Chavistas Being Chavistas

 We’ll continue with our Down The Rabbit Hole segment, “Scattershot” tomorrow but we have a lot to get to today so let’s get to it. As we’ve covered a lot recently, everything revolves around the upcoming elections in November for the Chavistas in Venezuela. For the opposition it’s one more shot at making some gains in state and local governance although to this point it hasn’t mattered. In the 2015 elections, the last legitimate elections in Venezuela, the opposition won a landslide victory. They were poised to make some positive change as they won a super majority in the National Assembly. This would allow them to do a lot of things including changes in the TSJ (Supreme Court) and even the possibility of recalling President Nicolas Maduro. Then the Chavistas went to work.

 At the eleventh hour,before stepping aside, the outgoing Chavistas who enjoyed a super majority, packed the TSJ with new judges.We already know the head of the TSJ is a committed Chavista and also a convicted murderer so he’s not exactly a shrinking violet and combined with ruthless Marxist Nicolas Maduro makes for a powerful adversary. They didn’t disappoint and took the authoritarian nature of the Chavistas to new heights (or lows). They declared four of the deputy’s (representatives)  elections illegal and set those results aside denying the opposition their super majority. It’s worth noting that three of those deputies were never replaced, no new elections, no nothing. they were just denied their seats in the assembly. The AN (national assembly) swore the new members in anyway and their act of defiance was rewarded with the TSJ ruling the new AN illegitimate and all laws passed by them illegitimate as well.

 Maduro continued to rule by decree using emergency powers (even though he denied there was an emergency…?) granted him by the old Chavista super majority. Whatever he wanted was ratified by the TSJ (remember, the law “is what we say it is”) and any moves by the AN were annulled by the TSJ (remember, the law “is what we say it is”). There was a lot of back and forth over the next few years including the massive demonstrations and repression in 2017 as well as several rounds of “dialogue” between the Maduro regime and the opposition, all of which failed. With the CNE (electoral council) controlled by the Chavistas there would be no free and fair elections. They would do whatever they wanted and their decisions were ratified by the TSJ.This led to Maduro’s totally fraudulent election as President and set us up for the situation we have today. The Chavistas have a stranglehold on Venezuela with Maduro being a de facto dictator and the AN unable to do anything about it. The one thing the regime has lacked on the international stage is legitimacy, which brings us to today.

 All the stars have been aligning for Chavismo recently. The latest rounds of talks between the Maduro regime and the fragmented opposition continue and won’t be resolving anything before the next round of elections in November. The CNE has made some cosmetic changes appointing two of the five slots on the board to the opposition while retaining control of the other three. The Chavistas have many favorable candidates masquerading as opposition, courtesy of the CNE, in the upcoming elections. They have convinced the EU to send an electoral observation mission to Venezuela to monitor the upcoming elections and made a few conciliatory moves like releasing a couple of political prisoners to show the world their new enlightened attitude. Maduro even announced there would be no “Puntos Rojos” in the upcoming elections. “Puntos Rojos” are red tents the Chavistas put up outside all voting locations to intimidate and control voters. They also invited the Carter Center to monitor the October 10th electoral drills, knowing the Carter Center to be notoriously sympathetic to Chavismo. The stage has been set for the Chavistas to gain at least some semblance of legitimacy in the eyes of the international community…. or has it?

 It must be something in their DNA but the Chavistas just can’t help being Chavistas. With everything going their way all they had to do was keep showing the world what it wanted to see, that Chavismo could,and would, be willing to change…at least a little bit. So, we had the electoral drills and the preliminary reports are in. The CLAP food program is still being used as leverage against voters. There were “Puntos Rojos” outside 85% of voting centers. 50% of voting centers had no instruction available by the CNE regarding the voting method, however, PSUV and Plan Republica (both Chavista) as well as militia (Chavista) were there to “help” voters with the process.And by the way, in this age of Covid-19, there were no coronavirus safety protocols in place. So what has changed? No regard for the safety of the population and no regard for election integrity….just Chavistas being Chavistas. What say you Carter Center? (or EU for that matter?)

 In the words of Stan Lee… “nuff said”

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