No VTV for Luisa

Your daily briefing fo Tuesday April 26. Translated by Javier Liendo

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Luisa Ortega Díaz presented a report on recent protests as a sort of appeal with authority, for the Rule of Law, her office’s role and its exclusive authority to initiate criminal action: “The Prosecutor’s Office investigates because it is entitled to initiate criminal action, and of course we’ll demand due punishment for those responsible. Let no-one dare to pursue proceedings different from those enshrined in our Constitution,” adding that the Fiscalía isn’t part of the security services, but the body entitled to initiate criminal prosecutions and that’s why they’re responsible for qualifying offenses. The  Prosecutor General urged respect for due process —which must be enforced even during states of emergency— keeping information transparent and guaranteeing the security of criminal proceedings because “the country needs judicial security.”

She further reported that, according to her records, 26 people have died, 437 have been wounded and 1,289 have been arrested so far. This last figure is far smaller than the one released by NGO Foro Penal. She said criminal groups are involved in the incident in El Valle, admitted that most dissidents who protest do so peacefully, and asked all political leaders to lower the tone of their statements and relaunch negotiations to overcome the crisis.

So what?

Luisa Ortega Díaz distanced herself from the government, she didn’t use newspeak and acknowledged the gravity of the situation. She acknowledged opaque proceedings during arrests and in certain court rulings. She condemned violence and even contradicted some statements issued by Interior minister Reverol and Nicolás himself. It was a reasonable and necessary statement, which increases the cost of her peers’ raving chavismo. We should ponder the relevance of such a fracture in the solid concrete block that the government used to be.

The flip side

Diosdado Cabello accused opposition leaders of taking advantage of protests to murder people, claiming once again that the opposition needs a coup d’État. “They started it with the National Assembly, they don’t have the ovaries to just say they’re committing a coup d’État.” He cautioned chavista militants that they must be on the street to counter the opposition’s marches and said that the opposition only needs power to “hand the nation over to imperialism” (in place of Cuba); privatize PDVSA (they destroyed it) and dissolve State powers (like they did,) but that they could accomplish it only through a coup d’État. Amidst a demonstration for peace, Diosdado said: “We must strike back to eliminate the enemy.” So much hatred from such a puny man.

Venezuela, leaving the OAS?

Yesterday, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry condemned the statements of Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and ended direct negotiations for a solution to the Mercosur controversy, activating the arbitration process; she ignored the statements of France and the UN’s Human Rights Office regarding their concern for escalating violence against protests; as well as the discussion the European Parliament will hold to condemn “the brutal repression against peaceful protests in Venezuela”; of course, she also ignored the announcement of the Mercosur Board’s visit scheduled for May 5th, but the fact that the OAS Permanent Council called for a meeting to decide whether they would hold a discussion about Venezuela’s conflict was more than Delcy could handle, so much so that she launched this threat: “President Nicolás Maduro has instructed me to start proceedings for Venezuela to leave this institution,” because, once again, in her view there can be no discussion about a dictatorship and its abuses without said dictatorship’s approval. Fortunately, she already called for an extraordinary meeting of Celac for May 2nd. All experts on the matter agree: judicially speaking, it’s complex to leave the OAS, but politically, Venezuela could simply disregard the institution. Chavismo excels in malice and arrogance. If they’re leaving, they should at least pay their huge debt with the OAS.

“The fascist right-wing”

Minister Néstor Reverol reported that security bodies arrested 14 people for their alleged responsibility in the death of 11 citizens in El Valle. All the detainees were wanted “for homicide, theft or drugs” and he said that they’re being questioned to “establish the responsibilities of those people” who use them to commit vandalism. He also spoke about arrests in La Vega and Mérida and claimed that on Monday night in San Martin, there were “people hired by the fascist right-wing,” strange, because they didn’t arrest anybody and still he comes up with that explanation. He accused the opposition of promoting violence and reminded mayor Ramón Muchacho of his responsibility for the destruction left by violent demonstrators. He spoke as a chavista, not as a minister, if he has ever been able to even pose as the latter.

Three days, Tarek

Parliament approved via majority vote the agreement rejecting the lack of response of the Poder Moral concerning the serious misconduct of the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber justices. They gave None-budsman Tarek William Saab three days to activate the process to remove the Constitutional Chamber justices: “Once this term expires, the National Assembly will consider him as an accomplice of the coup and will act accordingly,” said Freddy Guevara.

