Talk:Venezuela coup attempt 2019

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Thanks for the page start, Petri. I did a bit of research and now have a place to put it.

Of course the controversy over an "acting president" vs. the elected one began with the National Assembly, sort-of parliament, voting that president Maduro was in office illegitimately, because they think his 2018 re-election was rigged. So they voted, basically, there is now no president. They have the Assembly leader, Guaido, be acting president, they think, until a new election can be held. It's unclear if their plans include letting Maduro run again, but fairly, or if he's to be put in jail first, along with his most popular allies, or if whole parties need to barred from running, or if the ensuing civil-proxy-mercenary war means no elections until the coalition forces can impose order … or what...


Anyway, I had a look at the legal reasons cited. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:10, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Legality of the National Assembly Vote

First, the National Assembly formally does not have the legal authority it claims, for at least two pretty important reasons;

  • The 1999 national constitution giving them the right is suspended, with another elected body that supports the president taking up their powers until the new rules are formalized.
  • Even if that constitution were in effect, the Assembly has been stripped of the legal powers granted in it, by the Supreme Court of Justice of Venezuela (twice actually - once the decision was quickly overturned, but the second time it stuck, and they remain out of power)
  • Further, even if it that constitution were in effect, AND the Assembly retained its powers, the legality of their move seems quite debatable, according to the cited articles therein.

Basically people who don't like those facts ignore them as not deserving to be true - they'll see the excised but opposition-controlled body be the only one that matters, according to the constitution they favor - selectively. There are clearly other, unstated motives at work in this devious maneuver that threatens yet more bloodshed and misery and another enforced state failure.

Explanation to come, after I pull it together a bit more. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:10, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Excising the National Assembly

First, this is all very basic research from a couple Wikipedia articles, mainly, and a very few primary sources. It seems to trace the ideas involved fairly well, but maybe I'm still missing something. The legal and moral basis for each decision outlined below is debated, but anyway, here's the rundown.

Citing here Wikipedia: National Assembly (Venezuela). The most recent election was 2015, with none held since. The opposition parties won a majority in that election. It was not disputed by foreign observers, that I've heard, but in 2016 the Supreme Court (loyalist majority) "found the Assembly in contempt for swearing in legislators whose elections had been deemed invalid by the court." Following on that, "On 29 March 2017, the Supreme Court (TSJ) stripped the Assembly of its powers... The 2017 court judgement declared that the "situation of contempt" meant that the Assembly could not exercise its powers." The action transferred powers from the Assembly to the Supreme Court. "However, after public protests and condemnation by international bodies, the court's decision was reversed a few days later on 1 April."

The move was decried as a coup d'état by the President and Supreme Court, but it wasn't much of one; within a few days, the National Assembly were back in the loop, for four months. The full reasons behind the ensuing constitutional crisis side, there was one - plans for a new one were underway, the whole system was given a temporary new leadership, and the NA didn't like this. The Wikipedia article explains:

On 4 August 2017, Venezuela convened a new Constituent Assembly after a special election which was boycotted by opposition parties; foreign observers declared the result to have been manipulated.[8] The new Constituent Assembly is intended to rewrite the constitution; it also has wide legal powers allowing it to rule above all other state institutions. The Constituent Assembly meets within the Federal Legislative Palace; the leadership of the National Assembly have said it would continue its work as a legislature and it will still continue to meet in the same building.[10]
On 18 August the Constituent Assembly summoned the members of the National Assembly to attend a ceremony acknowledging its legal superiority; the opposition members of the National Assembly boycotted the event.[11] In response, the Constitutional Assembly stripped the National Assembly of its legislative powers, assuming them for itself.[12] It justified the move by claiming that the National Assembly had failed to prevent what it called "opposition violence" in the form of the 2017 Venezuelan protests.[13] The constitutionality of this move has been questioned, and it has been condemned by several foreign governments and international bodies.[12][14]

So for not preventing opposition violence, for refusing to work with the new Assembly as subordinates for now, and/or for their record of "contempt," etc., the Assembly given a second chance was stripped of powers again. This time, the decision was not revised. They remain no part of the government.

This time, powers were not transferred to the ruling Supreme Court, but to a newly elected replacement Assembly. Better yet. That might be well-replaced, and Venezuela well-situated to ignore the old National Assembly. But who can ignore groomed proxies playing shadow government and trying to flip the whole system backwards to wrap around them as the new insiders?

