For Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Unable as they are to win any election, PSUV has declared them all a coup. Gustavo González López, chief of the Bolivarian Intelligence Service — the intelligence police — claimed that the opposition continues to push destabilization plans and that the coup planned for September 1st was merely postponed for the 7th:
“The intentions to launch a coup are still present and golpista factors will modify their golpista actions,” said the man responsible for this mathematical-arithmetic model of expression. In other words, coupers gonna coup. He remarked that what’s happening “isn’t repression but anticipation” (somebody’s been watching too much “Minority Report”) and that all the government’s actions are supported by the Constitution.
According to Cofavic, the Human Rights NGO, recent arrests are closer to forced disappearances, due to the periods of uncertainty and isolation experienced by detainees, pointing out that in International Law, it constitutes an imprescriptible crime against humanity. Going back to González López, he says that the arrest warrant against Lester Toledo was issued because he was financing terrorist acts. With information that Toledo and Yorman Barillas are hiding in Maicao, López demanded cooperation from Colombia to capture these fugitives, while he said that one of the conspirators behind the coup is former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez. Brilliant.
González López said nothing about the 92 mercenaries supposedly arrested just 500 meters away from Miraflores, he didn’t even say who they were. If after so many illegal detentions, he’s not able to guarantee the nation’s security, he should resign. He and several others, starting with the guy who handles his Twitter account. A detail: Marcos Hernández, head of Hercon Consultores, says that 79% of Venezuelans don’t believe in coups.
The latest political prisoners
Lilia Camejo, defense lawyer for Alejandro Puglia, explained yesterday that judge Yesenia Maza sentenced the head of the Monitoring and Evaluation Office of the National Assembly’s Presidency for flying a drone on September 1st. According to the judge, this action “favors war.” Flying a drone isn’t a crime in Venezuela and the Prosecutor’s Office ratified it by demanding Puglia’s immediate release, an order that the judge decided to ignore, creating a dangerous precedent.
Likewise, Braulio Jatar, chief of news site Reporte Confidencial, was sentenced to prison during the preliminary hearing in La Asunción, Nueva Esparta state, indicted for money laundering. His defense lawyer, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, explained that, in order to present those charges, the Prosecutor’s Office must produce evidence that the confiscated assets were illegally obtained. Jatar was taken to court after being detained for 48 hours, for publishing videos about the cacerolazo in Villa Rosa.
Another TSJ decision against the National Assembly
Last July 28th, Parliament incorporated Amazonas’s elected lawmakers to their seats, considering the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s negligence about their representatives, only to please the PSUV’s claims on alleged irregularities in the elections, despite having no evidence to support them. However, the TSJ did issue a decision to nullify the reform on the Framework Law that Reserves Exploration and Exploitation of Gold to the State, for having been approved in full contempt of judicial decisions. If the PSUV’s good at something, it’s setting dangerous precedents.
The opposition’s agenda
The head of the Democratic Unity Roundtable, Jesús Chúo Torrealba, provided details about the marches on September 7th to National Electoral Council regional offices to demand the conditions for the collection of the 20% signatures to activate the recall referendum. What do they demand?
– 14,000 voting centers and 40,000 captahuellas working during three days.
– For the CNE to establish a date for the 20%, complying with the principle of urgency.
– The creation of a technical committee with the MUD to ensure that the 20% collection process is transparent and with guarantees.
– For the 20% signatures to be calculated at a national scale -as they must be- and not by state.
The PSUV will also march on September 7th. Imagine the party’s internal state that the spokesman was Elías Jaua, speaking about the defense of the country’s peace and stability, while he denounced destabilizing plans created by the opposition, repeating failed ideas, asserting that they’ve not been able to run the country in peace for 17 years and that there can be an opposition in Venezuela, but not “at the expense of suffering.” Only the Executive Branch can do that.
Oil and its reaches
Cuba’s Raúl Castro wrote Russia’s Vladimir Putin to request a stable supply of oil in view of the issues Venezuela’s going through. Obviously, Castro demands favorable pricing and financing conditions, while the Russian Economy ministry cautions that Cuba’s payment capacity is an important risk. In another agenda, Russia and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to stabilize the price of oil, while oil services provider Schlumberger laid off their employees in Venezuela after the crisis forced them to shut down some projects. The layoffs -from Maracaibo Lake to the Orinoco Strip- increased concern about Venezuela’s dropping oil production. Detail: Schlumberger’s activities in Venezuela represented less than 5% of the company’s consolidated income in 2015.
Additionally, Citibank decided to resign as PDVSA’s main payment agent, which places the Venezuelan government in a severely weakened position: “Losing the main payment agent for the debt would lead PDVSA to a default,“ says international firm Stratford, which would intensify political and economic chaos. The question’s easy: who gives credit to a bankrupt company?
Nicolás’s effort to look like a president yesterday were shameful. Something’s wrong with the PSUV’s propaganda team. Either they want to hasten his removal from power of minister Marcano is more ineffective than Izarra, who was constantly berated by el finado. Promoting the hashtag “Villa Rosa con Maduro,” trying to redeem the cacerolazo or putting red shirts in buses (which they didn’t bother to remove from their own pictures) was almost as ridiculous as Nicolás’ expressions as he listened to the interpreters translate for the ambassadors -who received their credentials-, whatever he said. If Global Finance ranked Nélson Merentes as the worst president of a Central Bank, imagine what would happen it there was an organization charged with ranking presidents of nations.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.