Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The inevitable confrontation: let's begin by unseating a few representatives

As I have been writing through December in any possible way that I could come up with, the confrontation between the regime and the opposition new National Assembly is inevitable. And started in all earnest today. By demanding that almost a dozen MUD representative election is to be questioned, the regime has deprived the new majority of its supernumerary majority of 2/3 which would have allowed it to change some of the worst and more repressive and manipulative laws approved under Chavez. Namely the laws that ensure the regime's near dictatorial nature such as freedom of expression and control of the judiciary by the regime (absolute, 100% control by the way as nobody remembers the last time the regime lost a case in the high court TSJ).

True, the Assembly still preserves the 3/5 super-majority that it needs to control fiscal aspects of the regime, but the ones that matter, the ones that can bring back democracy to Venezuela, are, for the time being, lost.  Let's look at some details.

The regime uses two excuses to justify that up to a dozen of the newly elected representatives should not be seated. Note: such massive annulment is unprecedented in Venezuela since regular elections started in 1958, the more so that the regime controls tightly the electoral system which makes it implausible the theory that the opposition could commit fraud at election time (see OAS secretary Almagro 18 pages letter to Tibisay Lucena, head of the electoral board CNE).

The first motive is that in a few districts the amount of nil votes is larger than the margin of victory of the opposition candidate. In the eyes of the regime PSUV vehicle this mean that the real will of the people has not been expressed. In short: the regime does not recognize the possibility of the nil vote.

The first line of criticism against such a view is that if the nil vote needs to be taken into account then there should be no abstention and everyone should be obliged to vote. An obligation, by the way, that chavismo removed in the Constitution of 1999. The second immediate objection is that there is no way to say which way the nil vote would have gone if these people had been "obliged" to make a choice. At least in that part of the ruling the representatives are not unseated outright but the TSJ has opened the door to repeat the election in those district without any justifiable reason, going over the attributions of the CNE which should decide on such matters BEFORE the TSJ does. That is, if you consider that the CNE did not give you justice then you go to the high court of the country. The regime simply uses its stronghold on the judicial power to dictate the resolutions it needs to be dictated, bypassing whatever needs to be bypassed, starting with the will of the people.

The second motive is that apparently in the state of Amazonas, in the Wild South of the country, there may have been cases of vote buying. First, let's note the absolute cynicism of the regime who has made it an institutional practice to buy vote and blackmail public employees in voting for the regime, as they did in Amazonas. After the vote we have Maduro himself on record saying that since people did not vote for him he did not see any point in keeping building housing for them. We have the director of electrical service in Venezuela firing people suspected of not having voted for the regime. We have the documented distributions of goodies such as tablets, before the election. But even if we assume that there was indeed vote buying by the Amazonas governor who seats with the opposition, how do you know the people blackmailed into voting for you did so in the end? After all the vote is secret EVEN in Amazonas; and in other areas where the regime exerted huge pressure it lost the election anyway. For example in ALL of Caracas districts. Thus vote "buying" is no guarantee of vote "getting".

Let's go a little further in the vote buying supposition. Before you write a sentence to unseat an elected representative for Amazonas, which the TSJ just did, you need to have an investigation, possibly a trial, definitely real verifiable evidence. None of these things exist to this writing, we only have declarations of the PSUV direction with an illegal phone tapping which authenticity has yet to be established.  I will go further, you need to prove that the elected representatives actually worked directly at vote buying. It is quite conceivable that a third party with interest in the electoral result may have bought the vote behind the scenes but that is no reason to punish FIRST the elected official, without a trial, even a fake trial.

I trust that with these very simple arguments stated above it is quite clear for the reader that what is going on is a judicial coup to deny the genuine expression of the people of Venezuela in rejecting the regime. Period.

What can the opposition do?

It started by the easiest way offered by the hurried desperation of the regime: it decided to demand that the justices in charge of that sentence be declared as unfit for conflict of interests. See, one of the judges is someone who was a PSUV representative in the outgoing Assembly and was hurriedly, and illegally, appointed judge a week ago. Clearly, such a judge, member of the PSUV until a very few days ago, cannot be fair and impartial. And more like that.

