“Come to the TSJ”

Your daily briefing for Friday, June 9, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

After the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber dismissed the request for clarification on ruling 378, Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz filed on Thursday  the “electoral appeal for nullification together with injunction and precautionary measure to suspend all proceedings concerning the Constituent Assembly,” after which he invited all Venezuelans to reject Nicolás’ Constituyente.

The reasons to request the nullification of CNE’s decisions are:

  1. The Constituyente’s presidential decree violates the principle of sovereignty (which resides in the people who, in turn, are the only ones who can convene a constituent assembly)
  2. The electoral rules are unconstitutional
  3. The CNE violated the principles of gradual development of human rights, administrative legality, equality and that of the vote itself; besides disrespecting the right to free elections and political participation.

What does Luisa want?

In her words: “What’s at stake here is the country, the integrity of our people, the peace we deserve, the respect we deserve.” She added that she was there to defend the Constitution and a participative, leading democracy, and explained that all calls for the Constituyente have been violent and involved threats. The General Prossecutor labeled the recent repression as brutal and took a shot at the PSUV’s top dogs: “Chavismo is a current of thought, not a political party; it’s a philosophy of life, this (raising the ‘99 Constitution in her hand) is president Hugo Chávez’s main legacy.”

The Prosecutor’s Office’s program on Radio Nacional de Venezuela was abruptly shut down right when the prosecutor Zair Mundaray was expressing doubts about the 80 dead mentioned by Communications minister Ernesto Villegas.

VTV also had its show, airing “the recovery” of a plane rented by the Prosecutor’s Office that hadn’t been delivered, cautioning that the plane was used by Luisa and her husband, lawmaker Germán Ferrer, which could result in punitive action.

Just now they come up with the idea of accusing Ortega Díaz of corruption. Why didn’t they do that before?

Against Pizarro

Vice-presidente Tareck El Aissami claimed that lawmaker Miguel Pizarro is one of the people directly responsible for the call to violence, remarking that he’s been acting under the cover of impunity, due to his condition as a lawmaker; he called him a murderer and cautioned that immunity is not impunity. Regarding Neomar Lander, he said the kid was killed when his homemade mortar exploded, and in order to prove it, he showed a video edited in the best tradition of “Alerta” on RCTV, later questioning “media and digital tribunals blurted the lies seeking to impose manipulation and hate” while they sought the truth.

He mentioned nothing about planimetry and insisted that Neomar’s death was planned, “because the stage was already set,” challenging the General Prosecutor with the testimony of a 15-year old boy who accused Pizarro of manipulating the kids at Plaza Altamira. So thorough, the VP.

Human rights abuser

The National Assembly unanimously approved a vote of no confidence against Interior minister Néstor Reverol, in compliance with article 187 of the Constitution. When there was still rule of law in this country, the vote of no confidence meant the official’s immediate removal, in this case due to the deplorable actions committed by State security forces, violations against protesters’ human rights and failure to perform his duties. Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano sums it up like this: “From now on, we’re calling him usurper as well as murderer.” Parliament will submit the motion to Nicolás, request the Prosecutor’s Office to open an investigation on Reverol’s abuses and pointed out that any agreement Reverol signs from now on is invalid.

Military dictatorship

NGO Foro Penal reported that between June 1st and 7th, there have been 3,106 arrests and 1,363 arrests during protests. Alfredo Romero said that 370 detainees have been presented before military tribunals and 308 of them are now political prisoners, emphasizing that: “presenting civilians before military tribunals shows that we’re facing a military dictatorship.”

Two of the people killed so far (67 according to the PO) in protests, 49 have been murdered and the rest died in accidents, lootings and due to barricades.

A event that supports Foro Penal’s reports is the absurd attack against María Corina Machado yesterday in Guacara’s toll booth, which involed SEBIN, PNB and even armed civilians (colectivos).

They won’t let her take a plane, and now they won’t let her travel by land either.

Lower the guns

Rafael Dudamel, technical director of the U-20 Venezuelan team, condemned the brutal repression against opposition protests: “Today, a 17-year old boy brings us joy and yesterday, a 17-year old boy died. Mr. president, let’s lower the guns. These kids who take to the streets only want a better Venezuela,” urged Dudamel after the Vinotinto made it to the finals of FIFA’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea.

Quarrel with everybody

While governor Henrique Capriles denounced that 150 armored vehicles and other crowd control equipment to repress protests arrived to Venezuela from China, Nicolás claimed to have video evidence of how the opposition “has recruited kids, offering money and drugs which have killed them,” repeating the accusation against Pizarro and, out of mere spite, he quoted El Aissami’s earlier statement en cadena.

He denounced conspiracies against him, complaining about being accused of everything, subjected to smear campaigns, but don’t worry, he’s ready for a historic trial; must be why he warned that he’ll start judicial proceedings to defend his honor: “I’m going to quarrel with everybody.” He finally understood what protests are for!


The Pope met with the heads of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference. Yesterday, German chancellor Angela Merkel called on all Latin American countries to continue their efforts to reach a peaceful solution for our crisis.

Student Movement representatives called a march for today, from Plaza Francia in Altamira, through the spot where Neomar Lander died, to Conatel headquarters in Las Mercedes, to demand an end to censorship and access to the truth.

The Constituyente’s a mess and the action taken by Luisa Ortega Díaz is a great lifeline for chavismo itself. Read the measure and if you agree with it, support it as an interested third party, as a citizen, that would provide a concrete action with the necessary political strength to face an imposition that nobody wants.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.