Venezuelan Fascists Defy Supreme Court Ruling
by Stephen Lendman
Right-wing extremists controlling Venezuela’s parliament abhor rule of law principles and other democratic values.
Their modus operandi is raw power, serving elitist interests over all others, wanting Venezuela returned to its bad old pre-Chavez days.
On January 2, Venezuela’s Supreme Court suspended the swearing in of four incoming legislators, three opposition party members and one from Maduro’s PSUV, pending investigation of Amazonas state voting irregularities, including vote buying, fraud and significant numbers of blank ballots.
If electoral tampering evidence is found, Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE) will order re-runs. Opposition party members vowed to defy the High Court’s ruling.
For the first time since Chavez’s 1998 election, they control parliament, their majority dependent on whether three of their elected members retain their seats if re-runs are ordered.
They were sworn in illegally despite being suspended for possible electoral fraud, a flagrant constitutional violation, meaning rulings National Assembly members make while they’re seated are null and void.
Former PSUV National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello said swearing them in extrajudicially is “extremely serious…violat(ing) (constitutional law), correspondence between the powers, and the respect between the powers for the Supreme Court.”
“The assembly now has no legitimacy. It cannot decide anything.”
Venezuela faces a struggle for its soul. On January 5, Bolivarian supporters marched through Caracas, following the swearing in of new National Assembly members.
PSUV lawmakers joined them, accusing right-wing opposition extremists of grave constitutional breaches, as well as aiming to subvert Bolivarian justice – Cabello saying “(w)e are 54 legislators of the country who are prepared to defend the Venezuelan people.”
New National Assembly president Henry Ramos Allup symbolically ordered portraits of Hugo Chavez and Spanish liberator Simon Bolivar removed from parliament.
PSUV legislators denounced the move, saying it creates a climate of disrespect and intolerance. Right-wing parliamentarians behaved provocatively straightaway on being sworn in – indicting stormy times ahead.
How most Venezuelans react remains to be seen. Hard won social justice benefitting them hugely may be up for grabs. Potentially losing it could incite rebellion.
In a Wednesday national television address, President Maduro announced an economic counter-offensive, reshuffling his cabinet.
He named Professor Aristobulo Isturiz new vice president, economics Professor Luis Salas head of a newly created productive economy ministry.
He created a ministry of foreign business and investment, Jesus Farias heading it, as well as ministries of agriculture and land, aquaculture and fishing, urban agriculture and nutrition.
Maduro’s economic recovery plan prioritizes agricultural production. “We have been looking for a way to pass in a sustainable way from the resistance to the economic war, to an offensive to create our own economy, to strengthen it,” he said.
“This is a plan of recuperation, national unification (to be) a creator of wealth. It’s putting the economy in the center of the new social model.”
New ministers will be accountable to the Venezuelan people, representatives of “popular power.”
Maduro stressed he’ll “waste (no) time” with new National Assembly president Allup or other right-wing members.
“The have taken off their mask,” exposing their anti-populist extremism, he said. They play by their own rules alone, trashing constitutional law, democratic rights and social justice.
Venezuela faces a “counter-revolutionary crisis,” Maduro stressed. “We take on all the responsibility for this moment in the face of” right-wing threats – aiming to remove Maduro from office within six months, replace him with fascist leadership.
He compared current conditions to Pinochet’s takeover in Chile, Mussolini in Italy and Franco in Spain.
Right-wing extremists intend “us(ing) the National Assembly and (complicit corporate) media to” destabilize Venezuela more than already, including by privatizing key state-owned enterprises – notably Petroleos de Venezuela oil assets and CANTV channel.
“I’m evaluating the strengthening of a strategic plan,” Maduro explained, in dealing with emergency conditions.
Bolivarianism’s future hangs in the balance. A struggle for its soul lies ahead.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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