Raising the stakes


I don’t write briefings on weekends. This exception is bitter. In addition to the significant number of soldiers being mobilized —with all their instruments of war— to Caracas, the government raise the stakes for the September 1st march and for the opposition’s entire political plan. The party they chose to focus their cruelty on is Voluntad Popular. MEl Hatillo ayor David Smolansky has become the spokesman to report Human Rights violations against VP members.

The day started with the tweets sent by San Cristóbal mayor, Patricia de Ceballos, denouncing that a Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) commando turned up at her house at 3:00 a.m. saying they were there for a “medical visit” for her husband, former mayor Daniel Ceballos. Once he was in the ambulance they revealed the real plan: SEBIN showed the transfer warrant -signed by judge Yosmar González- to the 26 de Julio prison, located in San Juan de los Morros. To justify this, the Ministry of Interior and Justice issued a statement in which they say that Ceballos was planning to escape house arrest “before next September 1st, in order to lead and coordinate violent acts in the country.”

Francisco Márquez and Gabriel San Miguel were also transferred at 11 a.m. from 26 de Julio prison in Guárico, to Tocuyito prison in Carabobo. Gabo’s mother, Maribel Rodríguez, explained that she was set to visit her son yesterday and as they waited in front of the prison to enter, they saw a bus transporting them out of the place. The transfer of these political prisoners, who have already been subjected to all kinds of violations, is a macabre move that evidences this regime’s radical and repressive mature. Nicolás is responsible for these men’s physical integrity and life. Tarek William Saab, who should be performing his duties as Ombudsman, remains silent.

About the deportations

Ecuador’s Foreign Affairs ministry demanded the government to explain the incident that took placethis Friday, for which Ecuadorian legislators Cynthia Viteri and Henry Cucalón were deported after meeting with opposition activists. In their statement, they express their concern and specific notices issued for Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs and Interior ministries in order to demand that Ecuadorian constitutional rights be guaranteed. The Venezuelan Foreign Affairs ministry’s statement says that they applied “an administrative measure of termination to legally stay in the country, for Ecuadorian citizen Cynthia Viteri, applicable to her retinue,” because “they performed proselytizing and destabilizing activities in a sovereign country, expressly forbidden for Venezuela’s migration laws.” The OAS and UNASUR should pay attention to this case.

The betrayed loyalist

Yesterday’s cadena was the only way for Nicolás to get a bigger audience than he got on the street. Concerned that protest signs were obstructing the cameras, he scolded his audience (remember I told you he wanted to be a Kardashian?) and threw a tantrum until his staff solved the issue of flags and signs parading before the only thing he cared about, the camera: “This flag completely obstructs the camera, somebody help me (…) we’ll suspend the event until this is solved,” he said.

With his profound credibility and persuasion skills, he decided to scold those present with questions he improvised on the go, as if people’s anguish for Venezuela’s terrible living conditions, could be considered a betrayal and the rejection for his continued hold on power, was violating some principle of loyalty: Are you going to betray me? Are you going to leave me alone?” he asked, before claiming that he’s not betrayed any worker or el finado. That’s why he ordered that if the oligarchy does something to him, there must be a general strike all over country, because when that happens: “that day, we’ll start a new and powerful revolution that would annihilate the oligarchy.”

He announced that, starting on Monday, August 29th, all documentaries regarding the 2002 coup d’Etat will be broadcast in cadena during prime time (8:00 p.m.,) because this march is a fascist coup and the best antidote for bad coups (remember that the PSUV’s are the good ones) is strengthening historical awareness. That must be why public sector employees reported to have received internal notifications -both verbal and written- forcing them to go to the chavista march on September 1st, true historical awareness.

And who’s the loyalist meeting with?

That’d be Iran’s Foreign Affairs minister, Mohamad Yavad Zarif. We’re the last stop in a tour that has taken him to Cuba, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile and Bolivia and supposedly, he’s coming to “reactivate cooperation between both nations.” Official outlets say that Yavad Zarif is visiting the country “accompanied by 90 businessmen from various industries such as technology, pharmacy, petrochemistry, minerals and others.” Perhaps Iran might offer us some advise regarding Human Rights violations: lack of the right to freedom of speech, of association, of worship; of the right to information, to due protection, of how to torture and the value of capital sentences.