The opposition has also other choices. It can go international and has already enough evidence to require that the OAS applies the sanctions previewed in its democracy chart. That is, demand that Venezuela be not recognized anymore as a functional democracy. Just with the precedent of the 18 page letter of OAS secretary Almagro it is near impossible that the regime wins its case. A letter has already been sent to various organizations.

However international help, if it comes, is slow. Meanwhile at home the choices are not as clear. The Assembly may decide to seat the questioned deputies anyway and thus enter in a direct power confrontation. The TSJ may disband the New Assembly for contempt, etc. etc......

The fact of the matter is that the regime has decided to use any way it can to annul the MUD victory. And that is that. Recent evidence? Maduro is using the remaining two days of his enabling law to dictate more control measures to limit the scope of action of the new Assembly. He also said that he could not care less about the new "burguesa" assembly, that he was going against the "capitalismo salvaje"

In case you have any doubt of the totalitarian mentality of the regime there is that clip from yesterday when on live TV a Maduro supporter said that any deserter of chavismo should be put down with a bullet though the head, gesture included. Maduro laughed and told him that such things cannot be said on live TV, which implies that off camera chavismo has no problem using violent and foul language to discuss the fate of its opponents/deserters/traitors. You can see the complete video to truly measure the nature of these people here, if your Spanish allows (the shooting gesture is clearer in the long version).

Friends, it is going to get worse before it gets better.


  1. International help won't amount to anything. The Chavistas already announced they will not allow the National Assembly tv to change its editorial line, and eventually they will reduce the AN to rubble. I see this as a struggle between an entrenched Chavista elite AND its Cuban handlers. The Cuban handlers will advise and help carry out whatever is needed to hold on to power. And Obama's move has encouraged them to do so. I wrote this in Miguel Octavio's and my blog, because it really does need to sink in.

    The best option is to have the assembly meet, recognize all 112 deputies as elected and certified, declare that they will appeal to international bodies, and work hard to get tv coverage inside Venezuela. One device used in Cuba is the distribution of flash drives and hard disks with videos. I would have something compatible with cell phones taped once a week, and have 1000 phone memory cards distributed in the barrios.

    The key is to pass the message that the National Assembly is largely powerless. As the economy continues to unravel you really need to avoid violence. Things will get worse, but the key is to make sure everybody knows Maduro and the Cubans are to blame. Linking Maduro to his Cuban masters is a key item. You have been invaded and can't acknowledge it, but making this a Cuba and its agents versus Venezuela is what unites everybody to do what needs to be done.,,which is essentially peaceful resistance until Maduro et al are forced to give up.

    If you can try to make Latin American politicians the key is to make sure Maduro's moves don't lead to violence. This also needs to be conveyed to the USA and EU, together with the information about Maduro's subservience to Raúl and Alejandro Castro.

  2. Apparently they still have 2/3 : 109 MUD.
    But the Chavista TSJ Thugs are just getting warmed-up, testing the waters..

  3. Isn't our beloved president a likeable characters. Take for example yesterday's discourse: “Yo no me voy a rendir, pido al pueblo que nadie se rinda ante la Asamblea burguesa, me sabe a casabe la Asamblea burguesa, voy de frente contra el capitalismo salvaje, vean qué hace con su mayoría”

    Vean qué hace con su mayoría??????

    This situation will not last long for only one reason: there is no money and that is the overriding factor .

    Happy new year to all.

  4. "However international help, if it comes, is slow. Meanwhile at home the choices are not as clear. The Assembly may decide to seat the questioned deputies anyway and thus enter in a direct power confrontation. The TSJ may disband the New Assembly for contempt, etc. etc......"

    I highly doubt that any "international help" or more condemnations, even unlikely Economic sanctions, would actually DO anything against the Criminal Regime. 'Eso no le hace ni mella a esos malandros.'

