Breaking News: TSJ Bans MUD from April Presidential Ballot


A rushed Supreme Tribunal Constitutional Chamber ruling tonight bars MUD —the opposition’s umbrella organization— from having a spot in April’s presidential election ballot. Continuing its divide-and-conquer strategy, chavismo is set to allow only its preferred opponents to contest the April vote against them. 

Following a novel judicial interpretation, the Sala Constitucional ruled that to ‘validate’ a party amounts to becoming a registered member of that party. Since MUD is an umbrella organization made up of political parties, it can’t have registered members of its own — or a spot on the ballot. 

Total gobbledygook, in other words.

In practice the decision means that only Acción Democrática (AD), Primero Justicia (PJ) will be allowed to try to re-establish ballot access this weekend, with MUD and Voluntad Popular unable to fight to regain official party status. AAvanzada Progresista and Un Nuevo Tiempo (UNT) will remain on the ballot, since they did not join the boycott of municipal elections on December 10th, 2017.

Earlier, the U.S. State Department had made it clear Uncle Sam will not recognize whomever is elected through this process.

In CNE’s official view, the problem of elections fraud in Venezuela is that MUD cheats!

While AD was never going to lose ballot access, PJ and VP had claimed they would give up their places on the ballot in favor of the MUD ticket. VP took itself out of the running by deciding not to formally file the paperwork needed to regain ballot access this weekend. However, PJ stills has a chance (theoretically) at climbing back onto the ballot.

By taking MUD out of the equation, AD and PJ will now compete in the revalidation process, since each voter can “join” only one party.

The decision by the Constitutional Chamber overrides the decision made by CNE earlier today that MUD could not revalidate its status in the 7 states (Zulia, Apure, Monagas, Bolívar, Trujillo, Aragua y Carabobo) where it faced legal charges of alleged electoral fraud committed during the 2016 signature collection campaign.

It no longer matters, juridically, but it’s nonetheless worth reflecting on the fact that, in CNE’s official view, the problem of elections fraud in Venezuela is that MUD cheats!

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. Poor Maduro and co. don’t realize that their regime is done and that it is on on them. If they go after family member’s pilfered loot, the ones in power will face bleak times in the immediate future, when failed state politicians usually flee with bags full of money. I hope the world closes off all exits for these shitheels.

    • Here I thought you were going to tell us how this news proves what a great job the MUD has been doing and how all those people accusing the MUD of being a collaborationist front for chavismo by participating in elections have indeed, proven to be the unwitting tools of Nicolas Maduro.

    • I think all of this is just academic anyway. The Chavistas were not going to allow an open and honest election… who are they kidding? This just gives them another reason to justify their hegemony.

      The only thing that is doing to bring down Chavismo is for Chavistas to die trying to overthrow it. Or, Chavistas just outright dying and in the chaos, Maduro/Delcy/Diosdado et alli run for Cuba.

      A military dictatorship run by Vlad might be a nice change of pace for a few months, eh?

  2. This actually sounds like great news. Fewer parties equals fewer articles on if one should vote, who should vote, and which politician promised more pernil, more bolivars, bigger clap bags than the next.

    Maybe, just maybe the conversation will turn to sabotage, assasination, protests, molotavs, and the overthrowing of this government.

    Interesting, of all the contributors on CC, I have yet to read ONE to suggest this as an idea. I understand, anyone living in VZ would hesitate to publish under ones true name, but anonymously why not the discussion of it? This tells me, that either Quico will not allow this discourse, or Quico does not hire those “types”, who at least will touch on the subject

    If now is not the time for a change in strategy, when will it be?

    Venezuelans have so far proven to be the pure definition of the lemmings. All followers, no leaders.
    And those that tried were mocked, and laughed at (Perez – RIP)

    • You will be labeled as a keyboard warrior but I would contend that whomever for months thought, against ALL evidence, that this government could be ousted through cunning electoral moves, was just as much as a keyboard warrior as you are. The consequences of the inaction they proposed is now in full display (hunger, violence, et al) but most of them are not suffering and still think that maybe the upcoming election will backfire on chavismo.

      Without the grim photos of people going through dumpsters or killing dogs to eat, their naivete would be funny.

      • I am a keyboard warrior. I have zero connection to VZ. I did live in zimbabwe for a year after Mugabe took over in 1983 (backpack 70+ countries in 6 years). So I know of the world, of starvation, of freedoms, hardship, and political despots. But keyboard warrior – Yes, never put my life in danger for my country, which I am suggesting here.

