Archive for February 15th, 2016

As TSJ Overrules National Assembly One Wonders What The Plan Is

February 15, 2016

As yours truly was swimming with dolphins, turtles and penguins, the Venezuelan Supreme Court (TSJ) ruled that Maduro’s Economic Emergency Decree was valid, despite the fact that the National Assembly used its Constitutional power to not give it its approval.

I am not going to talk about the illegality of the decision, they were going to do it no matter what. But perhaps it is funny to comment on the fact that the Hall of the Supreme Court even ruled that the Assembly can not revoke it, becoming a sort of a new Constitutional instance, changing what the Constitution says about what the National Assembly can and can not do.

I am not surprised by the ruling, as I predicted in December, that the battle was going to become one of who has power over whom and a clash with no  arbiter was looming. However, so far we have since little of a clash, as the TSJ has ruled and the National Assembly has done very little about these rulings or little to challenge the authority of the TSJ or the Government which is what I believe they have to do and should do.

I already disagreed with the Assembly accepting the ruling on the three Amazons Deputies, the Assembly should have never sworn then in if it was not ready to fight for them and their decision.

But I am also not sure of what exactly is the Assembly’s path. Yes, they have mentioned a possible Constitutional Amendment to shorten Maduro’s term and a recall vote, but don’t they think that the TSJ will stop them at every corner? What will they do then?

I think that the National Assembly has to defend its position as an independent power and pick the fight. If Ministers did not go to the Assembly as required, censor them and remove it, as the Constitution gives them the power to do. The Assembly does not like the decision by the TSJ? Then vote that the decision is invalid because it takes away powers given to them by the Constitution. Cut off funding to the TSJ if necessary. Why not?

They have to meet the Court at the Government in its own terrain. If the Assembly removes a Minister, anything signed or decided by that Minister becomes illegal and can be penalized by the Courts someday. He can’t even collect his salary or spend money. It would be illegal and he or she could face jail time some day.

As to the fact that the decree is still valid, like so many other things, it was obvious it was coming and the Assembly should have had a plan to fight it.

But so far, I still see no plan.

And the same applies to all the wonderful things the Assembly wants to do, whether it is the Amnesty decree, the recall vote or whatever. In each of them, the TSJ will attempt to block it.

What will be the response?

I hope there is one planned, if not, the TSJ will have scored victory over victory over the National Assembly without the Assembly responding.

As they say in Spanish, “la pelea es peleando”, the fight is fighting, if you don’t fight, the December victory would have been an empty one. To call the TSJ decision a “coup”, the drop that overflowed the glass”, “immoral” and such other platitudes, does little to defend the terrain that the Constitution gives the Assembly and the voters gave them.

AN: What’s the plan?