This morning, a box containing propaganda from a group called the Fuerzas Bolivarianas de Liberacion [Bolivarian Liberation Forces] (BLF) Reportan, sending flyers the group had placed in the box scattering. According to the the head of communications for the National Assembly, Oliver Blanco, described the box as “a loud box” [caja sonora], possibly indicating that the artifact was not intended to cause harm, but rather to be loud enough to draw attention to its contents.
The box was full of BLF propaganda flyers titled “Let’s Keep the 23 de Enero Going”, a reference to the revolution of January 23, 1958 which saw dictator Marco Perez Jimenez removed from office. Part of the document states:
GIVE UP YOUR ILLUSIONS, PREPARE FOR CONFRONTATION
Today, mobile brigades from the Fuerzas Bolivarianas de Liberacion, successfully executed operation “Let’s Keep the 23 de Enero Going”, an operation that consists of the detonation of artifacts for propaganda purposes in the vicinity of the National Assembly…
We must give up our illusions and prepare for confrontation. There is no peaceful solution to this crisis, and they know it. Each possibly scenario ends with a genocide of the people; this is something we must denounce, avoid and confront.
At the moment, is not clear exactly what the BLF what its goals are, or how serious a threat – if any – it poses to the security of the National Assembly and its deputies.
Borges: Gov’t Supporters Seek to Stop Debate
Opposition deputy Julio Borges spoke on the detonation of the BLF propaganda box earlier today, suggesting that pro-government groups were responsible for the event that he considers aims to distract from the debates happening in the National Assembly.
For us, what happened today is without a doubt the act of those who are linked to the government and want to cause a scene, a panic throughout the country, to create a smokescreen to block the important issues [affecting the country].
The National Assembly’s schedule today includes a discussion on medicine shortages and the crisis affecting the country’s healthcare system, as well as the creation of a special committee to review the appointment of Supreme Court judges back in December.
Borges stressed to the media that the National Assembly would not be deterred from carrying out its mandate:
We want to tell the government and the people who do these types of things for political reasons that we are going to move forward with all of the reforms and legal projects [we’ve said we would undertake].
Carreño: NA Can’t Remove TSJ Magistrates
PSUV deputy Pedro Carreño told the media today that as much as the opposition-controlled National Assembly may want to, it does not have the power to remove magistrates appointed to the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), the nation’s top court. Carreño made the comments following a day of debate at the National Assembly in which the legislature sought a remedy to the rushed appointment of thirteen TSJ magistrates in December.
The Constitution states that there are two causes for which a magistrate could be removed: a “grave cause”, and that is determined by the people, which means that the National Assembly does not have jurisdiction, no power, no constitutional nor legal [means by which to do so]…
Carreño also said that the right wing in Venezuela “is crazy”, and suggested that the legislature’s PSUV contingent would be watching the National Assembly’s every move carefully so that it could denounce any wrongdoings before the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber.
Allup: Crisis is “Swallowing Maduro”
National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup said earlier today that Maduro was completely incapable of addressing the country’s problems, and that the fact might eventually lead to his downfall. Allup told Reuters:
With the way this crisis is going, I don’t think he’ll get a chance to [end his term]. The crisis is swallowing him.
For Allup, the fact that Maduro and his cabinet continue to dismiss the causes of the crisis on a vague “economic war” Maduro argues is being waged against the Venezuela by its enemies is enough to suggest that he is not fit the govern the country:
If they insist – as they continue to – to carry on with a model that has failed in every way, the answer is patently obvious: those who continue to insist must leave or we won’t be able to overcome [the crisis].
Allup said that the best avenue for removing Maduro from power would be contingent on the situation in the country at the time the decision is made to do so, and reminded Reuters that the Venezuelan constitution allows for a recall referendum on any sitting president when he reaches the 50% mark in his term, which for Maduro would happen in April.
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