In a worrying sign of inability to read the political winds blowing all around him, Diosdado Cabello has said the outgoing, chavista-majority National Assembly will name 12 new members of the Supreme Tribunal for 15-year terms, following this year’s last minute mass early retirements.

Diosdado is either a güevón or likes to pretend he is.

He still hasn’t assimilated what a 2/3rd Assembly majority means.

MUD’s next move? Easy. A 2/3rd majority allows them to amend the Organic Law of the Supreme Tribunal. And there’s no reason why the TSJ law can’t say the Supreme Tribunal will henceforth be composed of 64 magistrates, rather than 32. Or 96, for that matter. Or 800, why not?

And, of course, a 2/3rd majority can’t be vetoed, and would also allow the incoming assembly to appoint the 32 (or 64, or 768) new magistrates. It might get a little bit snug inside the old building. After all, it was originally designed as a base for just 20 judges, remember? I’m sure they’ll get used to the hacinamiento in due time.

Look, I’m not saying MUD should actually do this.

I’m saying MUD should threaten to do this. Un tatequieto ahí so the government remembers who actually runs the show now.

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  1. I’m thinking that they opposition is gonna have to name some anyways, since what could come next is a host of stalemates as the new assembly passes laws and the executive and judicial block everything they can just on general principles.

    One wonders whether now, at this juncture, the Songs of Aponte Aponte have any effect going forward regarding how some magistrates behave.

  2. MUD should do no such thing. It should sit patiently until the parliament is sworn in, and then do it. Don’t appoint partisan judges, appoint as many good, honest people that will do their jobs to the best of their ability, first and foremost. It will be enough to cripple a deeply corrupt movement like Chavizmo certainly is, and it will serve Venezuela monumentally better than anything else ever could.

    This should be done within the first week of the new parliament. Right after that is the replacement of the entire CNE with as good people as you can find them, replacement of all editors of all government media, again people from all sides. Give new Chavistas the run of 1/4 of the media, and make the remaining 3/4 cover the rest of the spectrum, from center-left to center-right to right.

    After that is done, and only then, call a referendum on Maduro’s fate, followed by as clean election as possible.

    Then call the IMF and beg for money. This is unavoidable.

    • I think a referendum is too hasty and improvised. I lean more for an impeachment, like Dilma right now. If you’re gonna inflict pain, do it slowly.

  3. Yo todavía no puedo entender cómo un gobierno que encarcela opositores, manda colectivos armados a disparar contra los manifestantes, acapara los medios de comunicación, roba los bienes del estado… permite unas elecciones en las que es vencido aplastantemente y reconoce los resultados. Creo que hay algo importante que de momento la gente no conoce y mientras tanto cualquier cábala será eso, una cábala.

    • Reconoce los resultados como reconocieron el rechazo a la reforma constitucional: de boca, igual la aplicaron mediante leyes al margen de la voluntad popular y la constitución. Igual que respetan la constitución de boca, pero la violan constantemente, igual que harán de ahora en adelante con las decisiones de la asamblea.

      • Sí, todo eso es cierto pero si estás dispuesto a saltarte la ley te puedes ahorrar tener frente a ti ahora unos diputados que te doblan en número. No tiene sentido lo que han hecho. El chavismo es tan irracional que hasta en esto son incoherentes y no saben hacerlo bien. Ahora supongo que entrarán el capítulo final de todo este absurdo: una dictadura comunista pura y dura. Así Maduro podrá seguir apareciendo en la televisión dando a todos tabletas y casas como si no hubiese ocurrido nada mientras la gente hace varias horas de cola para comprar harina y sin saber si la conseguirá o no.

        Tomen asiento pues… la implosión final puede ser espectacular

        • You are right Ramon. I think Chavistas are going to force the implosion in a full Ceaușescu moment. If you listen to their angry crazy talk one has to think that the have become raving lunatics.

          Instead of laying down platitudes after the the epic loss they go off insulting everyone, the opposition pols, el soberano y vais a seguir con la guerra economica!!

          They are setting up to die on the hill of liberating the political prisoners. Now that is DUMBEST political choice. If they had any political proficiency they would liberate them NOW and buy some good will. Lilian alone, has kicked their butt from Venezuela to the ends of the world on this.

          I am also getting, with one degree of separation, some serious rumblings in the military.

