First Constitutional Crisis As Supreme Court’s Electoral Hall Attempts To Freeze Venezuelan National Assembly

January 11, 2016


Well, sooner than you could say Henry Ramos, the first big Constitutional crisis exploded today, in Venezuela as the Electoral Hall made a ruling that sets up a huge confrontation between powers.

The Hall ruled:

1- The Venezuelan National Assembly is in contempt of the court for not obeying its decision to not swear in the Deputies from Amazonas State.

2- Because of this, says the Electoral Hall, any decision made by the Assembly so far and in the future is completely illegal

3- The Court orders the National Assembly to immediately “disincorporate” the three Deputies.

The decision is quite bizarre in too many ways, but what do you expect from “Justices” some of whom do not qualify to hold the position and violate the law in many cases, as they were card carrying members of Chavismo’s party PSUV?

First of all, the legal concept of taking away the proclamation of a Deputy does not exist. Moreover, there are precedents for this, which are not even mentioned in the decision by the same Hall and the Constitutional Hall of the Venezuelan Supreme Court.

Second, once proclaimed, according to the Venezuelan Constitution, only the National Assembly itself can “qualify” a Deputy. Nobody else can, least of all, the Electoral Hall of the Supreme Court which only rules on Electoral matters. Once the Electoral Board proclaimed the candidate, this is no longer an electoral matter. The same applies to nullifying acts by the National Assembly. It is not the role of the Electoral Hall to nullify such acts, least of all “future” acts, an absurd legal concept.

Maybe these “Justices” do not understand that the Electoral Hall rules on Electoral matters, no on matters which should be the realm, if at all, of the Constitutional Hall of the National Assembly.

Finally, it is sort of stupid to rule invalid decisions by the National Assembly that are taken without the three “questioned” Deputies participating in the vote. If they had nothing to do with the decision, there was nothing illegal about it.

But the real conflict arises and will explode now for the simple reason, that the National Assembly can simply not accept the decision for political reasons. Since the decisions are illegal, backing down would imply that the Court would simply stop the elected National Assembly from doing anything in the future.

And the key word here is “elected”. A Court that was not elected by popular vote and under questionable circumstances from a legal point of view, can not pretend to be above the popularly elected National Assembly.

Moreover, I think the National Assembly has no other recourse but begin proceedings against the same  Justices, something that they can do. Thus, we go into an infinite loop of non-recognition of one by the other.

Who will be the referee in such a battle?

Meanwhile, the economy gets worse, the price of oil goes down and the Maduro Government devotes itself to talking about the removal of Chávez’ pictures form the National Assembly building.

Clearly, there is no interest in attacking the economic problems and distortions. Even more clearly, there is no intention in recognizing the qualified majority obtained by the opposition.

Who was it that said Chavismo was democratic? Yeah, sure!

31 Responses to “First Constitutional Crisis As Supreme Court’s Electoral Hall Attempts To Freeze Venezuelan National Assembly”

  1. […] First Constitutional Crisis As Supreme Court’s Electoral Hall Attempts To Freeze Venezuelan Na…, Miguel Octavio, The Devil’s Excrement […]

  2. Roger Says:

    The Cubans and others have never made the model work even with better minds and far less corruption. So far everything Chavezimo has touched it has turned to shit and a major reason its in this problem. If AN is smart it will set up a council of economists, bankers and business leaders from not only Venezuela but the rest of LatAm to come up with an economic plan with a quick up kick to get things moving. For both sides there are two problems. First, there is no money to throw at it as in the past. Capital will have to be found. Second, are the Venezuelans themselves who lack modern productivity and often like to hang out in Caracas to get the trickle down oil money and get it all gratis. Chavez had the political capital to have made a better domestic economy but, he chose to buy the people off and bow to the coruptos. He tried things like hauling people back to the llanos to set up collectives Cuban style, after the mudslide, and we all know how that ended. How either plan can be sold to the people, other than to say that this will be less painful than to do nothing, is beyond me.

  3. Ira Says:

    If the Central Bank today declared official inflation of 141%…

    Can’t we be pretty certain that it’s actually at least 241%?

  4. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Here we go! Venezuela officially declares a “State of National Economic Emergency.”

    Where’s this gonna lead to?

    • M Rubio Says:

      Where’s this gonna lead? More… rice, no spaguetti, no sugar, no bread, no meat, no chicken, no pork, no milk, no corn flour, no flour, no medicine, no toilet paper, no auto parts, no tires, essentially no nothing that is imported and a serious decline in the production of those few things that are actually made in Venezuela.

      We’re farked.

  5. moctavio Says:

    Cool video of Julio Montoya in the AN

  6. Ira Says:

    Only in Venezuela can things get so ridiculous that the First Chocha accuses the DEA of kidnapping her sons and it hardly makes the news.

