Fait accompli (Updated)


sala-constitucional-tsjAs expected, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber has thrown out Henrique Capriles’s legal challenge to the 14-A presidential election.

24 hours earlier, Capriles had announced that he would not wait any longer for the TSJ and he will go straight to international justice.

UPDATE: Guess what? Rejecting the case wasn’t quite enough for the TSJ, so they gave Capriles a fine and ordered the Public Ministry to open an investigation against him “…for the grave offences and disrespectul terms used in his claims (regarding the Court and other State institutions)”. [HT: JC]

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    • The point was that Venezuelan legal system had to once again abuse it’s power.
      Not doing so would give them the ultimate excuse: why didn’t you go to court?!

      We all knew this was going to be the result, but it was necessary to do so.

      • At a much smaller scale: the same reason why we asked the national government to take part on the PISA programme and we sent copies of the communication to OECD and to dozens of media outlets abroad and to international organisations: paper trail that Chavismo does not want accountability.
        Venezuelan democrats should be doing this for more than elections, for any request of certain importance.

    • To leave a record that it was done, even though everybody knew that it was going to be thrown out. There may be a time in the future when authorities will look at the countless violations of the constitution and the laws of the republic. You know this, as much as your growing cynicism appears to get in the way of your rational thinking. I almost don’t recognize you anymore…;-)

    • Has there ever been a president of any country designated by the outcome of an international court decision? I think the question answers itself.

      Leaving a record of what’s been done could matter in the judiciary, but politically speaking this is like clapping with one hand.

    • Denial of Justice will eventually be discussed at a future Venezuelan Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It will be interesting to hear how the current members of the TSJ justify their “extra-judicial” rationales.

    • According to venezuelan law, domestic procedures are already exhausted, there are no other remedies that can be exhausted at this point… The only remedy available is the constitutional review which is inefficient because it would be reviewed by the same judiciary body that already dismissed the previous claim, therefore unnecessary to exhaust at this point.

  1. Nobody seems to calculate the fact that in submitting your complaints to the TSJ of Luis Velásquez Alvaray, the TSJ of Aponte Aponte, you implicitly grant its legitimacy to detemine what is and what is not lawful. This is insane! We *know* TSJ acts on orders from Miraflores – we don’t think that, we know that! The procedural principismo strikes me as insane…

    • That’s because the truth of democracy and the form of democracy are often two different things. Only by latter can you reveal the former, or rather its lack thereof.

    • We knew, but now we have proof that would stand in court.

      Legally, that’s about the difference between having absolutely nothing and having absolutely everything.

    • One more thing, what would you advocate? Doing nothing is way worse.

      The only thing that does come to mind is an armed uprising, that is bound to end poorly – at least until the economy is in a sufficiently worse gutter than it already is.

    • legitimacy, “shlegitimacy”! Is exactly the opposite!

      The appropriate bible quote here is Mathew 7:16 “You Will Know Them by Their Fruits” by their actions you shall know them. When an unabashedly partisan justice systems acts unfairly against the opposition its true nature is demonstrated. And it is important to compel them to do so lest there may still be some people that believe that they are honorable.

      There is nothing more fair and transparent than a court that has no cases to decide upon. Also there is no easier way to unmask an unfair judge than to force him to act.

  2. I kept reflecting on Quico’s pervasive cynicism and his -in my opinion- indisputable observation about the absolute lack of independence of judges at the Supreme Court and the fact that by submitting a complaint, Capriles (and alongside the MUD that he represents) is granting them legitimacy, and I thought about those who have been arguing in favour of abstentionism not to grant legitimacy to a CNE grotesquely subordinated to the governing party. Who is right and who is wrong? Is anybody right or are we simply inevitably fucked up? And then I thought: is Venezuela in 2013 after 14 years of authoritarianism better or worse than the Chile of 1988 after 17 years of murderous dictatorship? I was one that always thought of the Pinochet regime as the worst example of cruelty and injustice. And yet, under Pinochet’s regime and with the authorities in place at the time, a referendum resulted in the ousting of the dictator. I am reluctantly accepting at this time that we are in a much worse situation than the Chile of 1988. Think about this: the opposition in Chile was afraid to speak publicly at risk of being kidnapped and killed by the secret police. Thousands of opposition activists were forced to leave the country to save their lives. Now think about this: there are hundreds of thousands of middle class Venezuelans that have been forced to flee the country because they were at constant risk of being kidnapped and murdered, probably not by secret police (although this is becoming much more conceivable these days) but by organized crime strongly supported (if not coordinated) by CICPC, SEBIN, GN and many of the municipal and state police forces. The regime has effectively got rid of the core of the opposition movement, all those middle class citizens with a university degrees and owners of small and medium companies who felt their lives were in grave risk or that there was no future for them and their families in Venezuela, by allowing an environment of complete vulnerability where criminals and thugs are in almost absolute control. Many more people are kidnapped and murdered in the Venezuela of 2013 than in the Chile of 1988. So, I arrive to the question: if we can no longer trust anybody at the TSJ and the CNE (or any government institutions) as we know these institutions are completely subordinated to the executive branch and the government party, what can we do as citizens? Is there anything we can do?

    • “Is there anything we can do?”

      Set the example. If we want “them” not to have the power, “we” have to be willing to give up the power ourselves, otherwise it’s just quítate tú para ponerme yo.

  3. If you believe in something , you fight for it , out of respect for yourself, for the sake of your own dignity , whatever the inmmediate results . You do it methodically and constantly , you shake of any losses or failures and just stick with it , you never give up , you take utmost advantage of every large or small opportunity you adversary allows you , people who study history know that even what appear as the most established of powers at some time falters and starts sputttering and wind down , who would have guessed the all powerful soviet union would ever break down , time is your ally , the more of its passes the more mistakes and failures the regime accumulates , the more erosion its likely to suffer in its support base . Every day the regime is working for your cause , their thei’re own worst enemy , the other possibility is that the regime starts learning from its mistakes , that it adapts and develops , that it begins to recruit competent people to the top jobs in government , that slowly it evolves , thats the real danger , but so far the regime has shown very little capacity for honest self evaluation and change . Maybe the oppos tactics bear improvement, some changes in leadership , their job is tough and some indulgence is in order but basically everything will be as it should be if people stand firm and keep pressing on !!

  4. I really liked Jose Ignacio Hernández’s take on this in Prodavinci.


    The money quote:
    “Hay todavía una prueba más evidente. La sentencia que declara inadmisible la impugnación presentada por Henrique Capriles resumió los alegatos de la impugnación. Ese resumen comienza en la página 11 y termina en la 51. Es decir, que de 59 páginas que tiene la sentencia, 40 se destinan a resumir los argumentos de la impugnación. Y la impugnación se declaró inadmisible por falta de argumentos.”

  5. Sing along with me: “Anything you can do I can do better; I can do anything better than you.”

    Everyone who presents a complaint about what the opposition has not done should at least have to give an indication of what he has done or would credibly have done.


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