For Friday, July 29, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
In seven months, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s Electoral Chamber hasn’t issued a decision regarding Amazona’s challenged deputies. Sheer inertia has prevented the opposition from constituting the two-thirds majority that they obtained on December 6th, suspended by the TSJ; and now the PSUV presents itself as defender of legality and correctness. This Thursday, deputies Nírma Guarulla, Julio Ygarza and Robert Guzamana were sworn in. The PSUV condemned the event. They turned their backs on protocol just like they do on the country, and an agitated Héctor Rodríguez said “all of this Assembly’s acts from this moment on, are illegal.” Julio Ygarza said: “no judicial decision can strip away the mandate given to us by the people as their representatives (…) the matter is clear, we’re deputies of the National Assembly. The TSJ’s decision is completely null.” Regarding the threat of prison, he remarked: “If they imprison us for complying with the Constitution, we’re willing to face that challenge.”
The PSUV has said to exhaustion that, by rejoining the Assembly, Amazona’s lawmakers are committing a crime. They’ve promised judicial actions, even prison. Héctor Rodríguez confirmed that they’ll file a complaint against the three parliamentarians for usurpation of authority, with this argument: “We’re right, there was an electoral crime here.” Sadly, they haven’t been -and will never be- able to prove it. But Rodríguez expects the TSJ to issue a statement and determine the responsibility of Amazonas’ governor, Liborio Guarulla, in the alleged electoral fraud, to repeat elections in that state. Which the PSUV would also lose. Tania Díaz spoke about a “coup against democracy”; Jorge Rodríguez said that it was contempt, a disrespect to public powers and Pedro Carreño demanded the opposition to “have balls.” Unfortunately, he didn’t mention anything about the way chavismo has dilapidated our international reserves, leaving them at $11,820 million, their lowest point since September, 1999.
Whatever it takes
This Wednesday night, Diosdado Cabello said that he’ll do everything within his power to prevent a recall referendum against Nicolás this year: “I’ll do whatever it takes within the Constitution and the Law so that the referendum doesn’t take place.” Meanwhile, governor Henrique Capriles promised to activate a great march from all over the country to Caracas, in case the National Electoral Council doesn’t announce the official date to collect the definitive signatures for the referendum next Monday. “If this Monday, the CNE keeps playing around with the people, let them face the consequences (…) we can’t allow the electoral solution to the crisis to be taken from us. More than 80% of the country wants change and wants a Recall,” he stated.
It’s been confirmed that Mercosur’s meeting has been cancelled, so Delcy’s concerns are focused on North American interference, because this Thursday, the U.S. criticized the unnecessary delays for the referendum and urged the government to allow the process to move forward: “We urge the Venezuelan government to respect its own constitutional mechanisms and promptly allow this process to go forward without delay, in accordance with the will of the Venezuelan people,” said John Kirby, spokesman for the U.S. State Department, remarking that the Venezuelan Constitution guarantees the right “for their voices to be heard through the recall referendum process.”
“Argentina won’t leave Venezuela alone,” said president Mauricio Macri in his meeting with Mitzy Capriles de Ledezma, ratifying his country’s support for international mechanisms to be activated and the release of political prisoners is achieved. Macri added that “UNASUR and Mercosur must take a more definitive stance and a lead role in the process that Venezuela’s going through, with participation from countries and States, not just [UNASUR’s] secretary general, Ernesto Samper. They must assume their responsibility as institutions created to serve the nations, always defending democratic values and principles”, since the Venezuelan government has mocked the Ushuaia democratic clause -commitment to respect Human Rights- “which is not the case of Venezuela, where there are more political prisoners than in Cuba.”
We conclude with the decision of the Complutense University of Madrid, of suspending Juan Carlos Monedero for six months, due to the advise he provided to the Venezuelan and Bolivian governments, for which he charged 425,000 euros, It’s a serious breach to alternate academic responsibilities with advisory services without the University’s prior authorization. The Complutense’s rules establish that any professor that performs these tasks must give a percentage to the university, which can now demand 10% of that income.
NGO Transparencia Venezuela submitted a document to the AN’s Comptrollership Committee demanding the removal of Comptroller General, Manuel Galindo, for giving his close relatives posts within the Comptroller’s Office. His children, grandchildren and nephews are all among the 13 relatives: “The Comptroller’s actions are unacceptable and illegal, since they violate the Code concerning the conflict of interests that arises from hiring or appointing close relatives.” The Comptroller publicly admitted the infringement of his duties with an answer in an interview with journalist Lisset Boom. In case the crime of nepotism is proven, the organization will demand the authority’s removal for breaching the duties imposed by his office.
PDVSA and Rosneft
Nicolás, Eulogio del Pino and the chairman of the Russian oil company Rosneft, Igor Sechin, signed four cooperation agreements. Nicolás said, after gushing over Putin: “The idea is to keep working with the energy, oil and petro-chemistry engines.” Del Pino remarked that these agreements involve elements of joint planning, they mean a $20 billion investment across five mixed companies: “We’re talking about an alliance between two of the most important state-owned oil companies in the world.” Sechin said that these new agreements are focused on off-shore gas exploitation, training Venezuelan professionals, petrochemical production and building drills. Aside from that, Eulogio Del Pino dared to say that nationalization was a mistake. Chavismo’s reaction is beautiful :’)
The 62 that never happened
The public media system has spent the whole day rolling el finado’s most cursi audios and videos. I applaud the initiative. It’s a way of reminding their most loyal followers that he’s really dead, while revealing Nicolás for the farce he is. From the absurd show at the tomb, Nicolás invited all Venezuelans to follow the example of Chávez’s life, because when we understand “his ethics, his morality, his philosophy, his strategy, his capacity for action,” we’ll be better. Those present put innumerable flowers on the tomb. The grim expression on María Gabriela Chávez’s face was a reverie. Perhaps she wasn’t too happy about celebrating her dead dad’s birthday with cake and all. Vladimir Padrino López said that in his 62 of inspiring collective awareness, “Chávez continues to fight alongside the people and the Armed Forces.” The wind blew the candle out.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.