The Invasion of September 1st

Your daily briefing for Thursday, August 31, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Thursday, August 31, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

On the same day that Cuba received the first commercial flight from the U.S. since 1961, chavismo has concluded all their rallies referring to the September 1st march as an alien invasion. They appropriated violence as their epic narrative and reassured themselves by “how light” it was for them to deal with 2002’s “golpe”. They’ve threatened to call for vigils, blockades and battles to the beat of Alí Primera, with more confetti than Xuxa used in her show, obsessively calling for peace while they promise battles.

Adeus amiga, adeus Brasil

Dilma Rousseff was removed from office this Wednesday with 61 votes in favor and 20 against, and Brazil’s new president is Michel Temer. Venezuela’s representatives before the OAS said: “We condemn the coup committed in Brazil, definitive decisions must be made by the people,” while the regime blocks the recall referendum here. The government recalled their ambassador and announced that they’ll freeze political and diplomatic relations, while Nicolás claimed yesterday that “there are no coups d’Etat in Latin America without the approval, without the effective and active involvement of the U.S. and their embassy,” making Barack Obama responsible for Rousseff’s destitution, referring to her as “the most honest, righteous and brave [woman]” and claiming that Dilma and Lula are leaders and Venezuela won’t abandon them.

A militarized republic

Security bodies completed their deployment in Caracas, with  Plaza Venezuela being the most notorious case due to the sheer amount of forces gathered there. That’s why Jesús “Chúo” Torrealba, head of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, reported that Plaza Venezuela’s rallying point was moved to Libertador avenue, close to Acción Democrática’s national headquarters, in order to avoid provocations and confrontations. In his editorial, journalist Javier Ignacio Mayorca mentions the “Retardatriz” plan against the Takeover of Caracas, an initiative of Interior minister Néstor Reverol, concentrating the talents of both the National Police and the National Guard to create obstacles and difficulties for the opposition’s protest. They’ve fully carried out the plan thus far, since reports of sudden repairs in freeways and bridges, abuses of authority in checkpoints to enter Caracas, and unjustly detained travellers have sprung up all over the country.

No creativity

With all the time they had to hire a proper writer, and yet minister Reverol’s statements were shameful. Among the “evidence” collected against former mayor Daniel Ceballos -political prisoner, under house arrest and permanent surveillance-, there’s a pendrive where he kept records of destabilizing plans under the title “1S,” which reveal Yon Goicochea’s and Carlos Melo’s involvement. The former was allegedly found with cylinders of explosive materials, detonators and 1,335 grams of subversive material (made by ACME) and Melo carried a cellphone “which is now being analyzed.” Reverol confirmed the arrest warrant against legislator Lester Toledo and supported Diosdado Cabello in his accusation against the Andrés Bello Catholic University for supposedly storing weapons. UCAB’s head, Francisco José Virtuoso, SJ, formally invited minister Reverol to inspect the university’s facilities.

Cheering up the PSUV

The ornamental vice-president, Aristóbulo Istúriz, said in Charallave that the revolution has left its hardest days behind, and now they only need to eradicate the coup d’Etat to open the door for prosperity. Then Elías Jaua spoke -if we can call that speaking- and sent his loving regards to the soldiers of February 4th, because the PSUV’s representatives are nothing if not coherent. Jaua demanded stability for the next four months, because they’ll solve everything in that period; he announced a march of chavista motorizados which will start in Petare, and once more made Capriles responsible “if there’s violence [this Thursday].”

Diosdado Cabello decided to question his audience to know if they’d block the opposition from entering Caracas or not. His best threat of the day was: “Not only are we going to close off Caracas so that nobody enters, but we’ll also block it so nobody leaves.” My opinion? He recently watched “X-Men: Days of Future Past.” Sadly, he’d need a stadium and Magneto to fulfill that plan.

Cuando pase el temblor

The Ombudsman, Tarek William Saab, reported that there’s a prosecutor assigned to Yon Goicochea’s case, “to guarantee constitutional rights during the legal proceedings, and to avoid any circumstances that could affect the full validity of his rights,” which were already violated! Isn’t he cute? He added that the Ombudsman’s Office has the duty to monitor today’s march so that “it develops in the most correct, orderly and peaceful manner” and that they’ll be deployed across all rallying points. Meanwhile, former president José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero left the country without offering any official statement to the media or giving any explanation about his quick visit.

More international attention

OAS’s SecGen Luis Almagro denounced the upsurge of repression and Human Rights violations in Venezuela ahead of the S1 march, while authorities at the Simón Bolívar Airport have been dedicated to deporting journalists. Yesterday’s turn was for César Moreno (Caracol Radio,) Marie Eve Detoeuf (Le Monde) and John Otis (NPR.) Even before these events, a group of European legislators wrote a letter, warning that Venezuela’s situation keeps getting worse, denouncing that the amount of political imprisonments has increased and political repression has grown as bad as the impunity of violence in the country.

They specifically request Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, to insist in her efforts to comply with approved agreements, which include sending a delegation to the country, and to lead international actions to ensure a sincere negotiation in Venezuela. If Delcy went mad with the statements of Martin Schulz, head of the European Parliament, imagine the yeyo after this letter.

There’s no way to launch a coup d’Etat without the Armed Forces’ involvement. If they fear it as much as they denounce it, then Padrino López should leave the supply agenda aside and focus on his troops. We’re going to march.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.