The Longest Recess

Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 2nd, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Thursday, June 2, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The President of the Organization of American States’ Permanent Council proposed a 45 minute recess to discuss the proposals for their statement about Venezuela’s situation. At 4:30 pm they left the hall to return several hours later. Sin baranda no hay paraíso.

The text proposed by Argentina and Mexico, negotiated during an informal meeting involving 30 delegations this Tuesday, had the most support and became the official statement. The other proposal was Venezuela’s, supported by Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Antigua and Barbuda. Only Paraguay used their speech to explicitly request that the recall referendum be included in the joint statement -quoting its pertinence in 2004- as a democratic solution to Venezuela’s crisis.

The rest of the speeches pledged their support to the dialogue that’s yet to be -and which the PSUV pollutes with their vileness-, to non-interference, to backing member States instead of penalizing them, to the sun and the stars. A fruitless discussion, capable of destroying the patience of anybody who doesn’t belong to that weird world.

Venezuela demanded explicit support for Nicolás. They didn’t get it. The joint statement speaks about the importance of identifying a course of action to help find solutions through open and inclusive dialogue among authorities and all social and political actors, to preserve peace and safety. It supports the initiative of the anointed former presidents, members of UNASUR, and also internal dialogue that can resolve differences.

Paraguay criticized delaying tactics because Venezuela’s freedom must be guaranteed, and again demanded that the recall referendum be discussed. They didn’t oppose the joint statement but they didn’t back it either. Argentina clarified that a stronger text would provide nothing and that they hope that Venezuela accepts the OAS’s proposal. Bernardo Álvarez, Venezuelan representative before the OAS, said that Nicolás was the one to advance dialogue and exhorted all those present to congratulate each other for the achievement. The meeting’s conclusion was amazing: the member States didn’t let Luis Almagro’s chief of staff speak and simply ended the meeting.

I thank Almagro again, no doubt the meeting’s loser. Regardless, his decency helped place Venezuela at the center of the discussion, adding international pressure to the non-existent dialogue. Will the OAS fulfill the task it stands for? Our thanks to Paraguay’s government, the best voice we, who want to solve this crisis democratically, can count on.

Delcy’s diplomacy

“Almagro doesn’t give orders in Venezuela,” she said during a press conference. She even asked “Who elected you?,” as if she had forgotten that Nicolás himself voted for Almagro as OAS’s Secretary General. She repeated several times that the Democratic Charter can’t be applied, “because it can’t be used to punish states,” which according to her, proved that Almagro was using article 20 the wrong way. Because the the IADC exists to protect democratic systems in case of threats of coups d’etat, not when the government breaks the Rule of Law and branch autonomy, imprisons opposition members, violates Human Rights and blocks the recall referendum as a constitutional method for regime change. Delcy lied again, alerting that the Democratic Charter will bring an -even armed- intervention.

The PSUV’s armed forces

The statement signed by Defence minister Vladimir Padrino López, is written in all caps. It’s a scream, as insolent and inadequate as its arguments. In it, the Armed Forces express their indignation and condemn a diplomatic initiative that the Venezuelan State has endorsed in other countries; they attack Luis Almagro and say there’s no rupture of the constitutional order. They speak of insults and epitaphs, of treachery and oustings, of Nicolás and their unflinching loyalty to him; they call for unity to face this threat and solidify the free and sovereign fatherland Bolívar envisioned. So sovereign, Simón; so free, that today’s depreciation took the Simadi exchange rate to Bs. 543 per dollar. This is anybody’s vision when they dream of their family name stamped on a currency without purchasing power, strong only in name and sadly weak in practice, just like the Armed Forces themselves.

In the parallel country

Isaac Campos Marín, five years old, died because he’d gone 31 days without a catheter and couldn’t get his dialysis. However, this Wednesday, Nicolás wanted to be the father who opened Miraflores to the PSUV’s youth. To dance, read protest signs, play at boxing and urge them to defend the sovereignty Isaac sadly lacked, the freedom that nobody under the threat of crime has, and the non-existent democracy.

He repeated that the application of the IADC constitutes a foreign intervention, and we now “need to start a historic resistance that would take us to victory.” That’s why he invited the audience to fulfill three tasks: defend the country’s freedom “right now and today” starting a battle for truth through social networks, text messages and calls; march the streets to defend sovereignty (asking for nice things) and start meetings of the street government for youth “with zero bureaucracy, zero politiquería.” In case hashtags and bots were insufficient, he added: “And if one day, that should never come, we were forced to take up arms, let the entire nation do that and let’s go to the front to defend this sacred land.”


A delegation of the National Assembly delivered another agreement demanding the National Electoral Council to provide the electoral schedule for the Recall Referendum as soon as possible. They only met with official Luis Emilio Rondón, but they’re supposed to do so with the entire CNE board this Thursday. Eugenio Martínez (@puzkas) says that even though it was understood that the fingerprint authentication process was to start on June 2, this won’t happen, since he reports that the first phase (form scanning, fingerprint revision, etc) will be ready this Thursday; a task that should take five continuous days according to regulations but that the CNE took a month to complete.

The solutions to the crisis are the real protagonists of the longest recess. Despair works at a different pace, and we see its ferocity every day between protests and lootings. There’s no dialogue or agreements there, just an invaluable loss of civility, that civility which should be upheld by the OAS’s member states with their diplomacy.

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.