A few months ago I was almost laughed off by some colleagues who decried the obscene early retirement package that the TSJ, Venezuelan High Court, had decided for themselves. People, from Alo Ciudadano to Miguel bitched about the financial abuse. And yet at the time I was probably the lone initial voice stating clearly that it was a judicial coup, that the retirement scheme was a mere excuse to renew enough judges at the TSJ, for fresh 12 years terms just in case the opposition were to win or get at least more than one third of the seats in the December election. Not to pat myself on the back but yesterday I was proven right. So right that I could not even bother to write on this topic until tonight.
Look at the list of the nine new judges and be impressed. ALL are PSUV political hacks or "public servants" that worked close to Chavez. And yet chavismo got only 48% of the vote last September. There is not a single judge that can be linked to the opposition. Heck, there is not a single new judge that can even be suspected of objectivity. All are pro Chavez militants who will make sure that the TSJ never gives a decision that might upset Chavez. PERIOD. If anyone is able to prove me wrong I will open the page of the blog for them to post a credible text on that matter. I will even defer judgment on the suitability for publication to my fellow bloggers which you may contact on your own.
Let me give you some examples.
2 of the new "judges" are lawyers that until Tuesday were representatives of the PSUV in the National Assembly. Exactly as if Obama were to name, say, Nanci Pelosi to the Supreme Court saying that she will be objective, that she can learn to listen equally to democrats and republicans. Even Pelosi would laugh! But to add insult to injury, one of these two guys goes to the Electoral court. Yes, in Venezuela there is a special court within the TSJ to decide on electoral cases. So there you have, the wolf looking after the sheep!Observe that I am not even bothering to name them: after all in a way it does not change much the way "justice" operates in Venezuela except that it will be a little bit more blatant in favor of Chavez, if possible.
One judge was the lawyer of the rebels of 1992, both February 4 and November 23.
One was the executive official attorney, "procurador de la republica", that is the guy that was in charge of defending legally the legal projects presented by the executive.
One was a judge in a labor tribunal objected by the Communist Party itself becasue that court apparently always sided against the workers when they sued the government as a boss.
So now Chavez retains a solid, militant, even radical majority in every court of the TSJ, for at least half a decade, enough to insure his reelection, to alter the economical system of the country, to destroy private property, to close down Globovision and a few newspapers, etc, etc... As far as I know there is only one judge left that expresses legal criticism on occasion and maybe a couple of other that on certain cases will retain a certain independence (though it might be a studied one, on command, since the regime never loses a case).
And what about the MUD of the opposition? Any real reaction? Or are they going to remain wondering about why Isaias did not meet the final cut (which seems to have been a media distraction while the real radical list was set up)?
Am I to remain one of the lone Cassandra, so cynical by now that I am not beyond congratulating myself on my prescience? When are we going to see the MUD take a real stand? Or do they think that they can actually win 2012 election if they let Chavez complete his coup without at least denouncing it?