Tibisay Lucena refers to herself in the third person. This Wednesday she dedicated more time to attacks allegedly made against her -on Twitter- than to the matters that concern her. A hashtag must hit harder than the punches Chúo Torrealba got at Corpoelec. The hate campaign on Twitter must be worse than a group of attackers spurred on by an anchor from VTV, the State’s channel. Tibisay threatened to carry out criminal and civil actions, offended that she didn’t receive an apology, omitting the National Guard’s attacks against journalists, but demanding that press professionals issue a statement in her favor. To think that in 2016 alone, the Syndicate of Press Workers has already reported 60 attacks against journalists, 70% of which have been perpetrated by the Armed Forces.

Tibisay predicts “a strategy of social irritation that tries to incite violence,” in a country characterized by its stability and peace. She said that the CNE is counting the forms to continue with the next steps that will be announced with “promptness, calm and transparency.” She also endorsed Jorge Rodríguez’s request for his newly formed Commission to be present in the signature verification process and informed that she’d received the request to open a period for complaints, which could increase the established periods to activate the referendum if approved. Tibisay didn’t discard the possibility of releasing signatories’ identities to the public, adding that off days for the public sector won’t affect form counting activities, so next Monday – or Tuesday – she’ll offer information about the signature verification process.

As for the particular piece of legislation she’ll use to support her complaint about the damage that social networks have done to her moral integrity, it’s secondary. But the fact that she believes herself to be a lynchpin of democracy while assuming personal criticism as criticism to the system, and ignoring the obviously sectarian remarks made by PSUV deputies, exceeds even her vast cynicism.

PSUV deputies

Early this Wednesday, deputy Ricardo Molina -who said, some years ago, that “escuálidos” couldn’t benefit from the Gran Misión Vivienda– said that there are going to be signatures and fingerprints belonging to people who don’t exist. He said that if requirements are met, we will hold a referendum this year, but also that Nicolás is going to stay until 2019 and that public employees who don’t support the government are unworthy. If he still ignores the difference between Government and State, he should resign his post. But he wasn’t alone.

Later in the day, Diosdado Cabello said that directors and employees of public institutions who signed in support of the recall referendum “shouldn’t keep their jobs”; that revision will mean coaction, giving every public employee a chance to backtrack if they don’t want to lose their posts. He also claimed that he’s preparing a formal accusation for treason against opposition supporters who went to the OAS to request the application of the Democratic Charter.

Finally the PSUV abandoned all the National Assembly’s committees and went to the Supreme Tribunal to demand the nullification of all Parliamentary decisions after April 26. The idea is to repeat the strategy they applied with the Metropolitan Mayor’s Office: leaving a power effectively powerless. Pedro Carreño announced that an injunctive measure have been requested to the TSJ because the Assembly didn’t comply with the decision 269. The one that violates and restricts the faculties of the very Assembly of which he’s a member.

And chavismo without visas

The OAS convened for this Thursday an extraordinary meeting of its Permanent Council at Venezuela’s request, a week after Luis Almagro met with a group of deputies representing the Democratic Unity Roundtable, who formally requested the OAS to send an observation commission to Venezuela for the recall referendum and to mediate for an institutional dialogue. According to the government, there’s no reason to call for the application of the Democratic Charter because there’s been no alteration in the country’s constitutional or democratic order. For many Venezuelans without food, medicine or basic services, beaten by crime, corruption and impunity, by public institutions that favor the Executive Branch; without any impartial institution to turn to in this crisis, the perception is different.

The meeting that didn’t happen

In the face of severe scarcity of essential products, it’s a challenge for the Armed Forces to stage a show for the arrival of 13 MI-17 helicopters, the cost of which could’ve been spent acquiring many useful supplies. Meanwhile, VP Aristóbulo Istúriz repeats that el finado was murdered because of his plan for a new financial architecture in the world, showing that drugs are bad, and Tibisay Lucena was on the news again at the end of the day because she refused to meet with MUD representatives. According to MUD’s Executive Secretary: “The meeting with Lucena didn’t take place, because she’s not authorized by Miraflores to meet with the MUD yet”.

Chúo Torrealba reiterated that the role of the CNE is to enable the exercise of the right to revoke; he condemned Diosdado’s statement because it isn’t just an opinion, but a violation of the law; of labor rights. Julio Borges said that Tibisay refused to meet with them if Chúo was present, but the rest of the MUD’s leadership refused to accept that condition. The Secretary’s response was simple: “We thought this reaction from the head of the CNE was surprising and inexplicable. The MUD’s representatives are chosen by the MUD, we call for sound judgement and balance,” saying that we’re in a moment of change -and accelerated change at that- that signature revision started this Wednesday because the country demands it, that the CNE’s revision period of five days expires on Sunday and that, on Monday, they must announce the locations where the signatures must be verified.
We carry on.

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