Diosdado's spring/summer 2013 collection


Ahhh…the lazy days of Venezuelan summer. Perfect for strolling through streets perfumed of sun-ripened mangoes, whistling to the Efe ice cream song on balmy Friday afternoons…and, if you’re Diosdado Cabello, trying your hand at some good old political persecution.

Fashion victims.
Fashion victims.

With two weeks left before the National Assembly goes on summer recess, MUD politicians busy figuring out last minute candidacies, and the rest of the country heading into a collective, if devaluated, August stupor, the time has come to once again deploy the State apparatus and screw with some legislators while nobody’s watching.

See, just like fashion and pop jams, politics in Venezuela has its own summer trends. And if ankle-strapped sandals are the new wedge platforms, and Get Lucky is this year’s Call me Maybe, then impeachments are definitely the new inhabilitación. 

If you want to be really up on this hot new fad, you need a crash course in Parliamentary Immunity. Members of Parliament (MPs) enjoy this constitutionally mandated guarantee as a means of safeguarding their right to freedom of thought, and ensuring that their legislative deliberations are not conditioned by political pressures or other ways of compromising their autonomy.

What the Venezuelan Constitution does not establish is the exact process through which Parliamentary Immunity can be revoked. Art. 200 of the Constitution states that the Supreme Justice Tribunal must impeach the legislator in question, and then request the consent of the National Assembly in order to proceed; it does not specify voting procedure. Art. 187, however, does clearly state that in order to temporarily or permanently separate an MP from office, a two-thirds majority is necessary, much to Chavista MPs’ chagrin.

When asked about this procedural issue, AN President Diosdado Cabello replied that it was merely….you guessed it! A formality! He prefaced this statement by admitting he was not a lawyer. Which is true. But you know what, I’m not a mathematician, and I still know that 2/3 does not equal 1/2.

Funny, Diosdado, I always fancied as you more of an "autumn."
Funny, Diosdado, I always fancied as you more of an “autumn.”

So first at bat is Richard Mardo, a representative of Aragua State from Primero Justicia. He is to be stripped of Parliamentary Immunity by a simple majority vote in today’s AN session, and slapped with a disqualification from running for office in the near future. Without going into too many details, and gross violations of due process aside, Mardo is being charged with Money Laundering and Fraud, after several checks and money transfers of dubious authenticity and no illicit origin were presented by Diosdado before the AN, proving Mardo’s alleged crimes in one fell swoop. Mardo has not had access to legal council nor to the State’s investigation into his case.

On a completely unrelated note, Mardo is the frontrunner for being elected Mayor of Girardot – Maracay to you and me – Aragua State’s biggest important municipality and a long-time bastion of chavista power.

Next up is María Corina Machado, independent MP for Miranda state (and – full disclosure – my political mentor). She has been summoned to appear before the impartially titled “Joint Committee for further investigations of the Anti-Democratic, Anti-Patriotic and Fascist confessions of MP María Corina Machado” tomorrow. She’s being accused of treason following the public broadcast of an illegally obtained and digitally manipulated audio recording of a private conversation she had with her former history professor. PSUV MP Jesús Farías has already made public that the intentions of said committee are to compile evidence in order to revoke Machado’s parliamentary immunity and dismiss her from office.

Now, if there are still any doubts left as to the accuracy of my trend report, proof that impeachments are IN and inhabilitaciones are sooo two years ago is the TSJ’s surprise decision to lift David Uzcátegui’s political disqualification on Monday night. And who could argue with this? What hipsters did for skinny jeans, Leopoldo López did for inhabilitaciones: they’re so common now, that they’re no longer fashionable. Impeachment is all the rage.

So, to those who see chavismo as retrograde, let me disabuse you: Diosdado is an innovator when it comes to devising fresh new ways of  negating electoral outcomes, silencing dissent, assailing the separation of powers and manipulating our justice system to impose his arbitrary will.

Democracy is so passé.

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  1. …but liberty and democracy are not necessarily worn in the same season. While democracy has not been in style in Venezuela for several seasons, liberty never goes out of style. And those whose style is rule “by” law will run their inevitable threadbare course; and, eventually, adherents will tire of this abhorrent couture and its wayward stylists — the expense, the lack of calidad, its poor fit — and the timeless fashion of the rule “of” law will once again be part of a coming Spring Line.

  2. They get a two-fer with MCM, since her “suplente” (substitute) is none other than that traitorous scum-pond windbag, Ricardo Sanchez.

  3. It would be nice if Godgiven would just worry about updating his own look. He could grow a mountain man beard. Better yet, he could become a mountain man.

