Venezuela fue colocada en la zona marrón en materia de violación de la libertad de expresión

Ese año, según los registros de Espacio Público hubo 151 violaciones a la libertad de expresión, cifra superior en 4,9% a las de 2006. Venezuela fue colocada en la zona marrón en materia de violación de la libertad de expresión. Se acentuaron las agresiones contra los medios y los comunicadores sociales.

Hasta el cansancio el dictador repitió que su gobierno no renovaría la concesión a Radio Caracas Televisión, a pesar de que ésta no fenecía en 2007.

Fueron constantes las amenazas de muerte contra periodistas por informar sobre hechos de corrupción. La Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa y otras organizaciones internacionales mostraron su preocupación por las violaciones de la libertad de expresión de parte de factores gubernamentales.

Un tribunal prohibió a los medios publicar información sobre el Caso Anderson. Ese año el gobernador del Estado Bolívar le declaró la guerra a Correo del Caroní, de Ciudad Guayana, por informar sobre hechos de corrupción debidamente probados por los tribunales, pero que su régimen quería in-visibilizar. Inclusive amenazó con demoler el edificio del diario, aunque éste disponía de los respectivos documentos de propiedad.

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La Guerra del Dictador Hugo Chavez: Contra Comunicadores Sociales y Medios en el 2006 por Rodulfo Gonzalez

La Guerra del Dictador Hugo Chavez: Contra Comunicadores Sociales y Medios en el 2006 por Rodulfo Gonzalez

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Rodulfo Gonzalez El Autor

Eladio Rodulfo Gonzalez

Eladio Rodulfo Gonzalez

Eladio Rodulfo González, quien  firma su producción periodística y de todo género con los dos apellidos, nació en el caserío Marabal, hoy en día parroquia homónima del Municipio Mariño del Estado Sucre, Venezuela, el 18 de febrero de 1935. Es licenciado en Periodismo, Poeta, Trabajador Social e Investigador Cultural.

El 15 de abril de 1997 creó el Centro de Investigaciones Culturales Neoespartanas (CICUNE).

Publica diariamente los Blogs: “Noticias de Nueva Esparta” y “Poemario de Eladio Rodulfo González”.

Escribe en los portales poéticos Unión Hispanomundial de Escritores (UHE) Sociedad Venezolana de Arte Internacional (SVAI) y Poemas del Alma, de los cuales es miembro.

Links de Interés:



Noticias de Nueva Esparta

Poemario de Rodulfo Gonzalez

Centro de Investigaciones Culturales del Estado Nueva Esparta CICUNE

Sociedad Venezolana de Arte Internacional

Poemas del Alma

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Government immigration policies are harming trafficking survivors | TheHill – The Hill

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness and help prevent human trafficking in our communities. Throughout the month, we can expect the government to highlight its accomplishments and efforts in assisting survivors and combating human trafficking.

Many of these efforts and policies, however, are completely undermined by an even more significant threat to trafficking survivors than the traffickers themselves: this administration’s war on immigrants.

Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to traffickers because of their lack of status, inability to speak English, unfamiliarity with our legal system, lower levels of education, and lack of access to employment. 


At Safe Horizon’s Immigration Law Project, we help immigrant victims of violence, abuse, trafficking, and torture. Over the last couple of years, we have witnessed this administration’s relentless attempts to dismantle our country’s immigration system.

Many of these policies have a direct impact on human trafficking. The consequence is the exacerbation of a problem this government claims it wants to address.

Fewer T Visas

Recent policy changes have made T visas; the visa created for trafficking survivors, a risky venture. For one, the Notice to Appear (NTA) Policy, which provides that applicants may be placed in removal proceedings if USCIS denies their applications for benefits. 

This dramatically raises the risks for trafficking survivors applying for the T visa. One of the requirements to apply for a T visa is reporting to law enforcement.

If a law enforcement agency decides to prosecute the trafficker, very often, the survivor must testify or serve as a witness in the prosecution, which places the survivor at great risk of harm from retaliation by the trafficker if the survivor is not protected. 


Not having the safety net of a T visa and facing possible removal to a country where a trafficker can harm the survivor, and potentially the survivor’s family has a huge chilling effect on the willingness of survivors to come forward. 

This can account for the low number of prosecutions by the Department of Justice in 2019. Not being able to bring traffickers to justice completely undermines Congressional intent and one of the primary purposes underpinning the statute that created the T visa. If traffickers are not held accountable, they can continue to exploit more victims.

