Maikel Moreno, the chief magistrate of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), said today that he was going to ask Maduro’s Constituent Assembly to pass laws to punish individuals who “attack the motherland” and “try to destabilize peace in the country”. Moreno made the comments during a televised interview that aired on the Televen network.
During the interview, Moreno said that that nation’s top court was working on a set of penal law reforms that it will pass on to the Constituent Assembly. These penal reforms, Moreno stressed, contain the provisions to neutralize those who seek to harm the motherland as he put it. Moreno provided no details on the penal reform, and it is not clear at this moment exactly which activities would constitute an “attack on the motherland”.
Moreno’s comments paint a troubled picture of the country’s legal and legislative systems. The legislature passes laws, some of which are challenged; those challenges are decided by the supreme court, which rules on whether or not the laws are constitutional. By saying that the supreme court is working on penal reform to pass onto the legislature, Moreno is pointing to a dysfunctional system of governance where the checks and balances written into the constitution no longer apply.
The Constituent Assembly is a legislative body that was appointed during an election on July 30 of last year. The election was universally condemned as fraudulent, even by the company that provided and operated the voting machines used in the process. While the Constituent Assembly is only supposed to convene in order to draft a new constitution, Maduro has instead turned it into his own personal legislative branch, effectively bypassing the National Assembly.
Moreno Denies Having Assets Outside Venezuela
During the same interview, Moreno spoke on the fact that he is the target of financial sanctions by the European Union, Canada, and the United States. In general, the sanctions freeze all of the assets that Moreno has in those regions.
On the matter of the sanctions, Moreno said:
The sanctions are of no consequence to me, because when you’re sanctioned… in my case, my goods, my assets abroad, I’ve always said that I am open to people investigating all of my assets abroad because, moreover, I have none. I don’t have anything in all of the countries in which I have been sanctioned. Everything I have is in my country, Venezuela.
Moreno has been sanctioned because, as the head of the supreme court, he plays a fundamental role in the perpetuation of the Maduro regime. During his tenure as chief magistrate of the TSJ, Moreno has both provided legal justification for Maduro’s policies, as well as legal cover for actions by regime officials that may constitute crimes against humanity.
Leopoldo Lopez’s Father Asks Prominent VP Politician to Step Down
Leopoldo Lopez Gil, the father of the Voluntad Popular (VP) head by the same name, said in a set of tweets that he believes that Luis Florido, a prominent member of VP, should resign the party.
Florido was, until this morning, the head of the National Assembly’s Foreign Policy Committee. Florido held that position since 2016. Florido’s departure from the position was sudden, and appears to have caught the National Assembly by guard since it has not yet carried out the necessary steps to see him replaced.
According to Efecto Cocuyo, Florido’s hasty departure from the Foreign Affairs Committee comes after the body selected a delegation of Venezuelans living abroad to “look to the complaints of the Venezuelan diaspora”. Lopez Sr. took issue with the creation of this body, saying:
The Venezuelan diaspora does not need any leader hand-picked from Caracas, its diversity makes its activities and dedication of so many who want nothing more than liberty and justice for a democratic Venezuela.
Lopez Sr. followed that tweet with the one in which he called for Florido to resign:
My best piece of advice for Luis Florido is that he resign the party since it appears that he does not share its values or courage.
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