Late last night, while Venezuelans were sleeping off the hangover from two days of Pythonesque foreign policy and routine authoritarianism, the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal (TSJ) announced it would assume the National Assembly’s parliamentary functions so long as the popularly elected organ remains in desacato (contempt of court).

They basically annulled the Legislature.

This is it. The breaking point. No, really. It’s this moment. Seriously. Cross my heart and hope to die. Pinky promise. Believe me!

Chavismo has managed to rise to a higher level Goebellian Nirvana by overexposing the public to absurdities and a general state of butt naked, crude misery.

Who’s going to give a damn about the Rule of Law and political institutions if they have to sort through our hell-spawn bureaucracy, through impossible lines or else rooting through garbage bins to feed their kids? Who’s going to believe that “this is it, that this is the moment” after seeing a convicted murderer appointed to lead the highest instance of justice in the country and knowing that the Vice-President has been tagged as a most wanted Drug Kingpin? Who will think this is the moment when our democracy died, even if we’ve said it one thousand times before?

Constitutional fraud? What? Again? Who cares?

El pozo no tiene fondo. There is no such thing as the bottom of the pit. It’s something you hear constantly on the streets of Caracas.

But it is not true.

The pit does have a bottom.

The thing is, once you go through it, you realize that you are in another pit that has another bottom, and then another, and another.

The bottom of the pit is the threshold that defines what you consider reasonable within the reality you’re currently in. Once you cross the threshold you find yourself in another reality, where other rules apply, and with a different standard of reasonableness.

Perhaps, the trick is to never accept the new reality. Nunca acostumbrarse. Never getting used to the abuse. Never losing your capacity to be impressed and disgusted and enraged. Holding on to that feeling deep inside telling you that this. Is not. Normal. That this is unacceptable.

But that wouldn’t be human. Right?

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Anything other than frontal rebellion from the political leaders of the oppo is unacceptable.

    Remember when we marched all over Caracas and they sent us home to bang on our pans? This is what happens. You teach the government that your words carry no weight.

    It’s time to put up or shut up, boys.

    • What does “put up” really mean in practical terms. I know something needs to be dne, but what exactly. Marching does not seem to work, and if one just stays at the place of the march blocking roads, one will most likely get shot. If businesses go on strike,they’ll be expropriated. If someone comes up with an idea that has a chance to work and yield good results, I’ll supported.

      • “one will most likely get shot, they’ll be expropriated”

        Imagine if people started being shot and expropriated in Venezuela, thank God this is not happening yet.

      • Sorry to say, but people like you need to die. sounds awful, it is awful, but pacifist, nimby (not in my backyard) attitudes do not work. The king, will not be de-throned. He has given the military the economic keys in exchange for allegiance, and has bribed the judges for constitutional control. Go ahead, believe in a god, believe in the OAS, or the 2018 elections. Believe in MUD, or the pope, or in clap bags. Only, death, gruesome, horrific, un-neccessary death, can spark a change. How very sad, I believe this.

        • Wishing death upon anuone is not something I can agree with (“but people like you need to die”), but I also believe everyone is entitled to their beliefs and opinions.I do not believe in the MUD, pope, etc. What I believe in ia a well thought out solution, which I haven’t seen yet. But if someone tells me, let’s go and march and we will all stay thereeven though they’ll be shooting at us and many of us will die, but at the end the people governing us will be out and life will return to the country. Well, in that case I would probably go to such a march knowing that even if I die my family and love ones will have a better life. However, I have not heard a single proposition lately that has even a minimum chance of achieving that, and that’s what I’m asking for.

