The Not So Blind Justice of the TSJ Decision on Leopoldo Lopez’s case

October 17, 2011


Well, I read the beginning and the end of the Supreme Court decision on the CIDH decision on Leopoldo Lopez and thought rationally, linearly, not with the twisted logic of the revolution. In this case, justice certainly was not blind, on the contrary, it was peeking all the way towards the future and covering all of the bases.

Or trying to…

When they were saying the decision can not be executed, they were saying Lopez has yet to be elected. They were saying he can run, be elected and then the TSJ will look into whether he can hold office or not. That is hypothetical.

Which is hogwash, as the CIDH explicitly said that his rights had been violated by banning him earlier. And he was banned. Period. Leopoldo Lopez was not able to run for Metropolitan Mayor. He is programmed  in the Electoral Board with a number which implies that he can not be a candidate. No two ways about that. What was said today is simply not the truth. The President of the Venezuelan Supreme Court simply lied. The decision is incorrect and not truthful. Lopez’ political rights have been violated by the State in Venezuela and the TSJ’s decision fails to address that point. As simple as that.

The rest of the legal  mumbo jumbo is simply covering their behinds and throwing confusion into the political campaign. Rather than disobeying the Court they go the typical Chavista way: The Gray Way. Can Lopez run? Yes, but maybe, just maybe, read between the lines, if he wins we may not accept his victory (I doubt it!)

But it does create confusion. It may split the opposition in pieces if they object LL registering to run. And I hope they don’t. I hope they allow him to run and back his running, time to turn Chavez’ weapons back at him. If LL wins, so be it, if he loses, so be it.

In fact, even Chavistas are confused, Cilia Flores backs the decision by the TSJ “not to allow Lopez to run” and the Comptroller in-charge, says that he can only hold office after the sanction ends, which is not what the decision says. Even Escarra says Lopez can not assume if he wins, which the President of the TSJ says the Court will have to rule when and if it happens.

And they cover their behind because, Lopez could lose in the primary and he could lose in the election even if he wins the primary. And if he wins the Presidential race, I am sure these Justices will allow him to take over. They also cover their behinds, or attempt to cover them, by not disobeying the CIDH decision, even if they are. But they confuse so much, it is not as if they were saying the Venezuelan Government will not follow the CIDH’s decision.

The strange thing is that I am not sure Chavez likes this decision. The TSJ was not really fully behind him on this. Lying or not, they did not defend Hugo’s position, they were very wishy washy (A sign Hugo is very sick?) Because Lopez could win it all and I think he would be unstoppable if he does. I just can’t imagine Lopez winning the election and the TSJ saying he can not take over.

I hope Chavez gets mad at them. Really mad. Because I see a crack in the TSJ’s decision. It is not 100% pure Hugo somehow. And LL could ask the full Court, rather than the Constitutional Hall to decide on it. But if I were him, I would leave it at that.

Note added: And the more the Comptroller in charge tries to explain, the more contradictions there are. By now, she is saying Lopez running would be fraud. Has she even read the decision? Can she read it? Who appointed here anyway?

27 Responses to “The Not So Blind Justice of the TSJ Decision on Leopoldo Lopez’s case”

  1. geha714 Says:

    I seriously believe that this decision was cooked to create mayhem in the MUD, but not everyone was kept in the loop.

    What’s the english word for “globo de ensayo”?

    Don’t get surprised if they modify it in the next few days…

    • An Interested Observer Says:

      It’s “trial balloon.” But a true trial balloon comes out like a leak, not an official Supreme Court decision. They might be wishing they had gone that route, but they definitely didn’t. Which hardly precludes them from changing it, of course.

  2. Noel Says:

    I agree with you that LL should leave it at that and run. To me the most interesting aspect of the decision, with all its mumbo jumbo, hedging and CYA, is that it would have been unthinkable a year ago. To an outsider like me, Venezuela has started to change for the better, and the pace of change is gradually accelerating.

    • Roy Says:

      “To an outsider like me, Venezuela has started to change for the better, and the pace of change is gradually accelerating.”

      From inside or outside, I fail to see how you could possibly come to such a conclusion. Venezuela is in the middle of a slow motion train wreck. To say it is getting better is akin to the man who jumped off a tall building and, as he passed the thirtieth floor, remarked, “So far, so good.”

  3. island canuck Says:

    Noel, you are obviously not in business here.

    • Noel Says:

      I am not, and I am not making a judgment on business conditions in Venezuela which are not improving. What I am saying is that one year ago the Supreme Court would probably not have bothered to finesse its ruling. That it now feels compelled to do so, I think, represents progress.

    • Syd Says:

      I agree, Noel. Must be that change in heart from the mico, to be less repressive to the middle class.

  4. Bloody Mary Dry Says:

    In order to construe the decision you have to listen not the TSJ’ judges, but to whom drafted it… I mean Carlos:

  5. island canuck Says:

    I’m surprised that nobody has mentioned the 25 minute cadena last night at around 7.30 pm. It was a disgusting & disturbing montage of poetry & images of Chavez kissing old ladies & children, etc.

    I saw the last 5 minutes of it on GloboVision. Castillo simply said if he had ever seen cultism this was it.

  6. Jeffry House Says:

    So if Lopez wins the election, these guys are saying they might give it to Chavez instead? In the face of a specific decision by the InterAmerican Court?

    I can’t imagine a more direct way to make Chavez into an international pariah, nor to delegitimize his “revolution” among democratically minded people everywhere.

  7. island canuck Says:

    Conatel just fined Globovision 7.5% of their gross sales in 2010 which is approximately BsF.9.200.000 or $2.139.535 at the official rate.

    This fine was for their coverage in June last year of the riots & take over of El Rodeo prison where they had on street interviews with inmate family members which upset the oficialistas.