Since 2017 "the two legislatures have operated in parallel, with the National Assembly forming the primary opposition to president Nicolás Maduro, and with the Constituent Assembly being his primary supporters."

Then, for some reason, "In January 2019, the National Assembly re-asserted its authority" as we've seen, and people are all, like, "finally, a legitimate force to back in Venezuela, national level and all that." If some crypto-Islamists in hotels in Turkey can be declared the "legitimate" government of Syria, why not the *actual parliament-type body* IN Venezuela?

But they're basically fantasists, out of power, out of touch, many should be in physical jail. Instead, they're slated to receive Venezuela's "frozen" assets, start running guerilla and false-flag operations out of Colombia, etc. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:49, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Constitutional Basis for the Vote

  • Wikipedia: National Assembly (Venezuela) "Since the creation of the Constituent National Assembly in August 2017, the Bolivarian government has declared the 1999 constitution suspended until a new constitution is created."

So technically, the constitution and all its provisions are not in effect, even if the National Assembly had the right to call on them. The Assembly rejects all this, of course, as ploys of Maduro and his many, many ilk trying to hold onto power despite the supposed tidal wave of democracy.

National Assembly President Juan Guaido penned a WaPo opinion piece on why he's acting president: "Since 2007, we’ve mobilized — then as university students — to become staunch defenders of our Constitution, which has been violated and disrespected by the regime amid several attempts to modify it." He cites "three fundamental articles that will allow us to resolve the current political crisis and restore the democratic order." They would do so, in part, by making him the guy ruling the country for a time frame of, supposedly, just 30 days or so. As he explains them:

  • "The first is Article 233, which establishes that in the absolute absence of the president of the republic — which is the situation we’re in now since there’s no legitimately elected president — the leader of the National Assembly must occupy the office and call for presidential elections. This would be a simple procedure in a democratic country, since it’s clearly in the Constitution, but in Venezuela it isn’t."
  • "The second is Article 333, which calls on all citizens to restore and enforce the Constitution if it’s not followed. Maduro has placed himself above the Constitution, but only the Venezuelan people can be above it. All representatives in public office, as well as the armed forces, have a duty to restore the constitutional order — a duty shared by all Venezuelans.
  • "Third, there’s Article 350, which calls on the Venezuelan people to reject any regime that violates democratic values and human rights. We are invoking this article to ask Venezuelans to reject, along with the international community, Maduro’s usurpation of the presidency."

So the one article 233 is the basis for the National Assembly Vote. That bears some scrutiny. The other two articles refer to actions the people could take, but haven't, that Guaido now encourages them to take: 350 could remove president Maduro, making for the same "absence" that would make Guaido acting president, if the constitution applied or, with 333, to bring back the constitution, or enforce it by believing in it and acting on it despite its suspension, or whatever exactly this would mean in practice.

But then, they already decided on an "absence" of a President based on perceived election fraud, and already declared Guaido the acting president. So no such maneuvers are needed.

Further, it's not clear if such a recall move would now be against the elected president or the "acting" one... Expect no follow-up on this notion. They were mentioned to make it seem like he's cool with that. He didn't trust the last re-election of Madurao, but he would surely trust a new referendum on him... Nah. He's acting already. --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:39, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

Article 233

Original-language articles, Google Translated (refinements/corrections welcome) http://www.cne.gob.ve/web/normativa_electoral/constitucion/titulo5.php#art233

Article 233. When there is an absolute lack of the President-elect [male/female forms] before taking office, a new universal, direct and secret election will be held within thirty consecutive days. While the new President or the new President is elected and takes office, the President of the National Assembly will be in charge of the Presidency of the Republic.

I'll cut out the details on what happens if this comes earlier or later in the president's term, and focus on the given definitions of "absolute faults" meaning there's a vacancy.

"Absolute faults of the President of the Republic: his death, his resignation, or his dismissal decreed by the Supreme Court of Justice, his permanent physical or mental incapacity certified by a medical board appointed by the Supreme Court of Justice and with approval of the National Assembly, the abandonment of the office, declared as such by the National Assembly, as well as the popular revocation of his mandate."

