Maduro suggested today that he would ask his Constituent Assembly to carry out a “deep reform” of the country’s judicial system, a move that would likely result with the branch of government becoming even more firmly entrenched in his hands.

While speaking during a televised address, Maduro said that there were “many problems” facing Venezuela, including the neglect from which some of the country’s poorest communities suffer. Maduro said:

When I was going through the 23 de enero [a neighbourhood in Caracas], I thought I was in Baghdad. There were holes and holes [on the road], garbage, and I asked myself, ‘Where is Mision Venezuela Bella [a government initiative aimed at urban maintenance]?” We cannot lie to ourselves.

In a rare display of self-reflection, Maduro continued by saying:

We cannot allow anyone to take us for fools. This isn’t Donald Trump’s fault. It’s our fault, and we should make changes where things are not going well, [and] change Venezuela so that it improves and becomes better.

Maduro followed up his observations by suggesting that a thorough reform of the judicial branch would be part of the solution. He said:

I dare say that the [Constituent Assembly and its president] Diosdado Cabello [should] create a high commission to carry out a deep reform of the judicial branch in Venezuela, to bring about a great change in the judicial branch and justice in Venezuela, to make things better, [to make] a better attorney general’s office.

Maduro did not explain exactly which issues he feels the judicial branch should be tackling “to make things better”, what shortcomings the branch as exhibited that might warrant reforms, or precisely which aspects of the judiciary require the reforms.

He also suggested that vice president Delcy Rodriguez would “head this new reorganization of the judiciary”, but provided no other concrete details about the reforms.

The Venezuelan judicial branch is already firmly of the control of the Maduro regime. The Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ), the nation’s top court, is headed by regime loyalist Maikel Moreno. The court’s Constitutional Chamber, the most powerful courtroom in the country, has a near-perfect record of ruling in favour of the regime during Moreno’s tenure.

During the same address, Maduro accused Colombian President Ivan Duque of backing “terrorist groups” in Venezuela, which from context likely refers to small groups of Venezuelan army soldiers who have openly rebelled against the regime. Maduro said:

I want to warn the people of Venezuela about these terrorist groups. Ivan Duque is behind them, whose desperation grows not only because of the popular revolt that he’s facing in Colombia [sic], but also because of the strength of the Bolivarian revolution.

Maduro’s unsubstantiated accusations against the Colombian leader come just days after Maduro said that he was willing to re-establish diplomatic relations with Colombia.

Journalist’s Union Claims Deputy Parra Attempted to Bribe It

The Colegio Nacional de Periodistas [National College of Journalists, CNP] announced yesterday that National Assembly deputy Luis Parra attempted to bribe the organization in order to secure favourable news coverage of his activities and those of his parliamentary faction.

The CNP issued a statement through its Twitter account yesterday in which it claimed that some of its leadership were contacted by individuals offering “sums of money” in exchange for favourable news coverage of Parra and his parliamentary faction.

Parra rose to national prominence on January 5, when he led a tumultuous parliamentary session in which he claims to have been elected president of the legislature for the 2020 year. Parra took his oath in a nearly empty legislative chamber as National Guard soldiers prevented Guaido and dozens of opposition deputies from entering the room to cast their votes.

Parra has also been accused of belonging to a group of deputies who have taken bribes to launder the names of regime-connected officials abroad.

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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