USCIS also began issuing more frequent and onerous Requests for Evidence (RFEs). RFEs were typically issued when there is missing information or if a possible issue is discovered and more information is needed. We are now seeing more RFEs that seem to raise the bar for a T visa. When a survivor is unable to satisfy an RFE, her application will be denied, putting her at risk of removal under the NTA policy — a further disincentive to come forward.  

Increased RFEs, plus other bureaucratic hurdles, have contributed to a crisis-level backlog at USCIS such that a T visa application now takes 19.5 to 26.5 months to decide, compared to about 12 months under previous administrations.

Fewer T visas are also being granted: the fiscal year 2019 marked a record low for T visa approvals 

Aggressive enforcement

2017 saw the start of a disturbing new trend — a spike in arrests of folks in and around courthouses, including the Human Trafficking Intervention Court.

The presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers in and around courthouses have had a chilling effect on the willingness of noncitizens to come forward to exercise their rights and seek justice. As with our client, Carrie*, a trafficking survivor who was evicted by her trafficker. 

The trafficker’s attorney told Carrie that if she continued to come to court to fight her eviction case, that ICE would be there to deport her. The threat worked — fearing arrest and possible removal back to her country. Carrie stopped fighting back and agreed to an eviction order forcing her to become homeless until she could find new housing. 

Policies that create barriers for immigrant survivors to come forward, report crimes, cooperate with law enforcement and apply for protection in the United States, push survivors further into the shadows, making them more vulnerable to being trafficked or re-trafficked, harmed or even killed. 

It’s time for this government to recognize the harmful effects its anti-immigrant policies are having on trafficking survivors.

It’s time to roll back the harmful policies that make it almost impossible for survivors to seek protection under our country’s immigration laws. And beginning this January, this administration should finally make its immigration policies support its anti-trafficking rhetoric.

*Name changed to protect the identity

Evangeline M. Chan is the director of the Safe Horizon Immigration Law Project based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Follow her on Twitter @EvangelineMChan

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How many immigrants are denied citizenship each year? Curious Texas took an oath to find out – The Dallas Morning News

Naturalization — the process immigrants go through to become citizens — was first built into U.S. law with the passage of the Naturalization Act of 1790.

Back then naturalization was open only to “any alien, being a free white person.”

Nowadays naturalization is open to immigrants of all races and ethnicities who are ready to take the final step at the end of the long-winding bureaucratic path that is the U.S. immigration system.

After taking the Oath of Allegiance at what are often emotional swearing-in ceremonies, immigrants are bestowed the same fundamental rights as citizens born on U.S. soil. They go forward being able to vote and get U.S. passports.

But naturalization requires more than simply filling out an application.

Immigrants usually spend thousands of dollars in application and legal fees and must reside in the U.S. for a number of years as legal permanent residents before they can become eligible to naturalize.

Even then, tens of thousands of immigrants are denied citizenship each year and many see their applications stall for months or years.

One reader asked The Dallas Morning News — as part of our ongoing Curious Texas series — how many immigrants are denied citizenship each year. We took a look at three naturalization stats from 2009 to 2018:

  • Naturalizations each year.
  • How many petitions for naturalization the federal government receives.
  • And how many of those petitions are denied.

Close to 78,000 naturalization applications were denied on average between 2009 and 2018, though numbers varied each year.

Requirements for citizenship

Before immigrants can apply for naturalization, they need to have been legal permanent residents for three to five years. Immigrants who obtain green cards through a spouse can naturalize in three years.

Immigrants must also:

  • Be at least 18 years of age when filing for naturalization.
  • Speak, read and write English in some capacity.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of U.S. civics.
  • Must be of “good moral character.”
  • Must demonstrate attachment to the U.S. and its constitution.

Getting legal permanent residency sounds like a straightforward process, but immigrants can find themselves waiting years to hear back about their green cards or being admitted to the U.S., said Jeanne Batalova, a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute.

Legal permanent residency can be obtained through family, employment or a wide variety of other categories. But limits exist on how many green cards are issued to each country and all immigrants aren’t eligible for just any visa categories.

Some immigrants wait up to 20 years to be approved for family-based legal permanent residency, she added.

“The devil is in the details and usually these details are lost in public discussion and how we talk about the immigration system,” Batalova said.