  8. Carolina Says:

    After thinking about it for a bit, here is my take on all this mess. I’m no lawyer so most likely there is a legal aspect that I am missing, so please bear with me:

    First, is there a way that LL could appeal the decision in any way? I know we are talking about the TSJ so I’m almost certain that you can’t take any legal matter against it. My point is that all this stupidity is no other than a personal attack against him, so maybe he should now respond the same way somehow? Maybe sue Morales in an international court? I don’t know.

    LL has to fight back, and I think he has to concentrate in doing so, as he has done for the past few years. So my feeling is that he should step out from the presidential run this time on his own. I still can’t understand how him running knowing he won’t be allowed to be sworn, will benefit anybody, specially the people that are trying to decide who is a better candidate (in our very traditional-paternalist way of thinking).

    I see more benefit in LL saying publicly that since this is a personal issue from the government against him, he is deciding to face it fiercely alone, and for that matter, he’s stepping out. Then his party and him will give support to any of the strongmen (maybe Capriles?) working out a deal to be the vicepresident, and then run for president on the next elections in 7 years. By then, the ruling against him will be expired so he will be free to go.

    I think this scenario will put him in a better public position: he will still have the chance to keep working from within the government. He will have to help the president, showing this way team spirit and will force him too to do a good job to show with actions that he could be the good humble and hardworking president that Venezuela so desperately needs.

    It would benefit the MUD too. They cannot be blamed for either not letting him run or the opposite, letting him run and then blamed for the mess that will come after if he wins.

    Anyway, that’s my take.

    • Mike Says:

      I agree with most of what you say, Carolina.

      The fact is that the HC goverment has thrown a monkey wrench in the oppo’s strategy, whatever it was. HC’s move is diabolically brilliant and I have no doubt that it is of Cuban making. It is a win – win almost all the way. And their propaganda machine will tell the world that they have abided by the IACHR ruling.

      LL cannot win for absolutely sure even if he runs for president and wins, only to be told that he cannot exercise the position. How would the oppo feel if that happened, when e.g. HCR would have also won, had he been the primary winner, presuming LL stepped back now and supported him. It would feel like the decision 7 years ago or so when they decided not to run for the AN elections, only worse, a lot worse.

      I don’t have any doubt that HC would void LL’s win and crown himself and deal with the consequences then. Most of the world woul have forgotten the IACHR ruling and charges of corruption against LL would be brought up again and which is why he can’t be president after all etc. etc.

      The most important thing, apart from the headaches for the oppo is that HC gaines time, and in 3 of the 4 scenarios for LL:
      – don’t run
      – run but loose the primaries
      – run, win the primaries but loose the election of president
      – run and win all the way
      the government can tell the world what a great democracy Venezuela is, abiding by treaties like the one with the IACHR and on and on.

      Pretty good odds, if you ask me. The joker in this game that could change everything is HC’s illness, particularly if it progresses fast. Then all scenarios could become academic, because possibly the military would take over and there maybe no elections at all next year.

      In the latter scenario, we would finally find out if the military are predominantly chavistas or constitutionalists, or if they are divided and if so it could get real ugly.

  9. bobthebuilder Says:

    I bet LL is pretty happy. He’s getting international recognition as a potential future leader of Venezuela. All he has to do now is wait until the fat man dies, watch the regime collapse, and then assume his anointed right as the man who was banned by the previous government. Why rock the boat by appealing?

  10. Evo Says:

    why bother with election then! conho hasta cuando?!

  11. PM Says:

    Octavio,

    I’m sure Leopoldo will run next year. Even if it’s not President, he’ll probably run for Governor (Miranda?). In any case he’s one of 800 Venezuelans who are banned from running for office!

    It’s time to put an end to inhabilitaciones. The best way is for the MUD to let banned politicians to run. There’s about 360 position up for grabs next year (not counting consejales and juntas parroquiales). A handful of them will get elected. This will put so much pressure on the Venezuelan State that they’ll have no choice but to respect the will of the people.

  12. Tuco Juan Pacifico Ramierez Says:

    well it looks like someone has finally grown a pair down there

  13. jc Says:

    Would love more political posts on this in the future. ie, LL vs HCR, etc. I *think* I read that you like LL over HCR, *but* I could be confusing you with another blog (David Venezuela I think). So sorry ahead of time if I’m getting that wrong. I know it’s going to sound weird but I’m looking more forward to the Venezuelan elections than the US elections (I’m a USian)! Seems oh so much more dramatic! :)

    Thanks for the analysis, very interesting stuff. And I agree that they do sound like they’re covering their behinds. Extremely tactical move.

  14. Carolina Says:

    A little OT – the government want to “ban” (or make it very difficult) the right to vote for us living abroad.
    It was already complicated for us in Alberta. We had to go to Toronto in person to get registered, and then again to go to vote.
    Now apparently the new Consulate in Vancouver (which was my hope) is not offering the “service”.

    http://www.venmundo.com/twitter-protesta-mundial-por-los-derechos-de-los-venezolanos-en-el-exterior.html

  15. firepigette Says:

    In the confusing situation in Venezuela created by Chavismo,acting only when you have clear rules and guarantees, would paralyze many initiatives.Even if LL would opt for not running because of a lack of clear ground rules, the next person in line would become the new focus of Chavista intrigues to disqualify him.

    So it is better to work with the circumstances we have and for LL to run and deal with consequences as they arise.In addition, Chavez’s uncertain health condition may create a different panorama at any moment.


  16. [...] News and Views has more. The Devil’s Excrement has a post on another Chavista decision on a candidate for the [...]


  17. [...] News and Views has more. The Devil’s Excrement has a post on another Chavista decision on a candidate for the [...]


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