Another perverse maneuver by Chavez and his friends

January 29, 2003

Today Caracas’ newspaper Tal Cual describes the new perversion by the Chavez administration to maintain its control of public powers in Venezuela in its article “Assault on the Supreme Court”. A week ago I wrote an article entitled “A story of Pilferage (or is it rape?)” in which I described how Hugo Chavez was able to take control of all public powers by a series of maneuvers both legal and illegal throughout his Presidency. I described how the Supreme Court was selected single-handedly by him in 2000, but how time had eroded even the loyalty of roughly half the Justices in the Court. As described today in Tal Cual using the graphic above, which speaks for itself, Chavez and his advisors have come up with another perverse plan to increase their control. Essentially, they will take advantage of the fact that the 1999 Constitution does not specify (Art. 262-266) how many Supreme Court Justices there are. But the Constitution does speak about an Organic law for the Supreme Court, to be approved by the Assembly. Thus, the Assembly, taking advantage of this oversight (was it on purpose?), is attempting to pass this Organic Bill with an increase of the number of Justices from 20 to 30. Since the National Assembly is controlled by Chavez’ MVR, they will be able to pick and choose ten new justices at will. Perverse isn’t it?


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