The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) has authorized the beginning of trial proceedings against Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz — the Venezuelan opposition’s unlikely new hero. Ortega’s rise has been quick and comes complete with a fanboy movement featuring vaguely sexist memes. But even as we admire her crafty strategy to expose the constitutional fraud that is the Constituyente, we must confront an uncomfortable fact: we don’t really know what she stands for. We don’t know her real agenda. In fact, we know virtually nothing about her.

Luisa’s a cipher.

So what do we know about Ortega? We know she was born in Valle de la Pascua, a small town in the Venezuelan plains, and studied law at Universidad de Carabobo a traditional Venezuelan public university. We know that up until she reached the age of 40 in 1998, her career was virtually non-existent just like many other top Chavista officials at the time. Ideologically, we could say we know nothing about what she stands for, apart from generic chavista leftie slogans.

What we do know about her doesn’t offer too much comfort. We know she’s capable of cynically defending the abuses of the government during the 2014 protests (Ortega, unlike fellow chavista defector and former ombudsman Gabriela Ramírez, has not addressed her role in the human rights violations and prosecutions that took place in 2014) and the illegal prosecution and sham trial of Leopoldo López (which she has defended recently).

This transition must be an organized, open process led by the opposition and result in a transition presided over by a respected figure.

We’re told she’s close to former Interior Minister and disgruntled chavista Miguel Rodríguez Torres, who was also responsible for many of the atrocities committed during La Salida.

The suspicion is that more than a change of heart in favor of the rule of law, Ortega’s involved in a power play by a fraction of chavismo desperately trying to cut itself loose from Nicolás Maduro.

Nevertheless, the opposition has happily ceded center stage to Ortega and has failed to articulate any concrete path that leads to a transition all of which is quite scary seeing as July 30th looms just around the corner.

Many people are overestimating Ortega’s power to actually produce an institutional end to chavismo, which is impossible, since all her petitions are ruled on by courts completely controlled by chavismo devoted to the administration of pseudolaw that she, ironically, helped create. The questions about whether she “can” be impeached under the Constitution become naïve when you consider how many times the government has gotten TSJ to say that the Constitution says whatever they want it to. Remember, we live in autocracy.

Many people are overestimating Ortega’s power to actually produce an institutional end to chavismo.

So, is the opposition counting on her symbolic actions to lead to a loss of Maduro’s military support? Do we know who’s behind Ortega? Will her eventual almost-certain ousting by the use of pseudolaw have any consequences or will she descend into oblivion, like many other disgraced chavista honchos? Do we really believe that the army or the international community that just gave us the middle finger will have any reaction to the ouster of an obscure figure when they have done nothing after almost 80 people have been killed and Maduro’s announced a plan to turn us into North Korea?

We are all aware that the end of chavismo will necessarily involve a painful negotiation. But this transition must be an organized, open process led by the opposition and result in a transition presided over by a respected figure. This is going to take a lot of work and  will involve some ugly compromises. There are no shortcuts.

Luisa Ortega can’t do our job for us. And considering her track record, we shouldn’t want her to either. It’s fanciful to believe she wants power in order to put it on a platter and hand it to us. She wants power for herself, for her clan, and for all we know she sees us as the most disposable of tactical allies. Which, deep down, is probably how we should see her, too.

37 COMMENTS

  1. Cesar,
    On a pedantic point, “Luisa’s a cipher. ” means that she is a nobody, somebody of no importance at all. Did you perhaps mean “Luisa’s an enigma.” ?

      • As a noun, I have only ever seen it used to mean either a cryptic code or a zero. A text can be in cipher. A person who is a cipher is a zero – someone who can be ignored.

        • Mr. Crespo may have meant zero. In the sense that, she could just get swallowed up by the apparatus masquerading as a justice system she has helped create and has until recently had her full participation and endorsement, and essentially be irrelevant.

          That is not a result I hope for by the way. But I think Mr. Crespo has offered a clear eyed assessment based on what we know rather than what we wish.

