Venezuela right-wing opposition wins control of National Assembly by a landslide

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I take your point that two years isn't "forever" in electoral terms, but that's two years for the current government to try to turn things around.

As I understand it, it's not that the electorate has turned their back on Chavismo, they're just not keen on Maduro's implementation of it.  If a general election were to be called today, I'd expect MUD to win.  But if Maduro can plug the leaks, or even if he's replaced by his VP who plugs the leaks, then I expect the electorate would continue to support PSUV in two years.  Maybe not by a landslide, but by enough.


 In taking power from the National Assembly, the ruling removed what most consider to be the only remaining counterbalance to the president’s growing power in the country.

The court said that lawmakers were “in a situation of contempt,” and that while that lasted, the justices themselves would step in to “ensure that parliamentary powers were exercised directly by this chamber, or by the body that the chamber chooses.” It did not say whether it might hand power back.


Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Well, the Supreme Court has been overturning pretty much anything the Assembly has voted for for the past 15 months, so this is really only meaningfully different if the Supreme Court actually starts going ahead and drafting (and promptly passing) their own laws.

I would hope that if a Canadian MP were accused of any kind of electoral fraud there would be a transparent and public investigation, and that if guilty of that fraud, the MP would be stripped of his/her duties (as well as fined, or whatever the Elections Act proscribes) and a byelection called to fill the vacancy.  I would certainly hope that the SCOC would not dissolve Parliament and then take its place.  But maybe that's just me.

Meanwhile, though, it looks like the first order of business is to repeal Parliamentary Immunity.  Can't imprison anyone for treason if some silly old law gives the Assembly the right to vote against the President's wishes!


Canada Calls on Venezuela's Govt to Restore Democracy

"The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement..."

Yet a corrupt Banderite Nazi Oligarchy  is "the best government Ukraine has had in its entire history."

Venezuela Fake News Debunked: Assembly Not Annulled, No Coup

It may be no coincidence that ExxonMobil's considerable 'interest' in Venezuela and the present 'concern' by the 'international community', eg US vassals,  could have something to do with ExxonMobil's former CEO, Rex Tillerson  now being Trump's Sec-State.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

"As long as the disrespect and invalidity of the proceedings of the National Assembly persists, this Constitutional Chamber will ensure that the parliamentary powers are exercised directly by this Chamber or by the body it has in place to ensure the rule of law," said the ruling.

Assembly not annulled, just replaced.

On Jan. 5, 2016, the Supreme Court declared the National Assembly in contempt of the constitution for swearing-in three opposition lawmakers whose elections were temporarily suspended for voting irregularities in the state of Amazonas. Given that it has been operating with non-verified legislators, the court has said all of the assembly's actions are illegal.

Because simply not recognizing the votes of those three members until a transparent and legitimate inquiry is complete is insufficient.

According to constitutional lawyer Enrique Tineo Suquet, the National Assembly could easily resolve its legal status by requesting the body's elected president call for a session to remove the three lawmakers and hold new elections for the positions.

A reasonable person might assume that if the Supreme Court could rule every Assembly member null and void, they could do this too.  Wonder why they didn't choose that instead.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Funny sidebar:  looking back over this thread, it would seem that this was foretold by the prophesies, back in June of last year.

To be clear, just the dissolving the Assembly part, not the walking it back 48 hours later part.  I doubt anyone saw *that* coming.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It would seem embedded in the Washington Post story is a glimpse at the real power games being played by both sides. 

Saturday’s ruling reinstated the National Assembly’s legislative powers, but it was not a complete reversal. It grants Maduro new powers to enter into joint-venture business investments and oil projects with foreign partners, deals that are supposed to require lawmakers’ approval.

That decision may reveal the true purpose for the attempted power grab. With a nearly $3 billion debt service payment due in less than two weeks and oil prices slumping again, Maduro’s government has been in negotiations for a cash infusion from the Russian state oil company Rosneft, according to Reuters. Saturday’s court ruling means Venezuela’s legislature would have no power to stop such a deal.


Fake News: Venezuela Upholds Rule of Law But Press Calls it Dictatorship

"In what modern democracy can a parliament accept as voting members people who have not been duly elected...?"


So Maduro told them they should re-think it, and they re-thought it.

