From Joke to Reality in Ten Days


On Dia de los Inocentes, Latin America’s version of April Fools, I joked PSUV would ask the Supreme Tribunal to declare everything the National Assembly does pre-emptively unconstitutional. 

That was ten days ago. It was a joke.

Nobody’s laughing now.

Alleging that the decision to swear-in the two Amazonas State and one indigenous MP being disputed means the Assembly is improperly constituted, PSUV is asking TSJ to declare anything such an assembly does invalid.

And when we say “asking” we really mean “telling” – the Tribunal itself is improperly constituted, recently repacked in a last minute maneuver of the lame-duck chavista Assembly, and entirely subservient to the executive branch. With zero decisions against the government in over 45,000 cases since 2004, the judicial rigamarole is straight-up farce.

More on this to come.

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  1. This is an authoritarian regime, it’s acted like one for quite a a while. What were we expecting? That the new assembly was going to impeach Maduro and imprison Cabello? You kiddin’ me? And don’t come to me with the fable of an “institutional” armed forces forcing the government to abide, those guys are the first that accept a dictatorship for their own sake.

  2. Judges chosen by simple majority, illegal, ordering to nullify the whole congress, illegal again.

    Can we call this a dictatorship that’s surviving on repeated frauds now?

  3. Let’s hope that the MUD can actually conquer the TSJ. We all knew that it was going to come to a clash between the Powers, so Ramos Allup’s play of baiting chavismo on accelerating the clock and spending money and political capital for something as petty as Chávez posters makes sense. The oppo has the momentum, is time to use it to slay the beast.

    Also, you know, if they can’t take the BCV ASAP the people that live on this country are going to die of hunger and lack of medicines. So there’s that.

  4. A clash between two powers? I think it’s also a clash between two world views! The PSUV is fighting for what they believe is a Utopian way of life! MUD is fighting for a not-so-wonderful reality. How can they work out the differences?

  5. I don´t know if it is worth having this debate at this point… but was the right decision to swear in those three deputies? Why couldn´t we wait until the TSJ replied?

    • I don’t think they had any option but to swear the rest of the group in. If they had waited it would have sent the signal that they at least partially respect the decision and will abide by it…which would make it much more difficult to swear these guys in later…and generally muddy the waters on the legality of the situation.

      I agree with the MUD deploying a “fast failure” approach which essentially says if this isn’t going to work, then the sooner everyone is clear on that, then the sooner we can work on a solution and the more likely we can demonstrate to everyone looking in that the other side was never going to let it work. This is why I like the idea of HRA as the initial leader as you need someone with big brass ones and a nothing to lose attitude to pull it off.

      • Yes, but before the swear in of the Deputies from Amazonas we were waiting for a decision regarding the annulment of the elections in 1 circuit in Amazonas. Now we are waiting for a decision regarding the legality of the whole AN.

        We basically gave Chavismo the gun to filibuster our AN. They can keep the AN in this grey area as long as they want.

        • The deputies were already proclaimed by the CNE, swearing them in just consolidates it.

          Also, the trick is that the Amazonas deputies aren’t voting yet. So the MUD isn’t ignoring what the TSJ is saying. You can read the account of the first session on Efecto Cocuyo:

          And here’s the money quote:

          ““Todos los actos que se hacen en esta sesión son nulos. Por lo tanto, que conste en acta que no estamos de acuerdo pues votaron 112 diputados desconociendo la sentencia del Poder Judicial”, señaló Rodríguez. En respuesta, Allup completaba: “Ciudadano secretario, que conste en acta. Pero me permito decirle, diputado, que se juramentaron pero no están en el hemiciclo. Votaron 109”. Rodríguez enmudeció y los parlamentarios de la MUD comenzaron a pitarlo.”

          Rodríguez pressed for that exact same point, and Allup said, well, 109 deputies voted, so we aren’t ignoring what the Supreme Count says.

        • Hi Fran, your concern is legitimate, however I agree with LiveFree. Waiting for the decision and then fighting back if (when) it is negative would lead to charges of anti-democratic behavior – “You only respect decisions made in your favor!!”

          I think they’re right to just get to it – no foot dragging, bureaucratic delays, red tape runaround, etc, only to then get a bad decision anyway. If the showdown is inevitable anyway, better to have it as soon after 6D as possible, when the public is more apt to be pissed about TSJ overruling the results of clean elections.

          It’s a political judo match at this point. The ability to keep yourself on balance and then use your opponent’s own moves against him is paramount.

        • Even if the MUD had won every seat 80-20, the regime would have made up ANY bullshit to obstruct and sabotage them, it’s been doing it for the last 17 years, dude.

        • Because by waiting for the TSJ to clear the issue, you’re giving it legitimacy, you’re giving it credit. If you do that now, it’s going to be that much harder to accuse that TSJ later of being a farse.

          Furthermore, imagine the public opinion if the MUD accepted only 109. “Se dejaron joder otra vez”. It had to be now.

          • Likewise for the gaudy pictures of el Galactico in the hall. “Las cosas cambiaron”, symbolic moves are hugely important, particularly the key photo or clip.

  6. I don’t get it Ramos… Why swear them in like that?…

    He must have an ace up his sleeve…

    Sigh… Maybe in the end it all DOES come down to having the military on our side.

    Wtf now, Allup?!?!

    • It’s quite simple: 1.From the moment the CNE proclaims them elected they ARE deputies. 2. It is NOT up the TSJ to make those decisions. 3. Even if it were, those TSJ magistrates have been ILLEGALLY selected, simply by not having the MINIMUM requirements stated in the constitution. 4. The 3 deputies are NOT voting so it’s just business as usual, no LAWS are being broken.

  7. remove, but what ? posters, no the mandate is for a necessary and real removal to be executed right away!!!

    opp must behave and not act like clowns to entertain the audience,

  8. Total governmental collapse is imminent.

    Between this and the minster of economics that doesn’t believe in inflation

    This government is fucked.

  9. If MUD is going to sustain momentum they have to control public opinion, and that means having knowledgable people on TV, radio and social media airing out the concerns on this and other blogs, and making the issues understandable to anyone with a grade school education.

    Perhaps what MUD has going for it first and foremost is that Maduro and co. have done nothing much if anything to address the national crisis and instead are simply digging in. Meanwhile MUD wants to get down to work – and are being thwarted in doing so. That won’t play very well on the airwaves – of that we may be sure.

  10. I haven’t seen Allup or anyone from the opposition explaining why swearing in the deputies was a legal action. This should be done clearly, without habladera de paja, so people can clearly understand, specially chavistas that voted for the MUD.

  11. How about baiting the TSJ with a bill they cannot refuse. For example, the AN, including the 3 opposition deputies, could pass a bill making the day Chavez passed away a national holiday. If the TSJ approves, then all other susequent bills become constitutional. If the TSJ calls the vote unconstitutional, then they are mocking their eternal commandante.

    Of course, decades of research would have to be completed to assure that the actual date of Chavez’ death is correct. Sort of a payback for not disclosing the true date or place.


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