Capriles to foreign governments: Don't cross this line


In a forceful performance today, Henrique Capriles outlined the opposition’s stance re. January 10th.

With Lara Governor Henri Falcón by his side (Hint: these two are a team) the governor of Miranda warned foreign governments about endorsing the PSUV’s plans to take over the government unconstitutionally. To sum it up, his position, and the position of the MUD, is crystal clear:

  1. Yes, January 10th matters.
  2. If Chávez doesn’t show up for his inauguration that day, a temporary absence of 90 days should be declared.
  3. No, VP Maduro cannot hold office during that time because his mandate expires January 10th.
  4. In a great line, he said that Diosdado Cabello, president of the National Assembly, is next in line and should hold temporary powers while Chávez is inaugurated, although he personally considers this “a national tragedy.”
  5. He warned foreign governments not to mess around with Venezuela’s Constitution, and to withhold support for the chavista interpretation that is clearly illegal.
  6. He warned that a sector of the Armed Forces supports the Constitution, and said they would be within their rights to act in the presence of a power grab.
  7. He called on the Supreme Tribunal to act, but warned that if they come down against the Constitution, there may be anarchy and they will be judged harshly by history.

Foreign governments, particularly Brasilia, Bogotá, Washington, and Havana, have a hot potato in their hands. If they support Maduro holding on to power after January 10th, the opposition will (rightly) claim they are supporting a coup. But if they fail to support Maduro, they may see their access to petro-dollars severely rationed.

If they support Maduro and Capriles were to win a subsequent election, well … let’s just say those Summits will get mighty interesting.

Time to work those diplomatic chops and find a solution that satisfies the opposition, chavistas, and the Constitution as well.

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  1. ¿Se acuerdan de que la primera junta de gobierno de Venezuela se llamó “La Suprema Junta Conservadora de los Derechos de Fernando VII”? Pues ahora la oposición podría llamarse “La Suprema Junta Conservadora de los Derechos de Diosdado Cabello”…

  2. Not suuporting Maduro cannot be seen as outright support for any other interpretation; it would simply be an acknowledgement, surely after much legal delving, of serious doubts regarding whether the constitutional thread had been broken by adhering to an innovative ‘continuity’ approach, rendering the ‘rougue state’ category as one of the options for their erswhile ally. Foreign capitals aren’t pressed to make any definitive decison at this time. Unless, that is, they see fit to go “that” road, endorsing the ‘continuity’ philosphy and throwing a shadow on their own legitimacy in the international community at large. In other words, would the EU – or anybody – look at Brazil, say, as a reliable partner thereafter?

    • Of course they need to make a statement. If the Constitution is violated, they cannot recognize the Maduro government. By staying mum, they are implicitly endorsing Maduro. In either case, they are making a statement.

      • I think it’s a real stretch to ask foreign governments to decide whether Maduro or Cabello is the legitimate ‘interim’ president according to the Venezuelan constitution. I don’t imagine any foreign ministry adviser anywhere in the world, or any foreign ambassador in Venezuela, would recommend that his or her government ‘de-recognise’ the Venezuelan government on such grounds. It’s a ‘coup’ in a very technical sense – not like ousting a legitimate president by force of arms or refusing to recognise an election result. They will take an entirely pragmatic stance – and frankly, I think they will be right. This is one that Venezuelans need to sort out for themselves. Of course, Marco Aurelio Garcia’s comments are a different matter: he is way out of line endorsing this stuff, and if the Brazilian foreign ministry were able to stand up to the PT, they would tell him (at least privately) to shut up. Evo Morales, Pepe Mujica, Uncle Tom Cobbley and any other foreign presidents who’ve booked flights to Caracas for Thursday should also butt out.

        • Why didn’t they apply the same strategy to Paraguay? Maduro is illegitimate after January 10th unless Chávez is sworn in. Failure to recognize that is the same as rubber-stamping a coup. It’s really quite simple.

          • The collective response to Paraguay was disgraceful. I wouldn’t want to cite that as a precedent for what they should do here.