Meanwhile, lawmakers José Guerra and Tomás Guanipa denounced before the Prosecutor’s Office the government’s hate campaign and demanded the opening of an investigation into the reach of Plan Zamora and Diosdado Cabello’s Revolutionary Fighter’s Handbook. By the way, AN Speaker Julio Borges rejected the request to meet former president and dialogue mediator Leonel Fernández.

Rights and pledges

TSJ head Maikel Moreno issued a statement condemning, rejecting and deploring violence in recent protests, claiming that violence as a way of protest “isn’t a right, it’s a crime.”

Nicolás remarked that he’ll make “historic announcements (…) that will shape the course of the country’s working class” on May 1st, because a “new stage of the working class revolution” has started and the revolution is going on “popular offensive” mode. Nicolás said opposition protests have caused losses worth Bs.100 billion and also ratified the call for a counter-march of public employees today, to Bellas Artes.

The opposition’s challenge is overcoming the distinguishing mark of authoritarian government: violence. Non-violent protest is boring for many, but it’s an overwhelmingly effective tool to expose chavismo‘s illegitimacy. Violence merely plays into the government’s hands and, actually, international support is bound to the institutional agenda, not to anarchy. Most if not all of us are fed up, it’s a deep social rage that the government insists on ignoring to push it to other stages more favorable to them. These are troubled days. Take care.

20 COMMENTS

  1. Luisa Ortega Díaz talking about the Rule of Law is to me, just sickening. She is starting to emerge in news accounts as some sort of honest broker and all I can say is, how quickly people forget. If she is having a change of heart about the trajectory of this malignant office she has overseen for quite a while now, she should start by resigning, and telling her fellow citizens about Afiuni, Leopoldo Lopez, dozens of innocent people held and tortured, an absurd string of constitutional references to the TSJ which blocked the democratic processes in this country and provided the shabby legal excuse for this dictatorship, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    The Prosecutors report on the Rule of Law should start with her full confession.

    • Let’s deal with the dictatorship first. Then we start bringing people to justice. And no, her resignation would be a tremendous setback. She helms the only public power beside the Assembly that doesn’t support the government.

      • I believe she is attempting to paint herself in a more favorable light in anticipation of her being held to account for her and her office’s actions when the regime falls.
        As the day of reckoning nears, the cracks will come quickly. These cowardly criminals will not all be able to escape the country.
        The OAS will be able to exert tremendous pressure on any country that grants exile to the inner circle of this tyrannical regime. The US, The UK and The EU have developed sophisticated procedures to track down assets.
        In reality this may be the stumbling block that keeps the regime clinging to power. They will lose everything when they lose power. Just as the population has nothing to lose if they remain in power.
        Two sides, both with nothing left to lose is the recipe for a drawn out, increasingly violent dispute.

        • I would say that the population has virtually everything (left) to lose if they remain in power, although, I think I see what you mean (?).

          • Net
            I meant that the population is in the position where they have nothing left to lose. No food, no medicine, public services are unreliable, the streets are not safe in daylight. There is no future for their children.
            The citizens must remove this government.
            I could have stated it better.
            I learned a long time ago that when someone is in a position that they feel that they have nothing left to lose, they will act irrationally and erratically.
            A man that is watching his family slowly starve to death, or may have already suffered the tragedy of losing a child, may not have the same concern for his own life. He may feel that he must act regardless of the consequences if it may help his family.
            By the same token these bastards know that there is no middle ground. When they are out of power everything will be lost.
            This is what I meant by saying that this has developed into two sides with nothing left to lose.

          • You’re absolutely right, John. What’s still missing is that that the 80+% D-E under-educated/malnourished/cowered classes see this as clearly as do the 20% better-off/better-educated A/B/C classes, that are the vast majority of those risking their lives marching in the streets.

        • Canucklehead—sometimes you do not get your choice of perfect allies (think US and USSR during WWII). Can her sins be forgiven? Being a non-Venezuelan, I would say that is for others to decide. Image if she was to leave the country and go on a “mia culpa” tour. Something like that would be devastating to the regime’s reputation. Considering her position, she must know where many of the bodies are buried. She does seem to be slowly, way to slowly, distancing herself, the oppo may be able to take advantage of this, would you suggest they do not?

