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The spirit of the law

Ábalos en el Congreso: 16-06-2017 - Marta Jara -
When a ruler takes pride in respecting the letter of the law to violate its spirit, democracy is in danger
Voces Layetanas
José A. Ruiz 28/01/2020 1692
After the negative results of the socialist party two general elections ago (that's yesterday, in a manner of speaking), a man who commented on the outcome of his party with coherence and common sense appeared on the television. That man seemed centered, logical, honest. His name was Manuel Ábalos, and I have rarely been so wrong with anyone.
Today that same politician, already in the government and prey to the need of every politician to defend his actions and those of his party whether they are coherent or not, is delivered to an argumentative juggling capable of making even the most clueless of shame blush.
And all this comes to account of his statements regarding his alleged meeting with Delcy Rodríguez, the Nicolás Maduro second in command.
First we have the string of contradictions as to whether he saw her or not. If he didn't met her, if who he went to see was the Venezuelan tourism minister, Felix Plasencia, but Delcy was on the same plane ...
But if that wasn't enough, the contradictions increased when dealing with the fact that Delcy Rodriguez is banned from accessing the European Union. Ábalos insisted vehemently that, not getting off the plane, since it was he who approached her, technically Delcy didn't set a foot in the European Union. In fact, the law supports this point.
Is this an excuse for the minister to swell his chest of pride for his exemplary compliance with the law? Obviously not. And we'll not go into the subject of witnesses who claim that the Venezuelan diplomat was walking to the VIP lounge of the airport. Ábalos will probably say with the same cement face that Delcy hasn't touched Spanish soil because she wore high heels.
The real problem is that when you look around the letter of the law to circumvent your intention, you are being dishonest. When the European Union banned the entry of the Minister of Maduro into its territory, it wasn't because it preferred to carry out international relations in airports, or in yachts anchored in international waters, but because it was intended to close a door of Europe to a representative of a government. The behavior of Ábalos (with the approval of the Government of Spain) is therefore dishonest, when looking for traps in the law to violate his spirit. He can congratulate himself, as Artur Mas did every time he boasted of his "cunning" by using the legal ins and outs to his advantage. Winning a play this way is losing democracy.

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