      • Charlie
        Monday morning every driver in the country should run over any soldier or police man that he sees. Take his weapons and continue on your way.
        See how quickly these people cower in fear when they have no idea who is armed.
        Make the criminals that have seized control of your country fear for the lives of their children.
        Burn their houses. Every judge, cop and soldier that supports this regime is fair game.
        When a military or police patrol comes after anyone, everyone should confront them.
        Everyone should go on strike. Stop oil production. Stop the unloading of ships at the ports. The regime will steal anything coming into the country before the citizens will receive food.
        Within a week this regime will fail.
        They don’t have the money to support a prolonged conflict. The people have nothing to lose. Less people will die in a revolt than the people that are dying from crime, starvation and the lack of medicines.
        The men of Venezuela need to step up and be men.

        • Sadly, you may be on the right track, but the ones that may have the guts to do something like that are the malandros. So we’re back to square one.

          • The frustration I have that nobody seems to be coming forward as a credible leader of a revolt is only equaled by the bewilderment that I have that the people have so easily accepted the oppression of this regime.
            Where are the men that will have to answer to their children and grandchildren when they are asked what they did to free the country? How will they answer those questions?
            How can a man watch his family suffer or die and do nothing?
            How can people cower in fear when they are assaulted and robbed on the streets?
            I do honestly believe that a revolt will spread like a wildfire in a drought.
            Someone needs to light the match and let the spark of rebellion ignite Venezuela.

      • I understand what you mean, Charlie.

        What does it means? Enforce and provoke the political crisis. For example, go to the streets until elections are called. Occupy the TSJ and not leave until the justices resign. March to Miraflores? Everything is on the table.

        These are just examples, what I’m trying to say is that you have to provoke and enhance a climate that makes it impossible for the government to carry on as usual. A climate that elevates the costs for them to anything they do. Will they come out guns blazing? Surely. But I’m afraid that, at this stage, it’s unavoidable. It sounds horrid, but el chavismo will not renounce out of the goodness of its heart, it must be forced. Sadly, that’s how dictatorships work.

  2. On March 28 I said in this forum:

    “Venezuela has about a week before it plunges into the abyss.

    The only solution is for the AN to declare the 350 ya and call for civil disobedience; otherwise many decades of isolationism and misery are to come.

    Maduro says he has an “habilitante”: abolition of the AN, outlaw of the political parties and suspension of all elections “until the country recovers from the economic war and imperialist aggression”. He does not care about OAS, ONU and the Church.

    Wait and see.”

    Venezuela did not even had a week.

  3. The parallels of this how chavista nightmare keeps evolving and how Hitler came to power are astounding: Hindenburg names him chancellor (like Chavez did with Maduro), create chaos and blaming the AN for it to justify this seizure of power and finally name him “Führer.” The consequences were the most disastrous for Germany and much of the world then…

    In this case it will be devastating for the region as an unprecedented humanitarian crisis is now inevitable and the international community, specially Latin America are very much to blame after decade long absolute indifference with Hugo Chavez’s and the Castro’s very open and documented destruction of democracy and the creation of a mayor terrorist harboring, criminal and drug trafficking haven that is now Venezuela.

  4. I’m hearing Julio Borges saying that this is a coup d’etat and calling the people to the streets in the following days. To be coherent, they will not return home until the government retires the sentence, abdicates o the deputies were incarcerated.
    Amanecerá y veremos.

  5. Really, do you expect someone like Borges to start a rebellion? There will be no rebellion. They will settle with more empty never-ending dialog, and the rest of the world will be ok with that. Eventually, we will have fake elections, with fake governors and fake mayors.
    If there is a rebellion someday, it will not involve a single MUD politician. In fact, the rebellion will be against the MUD as much as against the government. This is obvious after what happened last year.
    Even if Borges wanted to start a rebellion, he can’t. Nobody will trust him. Nobody will trust Capriles either. You will never be able to start a rebellion with those leaders after what they have done in the past. That’s why a change was urgently needed, but they were too arrogant to accept they were completely wrong about everything and did nothing except attack people like me. So their pride and their petty ambitions sunk us all. Our only hope now is a miracle. We need two things at the same time, an spontaneus reaccion by the people, and an unexpected leader to seize the opportunity and force the other leaders to take bold action. Of course, he would encounter great resistance, like Leopoldo did, but the situation has changed a bit. As I said, a miracle.