That's the definition they mean, from that document so central to the devout Bolivarian Mr. Guaido. There's no clause I see for the Assembly thinking the President's election was illegitimate. This must be inferred as covered by one of the provided reasons. The word for "abandonment" ("el abandono del cargo") - does that include not being elected fairly? I wouldn't think so... --Caustic Logic (talk) 13:39, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

English translation of the constitution is here. --CE (talk) 14:03, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

People are seeing like I do. I understand the Supreme Court of Venezuela reviewed Guiado's claims and found no legal basis (a tweet mentions it - more direct sources to come...) Harvard law professor Noah Feldman - no Maduro fan - wrote for Bloomberg, Jan. 24: "...the constitutional argument that Maduro isn’t really president is nothing more than a fig leaf for regime change. Even as fig leaves go, it’s particularly wispy and minimal. The U.S. policy is, in practice, to seek regime change in Venezuela. It would be better to say so directly."

He explains Article 233 about as I do, noting how it "lists the bases for permanent unavailability" for review. "None of those conditions has been met," he notes. Feldman finds Guaido's argument that the election was manipulated to be inadequate; "nothing in the constitution says that that decision is up to Guaidó or the National Assembly." And further, as Feldman, didn't even note, the Assembly wouldn't currently have the legal authority to exercise any powers they actually used to have. But this was never one of them - to vanish the president because they doubt his election. If they were real about this concern, they would push a recall referendum instead, if they had the power to make it happen, and actually wanted it... --Caustic Logic (talk) 03:53, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Guaido in NYT Mr. Maduro’s re-election on May 20, 2018, was illegitimate, as has since been acknowledged by a large part of the international community. His original six-year term was set to end on Jan. 10. By continuing to stay in office, Nicolás Maduro is usurping the presidency.My ascension as interim president is based on Article 233 of the Venezuelan Constitution, according to which, if at the outset of a new term there is no elected head of state, power is vested in the president of the National Assembly until free and transparent elections take place. This is why the oath I took on Jan. 23 cannot be considered a “self-proclamation.” It was not of my own accord that I assumed the function of president that day, but in adherence to the Constitution.
Presumably the presidential election is deemed illegitamate due to the non-particpipation of MUD coalition who chose to boycott the May elections. I'm not clear on the justification for boycott, the elections had been brought forward, but I guess it was a tactical calculation for those factions. --Diagonal (talk) 13:50, 31 January 2019 (UTC)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Venezuelan_presidential_election

Those seem to be the 'rebels' ' talking points, see also here, A Conversation with Venezuela's New Special Representative to the OAS, Gustavo Tarre , youtube, January 29, 2019, and below. Tarre says that Maduro could not call elections early (but that seems to be a tradition, not a hard rule), and could/should not exclude opposition parties and candidates (one of those below). For that reason he says Maduro is not legally elected (more like point of view than a fact?) , and so Guaido must step in. As for MUD, there seems to be two claims, that they boycotted earlier local elections (e.g. here) and had some procedural difficulties because of that in presidential elections of 2018; and (alternatively) that they boycotted presidential elections in February 2018 themselves (here) --Resup (talk) 21:39, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Articles 333 and 350

Original-language articles, Google Translated (refinements/corrections welcome)

  • Article 333: This Constitution shall not lose its validity if it ceases to be observed by act of force or because it is repealed by any other means than that provided for therein.

In such an eventuality, any citizen invested or citizen with or without authority, will have the duty to collaborate in the restoration of its effective validity.

Article 333: This Constitution shall not cease to be in effect if it ceases to be observed due to acts of force or because or repeal in any manner other than as provided for herein.

In such eventuality, every citizen, whether or not vested with official authority, has a duty to assist in bringing it back into actual effect. Source

  • Article 350: The people of Venezuela, faithful to their republican tradition, to their struggle for independence, peace and freedom, will be unaware of any regime, legislation or authority that contradicts the values, principles and democratic guarantees or undermine human rights.
Article 350: The people of Venezuela, true to their republican tradition and their struggle for independence, peace and freedom, shall disown any regime, legislation or authority that violates democratic values, principles and guarantees or encroaches upon human rights. Source

The rest...