I wonder how that would play out in Canada.

And I wonder if Venezuela's attourney general is going to re-think her calling it a "rupture of the constitutional order".

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

However, in what modern democracy can a parliament accept as voting members people who have NOT been duly elected because the voting process in their district was proven to have been grossly irregular? How can decisions taken by that parliament in which these non-elected people are recognized and participate, be in any way legitimate parliamentary decisions?

I'm sure Venezuela isn't the only state to have ever had alleged electoral irregularities.

Most of them investigate those irregularities in a timely way (it's been nearly a year and a half since Venezuela's election) and might even suspend the accused lawmakers pending the outcome of that investigation.

I don't think most of them would suspend the entire legislature and allow their Supreme Court to take their place.

I wonder how that would play out in Canada.

No kidding.  If the MP for Bass Lake is accused of stuffing ballot boxes, so the SCoC disbands Parliament and takes their place, we might see that as a bit of overkill.  And if that SCoC is fiercely loyal to Stephen Harper, who lost the last election, we might even see it as more than that.


Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The OAS Is Getting Ready to Attack Venezuela Again — Here’s How

Organization of American States, OAS, Secretary General Luis Almagro has called for a “special meeting” to be held on Monday to discuss the recent Venezuela Supreme Court decision, despite the fact that the decision was reversed due to criticisms within Venezuela's government.

In case you don't want to waste time reading a bunch of government-dictated blather about right wing enemies colluding, the problem appears to be OAS speaking with opposition leaders.  Telesur certainly earns their keep, in terms of never, ever criticizing the President or his party.

Organization of American States, OAS, Secretary General Luis Almagro has called for a “special meeting” to be held on Monday to discuss the recent Venezuela Supreme Court decision, despite the fact that the decision was reversed due to criticisms within Venezuela's government.

It's super that they reversed it (frankly, probably more because the whole world saw through it, rather than "due to criticisms within Venezuela's government").

But that doesn't change the fact that they still did it, and they only reversed it when it was clear they couldn't get away with it.  Surely that's still worth some words?

If Canada's government were to announce that homosexuality was illegal again, and then they reversed that 48 hours later, would it be worth discussing?  Or would it be water under the bridge?

Maduro tipped his hand.  AND he's left with nothing to show for it.  It will be fascinating for the world to see whether the STJ reversal actually goes so far as to allow the elected Assembly (minus three) to govern as they were elected to do.  Any bets on that?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Seems that even though the STJ (SCoV) walked back their decision at Maduro's "request", they didn't undo granting him special powers to negotiate oil deals without the approval of the Assembly.

The irony is strong in this one.  It basically means that the defiantly socialist President who insists the imperialist/capitalist world is meddling in his country is now free to sell off stakes in Venezuela's oilfields to multinational corporations, and nobody else needs to approve this.

Also, I have to laugh that the "Coup d'etat in Venezuela" thread bubbled up to the top earlier today.  Doesn't really look to me like Maduro has been stripped of any powers -- if anything, he's now got more of them.  Not much of a coup, IMHO.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Venezuela opposition leader Capriles banned from politics

Mr Capriles, who has run twice as a presidential candidate, is seen as the opposition's best hope of defeating President Maduro in elections scheduled for next year.

I guess if they waited until right before the election to ban him from politics it might look OBVIOUS or something.

Geez, it's only been a week since they tried dissolving the Assembly and replacing them with the Supreme Court.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

US Southern Command Warns of 'Response' to Venezuela 'Instability'

The U.S. military's top official for Latin America presented an ominous report to the Senate Thursday warning that Venezuela could be a "destabilizing" factor in Latin America.

"Venezuela faces significant instability in the coming year due to widespread food, and medicine shortages; continued political uncertainty; and a worsening economic situation," said Admiral Kurt W. Tidd, the commander of the United States Souther Command in his report to the Senate Armed Services Committee.

"The growing humanitarian crisis in Venezuela could eventually compel a regional response."

The United States Southern Command, or USSOUTHCOM, is a joint command of more than 1,201 military and civilian personnel representing the United States Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and several other federal agencies.

The U.S. military leader also said that the relationships fostered by Russia, China and Iran with countries in the region pose a threat to U.S. interests....

