Socorro Hernandez, one of the rectors of the Consejo Nacional Electoral, warned today that the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ) may soon issue a ruling revoking the political party license of the main opposition bloc, the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD). In such an event, the MUD would cease to be a political party and the recall referendum would be cancelled, Hernandez said.

Hernandez appeared to wash her hands of the possible decision, saying:

We will abide by the decision of the tribunal.

On July 26, the PSUV asked the CNE to cancel the MUD’s political party license. Since the CNE oversees all electoral matters in the country, it holds the power to grant or deny licenses to political parties. The matter is now before the TSJ.

PSUV figure Jorge Rodriguez personally handed in the request to the CNE, and said at the time:

We’ve come to ask for the cancellation of the [political party status] of the MUD because they committed the most gigantic electoral fraud in history.

Rodriguez was referring to the collection of signatures from 1% of the electoral as part of the recall referendum effort against Maduro. While Rodriguez repeatedly claimed that most signatures were false and that the MUD had committed fraud, the CNE confirmed that no fraud had taken place and that the MUD had indeed collected the required signatures fairly.

Hernandez also stressed that the CNE was an independent body, and provided as evidence the fact that despite Rodriguez’s statements, the body eventually accepted the MUD’s signatures:

The clearest evidence is the last message that Rodriguez sent to our institution. What did he ask? That we make a statement regarding the collection of the 1% [of signatures]. What did we do? We gave the MUD a certificate saying that they had collected 1% [of signatures].

CNE Meeting Today to Discuss Second Step in Referendum

The CNE is holding a meeting today in which it will discuss the second step of the recall referendum against Maduro: collecting signatures in favour of the measure from 20% of registered voters.

A definitive announcement on that matter is not expected for at least two weeks. Luis Emilio Rondon, another CNE rector, said on Friday that the CNE must first examine paperwork handed in by the MUD last week requesting the start of this second step.

This revision process will last two weeks, and could potential result in the CNE telling the MUD that there is some flaw in the paperwork, and that it must re-submit it if it wants to continue to the second step of the referendum.

Guevara: Sept. 1 March Will Be “Biggest Ever Seen in Caracas”

National Assembly deputy Freddy Guevara said today that the opposition march planned in Caracas for September 1 is expected to be “the biggest ever seen in Caracas”. The point of the march, which was announced two days ago, will be to put pressure on the Maduro administration to allow the recall referendum to take place this year.

Guevara also spoke to the possibility that the government might try to stop people from participating in the demonstration, saying:

… if the government doesn’t want to let us march they’ll have to shut down all the roads in the country, and they themselves would then be creating guarimbas [street barricades]. On that day we will overcome adversity, because we can’t continue on as if nothing is happening.

Guevara also said that he was saddened by the fact that Venezuela is now “a kind of monarchy” since the country’s leadership considers itself to be above the law.

On the government’s stance towards the referendum, Guevara said that officials who speak publicly about the process seem only concerned with discouraging people away from the process and suggesting that it actually cannot take place. Speaking specifically on Socorro Hernandez’s comments, Guevara said:

The CNE rectors have broken the law many times, and rector Socorro Hernandez’s current job appears to be to discourage people (…) whenever someone from the government makes a comment about the recall, they’re looking to discourage people from fighting for change.

Guevara also called out the CNE for pretending to be partial but actually working in favour of the Maduro administration, saying:

If they [the CNE] are not against the recall, then I ask: why, if the CNE rules say that they had to validate signatures within five days, did they take 20 days to do it?

Staff Protest at Caracas Hospital Over Decay, Lack of Supplies

Staff at the Magallanes de Catia hospital in Catia, Caracas have increased calls today for the government to make desperately needed repairs to the hospital facilities and provide solutions for the scarcity of food and basic products at the facility.

A journalist with Globovision named Maryelis Hernandez was at the scene earlier today, and tweeted the following images:

Workers at the Magallanes de Catia hospital denounced the lack of cleaning supplies and doctors.

This is how the serve breakfast at the Magallanes de Catia hospital, workers denounce infrastructural deficiencies

The X-ray rooms in the Catia hospital are not operational, and the lab denounces a lack of reactive agents.

Workers at the Magallanes de Catia hospital denounce infrastructural deficiencies, this is what the ceiling looks like in the hallways

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