An international team of jurists for the defense of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) will be formed soon, announced Oscar Figuera, General Secretary of the Central Committee of this political party, after the successful completion of an international legal forum on September 7 with the participation of lawyers from Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Spain, United States and Venezuela.
The initiative, sponsored by the Instituto de Altos Estudios “Bolivar-Marx” [Institute of Advanced Studies “Bolívar-Marx”], focused on the analysis of the ruling in Case No. 1,160 of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ), which allowed the Government of Nicolás Maduro to take away the legal personality from the legitimate leadership of the PCV, the oldest Venezuelan party.
“The judicial assault on the PCV cannot be analyzed outside the political situation and the sharpening of the class struggle in our country; particularly the pact of the elites between the government of President Maduro, with the nouveau riche born of his corrupt administration, and the traditional bourgeoisie grouped in Fedecámaras, Consecomercio and Conindustria,whose political expressions make up the other bloc of forces responsible for the national disaster”, explained Yul Jabour during the meeting, held at the headquarters of the Faculty of Professors of the Central University of Venezuela, in Caracas.
Jabour, who is part of the PCV’s team of lawyers, stated that with this judicial maneuver carried out last August 11, the top leadership of the Government “is trying to annul or diminish the organizational capacity of the people’s movement and of the revolutionary organizations that reject the policies of surrender and the plundering of our resources on behalf of local and transnational capital”.
Lawyer Raúl Martínez, member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE), affirmed that the ruling of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the TSJ represents “an absolute bankruptcy of due process, which drives the radical bankruptcy of the whole case and, of course, of the ruling itself.” Martínez warned that in the decision “legal principles are openly violated, even principles universally accepted by the legal community regardless of the ideology expressed by each State in each historical moment, and regardless of the different political, ideological or class position that we may defend”.
The Spanish jurist recalled that the appeal for legal protection filed by the PCV in response to the threats against the organization, made it clear that the citizens requesting the judicial intervention had no legitimate standing.
They Try to Remove the PCV from the Democratic Game
The prominent Venezuelan lawyer and professor Agustín Calzadilla described the ruling of the country’s highest court as “a collection ruling “, because in his opinion,”it collects everything in one place; it teaches constitutional judges everything that they should not do”.
“We must assume things as they are: the constitutional judges are political judges and, as politicians, they have to solve problems. The international group of lawyers will defend the PCV politically”, said the lawyer, to then clarify: “but it is one thing to be a political judge and another thing to be a partisan judge who receives orders from a party to make to make decisions”.
Calzadilla recalled the disqualification of the PCV and the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria(MIR) in the 1960’s: “At that time, the Supreme Court of Justice was more honest in its decision; it had a little more ethics when it pointed out that there was no regulating theory to outlaw the MIR and the PCV, however, they decided on the illegalization for reasons of State”.
In his opinion, Calzadilla added, “they are trying to get the Communist Party out of the democratic game; they are trying to take their card out of the game, so that it does not participate in the elections with a candidate that can be an alternative both to the to the government candidate as well as to the candidates of the right-wing opposition”.
A Contradictory Sentence
Brazilian human rights defender Daniel Almeida, analyzed the intervention against the PCV as “an attack on one of the most important instruments of the working class.”
For his part, Mexican lawyer Marco Vinicio said that it is only possible to understand the ruling of the TSJ as an order from “the high circles of political power in Venezuela”, not only because its promoters” are officials of the state apparatus or of the ruling party”, but also because “it clearly has the aim of silencing the voice and the critical activity of the PCV as a party of the Venezuelan working class and oppressed sectors.”
Prominent Chilean lawyer Raúl Jerez described the court ruling as “a contradiction in itself”, because it “imposes something that was not asked of it, which is to establish that the plaintiffs be invested by the Supreme Court of Justice as the leadership of the PCV”. “It is like what happened with Juan Guaidó: he said that he was in disagreement with how President Maduro governs, but he did not ask for a new electoral procedure to take place, or that he be appointed president,” he explained. Jerez also described as paradoxical that the TSJ has invoked Article 67 of the Constitution, which guarantees the right to political association according to democratic norms, to impose in the end an ad hoc board violating those same norms.
The Venezuelan constitutional lawyer María Alejandra Díaz pointed out that the Ruling 1,160 violates the rights not only of the PCV, but also of “all citizens who were going to vote for the PCV”. The TSJ restricted “the right of free choice by Venezuelan society, the rights of all those who identified a line of action and who also identified with the possibility of an alternative to the two poles” of national politics, he explained.
Without the Right to a Defense
The Venezuelan lawyer Sergio Urdaneta declared that “there should not have been a ruling, because the decision was preordained, established in advance. This was theater”. Urdaneta added that “there could not be a public hearing because that would result in a controversy, and controversy was not intended.
For his part, attorney Bruno Zanardo affirmed that “the Communist Party was judged and condemned in the same act, and even worse without giving it the right to appeal, because let us remember that the Constitutional Chamber is the final and definitive interpreter of the Constitution.”
Lawyer Indira Ocando asserted that the TSJ violated the right to present evidence as one of the procedural guarantees of the Constitution “by depriving one of the parties of the opportunity to rebut the evidence against it and to present evidence that contradicts the allegations . It is regrettable that decisions of this nature are made by the organs of the State, violating the Constitution with impunity. The organs of the State thus contribute to the destruction of the rule of law and the dismantling of democracy, and become instruments to sustain an authoritarian regime, ” he said.
The renowned American attorney Mark Burton recalled that according to the Amparo [Protection] law, it should be understood that there must be “express consent.” Express consent exists after six months have elapsed since the alleged violation of rights. He pointed out that the citizens to whom the TSJ delivered the legal personality of the PCV initiated their action eight months after the last congress of the Communists, so that the Amparo action was inadmissible for being too late. It should have been immediately rejected by the highest court.
The U.S. attorney considers the judicial assault on the PCV as part of an ongoing worldwide phenomenon in which “the elites think they can use the justice system to win political battles.”