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Maikel Moreno, the new head magistrate at the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [Supreme Tribunal of Justice]  (TSJ), vowed today to work non-stop to stamp out corruption and impunity in the Venezuelan justice system. Speaking officially for the first time as the country’s top judge, Moreno said:

:It goes without saying that with me as the head of the Supreme Court, all public institutions will be united in an attack against corruption and impunity.

Moreno also said that he would work towards establishing an atmosphere of “love and peace” in Venezuela.

Moreno was elected as the president of the TSJ yesterday after magistrate Gladys Gutierrez unexpectedly left the position due to personal reasons. His appointment as the head of the country’s judicial branch drew the indignation of opposition critics, partially due to the fact that Moreno was twice convicted of murder: once in 1987, and once in 1989.

National Assembly deputy Delsa Solorzano, the president of the legislature’s Domestic Politics Commission, called Moreno an “executioner” in a message posted on her Twitter account yesterday, and said that Moreno’s criminal activities were not contained to the past.

Motta Dominguez: I’m Still Minister

On Thursday, the National Assembly voted to remove Luis Motta Dominguez from his position as Minister of Electrical Energy over his disastrous tenure as the head of the country’s failing electrical system, and because at least $25 million have disappeared through his office since he took the position in late 2015.

Motta Dominguez responded to the move yesterday by simply declaring that he was still Minister of Electrical Energy.

Speaking on the lengthy and common power outages that affect the Venezuelan electrical grid, Motta Dominguez turned to a time-tested line and blamed “sabotage” from unnamed actors in conjunction with opposition in the National Assembly. He said:

They are attacking the great hydroelectric dams and the great central stations, and these acts are accompanied by what the National Assembly is doing.

Motta Dominguez said that that these alleged constant attacks on the Venezuelan electrical grid have the purpose of tricking people into becoming upset at the government:

The people who suffer from these blackouts understandably blame the government and [the electrical company]. But what they don’t know is that this is all being created in order to point to an electrical crisis, but it’s all planned. They’re doing this and creating this situation so that they can come out with their lies, their false positives.

Motta Dominguez provided no evidence for the alleged sabotage and/or conspiracy against the country’s electrical system.

Venezuelans Begin Carnival Celebration

At least 190,000 travelers have passed through the La Bandera bus terminal in Caracas since Thursday, which marks the beginning of the carnival holidays. Aside from Caracas residents leaving the city to visit loved ones and vacation spots across the country through La Bandera, the terminal has also received 60,000 passengers since Thursday.

Aside from the uptick in regional travel, the carnival season is often accompanied by increased security. This year, 182,230 officers from the country’s numerous security services will be on hand until Wednesday, March 1 on the country’s streets and highways in order to help provide an extra level of security for revelers.


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