          These guys are not playing politics anymore. Packing the Supreme court would be a political move. They are trying to force a dramatic situation and in their stupidity they will implode.

          • Estamos sin duda de acuerdo. Maduro ha hecho lo peor que se puede hacer, creerse sus propias mentiras. Ahora solo le queda comprobar el resultado final. Las elecciones han transmitido un mensaje claro a cualquier persona con sentido común, chavista o no: si estás con esta gente te hundirás irremediablemente con ellos. Esto es algo con transcendencia política que provocará cambios. Su programa en la tumba de Chavez es una muestra de desesperación y el “Maduro chúpalo” del completo ridículo en que han caído.

    • Eso no es nuevo ni impropio de las dictaduras; de hecho, dictadores como Ferdinand Marcos, Augusto Pinochet, Marcos Pérez Jiménez y Joao Figueiredo, por mencionar algunos nombres, sufrieron la pérdida del poder tras tratar de pasarle por encima al voto popular.

      Votos los había en la Unión Soviética, los hay en Corea del Norte, en dictaduras implantadas por los gringos o los rusos. Una cita famosa atribuida a Stalin, “Lo importante no es quien vote, sino quien cuente”.

      Y dicho eso, ahí tienes al gobierno nacional, anoche, pretendiendo burlar la soberanía popular con decisiones que carecen de legitimidad. Un presidente que declara, frontalmente, el saboteo de una decisión de millones de venezolanos.

  4. Ammending the TSJ Law is a terrible course of action, because the TSJ would have to approve it before it can be enacted. What the new Parliament needs to do is clean the Constitutional Chamber: with a 2/3 majority it can be done. With the TSJ as it stands, not even a 98% majority in Parliament can do very much.

  5. MUD should call their new best friend, Generalisimo Padrino Lopez “el comandante eterno de la democracia” and tell him to call Diosdado a jalarle la oreja.

  6. Chavismo already increased the number of judges in the TSJ, right? A few years ago? So there’s a precedent. It was done once, it can be done again. And they don’t need to appoint super partisan judges. Sane, independent and qualified people would be enough. MUD doesn’t need judges to bend rules, they need judges that will interpret laws in an independent and objective manner. You know, like it’s supposed to be.

  7. The first order of business, should be to liberate immediately all political prisoners, Leopoldo and all. And Ledezma and Ceballos, etc. They are arrested at home. Some of them, like Leopoldo Lopez keeps getting tortured every week that goes by. They deserve much better.

    The second order of business is to purge the TSJ. And regain the third branch of government. But that takes money. And who still has the money in Vzla?

    • Yep, agreed. It happened to no less a personage than Winston S. Churchill who was summarily removed from office while attending the Potsdam Conference.

  8. It’s the Government and his goons who we are talking about. Do you really think they will abide by what the new “sheriff” says? So naïve.

    • Well, we truly don’t know. The only way to know, is to try it. Check the comments in this blog during the last weeks. There were plenty of people saying it was naïve to even vote, or naïve to think elections could be won by MUD, or that they would only allow a small simple majority and nothing over that, or that the military would take over, etc, etc. Better to think big and go for it, than to think small, do little and achieve nothing.

    • Take heart my friend. Their aura of invincibility has been shattered. If 6d had been a boxing match it would have been stopped.

      Or (forgive the mixing of metaphors) imagine a soccer game in which team A buys off the refs such team B gets hit with multiple red cards, has to play 7 on 11…and then goes on to win 12-0. Good god, how much would team A have lost by had the refs been honest?!

      Maduro is in DEEP trouble. His options:

      1) Repeatedly and very publicly ignore/violate the constitution that was approved under the beloved Comandante (yes they’ve always done this, but after the 6d debacle it would only further highlight their illegitimacy and infuriate the electorate even more)

      2) Dissolve congress and announce dictatorship/martial law (fat chance with virtually no popular support – and who in the military wants to give the order to fire on demonstrators on behalf of an unpopular regime in obvious disarray? Nobody who’s averse to facing war crimes charges at The Hague, that’s who)

      3) Govern in compliance with the constitution (impossible to do this and also keep the opposition from eventually exposing the gvmt’s ongoing criminal activities)

      4) Talk tough publicly…and talk with his travel agent privately

      The clarity of the national mood as revealed by 6d means the handwriting is on the wall for these thugs. Se acabó el baile, the vermin should start hitting the exits shortly

  9. All the ingredients are now on the table for what could very easily become a nasty, horrible civil war unless cooler heads prevail and those I fear are tragically missing in action.