    What is happening should already be called by its name, Daniel is right: Un Coup d'Etat Judiciel. And yes, we can fully expect an all-out, gloves-off, filthy battle between "poderes del estado". A 2016 Criollo Star Wars of sorts. The Legislative MUD power, against the Executive Malandros Power AND the Judicial Mercenary Power. They will rule against each ocher, claiming the "Law" is on their side.

    So it will inevitably come down to a nasty power struggle, breaking the laughable 'constitution' for breakfast every morning; expect numerous, juicy Bribes to MUD deputies, then extorsions, death threats, then violence, and possibly even murders. Ca va chauffer..

    Always keep in mind what the Chavista Thugs in power are really facing: Extensive JAIL time, and Frozen bank accounts, no less. They won't just be nice and go away..

    So the Parliament ignores the TSJ, then TSJ rules against the Parliament, and the Executive with special decrees and twisted powers backs the TSJ. 2 contra 1. Amid such an arroz-con-mango, gridlock ensues, confusion, false arrests, more "impugnaciones", violence.. forget about "la comunidad internacional.." They are laughable too. The Ex-presidentes and John Kerry will say their usual useless BS, big deal.. And Almagro will issue another sterile little statement, on which the Chavistas will gladly take another piss.

    It's gonna come down to People Power, Gente a la Calle, and/or the Military. If the Military doesn't intervene in favor of the MUD, if they don't release Leopoldo and others, if the TSJ freezes the Parliament in many ways, the only way out is in the Street.

    Maybe this is a radical view, maybe they will try to soften the blow, and allow the MUD to rule sometimes, others not, let'em keep a majority (but not the 2 thirds) and weasel their way out, still pretending to be "democratic". Perhaps they will avoid a military or social explosion. But I'm afraid it will be a lot uglier than that.

  5. This should be the end of the road for those that believe cohabitation is possible with Maduro and Cabello. The Assembly should explicitly state that it has a mandate to - as close as possible - make a new government. There is absolutely NO hope to have Maduro execute laws passed by the Assembly. The military is going to have to follow the consequences of prohibiting fraud on Dec 6 by supporting the Assembly in the work up to and including forming a De Facto government. The constitutional argument does not work on people accustomed to "revolutionary" logic which always boils down to "by whatever means necessary."

  6. Isn't Padrino's time up as head of military? Who will come to the rescue on 6 January.

    1. Nobody will do anything on Jan 6. If the conflict remains peaceful the opposition wins. The key is to inform the people that Maduro is attempting to overturn the popular will, that he is a Cuban agent, and that the conflict is between this agent and his helpers, fighting against loyal Venezuelans who happen to be Chavistas. The unity faction and the people have to sit out an internal Chavista conflict. As the economy continues to implode the loyal Chavistas may gain the upper hand. But it will take decades to fix the damage caused by Maduro. And Venezuela should not have a puppet in power who runs to Havana for orders all the time.

    2. People still seem to underestimate the Dire situation the Chavista Criminal thugs are in. If/when displaced from power, the big fish face major charges, nationally and especially internationally. The DEA does not fool around. The USA and the Europeans are serious people, they go by the law, most times.

      Look at Rincon, look at what's happening in Brazil, not just to Marcello:

      JAIL, plus frozen bank accounts. All the mansions, yachts, apartments in Europe or the Caribbean: could be gone.

      Those are the people with REAL power: the people with the money and the crimes: PDVSA thieves, Corpoelec, Derwick, etc, etc. The big Military behind CapoCabello and Mazburro. The Tareks with the Narco-Billions. That's where it's at.

      For those who think they will all of a sudden become nice guys, abide by the "constitution" and just go away singing the Blues, think again. They are not suicidal, masochistic or that stupid , and they are demonstrated criminal thugs. They are rich and fear loosing and everything and going to jail.

      What would you do if you were such a mega-thug in Power?

  7. And in Ecuador, Rafael Correa, president, supports the Venezuela Regime!

  8. Anonymous1:17 PM

    Letting the currency float will be a tactically perfect first blow against corruption.

