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Jesus Torrealba, the head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), is warning that the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [TSJ], Venezuela’s top court, could be getting ready to “murder” the recall referendum effort against Maduro through a ruling he claims could be issued on Tuesday.

Torrealba pointed out that the PSUV is fully aware of the fact that both Maduro and the party have never had less support from Venezuelans, and would most certainly lose a recall vote if it were to be held. For this reason, Torrealba argues, the party is desperately trying to find a way to put an end to the recall:

They could come and try to murder the recall referendum these coming days, probably on Tuesday.

He also said that the MUD is ready for such a decision from the TSJ, saying:

[Our reaction] would not be hysterical or desperate. No. [Our response] would be a sustained, firm and long-lasting process of struggle. No one can defraud the Venezuelan people, nor take away their constitution, which is why it’s important for you to be certain that if this happens [the recall dies], there are already protocols in place to dictate our actions.

Torrealba’s Comments Follow Allup’s Warning

Torrealba’s comments on the possibility of a bombshell ruling from the TSJ on Tuesday follow a statement made yesterday by National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup to the same effect.

Yesterday, Allup said:

The government is preparing the murder of the recall referendum by way of a ruling from the TSJ. This isn’t just a simple tip: they have announced that there will be a meeting on Tuesday to attack parliamentary immunity and throw us in jail if we make any kind of announcement [about] or investigate corruption.

This is not the first time that Allup has warned of an imminent decision from the TSJ. Allup has cited “friends” inside the nation’s top court in a handful of occassions in the past for decisions he has claimed were imminent, but have not always materialized.

Torrealba: Maduro, PSUV Have Lost Massive Support

Torrealba also pointed out that no matter how hard Maduro and the PSUV try to derail the recall referendum effort, the fact that the opposition enjoys majority support in Venezuela and that event traditional bastions of support for chavismo have abandoned the PSUV means that the opposition will eventually win in the end. Torrealba said:

We are going to win. They can try all the dirty tricks they want, but they won’t overcome the background reality. They’ve lost in all of the poor areas and rural areas of the country where they used to be a majority

(…)

We [the opposition] have the highest chance of victory. We [opposition supporters] make up 80% [of Venezuelans], but it’s really important that our attitude reflect this and that we exercise leadership (…) it’s important to be right, but it’s fundamental to believe that we are right. We are not the opposition: we are the sovereign people, a new national majority.

Deputy: Politachira Standoff Ends With Two Dead

National Assembly deputy for Tachira state Franklin Duarte said that a month-long hostage situation in the Politachira [Tachira State Police] ended with the deaths of two of the hostage takers. Duarte explained:

There are two inmates whose deaths has not been confirmed, but it is obvious that something happened to them during the hostage taking because they’re not on the list [of people inmates taken at the end of the hostage situation]. They were Anthony Kelvis Correa Sepulveda, a.k.a. “El Picho”, and Juan Carlos Herrera, a.k.a. “El Coco”.

If we add this fact to the strong smell that the police had complained about [coming from the jail] last week, then it’s sad to say it but it’s clear that two plus two is four [meaning, it’s obvious that the men are dead].

In early September, inmates in the jail took hostages and demanded that they be transferred to other installations since the Politchira cells were filled to well beyond capacity, making the daily lives of the inmates extremely difficult.

Duarte also criticized Minister of Penitentiaries Iris Varela for praising a “return to order” at the jail following the end of the hostage crisis. Duarte said:

I don’t know what the minister thinks “order” means, because the inmates were living in hell inside those dungeons. [They were] having fingers amputated, getting stabbed, having bones broken and brutally beaten, which might be the lesser barbarities that these highly dangerous criminals conducted during the month.

Prison overcrowding is a pressing issue in Venezuela. Upon arrest, individuals are usually held in police jails which, although they are meant to hold prisoners for just a couple of days while their cases are processed, often hold inmates for months and years.

Maduro Arrives in Turkey

Maduro arrived today at the 23rd World Energy Congress being held in Istanbul, Turkey, where he is expected to advocate for an increase in world oil prices.

He is also expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to talk about the world’s oil situation.

Maduro outlined his hopes and goals for his trip, saying:

I hope that, during this World Energy Congress, [we can] propose these proposals, these theses, [and] continue to strengthen our relationship with Russia, strengthen our relationship with Turkey and with every country that wants to continue to walk down the path of the 21st century, developing peace, equality and justice for all of the peoples of the world.


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