          If, as Naky pointed out in her post today, LOD is speculating about the size of the Venezuela file at the International Criminal Court, LOD will also obviously be concerned about the possibility that she is in it. And if that is what is driving her, then we do have an understandable, if less lofty, set of motivations on her part, which may not stand the test of time once she is ejected from her position of responsibility, or reflect anything broader or more significant than one person’s self-interest.

        • I intended to use it as both enigma and a non-entity, she has no ideology, track record nor visible allies within chavismo and may become again irrelevant after her ouster. She was never a relevant player and people are really overestimating her powers as if we live in a democracy, her only chance is that anyone in the army opposes her ouster ala Padrino with the parliamentary elections in December 2015, but the rumors say the opposite, they want to see her gone. If this is true she will become irrelevant again after her ouster.

  2. “She wants power for herself, for her clan, and for all we know she sees us as the most disposable of tactical allies. Which, deep down, is probably how we should see her, too.”

    Really? Do you actually believe that all the praise that is raining on her is because we are so gullible? Come on… We’ve been through this many times before: Arias Cárdenas, Escarrá, just to name the most infamous cases.

    She is nothing but an ally out of need. MUD is aware of it, she is aware of it, EVERYONE is aware of it. MUD is just waiting for her to crack division inside chavismo wide open. Furthermore, showing her some respect (does not matter if she deserves it or not), proves that we can play nice with chavismo, that we are not against the 20% of the population that for some reason still support chavismo, but against the elite that are screwing us up.

  3. This is a welcome dose of reason in a popular and misguided rush to paint LOD as an opposition hero. The rush to credit LOD with everything from saving untold thousands of lives by holding the security forces at bay to paving a new third way to peace is from what I can see unsupported by any evidence. She strikes me as being the undeserving beneficiary of adulation that is better focused on any of the thousands of protesters in the street risking their lives every day in the name of democracy.

    The evidence indicates she represents a rift within Chavismo. That is welcome but that does not make her a hero. It makes her a sign of what may or may not turn out to be a significant development. Rather than making public pronouncements far outside the jurisdiction of the office she has for so long abused, I’d rather see her people quietly at work preparing motions for the release of the wrongly imprisoned under her watch, offering restitution and apologies to them and their families, overturning the absurd decisions banning opposition leaders from running for office and implementing the directions from the IACHR in the Lopez case, etc.

    If she resigned and turned her information about the wrongfully imprisoned and convicted over to a real lawyer, and resisted playing at politics at least until the real politicians were released from jail, she would in my mind start earning the stature of dissident she has so quickly and inexplicably embraced.

    Venezuela has too many real heroes to justify elevating another false one.

  4. Use her. Use her till she’s all used up.

    And let’s be honest here. With many chavistas who have a queasy feeling about the direction things are headed under Maduro, her words will carry far more weight than anything the opposition could ever say.

  5. I have read comments on other forums that have claimed that Luisa has the support of many retired military officers. I do not have any inkling of how much influence these retired officers may have within the current military. These comments have gone on to speculate that Luisa’s goal is to become the next Venezuelan president.
    There is a difference between defending Chavismo and defending the people.
    Luisa finally broke with the regime when Maduro tried to usurp the constitutional powers of the National Assembly. As far as I know, she has never said that the TSJ is in error regarding the contempt ruling against the National Assembly. She has only opposed the TSJ claiming the national Assembly’s authority.
    Luisa has criticized the military for the oppression and murders against protesters. She also is opposed to the Constitution being replaced. These two things could stop her from becoming president. Should a military coup result in some type of ruling junta or if the new constitution puts Maduro or someone else in power for eternity.
    Luisa has not called for the release of political prisoners that she was instrumental in incarcerating. She has not called for early elections. She has not called for a humanitarian venue to bring food and medicine into the country. She has not attempted to rein in the collectives that wreak so much suffering and death on so many innocent people. Luisa did not speak out against the exclusion of current politicians from the political process.
    Luisa has been silent about the Odebrecht scandal that other investigations have shown many of the regime’s insiders to be connected to. She has not asked the simple question of how did so many regime members acquire the millions of Dollars in assets that the US and other countries are working to seize.
    The only things that Luisa opposes are the things that could become an impediment to Luisa becoming president.
    The MUD may support Luisa, but I think Luisa is supporting herself above all others.
    Instead of being the savior of the opposition, I would not surprised to see her become the Lazarus of Venezuelan politics. She is setting herself up for a resurrection of her political life.
    She can campaign claiming that she was always for the people, she stood up against the regime and last but not least, It wasn’t the fault of Chavismo, it was the corruption that destroyed the country.