  6. I said in another thread that “you are MISSING the point” regarding the so-called “validation”.

    This thugs are not going anywhere without people in the streets forcing them to leave.

    People like Ramos Allup, Falcon, HCR and others looking to gain access to gobernaciones y alcaldias, accepting the presidential results (2013), accepting the “dialogue” (november 2016) are the “leaders” that put the country in this situation. They surrendered the country in the name of the people.

    They took controlled of the Asamblea Nacional and did nothing. They ACCEPTED the fraud of the new members of the TSJ, they accepted the fraud of the new CNE, they did NOT pass a Ley de Amnistia to free political prisoner, they accepted the new Vicepresident.

    The reason people are not united in a massive demonstrations and take the streets is the fact they do NOT trust thesr failed “leaders”. Obviously not of these “leaders” are going to step down and let the people go. No. The people is only worth them to vote for them (not because them but because the peoople are against the govt).

    What’s the path these “leaders” are leading the country? The “validation” so they can gain access to public funds. And it’s really clear by now that the govt is not going to be ousted following this game.

    The path must be to unite the people behind one goal: which is remove the govt asap. And a govt like this is only be out if a massive is directed to Miraflores. There is no other wayout.

    To unite the people, there must be internal elections (not held by CNE) to legitimize a leader and the path.

    • You might be right, friend. Sadly, the political leaders of the opposition treated the government as an authoritaristic regime and not as it is, a dictatorial group. They made opposition when they should have made resistance.

      The game is on now. Whoever moves the pieces the best, and reads better the vibe on the street, will launch himself to presidency.

  7. Searching for a bottom to the bottomless pit–the bottom is when/if enough Venezuelan influential military say it is reached; meanwhile, in Venezuela it’s business/suffering as usual….

  8. Everyone needs to start calling a spade. The TSJ did not annul the legislature all by themselves. It was the dictator Maduro, who ordered this. The puppets in the TSJ simply followed his orders. The AN should vote to invoke Article 350 of the Constitution.

    “Article 350: The people of Venezuela, true to their republican tradition and their struggle for independence, peace and freedom, shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights.”

  9. I’m popping more popcorn as this gets more interesting by the day.

    AN/MUD were given more credit than they deserved and now you have a dictatorship with s smidgen of “something else” on paper.

    The military are in on the take every bit as much as SEIN and the other Chavistas.

    At some point, even China and Russia will begin to stop answering the calls from Maduro… but, we have not gotten to that point yet.

    Best thing to happen at this point is open rebellion, but, that will NEVER EVER HAPPEN!!! The people are just too vested in their tiny handouts to be a force for change.

  10. La gente sí es rebelde y lo ha demostrado muchas veces, incluso este mismo año. El problema es que desde el 2014 hay un sector de la misma oposición que ha hecho todo lo posible para desmovilizar a la sociedad y que ha contribuido a criminalizar la protesta. Se creó todo un discurso contra los rebeldes, se les llamó radicales, analfabetos, sifrinos, violentos,etcétera. Ese discurso sumado a la dura represión de la dictadura obviamente tuvo su efecto y no se puede deshacer mágicamente. Fue un error y una estupidez y a mí me gustaría ver a esas personas admitirlo públicamente. Las mismas personas que colaboraron para desmovilizar a la gente no van a lograr movilizarla ahora. Tampoco es que les interese.El único futuro que les queda en la política es negociar algunos espacios con la dictadura, por supuesto, sin cambiar el sistema.Por eso, no va a haber ninguna reacción por parte de los políticos. No les conviene. Van a dialogar otra vez en contra de la gente y de paso van a proyectar toda su culpa y su mediocridad sobre los demás, como siempre hacen. Al final ellos siempre van a quedar bien, cualquier espacio, por muy miserable que obtengan, lo van a considerar una gran victoria. Y si la gente se alza, es su problema, se lavan las manos, lo único que ellos quieren es explotarla de la misma manera que el chavismo. Yo en la particular no creo en esos líderes desde el 2014 y estoy cien por ciento seguro de que no podremos lograr nada hasta que no defenestremos completamente a la cúpula de la MUD. Pero no hay que cambiar únicamente a los líderes, sino las estructuras de los partidos, para que éstos sean más democráticos y participativos. Y hay que crear organizaciones civiles, de gremios, sindicales, que defiendan sus propios intereses. El gobierno las destruyó y al parecer nosotros seguimos el ejemplo.

