The ruling party loses Parliament in democratic elections. As their only option to recover the lost power, they impose a constituyente with the goal of writing a new Constitution, even though the country never asked for it. The imposed election has record-low turnout and the government decides to lie about it, and then the company that designed the country’s current electoral system blows the whistle on the lie. The scandal that should’ve been unleashed by that accusation ends up buried by the discussion over whether parties should register for potential gubernatorial elections, while the imposed constituyente decides to run the country for the next two years and legislate on any matter and above any public institution. The government has spent many years blaming the consequences of its absurd decisions on a non-existent economic blockade and on a potential foreign intervention that has never been announced, until now, when an egotistical charlatan of the same ilk as their dead leader, rises to lead their enemy country, and one fine afternoon chooses to fulfill the government party’s wet dream: threatening them with a military intervention.
Marines in La Guaira
President Donald Trump said this Friday: “The people are suffering and dying. We have many options in Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.” Soon after, the spokesman for the Pentagon, Eric Pahon, said that they haven’t been issued any orders regarding Venezuela after Trump’s comments. But the damage is done: the PSUV has its golden prize, a potential American military intervention, el finado’s and Nicolás’s favorite argument to close ranks with their fanatics and even to ignore the broad international disregard for the ANC, adding it to individual sanctions against its officials. This happens just when vice-president Mike Pence is set to start his first formal tour in Latin America, keeping Venezuela as a matter to discuss in Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama, countries that also signed the Lima Declaration this weeks.
At a municipal checkpoint
Shortly after this, minister Vladimir Padrino López reported on Twitter that “the material and intellectual authors” of the assault on Fuerte Paramacay last August 6th, were captured, including their leader, Juan Caguaripano Scott, along with Yefferson García, the officer responsible for the weapons stolen from the fort. Promising an exemplary punishment for the captives, Padrino López forgot to explain that the detention took place not because of the Armed Forces’ special operation, which included a midnight raid in a house inhabited by elderly nuns, but because the fearless rebels ran into a municipal checkpoint.
The ANC ratified National Electoral Council authorities in their posts, because they appeared before them “to pledge their subordinate to the all-powerful body.” CNE chief Tibisay Lucena remarked that the Electoral Branch will always side with voters (as it did with the recall referendum, eh?) and will loyally stand beside the Venezuelan people, adding that the ANC’s election meant a great “ideological and political [progress] for Venezuelan democracy.” She also gushed over the constituyentes and praised the body’s political model. She spoke of how political rights are being privileged, but she didn’t specified that only some citizens are entitled to them and much less explained her definitive role in this local apartheid.
Perhaps the consequences of the economic collapse will be too hard in December or perhaps chavismo’s factions are starting to test the strength of their all-powerful assembly, but the fact is that Earle Herrera proposed an emergency motion to hold early gubernatorial elections in October. Delcy Rodríguez claimed that the proposal took the board by surprise and explained that these elections were delayed because of “the violence exercised by the opposition,” although in truth, back then the CNE said that they didn’t have enough funds to organize them. They proposed a discussion for their next session; meanwhile, they’ll gauge the impact on public dissident opinion, which will have to discuss about the impossibility of holding primaries, which means candidates will have to be chosen by consensus, as the ANC formalizes the illegal request for certificates of good conduct or imposes any other obstacles to disable opponents.
Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab announced that he’ll reopen the investigations made by Luisa Ortega Díaz into violence during protests, with new cases that, according to him, were ignored by the previous occupant, adding that he’s found serious mistakes in those investigations. The Nonebudsman will now open criminal investigations on environmental damages (trees cut down to make barricades); and on the “horrible use” of children in opposition protests (they look so sweet in government events,) as well as hate crimes. He also announced the creation of a commission to cleanse the Prosecutor’s Office, meaning that he’ll fire any employee who remains loyal to the previous administration and mentioned that they’re reviewing 72 proceedings against civilians before military tribunals, although NGO Foro Penal has denounced that 626 civilians have been subjected to this injustice.
Yesterday, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and international sanctions, Idriss Jazairy, urged countries not to impose restrictive measures on Venezuela as they would only worsen the situation. The UN Commission against Torture will request the government for a meeting in Geneva to discuss the country’s declining situation and an urgent monitoring report on accusations of human rights violations. Argentine president Mauricio Macri signed a decree to invalidate the Collar of the Order of the Liberator San Martín that Cristina Kirschner granted Nicolás back in 2013, for disrespecting human rights and democratic order. Peru’s Foreign Ministry said that it decided to expel the Venezuelan ambassador Diego Alfredo Molera Bellavia. Russia uses its position as Venezuela’s lender to leverage more control over our oil reserves, PDVSA has offered Rosneft a place in nine of the most prolific oil projects. Meanwhile, international reserves marked a new low on August 8th, reaching $9,9 billion, a drop of 9.7% in 2017 and of 19.3% compared with August 8th, 2016.
Gabriel García Márquez would have to admit the severe limitations of his magical realism to describe chavismo’s accomplishments in Venezuela. While the ruling clique masturbates to the image of marines that will never make it to La Guaira, the rest of the inhabitants of this amplified Macondo can tell our North American peers a lot of stories about the danger posed by a “leader” such as the one they now suffer. And on it goes.