Lapdog TSJ

Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 15, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Despite the heart attack suffered by its chief Juan José Mendoza, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber dismissed the annulment measure filed by the Prosecutor General against the so-called express justices, “for having appealed a res judicata,” in other words, because they’d already issued a decision on the matter.

According to the press release, the ruling established that any commission or cause seeking to void the Justices’ appointment is “illegal, null and void and invalid, judicially inadmisible and whoever is involved in them is liable to the appropriate criminal, civil and administrative actions.” Funny, how ruling N° 454 is dated June 12th – the same day that Luisa filed her appeal – but was published yesterday.

The same Chamber decided that the electoral rules decreed by Nicolás for his Constituyente are constitutional because “they respect participative democracy and universal, direct and secret vote” and, therefore, they don’t violate the constitutional principle of elections.

Mediocre justices

Crónica Uno gained access to documents that prove previously denounced allegations with the express justices’ appointments. Only five of 13 justices passed the Moral Republican Council’s vetting process (earning between 11 and 16 points out of 20) and the rest failed, including Constitutional Chamber members such as Calixto Ortega and Lourdes Suárez. But the most serious cases are Fanny Márquez and Christian Zerpa (Electoral Chamber,) who were never even vetted because they didn’t submit the documents proving they have postgraduate degrees.

Allegations regarding alternate justices include links to corruption, open criminal investigations and unfulfilled academic requirements, of course. Despite these issues, NONEbudsman Tarek William Saab and Comptroller Manuel Galindo endorsed them, the outgoing National Assembly appointed them and now they decide over their own legitimacy and threaten whoever dares question said appointments again.

Los Verdes

“Who could we call last night when these thugs were destroying our home?” That phrase, part of a resident’s account of his building’s assault on Tuesday night in El Paraíso, sums up the operation’s only accomplishment: ratifying the feeling of helplessness against officers that can break into your home, rob you, destroy your possessions and even kill your dog, with utter impunity.

That’s why PNB chief Carlos Pérez Ampueda justified the assault yesterday by saying that “violence had greatly increased in the area,” and that the crimes committed by his men were “a joint intervention to reestablish order.” He still claimed that the action was appropriate and the people arrested had been hired by the opposition to sow chaos.

It’s not hard to imagine GN and PNB being congratulated by their superiors for the brutal repression against yesterday’s sit-in, with dozens of people wounded (asphyxia and rubber pellets and even metal projectiles), the robberies and illegal detentions. Is sadism proportional to corruption?

Two dead

Interior minister Néstor Reverol tweeted that the “sit-in sponsored by Freddy Guevara caused the deaths of two people in the Prados del Este highway.” José Lorenzo (50) died of general multiple trauma and Luis Machado (27) died en route to the hospital. Both crashed in the highway while trying to flee from “violent groups in the area.” Oriana Quintero (22) also suffered multiple trauma. The minister claims that “once again the violent right-wing’s calls send Venezuelan families into mourning,” but he ratified the call for peace.

Graceless lies

During an event with the members of the Somos Venezuela movement, Nicolás took the opportunity to appoint Elías Jaua as its president – a prize for heading the Presidential Commission for the Constituyente – adding a Cuban representative on the Board, while urging those present to be proud followers of Ché Guevara, “to be a part of his guerrilla.” He claimed that young protesters have behavior and drug issues, and even that they’re members of criminal gangs, which makes them easier to recruit by opposition leaders such as Henrique Capriles and Miguel Pizarro – who pay them with captagon – remarking that “they’ll pay with prison sooner or later.”

He talked about Spanish president Mariano Rajoy and singer Miguel Bosé.

He also insisted on the terrorism story and on the need to “increase the capacity to dismantle those groups,” as he approved bringing 40 “reformed” guarimberos into a program called Chamba juvenil, a name as elegant as its proponent.

Nicolás still knows nothing about hope, and he’s more comfortable with anger, threats and conflict. He has no rapport, doesn’t smile, doesn’t lead. Funny, he didn’t mention the lawsuit for crimes against humanity, filed against him in Colombia for the massive deportations of Colombian citizens on August, 2015.

Electoral registry

CNE rectora Tania D’Amelio tweeted that the Electoral Branch opened the Territorial and Sectoral Electoral Registry for the imposed Constituyente’s elections and registered Venezuelans may verify their information on the CNE’s website, to vote once by territory and once by their registry’s sector.

Much more important than that was the Universidad Central de Venezuela School of Sciences’ decision not to provide the CNE with the permanent ink for these elections, so they’ll either have to import it or use their reserves. Hooray!

More sanctions

On Tuesday, Pope Francis sent a letter addressing the former presidents meeting in IDEA, in which he supports dialogue and elections in Venezuela.

With simplicity and elegance, Peru’s Foreign Ministry replied to Delcy Rodríguez’s insults, restating their “firm commitment to help restore democracy in Venezuela.”

Canada advocated once again for the urgent need to respect human rights in Venezuela. Lastly, US State Secretary Rex Tillerson said yesterday that his government is preparing a long list of individuals in Venezuela to expand their sanctions for human rights violations. According to press reports, they’re even considering sanctions against the energy industry, although the White House has not yet confirmed this. Tillerson explained that their strategy must be “productive and constructive,” so that the regime can’t use these sanctions as a tool to justify their actions.

The government is determined to block any institutional alternative to solve the conflict. They only feed into it and make it worse. Watch the video of how a GN crashed his motorcycle in Altamira (for ignoring a traffic light and going the wrong way) and listen to how citizens react.

No amount of tear-gas will smother the anger, and rubber pellets will not validate a Constituyente we don’t need and didn’t ask for.

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.