For Thursday, August 4, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
There’s nothing chavismo likes more than a national holiday. They put up shows around them, and impose them in a cadena to pull together an audience wherever they can. This Wednesday, they mixed up the 210th anniversary of the National Flag with the 17th anniversary of the installation of the National Constituent Assembly. Both motives were a smokescreen. This Wednesday’s exercise was a brainstorming session possibly titled: “How to dissolve the National Assembly? Like Fujimori or like Noriega? Contributions by the PSUV.”
The dumbest constituyente
The scene came with a coffin, a fair allegory of Nicolás and his administration, and of hundreds of Venezuelan families who have to bury their loved ones month after month. During the discussion, Nicolás emphasized that the people will defeat the threat of the old, corrupt oligarchy (to avoid speaking about the consequences of his terrible choices) and repeated five times that the National Assembly “extinguished” itself -a key concept which replaces “governance” in his list of poorly used terms-, but he insistently stated that the Constituent Assembly was still in force. “1999 was the end of a century-long domination cycle against the People,” he said, adding that the Pacto de Punto Fijo was an agreement between elites, while the Constituyente was “a miracle for the country.”
Like Diosdado, he called supporters to keep struggling because truth is on their side and the opposition represents the garbage dump of political history. That’s presumably why he urged all constituyentes to safeguard the Constitution and people’s rights, which he himself violates daily. His obsession with Henry Ramos Allup remains intact: “Now you’ll have to bear the weight of history; we’re ready for combat here, against a thousand Ramos Allup, against a thousand devils, if they come.”
The ex-constituyente, former Prosecutor General and current ambassador in Italy, Isaías Rodríguez, said that the Constitution had “the means for the President to dissolve Parliament.” He took another chance by saying that the Venezuelan regime was neither Presidential nor Parliamentary: “It’s demi-Presidential, because in our regime, all power lies on the Constitutional Chamber. It lies on the Judicial Branch!,” said the man responsible for bringing Spanish advisors from the Centre of European Policy Studies in Valencia, during the constituent process. Take note of that message: power lies on the Constitutional Chamber, and remember that Isaías Rodríguez was the guy who had the paranormal encounter with el finado, and he also claimed to have seen the truth in the eyes of the star witness in Danilo Anderson’s case.
The reasonable one
Hermann Escarrá said that the civil and criminal responsibility of the opposition lawmakers must be established. According to him, dissolving the National Assembly is a mistake, indicating that the Vice-president is the person responsible for the relationships between the Executive Branch and Parliament and, addressing Aristóbulo Istúriz, he said: “Article 138 is immediately applicable: ‘Any usurped authority is invalid and all its acts are null.’ The truth is that it’s some kind of joke, of foolish liturgy, of heterodox but idiotic behaviour to say that the deputies were reinstated illegally and unconstitutionally. They aren’t incorporated at all. And all [of Parliament’s] acts are absolutely void according to this Constitution.” He assured that it’s impossible to abolish the Legislative Branch, because it’s a constitutional mistake. Escarrá called for a profound homage to the 1999 Constituent Assembly’s enlightened humanity, and added that “most Venezuelans are tired of the insults against the TSJ.”
The Ombudsman isn’t boring because he has well-groomed eyebrows. Tarek William Saab proposed the “martyrs of the 60’s” to be taken to the National Pantheon, gushed over Nicolás like no one else and managed to make even cameramen yawn. According to the PSUV’s most significant loser, Elías Jaua, our terrible situation can be easily solved: “The referendum’s purpose is to recall oligarchic governments, not popular ones.” Finally, minister Iris Varela -the pran– said that in 1999, she proposed eliminating parliamentary immunity, only to add: “If that were the case, the traitors would be in prison today.” Oblivious to the fact that the people voted on December 6th, she said that people voted for the Constitution and the President, that lawmakers need to learn some respect, “to fall into line,” and that the rest of the government’s branches must act against the AN for their offense.
Right after emphasizing how much we’ve progressed in terms of freedom of speech and Human Rights, Nicolás resorted to malandraje and spoke about Paraguay, Argentina and Brazil as the “Triple Alliance” that persecutes his government. Saying that Venezuela must be respected, he took to discrediting the governments of these three nations, calling them torturers, referring to Mauricio Macri as haggard, Michelle Temer as a dictator and Horacio Cartes as an oligarch parasite. Urging to “close ranks with the Southern nations,” calling for conflict: “Let’s see who’s stronger. Who ends up winning the historical battle against the oligarchy responsible for Operation Condor,” right before saying that John Kerry comes to South America looking for trouble, looking for division. “We head Mercosur” he yelled “Here we are, waiting for you. We’re going to face you and defeat you, but you won’t mess with Venezuela.” Then he added that he asked the Foreign Affairs minister to communicate with Kerry to tell him the truth and face him in the field of diplomacy. A hit.
Once he was finished with his rant about Mercosur, he returned to messages for the country, asking the people to make a greater effort, because nobody has excuses, because all of us must learn to make the most out of everything and do more with less, because all of us must contribute to overcome the crisis and win the economic war. “Make no mistake with me. They’ve done that before,” he said to threaten opposition members who spark protest and create violence, with prison, despite remarking that his greatest revenge will be the revolution’s consolidation, as he once again turned to his obsession and said that Ramos Allup’s time will come soon.
The oath he improvised for Néstor Reverol as Interior minister, Carlos Farías as Industry and Commerce minister and Ricardo Molina as Transportation and Public Works minister, was a marvel of absurdity. He dared to honor Farías’s predominantly socialist character and used Bolívar’s tomb to add symbolic value to his mamarrachada. Since he likes national holidays so much, it would be cute if someone reminded him that Francisco de Miranda died 200 years ago, betrayed by Simón Bolívar.