|Gladys Gutierrez, |
the new chavismo head bitch, dye job and all...
Let's start with the headline. The TSJ had to make a decision on the challenge to the election of last April. The problem it faced is that any decision that would imply an actual revision of voting conditions for last April would without a doubt open a can of worms. There were already two clearly established electoral irregularities that did not require lengthy study: people accompanied forcibly to vote, on video, and the lists of people "dead" that did vote. Those two, by themselves, were enough to erase the "vote advantage" of Maduro in April and examination of the other claims would reveal that Maduro lost. The TSJ, formed by regime's place holders who simply sign decisions written by political agents, were in an impossible situation: accepting to review the challenges was opening the door for proving the illegitimacy of Maduro; refusing to review the challenges was tantamount to recognize that fraud had taken place. They chose a variation of the second, which is that the 10 electoral challenges were ill written and groundless, thus inadmissible for examination. The 10 challenges! As if all lawyers of the opposition were equally incompetent! As if the videos and death roll did not exist! As if what international observers reported on April 14 was misguided!
But that was not all with the TSJ. It decided to fine Capriles for slandering the TSJ and sent the challenge dossier to the prosecutors office to investigate further and see if other criminal charges could be advanced against Capriles. Now, this is exceedingly serious because it is not only a direct attempt at freedom of expression but it offers the regime a precedent for a new repression tool. What Capriles is accused and condemned before trial (he is already fined!) is to have criticized the TSJ decisions of January and March that gave an unfair advantage to Maduro. If Capriles is fined then this blogger also should be, and thousands of journalists, lawyers, OpEd columnists, etc, etc... who have stated the obvious, that the TSJ decision of proclaim Maduro sitting president for the electoral campaign was a violation of the constitution as only an "elected" sitting president can enjoy that benefit. This is extremely grave because now any critic of any institution of the state can be attacked by that one as defamation, terrorism and what not.
If this was not enough there are two more items to note. This morning one of the right hand of Capriles apartment was searched at 6 AM. Oscar Perez is accused on nebulous connections with Mardo, because they exchanged e-mails or something.... At this time I still cannot find a good account of the why of the case, besides him being one of the key guys of Capriles for Miranda. The timing is certainly interesting: Capriles and his people have been served notice, they are going to be hounded. And the rest of us if we support him, I presume.
But the signal of intensified repression and the reinforcing of the thugs group in power come from inside chavismo itself. Not only there will be no primary nor discussion over the mayor candidates inside chavismo but we learned that ALREADY 33 outgoing mayors will not be allowed to go for reëlection and are demanded to support their appointed wanna-be successors. Stalinist purge stand trial light version for our times.
|Future narco mayor's brother?|
I guess that by now the reader will have guessed what is the conclusion of this entry: the regime has decided to intensify its repression. Again, its inability to deal with the economic crisis and its decreasing polls are pushing it to abandon any pretense and serve notice to the opposition, external or internal, that the days of "dissent" are over and that we are moving toward a more classical form of dictatorship.
1) It is necessary to remind the reader that in a XXI century dictatorship what really matters is the control of money and justice. Thus the regime may allow the opposition to control though elections a few districts that are going to be neutered anyway. What matters for the regime is the control of key districts like those with airport and harbors, military bases, etc...
Added later. William Neuman of the NYT just out with his piece. I am not impressed, and I merely cite it so you know you need to read blogs to know the whole story....ut I truly think
Added later 2. I realize some will complain I did not write about "what next?". But we need to be serious and think this one carefully through. Let me sleep it over.
Errata. When writing this entry I got misled by one of the links I read into confusing Cliver with Carlos Alcala Cordones. They are brothers together in the army but Carlos is not on the DEA list, it is Cliver. Even though it is Cliver who is the unmasked thug it is hard to think that his brother is not somewhat involved in the "business", or at least with the thugs of the regime on non drug related activities. So I have not changed much the paragraph on them, just corrected for names and explained the relationship. It is up to Carlos, if he is elected mayor, to prove me wrong.