The opposition majority in the National Assembly approved the “Amnesty and National Reconciliation Bill” in the first discussion. The debate lasted more than three hours and 16 deputies presented their arguments. It started with Delsa Solórzano and ended with Henry Ramos Allup, featuring Diosdado Cabello’s first speech in this legislative period.
Throughout the day, the Government made use of their bots -and all their networks and resources- to promote the hashtag “Amnistía es impunidad” (Amnesty is impunity) on Twitter and Venezolana de Televisión even dared to post a poll about the Law, which they had to pull down shortly thereafter when the Bill showed a support rating of 82% from users. Today every chavista deputy used the speaker’s podium. They quickly forgot about “hablar desde abajo, junto al pueblo.”
Nuestro Insólito Perverso -Or PSUV’s Master’s degree in fuck logic-
Elías Jaua demanded the application of Article 350 of the National Constitution. Héctor Rodríguez was responsible for coining the neolengua term “Law on Criminal Amnesia” to discredit the law. His fake indignation when arguing that criminals can’t be pardoned is funny, considering that Venezuela boasts an impunity rate of 90%.
Mariana Lerín -Blanca Eeckhout’s identical twin- yelled that “the one who yells the most is not the one who’s right”; claiming that the Law would pardon human rights abusers, even though not a single political prisoner has been accused of that crime. Pedro Carreño spoke of killer wires, but the Government hasn’t arrested anyone for that. Edwin Rojas equated the opposition protests of 2014 to ISIS’ and Al Qaeda’s terrorism. They all mentioned the “43 victims”, a number that includes many citizens murdered by the Government.
Diosdado Cabello said he spoke for the victims of the guarimbas who had no voice because they had no money or pimp friends who would come to Venezuela. We’re not sure if he was referring to Pablo Iglesias’ and Juan Carlos Monedero’s refusal to return to the country. He tried being cynical but failed. The master of provocation was swept off balance and ended up delivering dozens of phrases for memes. He warned that the Law would be blocked by other powers, saying that the MUD underestimates the five million people who voted for the Government. He finished by yelling “There won’t be any law on amnesia, no reconciliation or conciliation, only patria! (…) this law of impunity won’t be exercised or enforced! There won’t be any freedom for murderers!” It was a war cry.
How to sweep the floor with a caucus
Henry Ramos Allup did it again. He ended the debate with a class on criminal law and a challenge to chavismo, to the many factions within chavismo that, according to him, are stabbing each other for Nicolás’ resignation. He said that Nicolás had already warned that there would be no amnesty even before the Bill had been written; that the law had to include alleged crimes because there are prisoners sentenced with arguments that aren’t even criminal; that Venezuelan justice is shameful and he even had to explain that pardon absolves the guilt of those who have been sentenced.
His vehement speech started by reminding the PSUV caucus that he’s the one who sets the time for participation, pointing out to Diosdado that on top of losing his men in the executive cabinet, he was left with only four members in the party’s national leadership. “You’re dead (…) you were bulldozed” said Allup. He added that there are three military groups and four factions conspiring within chavismo. The PSUV caucus yelled in anger. It didn’t work: the law was approved.
What else happened in the Assembly?
It was announced that on Thursday, the MUD caucus would introduce a Bill that will nullify expropriations of companies and lands and will offer tax prizes and incentives to allow a complete revamp of the present economic system. The law includes the inspection of more than 1,200 companies.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.