“You’re all golpistas, the Prosecutor said so!” opposition lawmakers chanted when their government counterparts entered Parliament, towards the end of the session where they discussed the evidence of the breakdown of constitutional order in Venezuela, and ultimately approved a resolution condemning the violation of constitutional order and the ongoing coup d’État. They also approved the agreement to activate the removal process of TSJ justices due to the violation of democratic order. Consistent in their incoherence, instead of participating in the debate, chavismo called for a press conference where they denounced a parliamentary coup d’État, right after explaining that they disregard any of the Assembly’s decisions, in compliance with the alleged contempt (desacato) imposed by the TSJ.
After refusing to attend the last 25 sessions in Parliament, the chavista caucus returned to provoke controversy, repeating their preferred argument: “As long as the Citizen Branch (Poder Ciudadano) doesn’t denounce a severe violation, you can’t remove the justices for any reason without violating the Constitution.” Translation: as long as the TSJ keeps the three Amazonas lawmakers out of the AN —thus robbing the opposition of their qualified majority— and as long as Ombudsman Tarek William Saab keeps denying the rupture of constitutional order as head of the Republican Moral Council, nothing will happen here. Additionally, law scholar Hermánn Escarrá remarked that the TSJ “doesn’t need anyone’s intervention to remove lawmakers who betray the nation.”
In the OAS
Foreign minister Delcy Rodríguez refuses to understand that, when Venezuela signed the Democratic Charter, it accepted that its internal issues be discussed without its authorization. That’s why she returned to the Permanent Council this Wednesday to denounce that there’s been a violation against OAS’s founding principles and she said that Venezuela disregards “the entire session.” Delcy showed pictures of last Tuesday’s protests to prove “the opposition’s attacks against security authorities.” Sadly, she didn’t include any of the thousands showing the National Guard and the National Police repressing the people.
She shouted her claims that the OAS has lost its course, accused Paraguay’s ambassador of hysteria, denounced the “judicial and consented” fraud —a phrase that aptly describes what we’re living through here— and of course, she spouted insults against OAS head Luis Almagro. Sometime later, Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López spoke of the OAS’s meltdown, expressing his condemnation and indignation toward Luis Almagro —suggesting that he should resign— and also congratulating Delcy for her performance. How cute!
The world’s eyes are on us
Let’s start with the reactions caused by an article released in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s newspaper, titled “Venezuela in the abyss,” reporting this Tuesday’s repression and the TSJ’s coup d’État. Let’s stay in the old continent because the Eurochamber discussed Venezuela’s situation and called for taking a stronger stance, a recommendation backed by so many different political tendencies that Delcy would be suffering a collapse, if she was a real diplomat. The debate concluded by establishing that international support is key for solving our conflict and the resolution about Venezuela will be voted in Brussels, during plenary session on April 26th. Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, vice-president of the Spanish government, also called for restoring the Rule of Law because, without that, there can’t a be democracy.
On this side of the world, former Uruguayan president José Mujica said that Nicolás’ statements against Foreign minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa were unfair and exaggerated, claiming that bilateral relations between Venezuela and Uruguay are at their worst, that president Tabaré Vázquez is awaiting a response and that democracy in Venezuela is in question. Crossing Río de la Plata, the meeting of Foreign ministers of Mercosur and the Pacific Alliance is scheduled for this Friday, and a strong condemnation for Human Rights violations and lack of liberties in Venezuela is expected to arise from it. They will also urge the government to restore the Rule of Law, hold immediate elections and release political prisoners. To conclude, the Inter Parliamentary Union requested an visit of the Human Rights Committee to oversee the situation in the country and the worsening political crisis that we’re experiencing.
Luis Almagro said that it’s “absolutely unacceptable that the authoritarian frenzy that led the Venezuelan government to abandon democracy (…) has once more turned against its own people.” And he didn’t know by then about the twelve people wounded, two of them by gunshot, when the National Guard and the National Police violated Carabobo University autonomy to repress a student protest. They shot rubber bullets and tear gas inside the campus; they also used pepper spray and the Rector herself, Jessy Divo de Romero, had to arrange an ambulance to transport those most badly wounded. Classes were suspended until further notice and the University Council will hold an emergency meeting to discuss the violation of autonomy.
In San Cristóbal, Táchira state, university students and police forces clashed during a protest, leaving the sad balance of 21 people wounded with rubber bullets, punches and asphyxia. UNET also suspended classes. In Caracas, the PNB also used tear gas to disperse a protest in a neighborhood in El Paraíso.
From Guárico, Nicolás claimed that peace had triumphed this Tuesday, that elections will be held in 2018 and that chavismo must prepare for “the greatest victory in Venezuela’s political history.” He was irresponsible enough as to claim that the country is self-sufficient in the production of rice seed, and foresaw the demise of the the OAS. For some reason, he spoke about the Armed Forces far more than about el finado, even though it was the 49th month anniversary of his death.