CARACAS – The socialist regime of Venezuela has once again violated the constitution and designated a new tailor-made leadership for the National Electoral Council — a task that, by law, was to be carried out by the opposition-led National Assembly.
Venezuela’s supreme court, stacked with pro-regime cronies and led by Maikel Moreno – a former bodyguard with a shady criminal record who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government – designated the new heads of Venezuela’s electoral institution to oversee the upcoming legislative elections, which still do not have a set date but are meant to be carried out this year according to the constitution.
The National Electoral Council has the authority to oversee election protocol and is tasked with ensuring that elections are free and fair. Under the control of some of Maduro’s most crooked henchmen, it will control what will likely be the most corrupt election in the history of the country.
This new Electoral Council is led by Indira Alfonzo, a relatively unknown woman that has handed out several of the sentences that have shaped the past years of Venezuela’s political crisis, such as the annulment of three opposition congressmen from the state of Amazonas. The move deprived the opposition of exercising the 2/3rd majority it earned in the 2015 elections and legally trampled over the possibility of holding a recall referendum against Maduro in 2016. Alfonzo was also among the judges that swore Maduro in after the fraudulent 2018 presidential elections.
The government of Canada decided to sanction Alfonzo due to her involvement in 2018’s sham presidential elections.
One of the most scandalous and infamous names in this brand new Electoral rogues’ gallery is Luis Fuenmayor, an abhorrent man once arrested for drugging and sexually abusing his minor child. Fuenmayor is also an open Holocaust denier and his resurgence in the Venezuelan political game further confirms U.S. reports of a rise in antisemitism and religious persecution in Venezuela.
“The non-existence of the Holocaust is more than documented,” he wrote on Twitter last year. “The [real] Holocaust is today in Palestine, happening live.”
La inexistencia del holocausto está más que documentada. No hay sino que leer: "La Mentira de Ulises" de Rassinier, "El Mito de los seis millones" de Hoggan y el libro de Ilan Pappe, para saberlo. Holocausto hay hoy en Palestina; en vivo y en directo.
— Luis Fuenmayor Toro (@LFuenmayorToro) January 22, 2019
It’s worth mentioning that Venezuela’s National Assembly was in the process of choosing a new Electoral Council, for which a commission was formed in February of 2020 — their efforts, however, yielded no results.
The illegal designation of this new Electoral Council was denounced by representatives of the Venezuelan opposition. Even the U.S. Virtual Embassy in Venezuela repudiated the act.
Not content with having a brand new Council, the regime has moved to break some of the more prominent opposition parties in Venezuela from within. The Supreme Court recently stripped the board of directors of the Acción Democrática (AD) political party, led by Socialist International Vice President Henry Ramos Allup, and replaced it with an ad-hoc directive led by Bernabé Gutiérrez — ally to Maduro who also happens to be the brother of one of the new members of the Electoral Council.
The political party Primero Justicia (PJ) has fallen victim to the same scheme. The Supreme Court stripped PJ of its board of directors — led by longtime opposition fixture Julio Borges — and placed Jose Brito at its head. Brito was part of the group of congressmen that attempted to carry out a parliamentary coup against the Juan Guaidó-led National Assembly.
It is through actions such as these that Maduro’s socialist regime seeks to present the upcoming parliamentary elections as free and fair, wearing the carcass of what was left of our democracy as a costume.
As a Venezuelan citizen that doesn’t belong to any political party and has suffered through the socialist-lite opposition’s collaborationist antics for more than two-thirds of my life, I find it hard to express any sympathies to the leaders of these parties. Ramos Allup not only has had no qualms in perpetuating the regime’s status quo time and time again, he, along with his family, have been openly engaged in dubious business with the regime.
As for Julio Borges, who used to star on a Judge Judy-esque TV show when I was young, he didn’t amount to much during the year he presided over the National Assembly; now in exile, he doesn’t do much either.
Naturally, Maduro has joyfully expressed that he will abide by the new electoral council’s rulings. A prospective electoral exit to this ongoing socialist catastrophe seems less unlikely as time goes by — and that’s what the opposition was adamantly selling to the country a few weeks ago. Now, they’ve announced that they will not recognize the upcoming elections, as if Maduro’s regime will ever care for that.
Along with interim President Juan Guaidó’s weak leadership, it would seem like Venezuela’s citizens have fallen into a bottomless state of helplessness, at least in a political sense. Much like the regime counterparts, one can’t even openly express criticism of the opposition’s failed leadership, lest you’d be called all sorts of things.
Once the regime carries out these upcoming sham legislative elections, they will have control over all of Venezuela’s branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial, electoral, and citizen’s), separation of powers is not something that this socialist regime ever had in mind, or will have.
The truth is that the game was rigged from the start. Meanwhile, the country’s citizens continue to wither and endure the ever-worsening collapse of this authoritarian socialist narco-regime. Hope, much like gasoline these days, is not a thing that you can find in this country with ease.
Christian K. Caruzo is a Venezuelan writer and documents life under socialism. You can follow him on Twitter here.