Why some immigrants don’t naturalize or get denied

About 9 million legal permanent residents were eligible to naturalize in 2015, according to a report from the Department of Homeland Security.

About 1 million Texas immigrants were eligible to naturalize in 2016, according to an analysis from the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at the University of Southern California. And close to 260,00 live in the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area.

Batalova said immigrants are sometimes happy with the benefits a green card offers them and are comfortable staying with that status. Some are worried that they won’t pass the English test.

Sometimes it’s a criminal record, not paying taxes, providing incorrect information, owing child support or failing the civics test that keeps immigrants from naturalizing. Nationwide, about 90% of immigrants pass the civics test.

“Some immigrants have their own reasons. It could be financial constraints or it could be their choice because they don’t want to give up citizenship in their country of origin,” Batalova said.

The cost of applying for naturalization -- the final step before an immigrant becomes a U.S, citizen -- is jumping up by 83% because of a new policy from the Trump administration.

Mexico, for example, didn’t allow Mexicans living abroad to hold dual citizenship until 1998 and that kept many Mexicans from seeking U.S. citizenship.

There’s also the costs that come with seeking naturalization. Right now it costs about $640 — plus an $85 fee for a fingerprints and photo session — to file an application for naturalization. Those costs don’t include legal fees.

“If you have three or four family members, that’s a lot of money,” Batalova said.

Those costs may soon go up. The Trump administration has proposed increasing the cost of applying for citizenship from $640 to $1,170. Batalova said she expects to see a surge in naturalization petitions due to this potential price increase.

Some immigrants simply find themselves waiting for their naturalization applications to be approved or denied. As of September 2019, there were close to 650,000 pending naturalization applications nationwide.

“It’s important to convey that the fluctuations we see in naturalization numbers can be explained by how difficult it is to apply for citizenship in the first place,” Batalova said.

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ICE, judges deny protections for disabled immigrants in custody, attorneys say – San Francisco Chronicle

Lawyers representing undocumented immigrants detained by ICE allege that courts and government authorities under the Trump administration are not complying with a federal court order that protects mentally disabled immigrants in California, Arizona and Washington.

The order, established in 2013 after a class-action lawsuit known as Franco-Gonzalez, applies to detained immigrants who suffer from serious mental illnesses or disabilities — such as bipolar disorder and autism — by providing them free access to counsel. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is required to flag individuals who show symptoms, and those immigrants then go before a judge for a competency hearing to determine if they qualify for protections.

But immigration judges are granting these protections to fewer people, and ICE is referring fewer of them to the courts, attorneys say. That is forcing perhaps hundreds of disabled and mentally ill immigrants to represent themselves in court even though they are unfit to do so, putting them at risk of being deported without due process.

There are no publicly available statistics on the number of immigrants deemed incompetent to represent themselves in court in recent years, and the results of individual cases are often difficult to track, according to several attorneys who handle Franco cases.

Anecdotal records of these alleged violations prompted attorneys for plaintiffs in the Franco-Gonzalez case to file a motion in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, asking that the Department of Homeland security submit information — including data — on how it’s handling current Franco cases.

A judge granted the motion Jan. 10, saying the evidence attorneys presented is “more than adequate to raise serious questions about potential ongoing noncompliance.”

Attorneys laid out in court documents nearly a dozen cases they say are violations. They include:

• A man who was not given Franco protections until a third-party legal organization stepped in, despite several indications he was suffering from a psychotic disorder. The man, who was not identified, experienced a psychotic break while detained at the Eloy Detention Center in Arizona and reported hearing voices telling him to jump off the roof of the jail’s housing complex.

• An individual who waited seven months for Franco protections despite a reported history of schizophrenia and hallucinations.

• An individual who was ordered deported without ever receiving a competency hearing, despite a schizophrenia diagnosis and a previous stay in June 2019 in a psychiatric hospital, where he completed a criminal sentence.

The government said the allegations do not raise serious questions about their noncompliance, according to court documents. In response to arguments that diagnoses by qualified mental health providers should have prompted timely competency hearings for the detainees, the government said that “is not enough to establish class membership, rather, it must be accompanied by significant symptoms.”

Attorneys representing detained immigrants in the Bay Area say an incident that occurred in court late last year illustrates the tougher approach some judges are taking in Franco cases.

