Most Venezuelans are convinced of the need for the recall referendum. In view of the lack of autonomy demonstrated by the National Electoral Council, which announced today that the forms for the 1% signatures will go through five validation stages and an audit phase, dialogue is an imperative because, aside from peaceful protest as a means to apply pressure, we have no other alternative. Examples abound in history of worse circumstances than our own where dialogue has served to stop violence and create agreements.

The Venezuelan Opposition’s minimum demand for dialogue is the activation of the referendum this year. Period. The arrest of commissioner Coromoto Gutiérrez, Henry Ramos Allup’s chief of security, by SEBIN officers, is a pescozada for the first negotiation meeting. Many of Nicolás’ words in his meeting with PSUV members this afternoon, go in the same direction: making the possibility for dialogue an absurdity, because he’s going to undermine it, denying reality, violating the Constitution and keeping us in our deplorable conditions.

The mediators

Thanking Unasur more than necessary, the former presidents opted for low-key postures that didn’t provide the necessary content to believe in them. The fact that both parties expressed their willingness to respect dialogue isn’t a different starting point than previous attempts. Zapatero emphasized the word “attempt”, and said that we’re merely at the start of the road, that any expectation is premature; but also that thanks to his career, he knows the way and the method. Despite the removal of the Spanish Ambassador, he said that he’s talked with president Rajoy about the need to keep good relations, acknowledging his country’s vast freedom of speech and press and the importance it holds for political dialogue and democratic culture. Remember: “Dialogue is created without setting conditions before starting it,” according to Zapatero. The MUD had a good response for this event, read the text.

Formally

The opposition formally requested Luis Almagro,Secretary General of the Organization of American States, to urgently invoke the Inter American Democratic Charter. Almagro will express his decision in a report about the Venezuelan situation that he’ll present before the Permanent Council, also considering the position taken by the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs Minister. Remember that Article 20 of the Democratic Charter authorizes him to convene the Permanent Council to evaluate whether there has been a severe violation of the constitutional and democratic order in a member country.

Concerned

The head of Human Rights Watch for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, stated this Thursday that it’s essential for the regional community to act soon to avoid violent repercussions: “Venezuela’s situation is extremely severe. We’re witnessing a true situation of crisis. I think facts speak for themselves and demand the international community to set a clear and concrete posture,” speaking about the helplessness of Venezuelans, the need to reduce tensions and improve the Venezuelan government’s deplorable record regarding Human Rights.

Rodolfo Novoa, Chancellor of Uruguay, also issued a statement, speaking about the complex -almost endemic- situation that we’re going through, due to the application of a failed model; about the dangerous paths that Venezuelan society will have to tread and about the recall referendum as the only way to solve this crisis, because its activation would “relieve pressure from the cooker.” Curiously, Pablo Iglesias, direct beneficiary of the Venezuelan oil boom, showed his concern this Thursday for this situation so close to civilian strife, to the conflict between the Executive Branch and the Parliament; adding that he doesn’t accept that there are political prisoners in Venezuela and celebrating Zapatero’s mediation.

The guy who says carajo

Nicolás used the Ríos Reyna hall of the Teresa Carreño Theatre to install the new Central Bolivarian Command and swear in the representatives for his party’s Regional Directorates. Same as always, even though he insisted on the creation of new leaderships. The PSUV is a shattered party and revealing that the CLAPs are a secret weapon to win the economic war is admitting the perverse incentive represented by the “power” of handing down the food that still remains in exchange for people to applaud Nicolás. He blurted many “Carajos” as a sign of strength, as he said that there’s a traitor behind every corrupt official (imagine the faces of those on stage with him,) demanding an end for regional groups, conflict and division within the PSUV.

Since he never stands in lines, he feels “blessed by Venezuelan women”. Since he doesn’t suffer our circumstances, he says that socialism is superior to capitalism. Since he lives in his propaganda country, he demanded the PSUV to “make themselves be loved and admired” -thus admitting that he’s hated and despised. And, although he claimed to be able to show the PSUV’s electoral superiority with numbers, he doesn’t allow the activation of a referendum against him.

Meanwhile, Diosdado said that in case of an attempt by the right, “the revolutionary force is more than united: chavistas sin guabineos”; that crises are good because they allow growth and that they don’t fear the recall referendum. “If they pull out a rifle against us, we’ll be there,” he said; but it’s going to be armed civilians who are going to pull out their rifles with the authorization of Padrino López, who said the same idiocy about civilian-military union as a justification for this aberration. A soldier commands or obeys, he never unites.

Ze plane, boss, ze plane!

The United States denied that a military plane belonging to their nation had violated the Venezuelan aerial territory. Navy Captain Jeff Davis, spokesman for the Pentagon, said that they invest all efforts during monitoring flights -against organized crime and illegal trafficking- to respect internationally recognized borders; adding that the plane closest to Venezuela at the date and hours denounced by Nicolás was in international aerial territory at 160 km from our country. ¿Entonces, Nicolás?
Our daily devaluation? Simadi closed at Bs. 445.77 per dollar, as the TSJ declares that the State of Emergency Decree is constitutional. What an unexpected decision, eh?

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Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.