For Friday, April 8, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
“Buffoon, don’t challenge the minister of Defense, challenge me, I’m willing to debate with you” Hermann Escarrá.
With this quip, the legal scholar challenged National Assembly Speaker, Henry Ramos Allup, protected by the distance the screen provides. His bravado was a response to the Law on Amnesty and National Reconciliation, which he considers to be in violation of the Constitution and Human Rights. But Escarrá has a solution to preserve “President Hugo Chávez’s magnificent work” – yes, a literal quote – Nicolás can appeal to the Constitutional Chamber to nullify the Law.
He proposed the amendment of a single constitutional article – which he may directly take to the Supreme Court of Justice – indicating that the constitutional period for the present National Assembly’s members is to be reduced to 60 days, adding that this is a transitional Assembly.
It’s a sad fate for the legal scholar, who went from rabidly opposing the government to becoming advisor to the most disastrous President in Venezuelan history. Talk about buffoons…
A grito limpio
“Y va caer, y va caer, esta Asamblea va a caer”, were the words chanted by the handpicked audience gathered in Miraflores’s yard. The avenida Bolívar meetings are over. Now they work in safe perimeters with almost as many security agents as supporters. That’s why Nicolás entered the scene proposing the exercise of popular rebellion, but ignore his call to engage in crime, that’s another story.
Convinced that dung can’t be perfumed – probably a conviction based on his biography – he dared to say that he’d given the Prosecutor General instructions to investigate the #PanamaPapers. He ad libbed comparisons with legal efforts made by past dictatorships to clear their guilt, any absurdity that could allow him to prove that the Amnesty Law is an aberration.
When he spoke of legalizing violence, golpismo, war and division, he sounded autobiographical; same thing when he said that “where there’s no justice, there’s violence.” But he wasn’t talking about our crime rates, sadly. Nicolás even asked how many pardons must be granted to murderers for them to stop attacking the people, and no, he wasn’t talking about colectivos or the army.
The Truth Commission proposed by Nicolás to investigate the violent acts of 2014 is to be made up of Aristóbulo Istúriz, Hermann Escarrá, Tarek William Saab, Luisa Ortega and Ernesto Samper. A model of balance, then. But his deepest concern is the scenario where the opposition wins a presidential election. So he expressly called for the people to take to the streets alongside him in insurrection to start a new revolution; and “if something happens to him,” he called for the development of a civil-military revolution, because they want peace, but they’re warriors. If the figures are true, the PSUV has collected 43,117 signatures per hour in the last two and a half days, all of them in rejection of the Amnesty Law. That’s why Nicolás ordered the Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber, in a mandatory cadena broadcast, to declare it unconstitutional.
Chavismo’s idea of peace
A plan to go to the National Electoral Council’s headquarters to deliver a letter requesting the necessary forms to initiate the Recall Referendum process, ended in a fistfight where several journalists were injured. “Chavista territory,” the shock brigade’s enthusiastic spokesman yelled, before they started to throw stones and bottles, hitting them and even stealing their phones; all before an impassive gaggle of National Guardsmen who chose to remain inactive, again. Their behavior wasn’t different around the National Assembly’s building.
Forewarned is forearmed
As they discussed the reform of the Framework Law of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Henry Ramos Allup warned the deputies that the Supreme Court is preparing a decision -authored by justice Juan José Mendoza – which will modify the National Assembly’s Rules of Procedure: “Such decision by the Constitutional Chamber would cripple the regulations and enable them to declare all laws approved so far as unconstitutional.”
The PSUV caucus’ reaction was to scream, but Ramos Allup said: “If I say this it’s because we have first-hand information.” That would formalize the method, to skip Nicolás and keep operating as the supra-constitutional power they think they are, while they create a Constitution parallel to the one they’re sworn to uphold and defend.
This Thursday, a letter addressed to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was shared on social media, signed by the Minister of Foreign Relations, which shows severe writing and argumentative mistakes.
La disparatada carta de Delsy Eloína Rodríguez al Secretario de Estado norteamericano John Kerry. pic.twitter.com/IX0igW3hOH
— Casto Ocando (@cocando) April 7, 2016
Delcy demands respect – as the representative of a failed government – the application of the Democratic Charter – which her government violates at will – and she does this by rejecting the United States’ characteristic arrogance, which she seems to imitate when she demands that they renounce the freedom to decide whom to consider a threat, but since this is the country of Bolívar and the people’s call [¿?], it’s right for them to revoke the Executive Order, as she puts it. If she wrote that, it’s substantial evidence for her meagre talents. If she merely signed it, it’s almost worse.
Tan lindo, Galindo
A Comptroller who doesn’t want to take a position on the #PanamaPapers speaks volumes. He presented his annual report for 2015 – nothing special – saying that Venezuela is fighting corruption, while acknowledging the need for more training in values and fiscal control. Little concrete information for the amount of corruption cases this government exhibits with utter nerve, which the Comptroller defended from the position of just another PSUV member. According to Galindo, acts of corruption violate human rights and that’s why they don’t prescribe; he indicated that moral solvency is necessary for opting to public offices, and the chavista deputies chose that moment to go out and have some coffee. A rather bland exercise.
The Law that grants ownership to beneficiaries of the Great Housing Mission was passed today, as well as the partial reform of the Organic Law of the Supreme Court of Justice, which was approved in its second discussion.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.