They're Surrounded

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, June 8th, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

There were riots, protests and lootings this Tuesday. News and pictures arrived from Carora, San Juan de los Morros, Ocumare del Tuy, Barquisimeto, Boca de Uchire, Puerto Cabello, Maturín, Margarita and Valera. Once again, the National Police prevented an opposition march to reach CNE’s headquarters in Caracas. A lot of pepper spray, more repression. Simultaneously, colectivos in 23 de Enero negotiated the release of their panas with Aristóbulo Istúriz. Let’s be straight: armed paramilitary groups can shut off an entire neighborhood (without consequences and with benefits) but civilians can’t march peacefully. Violence is legitimized while rights are violated. The bullet’s recognized, but not the cédula.

What happened in the CNE?

Once more, the rectoras cancelled their meeting with the Democratic Unity Roundtable’s commission and they ended up meeting official Luis Emilio Rondón. The most important thing of what’s known so far is this: The CNE accepted about 1,300,000 signatures pending validation (they rejected 650,000 signatures, give or take.) Those whose signatures got to the validation phase must go and get their fingerprint scanned. But as @puzkas explains, the CNE will carry out a parallel authentication, an option for anyone who might want to back down, an option to remove signatures. Remember, the key of this process is getting 1% of voters for each state, the national tally is irrelevant, so the “back down” option is meant to affect totals in weaker regions. This Wednesday the CNE will announce the dates for the authentication phase, but it’s expected to take place between June 16 and 20.

The parallel world

99% of the country wants peace, said Nicolás. Too bad the government’s the remaining 1%. He used the MUD’s absence at the Dominican Republic’s meeting as the guideline for his entire cadena and launched three proposals for UNASUR’s dialogue commission: 1) the installation of his Truth Commission: “which everybody will be forced to attend, even Ramo Verde’s monster”; 2) a meeting between all government branches to work better, addressing Henry Ramos Allup exclusively: “either you’re the National Assembly’s Speaker and leader of the opposition or you aren’t”; and 3) abandoning all form of political, social and criminal violence, although he devoted his cadena to insulting the opposition.

Jorge Rodríguez -his favorite villain- helped him with his discourse, by telling a series of amazing lies. They called Capriles a gay drug addict; they blamed the opposition’s weakness on “overheated ovaries”. They warned that should the revolution call for violence, millions would take to the streets; he didn’t say what the story would be if he called them to vote for him, sadly.

Nicolás went nuts about the CLAPs: “Now people value things more, because when you have to pay for something, you value it more”. Just before using a memorable phrase: “Herod wants to kill the children” -he means the CLAPs, not children without medication- to end up saying that everything that’s produced will go to the CLAPS a juro. “The CLAPs are first y quien se quiere arrechar que se arreche.” Aristóbulo Istúriz clarified this point: out of everything that’s produced in Venezuela, the government will demand 70% for the CLAPs. This is serious. With a deficit of almost 20 points in GDP, he created the Ministry for Ecological Mining Development -something like wet dryness, being obese and thin or productive socialists… oh, wait!-.

What Nicolás didn’t say

The Prosecutor’s Office will take Yeisy Reneé Burgos Moreno, chief of Táchira police, before the 2nd Court in Control Functions of Táchira state, for his responsibility in the death of Jenny Ortíz Gómez, who died when she was shot in the face and the head with plastic pellets. All the racket about the Ministry of Urban Agriculture’s harvest is pure nonsense, since the 273 harvested tons are less than 10 grams of food per Venezuelan and that’s Empresas Polar’s harina PAN production every four hours. Nor did he explain how it was stupid to celebrate the increase in oil prices to $40 because the national budget’s calculated at $60.

Healthcare aid is necessary

The special hearing regarding the right to access healthcare and medicines in Venezuela took place this Tuesday in Chile, during the 158th period of extraordinary sessions of the Inter American Human Rights Commission (IAHRC). Several Venezuelan social organizations expressed their concern for the crisis the country’s going through due to serious setbacks in healthcare rights, the many problems of the healthcare system, massive shortages of medicines, supplies and equipment, and the collapse of public health services.

Venezuela uses 4.7% of its GDP in the healthcare sector -one of the lowest figures in Latin America-, The budget for 2016 dropped by 62% and 74% of the total expenditure for 2015 was obtained through additional credits. The coalition of institutions delivered IAHRC commissioners a joint report.

Minister Luisana Melo openly lied before the IAHRC. She spoke of the Constitution, the right to housing and to sport; she gave figures on education, literacy and pensions, matters that are relevant to Venezuelan health only in her head. She said that there’s been an emphasis in Venezuela on improving the quality of life and health prevention, that more than 5,000 healthcare centers have been opened and more than 20,000 new communal integral doctors have graduated, that we have the necessary medicines “although they’re not from commercial brands,” claiming that Venezuela’s one of the few countries in the world where high-cost and cancer medicines are guaranteed. The hit came with the statement that maybe there are some “specific cases” in Venezuela but that access to medication is guaranteed in general.

The institutions requested what’s necessary: that the State fulfills its obligation of using the maximum available resources to supply medicines, but the State doesn’t accept that the crisis needs immediate actions, that the available resources include resources from agencies and other international actors. This Herod called Nicolás will continue killing these children whose name isn’t CLAP. The country will continue burning and his lackeys will remain surrounded. Because in the end, the proportion of soldiers compared to desperate people is the same as urban agriculture figures compared to the country’s millions of inhabitants. Is violence legitimized as rights are violated? Is the bullet recognized but not the cédula? The “Venezuelanazo” continues, disastrous and chaotic. They’re surrounded.

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.