Earlier today, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) – Venezuela’s top court – struck down the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law as unconstitutional, following a motion filed by Maduro himself questioning the legislation’s legality.
The ruling shows that Maduro filed the motion on April 7 on several grounds. The motion argued that the law would hinder the criminal investigation(s) into the anti-government protests of 2014, and that some of the deputies who voted in favour of the law were directly responsible for the attempted coup d’etat against Chavez in April 2002. Moreover, the motion pointed out that the deputy who presented the law at the National Assembly was Yajaira Forero, whose husband is currently serving a 30 year prison sentence for his alleged role in the 2002 coup and would have personally benefited from the law.
Today’s ruling means that the TSJ has struck down each and every single law that the opposition-controlled National Assembly has passed.
The full ruling from the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia can be found here, in Spanish.
Maduro: Amnesty Law “Cannot Stand”
Maduro reacted to the TSJ’s ruling quickly, going on cadena (when every television/radio station is mandated to show the entirety of his speech) to declare that the law was a “no-go”.
Maduro provided his interpretation of the now-dead law, saying:
It’s a law that forgives crimes. They [the opposition] confess in that law to planning and comitting all of the acts of destabilization that Venezuela has lived through from 1999 to 2015. They pretend to nullify the Codigo Penal Venezolano (Venezuelan Penal Code) (…) if we want peace, this law cannot stand.
When stressing the need to keep those arrested in relation to the 2014 violence in prison, Maduro used the example of Leopoldo Lopez, whom he accused of being a murderer and a terrorist:
[Leopoldo Lopez] is responsible for the deaths of 43 Venezuelans, for which he has yet to apologize. On the contrary, he keeps conspiring to murder Venezuelans, to put bombs [somewhere] and to promote and internal slaughter in Venezuela.
Leopoldo Lopez is currently serving a 14 year sentence in the Ramo Verde military prison near Caracas. Lopez was not charged with murder.
Solorzano: “We Will Not Rest”
MUD deputy Delsa Solorzano reacted to the TSJ’s ruling on the amnesty law today, calling the decision more evidence that the TSJ itself “is unconstitutional”.
Through her Twitter account, Solorzano said that the MUD “would not rest” in the face of what it considers to be constant attacks by the nation’s top court.
Leopoldo Lopez Gil: Maduro Wants to Debate Rajoy, But Not Allup
Leopoldo Lopez’s father, Leopoldo Lopez Gil, taunted Maduro through Twitter today, pointing out that while Maduro challenged Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to a debate on Saturday, he refuses to sit down and do the same with the President of the National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup.
On Saturday, Maduro lashed out at Rajoy in a speech, saying:
Know this, Rajoy: wherever you want, whenever you want, however you want, [let’s have] a public debate to compare the disaster to which you’ve taken Spain, the humanitarian tragedy [in Spain], and the achievements of the Bolivarian revolution.
Along with the United States and Colombia, Spain often bears the brunt of PSUV ire, and is blamed for virtually every ill affecting the country. On Friday, Maduro called Rajoy “racist, corrupt garbage, and colonialist garbage”.
Gil also took a jab at the perceived notion that Maduro takes orders from the Castro brothers in Cuba, saying:
“Killing hunger” is not the same as “killing with hunger”, but I think the Castro [brothers] have yet to clarify that for Maduro.
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