For Saturday, June 18, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
This Friday, Lufthansa’s last flight departed from Maiquetía Airport. Protests for food went on in several regions of the country, with Naiguatá being the most relevant this Friday night. At 10:10 pm. Henrique Capriles tweeted that the meeting between the MUD and the CNE’s officials had concluded, and made it clear that negotiations were fruitless, that they’ll provide all the details this Saturday and that the PSUV held on to their strategy: installing signature validation centers in less populated areas to discourage signatories from participating.
Supporting the fraud
Diosdado Cabello said that the identities of 20,000 PSUV supporters were usurped in the signatures delivered by the opposition, so he gave the order to protest, to raise all the necessary claims and of course, to exclude the signatures, adding that “officials who signed against Nicolás Maduro can’t be allowed to hold relevant posts (…). Leadership posts? They can’t have any. Is that what a revolutionary would do? And if a chief allows it, then they’re not revolutionaries either,” said the guy who, week after week, refers to the opposition as fascists.
Carrying out Diosdado’s order, PSUV members went to the Prosecutor’s Office to denounce the alleged illegality of the signatures delivered by the opposition. The fact that AN member Darío Vivas was their spokesman explains a lot. And then there’s Iris Varela, minister of Prisons, who also went to the Prosecutor’s Office with 300 inmates to introduce their claim and a petition to start an investigation against Henrique Capriles for “forging 1,300 signatures belonging to several prison inmates.” This woman who appears to be unable to react against prison violence, delays in judicial procedures, prisoner access to weapons and many other painful situations, was appalled by allegedly forged signatures.
Being the fraud
The guys behind the hashtags used by the PSUV’s bots deserve a special mention. The period to exclude signatures for the referendum concluded this Friday, and they really put some thought into it and wrote -even for the printed fliers they handed out among their supporters- the phrase: #NoSoyParteDelFraude. It’s easy to ignore the “No” and just read exactly what they are: part of the fraud. It looked really coherent on government accounts. But the PSUV started threatening teachers, policemen, people who benefit from social programs and other government officials. The National Police, for example, published lists of officers who signed, containing names, cédulas, rank and state. Harassment? ¡No vale! Los fachos son otros.
The exclusion process was the real fraud and failure. They only managed to remove 5,500 signatures in five days. Such an awful racket just to remove less than 0.5% of the valid signatures, against all of the CNE-imposed filters. This Friday’s accusations and claims are not without a purpose, they need another barajita after this failure. Who paid for the banners that PPT put this Friday in Plaza Venezuela, close to the CNE’s headquarters? There’s a lot of them and they just read: “Con firmas chimbas no hay revocatorio.” Maybe the Constitutional Chamber will admit them as evidence to benefit the PSUV:
Former presidents with Almagro
Several former presidents, members of the Democratic Initiative of Spain and the Americas (IDEA), expressed their full support for OAS’s SecGen Luis Almagro, for his incorruptible commitment to his duties, hoping that the meeting on June 23rd will start the process of restoring Venezuela’s democratic order, saying that Almagro’s report evidences the multi-dimensional nature of Venezuela’s crisis, due to the absence of a solid political system based on institutionality and respect for the Rule of Law. Delcy must be bursting with joy.
Bernardo Álvarez, Venezuela’s ambassador before the OAS, explained that Nicolás doesn’t accept the humanitarian channel proposed by the opposition because, according to him, what they’re looking for is political change in the country. For the brilliant ambassador, only devastation caused by natural disasters qualifies as a humanitarian crisis: Venezuela barely has shortage and supply problems – many of them chronic, he added – but there’s no humanitarian crisis. Álvarez thinks that the country’s problem -as if there was only one, as if we weren’t collapsing- must be dealt with internally.
Henry Ramos Allup announced that he’ll offer a press conference next Monday to reply to Nicolás, “to his military high command and his unconstitutional chamber. I hope he doesn’t sabotage me with a cadena,” he tweeted. He also spoke about the failed dialogue, calling the Executive Branch a farce, referring to the procedures to petition penalties for Almagro and prevent him from speaking before the OAS. I’ll wait for the press conference with imaginary pop corn.
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