By Luis Manuel Aguana
The legitimate Supreme Court of Justice has just specified in a sentence what we all knew: Nicolás Maduro Moros has not been President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela since April 17, 2018 (see in Spanish Judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice declaring the Absolute Absolute Lack in the Presidency of Venezuela and decrees that it is URGENT to fill the power vacuum in accordance with the Constitution of the Republic, on the official Twitter of the Supreme Court of Justice at https://twitter.com/TSJ_Legitimo/status/1014611587745886211).
This ruling of the Supreme Court of Justice puts the National Assembly on the spot, as it was the previous time when the latter could not escape from taking a decision, with a letter from its Board of Directors, which was brutally written and without the agreement or discussion of all the deputies in plenary session, thus evading its responsibility towards the country to “initiate the procedure that will allow the constitutional transition of the Presidency of the Republic in accordance with articles 233 and 234 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”, as it was called upon to do by the legitimate Supreme Court in an order dated 3 May 2018. All the deputies paid “just for sinners” with the decision of the Directive to circumvent the TSJ-L’s exhortation, as effectively expressed by the High Court in the Judgment of July 2, 2018, clearly explaining the two reasons “why it was not only legally possible, but absolutely convenient in the constitutional political order, for the National Assembly, as the highest representative of the country’s national sovereignty, to proceed to execute the exhortation given in question…”.
But as the whole country knows, they did not, and that non-compliance now weighs much more heavily on them than before. Now they either run or face as the popular saying goes. The National Assembly has only two ways to appoint a Transitional Government: with or without collaboration with the regime. If he does so properly, the designated successor would indeed be legitimate but persecuted by castro-madurista tyranny, as was the case with the Magistrates of the TSJ-L. The National Assembly would be closed, with possible arrests of its deputies and their functions absorbed by the illegitimate National Constituent Assembly of Maduro, thus fulfilling the popular principle that “to be hanging the best thing is to fall”. I leave it to you to ask the question: will they have the courage to challenge the regime by exposing themselves to tyranny to its full extent? “If they do, God and the Fatherland will reward you, if not demand it” as the oath says. It would be a “self-suicide” as that much-remembered President said.
The other alternative is to do so in collaboration with the regime. This, apart from the political “self-suicide” before the Venezuelan people, presumes a negotiation with the “minestrone” that represents all the officialist tendencies, which implies deposing Nicolás Maduro Moros, contrary to what the regime has said about ignoring the decisions of the TSJ-L, a body they consider spurious. I see the latter as very distant, not because the ruling opposition doesn’t want to collaborate – they have already done so and continue to do so – but because I see it as very uphill to see that this is approved by Cuban Castroism and radical madurism.
In addition to this, any solution must be found, in accordance with the Decision, by holding Presidential elections at a later date, but this time subject to the Decision of the Electoral Chamber of TSJ-L dated June 13, 2018, Case SE-2018-001, according to which these must be carried out “after the appointment of new Rectors of the National Electoral Council, purging and updating of the Electoral Register and Manual Voting, among other minimum necessary conditions, adjusted in everything, as ordered in the ruling of the Electoral Chamber of this Maximum Tribunal dated 13/06/2018, File SE-2018-001”. According to this ruling, any election in Venezuela must from now on be carried out under these parameters.
I do not believe that our opposition parties can implement this ruling of the Electoral Chamber to appoint a Transitional Government, especially when we see them organizing to participate in the elections called by the regime’s illegal CNE in December of this year. Even some like AD are splitting from the MUD-Frente Amplio coalition to negotiate without intermediaries with the regime, effectively accepting the terms of those elections. There is nothing more collaborationist than that. The founders of that historic party must be shaking in the place of their eternal rest.
What, then, is left for our honourable Deputies to do, to allow themselves to be imprisoned or to flee in disarray? The ruling of the legitimate Supreme Court of Justice of July 2, 2018 obliges them to take a decision that politically only corresponds to them, unless they declare themselves incompetent to carry it out. That is why there is a third option: Decline the designation in favor of the legitimate Judicial Power in exile and that was appointed by them. They could allege the situation of insecurity and threat in which all Venezuelans find ourselves, especially the deputies of the Legislative Power where their main aggressor is the government. That would be perfectly understood by the entire international community. But it must be declared to the legitimate TSJ in response to that sentence so that it can proceed as soon as possible.
However, at least that should be the “must be”. But if the National Assembly is not appointed and if there is no response to the TSJ-L from the National Assembly within a reasonably short period of time, which I consider very likely given the conditions of the opposition in the National Assembly, the legitimate TSJ should proceed with the urgency of the case in view of the seriousness of the situation of the Venezuelan population, assuming responsibility and proceeding as we have formally requested: appointing a National Emergency Governing Council (see the complete request in Spanish at https://tinyurl.com/y7x87ldb). The life-and-death situation of Venezuelans demands it.
Caracas, July 6, 2018