forthcoming …


Articles Cited for Assembly Vote === forthcoming …

Henrique Capriles

Henrique Capriles- Wikipedia

  • Venezuela’s Capriles refuses to accept Maduro victory until election audit -RT, 15 Apr, 2013
    Venezuelan election authorities have announced that with 99,17% of votes counted Maduro is leading with 50,75 per cent of the votes cast. Capriles is dragging behind with 48,98 per cent.
  • Venezuela opposition leader Capriles banned from politics -BBC, 8 April 2017
    Mr Capriles, who has run twice as a presidential candidate, is seen as the opposition's best hope of defeating President Maduro in elections scheduled for next year.
    The Venezuelan comptroller's office has for a decade used a procedure known as "disqualification" that bans politicians from holding office if they are deemed to have committed irregularities in managing state resources.
    The ruling said the ban on Mr Capriles was due to "administrative irregularities" in his role as governor.
  • Recalled by Alexey Venediktov - Echo Moskvy, with the Russian pro-Western opposition slant, 26 Jan. 2019 --Resup (talk) 01:26, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

2017 Constituent National Assembly

2017 Constituent National Assembly -Wikipedia. In August 2017, declared itself to be above the (regular) National Assembly, removed a prosecutor, etc... --Resup (talk) 01:46, 28 January 2019 (UTC)

I had a look at that article. It sure makes the whole thing sound terrible. It does so with copious citations by presumably very active and jealous caretakers. I suspect they've included a lot of unverified claims and propaganda, and managed to ignore or erase some important context. "Socialist International" certainly didn't convince me the deep changes underway are unjustified. Considering how the activist branch of the legislature in question is now launching foreign-backed coup efforts and siphoning Venezuela's stolen money, etc. … something was wrong with that, besides whatever else it's all about. --Caustic Logic (talk) 12:30, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

Army

  • El Comandante Estrategico Operacional Remigio Ceballos, twitter, 24 January, 2019
    La FANB (Fuerza Armada Nacional Bolivariana) ratifica respeto a la Constitución, defenderemos a Venezuela y combatiremos cualquier amenaza al Estado Venezolano resguardando al Pueblo y unidos avanzaremos triunfantes con la moral en alto, al mando de nuestro CJ Nicolás Maduro Moros! Presidente Legítimo Venceremos!!!
    --Resup (talk) 13:45, 26 January 2019 (UTC)

When and where did the oath ceremony take place?

There are no authentic photos or videos that show Juan Guaidó and the crowd in the same place at the same time.

It took me half a day to verify that any of this happened. The photos of Juan Guaidó swearing the oath show him at the corner of Avenida Libertador and Avenida Francisco de Miranda. The photo of the crowd + at least one video show a platform erected at the same place.

It is amazing that no one managed to capture Guaidó and the crowd in the same shot. -- Petri Krohn (talk) 17:46, 27 January 2019 (UTC)

Marches

  • Pro and anti - Maduro marches, February 2, 2019. Big crowds both ways. Some flags display on anti-Maduro march; unclear what's the point, but apparently some unexplicit propaganda points out at source of US and Israeli flags displayed (there are many other flags on sides, did they flash them all, or only those two?) --Resup (talk) 19:27, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

Aid

A case is made how politicized aid is wrong and suspected (Roger Waters, et al) of contributing to regime change /resources grab. True. But, I am not entirely convinced that government actions are ideal either. If things are functioning, they could say, we take aid on condition that we inspect and distribute it (and not the opposition or foreign services). If conditions are refused, it is presented as reason to block it. If agreed, aid is cleaned from any Trojan stuff and distributed, maybe with some government self-advertisement added, and hopefully diffusing stand-off and international bad optics. It is not that huge volume of aid that it is impossible to clean it. Probably this is not done in part because things are not functioning very well, not just because of feared interference. Another thing is that effects of lower oil price and sanctions in Venezuela appears to be greater than elsewhere, likely indicating some shortcomings of the government, not just external neocolonialism. --Resup (talk) 13:14, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

It's a question of dignity. You don't accept the "aid" of the bully that openly demands your head. "Bad optics" in the face of the average hypnobox zombie aren't avoidable no matter what you do, including playing along with the clown show. --CE (talk) 15:34, 24 February 2019 (UTC)
This is warfare. One may be opening the gates by denying (and not wood-planking) the Trojan horse, having much stronger opponent by the gate, needing a 'justification'.
Claims that aid trucks were set on fire from the opposition side, here. Apparently protesters prepare Molotov cocktails on video here--Resup (talk) 20:16, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Unconfirmed

