Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 9th, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Thursday, June 9, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

“We’re hungry!,” yelled some. “We don’t want CLAPs!”, yelled others. “I don’t want bags, I want to shop for myself!,” said a mostly toothless doña. Protests continued for the same reason, and the National Guard and the National Police dispersed them with tear gas and pellets. National television no longer covers protests, and now the TSJ’s has ruled to ban digital media from showing pictures and/or videos of lynchings and protests, claiming it could incite and multiply them. Violence in response to people demanding food, unacceptable.

The march for the CLAPs

Nicolás didn’t make an appearance to thank the CLAPs for their support. There was no cadena and he didn’t dance with Cilia. Aristóbulo Istúriz, who has taken a more radical line than Nicolás since last Tuesday, was the speaker. More malandro than schoolteacher, according to him everything that damages the government -merely for that reason- is anybody’s responsibility except the government’s. He repeated several times that the CLAPs are a political instrument, for political contexts and he nearly said that it’s ok to use hunger to dominate the people.

“The paramilitary groups are in cahoots with the political mafias,” he said. He has a point: he’d just met with colectivos from 23 de Enero. He talked about paramilitary groups in El Guarataro, El Observatorio, Barlovento and the Eastern region of the country. He said the government doesn’t fear them. Maybe he forgot that his duty as Vice-president is to arrest and try them, to understand that admitting paramilitary groups within the country is an utter failure for all of the government’s intelligence services.

Aristóbulo’s through with negotiation. He renounced his former moderation and his role in any transition scenario. He railed against the “worthless” OAS, and he insulted Almagro. He threw many knives con liguita as he reminded his audience that indoctrination is the CLAPs’ primary task, because “if we don’t share the revolutionary consciousness with society,” the people could be divided.

We’re already divided

For Erika Farías, governor of Cojedes state: “the bourgeoisie can’t be allowed to undermine the CLAPs organization and work, we can’t allow them to do that. There can’t be escuálidos in the CLAPs, there can’t be bachaqueros, there can’t be anti-revolutionaries.” That’s why she urged the CLAPs to go door to door and convince the patriots, convince those who aren’t convinced, convince them beyond the bag of groceries, because the economic war will have many consequences and they have to prepare for battle and win no matter what. Polarization is a priority. The CLAPartheid is legal for the PSUV.

Doing what they want

Nepotism is a practice to cement loyalties. The appointment of Carla Di Martino, Tarek William Saab’s better half, as the Ombudsman’s assistant, was published in Official Gazette this Wednesday. And disobedience is also a matter of patriots, so Francisco Arias Cárdenas -governor of Zulia state- won’t go to the National Assembly to be questioned, arguing that the demand was unconstitutional because it violates the authority of regional and national institutions, it usurps functions and validates an unconstitutional action.

Violations are fair game too (for them, of course). That’s why the Official Gazette also contains an order to intervene Chacao Municipal Comptrollership, yet another consequence of the intervention of Chacao Police Department after the homicide of retired General Félix Velásquez. Finally, it’s been 39 days and the CNE’s rectoras still refuse to conclude a process that should’ve only taken five continuous days according to the law. They failed their word again, they gave no dates for citizens to authenticate our signatures. Without impartial judges to mediate between the irresponsibility of public powers under the Executive Branch’s control and citizens’ democratic demands, the Venezuelan opposition feels like Haiti against Brazil in the Copa América.

Palo abajo

The World Bank estimates that recessions in Brazil and Venezuela are yet to hit bottom and might last much longer than previously anticipated: “There’s a risk that these recessions spread to other countries in the region,” they say in an update on their Global Economic Prospects. Add this to our everyday depreciation, the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 572.88 per dollar, up Bs. 3.78 since Tuesday.

Humanitarian aid

The Concepción Palacios Maternity Hospital temporarily shut down their activities to demand the government to accept humanitarian aid, because they’re working in the worst conditions, without even the most basic resources, which forces them to ask patients to buy their own supplies.

The Spanish Foreign Affairs minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, advocated in this matter, speaking about a plan that will be proposed next June 20th during the meeting that the European Union’s Foreign Affairs council will hold in Brussels. The goal’s for this plan to be managed jointly by the government and the National Assembly, in order for them to “work together on a vitally important matter.”

The European Parliament demanded the government this Wednesday “the immediate release of all political prisoners” and respect for the constitutional mechanism of the recall referendum against the president, through a decision approved with 501 votes in favor and 94 against -and agreed upon by the European Chamber’s main political groups- stating that the release of political prisoners is a prerequisite for the opening of a dialogue with the opposition. The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, will meet with former president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero in the next few days to discuss Venezuela’s situation.

Finally, the head of UNASUR, Ernesto Samper, is coming to Caracas to discuss the development of the non-existent dialogue. ¡Qué esperanzador!

We carry on, my dears. We must carry on.

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.