For Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Created to investigate all the violent actions that took place from 1999 to 2015, the [C]omisión’s challenge is to get results in a month, as Nicolás put it today. Don’t fear, because its president will be Aristóbulo Istúriz, with Larry Davoe as secretary, José Vicente Rangel representing the elder ones, and Attorney General Luisa Ortega Díaz as guarantor, and lets not forget the talents of the Ombudsman, the minister of Foreign Relations, some members of the Committee for Victims of Barricades (Guarimbas), the Farmers Front Against Paid Assassination, the Association of April’s coup Victims and of course, the Support Network for Justice and Peace; along with former presidents Ernesto Samper, Leonel Fernández, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and Martín Torrijos.
“Enough with coups d’etat in Venezuela, no more coups against Bolívar’s country, no more coups against Venezuelan democracy!”, said Nicolás after narrating his version of our recent history and inviting the opposition to fill four vacant seats he reserved for them. Nicolás continues to fuel impunity by failing to comply with the minimum regulations to create these kinds of commissions, as Provea explains: guaranteeing that all members have excellent moral and professional standing; guaranteeing that there will be complete independence from any political interference; establishing transparent procedures for the investigation and requesting the cooperation of civil society. None of these characteristics are met either by those involved, or by the method to be used, televised meetings in support of the PSUV, their version, their power.
Mumm-Ra’s cousin and his pals
José Vicente Rangel expressed that the State’s duty is to “revindicate justice and people’s memory,” that this commission’s creation is undeniable evidence of the government’s willingness to achieve true peace and make it clear to the world “that Venezuela is a genuine democracy and that human rights are being respected.” Need I say more?
Samper, Secretary General of the Union of South American Nations (Unasur), thinks this commission is an opportunity for reflection, accepting mistakes and looking for ways to the future, indicating that Venezuela is a country of dialogue and peace.
For Aristóbulo Istúriz, the most important thing is to provide visibility to the victims and to the extent of the damage; and for victimizers to assume their responsibility. He hopes to create “an atmosphere of fraternity, respect and acknowledgement to kill political intolerance” -note the verb- so that people can decide. The decision we made on December 6 doesn’t matter. The fact that our decision supports the Amnesty Law doesn’t matter either, what matters is what the PSUV and their people decide about their concept of truth. This commission refuses dialogue and imposes the “Como sea.”
Law of Amnesty and National Reconciliation
The National Assembly approved an agreement condemning the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify the Amnesty Law, assuring that they’ll keep working for the release of political prisoners. Freddy Guevara, head of the Comptrollership Committee, proposed calling for a process of national understanding with clear rules, considering the gravity of the crisis, which demands dialogue but must undoubtedly be “accompanied by international mediators and clear rules.”
Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, said he was surprised and disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision, considering that the government requested their legal opinion and that for them, the Law complies with all human rights standards. Shamdasani hopes this isn’t “the end of the road because this law could’ve really been the platform for dialogue and reconciliation in Venezuela,” adding that the UN has shown their concern about the independence of Venezuela’s Judicial Branch.
For Delcy Rodríguez -Twitter’s minister of Foreign Relations-, the fact that the High Commissioner for Human Rights supports the Amnesty Law merely reinforces “the impunity of the Venezuelan right wing to rise in insurrection against the constitutional Rule of Law,” saying that it’s sad that the High Commissioner had ignored international doctrine on the matter of amnesties to support the country’s right wing, which constitutes the “worst mistake in the performance of his functions.” I was expecting the tweet in which she’s bans him from speaking of Venezuela like she did with Almagro.
Fucked and without reserves
The International Monetary Fund predicts in their World Economic Outlook report that Venezuela will reach an inflation rate of 720% for 2016 and 2,200% for 2017, adding that the GDP will contract by 8% this year, after the 5.7% drop of 2015.
Add this to the fact that, by Friday, April 8 international reserves were down to $13,098 million -$3,272 million less that at the end of 2015-, the year’s lowest level and similar to that of March of 1999, proving that the government is consuming our remaining dollars with astonishing speed, since reserves have dropped by 57.3% in just one year.
With the first 1%
Jesús Torrealba, head of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, along several deputies, delivered to the CNE a new document that, according to Tibisay Lucena, is the proper requirement to request the form that will allow the collection of signatures to activate the process towards the recall referendum. Chavismo shock-troops were again waiting for them near the National Electoral Council’s headquarters to try and stop the procedure, with violence.
Chúo said: “The heads of the CNE have created a series of absurd obstacles so that the people can’t express themselves through their vote. They asked us to collect signatures, in order to collect signatures, so that we can collect signatures; and here we’ve brought them, here they are. They’ve been delivered, so the excuses are over. They should give us an answer on Thursday, after their general meeting,” adding that Venezuelans want to solve the crisis through votes and not with blood.
The newspaper “El Mundo, Economía y Negocios” -a part of Últimas Noticias- fired journalist Ahiana Figueroa for participating in the research on the #PanamaPapers. It’s a regrettable violation against her labor rights, against independent journalism, but now more people will read former banker Gonzalo Tirado’s story and how Mossack-Fonseca helped him stage his criminal construct in Denmark, the British Virgin Islands and Switzerland.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.