  6. The idea of LOD campaigning for President is more than a stretch-at the very least, the more than 50% of voters who voted for an Oppo AN would probably not support her. Saving her own/PSUV deputy husband’s skin, maybe. Saying that multiple recourses against the hostile TSJ/PSUV’s ANC is “playing politics” best left to Oppo leaders, imprisoned or not, is also more than a stretch. LOD does believe in Chavez’s original, later prostiuted, version of democracy, and sees the terrible disaster coming in the clash between democratic good and totalitarian evil. LOD is trying to do what no Oppo leader or street protest can do so effectively at this point in time, especially in the eyes of the Military and international opinion.

  7. Luisa is defending two things:

    1- Her dollars in the mean ol’ Empire, the recent sanctions to high profile chavista partisans must have scared the lights outta her, so she decided that her dollars there are more important than the ridiculous unwavering loyalty that the rest of chavismo demands.

    2- The total destruction of chavismo as a political current that will be associated with Maduro and his dictatorship, if chavismo self destroys in the spiral of corruption, destruction and death it has become, there will be absolutely zero chances that Luisa or any other chavista for that matter could reach any privileged position within the goverment ever again, and that’s even more true with high-profile folks such as MRT, Cliver Alcalá, Giordani, fatass Barreto or herself.

    • True, but, meanwhile, she is helping our cause. Don’t worry, RC/NM will continue destroying Chavismo, with their backs to the wall, which will be the only good thing from the coming probable bloody conflict.

    • Ula, for your reading pleasure, and, if you want, to post to CC: Factor MM.com (respected columnist Manuel Malaver)–“”Estructura Del Ejercito De Ocupcion Cubano En Venezuela”–also, for those who wonder why nationalistic Ven. military have not yet risen up, why NM is still standing, and why VPL was basically stripped of his operational command.

      • In a thousand words or less, could someone splain me how VPL was basically stripped of his operational command? WTF happened?

        • He is still Defmin. The opportunity was used by Havana to shuffle the deck and designate pro-Cuba hardliners. IOW, Havana tightening control of FANB. Padrino wore multiple hats and had hands too full.

      • Borg:

        Luisa became specially infamous after several pictures of her buying in the most expensive shops in NY were leaked years ago, it’s also something that Aponte Aponte claimed too, that they, along several other high heads in the justice power were being paid in juicy comissions for every oppo whose lives they fucked over with fabricated cases, always in tasty, dirty and sexy dollars and euros.

        There’s also the fact that she only started to recoil after the most recent batch of USA sanctions against fat chavistas’ assets and money in that country, because the slaugher unleashed against the people was much worse during 2014, had the protests lasted as much as they lasted this year, there would have been at least twice or thrice the corpses in the streets, and she was fully okay with that.

        In the least case she has an account with a considerable amount of dollars in USA, thus she doesn’t want to risk what would be her retirement fund after this mess is over just out of a simple loyalty for a regime whose actions can very well end landing her in a cell for the rest of her life, she might have been hellbent in revenge for her father who was supossedly “murdered by the 4th”, but she isn’t as stupid as Jorgito “fraudematic” and the Delcy “5.000$ purse”

        NET.:

        Thanks for the info, I’ll take a look.

        Padrino might have been stripped from command for as much as saying “I don’t want to know about any GN committing any atrocities any more”, which could have be the straw that Diosdado or Maduro were waiting from him after he relayed them the message from the middle commands in the army that they had to accept the results from the 2015 elections or face an imminent coup for trying to attempt a fraud It wasn’t his idea, the middle command used him as a messenger only), and knowing how atrociously fascist is Diosdado and how servile is Maduro to Castro, it’s not so weird to watch them flailing at their own shadows from time to time.