  11. To the OAS: expel Venezuela now.

    As for the abyss, there is other decisions the crooked regime could yet take: the “T”SJ could dissolve the Congress to “put an end to its rebellion” and the CNE could nullify applications by opposition parties for “fraud.”

    • OAS meeting is simply a way for stuffed shirts to act important and have more endless dialog and pointless discussions.

      There will not be ANY CHANGE!!! I hope I am wrong but MUD is not helping matters and now they have been completely emasculated by the “judges”. They can’t even pass a bill.

      Its over and done with now. There is no more options for the opposition but open rebellion.

      OAS is in shambles anyhow and pinning any hopes on that body is futile.

  12. El gobierno, en momentos de crisis, siempre dobla la apuesta. Y hasta ahora siempre le ha salido bien. La razón es que ellos saben que los partidos de oposición nunca van a empezar una rebelión y que la comunidad internacional se conformaría con un simple diálogo y algunas mínimas concesiones. La diplomacia considera cualquier cosa una victoria.
    El punto es que si es por los políticos que tenemos, no hay nada que hacer. Ellos están esperando que la gente reaccione primero para luego montarse en la ola de la protesta y sacarle provecho. Y la gente no es tonta y no va a sacrificarse para beneficiar a unos cuantos tipos sin ética, que la han decepcionado y traicionado en el pasado. No hay pacto posible entre esos “líderes” y la ciudadanía, por eso la renovación, que no se dio, era vital. Tiene que ser el líder el que haga el llamado y que además asuma frente a todos su responsabildad y no existe nadie con ese perfil, solo María Corina Machado,que ha sido víctima de la campaña de deslegitimación más desleal de la historia.
    No van a esperar que quienes atacaron a Leopolo López despuéas de su encarcelamiento se conviertan en héroes de repente. Bastante tierra le echaron a la idea del heroísmo y del discurso épico en su momento. Hay una crisis terrible dentro de la oposición, una crisis ética e intelectual que fue negada, pero ahora nuestra única salvación depende de que se reconozca y se resuelva. Si seguimos enfocando las cosas desde el mismo punto de vista, vamos a colapsar.

  13. Will the chavernment follow the path of Oliver Cromwell? Send troops into the National Assembly and disperse or arrest the members?

    This is not a coup, exactly – it is a self-coup, when the person or faction controlling the executive assumes dictatorial power. Although that could be said to have happened 6/13/15, when the executive ignored the legislature.

    • This has no semblance of a coup. This is wrapping up dead fish in their constitution and throwing it in the trash.

      Watch as even more things begin to implode and more innocents are lost to the machine.

      The people of VZ don’t need this treatment, but, its what they get for how they voted. Its what they wanted and it is what they will get, like it or not.

      • “This is wrapping up dead fish in their constitution and throwing it in the trash”

        Which is, a coup.

        They’re coupsters, and this is a dictatorship, the first step to solve a problem is to acknowledge that there is a problem.

  14. There is a Russian joke that goes:
    “We thought we had hit rock bottom, and then someone knocked us from below”
    “We had hit rock bottom, but it is not the end! We won’t surrender! START DIGGING!”
    “We had hit rock bottom. Well, and now, lets settle it!”

    thought was very fitting here….unfortunately…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here