Finally Chavismo is doing it. By now we know President-elect Hugo Chavez is physically unable to assume office tomorrow as the constitution demands it. However, this will not stop the government’s political machine from orchestrating their final assault on the Venezuelan republic. In Venezuela an institutional coup d’état is in motion.
The Venezuelan constitution, in its Article 231, is clear:
The president elect will assume the office of President of the Republic the 10th of January in the first year of his constitutional period, by swearing before the National Assembly. If by any unexpected reason the President of the Republic could not assume office before the National Assembly, he will do it before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
Yesterday, National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello read into the record a letter from the Venezuelan vice president stating that Chavez's condition constitutes an "irrefutable supervening reason. Therefore, enforcement of Article 231 of the constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is invoked, in order to arrange the corresponding swearing-in later, before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice."
This is a disingenuous interpretation of the constitution, given that the swearing in before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice is not supposed to happen after January 10, but because the constitution does not establish it explicitly in Article 231, they are setting this outrageous precedent.
Article 233 of the constitution clarifies this ambiguity as follows:
When the absolute absence of the President elect happens before assuming office, a new universal, direct and secret suffrage will proceed, within the following consecutive thirty days. While the election and the swearing in of the new President takes place, the National Assembly President will take charge of the Presidency of the Republic.
That is, the supposed swearing in of the president elect before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice is only for emergency reasons in case the president elect cannot access the National Assembly on January 10. If it becomes impossible for the president elect to assume office by that date, whether before the National Assembly or the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the mandate of the Article 233 must follow. Otherwise, a president elect might remain “elect” and not “in office” indefinitely, and the content of Article 233 is completely spurious.
National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello must assume the office of the president and call for a new election within thirty days. Otherwise, tomorrow an institutional coup d’état will take place.
However, the constitutional procedure was dismissed by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice itself, more proof that the judicial branch of the Venezuelan government is subservient of the Chavismo political machine, and a clear breach of the division of powers contemplated within the Venezuelan constitution.
The worse aspect of this illegitimate attempt to overthrow the constitution is that it was orchestrated from Cuba. The leaders of both major coalitions within Chavismo, Nicolas Maduro and Diosdado Cabello, met in the foreign country, instigated by Castro’s regime, and conspired to move this illegal agenda.
President Chavez is also in Cuba for medical treatment under the Castro’s protection and presumed to be in a coma. The president of Venezuela is kidnapped by a foreign, communist and dictatorial government, completely isolated from his countrymen and the two major bosses of the Chavismo political machine are allied with this old dictatorship to finally end Venezuela’s constitutional government. How can this be called anything but treason?