SEBIN arrested two of the TSJ justices newly appointed by the National Assembly in Anzoátegui: Jesús Rojas Torres, head of the Electoral Chamber, and Zuleima González, deputy for the Constitutional Chamber.

Lechería major Gustavo Marcano didn’t attend the hearing for which he was summoned by the Constitutional Chamber because the only justices he recognizes are the ones appointed by Parliament. Therefore, the Constitutional Chamber declared him in contempt, barred him from running for office, ordered his arrest, sentenced him to 15 months in prison and decided that he’ll be held in SEBIN Caracas. Marcano’s still banned from leaving the country.

Chacao major Ramón Muchacho’s hearing is scheduled for today.

More TSJ

The Constitutional Chamber also barred Alfredo Ramos, major of Iribarren municipality, Lara state, summoning him for a hearing, same as Marcano and Muchacho. Ramos said yesterday afternoon:

“I’m not going to attend to that show of hearing put up by the TSJ because I don’t recognize that decision.”

You can guess his fate.

Last night, chief justice Maikel Moreno said that the lawyers who ignore the TSJ must be permanently banned from practicing in judicial instances, because lawyers must respect the country’s Judicial System, the Constitution and laws (like he does) and no lawyer may participate in invalid acts disregarding judicial authorities.

From CNE

Wearing a military colored shirt, the woman who blocked the recall referendum and gubernatorial elections denounced the harassment against the honorable Plan República. Tibisay Lucena confirmed the CNE’s security measures for this Sunday’s election, in the form of threats.

In order to prove the threats are real, Zodi Táchira commander, Carlos Yánes Figueredo, reported that he arrested three young men “for violating the security perimeter around Unidad Educativa Villalobos.” A national hero.

Interior minister Reverol confirmed that over 140,000 police officers are working with Plan República.

So malandros will be able to rob people at leisure, far from polling stations.

Sanctions

The list of 10 Venezuelan officials that senators Marco Rubio and Bob Menéndez gave president Donald Trump for potential sanctions before the Constituyente’s election was released Yesterday. These are:

  1. Tibisay Lucena
  2. Iris Varela
  3. Tarek William Saab
  4. National Treasurer Carlos Malpica Flores
  5. Jesús Suárez Chourio, Commander of the Army
  6. PNB chief Carlos Pérez Ampueda
  7. Simón Zerpa Delgado, Finance Vice-president in PDVSA
  8. Carlos Osorio Zambrano, Head of ZODI
  9. Food minister Rodolfo Marco Torres
  10. Rocco Albisini, head of CENCOEX

No expert in the area can guess why the list was released before sanctions are applied. The rest of us don’t understand the absence of more relevant henchmen.

Economic collapse

The IMF estimates a 12% drop in Venezuela’s economy this year, saying that our situation’s dramatic, in this tough mixture of recession, violent political crisis and an inflation that could reach 720% this year.

Venezuela’s GDP dropped by 18% in 2016 and is expected to contract another 12% this year. For 2018, the IMF expects it to decrease by 4.1%.

Fortunately, the Prosecutor’s Office summoned the daughter of comptroller general Manuel Galindo, accusing her of corruption. Mayra Galindo, head of the Comptroller’s Office’s Foundation for Health Care and Social Welfare Services, must attend the Prosecutor’s Office on August 10th.

NGO Transparencia Venezuela deserves praises for their work.

Here, in the country

While propaganda minister Villegas was distracted, pulling decontextualized phrases from a long interview given by former Spanish president Felipe González where he explains why he believes that Rodríguez Zapatero and his peers did a bad job, Zapatero himself denied the legitimacy of the interview published by the Chilean newspaper La Tercera, claiming that such conversation “has not taken place, either in person or by any other means.”

As to Foreign minister Samuel Moncada, he said he was dissatisfied with the statements issued by Colombia and Mexico, where they deny participating in a conspiracy along with the CIA. Sadly, he didn’t have enough time to reply to his counterparts at Mercosur, who announced they were expecting his comments on their proposals.

There, abroad

Yesterday, OAS head Luis Almagro appointed former International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo, as Special Counsel for crimes against humanity. His task will be to analyze, study and discuss Venezuela’s situation with all interested parties and offer suggestions regarding the possible actions OAS could take. Since Venezuela ratified the Statute of Rome, the ICC has jurisdiction over events here.

Ocampo said:

“Venezuela has the priority to investigate these crimes and it’s necessary to consult with its authorities about the efforts being made in pursuit of justice. If the crimes are confirmed and there are no genuine efforts to investigate them, the OAS may submit its information to the ICC’s Prosecution.”

Read Moreno Ocampo’s curriculum, it’s spotless.

Infamy

The shots in every chavismo campaign event broadcast yesterday were so close that you could almost see the pores on the speakers’ faces. Diosdado promised revenge against dissidents: 10-year prison sentences, political disqualifications, investigations and the cancellation of parliamentary immunity. Cilia promised to change “the situation of anarchy” and Nicolás announced a huge event closing the campaign in avenida Bolívar on Tuesday.

