For Thursday, April 7, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Beyond the beyond
Tonight, the military high command were willing to be the live audience for deputy Diosdado Cabello’s TV show. He has lost efficiency in his speech. Crude, predictable, more thug and less boss-like. He had no problem stating that he’ll never sit down and have a dialogue with the opposition, that he doesn’t believe in that dialogue. Today’s guest was Nicolás, who spoke about Feisbut, Telegrán, Intagrán, Periscop and Esnachap (sic) as he admitted that he’s a functional illiterate. He was able to congratulate Electricity Minister Motta Domínguez for taking daily pictures of Guri to document its collapse, and then wnet on to say lots of nonsense before he got to the important part.
A new eight-week period has been activated as part of the plan to mitigate the electrical crisis, which demands “a national effort beyond the beyond.” Although the Deputy Minister of Electric Power made it clear that declaring the entire Easter week as a holiday didn’t work for energy saving, Nicolás decreed every Friday in April and May as nonworking for the public sector. In his explanation, the largest electricity consumption is residential, so he’ll send people home starting Thursday afternoon.
Additionally, a new kind of official in charge of electrical matters, the “electrical auditor” must ensure that large consumers of electricity (shopping malls, etc.) self-generate power from four to nine hours daily, and enforce the compliance of basic industries (which are already bankrupt) of a self-generation scheme as well as saving 20% of their energy. Nicolás believes we can go back to the system of caps and fines for excess consumption, because so far we should be thankful he has refused to increase fees. In his opinion, Venezuelans are guilty of capital flight, of bachaqueo, of buying too much medicine and misusing electricity. So before he’s forced to increase fees or make more drastic cuts than those we’re already suffering, he makes a call of conscience because he has the moral stature to do so. I deserve a prize for not spitting on the TV.
Go back to the barracks
Vladimir Padrino López, Minister of Defense, feels he has the authority to comment on the Law on Amnesty and National Reconciliation approved by a majority of the deputies of the National Assembly, democratically elected by a large majority. He works as the political operator that he unfortunately is, even though weapons of war like grenades are still being used to commit common crimes in our country. Military interference in civilian matters is but a slight issue within the ludicrous justification of our fictional “civil-military union.” Padrino López should explain to the nation why yesterday morning, prisoners of El Marite prison (Zulia state) clearly had more firepower than the National Guard, instead of allowing himself to interpret laws. His opinion in legislative matters has the same legitimacy that it has is academic matters.
The argument that Amnesty is an attack on “peace, democracy, institutions and discipline” is nonsense. The risk of “legalizing” the violation of Human Rights, is foolish -check out the Venezuelan government’s performance before the IACHR- and denouncing that the Amnesty Law would cause institutional and moral decay is shameless, given all the military’s involvement in drug-trafficking.
Yesterday morning there was a bomb threat in the National Assembly’s administrative headquarters. The building at Pajaritos was evacuated. Maybe it’s happenstance -or not- that the event coincided with the withdrawal of Chávez’ eyes from the top of the building. A threat of this nature to a Parliament is very serious. But it had no consequences, like everything related to military intervention, more concerned with its ideological rather than strategic performance; security is a secondhand thing.
Property rights offend chavismo. To justify opposing the Bill granting ownership to the beneficiaries of the Great Housing Mission, they have said many atrocities; but on Wednesday, the plenary of the National Assembly failed to pass the Law because of lack of quorum. Héctor Rodríguez, head of the PSUV caucus, asked to check if the necessary two thirds of the chamber needed for a debate to take place were present, since it was obvious that several members of the other faction were missing. While the Secretariat was checking assistance, the entire PSUV caucus left the Hemiciclo. It’s unacceptable that 31 MUD deputies had left early, facilitating the government’s move. The least we can demand from our deputies is consistency and responsibility.
This Wednesday at the Centro Cultural Chacao, several public figures gathered to express their support for the recall referendum. Attendees carried cartelitos labeled #YoRevoco, which was already a trending topic since César Miguel Rondón’s radio segment that morning, after Valentina Quintero assertively summed up the condition of many who suffer the crisis in Venezuela deepened by an inefficient and corrupt government.
It was an exercise to channel despair, to encourage us to understand that we must make things happen, that we have the duty to establish the necessary campaign to revoke Nicolás’ presidency -and even the opposition’s mandate, as Laureano Márquez suggested-, because life doesn’t wait for difficult agreements between several parties, because the mobilization occurs at very different scales and the asphyxia -social and institutional- demands greater sense and commitment. More than a threat to Nicolás, it was an event deeply critical of our own representatives and leaders. The legitimacy of those voices, lies in their nobility.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.