Don't Trust 'Em

 We’ll go Down The Rabbit Hole in a sec but first…BNN Bloomberg reports that Venezuela’s CNE (electoral council) has offered to help Venezuela’s opposition organize it’s shambolic primary elections, scheduled for October 22nd, an option many anti-government figures had hoped to avoid.

 Organizing the vote proved more difficult than anticipated with many polling locations set up in homes, parking lots, and open public spaces creating concern over voter safety.

 Involving CNE could remove candidates from the process and delay the vote. Top contenders, like Maria Corina Machado, have been banned by the Maduro regime from holding public office and it’s unclear whether CNE will allow them to run, should CNE become involved.

 Our take is simple…Don’t trust ’em! CNE…Are you kidding? These are the same guys that allow the Chavistas to have “Red Point Kiosks” at polling locations so voters can register to receive a “special government bonus” (bribe). Keep them as far from the primary process as possible!

 Now, let’s head Down The Rabbit Hole…

 Chapter 12/ continued…

 …In 2017 when TSJ assumed the assembly’s powers, then backed off, they still prohibited the assembly from “declaring public responsibility” and prohibited acts that alter public order. I’m no constitutional scholar but I think that means you can’t say “This mess is Maduro’s fault” and you can’t protest.

 In 2017 after the widely boycotted constituent assembly (ANC) elections, Maduro had them sworn in by the TSJ, not by the National Assembly, as required by the Constitution. So…now we have an unconstitutional election, for an unconstitutional ANC, which was unconstitutionally sworn in. Maduro declared the ANC not only constitutional but all-powerful and his decision was ratified by the TSJ.

 But fear not! Venezuela still has judicial oversight. It’s not the National Assembly or even the unconstitutional (and supposedly all-powerful) ANC. It’s the TSJ’s own Judicial Commission! Well, that should allay everyone’s concerns. The TSJ Judicial Commission consists of six judges including the TSJ president (You know him…The convicted murderer with the extortion, drug trafficking and money laundering allegations). It can dismiss any provisional or temporary judge in the country (80% of the country’s 1,732 judges) without cause or due process. Example 1/ In 2017, three judges released people detained during the anti-government protests and were summarily fired. One was even rehired, then fired again. Example 2/ A judge’s driver was arrested as he was delivering documents to a court official outside the courthouse. He was released but only after 15 days in detention w/o charges being filed. This led to the courthouse being raided which led to 5 judges charged with “inexcusable error” and dismissed. While the commission can fire judges without due process, it’s not like they have no recourse. They do have the right to appeal and it must be heard within 90 days. Of the 5 fired judges, one retired and the other 4 appealed. Those appeals were never heard.

 If this wasn’t crazy enough we also have a parallel TSJ known as the TSJ in Exile so, we have two Presidents, two assemblies, and two supreme courts (TSJs). The TSJ in Exile consists of 33 judges living in the US, Colombia, Panama, and Chile. They have met every 15 days by video conference since 2017. As you might expect, they declared the ANC illegitimate just as Maduro’s  (Moreno’s) TSJ declared the constitutionally elected National Assembly illegitimate not just once, in 2019, but twice (also in 2017 when they bestowed the assembly’s powers on the ANC after briefly assuming said powers themselves). OK…got it?

 So, what does the international community think of Venezuela’s TSJ? Well, in 2017 and 2018 the US Treasury Department blacklisted 8 TSJ judges. In 2014, Transparency International rated Venezuela’s TSJ the most corrupt judicial system in the world. Transparency International also publishes annually a corruption Perception Index, which defines corruption as “the misuse of public power for private benefit”. For 2010 – 2018 Venezuela ranked in the bottom 10 of 176 countries each year. For the years 2017 and 2018 the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index rated Venezuela last out of 113 countries.

 And where are we now (2019) since the failed uprising which it is widely reported failed due to Maikel Moreno backing out of a deal with the opposition because it didn’t give him the power he wanted? Well, the TSJ stripped 15 members (and counting) of parliamentary immunity and a few were arrested while others fled the country or sought asylum. When the assembly denounced these arrests by one  of the Maduro regime’s three secret (or not so secret) police groups, SEBIN, Carol Padilla produced the warrant application as justification for the arrest of opposition leader Roberto Morrero. The only problem was that included in the justification for the warrant were Google searches for news articles that occurred five days after the warrant application.

 Summary : Many of the TSJ in Exile have confirmed the regular practice of TSJ judges being summoned to Miraflores (the presidential palace) to discuss “sensitive cases”. And now, I’ve saved the best for last. This will tell you everything you need to know about the Venezuela Supreme Court, TSJ. This is the most recent number (2019) I could find. So far, the TSJ has heard 45,474 cases over the Chavismo years. IT RULED AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT ZERO TIMES !!!

 That will do it for Chapter 12. We’ll be back tomorrow with a full slate of current news….

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