AD did, PJ Didn’t

For Monday, January 29, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: El Nacional

On December 20, 2017, the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) approved the “constituent decree for the revalidation of political parties,” forcing the renewal of the ledger of activists of the parties that didn’t participate in municipal elections, although the current law only demands revalidation if parties don’t run in three consecutive electoral processes. Late on Thursday 25, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber issued a ruling ordering the exclusion of MUD from the process because of the risk of double membership, but also, the party Voluntad Popular refused to participate in a process they deemed illegal and unconstitutional, so only Acción Democrática (AD) and Primero Justicia (PJ) took part in the process imposed by the ANC. Last night, AD tweeted the following:

“Thanks to the democratic will of the Venezuelan people, today we surpassed the revalidation goal and we reaffirm that the electoral path will be our door to change and progress, thank you, Venezuela!”

In contrast, PJ issued a statement explaining the short span of time they had to inform citizens about the revalidation, the poor infrastructure available to carry it out and urging all those who couldn’t sign, to attend the second validation phase set for February 3 and 4.

What’s next, according to CNE’s timetable?

CNE will verify the lists of registered activists and voters can challenge the process between January 30 and 31; the second revalidation phase will take place on February 3 and 4; the results of the preliminary report will be published between February 5 and 7 and on February 15, the CNE will announce its decision. All of this without resolving the fact that Amazonas hasn’t had any lawmakers for years (and the National Assembly continues in “contempt”) nor the challenge filed by Andrés Velásquez for gubernatorial results in Bolívar.

Dialogue resumed in the Dominican Republic

Yesterday at 9:15 p.m., the Dominican foreign ministry’s Twitter account published:

“Minister @MiguelVargasM: Dominican government preparing to resume Venezuela’s dialogue.” The picture posted with the tweet shows José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero with president Danilo Medina and minister Vargas.

For this round, the opposition delegation doesn’t have representation from Voluntad Popular, however, in the statement issued by MUD, the coalition says that they’re attending for the definitive chance to demand electoral guarantees, so that “the government reviews its recent decisions, to prevent the country from falling into unmanageable chaos.” We’ll see.

Nicolás’ campaign

While he invalidates opposition parties, Nicolás launched a new party for presidential elections: Movimiento Somos Venezuela, led by Delcy Rodríguez. Sadly, he didn’t explain if the TSJ’s ruling against MUD applies to this movement, because, isn’t double membership a risk when talking about chavismo? Doesn’t the patriotic pole have enough parties already? Did PSUV lose so much support that it needs to reorganize? Where did the movement’s militants come from? Is Delcy not a PSUV member anymore?

Aside from this, I celebrate that his arrogance made him hold a Facebook Live session “alone” as he promoted it, one of the best mistakes he’s made against himself.

The rejection expressed on the web is comparable to the one I saw in the subway station in Caracas last Saturday, caused by his campaign jingle. Fortunately, Cilia Flores has as much botox in her face now as Manuel Rosales!, unlike Nicolás — absorbed in his monologue and (as usual) alien to interactions — Cilia was able to read the complaints in real time, and although she only expressed her reaction with slight movements of the facial muscles she can still control, everything was recorded on video.

Political pariah?

Former minister Rafael Ramírez published another of his contemptible texts, amidst a media campaign in which he plays several roles: victim, holder of el finado’s truth and fixer of exclusive information.

So Tarek William Saab is acting on instructions from Nicolás (a huge surprise for all of us now); but he does that because Nicolás rescued him from the exile imposed by Chávez for the corruption that marked his tender as governor of Anzoátegui. This isn’t a socialist government, Ramírez claims, because it’s far from el finado’s plan and he criticizes Nicolás for repeating the pattern of personality cult, embezzlement and State control championed by Chávez. He denounces that State property has been given “to the highest bidder, to families and people linked with the right”; negotiations with AD and UNT; secret agreements with American oil transnational companies, but he emphasizes that “transnational companies want everything,” that if they return, it’ll be to loot (whatever couldn’t be looted during his administration, I guess). Ramírez believes that his lesson will set a precedent against anyone who dares to dissent — as if political prisoners and expatriates hadn’t proven that point years ago — but he says this is a big mistake, because “they’re killing the revolution.” Amen.

Never beg

Delcy Rodríguez claimed that Venezuela is the victim of stalking by “international de facto powers” and of a “media lynching,” so she’ll armor the country against sanctions with the bastion of the ANC, an entity that sanctioning nations don’t recognize due to its illegitimacy. A genius. Regarding humanitarian aid, she said that “Venezuela will never beg,” because it has the possibilities and the capacity to acquire medicines and food but sanctions won’t allow it; as if sanctions weren’t individuals and scarcity wasn’t already severe for years now. She claimed that the country can choose to hold early presidential elections and justified it with the respect for the nation’s self-determination to choose its destiny; meaning, the ruling party’s imposition to do whatever they want. She was bold enough to say that Venezuela is an example of the defense of international law and sovereignty.

Abroad

  • Peruvian Congressman Gilbert Violet hopes for an international consensus to bar Nicolás from taking part on the Summit of the Americas, which will be held in April: “Nicolás Maduro is a dictator, a murderer and extremely corrupt,” he said to the press. Delcy said that the statement was “vulgar”, but does Nicolás profit from attending this summit with so many presidents announcing that they’ll disregard the results of the electoral process imposed by the ANC?
  • Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said that the TSJ ruling invalidating MUD is evidence of the government’s anti-democratic practices: “Holding presidential elections in such unfair conditions would deem the process illegitimate and uncredible,” she said, demanding for them to be held in compliance with international standards of free and fair elections, including the participation of international, independent observers.
  • The spokesman for the UN Secretary General’s office chose not to talk about early presidential elections in Venezuela. He simply said: “We keep supporting regional efforts, particularly those led by the Dominican Republic, and we hope that the government and the opposition will be able to reach a necessary agreement.”
  • FARC leader Timochenko launched his bid for the Colombian presidential race and we’ll discover whether the graphic designer behind his campaign is the same one used by Nicolás, or perhaps the strange coincidence of their methods led them to use the same appearance, except for the fact that Timo’s (Spanish synonym for fraud, trickery, robbery and deceit) doesn’t have a star.

The category for best latin rock, urban or alternative album in the Grammys, where Los Amigos Invisibles’ “El Paradise” and C4 Trío’s and Desorden Público’s joint album “Pa’fuera” were competing, was won by Residente. Buuu!

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