During a hearing in San Francisco on Nov. 13, attorney Kelly Wells requested a competency hearing — known formally as a Judicial Competency Inquiry — to determine whether her client, Carlos Saavedra, was eligible for Franco protections.

Judge Patrick O’Brien denied her request, despite diagnoses from two psychologists saying Saavedra, 21, has an auditory processing disorder that prevents him from comprehending complex verbal communication.

When Wells pressed the issue, O’Brien removed her from the courtroom — a highly unusual move that several attorneys and at least one judge said they have never witnessed in their careers. O’Brien later recused himself from Saavedra’s case.

“There was overwhelming, voluminous evidence that this young man suffers from a disability. And yet, the judge literally said to us, ‘I don’t have a doubt that he is competent,’” said Wells, deputy public defender for the San Francisco Public Defender’s Immigration Defense Unit, which provides pro bono legal representation to detained immigrants facing deportation.

O’Brien, a former ICE attorney who took the bench in August 2017, is not authorized to give interviews, said Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the Executive Office of Immigration Review, an office in the Justice Department that oversees U.S. immigration courts.

“EOIR remains committed to ensuring that all who come before its courts will receive due process and a timely and fair adjudication,” Mattingly said in an email.

The Franco-Gonzalez class settlement is named after Jose Antonio Franco-Gonzalez, a Mexican immigrant with a cognitive disability who was detained in federal immigration facilities for nearly five years without a court hearing or an attorney. He sued the federal government in 2010. A settlement followed a few years later.

The court order covers only jurisdictions that fall under the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, based in San Francisco. But the government offers similar protections to mentally ill detainees in other states.

Detainees undergo a variety of screenings as soon as they’re processed into an ICE facility. If the screening shows evidence of a serious mental disorder, a mental health assessment follows within 14 days.

If ICE authorities note symptoms that would likely make an individual qualify for legal protections as a Franco class member — such as hallucinations, psychosis, traumatic brain injury, dementia or intellectual developmental delays — they’re required to notify the ICE Office of Chief Counsel, which must follow up on the notice. A judge then has three weeks to hold a competency hearing.

Not all potential class members are flagged by ICE. Attorneys and other individuals who come in contact with the detainee may also raise concerns to the government or the court.

And, if an immigration judge has a “bona fide doubt” about an immigrant’s ability to represent him or herself in court, the judge can also order mental health screenings to determine competence.

Under Franco, if an individual is deemed incompetent, the person is appointed a lawyer paid for by the U.S. government and granted bond hearings every six months, among other protections.

But medical staff in ICE facilities often underreport mental heath issues, despite previous symptoms or diagnoses, according to Valerie Zukin, an attorney with the Northern California Collaborative for Immigrant Justice. Medical records are also difficult for detainees to obtain, she said.

“We have huge concerns about what’s happening,” Zukin said. “Even if they get past that first hurdle and get a competency hearing, judges have the authority to determine whether the person is competent. They’re increasingly hesitant to find people incompetent except in the most extreme cases.”

The three-year monitoring period established by the court to ensure the government was complying with Franco ended two years ago, leaving attorneys in the dark about how these cases are playing out in court.

“After that we’ve had a couple of years where we don’t really know what’s going on,” said Ahilan Arulanantham, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union in Southern California who represented plaintiffs in the Franco case. “We don’t even know how many class members there are on any given day. We used to know that.”

About 1,000 class members were deemed incompetent to represent themselves between January 2015 and April 2018 due to serious mental disorders, according to attorneys for the plaintiffs.

Unlike other court judges, immigration judges fall under the executive branch, appointed by the Department of Justice.

Under a policy established in 2018, judges are required to complete 700 cases a year or risk poor performance evaluations, in an effort to diminish a backlog of 1 million immigration cases across the county.

That may be a factor in the reduction in Franco approvals, said Dana Leigh Marks, a San Francisco immigration judge for more than 30 years and former president of the National Association of Immigration Judges.

“The pressures have been unparalleled in the 33 years I’ve been an immigration judge,” said Marks, who spoke as a union member.

In the Nov. 13 court hearing in immigration court in San Francisco, Wells was acting as a “friend of the court,” when she appeared before O’Brien, meaning she was advocating on Saavedra’s behalf but was not formally his attorney at the time. She has since taken him on as a client.

The Chronicle obtained an audio recording of the hearing from the public defender’s office. After asking Saavedra three questions — how he was doing that day, if he’d found an attorney and whether he was trying to find an attorney — O’Brien said, in part, “I have no doubt as to the respondent’s competence at this point.”