"Bags of cash out", or a psy-op?
  • Gulfstream 5 (TC-TTC), ADSHEX 4BD283 -plainfinder.net
  • CivMilAir, January 24, 2019
    So who's this Gulfstream G550? Turkey to Russia on Tuesday, then on to Venezuela , arriving late yesterday..
  • Casto Ocando- twitter, January 26, 2019
    Airplane Gulfstream acronym 4BD283, owned by Turkish billionaire Turgay Ciner arrived in Venezuela without passengers and then left with black bags (duffels) full of cash, says US intelligence report, citing coordinates and flight manifest. "Operation under investigation"."
More stuff
  • Noticiero deVerdad-twitter, January 26, 2019
    Urgent : Presidential plane escorted with 3 private jets heading unknown are taking relatives of senior officials

Seen on Dorenko, best known & ruthless pen-fore hire in Russia (hailing from Ukraine) --Resup (talk)

  • February 6: Mission Verdad picks up on stories in infodensa.com US Probes possible contractors to send to Columbia (google translation saying As we have already warned in #MV, the objectives of info warfare also includes creating the perception that intervention is imminent to generate anguish in the population, so it is important to take this type of information into account for analysis and responsible dissemination.

Member of rebels' National Assembly Americo De Grazia reports two/several dead and a number of wounded, with the location given as "the hospital of # StaElenaDeUairen" (near the border with Brazil) --Resup (talk) 20:50, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

However there has been earlier reports, Feb. 22, about clashes of Venezuela military and Pemons (indigenous people/'Indians') blocking military's access to the border with Brazil. Some references: twitter 1,2, TASS --Resup (talk) 11:57, 24 February 2019 (UTC)

Twitter Thread on burning bus on Santander bridge

'Random Guydo'

Getting interesting. In Russia, China, or Cuba, would be 'packed' nose first in about 5 seconds. In the West, I suppose, similar effect by different means). Now comes VC Mike Pence, to tell that JGuaido’s safe return to Venezuela is of the highest importance to the U.S. And he is right, 100%, literally. Because any random guyado US person objecting to this is in violation of 18 U.S. Code § 953 (and I suppose may be packed, nose first, by different means). --Resup (talk) 20:17, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Abrams: I was not too excited reading an account of 'Vovan's ' "prank", cause Abrams was telling 'the Swiss' which accounts to close. A similar event (featuring Putin and 'Biusthalter'/Didier Burkhalter, in May 2014) is widely popularly attributed to the change of heart in supporting Novorossia project and Donbass independence referendum. When there is no ideology or overwhelming idea (in real terms), and when there may be financial greed, of ultra-western kind, those little big money things may mean more then one would hope or expect, I am afraid (without firmly knowing whether facts are accurately represented) --Resup (talk) 01:35, 7 March 2019 (UTC)

#FreeBillySix

So the German journalist Billy Six is free after several months in Venezuelan prison and is making a big stink about how he was treated. Not by Venezuela, but by the German diplomatic corps. They refused any constructive help and obviously wanted him to rot there indefinitely.

Maybe you've heard of Billy before - he did research in Syria (was in prison there too), about MH17 together with Graham Philips, about the 2015 refugee flood, always contrary to the German state narrative. And works for a very conservative newspaper.

But in Venezuela, he actually reported along the line, covering the Colombian border region and the situation there with people who flee Venezuela. He was arrested under unfortunate circumstances and thought to be a spy, and the German Embassy (led by the guy who was recently declared persona non grata and kicked out) did nothing to even clear that up. While they did a lot to help a guy who is the son of a good buddy of the Ambassador and accused of being part of the cell that did the drone attack on Maduro.

In the end, Billy's parents had informed all German members of parliament about the situation, to almost no avail, until one of them contacted the Russian Embassy in Vienna who gave a letter explaining the situation to none other than Sergei Lavrov, and two or three days later Billy was released, last Friday, and arrived back in Germany yesterday.

There will be lawsuits over this and my hope is that it will end our utterly disgraceful Foreign Minister's career. --CE (talk) 18:00, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

Russian military in Venezuela

Russian blogger El-Murid expresses an opinion that their arrival is because of the plans to establish a Russian military base in Venezuela. He joins other Russian patriotic opposition commentators (who point out Donbass, problems in Russia, etc) to express an overall negative view on the deployment. It appears that the deployment is not trumpeted by pro-government sources, and there are no strongly supportive voices among credible non-government figures either. Yet, this will probably roll on anyway. --Resup (talk) 01:36, 25 March 2019 (UTC)