        I realize VZ is not ZW, but there are similarities. The big difference though, is that after the ZW war, there were 2 tribal fractions, but both anti-White Rhodisia. So the gradual downward spiral had NO resistance. But in Venezuela I thought there was THAT OUTRAGE from the population, and by all accounts there was in politics and the protests last year and 2 years before that.
        But not enough it seems

        ARE the Venezuelans who wish change willing to BET on the collapse of the regime? If you lose the bet, you might like Zimbabwe lose the next 35 years.

        If you are now OUTSIDE VZ, your kids will never again be Venezuelans.

        If that is not a dagger in the heart of a patriot, I do not know what is!!

        • All outrage that people might have in Venezuela is met with bullets to the face, death penalty for the crime of not being chavista has been implanted from the beginning of the revolution.

          And that’s been the norm with chavismo, it’s not anything new, they’ve been butchering unarmed and peaceful protesters since 2002 when Chávez himself ordered the Massacre of Llaguno Bridge, leaving 25 dead.

          Then the treacherous political class and media promptly mocked and buried the dead and the ones that were imprisoned in the oblivion, the brave cops that defended the people from the chavista colectivos are rotting in a cell since that day.

  3. I don’t get this. Obviously, there was not going to be a fair election, but pulling this move now just makes their tormentor imperialist shitlords (US, EC, etc.) feel better about the having imposed the sanctions, and for sure no result will be seen as fair.

    Plus, the country will likely be in the zombie-apocalypse stage by the election, anyway. No way it can be turned around or even slowed without outside financing, and that’s not going to happen until the “outside” decides that a new government will implement sane economic policies.

  4. Plus, the country will likely be in the zombie-apocalypse stage by the election, anyway. No way it can be turned around or even slowed without outside financing, and that’s not going to happen until the “outside” decides that a new government will implement sane economic policies.

    Not only true, but seemingly not understood or believed by Maduro and Company.

  5. It took them long enough, I expected something like this would happen a year ago.

    After the “election” Venezuelans will have a choice: die by installments, leave or bleed for their country. I don’t envy anyone presented with those choices.

  6. To get a quick look at economic data of some country I know nothing about I use to consult cia world factbook. They put new data for 2017. Venezuelas GDP per capita fell behind Colombia and Peru. Ecuador is very close. With the criminals in office, Bolivia and Paraguay probably will overtake in 2 years or so. The extend of the crisis is brutal. During mid-90ties Venezuela had a higher GDP p C than Chile. Now Venezuela has only half of Chile.

  7. I guess the natural extension of this is you cannot belong to more than one party, i.e. multiple parties will not be allowed to put up the same candidate. Well, never mind anyway. Why is this election even being discussed with this criminal organization?

  8. So now you know why right after 16J the MUD went for elections. They knew this day was coming.

    Sham or not, to them it’s their job to get into office regardless.

    That they do so instead of pursuing other options condemns them to dance with the Devil.

  9. A funny thing happened to me at the bank yesterday.
    For quite some time, I have been using a bank account of a Venezuelan national to move Dollars to Venezuela. I have always deposited cash to avoid any delays in the availability of funds.
    Yesterday I went to make a cash deposit and the bank refused to allow me to deposit cash. A check or money order is acceptable.
    This would be completely understandable if I was trying to deposit Bolivars.
    Long story short, I found a check and made the deposit.
    Is it possible that this rule is way of creating a paper trail back to where assets are hidden?
    I assume that there is now a record of funds leaving my account and going to the Venezuelan national’s account. Now that this information is available, it is a short step to examine where the money in my account came from.
    Any thoughts?

    • That is common in the US, I run a payroll firm, when someone doesn’t get paid, (bad direct deposit information, check missing etc.) I cannot make a cash deposit to their account. It is an anti money laundering rule that most but not all banks use.

      You can ask the Vz national to send you some pre-printed deposit tickets as that sometimes helps get around the issue.

      • The teller told me that the rule went into effect in late December.
        This was at a Bank of America branch.
        Previously I always needed to show ID. The only difference is that now there is bank information linked to the deposit.
        The teller did say that this was only for personal accounts, not business. It pertains to anyone whose name is not on the account.
        Actually it makes things easier for me. I always used cash just so the funds would be available as soon as possible. Using a check saves me the trip to my own bank.

        • John, if you deposit dollars in cash or in check for abroad into a Venezuelan Bank, what exchange rate is being used by the Venezuelan Bank to convert the dollars into Bolivars ?