Wells argued that diagnoses by two credentialed psychologists in the past seven years — the most recent in 2013 — made Saavedra eligible for legal protection. O’Brien said he did not see that as a qualified health professional making a mental health diagnosis.

“I’m sorry your honor, I don’t think your personal doubt comes into play here,” Wells said. “I believe that’s a misreading of the settlement, and frankly it gives me great concern for those individuals who don’t have the benefit of a public defender tracking their case.”

O’Brien declined to hold a competency hearing for Saavedra, saying, “I have enough experiences in these cases now where I think I can tell reasonably well that we could hold a (hearing) but this respondent is going to pass with flying colors.”

Wells told O’Brien he was forcing the Department of Homeland Security to violate Franco. She threatened to file a complaint against him.

A security guard removed her from the courtroom at O’Brien’s request. The judge said Wells was being disruptive.

Saavedra, who has been detained at the Mesa Verde Detention Facility in Bakersfield for four months, was arrested by ICE in September following convictions for DUI and possession of a controlled substance.

He was enrolled in an adult school in Roseville (Placer County) at the time of his arrest, and faces possible deportation.

He said he didn’t feel like O’Brien made an effort to listen to Wells’ arguments or to understand his case.

“I don’t think he liked her standing up for me,” Saavedra said in a December call from Mesa Verde. “I don’t think he liked that about her and he decided to do something about it.”

Tatiana Sanchez is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @TatianaYSanchez

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Scoop: Trump to target “birth tourism” in new immigration fight – Axios

The Trump administration has a new target on the immigration front — pregnant women visiting from other countries — with plans as early as this week to roll out a new rule cracking down on “birth tourism,” three administration officials told Axios.

Why it matters: Trump has threatened to end birthright citizenship and railed against immigrant “anchor babies.” The new rule would be one of the first tangible steps to test how much legal authority the administration has to prevent foreigners from taking advantage of the 14th Amendment’s protection of citizenship for anyone born in the U.S.

  • “This change is intended to address the national security and law enforcement risks associated with birth tourism, including criminal activity associated with the birth tourism industry,” a State Department official told Axios.
  • The regulation is also part of the administration’s broader efforts to intensify the vetting process for visas, according to another senior administration official.

The big picture: “Birth tourists” often come to the U.S. from China, Russia and Nigeria, according to the AP.

  • There’s no official count of babies born to foreign visitors in the U.S., while the immigration restrictionist group Center for Immigration Studies — which has close ties to Trump administration immigration officials — puts estimates at around 33,000 every year.

How the new regulation would work: It would alter the requirements for B visas (or visitor visas), giving State Department officials the authority to deny foreigners the short-term business and tourism visas if they believe the process is being used to facilitate automatic citizenship.

  • It’s unclear yet how the rule would be enforced — whether officials would be directed to consider pregnancy or the country of the woman’s citizenship in determining whether to grant a visa.
  • Consular officers who issue passports and visas “are remarkably skilled at sussing out true versus false claims,” the senior official said.
  • “The underlying practical issue is that very few people who give birth in the U.S. got a visa for that specific purpose. Most people already have visas and come in later,” according to Jeffrey Gorsky, former chief legal adviser in the State Department visa office.

This is but one step in the administration’s plans to make it harder for people from other countries to benefit from birthright citizenship.

  • “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” the senior official said. “Just the legal recognition that this is improper and wrong and not allowed is a significant step forward.”
  • The plans to address the use of B visas for birth tourism were included in the latest version of the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions.
  • Immigration experts expect there to be a similar rule for Customs and Border Protection to go along with the State Department’s regulation.

What to watch: Most of Trump’s major immigration moves have been met with lawsuits. If the regulation leaves it to officers’ discretion to ensure that B visas aren’t used for birth tourism, it would be difficult to challenge in court, according to Lynden Melmed, an attorney and former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

  • “State Department officials have all the discretion in the world to deny people visas,” said Sarah Pierce of the Migration Policy Institute. Foreign nationals who are outside the U.S. and have not yet received visas “don’t have a lot of legal standing.”
  • But specific restrictions that could keep out non-birth tourism visitors — such as pregnant women coming to the U.S. for business, etc. — would be legally questionable, according to Melmed and Gorsky.

Go deeper: Trump’s most effective border wall isn’t a physical one

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