The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (Supreme Court, TSJ) issued a ruling this afternoon ordering the La Patilla news website to pay PSUV vice-president Diosdado Cabello Bs. 30 billion for “moral damages” stemming from a 2015 lawsuit.
Bs. 30 billion is approximately $5,000,000 USD.
In 2015, La Patilla shared an article hat originally appeared in Spain’s ABC. In the article, the Spanish publication revealed that a former bodyguard to Hugo Chavez and Cabello himself named Leamsy Salazar had fled the country. In the article, Salazar claims that Cabello is the head of a drug cartel.
Cabello launched a lawsuit against some of the websites that shared the article. Cabello also sued El Nacional and Tal Cual for the same reason.
Alberto Ravell, the head of La Patilla, reacted to the ruling through his Twitter account:
Diosdado your judicial terrorism doesn’t scare me and doesn’t exonerate you of your crimes.
Ravell also called the ruling “unbelievable”.
The full ruling can be found here.
Maduro Continues to Threaten Early Parliamentary Elections
Maduro continued to threaten early elections for the National Assembly, saying in a televised address that the National Electoral Council (CNE) was ready to hold the vote. Maduro said:
The CNE is ready for coming elections, and they’ll surely be for the National Assembly. The country wants a restructuring of the parliament…
Because the last parliamentary election was held in December 2015, the next one would not normally take place until December of this year.
It is not clear to what Maduro was referring when he said that the country “wants a restructuring” of the National Assembly, or what this restructuring would look like.
Maduro also mischaracterized the desire for elections in Venezuela by suggesting that it was aimed at the National Assembly and not him:
The country wants elections, yes, but for the National Assembly.
Tintori and Her Daughter are in Spain
Spain’s ABC reported today that human rights activist Lilian Tintori and her daughter have fled Venezuela and are now in Spain.
Tintori is married to Leopoldo Lopez, the opposition leader who is currently in hiding at the Spanish ambassador’s home in Caracas. Lopez was unexpectedly freed from detention in April 30 of this year, and had been detained since 2014 over his alleged role in that year’s anti-government protests.
News of Tintori’s move was confirmed by Antonio Ecarri, the opposition ambassador to Spain. Ecarri also said that the couple’s two other children are already in Spain.
Venezuela Defaults on Loan, Loses $750 million in Gold
Bloomberg reported today that the Maduro regime has defaulted on a loan with Deutsche Bank. As a result, Venezuela has lost the $750 million in gold that it put up as collateral for the loan.
According to Bloomberg, the loan was signed in 2016, and was set to expire in 2021. However, because the regime was unable to even make interest payments, the loan was “settled early”.
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