Another Coup Within the Coup

Your daily briefing for Monday, August 21, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The national constituent assembly (ANC), which Nicolás imposed through a fraudulent election, and which is composed exclusively of chavistas, agreed last Friday to usurp the authority of the National Assembly, the country’s only independent public branch. The decree says that the ANC will be able to legislate “on matters directly aimed at guaranteeing the preservation of peace, security, sovereignty, the socio-economic and financial system, the State’s goals and the preeminence of the rights of Venezuelans,” as well as issuing parliamentary decisions as laws. With an urgent motion to assume the National Assembly’s functions, Delcy Rodríguez dissolved the Venezuelan Parliament.

Refusing to obey

The National Assembly’s leadership announced that, since they consider the ANC “a de facto body (…) an unconstitutional structure of oppression,” they won’t recognize its decisions, emphasizing that they’re not bound to do anything the ANC requests and that they’re prepared to reach a meaningful understanding, but also to “intensify the fight on all fronts and with all the consequences this implies.” The Venezuelan Parliament disavows the ANC’s imposed dissolution and won’t comply with it.


OAS chief Luis Almagro tweeted:

The National Assembly’s (AN) fraudulent dissolution by the ANC “is the escalation of the coup d’Etat,” cautioning that the National Assembly “was elected by the sovereign people through direct elections. Its dissolution is illegitimate and unconstitutional.” He took the opportunity to insist on his call for a Permanent Council meeting with the rest of the OAS member states to discuss the Venezuelan crisis.

The presidents and parliaments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Spain, Mexico, Panama and Peru also reiterated their disavowal of the ANC and all its decisions.

Inter-Parliamentary Union head Saber Hossain Chowdhury expressed his concern for the country’s political, economic and social crisis to AN speaker Julio Borges.

Mercosur’s founding countries also said that the decision restricts the space for institutional cohabitation, increasing conflict and undermining the restitution of democracy.

Nicolás and Odebrecht

Yesterday, Delcy Rodríguez accused prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz of advocating for white supremacy during her tenure as Prosecutor General:

“From and ideology based on her skin color to what we call white supremacy, she dared to persecute our poorest citizens, mestizo, mulatto and black people who ended up in prison.”

Meanwhile, Ortega Díaz appeared in the Summit of Prosecutors and Attorneys General of Latin America, held in Mexico via teleconference. During her intervention, she confirmed Nicolás’ links with Odebrecht’s corruption cases:

“We have a detailed report on the people who cooperated and the amounts of money they stole, and this investigation involves Mr. Nicolás Maduro and his circle.”

Then the Prosecutor added that 64 national prosecutors specialized in corruption were banned from leaving the country without any legal proceedings.

Ortega Díaz arrived in Bogotá on Friday on a flight from Aruba. Upon arriving, she met with Colombian authorities and asked them for protection for her and her husband, dissident lawmaker Germán Ferrer.

Massacre in Amazonas

Interior minister Néstor Reverol accused governor Liborio Guarulla of being directly responsible for the massacre at the Amazonas Judicial Detention Center by omission, but he didn’t mention that the Amazonas state police was taken over by the central government over a year ago. The ANC appointed a committee headed by Iris Varela, a true champion of justice, to look into this tragedy. The AN will do the same.

Guarulla said to AFP that the National Guard closed off the prison nearly three months ago due to suspicions about an ELN attack:

“It was assumed that some of the inmates could be armed and that’s why the inspection was requested (…) it was a tragedy: 40% of the 103 inmates were killed (…) with no restraint because they used grenades and sophisticated weapons and the result is a true massacre.”

Then he added that the government did what the guerrilla didn’t. Nicolás expressed his support for the victims of the Barcelona attack, but said nothing about this massacre.

Other proceedings

Mexico’s Foreign minister travelled to Havana to try and persuade Cuba to help solve Venezuela’s tense political situation. Havana requested that Luis Videgaray increase the Bancomext state development bank’s credit line from 30 to 56 million euro as a gesture of goodwill, according to Reuters. Mexico understands that Venezuela is Cuba’s closest strategic and ideological ally, and has helped the island with thousands of millions of dollars of cheap oil, but they are convinced that there will not be a peaceful transition in Venezuela without Cuba’s help. We’ll see.

The dictator’s joy

Nicolás made appearance to say that he agrees with holding early gubernatorial elections and took the chance to restart his provocations. He asked for “the people’s trust” after 18 years of bad government and claimed that “it’ll be years before we become a world power, but we’re on our way.” Nicolás wanted to celebrate his dictatorship, the institutional control achieved through force; to cheer for having avoided (for now) the political price of his repression against the vast majority of Venezuelans who oppose him, frustrated by victories achieved through a horrible laundry list of fatalities, injuries and arrests. There was still daylight during Nicolás’ “live” broadcast, despite the fact that it was already dark out in Caracas, differences between the real country and propaganda.

The TSJ is responsible for the National Assembly’s infamous “contempt,” and they’ve been searching for evidence of the alleged electoral fraud committed in Amazonas state during 2015 legislative elections for nearly 600 days now. Even though this is just another coup within Nicolás’ ongoing coup, it hurts a lot.

We go on.

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.