Venezuela: P.J.'s Day in Court

Some chanted: "Viva el General! Viva el General!" Others cried: "Thief! Assassin! Son of a whore!" As police held back the crowd of 3,000, the armored van carrying Marcos Pérez Jiménez, 50, from his jail cell pulled up in front of Caracas' Supreme Court building. It had been more than seven years since the pudgy strongman was overthrown, and last week, after well-heeled exile in the U.S. and 19 not-too-austere months in Venezuelan prisons, Pérez Jiménez was finally being brought to trial.

The charges against him do not include such political crimes as jailing and torturing his opponents. Because of...

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