For Thursday, July 7, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
This Tuesday, Delcy Rodríguez condemned “the insolent and immoral statements of [Brazil’s] Foreign Affairs minister,” accusing him of being part of a conspiracy advanced by the international right against Venezuela. This Wednesday’s been a busy day for her, far from the toasts to Independence, as if she had to pay for every tequeño she ate in the celebration. It’s a lot of public statements to talk about a conspiracy, eh?
José Serra, Brazil’s Foreign Affairs minister, met with president Tabaré Vázquez and requested that Venezuela’s appointment as head of Mercosur be postponed until August. Brazil only requests this because the presidency’s election “should be the fruit of an unanimous decision.” The petition was also submitted to Rodolfo Nin Novoa, who said he was considering it.
This Wednesday, Paraguay’s Chamber of Deputies approved and issued a statement against Venezuela’s appointment as head of Mercosur: “Taking into account the difficult times the country’s going through regarding civilian liberties (…) a country that has trouble supplying its people with a full basic food basket; under those circumstances, it can’t preside over an economic alliance with an agenda of integration,” said deputy José María Ibáñez.
María Ángela Holguín, Colombia’s Foreign Affairs minister, traveled to Cúcuta where she studied the situation in the area, almost a year after Nicolás’s order to close the border. She said that Colombia has expressed its desire for the border to be reopened with full security guarantees and added: “we won’t let our Venezuelan brothers suffer from hunger and lack of medicine. If we have to widen the humanitarian corridor, we will.” If there’s one thing of which the 2,200 km of shared border have plenty, it’s space.
Luis Iberico, Perú’s Congress Speaker, offered his support and cooperation for Venezuela to recover peace. After his meeting with the National Assembly’s second vice-president, Simón Calzadilla, he said: “We’ve seen the dramatic situation Venezuela’s currently facing (…) we’re certain that if all the countries in the world support the Venezuelan people, we’ll be able to fulfill the goals we’ve been fighting for.”
During Caricom’s 37th regular meeting, President David Granger said that he trusts the UN’s secretary general Ban Ki-moon to formulate a plan to find a judicial solution to the border dispute his country has with Venezuela, adding that his counterparts in the region are working on a statement regarding the conflict, demanding for the Geneva convention to be ratified.
Far from mediator Zapatero’s parsimony, The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, urged dialogue between the country’s public branches and promised to make efforts to improve bilateral relations. In his statement, Kerry said: “My government recognizes that the past year has been an extremely difficult one for the Venezuelan people. You face many economic challenges that have led to political divisions and severe hardships.”
Meanwhile, the lower chamber of Congress unanimously approved the Bill to extend the legislation that imposes sanctions on Venezuelan authorities accused of Human Rights violations until 2019. Since it was already approved by the Senate, the only requirement is for President Barack Obama to sign the order.
The delegation of representatives from Parlasur’s Human Rights Committee has arrived to the country to hold a Public Hearing to verify the situation of political prisoners and the humanitarian crisis of healthcare and food. They’ll visit political prisoners this Thursday and the schedule includes SEBIN headquarters in El Helicoide and Plaza Venezuela, Ramo Verde prison and the residences of Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos. They will also hear accounts from several NGOs, to issue a report that will be discussed in Parlasur’s next meeting to be held in mid August.
In gatehouse 3
Iris Varela, minister of Prisons, became news this Wednesday thanks to yet another homophobic message against governor Henrique Capriles. The people were expecting her statements regarding the escape of five prisoners from Yare III prison, which she ended up offering later on, saying that a National Guard officer was involved in the escape, that the National Guard itself is investigating [??] and that intelligence agencies are “cross-referencing phone call data” -much like Diosdado Cabello does for his TV show- to find the culprits.
This Wednesday, Nicolás convened the opposition “to rectify and sit at the negotiation table without conditions,” right after saying that the country has witnessed six months of their failure “in trying to approve unconstitutional laws”. He called them a scam, a setback for the country; that they want to oust him, that they want international intervention as they insult the Armed Forces and sully the patriots of the XXI century. After giving all of these incentives, he concluded: “I’m a man of my word and I believe in coming together to find a path to strengthen our country.” ¿No es cuchi?
Death of “undefeated”
Vice-President Aristóbulo Istúriz said before the PSUV’s legislators that cohesion is key to achieve more victories for the revolutionary forces: “We could lose even as the majority we are. That’s why we must band together. Many factors can damage us,” adding that their numbers aren’t enough, that they need resources to sustain the economy, create stability and rebuild the country, because “strength is not built with votes but with conscience.” This must sound weird for those who believed el invicto’s legend for so many years.
Nicolás’s Constitutional Chamber
The Assembly’s board of directors denounces that the TSJ violates Parliament’s autonomy by declaring in his decision N° 473 that Parliament’s Speaker can’t grant powers of legal representation: “The aforementioned decision issued by the Constitutional Chamber severely violates the constitutional and democratic order, and diminishes the Assembly’s right to defend itself in trial. The decision also threatens to penalize the Assembly’s Speaker for alleged non-compliance with precautionary measures that are absolutely invalid.”
Now that banking activities have restarted, we’re back with our everyday depreciation: this Wednesday, the Simadi exchange rate increased by Bs. 7.28, closing at Bs. 639.44 per dollar. Check the new fees published by the BCV for baking operations!Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.