        Yes, I know she represents the most cynical wing from chavismo, those who would love to return to power someday very soon as the “homeland saviors against the mean capitalist right”, those folks are totally okay with the swindle known as the Nicaraguan method, which might be very well what they’re looking for.

        • ulamog, wrong on two counts: luisa assets in US (how would you know) and padrino. FYI, military ascensions come from Havana. maduro is a puppet

          • Ortega didn’t commit all her crimes for free, in fact, the amount of chavistas that have put their “granito de arena” to destroy Venezuela just out of communist conviction might be much lower than you imagine.

            Again, there’s proof that she has access to high amounts of dollars, as she’s been seen buying in absurdly expensive shops in USA since years ago, also, Eladio Aponte admitted too that they were doing their “chavista justice” thing in exchange for fat payments in foreign currency, which honestly is something actually old in Venezuela, that thing of the justice power corrupted to its core:

            http://runrun.es/runrunes-de-bocaranda/runrunes/41457/41457.html

            The most notorious proof that she has money at risk in this thing is that she changed her mind almost immediately after the last batch of USA sanctions, which might catch her sooner or later if she kept her “2014 posture” where she fully supported all the repression.

            Padrino is a puppet too, there it is that photo of him kneeling before Castro to prove it, so as I said, it wasn’t his idea at all to abort the 2015 fraud, it was the middle command’s idea, and the loss of troop control is most likely a consequence of issuing that “warning” to the GNB some days ago, you have to remember that this dictatorship is extremely fascist, and you can get screwed just by one thing you say in public, most specially when the prostituyente fraud is so close and chavismo needs its gullible base to be as manipulated as ever to support the fraud.

            Chavismo has never been above throwing their own people under the bus for any profit, since 2002 when Chávez ordered the cuban snipers near chimpanflores to kill some chavistas there to blame the opposition, and all the way to Chávez himself who was killed by the cuban matasanos in Havana in december of 2012, as well as all those low-ranking loyalists that are being blamed for the repression in the protests, to even some of their high ranks who think that “sacrifices should be made for chavismo to survive”, former minister Castro Soteldo is one example of that:

            http://enpaiszeta.com/ministro-castro-soteldo-no-cree-la-constituyente-la-represion-la-mayoria/

            And this is a guy that last month fully supported the prostituyente:

            http://prensamat.blogspot.com/2017/05/ministro-castro-soteldo-la.html

            The only way to achieve the change in Venezuela is with actions that destabilize the status quo, and that’s achieved by attacking the chavismo’s weak spots that are their insolent privileges and bank accounts.

          • Ortega didn’t commit all her crimes for free, in fact, the amount of chavistas that have put their “granito de arena” to destroy Venezuela just out of communist conviction might be much lower than you imagine.

            Again, there’s proof that she has access to high amounts of dollars, as she’s been seen buying in absurdly expensive shops in USA since years ago, also, Eladio Aponte admitted too that they were doing their “chavista justice” thing in exchange for fat payments in foreign currency, which honestly is something actually old in Venezuela, that thing of the justice power corrupted to its core

            The most notorious proof that she has money at risk in this thing is that she changed her mind almost immediately after the last batch of USA sanctions, which might catch her sooner or later if she kept her “2014 posture” where she fully supported all the repression.

            Padrino is a puppet too, there it is that photo of him kneeling before Castro to prove it, so as I said, it wasn’t his idea at all to abort the 2015 fraud, it was the middle command’s idea, and the loss of troop control is most likely a consequence of issuing that “warning” to the GNB some days ago, you have to remember that this dictatorship is extremely fascist, and you can get screwed just by one thing you say in public, most specially when the prostituyente fraud is so close and chavismo needs its gullible base to be as manipulated as ever to support the fraud.

