An Intervened Country

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, May 31, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

This Monday the Ombudsman said: “There can’t be first, second or third-category Human Rights,” but his first actions of the day reveal his lie. The investigations for the murder of retired Major General Félix Velázquez, which took place last Saturday in Santa Mónica, Caracas, have included the intervention of the Chacao Police Department for the alleged involvement of two of its members in the crime. If this happened every time a member of the military or the police is accused of a crime, the National Guard, the National Police and the Armed Forces would be severely compromised all year long.

The Minister of Interior, Justice and Peace, Gustavo González López, didn’t say a word about the massacre of 11 men in Trujillo state, which proves that, even as victims, the military have privileges.

Nicolas’s version

He supposedly honored the murdered Major General during a meeting with PSUV mayors and governors, calling him leader, martyr and brother. But he only tried to squeeze the death into Miranda state’s crime statistics and advance information on the intervention of PoliChacao. His softest remark was that Ramón Muchacho had a stupid face.

Paramilitary gangs, he repeated several times before talking about the OLP’s national operation to combat them, about a special plan to finish them: a superior fighting plan of civilian-military unity to attack crime. Nicolás gave the order for the murderers to be captured alive, hinting at the possibility that he might also order a criminal killed. He yelled: “The OAS should be out of Latin America!,” although in his meditative persona he admitted that they’ve made their worst mistakes for not listening to the people – it seems this doesn’t include the request for a recall referendum -. The cutest thing was his statement of being in pain for paying $36 billion in foreign debt, as if the one responsible for that debt was an alien instead of el finado.

Dominican Republic

The other big scandal this weekend was the meeting that members of the Democratic Unity Roundtable held with the “mediators” chosen by the Unasur to promote dialogue with the government.

“Either we talk or we kill each other” said Chúo Torrealba, head of the MUD, early this Monday. But the true alternative is “or they kill us,” because there are no guns on this side. He clarified that it was Rodríguez Zapatero who asked for the meeting to be handled with the highest discretion because it wasn’t dialogue yet, but merely a first talk. Acknowledging the terms, the MUD alerted the former prime minister that the government would leak the information because they’re not interested in dialogue, but in the show.

Chúo repeated that, in order for a dialogue with the government to be possible, MUD’s conditions are: the recall referendum, the release of political prisoners, accepting humanitarian aid to overcome the crisis in food and medical supplies and respecting the Constitution, branch autonomy and the National Assembly. A meeting is scheduled to take place this Tuesday between the MUD and the officials of CNE to present their complaints about the referendum. Also, CNE official Socorro Hernández is expected to honor her word on the beginning of the signature validation process starting June 2.

PSUV’s version

Delcy Rodríguez lied. Telesur repeated its messages to the beat of official propaganda. Her brother, Jorge Rodríguez, mentioned none of this during this Monday’s press conference, but he did tell us his version: “I know what it was that really happened, but for the sake of dialogue, I won’t reveal what really happened. I subscribe UNASUR’s statements, preliminary efforts for dialogue have been started (…) The truth is that members of PJ, VP, UNT and AD were all there. To do what? Not to bathe in the beach, I’m sure,” the signature validator said, in his eagerness to undermine all efforts.

Rodríguez said -once again- that there are many forms with repeated handwriting and fingerprints, with forged and defective signatures, and for that reason the PSUV will request the CNE to meticulously verify all forms, beside the rest of the administrative, judicial and political actions they will take.

In addition, a march of motorizados was called for this Tuesday from Parque del Este to Miraflores, another one is planned for Wednesday “against the OAS’s interference” and yet another on Saturday, in case the one for Wednesday doesn’t manage to attract that many people. Nicolás no longer leaves the government palace.

Better by trade

Tarek William Saab said that, on the matter of medicines, he’d rather trade between countries than use humanitarian channels. Even though there was an important digital manifestation this Monday demanding them to accept the help with the hashtag #AceptenLaAyuda, for the right to health and life, since shortages of medicines and medical supplies is estimated at 90%. But the Ombudsman preferred to criticize medicine prices than admitting the severe shortage we’re suffering. Someone should remind him that imports take far longer than humanitarian aid, that there are patients who can’t wait for agreements and therefore, more people will die due to negligence. The rest of the “Ombudsman’s” statements are not even worth the mention.

What comes and what goes

China sold 96 tons of medicines to Venezuela to combat complications derived from the zika virus. China’s ambassador, Zhao Bantang and Health minister Luisana Melo received the shipment without elaborating on the costs this new aspect of the strategic binational partnership had for the country or what’s in the shipment beside fluid therapy and immunoglobulin G.

Lufthansa announced that they’ll suspend their flights to Venezuela due to a debt of over $100 million in ticket sale profit. LATAM Airlines made the same announcement, for the same reasons: the impossibility of returning profits, retained in bolívares due to currency exchange restrictions, makes it inviable for them to keep operating here. Venezuelans can no longer make international calls and soon we won’t be able to travel either.

But the vice-president for the Economic Area, Miguel Pérez Abad, played for optimism and announced the activation of a Dicom dollar exchange rate, without a date or details about this “new” system. Here’s the funny thing: for Pérez Abad if the black market dollar drops it’s thanks to Dicom, but if it climbs, the economic war is to blame, even though 72% of the population don’t believe in that concept. In any case, Dicom dollar marks the decline of the bolívar’s value since its creation and this exchange rate has depreciated by 57.5%. The minister also failed to mention the deficit of almost 20% GDP, and the inflation rate for April, estimated at 294%, and much less the core inflation rate, calculated at 704%, or the price of the basic food basket which hiked to Bs. 256,146.79, meaning 22 minimum wages are needed to buy it. His credibility is on par with Nicolás’ popularity, but still the cynicism is exhausting.

Venezuela is an intervened country, not by any kind of interference, but by the indifference of a useless, corrupt government.

Naky Soto

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.