    • Ira Says:

      Meant nephews.

    • Boludo Tejano Says:

      Cilia and husband have a PR problem here. On the one hand, accusing the Evil Empire of kidnapping her nephews might seem a great way to stir up the base. Denouncing the Evil Empire has worked before to stir up the base. As Chavismo has lost a lot of support in the last year or two, this would seem like a good way to shore up flagging support.

      On the other hand, her nephews were busted for cocaine smuggling- news of which is not likely to cause the base to rise up in support of the First Family and the “kidnapped” nephews. Denouncing the kidnapping” would confirm all those sifrino-led rumors that Chavismo is up to its neck in cocaine smuggling. That is not something Cilia and husband want to do.

      Solution: make the “kidnapping” allegation to the international press, which could stir up the PSF, and maintain relative silence at home.

  7. Dr. Faustus Says:

    Oh – oh. This doesn’t look good. Taking economic ‘advice’ today from his ‘left hand man.’ Run for the hills!

    • M Rubio Says:

      Is that the guy with the tatoo of Chavez, Maduro, and Bolívar (or was it Che) on his chest. See him on the street and you’d swear he was a hard-core malandro.

  8. Charlie Says:

    I don’t watch much live news, basically I just read what reported in the internet. I may have miised it, but so far I haven’t seen anyone in the opposition clearly stating why what the government is doing is wrong by quoting the constitution etc. All I hear is “what they’re doing is wrong” “they don’t know what they’re doing” “we’re going to swear in the three deputies regardless of what the TSJ says”. All this makes them sound, to me, a bit arrogant and that they’ve done what they have because they want and because they can. But maybe I’m wrong and I just miised the time when they explained the whole issue.

    • m_astera Says:

      I think you are right, and they are only looking for what they can steal. There are no morals, no ethics. Lie and steal as much as you can. It is so sad to see a society so corrupt, so completely without a moral conscience.

      • Lee Kuan Yew Says:

        It’s really not much more complicated than that. It’s about lack of ethics, lack of real education, and the ensuing Galactic Corruption, at every level of society, not just the top 1000 crooks.

        • Lee Kuan Yew Says:

          And the only way you begin to fix that, is with a very strong government. With an true Judicial system, that castigates the majority of Law Offenses.
          With real Police, a somewhat honest military, and tough Jails.

          That’s how we did it in Singapore, that’s how it’s done in the USA. And how Pinochet fixed Chile. Or how they do it in Norway. Checks&balances. You have to control the massive embezzlement. You have to catch the crooks and punish them. To set a precedent, and deter further crime.

          Then, you have to educate people. Even in Colombia, they are 5 times more educated than in Vzla. But they got rid of Uribe too soon, and now the Drug crap will come back. Mexico? Honduras? Brazil? They’re also doomed until they get tough against Drugs and massive Corruption. Until the Educate people, build Family structures, Ethics.

          Since these deeply corrupt Latin American countries don’t accept a “good” dictatorship, if there is such a thing, a constructive, tough, “mano dura” for a little while to fix things, build infrastructure, fix the abysmal economies, (as the infamous Perez Jimenez did in under 5 years) , well, then deal with 27,000 violent deaths per year (1/4 Million under Chavismo) and destroyed nations.

          And it’s not going to get much better anytime soon with the upcoming Mudd, Chavista Light. It’s actually gonna get even worse for the next few years, only to get back to the 90’s levels of corruption in several decades. La vaina se jodio, and people know it.

      • M Rubio Says:

        I was privy to a conversation recently between two locals talking about someone they knew who had been well-connected within Chavismo but was now on the outside. They commented though that while he was on the inside he was smart in that he used the opportunity to skim off as much as he could for himself so that he could buy a farm, cars, etc.and now lead the good life.

        In a nutshell, there was no outrage, no, “that s.o.b. robbed Venezuelan treasure, our property, for himself”. It was obvious that if they had their chance, they’d do the same and probably think anyone who didn’t was completely nuts.

    • Start watching YouTube, listen to RCR750 AM in Caracas. I assume you read and understand Spanish? Otherwise you are out of luck.

  9. […] First Constitutional Crisis As Supreme Court’s Electoral Hall Attempts To Freeze Venezuelan Na…, Miguel Octavio, The Devil’s Excrement […]

  10. Lee Kuan Yew Says:

    This is Third-World, Savage Corrupt Criollo politics, at best. The Devil’s observations here seem to belong to a more civilized nation..

    I bet 9O% of “el pueblo” will never know about true separation of powers, and basic constitutional law. (whatever’s left of the original constitution). You can also bet 70% of the new MUD deputies se estan desayunando con esto, if at all.. Clueless too. Bloggers in exile know 10 x more about the political game rules than most Venezuelans dealing with the real consequences.