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Thank you for quoting TeleSur, the Venezuelan equivalent of FoxNews.  Where else would we be able to hear what the Venezuelan government would like us to hear?   Can anyone throw us a link in which TeleSur criticizes Maduro's government in any even-slightly meaningful way?  Just ONE link??

I loved this one, though:

Events at the OAS have been followed up by calls from right-wing leaders in Venezuela to force out the court's magistrates through street demonstrations, some of which have turned violent as opposition protesters have attacked police.

Goodness!  Those violent right wingers!  Evidently, there has been at least one death during protests in the last week.  Was it:

a) a proud soldier or police officer, keeping the peace but brutally murdered by right wing hoodlums?

b) a regular citizen, protesting?

Don't click on that link until you've made your guess!  No cheating!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture you clicked on the link to the report and concluded it was from venezuelan government?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Let me just suggest again that TeleSur is to Maduro as FoxNews is to Trump.

Or, perhaps you can respond to this:

Thank you for quoting TeleSur, the Venezuelan equivalent of FoxNews. 


Can anyone throw us a link in which TeleSur criticizes Maduro's government in any even-slightly meaningful way?  Just ONE link??

I'd LOVE to see it, eapaulo13.  What have you got?  Anything, whatsoever, to demonstrate that TeleSur is independent of the Venezuelan government, and ready to earn their journalistic chops by actually daring to criticize it?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

magoo appear to have an obsession with maduro and i won't be dragged into it. i didn't mention him and the report is from the american military which you didn't respond to. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It's hardly an "obsession" epaulo13 -- he's the president and he calls the shots.

And yes, I didn't respond to the purported "U.S." report, I responded to the pretty-much-inevitable Venezuelan response to this purported U.S. response.

And honestly, epaulo13, do you look at posts at babble and say to yourself "what do I honestly think about this and does this even make sense?"

Or do you just ask yourself "WHOSE SIDE AM I ON?" and go from there?  Because to be honest, it seems like you can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any ridiculous claim, as long as it's the most radical lefty of the claims.  Doesn't matter how stupid.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..ya it's a bit of an obsession, magoo, and it began with chavez. 

..i do think about things, for instance i think of the long us history in south america including venezuela. i think about the non military coup that recently took place in brazil and the implementation of the neoliberal agenda. in fact i was there for a month last fall and got to see some of the resistance first hand. i also think about the thousands of people involved in the general strikes going on in argentina at the moment..same as in brazil, fighting against the neocons.

..add that to that the trump admin in trouble domestically, that has unleashed the military and i see the time as ripe for an intervention.     

..for the first time ever you used my name. txs. :)

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

So Magoo tell me which US MSM do you trust to provide you unbiased news that does not further the ruling elites agenda? You realize of course that the non-government media in Venezuela is  far worse than Fox and prone to publishing outright lies about the government. 

Do you trust any news agencies to provide unbiased coverage? IMO they all embed biased opinions amongst a smattering of facts. Telesur contains as many hard facts as most news reports.  Its bias is on full display as are the biases of all the other media in that country.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

I generally try to look for international news outlets like BBC or Al Jazeera, and I avoid sites like Fox News, and of course Breitbart and Zero Hedge.

IMO they all embed biased opinions amongst a smattering of facts.

It's generally facts I'm interested in, much moreso than editorializing.  But TeleSur has a pretty consistent habit of treating any claim by the Venezuelan government as a "fact". 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Mr. Magoo wrote:

It's generally facts I'm interested in, much moreso than editorializing.  But TeleSur has a pretty consistent habit of treating any claim by the Venezuelan government as a "fact". 

Like the CBC claiming the Syrian government gassed its people because those are Trudeau's facts?  How often do you curse the CBC for their embedded biases or is it only media supporting left wing governments that are required to live up to your high standards?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

That's where more than one site for news comes in handy. 

Anyway, I'm not "cursing" any site, I'm just suggesting that some might not be reliable sources for facts.  If the CBC were alone in asserting that Assad gassed his people, and if I were discussing that, I'd omit the CBC from my sources.  And if I did cite them, to say "Look, it's proven because the CBC alone says so!" I would also expect other babblers to challenge that.