  10. I see a value in the Presidential election. I don’t see any candidate other than Maduro winning. The elections are rigged. Anyone that thinks otherwise has either had a stroke or has a single digit IQ.
    A single unifying candidate that can be considered the honest winner of the election, establishes a credible replacement for Maduro and the ANC.
    Even though other countries have stated that they do not recognize the election as it is an outgrowth from the illegal ANC, the election still allows the people to express their support for Maduro’s replacement. It is not much of a stretch for other governments to recognize the opposing candidate as the legitimate winner or choice of the Venezuelan people.
    This gives governments that do not recognize Maduro and the ANC a person to support as the legitimately elected President and can be a unifying factor to avoid a power struggle when the government collapses.
    This same recognition gives credibility on the global stage to the opposition. Nature abhors a vacuum. A government in waiting is a good thing to have when the inevitable collapse occurs. Preventing Venezuela from becoming a South American Somalia should be a consideration.
    The problem is the Venezuelan politicians that put their self interests above the people and for whatever reason think that they can actually win the election.
    One candidate. One voice. Total support from all opposition parties. One person representing the people internationally.
    As long as Falcon, Allup and others put themselves first the opposition will remain fractured. Maduro understands this as do most people. The greedy politicians don’t.

  11. Wonderful, just like Cuba, part of the master plan. Eso si, Boiling Frog style, se lo meten poco a poco, pa’que no duela tanto. You purge the middle and upper classes, forcing millions of trouble-makers out, bringing trillions of $$ in remesas. You also purge and bribe the entire military and police forces. And you bribe, brain-wash, corrupt, incorporate the remaining under-educated people, clueless beggars, totally dependent leeches, following like sheep to their slaughter. You blame everything on the phantom foreign evil forces.Then the finishing touches in purging the political system from any unwanted opponents: only the corrupt and the bribed need apply.

    The final phase of the full Cubanization of Kleptozuela working almost to perfection:

    I reiterate that Castro-Chavismo is committing 2 huge mistakes: mishandling of the Hunger factor, and presenting the wildly unpopular, detested Maduro again for 7 more years. Deadly mistakes. Instead of accepting some international humanitarian help, distributing more claps, more food, and presenting a new, more charismatic “new” president. That would work, just as it did in Cuba.

    Cuba’s Purging Plan, described above, was successful after 6 decades now because they had a likable, charismatic president with Fidel, and they eased the economic situation in various ways. No huge economic crisis, no hyperinflation, always something to eat. Klepto-Cubazuela is failing in these 2 crucial regards, it’s political suicide: Even the ignorant, bribed, enchufados, leeches, often corrupt people left will probably revolt after the next Presidential Elections Obvious Mega-Fraud, while the economy gets even worse, and having to deal with the same hated retard, incredibly unpopular and with zero charisma. Que va, chamo.. Even the bribed military and police forces will have had enough of the explosive Economy/Maduro cocktail.

    A disastrous economy plus 7 more years of the hated Maduro? Too much. Esa si que no se la van a calar.

    • When Ronald Reagan ran for reelection in 1984, his campaign boiled down to one simple question,
      “Are you better off today than you were 4 years ago?”
      He won 49 states.

    • I’ve been hearing this “theory” since Maduro was first elected.

      2013: “No chamo, Maduro no va a durar nada, no es Chavez”
      2014: “Ahora si viene el hambre, Maduro no llega a Diciembre”
      2016: “Con el referendo y la crisis humanitaria se acaba esta vaina”
      2017: “Se prendió el peo, a este se lo llevan como a Mussolini”
      2018: “Ja, se lanza a elecciones, grave error” “La inflación acabará con esto”

      I wish I didn’t have to say this, pero si se lo van a calar…..

      • 2013: Chavistas, maybe a minority, believed in Chavismo. Aporrea had but one approving voice.

        2016: Chavismo teased Venezuela with a democratic option. Once they figured they would lose, they dropped the democracy.

        2017: The people went to the street to see if the military would back them, the military chose Chavismo.

        2018: Economic collapse. PDVSA collapse. Credit event. Will the military collapse with Chavismo? They maybe corrupt and ignorant, but even cockroaches have a survival instinct.

