Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Another day, another constitutional violation (UPDATED)

It cannot be any clearer (my emphasis)

Artículo 279. El Consejo Moral Republicano convocará un Comité de Evaluación de Postulaciones del Poder Ciudadano, que estará integrado por representantes de diversos sectores de la sociedad; adelantará un proceso público de cuyo resultado se obtendrá una terna que será sometida a la consideración de la Asamblea Nacional que, mediante el voto favorable de las dos terceras partes de sus integrantes, escogerá en un lapso no mayor de treinta días continuos al o a la titular del órgano del Poder Ciudadano que esté en consideración. Si concluido este lapso no hay acuerdo en la Asamblea Nacional, el Poder Electoral someterá la terna a consulta popular.
En caso de no haber sido convocado el Comité de Evaluación de Postulaciones del Poder Ciudadano, la Asamblea Nacional procederá, dentro del plazo que determine la ley, a la designación del titular del órgano del Poder Ciudadano correspondiente.
Los y las integrantes del Poder Ciudadano serán removidos por la Asamblea Nacional, previo pronunciamiento del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, de acuerdo con lo establecido en la ley.

Article 279 of the constitution states clearly that the three holders of "citizen power" are to be named by a 2/3 vote of the national assembly after a lengthy process of selection. If the assembly cannot reach a 2/3 agreement, a list of three candidates will be submitted to popular election to fill the 7 year terms.

Using as an excuse an obscure ruling, unconstitutional of course, of the high court the National Assembly today elected by a simple majority the three holders for the next 7 years.

Infamous Luisa Ortega, the nazi-like prosecutor of the regime, a woman so degraded, was of course renewed in her tenure. At this point she might as well hold to it: sort of shooting her victims herself, how much lower can she really go?

For ombudsman or "people defender" a total Chavez apparatchik was named with Tarek Saab. In this most delicate position that requires equilibrium and an absolute lack of partisanship the regime has put someone who used to be close to Chavez but was pushed aside the inner circle by putting him as governor of Anzoategui. After leaving the state he was in sort of an oblivion until his resurrection this week, all steroided up.  The funny thing here is that before Chavez he used to be known as a human rights defender, but once Chavez made it to Miraflores Tarek became a promoter for the theory that human rights only existed for chavistas.

As for the third one, the "republic's comptroller" a quiet discreet figure was appointed to make sure that the boat of corruption shall not be rocked. Manuel Galindo, close to the current power structure, knows very well where the corruption is, so we can be sure he will know how to hold his agents and how to unleash them when the regime needs a purge or something.

There is of course no surprise in the whole thing though even at this late in the game we still manage a little bit of amazement at the brashness of the whole thing.  But there is a simple explanation for yet another constitutional violation (and more to come in the next days for the high court and electoral board appointments). The regime can read polls and knows that even naked electoral fraud may not save it from a new National Assembly next year, controlled by the opposition. Never mind that the economic crisis will get worse by the day.

Thus the regime is preparing itself in any way it can to hold to levers that will attenuate as much as possible a putative opposition victory. A national Assembly voided of significant power in a system where all the controls of the state operate to further annul its action is an option for the regime that it cannot pass on.

NOTE: I assume that there will be elections that will be held in conditions that will allow for an opposition victory. But of course, the regime can find lots of excuses to postpone or void elections, for example through food riots sponsored by the regime itself.

At any rate, if any one thought remotely that there was the possibility of dialogue in the country, today they were set right. Now, what is the opposition going to do? Nothing, that is  my bet.

UPDATE: Bruni gives a perfect explanation, in Spanish, of the high court ruling that allowed for the constitutional violation.


  1. Elections will not be held to allow an opposition victory. Chavistas like Cabello declare the opposition will not be allowed to gain anything, act to make sure the opposition remains toothless, and yet you sit there naively discussing future elections? Elections are like dope they give you once in a while to keep you from exploding. They are your tranquilizer. The only options the venezuelan people have are to leave the country or refuse to work for the regime. But you got too many who think that Chavismo can be moderated. It can't. It has a built in DNA of violence and abuse, dishonesty, corruption and deception. They were trained by the Castro dictatorship to hate and murder, and to do whatever it takes. You don't have an idea of what you are facing.

    1. Are you saying that I believe in elections as a way out? Who ever gave you that crazy idea?

      But things are not that simple. We are in the XXI century and the regime needs some justification to remain in office. There is only so much other countries can accept, even if they have already accepted a lot. The regime is gambling that it will be able to either win narrowly the election, or that it will lose it narrowly and through the rest of the state apparatus be able to still rule until they find a way to "revert" the unfavorable result.

      This being said, there is no doubt in my mind that if they think that even with cheating they cannot avoid a major set back they will find a way to cancel the election.

      Or, to come back to your comment, if we discuss the sex of angels we can also discuss elections in Venezuela. Can't we not?

    2. Anonymous5:51 PM

      The regime needs no justification. They do what they want to do. Why would they need ANY justification?

  2. Island Canuck1:05 PM

    I also have lost faith in any elections.
    Their power in the supreme court allows them to do anything they want.
    They will blatantly steal any election & there is nothing short of a coup that can stop them.

    I also note that they are following the Chavez playbook by doing these things during the Christmas holiday period.

    1. Even with airplane tickets in hard dollars, it is surprising how many still managed to leave the country for the vacation.... And I am talking of people "politically" in charge who leave for vacation no matter what is happening in the country.

    2. We got chavistas here in Spain shopping for Louis Vuitton handbags, driving large rental cars, and eating 17 euro breakfasts (I hear from somebody who's traveling in one of those groups, they got connected to a senior military official and a handy national bank CADIVI dollar source).


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