silva, presenter and employee of the state television station VTV.
The intention is to frame me for crimes I have not committed. My family was detained by the political police following pressure from the social media and press, they were released last night at 8PM EST in Caracas. I am delighted they were released, but during their incarceration they endured psychological terrorism, especially from an official surnamed Almeida. He threatened to kidnap them and "make them disappear" if they did not give away my location.
RK: Are you @LucioQuincioQ on Twitter? What trouble has this affiliation caused you?
FMR: They try to accuse me of being the famous twitter account @ LucioQuincioC which is completely untrue, as you know I do not even have a twitter account. I had to leave my country due to the pressure from the regime, they threatened to kill me, and beat my son Frederick Alexander, causing him internal thrombosis which he had to have surgery to fix.
RK: Is this the first time you or your family have been threatened?
FMR: My family has been harassed via phone, and now the government has threatened to confiscate my assets, under the claim that I am responsible for the terrorist twitter account @LucioQuincioC. Their only reason to persecute me is that I am a critic of the regime; I am the first cousin of Alberto Federico Ravell, co-founder of globovision.com TV channel, and lapatilla.com news; I am also an active member, despite being away from my homeland, of Progressive Front for Change, an opposition alliance, alongside Ismael Garcia, Henri Falcon and Juan Jose Molina.
RK: What typically happens to opponents of the Chavez regime, such as yourself?
FMR: Any protesters against Chavez are imprisoned, although the right to protest peacefully is referred specifically in our constitution. Any attempt is repelled forcefully by Police loyal to the regime.
RK: Do you see the latest election in the country as having been free and fair? If not - why not? If so - why did the opposition fail to defeat Chavez?
FMR: In terms of elections, I always said Capriles would only lose due to fraud, and the regime duly seized all levers of power in favour of Chavez. Electoral power they wield at will, as with the judiciary, the legislature, the Court of Supreme justice, etc.; the regime has all of this in their hands.
RK: It was reported that you were not in your house the night before last, when it was raided – where are you now and what are your plans to return to your country?
FMR: At the present time I am in the process of seeking political asylum in the U.S. I fear for my life and that of my family, and I blame the regime of Hugo Chavez for anything that happens to me or my family in Venezuela. I inform you that I have sued Mr. Mario Silva, the TV presenter and state employee who has threatened me, violated my civil rights, and instigated others to kill me, and also to Mr. Almeida (hacker alias regime N33) at the American Court of Human Rights OAS in Washington D.C. I still fear greatly for my life and that of my family.
RK: What do you think the international community should be doing about Hugo Chavez?
FMR: The international community must be aware of Venezuela's many political prisoners that the regime wants to cover up. The most terrible case is that of Judge Maria Afiuni, who was arrested and raped by an employee of the Ministry of Interior and Justice for questioning the regime. In Venezuela there is no civil war, and yet in 14 years more than 200,000 have died or killed been killed by the Chavez's mob.
RK: What do you know of Mr. Chavez’s health?
FMR: The level of information control is very high in Venezuela, the people do not know Chavez is in a vegetative state and will not return.
RK: Many have asked questions about your treatment by Mercedez Benz last year, a story that we covered exclusively on The Commentator - can you tell us a little bit about your feelings as to why you were fired from your job, and whether or not you believe the regime leaned on Mercedez to sack you?
FMR: I was kicked out of my job after seven years working as Operations Manager of a major subsidiary of Mercedes Benz for being a political activist. I have simply pursued my civil rights enshrined in the constitution of Venezuela. I'm hoping to get political asylum and that they will be sued in international courts for redress for damages moral, monetary, psychological and health.
RK: What will you do when Chavez dies, and what will you do until then?
FMR: For the time being I can not return to my country. If I go back I'm dead. I simply seek to rebuild my life and get a job in order to provide for my family.
RK: Thank you very much for speaking to us. I understand that this must be an incredibly troubling and distressing time for you. I’m sure all of our readers wish you all the best wishes for your safety and that of your family – and hope that Venezuela will indeed be freed from Chavez’s tyranny sooner rather than later.
FMR: Thank you.
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