There was no optimistic message from chavismo. Everything revolved around revenge and polarization. They invested considerable efforts in showing us that we don’t belong in our own country, that they want us out or dead, but never with them.

Sadly, Rodríguez Zapatero doesn’t listen to these speeches, perhaps even his own cynicism would be tempered by them.

Since this isn’t a country but an ongoing tragedy, be extremely careful in the days to come. The ruling clique only promises more repression and the first task while resisting them, is to keep ourselves alive and free.

Despite all of this, we go on.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Great summary, as usual.

    I assume there are good reasons for the 10 on that list, and the omission of others. Was Diosdado among the 7* people sanctioned in 2015 by the US?

    *The initial number was 7, it may have gone up.

  2. According to today’s Sen. Rubio’s twit, “today will be a bad day for the 13 facilitators….” It would be logical to assume that the 10 mentioned in the list are included + 3 others, but the “bad day” connotation has to have some serious bite, not just barring their entry to the US and maybe seizing their condominium/yacht/whatever ill gained asset.

    It appears that the Executive decided against the nuclear option (oil sanctions), and in any event, it is a preemptive start which suggests that potential future sanctions will be come swiftly.

    in my humble opinion, Noriega had a “bad day” when he was handcuffed and sent to the US on a plane …also it counts as a “bad day” for Saddam’s, when he was found holed up, and most definitely, Gadaffi had a very bad day, when he was dragged from the road ditch where he was hiding….

    Maybe the regime sees the writing on the wall: “Bad” can easily get to “very bad”..

    BTW, nice description of Masburro’s TV shots “were so close that you could almost see the pores on the speakers’ faces”. Which begs the question: Do they plant to keep people in the voting lines on Sunday for hours on end to make it appear that voters showed up?

    • FGB, one story I read claimed US officials have taken nothing off the table at this point. I suspect today’s action was merely a shot across chavismo’s bow.

      • Thank you MRubio, I guess it is important to start trying to dissuade… No doubt some of us, would have preferred a more forceful approach, but, at the same time, how can anybody complain? Thank you US!

        On a separate subject, let’s not forget that the US has gotten Venezuela out of tight spots in the past (1902-1903 crisis with Germany the UK and France). President T.Roosevelt even threatened war on them and sent a naval force, Before that (1895) President Cleveland stood with Venezuela against the UK expansion of British Guyana. The facts remain, Venezuela would be much different from what it is now, it wasn’t for the US Monroe doctrine.

        Venezuela owes the US, a debt of gratitude.

        The only country that is actually doing something is the US. The EU should get on board with at least something meaningful. The OAS is to put it mildly, ineffectual.

        • I, for one, definitely see today’s announcement as a positive. Beforehand we were expecting this to be one of the options “if” Maduro followed through with the ANC. I expect the ANC to take place and fully expect Trump to swing the hammer early next week. Hope he doesn’t prove me wrong.

  3. “Do they plant to keep people in the voting lines on Sunday for hours on end to make it appear that voters showed up?” Wow great question and easily verifiable by video. People just need to keep filming to prevent la trampa. Everybody is already aware of the massive fraud that is already in action. But we have to keep documenting it.

    Furthermore, now that Lilian is in Miami, she can effectively lobby against the Maduro regime. She is will be a rock star and can be the public face of the opposition to the gringos.

    Keep the sanctions coming!!!

  4. According to Globovision, the US has sanctioned 13 chavistas, all 10 on the list and 3 additional apparently,though not all the names were provided.

  5. According to the latest reports: The list includes also Nestor Reverol Torres (wasn’t he in another DOJ list?); Sergio Rivero Marcano, Franklin Garcia Duque…It appears some of the original proposed list might not be in the definitive document.

    Alright, but what are the SANCTIONS? Do they have any teeth? what is considered “Bad”?

    • When the US sanctions someone, it stops almost all financial institutions in the Western World from doing business with them. There are exceptions. Recently a French Company inked a $5 billion contract with an Iranian firm that is under US sanctions.
      Banks that these individuals have money in will freeze the accounts. The foreign banks which rely on doing business in the US or with US financial institutions (almost all of them), open themselves up to fines and prosecution for violating US sanctions.
      When this is over and a new government is in power, these assets will be returned to the rightful owners. The Venezuelan people.
      The US Treasury Department, along with the State department have been working tirelessly to track down assets that are held by regime members and their families. The amounts frozen are in the Billions of Dollars and increasing on an almost daily basis as new information comes to light.
      The EU banks and Swiss banks are cooperating with the US in identifying and freezing these assets.

      • Thank you for shedding light on the sanctions. It appears that many of these characters work with front men/organisations. That will require additional investigations (probably people already talking are leaving enough details).

        Encouraging news. Can we have more?

        • There are number of farms and ranches in this immediate area with money being poured in by “owners” that everyone locally knows don’t have those kinds of resources. It’s always rumored that Godgiven Hair is in the shadows.

  6. That’s good news John. Any helpful links you can provide? I was under the impression that sanctions would involve only assets parked in the US, but it makes sense that other countries would work with the US government on such issues.

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