  3. Capriles is right that the only legal outcome, Cabello serving as interim President for 90 days, would be a national tragedy. Maduro governing indefinitely on Chavez’ say-so would be worse, a clear acknowledgment that the consitution will be treated as a scrap of paper of no value. Both terrible options result from Hugo Chavez’ decision to present himself as a candidate, knowing full well that this difficulty might result. Where was his vaunted love for Venezuela, when this constitutional crisis was a clear possible result of his egotism?

  4. My expectation is that the castro bro. will “continue the show!”.

    Kristina, and other chulos will validate the show,
    The “pueblo ” en la calle will celebrate the show,
    and the Venezuelian Fuerzas Armadas will accept the show.

    The friction and fissures run deep and we will see how the different factions withing chavismo continue to implode causing great damage to waht is left of the nation.

    Eventually, after much instability, and possibly an open civil war (we have 20 k per yr. casualties already, Syria has 30K!) Colombia and Brazil will meet in the Orinoco. (My Grandfathers’ prediction),

    Hopefully, there is someone to name the thing s by its right name and seek out some learnings from the caos that awaits the Venezuela society. Quedaremos como los paraguayos llorando por siglos del dano que nos hicieron nuestros vecinos….

  5. “endorsing the PSUV’s plans to take over the government unconstitutionally.”

    How anyone can read this (let alone write it!) without completely falling over in laughter is a testament to how bonkers the Venezuelan opposition is.

    • You can tell how desperate the PUS-V must be to ask idiots like GAC to spend gobs of time trolling in these last days/weeks over the transition.

      It is a measure of how desperate they are to have you continuously disparage the opposition, any one who thinks different from the monolithic religion of chavismo or anyone with three fingers of forehead, during these troubled times.

      Just like the criminals in charge, instead of dialogue you offer thorns and ad hominems instead.

      In a time when truth and honesty above all should guide the country, Nicolas “Sai Baba Ghanouge” and the 40 thieves obfuscate, imprecate and violate, and GAC and his or her ilk follow the script, because in the end they are not capable of original thinking, nor of calling a spade a spade.

      In the days and months to follow, GAC, you will see how the whole farcical edifice that is Chavismo without Chavez will come crumbling down to reveal just how rotten they have left Venezuela.

      May you be damned to live in interesting times for your role, however small, in all this. May what you have done be visited upon you one hundred times and more.

      Begone, foul spirit!

  6. Exceptionally well done! A powerful message. I love the idea of Falcon and Capriles sitting side~by~side. They did this exactly right…..

      • Nor did they team up with Falcon’s head nestled on Capriles’ chest, while Capriles cradled it.
        Any body language specialists out there? For I’d love to know what the hell was that all about. Did Maduro take that posture from one of his yoga classes at the Sai Baba Ganoughe Ashram?

    • Ditto on the exceptionally well done. I like it when Capriles is assertive. He needs to do that much more often. I’d like to hear more from this duo, and also from Falcon.

  7. People should be thinking about what they are going to do if they lock up HCR. Is my fear. Is Falcon on stage for that reason also?

  8. >>> … He warned foreign governments not to mess around with Venezuela’s Constitution, and to withhold support for the chavista interpretation that is clearly illegal.
    He warned that a sector of the Armed Forces supports the Constitution,

    Capriles talked soft. Was the warning a bat that he’s holding?

    Off Topic: Clue running amock? just seems that way? being clueless round the clock a good thing?

  9. “With Lara Governor Henri Falcón by his side (Hint: these two are a team) the governor of Miranda warned foreign governments about endorsing the PSUV’s plans to take over the government unconstitutionally. ”

    They must have meant mean every democratic nation whose interference is probably limited to words and endorsements.

    Ah, that excludes Cuba!

    For Castrista Cuba has gone much further. As far as invading totalitarian powers do with invaded nations, indeed. They are keeping the President’s person and any information on his health under a mantle of the strictest secrecy. I doubt also that the PSUV’s plans are PSUV’s. They are Cuba’s, and the PSUV is a mere puppet.


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