For Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The first day of biometric validation to activate the recall referendum was successful. There were all kinds of complications: rain, validation centers opening late, blocked roads, power outages, both real and fictional protests and few operational captahuellas in centers with the most voters. Henrique Capriles reported the numbers and insisted on the need for the CNE to compensate the hours lost due to power outages, as well as the urgency to transport the captahuellas to places with higher voting population. 77,557 signatures were validated this Monday, 36.7% out of the 1% required per state. We must reach this 1% of voters per state, an absurd requirement imposed by the CNE’s rectoras based on their version of the Law.

Against VP

Venezuelan justice holds two records: “Most Decisions in Favor of the PSUV” and “Most Postponed Court Hearings.” This Monday, Leopoldo López, Ángel González, Demian Martín and Christian Holdack were once again taken to the Palace of Justice but, once there, they were notified that judge Evelyn Mendoza was “not feeling well,” so the hearing was postponed due to health issues. The new date for the hearing wasn’t announced.

The National Guard illegally detained Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel -members of Voluntad Popular-, when they were driving to Portuguesa state to help with the signature validation process. David Smolansky, Mayor of El Hatillo, informed that they’re held in isolation since this Sunday and have been questioned twice by the Bolivarian Service of Intelligence (SEBIN).

Ramos Allup’s retort

The National Assembly’s Speaker replied this Monday to Defense minister, Vladimir Padrino López and Nicolás. He reminded the former -who threatened him with a military trial for discrediting and insulting the Armed Forces- that civilians aren’t tried by military tribunals; that it’s nonsense to compare the Military High Command’s actions with the deeds of liberators and that it’s not the opposition who has dishonored the Armed Forces, showing a picture of Padrino López kneeling before Fidel Castro, both in sports clothing. Ramos Allup summarized the serious crimes about which the Armed Forces have remained silent: drug trafficking, murdered members of the military, corruption cases; he left this information to the minister in case he wants to write another statement..

“If the OAS is offering the chance to speak, we’ll take it (…) They think that if we don’t speak about what’s happening, the problems will go away,” Ramos Allup said before rejecting Nicolás’s invitation to dialogue, telling him to enjoy his illegitimacy: “Use whatever mechanisms you want, bring as many weapons as you like. The Assembly won’t validate crimes”. He also told him that dialogue should be the rule, but there are no conditions; that the opposition is autonomous and they can decide when, how and where to participate in a dialogue and that, when they actually decide to do that, they’ll announce it publicly and openly, but as long as the TSJ is part of the conflict, they can’t settle constitutional differences.

Against Almagro

Delcy Rodríguez accused Luis Almagro of persistently attacking Venezuela, saying that he lacks equanimity and impartiality -which plainly violates the OAS’s Charter-, demanding his resignation as Secretary General.

Meanwhile, Luis Florido, head of the National Assembly’s Foreign Policy Committee, insists that Nicolás has broken the constitutional order and refuses to accept democratic solutions to the crisis, ratifying that there’s no dialogue between the government and the opposition in Venezuela, and demanding the mediators to tell the truth: that the crisis has gotten worse and the Executive Branch keeps violating the Constitution. The former presidents were invited by the OAS for this Tuesday’s meeting, to explain the status of the mediation supported by UNASUR.

Finally, Eladio Loizaga, Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs minister, said that Mercosur’s Foreign Affairs ministers meeting will take place the first week of July and that it’ll depend on the schedules of his Uruguayan and Argentine counterparts. Additionally, AN member Timoteo Zambrano reported that U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Thomas Shannon, would soon arrive to Venezuela.

In the BCV

Nelson Merentes, chief of the Central Bank of Venezuela, said that the “irregular” situation in the Bank’s headquarters was quickly controlled. A guy armed with a gun and an explosive device took a hostage, caused a shootout, wounded two security guards and was killed. This is an “irregular” situation. Merentes hopes this is an isolated event. The attacker allegedly wanted to commit a robbery. But relax, they’re carrying out all the appropriate investigations. Maybe they’ll frame a municipal police officer.

Against PoliChacao

This Monday, Interior minister Gustavo González López, claimed that 14 PoliChacao officers were involved as material authors -without discarding intellectual involvement- in the murder of journalist Ricardo Durán, saying that the weapon used  belonged to PoliChacao since December 9, 2015 and that it was also used to murder a former Salias municipal police officer. The 7th Court for the Metropolitan Area ordered the arrest of these police officers for intentional homicide.

Our everyday depreciation: the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 604.88 per dollar, increasing Bs. 1.66 in the first day of the week.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.


  1. In Margarita, there are four validation points for a population of about 650,000 people. Each validation point is supposed to validate one person every 60 seconds… in theory. So, at 60 per hour for eight hours in five days, at the very BEST, they can validate 9,600 signatures. I don’t actually know the number, but let’s assume that only 300,000 of the total population are registered voters. 1% of that is 3,000 so, in theory, it is enough.

    However, the “theory” doesn’t take into account that yesterday at one validation center, the power went out four times. Each time when it came back on, they had to wait another twenty minutes for the machines to heat up again.

    The “theory” doesn’t take into account that they are rejecting many people because the the machine doesn’t “recognize” their fingerprints. They are rejected, after having used up their minute and more in arguing with the CNE operative.

    My friend spent the entire day at the validation point yesterday without getting to validate her signature. She will be back this morning. She has a bracelet that is supposed to get her to the front of the line. She and the others are convinced that this whole operation is being deliberately sabotaged by the CNE.

    Another friend said that her entire family signed at the same time and that their signatures were ALL excluded. Another man I know who signed, has been told by the CNE that he can’t validate his signature because, according to the CNE database, he is dead.

        • When I went to the nearest SAIME office to renew my ID (aka cédula), there was one man who the guy collecting the ID copies told his ID serial number (Not the number, but the one in red letters behind) “didn’t register”, so, he was basically considered a dead person, and thus, he should go to the other SAIME office in the city to “solve the issue”

          That is, when those salarymen only want to work until 11am, and demand the people to arrive before 7am (There were people there since 3am that day, I arrived by 5:30am and was almost sleeping while standing like a freaking totem), so the “dead man” just lost his whole morning for nothing.

          All the chavista-controlled public offices are just extortion devices to suck money from the people.

          • The main SAIME office in Caracas’s Torre Simon Bolivar begins to pass the 10-hour 6-floor stairway line at 10:30 A. M., or so. For non-Venezuelan residents, you can by-pass the line, waiting only 2 hours standing up, for Bs. 400m, and some have been charged $700, by one of the many 3-man mafias inside….

  2. In other news, not publicized, but real, Colectivos murdered 2 competing bachaqueros, and seriously wounded 8 others (many thought most wouldn’t survive), in Plaza Perez Bonalde–reports say that the Colectivos control Caracas non-CLAP price-controlled food distribution, giving 25% to the colas, and reserving 75% for their own bachaqueros….

    • There’s little surprise there, colectivos have been composed from regular murderous muggers since the corpse took over, because criminals are much easier to manipulate into becoming informal paramilitary enforcers to control the population.

  3. There will be no recall. The opposition still not up to tasks. Venezuela is getting tiring. America could care less.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here