  4. Many readers, myself included, when looking at Godgiven and Mature, saw Godgiven as the lesser of the two evils because he was less of a Cuban lapdog than Mature. This article shows another side to this argument. Because Godgiven is more politically adept, more intelligent than Mature, he should be viewed as the greater of the two evils.
    Using English language nicknames for the two may be a mistake, because doing so tends to minimize them. Diosdado Cabello is not someone to be minimized.

    • BT, Diosdado Cabello is Darth Vader, Hannibal Lecter and Voldemort all rolled into one. He even LOOKS evil without even trying. I think he is as evil as evil gets.

      • Diosdado definitely looks more evil but that doesn’t mean he is harder to get rid of. Maduro being more ideological will keep on being supported by the true believers both in and outside of Venezuela .

      • You really make some stupid comments from time to time. Go and read more Harry Potter while you are pulling through your adolescence.

  5. I have to say, having seen MCM at work back in the Sumate days and having the general conception of here politics, I feel about here a bit like I did about Chavez: I don’t care how or why, by Chavismo or by treason, bad luck or calculated attack, I just know I kind of want her out of the game.

    It’s about her overeagerness, her much ado about… what, capitalismo popular?

      • Off-topic: I cringe every time I hear this type of retort/argument. I also feel like it is disproportionately common among Venezuelan (or south american?) people. That he criticizes someone doesn’t mean he thinks he can do a better job himself…

    • When has he said anything about wanting MCM out of the political game because of her gender?

      He clearly said he wants her out of politics because her overeagerness, her much ado, and [what i think I understood from the comment] her lack of definition of her political-economical model Capitalismo Popular.

      Please a little more reason and clear sense from the Administrators and Bloggers, the responses you gave to Faust reminds me of a tipical response of an intolerant ideological chavista, the kind-off this blog always criticize.

      • I agree. How is that sexism? What a low argument to make from such an informed man.

        I see Faust point. In a country so divided by social inequality, one has to be more like Capriles and Falcón, submerged in the slum-tides after the strong period of rains, and less like MCM: unapologetically wearing pearl earrings in her posters and using the most sifrino accent there is when she talks. The ‘ay profe’ she would obnoxiously use as a coletilla in her conversation with Carrera Damas just kept making me cringe –my paulistana girlfriend, by the way, who is herself a bit of a patrizinha, detected it from the distance of speaking Portuguese and also cringed.

        Maybe, just maybe, you will still see this point as classist or sexist. I can see why: product of the division we suffer, and certain self-consciousness from having a very sifrino accent as well ourselves. But for me MCM is a very eloquent symbol of that old-guard opposition that was behind the 11th of april, that described in ‘La Rebelión de los Náufragos’, that which lived in a bubble during the so-called IV Republic. Her receiving proudly the keys of Doral, says so much for me… Miami… All that is wrong in Miami (the plastic surgery, the vanity, the desprecio of poverty, the credit-infused pose of money)… I’ll have to end like Vallejo and complete this with ‘I don’t know’…

        • “I don’t care how or why, by Chavismo or by treason, bad luck or calculated attack, I just know I kind of want her out of the game.” Spoken like a true democrat. (Kind of reminds me of Diosdado, no?)

      • It’s called reading between the lines Ignacio. Not all sexism is represented literally as such.

        One can disagree with someone’s ideas without calling for her to be “taken out of the game” through whatever means. That expression belies a real contempt that goes beyond the realm of ideas.

  6. Another big black stripe to this tiger what can I say, it’s scary nevertheless. Yes, the guys with the eyes is clever and relentless. I like your analogy of the skinny jeans and the inhabilitaciones Emiliana lol very good comparison.

  7. Yes, Emiliana, revoking parliamentary immunity is fine especially when it was in the context of a blanket suspensión of deputies from their posts on April 12th 2002 and supported by YOUR POLITICAL MENTOR, MCM, who then proceeded to sign the Carmona decree.

    We all know now where you “deomcratic” or should I say antidemocratic convictions lie.

  8. Kico, where did you find this woman? YOU ARE TO NEVER LET HER GO.
    On a serious note, I read things like this and I keep wondering, where is it going to end? You know there will be another [insert political foul play of choice here] against another deputy; they are just aching to control the assembly again. I turn into a question what Leopoldo said in these days: can we hold on like this for SIX more years? Heck, can we hold on for one?

  9. Indefensible and outrageous. His behavior reminds one of Goering in the early days of Nazi rule as they were consoladating power by pulling stuff like this in the Reichstag.


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