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Hugo Chavez' revolution: No more self-goals

By Veneconomy

15.12.04 | The Supreme Tribunal of Justice now has 49 new justices whose “revolutionary membership” is “guaranteed,” according to Deputy Pedro Carreño. The incorporation of 17 main and 32 alternate justices into the TSJ, a decision expressly rejected by the opposition benches, marks an historic milestone in the black pages of the Republic. This decision armor-plates the legal and constitutional framework that will be used to consolidate the revolutionary process.

The social-control line established by President Hugo Chávez will find no more stumbling blocks in its way. The approval, on May 18, of the Basic TSJ Law to increase the number of justices from 20 to 32 and give the National Assembly the power to approve their appointment by simple majority opened the doors to this disastrous appointment of justices free of any shadow of opposition.

One of the most serious consequences of this confiscation of yet another branch of government will be the loss of confidence, objectivity and impartiality of the administration of justice in Venezuela, already sorely battered. The government now has in its hands the legal instrument it needs to endorse the bills proposed by the revolution and to neutralize dissidence of any kind and from any source, without there being any counterbalance whatsoever to pose limitations on its actions.

It should come as no surprise to anyone when, in the not too distant future, decisions that are to the liking of the government are handed down in record time, so that regime can brandish the efficiency of Venezuela’s Supreme Court as an example of judicial efficiency for the rest of the world.

Nor should it come as a surprise when these fast, efficient sentences include a revision of the decision regarding the events of April 11, 2002, and the subsequent filing of charges against military officers who have already been absolved, and sentences condemning the almost 400 people who signed the decree and were present at Miraflores on April 12 that same year. It is also likely that new sentences against General Alfonso Martínez and Mayors Leopoldo López and Capriles Radonski will not be long in coming.

All in all, everything is in place to armor-plate the process and its legacy of unconstitutional laws, both those that have already been passed and those that are to come. Can anyone imagine a TSJ in which there is not one justice who manifests the “slightest sign of opposition” handing down a decision stating that a government-sponsored law is unconstitutional and therefore should be repealed? Or that refuses to endorse some judicial initiative proposed by any of the branches of government, be it the Executive, the Legislative, the Electoral or the Moral Branch? Seeing is believing said the blind man.

The fact of the matter is that difficult times are looming for Venezuelans.

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