      • 2013: “Se los digo rapidito, AQUÍ NO HUBO FRAUDE, si tienen arrechera vayan a su casa a descargarla con una olla y pónganse a bailar salsa, yo no voy a apoyar gente que quiere una guerra civil”
        2014: “Ya logramos sentar al régimen en una mesa de diálogo, les vamos a decir sus cuatro verdades en la cara, así que el que siga protestando es un infiltrado chavista que quiere un reguero de muertos”
        2016: “Ya dejen de protestar, la toma es hasta las 2 pm, el que se quede un minuto más es un infiltrado chavista que quiere un reguero de muertos.”
        2017: “No caiga en provocaciones, no se atreva a tocarle un pelo a ningún chavista, el que lo haga es un chavista infiltrado que quiere un reguero de muertos, es más, ya dejen la protestadera porque eso es lo que hacen los chavistas infiltrados”

        Crónica del apagafuegos.

        Tanto querer “evitar el reguero de muertos” y ya van más de 100.000 asesinatos de la mano del régimen, mientras que en cuatro meses de “guerra civil y reguero de sangre” sólo hubieron 175 asesinatos, más las docenas de asesinatos diarios que estaban “fuera de la guerra civil”

  12. The elections were always a side show. Chavismo abandons any appearance of democracy and shows itself as, a corrupt Stalinist regimen.

    The real important development is registered by dolartoday with a 50% devaluation in 2 weeks. It is a clear indicator of the economic collapse.

    The other is the animus of the military.

    It seems that Godfather Lopez is taking ABSOLUTE control of the food distribution in Venezuela. I assume that he must think he is going to get it right, the poor sap knows nothing of history or economy. I guess that makes him a good Chavista.

    My contacts sent me a picture of ‘el rancho’ for the officers. It was a plate of plain spaghetti and a glass of water. I understand that feeding your troops well is as important as giving them appropriate weapons.

    Finally, Mr Dieterich published a piece to this effect titled ‘The collapse of the bayonets’.

  13. the reason for this surprise TSJ decision (just hours away from an earlier desicion that assummed that MUD did have the right to participate in national elections just as it was allowed to do for quite a few times in the past) is claealy that Maduro is now so afraid of losing the elections even when they have loaded the dices in their favour so many ways that they think that only by taking MUD out of the ballot they have a chance of winning them !! The elections have become so flagrantly rigged that even if they are notionally carried out they will no be beliable by anyone ……….to the world , to the countrys own inhabitants they mean nothing , If Maduro simply stood before the cameras and shouted I proclaim myself president for life because I want to, it would be no difference from holding these make believe elections ……..!!

    Its now evident beyond all doubt that the elections are a total farce ………we know that the consequences for that are , the fuse has been lit and whether slowly or promptly they will end in a explosion ………..because things are not getting better they are getting lots worse and there is nothing to stop that from happening …

  14. Surely the future will be more influenced by the intentions of China and Russia than by any permutations of power among political personalities within Venezuela itself. Both China and Russia have multiple reasons to keep the Chavista regime going (under the Maduro gang or whoever pushes them aside), and the longer they prop it up the more invested they become in its preservation. The Cubans just provide a facade of Latin American culture to conceal the iron fists of the new imperialists – not that the Chavistas can even discern the irony of the situation into which they have betrayed their country. If the US government seriously wished to get rid of the Chavistas, it would threaten Russian and Chinese financial interests in the country, not spout (accurate but ineffective) pronunciamentos about the lack of democracy in Venezuela. If the US measures were successful, they would kick out the props from under the Chavistas. Even if unsuccessful, they would raise the cost to Russia and China of continuing their support – a gain for the USA, though not for Venezuela.

    • Reading about the vast majority of the parties, seems like they are all very Leftist. Every single one of them thinks that the problem with Chavismo is that the wrong people are administering it.

      I had this very conversation with the Mrs. a few weeks back. Venezuelans want to be ruled. They don’t want the trappings of liberty and freedom, and the hard work that entails. They want free shit given to them by a Benevolent Omnipotent Government.

      No, the easiest thing to do is sit back and watch it all implode. Voting in this fraud has zero meaning. Chavismo is out of time, out of ideas and out of money. They own this mess… let them captain this Titanic under the waves

      • The statement was about how this article seems to make a world-ending catastrophe about banning a single party with baseless and fabricated accussations when it could be dispatched in ten words, when there are much greater problems at hand that have been ignored for almost two decades, such as the constant slaughter of anybody who dares to protest against the regime, mass executions carried since 2002, the most recent just two weeks ago in El Junquito.

        About the “true colors of the venezuelans” you claim to know so well, as usual, yours is the gross generalization that’s impossible to apply to an entire society, such as claiming that ALL venezuelans are imbeciles who loathe work and would kill their own families to have free stuff from the benevolent government.

        chavismo is part of an invading force that has been attacking Venezuela during more than five decades until said force seized control of the country.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here