    • Maybe this is something like a “Gettysburg dilemma” for the opposition? i.e. Gen Meade’s decision to not aggressively pursue Lee’s battered and retreating army. 150 years later historians can’t agree on whether Meade wasted a chance to end the war or wisely averted potential disaster.

      Press or negotiate? Both options are defensible.

      Personally I think that 1) the regime is teetering, 2) total regime collapse means digging out of the rubble of Chavismo faster, and 3) while the risk is sobering, there are also life-and-death risks involved in the slow approach. How many more will die in hospitals w/o meds and doctors? Or as victims of violent crime? Or political persecution? Or even (if conditions persist) of malnutrition?

      Even dictators who are predisposed to violent means needs a certain degree of popular + military support to hang on. It just ain’t there anymore. Any reasonable means of asserting additional (and legal) pressure on the regime should be employed…

    • I agree that the possibility of a bloody reprisal by some of the hard-core Chavista militias still exists. However, the military has already weighed in on this. They are not going to tolerate it. If the Chavistas try this, the army will make short and bloody work of it. In some ways (without actually wishing for violence) this would be the most positive long-term scenario, because it would disarm the Chavista’s only serious remaining weapon in their arsenal.

  10. I do think the government is really running scared with the latest threats and I do think they are inadvertently creating a Romania 2.0. The more Maduro and godgiven talk in public, the more they paint themselves into an ethical and immoral corner. I don’t think they realize how much the country has changed. They have very little support and it is decreasing by the minute. Anyone who gets into the sandbox with them will be tainted at this point and perhaps have some degree of legal problems. The information that has escaped about them trying to negate the elections creates even greater moral challenges for them. If they were smarter politically, and they clearly are not, they would be much more conciliatory. Their rhetoric just affirms them as a gang of thugs. No one wants thugs as leaders of a nation.

  11. 15 year terms? Aren’t they 12 year terms?


    Articulo 12: … El nuevo designado ocupará el cargo por el tiempo que reste para que se cumpla el
    período de doce (12) años. Mientras se hace la designación, dicha falta absoluta será
    suplida, temporalmente, por el suplente correspondiente.

    • That was the old law, but the new one says the same:

      Artículo 38. Los Magistrados o Magistradas del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia serán designados o designadas por la Asamblea Nacional, por un período único de doce años,

  12. Mmm, no comments about the importance of the chance to gain a nation-wide TV station that might undermine hegemoncorp?

    I guess that by straightening its editorial line, ANTV might become a countermeasure to start cracking the communications monopoly.

      • Yeah, Wanley, I know that drugodado wants to “turn into a cooperative” the ANTV, I was talking about discussing how important is the media outlet, because the regime wants desperately to keep hegemon corp as hermetic as possible.

        Losing ANTV would be equal to a punch-sized hole in the bottom side of a water tank, “o sea”, a critical hit against hegemon corp with an attack that dealt 4 times the normal damage.

  13. Stunticon raises a key point: MUD needs a credible media outlet to air the new plan of attack. To get the word out unfiltered by Cubanos and red shirt basura.

    Also, Francisco mentioned that a 2/3rds majority CANNOT be vetoed. I don’t know Ven. law well enough to know that, but if it’s so, then Maduro’s threat to veto any motion to free political prisoners (LL in particular) is meaningless. You know damn well MUD will announce the measure immediately and I wonder what will follow. If it’s the law that they HAVE to free the prisoners – if the motion says so – what happens when the gov. won’t hand them over? Looks like it might come to such confrontations sooner then later.

    What’s more, where does Godgiven go from here? How does he fit into the new political landscape? How will the standing military deal with him.

    This is only starting to get good…

  14. The AN should vote to expand the TSJ to 50 judges. Then it should vote to contract the TSJ back to 6 judges, to be selected by lot from the 50 incumbents. Then the TSJ should be expanded back to 12 judges. That would clear out most of the chavistas, leaving one or two.

    The question is – will the chavista TSJ accept the actions of the AN? If not, who will enforce it on them? National police? Or even the army?