          • Walz, the opposition is rightly focussed on elections. After an election, a new prosecutor can be appointed, and that office can get to work on its job.

            I am not suggesting that people not receive a fair trial. I am not suggesting that there may be mitigating circumstances people may rely on if found guilty. But to recognize in this person either expressly or implicitly an authority that she lost years ago, is misplaced. She cannot speak for the Rule of Law in Venezuela. That she is doing so is above all, a denial of her central complicity in the present unfolding disaster.

            My understanding of the forgiveness of sins is not strong, but I do know that a precondition for such forgiveness includes a full confession and penance.

            If there is a mea culpa tour, let’s hope it starts in a place with legal jurisdiction over this situation.

          • I’d just add Walz, I’m not suggesting non-Venezuelans should decide anything. Non Venezuelans can, however, express a point of view. Which is precisely what you are doing as well.

    • This is just the first high-profile rat gingerly putting her little foot over the side of the Vene-Titanic, but, on her back she’s carrying the illegal detentions/jailing of LL (3+ yrs.)/Ledezma/Afiuni/and countless others, not to mention the hurt of those countless tortured, with no complaint by her office….

    • Well said and I couldn’t agree more. Her hands are as filthy as the Rio Guaire….And she flies off to Paris frequently to “shop”. Meanwhile people have no food, medicine, and basic needs as her office invents, exaggerates, and imprison’s the very people who can take the country out of this mess.

  2. WTF @ “prosecutor’s office doesn’t support the government”. It’s pretty clear, that they (should i say, she), are(is) trying to slowly distance themselves from the government, but that doesn’t cloud the fact of all the things they have allowed to pass under the table, and eventually they will be liable for that, However, i fully agree that we should deal with dictatorship first.

    If she resings i doubt it signifies an important serback, it Will only demonstrate in a proper, material way, how fractured chavismo is getting, and should chavismo appoint a more “red” prosecutor, it Will only serve as another catalyst for the ongoing protests.

    There’s a difference between knowing the path, and walking the path. As the saying goes…

  3. “Violence merely plays into the government’s hands and, actually, international support is bound to the institutional agenda, not to anarchy”
    Naky Soto do you think the people can wait that long?? It will take years and years of hunger and deaths before that “international support” is going to do anything!!!! Anarchy is the only way to end this dictatorship asap, KILLING those mierda chavistas by the hundreds or even by the thousands will make those fuckers leave in a hurry. Keep doing the non-violent protest BS and chavismo will laugh their asses off, THAT’S what they’re hoping for bcuz they can keep doing what they’re doing for many many years to come!!!!!

    • Not anarchy, but we can’t fall in the trap having people forming a line to get slaughtered by the colectivos.

      What we need is to spread wide and far that absolutely ALL the violence, the whole 100% of it, is directly caused by the chavista regime, and that ANY colectivo that kicks the bucket was looking for it / deserved it as they are criminal death squads sent to repress the population.

      THAT is what is needed, the only ones that must be offed are the colectivos, leave the ignorant and / or stupid harmless base be.

      And that’s what will eventually happen, the people will get so fed up with the colectivos that they’ll start fighting back, and in each case, the ONLY version that must be known has to be “VIOLENCE WAS STARTED BY THE CHAVISTA BUTCHERS, THE PEACEFUL PEOPLE WERE DEFENDING THEIR DEAR LIVES AND FAMILIES, #MaduroAsesino #LegadoDeChavez”

  4. Everyone can discuss the true intentions of Luisa Ortega Díaz, but her words are just more words in the ever on-going circus of the Chavista government. Ortega actions to those words however is what is needed to be followed. I am sure everyone here on CC have 0% faith, that Ortegas Office will actually bring anyone of significance in the govt to justice. Most likely if at all, some lower stool. Poor guy.
    That being said, she is a dead woman if she extends her reach to anyone who is connected. Poor girl.

  5. She’s just following Maduro’s script to “show the world that Venezuela still has idependent institutions”. At least that’s the way I see it.

    • Could very well be , but there is also the possibility that they are preparing the ground for the possibility that it things become really difficult that they can make it appear as if there is a regime change while maintaining control of the govt using differen people who have recently worked to improve their democratic credentials !!

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