if all goes well for the Democratic Unity Roundtable, then we’ll have “general” elections in 2017, meaning presidential, regional, and parliamentary elections all at once
With a new year comes a new showdown between the National Assembly (AN) and the Government. Last week, the AN’s new President, Primero Justicia’s Julio Borges, said that they’ll renew efforts to declare Nicolás Maduro’s abandonment of his post. In response, Maduro said in his TV show that the AN “will soon be gone”. He didn’t specify, but El Estímulo reports that the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) is preparing a ruling through which it’ll request the National Electoral Council (CNE) to call for parliamentary elections this year.
Of course this wouldn’t be strictly legal. But then again, neither is the opposition’s call for presidential elections ahead of time. So, in summary, if all goes well for the Democratic Unity Roundtable, then we’ll have “general” elections in 2017, meaning presidential, regional, and parliamentary elections all at once. If all goes well for the Socialist United Party of Venezuela (PSUV), well, we’ll just have to stay tuned.
Old Dictatorship, New Faces
There’s been much analysis and debate over the new cabinet chosen by Nicolás Maduro, announced last week. Among the many, many useless Ministerios, some truly relevant changes have been made. Fusing all economic ministries into the Ministerio de Economía y Finanzas, and putting it in the hands of Marxist-since-youth Ramón Lobo Moreno, moving Elías Jaua into the Education ministry (Jaua viene por tus hijos, anyone?), and putting university education under no other than microphone-flinging Hugbel Roa, are some of the most disturbing changes.
But of course, the big news is our new Vice-President, Tareck El Aissami. From a Syrian-Lebanese family, son of a leftist militant, Tareck is a rare species. He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Universidad de Los Andes, and went on to his political career. He’s been linked with Hezbollah, is notorious as one of the big players in our narcoestado game, and is widely recognized as one of the most radical characters in our PSUV.
Professor Humberto García Larralde writes for El Estímulo:
Los cambios del gabinete propuestos por Maduro son señal inequívoca de que no va a enmendar sus funestas políticas
The changes in cabinet proposed by Maduro are a clear signal that he will not amend his fatal policies.
By all accounts, it seems that our hopes for a government that corrects itself are wasted.
Zapatero a su Zapato
Also in his TV show, Nicolás Maduro said that former President of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero has confirmed his faith and commitment in the Venezuelan dialogue tables, and that he’ll be visiting Caracas in the coming weeks to aid the process.
He also said that he talked to Claudio María Celli, the Vatican’s envoy, and that both he and Pope Francis renew their hope in the dialogue “to overcome all obstacles”. It almost seems to me as though they weren’t the most informed, most pertinent people to get involved in Venezuelan politics… Is that just me?
The Lost Chopper
Because apparently helicopter losing is a thing now, the search continues for a chopper lost in Amazonas state on December 30th. Aboard it were nine military officials and four civilians, all of which have been reported alive and safe. The chopper, however, is nowhere to be found.
Minimum Wage Hike… Again
Not too much to be said here. For the fifth time since March 2016 (nine months), the minimum wage was raised by 50% this Sunday. It reached a total of Bs. 104.358, which in real terms still amounts to around $30 a month. El Pitazo reports the main points of this new hike.
Forza Juve, Fuerza Rincón
To end things on a happy note, yesterday was Tomás Rincón’s first game for Juventus. Historically one of Europe’s largest and best football clubs, it’s definitely one of the greatest opportunities a Venezuelan footballer has ever had. Time to start watching the Serie A.