For Thursday, April 14, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
While Cristina Fernández de Kirchner portrays herself as a victim of judicial persecution, and Michel Temer gets ready – in the impeachment trial goes through – to replace Dilma, in Venezuela the former minister of Electrical Energy and Education, Héctor Navarro, appeared before the National Assembly’s Comptrollership Committee to denounce the irregular allocation of more than $300 billion.
Navarro says it’s necessary to investigate Manuel Barroso (Cadivi) and Carlos Osorio (former minister of Food) for the allocation of billions of dollars to ghost companies. He excluded el finado from all corruption allegations, of course, because he still identifies himself as “bolivarian, revolutionary and chavista,” while admitting he suffers from high blood pressure and can’t find the meds he needs.
Doctors and patients protested this Wednesday over the acute shortage of medicines and medical supplies, estimated at over 90% according to the medical and pharmaceutical sectors. Douglas León Natera, head of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, insisted on the need for the government to accept donations to cover shortages and avoid more deaths of patients due to lack of treatment. All I think of while listening to some of the protesters tell their stories was Ambassador Bernardo Alvarez, who refuses to acknowledge they exist. It’s a humanitarian crisis but chavismo would rather let it get worse than accept their complete failure.
Meanwhile, judge Oswaldo Tenorio, of the Third Superior Court for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, dismissed the appeal introduced by Cecodap to protect children from the shortage of medicine and medical supplies. The measure was requested for the first time two months ago and was rejected due to “lack of evidence.” Today the decision is ratified. This is unjustifiable. It’s evil and perverse. The court should have another name, because it doesn’t fulfill its duties, it doesn’t protect the little ones in the midst of a humanitarian crisis of such proportions.
Fuel for Nicolás
In its annual report on Human Rights worldwide for 2015, the U.S. State Department underlined that the Venezuelan government imprisoned several opposition activists, that there are accounts of torture, inhuman or degrading treatment (remember María Afiuni and Araminta González, among others) and punishment of prisoners. The report highlights two common methods of cruel treatment: denying medical assistance to prisoners and keeping them in isolation. The report also underlines the Judicial Branch’s subservience to the Executive Branch, using impunity as an incentive, banning journalists and the media from reporting the situation, using threats, fines, confiscation of assets, arrests and investigations as retaliation from the regime.
The Washington Post dedicated an editorial to Nicolás, saying that the rest of the Americas should politically intervene in view of the severe political and institutional crisis we’re going through. They appeal to the Inter-American Democratic Charter – the same one chavismo violates at leisure – they speak about PSUV supporters turned Supreme Tribunal justices, about the collapse of a nation without food or basic medicines.
They speak about the upcoming debt default, the uncertain access to basic services, the considerable inflation and how crime controls even what the government can’t. They speak about the Supreme Tribunal as adversary to the National Assembly, about the Amnesty Law, coño, they speak about everything we Venezuelans talk about everyday! The end, dedicated to Obama and his “courtship” of the Castros, who control Nicolás, forecasts an explosion.
He attended the sixth anniversary of the National Bolivarian Militia and took the chance to urge them to update their plans for national and civil-military defense ahead of an attack from the imperio, saying that The Washington Post has always been the historical outlet for the Pentagon’s policies. Obviously, he didn’t read the editorial.
In his words:
From the highest echelons of a decadent empire a plot against Venezuela and its representatives attacks a country whose only crime has been to recover its dignity (…) the empire only intervenes countries with a vocation for peace, regional union, with a diplomacy for worldwide harmony and the region’s development.
And he closed with this pearl: “I’m sure that in our hands, the country will never be lost. Venezuela will always be a free land.” Go ahead and find the mistakes in his arguments.
But to give more focus to his anger and give an international tone to the attack against his legitimate mandate, he’ll have to add the statements issued by the ministers of Foreign Relations of Spain and Portugal (José Manuel García-Margallo and Augusto Santos Silva, respectively) who admitted their concern for the Supreme Court’s decision to nullify the Amnesty Law. The Venezuelan crisis will be discussed in the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting next April 18.
From the National Assembly
Henry Ramos Allup denounced that the Judicial Branch insists on working against Parliament and impeding that deputies Rosmit Mantilla, Renzo Prieto and Gilberto Sojo, imprisoned for the events of 2014, are sworn into their duties.
He rejected Nicolás’ offer to release them if the opposition fills the four seats he reserved for them in the Truth Commission, saying: “We won’t exchange prisoners, that would be immoral (…) We fight for the freedom of all or none.” Ramos Allup ratified their willingness to negotiate publicly and transparently, instead of behind closed doors, explaining that Ernesto Samper didn’t clarify anything in his meeting with MUD’s deputies.
Ramos Allup explained that the Truth Commission assumes that political prisoners must confess to crimes they haven’t committed: “the amnesty is exclusive to the Assembly, how can we demand these people to confess to crimes they didn’t commit!”, he said before assuring that the Supreme Court, unhappy with merely denying Amazonas its legislative representation, keeps attacking Parliament by other means.
Today, the National Assembly’s majority approved the Agreement for the release of imprisoned deputies and the respect for their parliamentary immunity.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.