    Plus the “rules” don’t matter in Kleptozuela, as long as 4 of the 5 Powers are totally corrupt and controlled by the totalitarian regime. As long as the Media is mostly Chavista. As long as the MONEY ( PDVSA, Corpoelec, Derwick Bolichicos, etc,) is also perfectly bribes, corrupt, rich and Chavistoide. Plus the filthy Military, Police, Guardia, Sebin.. plus the 37 ‘ministerios’ with 5 Million complicit Enchufados. (Another proud World Record we hold, besides Inflation and Murders and 2016 Default chances)

    Things are going to get much worse until the shit finally really hits the fan, somehow. International observers and bloggers can waste all the time they want with fancy macro-micro socio-political analysis, Chavista Thugs risk JAIL and loss of their fortunes. 5 Million Enchufados plus the Military and TSJ risk the same. Things are a lot less complicated: STEAL, fast and as much as possible.

    International Community? Almagro, Ex-presidents, ONU, OEA, John Kerry, European Union? They don’t really give a flying foo-foo… I trust el Chapulin Colorado more. They have much bigger problems than little, heavy-cheap oil Kleptozuela. Their rich retirement is one of them.

    Bottom line? We’ll see how much more the Millions of Chavistascan still endure, or can still can enjoy the colas, inseguridad, and worsening economy. Someday, hopefully, those Millions will begin to love Chavez a little bit less. And do something about it, in the streets.

    • m_astera Says:

      Multiple billions were transferred overseas. Claw those back and Venezuela becomes rich again. Simple as that, as long as new stealers don’t steal it again.

  11. Antonio Says:

    The armed forces traditionally supply the three referees. Their decision does not need to be unanimous. The consequences tend to be long lasting.

  12. TV Says:

    The confrontation is happening. It will be ugly. Better now, when the ball is still rolling.

  13. Noel Says:

    Maybe not. Oil prices are unlikely to rise significantly unless there is chaos in Saudi Arabia. Former allies have either disappeared (new govt in Argentina), are busy with difficulties of their own (Brazil, China) or are preparing to move on (Cuba). Worst of all for Chavismo, the illusion of invincibility has been shattered.

  14. Mitchell Says:

    Article 138 of the Constitution…in a nutshell states when powers are usurped, the decisions or acts of such powers are null and void. The Magistrates are under legal suspicion and be be illegally occupying their cargos…They “nomination” is circumspect…..Their decisions are probably Unconstitutional and their acts are null. Article 200…This gives the Diputados immunity from the moment they were proclaimed by the CNE… There are so many reasons why this entire ruling is null and void. The AN should continue to legislate, inform the public of what they have declared law, and inform the people that the Regimen has usurped their power to rebuild the Country, the Regimen has disregarded El Pueblo’s vote, and sit back and hold on while the country and economy implodes..

    • Relax, dude. Al they have to do is continúe work, avoid having those three Amazonas deputies vote unless it’s strictly necessary. They can also respond if they receive paperwork from the Supreme Court. I understand they have never been notified about anything anyway. The response would be simply to request the court to submit all the documentation used to justify the judicial ruling. Some of what they have is illegal wire taps on one woman they say put in jail. What the AN need to do is produce legislation and simply avoid having those three vote while they wait for the electoral court to send proofs. They still have the 109 to 54 vote advantage.

      • armando Says:

        I don’t think we should relax. With this decision, the government has preemptively said that they will simply ignore anything the AN does. The AN can legislate all they want, but the executive will not “execute” any of it. For all practical purposes, the government has dissolved the AN.

        • Yes. But what matters is popular perception and getting tv coverage. The economy will get a lot worse because Salas is incompetent and Venezuela is already sliding down the cliff. The eventual change has to come from within Chavism. I suppose by now most of you realize the regime is a tyranny seeking a veneer of democratic cover. The Cubans have huge influence over Maduro, thus the main factions are still unwilling to change.

          To avoid getting entangled in the economic mess the unity faction has to keep legislating, allow Maduro to veto, and open multiple fronts investigating theft, corruption. I wouldn’t give up those three seats, merely “turn them off” so they can be reactivated. But I’m not negotiating with Isturiz.

          • Mitchell Says:

            They did “turn them off”..The 3 Diputados did not vote on anything after their jurementation and were doing just as you said, and the TSJ still usurped powers and ordered their dis-juramentation. So my original post remains the same as yours, continue to legislate… People have to remain vigilant, now is not the time to relax.

  15. Alex Says:

    Democratic as long as the concept is convenient for them and it’s obviously not anymore. I wonder what will happen in future elections as we know Chavismo is in a downward spiral.

    And the outcome of this? Unfortunately Chavismo has the upper hand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: