The Parliament of the horrors of Venezuela
Friday, 10 May 2019 - 02:06
For 40 months, deputies of the National Assembly have been subjected to arrests, assaults, kidnapping, imprisonment or exile.
"We're coming for you." The graffiti, signed by Chavista paramilitaries and which appeared yesterday on the facade of the home of Congressman José Antonio Mendoza in Monagas, summarizes not only the latest revolutionary onslaught against the deputies who support the president in charge, Juan Guaidó, but also 40 months of siege that would be perfect for the 'spin-off' of a contemporary Game of Thrones.
The detention of Edgar Zambrano, vice-president of the democratic Parliament, is added to a long list of Bolivarian actions against deputies, ranging from radical assaults on the hemicycle, in connivance with the military who guard it, to beatings of parliamentarians, including daily harassment, which includes robberies, threats, throwing objects and a kind of civil apartheid: those elected by the people are not paid by presidential decision, they do not have a budget, they have their passports taken away and they encounter all sorts of difficulties in using any state service, even getting on an airplane.
Zambrano's capture and his entry into the sinister Helicoid, one of the headquarters of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (Sebin), was carried out in a way only possible in the revolutionary tragic surrealism. The leader of Acción Democrática (AD), one of the interlocutors of the former President of the Spanish Government José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, was caught inside his vehicle in the vicinity of his party headquarters. Refusing to get out of it, the political police brought a crane, loaded the car and took it by force with all the people inside.
"It is very serious, also ridiculous and absurd to be taken away on a crane. They do it to generate terror," denounced Guaidó yesterday, who has called to protest tomorrow in the streets to defend Parliament. The president of the National Assembly (AN) made his pronouncement to the country surrounded by deputies, all of them victims of revolutionary harassment.
At the moment, from the list of 10 parliamentarians whose immunity has been illegally and unconstitutionally taken away this week, one (Zambrano) is under arrest and two remain in foreign embassies. Of the hundred deputies, 24 principal deputies and 5 alternate deputies already suffer judicial persecution. But the final list is endless, where almost everything fits: exiles, asylum seekers, tortured, disappeared, imprisoned, persecuted, kidnapped and harassed. At least 70 parliamentarians make up this list.
"I am not going to give myself up, I am a guest at the Argentine Embassy," confirmed Congressman Richard Blanco, leader of the 16th of July Fraction, and the closest collaborator of former mayor Antonio Ledezma, exiled in Spain. Mariela Magallanes, leader of La Causa R (a split of the Communist Party), has taken refuge since Tuesday in the Italian diplomatic delegation.
All this in a National Assembly (AN) whose legislative powers were taken away through the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) and handed over to a Constituent Assembly (ANC), a revolutionary body that acts as a mixture of the National Assembly of People's Power of Cuba and the Public Health Committee of the French Revolution. You don't see the guillotine, but you feel it.
Even shouts of "firing wall" against Guaidó have resonated in the ANC, which is two years old. However, nothing is known about the Magna Carta, whose writing should be its only purpose. The ANC was elected with the contribution of more than one million votes added fraudulently, according to the complaint of the company in charge of the electronic voting system. The insult invented illegally by the TSJ, ordered from the Miraflores Palace, has prevented not a single law passed since January 2016 from being implemented.
The harassment is also prolonged thanks to the 'mass media' chavistas, who broadcast without blush images, private conversations or clandestine recordings obtained by the intelligence services. This practice is punishable in any country in the world and is carried out with absolute impunity in Venezuela.
Zambrano has joined Juan Requesens, deputy of First Justice imprisoned in the Helicoide, accused of participating in the alleged attack against Maduro last August. Yesterday his family denounced again that the new chiefs of Sebin prohibited the attendance of their lawyers. During the leadership of General Cristopher Figuera, dismissed by Maduro and fled to a neighboring country after 30-A, the humanitarian conditions multiplied in the dungeons of Chavismo. On the other hand, the return of General Gustavo González López, accused before the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, has meant new violations against his rights.
Rights that are lacking in another deputy, Gilber Caro, who disappeared 12 days ago and is believed to be held in some Sebin dependency. This Voluntad Popular parliamentarian has already suffered a year and a half in prison, with no evidence or motive other than to impose terror.
The main hammer against Parliament since the opposition won the 2015 elections has been the TSJ, which has issued a torrent of sentences to consolidate the "continued coup d'état," as Guaidó defined it yesterday. One outrage after another with a single objective: to prevent Parliament from exercising its powers after Maduro's electoral failure. "The AN is the only legitimate power left in the country," insisted Rafael Uzcátegui, director of Provea, a human rights NGO.
Both the United Nations and the European Union deplored the onslaught against Parliament, thus joining the governments of the region. The US repeated familiar words: "There will be consequences".
Diosdado Cabello, number two of the chavismo at the front of the offensive against the AN, took advantage of his television program to atack Zambrano, with whom he once maintained cordial relations, something he seems to have forgotten according to his statements: "He is one of the main leaders of the coup. They put a crane in his car and when he arrived... I'm sorry to say it, but that car has to be completely washed. The one who understood, understood. You have to wash it, disinfect it and remove the bad smells.