For Wednesday, August 31, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
“Protesting is a conditioned right, not an absolute right” Néstor Reverol, Interior minister.
After denouncing the opposition for their “dedication” to violence, Downtown Caracas mayor Jorge Rodríguez said that “the start of the battle is the beginning of the end for golpistas.” Daniel Aponte, the Capital District’s imposed authority, said that any group who causes chaos will have to face the security bodies, and Freddy Bernal threatened marchers to get ready to go out on Thursday without return, because September 1st “could be the Carabobo of 2016.” This trio forgot that the PSUV lost 90% of parishes in Libertador municipality during legislative elections, but their words were just a preface for lawmaker Diosdado Cabello’s speech.
Weapons in the UCAB
Cabello started off by claiming that if the opposition’s planning something against the revolution, they won’t turn back in their counterattack, that they’ll hit them hard “to teach them not to attack the people ever again.” The insistence with which he called for the opposition to cross the line could fit right in with a Criminal Minds character, confusing the people with security forces, rifles over the shoulder with repression, State control with revenge. He promised that chavismo will be in the street starting 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, waiting for anyone who dares enter Caracas and claimed that the opposition has weapons in the Andrés Bello Catholic University. Sadly, he didn’t mention the arsenal inside every prison in the country, but no doubt knowledge is more lethal for the legislator than a 9mm. Although he called for elections, he once again denied all possibility for the recall referendum, because he wants Nicolás to hold his office until the last second.
Nobody speaks about referendums. They’re all focused on their golpista, violent agenda. They don’t speak about the Democratic Charter. They’re focused on their war agenda, said Cabello to conclude. He was describing the PSUV, but decided to attribute all that to the opposition, right before claiming that they’re going to triumph again because they come “from battles, from deaths, from war.” Compared to this bad cop’s words, Nicolás’s speech was empty, but that didn’t prevent him from imposing a cadena.
The cameramen made inappropriate shots, showing that Plaza Caracas was empty, that there were people yawning, sweaty, bored. Nicolás asked: “Does Caracas want peace or war? Revolution or fascism? Democracy or oligarch dictatorship?,” and with that, he asked his audience to keep permanent heat on the streets, asserting that if the opposition were to run the country, there will be hunger and misery: what he’s already brought us. He turned April 13th of 2002, into the genesis of all of el finado’s public policies, without mentioning the price of oil. Now he promises to open the doors for economic revolution and an agenda of social happiness. Immediately after promising State violence to defeat the (imaginary) coup and demand support for his firm hand, he spoke of a plan of offensive for peace [?], called “Caracas, beautiful and socialist,” with which he announced from sports courts, schools and supplies for six hospitals, to elevators and the return of the asphalt show.
The macho worker
Political leader Carlos Melo (from party Avanzada Progresista) was arrested at the same time Nicolás was arriving to the Plenary Hall in Parque Central to sit beside co-president Vladimir Padrino López, who spoke of how “revolutionary conscience corrects the moral deviations caused by capitalism.” With a controlled audience, sitting and under a roof, his mood changed. That’s why he spoke about el finado as a brave man “sin mariquerismos”; about how they didn’t believe that April 11 was possible because none of them would dare “create a vile ambush, like the one carried out by the fascist right,” making the coup d’Etat of February 4th seem like nothing, despite its balance of 100 people killed. He denounced that Yon Goicochea is “an organic agent of the U.S. government” -imagine if he was inorganic- and that “Voluntad Popular is the party of golpista violence.” He confirmed that he’s personally ordered illegal detentions and that they still have several “searches and arrests [of political activists] in real time” to do. Remarking that they will radicalize the revolution, he yelled: “We can’t allow any more political violence!,” Funny he yelled that while he was exercising it and his audience chanted: “Oye fascista, no te lo decimos más, si te metes con Maduro, te vamo a escoñetá.”
We’re not going to Miraflores
Jesús “Chúo” Torrealba, head of the Democratic Unity Roundtable offered a press conference to give details about the activity planned for September 1st. It will start at 8:00 a.m. in seven rallying points from which people will then march to avenues Río de Janeiro, Francisco de Miranda and Libertador, “refusing all forms of provocations or anything that could disturb the event.” At 2:00 p.m. they will read a document with plans for further actions. Chúo ratified that technically speaking, the referendum can still take place, but there’s no political willingness to hold it. He said that the Constitution establishes that there’s no need for any sort of permission to protest and that, when we go to Miraflores, “it will be to stay and we’ll achieve that through votes,” because “the only strategy we’re committed with is the electoral, constitutional and democratic strategy.” He added the phrase that must torment the CNE’s rectoras: “We want the collection of 20% signatures to be a recall by itself.”
The useless one
Rodríguez Zapatero arrived in Venezuela this Tuesday and there are still no details about his visit. I hope he heard Diosdado Cabello, minister Reverol and Nicolás. I hope he has time to review the information about all the illegal arrests, the threats, the deployment of security forces, the flight prohibition, the statements about the imaginary coup d’Etat, and this urgent call for violence that chavismo’s making to remain in power, to prevent any protest against the delays imposed by the CNE’s rectoras to avoid activating the recall referendum. I hope he takes note of the violence of the government that hired him -the same violence so many consider to be rooted in fear-, and includes the absurdity of believing that an university with complete social vocation could conceal a weapon other than the development of its students.
The anthem of my Alma Mater goes:
Marchando a tu destino impávida
como incontenible alud
tremola tu invencible lábaro
That’s how I’ll go.
-although I’ll probably shake my hair instead of a protest sign-Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.