The CBC is certainly a curious form of lapdog though, in that Conservatives swear on the family Bible that the CBC slavishly supports the left, and the Left insists that it does the bidding of the Liberals and the Cons.  I'm pretty sure that even the most ardent Chavista isn't likely to believe that TeleSur is the mouthpiece of MUD.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..from my prospective, this piece sheds some light on what is going on in venezuela.

The sources of Maduro's crisis

On March 29, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled that the National Assembly--controlled since the last elections by the right-wing opposition--was in contempt of the constitution and took over its duties. After protests broke out in Caracas, and the country's attorney general criticized the Court, President Nicolás Maduro convened an emergency National Security Council meeting. In response, the Supreme Court partially reversed itself.

This was the latest constitutional clash between Maduro's government and the right-wing opposition that swept National Assembly elections in December 2015. Since then, the Court and the National Assembly have been engaged in a tug of war over the fate of three opposition legislators whom the Court ruled had attained their seats through electoral fraud. Seating the three has become a major issue: If they were in the legislature, the opposition would have the two-thirds majority it would need to make far-reaching decisions.

With the economy in a free fall as the price of oil--the country's main source of foreign exchange and revenue for social programs--has collapsed, workers have endured high prices, shortages of basic consumer goods and government corruption. Former President Hugo Chávez's once-popular vision of "socialism for the 21st century" has lost support.

In an article that appeared in Spanish at La Diaria, an independent daily newspaper in Uruguay, Edgardo Lander, a sociologist at the Universidad Central de Venezuela and longtime social movement activist, analyzed the implosion of Venezuela's rentier economic model, the right's attempts to seize on the crisis, and the move by Maduro's government to curtail democratic rights. The interview was translated into English by Lance Selfa....



Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

It's going to take a while to read it all, but that's an excellent analysis.  I particularly appreciate that it doesn't say "Socialism/Chavismo is the answer!" and it doesn't say that "Socialism/Chavismo is the problem!"

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i'm still working on it as well but yes an excellent analysis.


Venezuelan Opposition Keeps Killing Mockingbirds, To Serve their Agenda

"The escalation of political violence along with this international 'pressure' threatens to build up an outcome dangerous not only for Venezuela but for the entire region. This is 2014 all over again."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

This very week, Williams Davila, an opposition representative of the state of Merida, declared to the international news agency EFE, that their intention is not to get Venezuela suspended from OAS, but to force the government to call elections. This is funny since they are accusing the legitimate government of “breaking the constitutional order”, but calling an election, after failing to comply with the appropiate steps to revoke the President’s mandate, is inconsistent at best.

Except that they did, in fact, comply with those appropriate steps.  The government simply shut them down anyway.

What's funny is everyone clutching pearls over a "coup" to remove the President but ignoring the electorate's constitutional right to a recall vote, which was surely intended as a non-violent means to remove an unpopular politician.  If you promise the people a legitimate electoral process, then renege, what's left for them?  "Suck it up" isn't working any more.

Sidebar:  Chavez faced a recall vote and won it.  So what seems to be the problem here?


epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..more good info on what is going on.

Opposition Protests in Venezuela Lead to Six Deaths

Clashes between protesters and police continued throughout the week in Venezuela, but polls indicate that the government is recuperating popularity and most Venezuelans disagree with opposition tactics says Lucas Koerner of

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

the government is recuperating popularity and most Venezuelans disagree with opposition tactics

Could be.  I have to think that to some degree, they're just sick of everything, both the government and the opposition.

But in most countries, an elected opposition has the opportunity to "oppose" in the Legislature, or to oppose by running candidates in elections.  If Maduro wants to deny them both of those, in contravention of the Constitution, then what is he leaving for them?  Everything he claims to be worried about, basically.

If he doesn't want demonstrations and he doesn't want "a coup" then what if he just obeyed his own Constitution and held a real recall referendum and mandatory elections??

It's a pretty obvious solution.  Either he and his government will have their mandates renewed and legitimized, or not, but there would be no more excuse for disruption or violence of any sort.


The Diplomatic War Against Venezuela

"Telesur takes a deeper look at the escalating diplomatic offensive against Venezuela..."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

The problem with the whole "U.S./Imperialist economic coup" explanation isn't that it's impossible and could never happen.

