Thursday, December 09, 2010

Chavez slow motion coup d'état: first part complete, the judicial safely under control

Chavez has started his road to eternal power long ago but in the second half of this year he has started in all earnest his final coup d'etat, a slow motion one, where he will create the conditions that will make it impossible for anyone to ever challenge him seriously.  The reasons have already been explained at length by yours truly a few weeks ago.  So now it is time to start a series of articles whose general title will be "Chavez slow motion coup d'état: XYZ" where I will describe as they happen the different elements of the coup as they become clearly visible or as they are completed.  A nifty 2010 coup tag will also be created.  Today we can start with what happened yesterday, the National Assembly naming unconstitutionally (but then, a coup is always unconstitutional, is it not?)

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!

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.
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.

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?


  1. Anonymous6:14 AM

    Daniel-Usted lo ha dicho...lo que esta pasando es nada mas/nada menos que un lento coup d'etat Perdone la molestia pero lo que falta en este momento es tirar plomo

  2. Hello Daniel, long time no see...This is the same that happened in 1999, rains and the quest for absolute power.

    Here's an excellent (always the modest)post that your ghost wrote in 2005.


  3. Juan Cristobal5:07 PM

    In defense of the MUD: how is this bunch any more radical than the bunch we had before? I mean, we lost the TSJ years ago. This is just substituting one set of chavista sycophants for another one.

    O no?

  4. Daniel,
    I won't be surprised if during these long imposed school vacations the regime performs a couple of dirty tricks.

    Remember what happened back then during the Vargazo?

  5. Jorge

    If it is true that Chavez will use any excuse to grab more power, it remains that the circumstances today are not the same than when you used to write ghost posts. All what is happening today would have happened with or without rain because it needs to happen before January 2011. In fact all was announced long ago.

    You comment? What does it mean? Are you planning to start blogging again? Must I renew your access to the blog? We would greatly enjoy your views if you wanted to come back from exile!

  6. JC dearest

    Maybe I was not clear, but the silence of the MUD on certain recent events is deafening. Sometimes I think that they are so exhausted or proud of their September 26 hit that they think it is all in the bag.... By now they should have already announced some actions to be taken, even if only to fill up the air. In fact, the dreadful feeling I have is that they are all getting ready for vacation so Chavez will have the playing field for himself between Xmas and New Year.

    I do not know, they could for example call for a massive "potazo" for Capriles Radonski rescue effort. Un potazo con nombre y apellido, like they did for Globovision!

  7. Liz

    A couple only?

  8. I'm so upset that i will say that the MUD is just behaving like the reds says they will behave. Like a group of people interested only in getting a position of power (relatively speaking) so they can get thei cut of the pie.
    Another (negative) point of view is that they know they wont get this man out of there so they are happy with their tiny "victory". So convinced that is useless to do something that they don´t even bother no more

  9. "So convinced that is useless to do something that they don´t even bother no more"

    This is sooooooooo true :(

    Previous to september 26, I had the chance to talk to a relative (far one :p) that was a substitute deputy candidate for those elections, running for UNT here in Zulia, he told us that the numbers the party was handling were around 35% of the assembly going oppo, then he drank whatever was left of whiskey on his glass, puts a sad face and tells us that "what can you expect? *sigh*"

    I dont want to "incite to magnicide" or "make apology to crime", but, the more the time passes, the more it seems that this will end with something that will make the caracazo look like a tea party, cuz that's the only option that this regime is giving to it's people, y'know, EL PUEBLO!

  10. As for the MUD, it's damned if they do something, damned if they don't. If they let out a squawk at every single thing that happens, they become the boy who cried wolf and no one will listen. I can maybe understand why to hold one's tongue on this one (in their position, I agree with Daniel's post), in the sense that this action won't actually create different TSJ decisions. Chavez already had a loyalty majority ready to support his whims.

    The difference this makes is that every justice is now clearly on that side. This will become a major problem years down the road, post-Chavez, but I don't think the MUD speaking out now would make the least bit of difference.


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