            Chavismo has never been above throwing their own people under the bus for any profit, since 2002 when Chávez ordered the cuban snipers near chimpanflores to kill some chavistas there to blame the opposition, and all the way to Chávez himself who was killed by the cuban matasanos in Havana in december of 2012, as well as all those low-ranking loyalists that are being blamed for the repression in the protests, to even some of their high ranks who think that “sacrifices should be made for chavismo to survive”, former minister Castro Soteldo is one example of that, claiming recently that the repression is a dead end because opposition is majority against chavismo, and this is a guy that last month fully supported the prostituyente just a month ago.

            The only way to achieve the change in Venezuela is with actions that destabilize the status quo, and that’s achieved by attacking the chavismo’s weak spots that are their insolent privileges and bank accounts.

            PS: I would gladly post the sources about what I’m writing, but the site rejects any comments that have links on them, maybe it’s some sort of anti-spam measure.

  8. I believe the best blow Ms Ortega can do is to have some Chavistas in the assembly vote with the opposition allowing a super majority. Of course Chavismo would kick the table, but for the dim witted followers it makes it harder to continue with their support.

  9. All the legal strategies against Maduro, TSJ and CNE sound good and should be activated but what is absolutely clear is that the real owner (Cuba) doesn’t have an answer to millions in the street.

  10. one Maduro is just the facade for the military, and the owners of the circus, is The castro’s period. Luisa, well, of course her incentive is to save her own ass..she won’t quit because she has a power, being the Prosecutor, if she quits she is no one…if her salvoconducto…and yes if we want a transition, what do you think probably she will stay as prosecutor or something else….how do you think these things work? Pinochet quit, and went away as a regular citizen? NO he went away being Senador vitalicio, y jefe del ejercito…

  11. Of course she is playing her own game. But the real question is: what game are we playing? Or even:Are we playing any game at all? There is an absolute lack of leadership amongst the opposition ranks, and by that I mean: nobody has the determination and the willpower to become a protagonist. So it is logical to assume that if there is going to be any change at all, it will only come from the chavistas, not from us, and it should be obvious what that really implies. Now, it doesn’ t have to be like that, it is terrible, but it is what it is because nobody can’ t change what people like Borges or Ramos Allup are like. There is no way of turning them into real political leaders, like Betancourt, because they are just burocreauts. We have to know the difference between a burocreaut and a true politician, because only a true politician can beat chavismo. The reason the protests are not working as well as they should is because they are not conducted by people who understand politics, they are conducted by burocreauts who can only think institucionally. Politics means also a reflection about what power is, what holds society together,and also, about how to take power and change the suprastructure. The latinamerican left knows more about that because they have a marxist education. That’ s exactly how Chavez destroyed our country, because he wasn’ t a burocreaut, but a true politician in the sense that he understood how to change the suprastructure in order to produce the kind of society that he wanted. Now, in order to beat chavismo, we need a person with the same determination and the same level of understanding of politics. So, yes, we actually need a little bit more marxism amongs us, paradoxically, in order to understand what is needed to beat chavismo.

  12. Our hope and our fears take the best of us. We are clutching at straws here, finding LOD as a new hero and again leaving our roles and our responsibilities drift to someone else (people in Venezuela)

    Luisa, is a puppet. Padrino is a puppet, Maduro is a puppet and for that matter Chavez is a puppet.
    All of them were unknown before the “revolution” because most of them were sad to say mediocre professionals, and criminals.

    The Cuban strategy has been from day 1 (Plan Bolivar 2000, anyone!) to use our money to corrupt us.

    Placing figure heads as ministers and directors and leads on all public departments part of that strategy. The puppets well aware of their dependency to their masters, do as they are told. meanwhile they become little despots and model the values the occupation wants.

    They become cancer cells in all they do and the bureaucrats under them know its plata o plomo. hence all the newly rich son and daughters portrayed in VV sin Censura et alias.

    LOD is only playing for her neck and her one, amen of what her masters are telling her to do. I concur with the chavismos survival tactic as well. Furthermore, the main reason she is acting at tis time Imo is to distract the Venezuelans form organizing, and continuing with their pressure.

    The is running and anything less that force to block the ANC will not do. These puppets are beyond remorse.
    They know cubans can throw them under the bus anytime and are in panic. Building bridges a necessity and negotiating a must. But lets not be foolish one bit.

Leave a Reply