It's that mere suggestion of this seems to satisfy Maduro, Telesur, Venezuelanalysis and others.  No evidence need ever be shown.  The "evidence" so far seems to be the assertion that the U.S. doesn't love Maduro (probably true) and that the U.S. has interfered with South American governments in the past (definitely true).  But nothing concrete, and nothing TODAY.

And maybe even more importantly, the whole "U.S./Imperialist bogeyman" theory doesn't actually EXPLAIN Venezuela's situation, nor its government's decisions.

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela keeps printing billions of Bolivars worth of new banknotes and is driving inflation through the roof?

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela basically stopped producing anything but oil years ago?

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela's oil industry is so poorly maintained and staffed that they barely even have oil going for them any more?

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela needed three official exchange rates (now whittled down to a mere two)?  Or needed to set the official price of staples lower than the cost of manufacture and expect businesses to just take that loss?  And then act all shocked and aggreived when nobody's selling those staples any more?

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela can't have a recall election, as per their Constitution, or scheduled general elections, as per their Constitution?

Is the U.S. the reason why Venezuela's answer to a political opposition is to jail them, ban them or simply send their "impartial" Supreme Court to take their place?  Yes, I know they walked that one back, but they "would have got away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids!"


Red Winnipeg

Venezuela has turned into a clown-car of a country...a clown car full of very sad (and hungry) clowns.


Venezuelan Opposition Accused of Attacking Maternity Hospital, 10 Dead in Riot

"Venezuelan authorities have accused anti-government groups of launching a series of attacks overnight Thursday on public service and infrastructure, while at least 10 people have been confirmed dead in a riot..."

Massive Pro and Anti-Government Protests in Venezuela (and vid)

"While international media focused almost exclusively on the opposition protests and clashes with police, the pro-government protests were equally as large..."

Joe Emersberger

"The real blackout on news about Venezuela is perpetrated by by the international media and NGOs."

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

All they need to do to turn this ship around is permit a recall vote -- it's right there, in the Constitution -- and hold scheduled general elections -- also, right there in the Constitution.

Chavez wasn't afraid of the Constitution.  He liked to wrap himself in it.  So what's his chosen son, Maduro, afraid of?

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Armed Civilian Bands in Venezuela Prop Up Unpopular President


CARACAS, Venezuela — The bikers thundered up in a phalanx of red jackets and dark clothes, some with faces covered, revving motorcycles before a thousand protesters in Caracas. They threw tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd. Then, witnesses say, they pulled pistols and fired.

Someone fell. Carlos Moreno, 17, lay sprawled on the ground, a pool of blood around his head.

“His brain matter was coming out,” recalled Carlos Julio Rojas, a community leader who witnessed the fatal shooting in Venezuela’s capital on Wednesday.

The uniformed men who shot Mr. Moreno were not government security forces, witnesses say. Rather, they were members of armed bands who have become key enforcers for President Nicolás Maduro as he attempts to crush a growing protest movement against his rule.

The groups, called collectives or colectivos in Spanish, originated as pro-government community organizations that have long been a part of the landscape of leftist Venezuelan politics. Civilians with police training, colectivo members are armed by the government, say experts who have studied them.

Colectivos control vast territory across Venezuela, financed in some cases by extortion, black-market food and parts of the drug trade as the government turns a blind eye in exchange for loyalty.

Now they appear to be playing a key role in repressing dissent.

Seems they've been implicated in a lot of the deaths that have taken place since the recent round of protests, even as the President insists it's all the traitor Opposition, supported by the "imperialists", who are responsible for the violence.

How do you say "brown shirt" in Spanish?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The New York Times and you complain about Telesur. Carry on you Cold Warrior you. Relying on the NY Times for anything other than US propaganda is a fools game. Especially when they print the same bullshit decade after decade. Here is a NY Times take on the 2002 coup when their sources told them it was a done deal.

This week's crisis began with a general strike against replacing professional managers at the state oil company with political cronies. It took a grave turn Thursday when armed Chávez supporters fired on peaceful strikers, killing at least 14 and injuring hundreds. Mr. Chávez's response was characteristic. He forced five private television stations off the air for showing pictures of the massacre. Early yesterday he was compelled to resign by military commanders unwilling to order their troops to fire on fellow Venezuelans to keep him in power. He is being held at a military base and may face charges in Thursday's killings.