Shaking up the Board

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, June 14, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz once again moved her pieces on Tuesday 13th: “Today, I come before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s Full Chamber to request the preliminary hearings on merits against Constitutional Chamber justices (…) they could be involved in the crime of conspiring against the nation’s republican model.” She added that those justices can’t continue in their posts because they’re directly accountable for decisions that caused a rupture of constitutional order and the Rule of Law in the country.

“The nation is at risk, the Rule of Law is at risk, rights are at risk, peace and society are at risk, this is the end of law, it would be the end of law if we allow these justices to continue in the Chamber,” said Ortega Díaz.

A pawn

NONEbudsman Tarek William Saab filed a request for legal interpretation before the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber, so that they issue a clarification regarding his office’s faculties for investigating human rights abuses, even though they’re clearly established in the Constitution.

It is curious that he declares not to know what he seemed to have very clear a while ago:

Now Saab thinks “it’s healthy for democracy” that the Chamber questioned by the Prosecutor General, that has helped legitimate the breakdown of constitutional order and vested Nicolás with monarchical powers (usurping people’s sovereignty), should decide whether to expand the Ombudsman’s Office’s authority (degraded by the UN to category B due to its lack of impartiality and independence). That’s how they’d get rid of this uncomfortable Prosecutor’s Office that no longer obeys the Executive Branch but still holds sole authority to start criminal proceedings, according to the law.

And a worse pawn

Lawmaker Pedro Carreño also went to the TSJ to formally request the creation of a medical board for a psychological examination of the Prosecutor General: “The next step is to request the Tribunal to establish a medical board to confirm her mentally ill, which is the same as declaring her unfit for her post.”

In other words, Carreño already has a verdict, he just needs the TSJ to ratify it.

He blamed Ortega Díaz for “trying to cover up the right-wing’s violence,” requesting the voiding of the Deputy Prosecutor General’s appointment and demanding the TSJ to appoint one themselves. He asked to be temporarily removed from his post in Parliament (even though he’s not attended the Hemiciclo for months) to run for the Constituyente. He also accused journalists of participating in a conspiracy to cause a foreign invasion, but Luisa’s the one who’s crazy.

Now what?

Nicolás’ lapdog TSJ will probably dismiss Luisa’s request and accept Tarek’s (stripping the Prosecutor’s Office’s authority as they did with the National Assembly) and the Full Chamber will have the cumbersome task of appointing a medical board and declaring the Prosecutor General’s permanent mental disability in order to separate her from her post and prevent the National Assembly to participate in their own removal process, shielded by the absurd desacato. What’s another constitutional fraud for chavismo? However, all evidence of institutional collapse, which is not really recent, are crucial for defining this dictatorship and helping some powerful people make up their minds and abandon ship.

Knights and bishops

The National Assembly sworn in the new Judiciary Nominations Committee to appoint the TSJ’s 13 justices and 20 alternates, ratifying that back in July, 2016, Parliament had already nullified the plenary in which the current justices were appointed. Eleven members will review the credentials of 25 aspiring justices. Parliament Speaker Julio Borges acknowledged the Prosecutor General’s persistence and remarked that all terms have been fulfilled for appointing justices “loyal to the Venezuelan people and the Constitution.” Lawmaker Henry Ramos Allup said that they take the responsibility of appointing new justices, regardless of TSJ’s decisions on the matter.


During a cabinet meeting, General Comptroller Manuel Galindo, expert in nepotism, claimed that the ‘99 Constitution “must be modernized” and once again mixing up initiative with call, he said it was absurd and unnecessary to hold an approval referendum. In his interpretation of Article 5 of the Constitution, he admits that sovereignty belongs to the people, but in two ways: direct (the one we had through universal, direct and secret elections) and indirect, which is exercised by the public power. He blithely added that this is the axis of change: adapting the government’s role “to the present situation, because needs change over time and laws become obsolete.”

Just now that the PSUV couldn’t win an election, Nicolás is sovereign and his imposed Constituyente would define the new State.


OPEC released the Monthly Oil Market Report, showing that PDVSA’s output continues to drop, with a rate of 1,9 million barrels per day (bpd) in May: a decrease of 7.7 thousand bpd compared to April, ratifying PDVSA’s failing output over the first five months of the year.

In one year, the company’s daily output has dropped by 225,000 barrels per day and oil production in Venezuela has decreased by half a million barrels per day since 2015, but yesterday Nicolás only spoke of traitors, cautioning (another self-goal) that: “All historical ages have ended with a great treason to the people.”

Lying to His Holiness

Communications minister Ernesto Villegas posted on Twitter the letter Nicolás sent to Pope Francis, requesting his mediation with the opposition in their cruel practice of involving children and teenagers in protests, that the GN and the PNB repress in cold blood.

Carta de Nicolás Al Papa by Caracas Chronicles on Scribd

Once again, Villegas used Neomar Lander’s case, only to repeat his theories, which the Prosecutor’s Office has neither verified nor denied. However, Nicolás accused lawmaker Miguel Pizarro for Lander’s death.

Read that letter if you have time – five pages filled with ill-argued lies. Calling for an end to violence solely exercised by the State precisely yesterday, while security forces performed illegal searches and tortured the residents of Res. Los Verdes in El Paraíso, is dark and vile.

I don’t understand why they’re so obsessed with these people, there’s no explanation, or even excuse for such behavior. 

It was inspiring to see several universities decide not to send their students’ information to the CNE for the imposed Constituyente’s sectoral registry.

That was as inspiring as the reception event for La Vinotinto’s players, with the stadium brimming with people, flags of all sizes, applause, chants, the National Anthem sang on a hopeful note, a huge and genuinely happy crowd.

Thank you, champions!

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.