Iran has substantial experience in illegal arrests and executions. Their security forces commit abuses with the Judicial Branch’s support; likewise, they consider themselves entitled to repress street demonstrations even if they’re peaceful. It must be inspiring to form stronger bonds with those who systematically abuse women, racial and religious minorities; those who lapidate, mutilate and behead. Inspiring.

The National Institute of Civilian Aviation (INAC) issued a statement prohibiting private planes from flying, starting on September 5th, all over the country, without specifying the reason for this measure. The prohibition includes flying drones during the same period. Maybe they’ll do the same with kites.

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  1. So, Maduro is like Erdogan, hoping the oppositon will rise up so he can start the real revolution ridding himself of all his opposition and replicate the Cuban model of a socialist dictatorship. If he has that power the oppositi I n is in one hell of a situation. That would mean they would get one and only one opportunity to get rid of Maduro if they go to the streets. I guess the issue would be ehat would the soldiers do. Would they support Maduro if the people take to the streets. Its tim

    • An excellent point. As the result of the silence coming from many world capitals, Erdogan got away with killing-off his opposition. Maduro may do likewise. Frightening.

      • “As the result of the silence coming from many world capitals, Erdogan got away with killing-off his opposition”

        Erdogan would be doing this regardless of the silence. Get real.

  2. as the jailing of Daniel Ceballos makes perfectly clear, Venezuela’s replication of the Cuban model IS in place. Maduro’s fall back is oil money. Without that he’s gone in a week. Problem is that petro companies will work for the Devil so long as there is money involved. When there wasn’t, look how fast Schlumberger and others closed down most of their operations. That oil money is the last leg of a monster still standing. But how do you knock out that leg? You probably can’t, directly, for many reasons, all involving money. But some pressure might be brought to those that Del Pino is seeking to bamboozle into renegotiating bond payments. Not sure how, but if Maduro defaults, the crisis in-country will be the lesser of his problems so far as retaining his dictatorship.

  3. Erdogan is not Maduro and Turkey is not Venezuela , Turkey’s geopolitical importance is crucial , at the crossroads between Putin’s russia and the Middle East, next door to the Sirian and Iraqui civil wars , a country in possesion of a truly powerful modern army, no one wants to meddle with Erdogan whose personality is that of a real life ‘strong man’. In comparison Maduro is histerical , mediochre , shrill, muddled in though and speech , highly unpopular. and weighted down with delusions and problems that he cannot begin to understand or control. Besides Turkey is in a much more solid situation than current day Venezuela..!!

    If I were a Chavista I would be looking at ways of jettisoning Maduro and bringing in someone more credible to save the movement from ultimate oblivion ….!! Hope none of them read these lines…!!

  4. I agree that Maduro is not Ergogan and Venezuea is not a strategic country like Turkey, but would Maduro cleanse Venezuela in the event of civil unrest as Erdogan after the failed coup attempt is doing and if so would the Venezuelan army shoot its own citizen if they oppised the cleansing…

  5. When you have the levels of deep angry disatisfaction that you have in Venezuela , and you have no way of improving things or stopping the countries deterioration even if you ‘cleanse’ the opposition by resorting to brutal coercion ( which will bring attacks and sanctions like no one now even imagines) you are never going to be ever secure because as long as the dissatisfaction remains there will be always the kindling ready to catch fire at the least provocation , you cannot live forever surrounded by a sea of hate !! A cleansing will only take the hatred deeper and make it stronger when it revives …

  6. As the situation in Venezuela keeps deteriorating, there are now 25,000 Venezuelan “refugees” in the border of Brazil, they keep coming day and night carrying their belongings (500 people per day).


    A similar situation is happening in Colombia. And yet, it seems that Maduro will calmly remain ruling Venezuela until the day that he gets tired of it.


    • This is right out of the Castro playbook, release the pressure valve by opening borders when things get dangerous for the regime. It’s the Mariel boatlift all over again.


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