  15. OT: Petrobras shares rising 11% because investors think that Dilma’s demise is irreverisible. 2015 is our 1989!!! South America will be free.

  16. Time to make the presidency a figurehead and unelected.

    Parliamentary system is vastly superior to the presidency system. Why elect strongmen populist ideologue presidents when the parliament can appoint a figurehead?

    Parliament should appoint the government just like in all of Europe.

    • Agreed, that’s the first order of business after freeing the political prisoners. But how? The is little the NA can do here, free up the central bank some how? Pressure M to raise the 6.3 rate to 20? MUD is going to have to negotiate with the executive to get anything done in this sphere. Food shortages (caloric) might well force negotiates with the IMF as an on looker facilitator. Blame can be shared and progress made.

      • i totally disagree with the rate, it doesn´t make sense 6,30 or 20, anyway is unreal, the real one is touching 1k! what they need to free it and blow up the biggest fraud in history which is this monetary system!

        btw they must invite Giordani to the assembly to answer how they disappear 25 billion dollars through Cadivi, this statement was also accepted by Mrs. Betancourt from BCV and also appointed by Chavulin mesmo!

  17. Too many triunfalist comments as if the errand was already done. I think you miss the point with these people. They don’t negotiate. That has been their core policy these 17 years. And also you asume that the vote was pro opposition when i feel it was more of a protest vote. Too many Venezuelans feel entitlements are a must and that’s where chavismo has gained the upper hand. Did you see the press conference of giordani et al? I think we are witnessing a sendero luminoso in the rising. Look at Peru after Velasco. That’s where we are heading i think.

  18. First comment here, excellent website. Along obviously what has been already said by the MUD about freeing the political prisoners, something that in my opinion must be done is digging out and disclosing REAL data, everybody MUST know how are the BCV economic indexes currently, what is the REAL parity with the dollar, not the convoluted but reasonable accurate DollarToday method, the state of the international reserves, REAL inflation values. Without reliable data we’re flying blind and no action trying to solve this disaster will be successful.

  19. The comment section is not working. I just wrote a long argument about how Maduro has the discretion to dissolve AN. Although highly unlikely, YES he can. I argued how 2/3 meant apocalypsis for chavistas and thats how we should act, before they do. I woulnt waste time playing whos the sheriff with DIosdado and go to a very simple thing we can easily do with 2/3: call for binding referendum (not a constituyente because that would be highly unpopular on our side) Anyways questions would be:

    Q#1: Esta Ud. de acuerdo con revocar el mandato del Presidente Nicolas Maduro (AN doesnt have to wait the mitad del periodo rule to throw the revocatorio)
    Q#2: Esta Ud de acuerdo con renovar las autoridades maximas de los siguientes organismos: Fiscalia General de la Republica, Tribunal Supermo de Justicia, Defensoria del Pueblo, Procuradoria General de la Republica, Contraloria General de la Republica.

    By May we get rid of Maduro by May, New powers by July. New country by October. The rest I repeat is giving these morons time.

    • Before the Chavez referendum on a new constitution, there was a important precedent of the Poder originario del pueblo. They left the door opened to consider binding all decisions taken by el pueblo in a referendum. So this 2 questions could pass. I am a lawyer and I tell you, we can do this and it would be easier than dealing with 32,64,96 or 800 magistrados, and this is what people voted the MUD to do (they even signed an agreement)

  20. […] マドゥロ政府が選挙に負けて最初に行ったのは、現在のチャベス派が多数派を占める国民議会(新国会は来年1月5日より)は最高裁(TSJ)の裁判官12名を新たに任命するというもの。任期は15年。これには伏線があって、選挙前に突然、任期満了まで1年以上残して裁判官がごっそり辞任するということがありました。最高裁をより政府の息のかかった確実なチャベス派で固めることで、司法面から議会を押さえようとしています。 […]

  21. […] This process (popularly referred to as a constituyente) is how this whole mess started, back in 1999, with a convention where chavismo gained control of 95% of the seats despite having only 52% of the votes. Art. 348 seems to have been whipped up as a way of giving the 1999 Constitution some sort of retroactive legitimacy, but the point is that it’s there, written into the Constitution. In theory, it’s more real than the current TSJ. […]


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