  9. A few things. First, if the regime is using the excuse that nullified votes are causing some seats to be investigated that should work both ways as my understanding is they won a few too by less then the number of nullified votes.
    Second, the USA is heavily in this and is in it to confiscate billions to put into its own coffers.
    Third, is 3/5ths enough to float the currency and end the oil giveaways. If so the payments to the military through selling reduced cost goods is done and they will further lose control of them.
    Fourth, all this proves is Lopez was right and the election means nothing. It will come down to whether the people in mass will stand up to the regime and who will the military side with (or negotiate the best deal with). The Cuban masters at much of the head of the military do not fear the law as they will ultimately return to Cuba when all is done.

    1. It doesn't work both ways. And no, not much will change unless the National Assembly gets access to a national tv station. The regime started dismantling the National Assembly TV channel equipment last night. They know the access to media is key.

  10. So can someone tell me how the Venezuelan parliament 2/3rds works. If MUD now will seat 109 of 163 (167-4 suspended) they still have 2/3rds in the parliament. Or is it 112 votes required for super majority and not ratio of seated parliament members?

    1. 109 will do. But the regime already claims other deputies should not be allowed to be sworn in. The key is to remember that Maduro is controlled to a large extent by the Castro dictatorship. They won't stop at anything. The Venezuelan people may be able to get rid of the Cuban control apparatus, but this requires armed forces intervention. And the Cubans are using the few remaining days to try to neutralize opposition in the Venezuelan army. I hear the national guard is a mixed bag, the navy is somewhat split, but the army officer corps is what may be able to overcome the Cuban directed repression.

  11. Charly11:28 AM

    Here is an individual who since 2007 published a total of 624 articles in Apporea. Following is a link to his last one published yesterday. Winds of change? Really worth a read, especially the last sentence. Happy new year to all.

    1. The Chavistoide Aporrea pseudo-intellectuals are the worst of the worst. They now claim Madurismo is to blame for everything, but El Pajarito Comandante Eterno is still great. They still adore Chavez, and communist retarded ideals. As long as they get a piece of the pie, of course, some day. They are hideous sinking-ship jumping rats. Filth like Nicmer Evans and all of the MAS scoundrels.

      They deliberately employ their fancy verbosity, -- combined with populachero expressions and "pueblo" fake adulations -- just to appear wise, educated and righteous. They write convoluted, idealistic crap trying to impress and twist weak minds. They exploit the lack of education and naivete of the Chavistoide readers to push their disgusting political agendas."Ay, mira que gonito habla ejte señol, ese si sabe lo que dise!!"

      In fact, like all "Marxists", pseudo "socialists" Chavista thugs, are they are is waiting for their chance to grab a piece of El Coroto, blending in with the next MUD. Masters of disguise, fake as can be, they are nothing more than salivating hyenas and vultures circling around Vzla's decomposing corpse, just waiting to get their chuck of flesh. First chance they'll get, they will concoct their own massive Guisos, steal a few millions, and retire with massive bank accounts. That's what fake "communists" and double-faced Chavistas always do: Get Rich.

    2. Will these stinking Aporrea Liars ever admit that Chavez is directly to blame for all current disasters in Vzla and the destruction of the country? Of course not. They conveniently forget 12 YEARS of failed policies, control de cambio, nazionalizaciones, ravaging the private industries, expropriaciones, etc, etc. No, it's all Maduro and Cabello fault. Chavez was a Saint, a hero, and Chavismo is still a great ideology.. That's how twisted they are. They know there is still widespread popular support for Chavez, by the Millions. Will they ever mention the Trilions that were stolen under Chavismo while Pajarito was alive and well, in complete control, for over a decade? Of course not. And they still love Chavez's Billionaire Daughters, don't they? They all make me puke.

  12. Ronaldo10:59 PM

    Time to say to the Chavistas that "Es irreversible". They did it for Maduro, now it needs repeating.


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