The Summit Nobody Covers

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, September 12, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Tuesday, September 12, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

“The Assembly doesn’t exist, it’s there because it’s a figure of the Constitution, but it doesn’t exist for us”

You can replace “The Assembly” with Democracy, Freedom or the Rule of Law and the phrase would have the exact same effect. Those are the words of lawmaker Diosdado Cabello, PSUV’s de facto presidential candidate,. He spoke yesterday from Margarita, with too many absurdities to be just one day away from the start of the XVII Non Aligned Countries Movement Summit (Mnoal.) Diosdado couldn’t even say how many delegations are coming, he just claimed that there will be more than ever before. He did remark that not all presidents are going to arrive at once, that ministers and other representatives will arrive first and, depending on the agenda of agreements, presidents will sign -in person or not- all the cool stuff they come up with.

Another island

Since the PSUV supports peace and calm in Nueva Esparta state, they even militarized the air. That’s what they understand as peace. For some reason, Diosdado wasn’t a good cynic yesterday. He was distracted, predictable, a bad bad guy. He denied any negotiations with the opposition to activate the recall referendum and ratified that as petitioner, the Democratic Unity Roundtable is a fraud. Regarding the National Assembly’s plenary in the island, he didn’t say that the Executive Branch banned opposition lawmakers from buying plane tickets and smiled, certain that it’s not going to take place: “If we were to make a survey on the AN’s impact, it would be practically nothing.” I’d swear that’s what people think about Nicolás.

Supposedly, they did agree to resume the imaginary dialogue, although he cared to remark that there’s no true political opposition in Venezuela, just a group that has attempted to end Maduro’s mandate through unconstitutional means. He said it’s difficult to reach an agreement with that opposition because they’d try to sabotage everything, that the MUD “are deluding themselves” and that being appointed to head the Mnoal is recognition for the PSUV’s efforts. Summing up, he’s happy because more seasoned dictators are coming to appreciate his work.

SEBIN’s peace

This Monday, the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN) illegally searched the home of Richard Fermin (Primero Justicia,) mayor of Arismendi municipality in Nueva Esparta, according to his wife Vanessa Bracamonte. They also issued an arrest warrant against García municipality councilman Gabriel Alarcón (Primero Justicia) and summoned Alfredo Díaz (Acción Democrática,) mayor of Mariño municipality. Few believed that the cacerolazo at Villa Rosa -the same one the Executive Branch denied for several days- would end up unleashing a fierce persecution against elected authorities just for being members of the opposition, and the attempt to hold them accountable for a spontaneous protest, selling it as a scheme prepared by several parties, demanding prisoners in advance, besides a police investigation. Well, got to showcase some merit before other dictators, right?


The National Assembly’s Speaker, Henry Ramos Allup, said that the Mnoal summit has no relevance or transcendence and won’t have positive effects. He condemned the fact that such an event takes place in the midst of a crisis of this magnitude, remarking that the government merely made superficial preparations on the island. He wished for the government to hold events in other cities so they at least get their hand of paint. The lawmaker added that the event will be a meeting between leaders of fierce dictatorships, saying that the opposition continues to try all democratic options, and denounced that for every political prisoner released, the regime imprisons three more: “they imprison them as hostages to see if the opposition exchanges political prisoners for the recall referendum in order to obtain their freedom.”

I don’t inform you but I do insult you

Chile’s government condemned the enforced disappearance of Braulio Jatar, demanding the Venezuelan government to provide information on his whereabouts, urging them to allow his lawyer, his family and the Chilean consul to visit him, according to the faculties set forth in the Vienna Convention. The Foreign Affairs ministry replied by issuing a statement in which they not only dismiss Chile’s demands, but also discredit Chilean Foreign Affairs minister Heraldo Muñoz, accusing him of bending “to pressure from the most reactionary sectors of the pinochetista bourgeoisie,” and then vindicating Salvador Allende’s “worthy and heroic anti-imperialist campaign.” Just google Heraldo Muñoz and you’ll find that he was an ally of Allende and participated in the executive committee for the “No” in the plebiscite of 1988. But Delcy’s team isn’t even good at that, and she made a severe diplomatic mistake once more.

¡Ay, Nicolás!

Brazil’s Foreign Affairs minister, José Serra, is confident that diplomatic issues with Ecuador and Bolivia due to Dilma Rousseff’s destitution will be overcome, but doubts it will happen with Venezuela: “[…] In Venezuela’s case it seems that will be impossible, at least while Nicolás Maduro remains in power,” said Serra. Keep in mind that Nicolás referred to what happened in Brazil as a coup, removed the Venezuelan ambassador in Brasilia and froze political and diplomatic relations with Temer’s government.

Kejal Vyas wrote on The Wall Street Journal that the same China that forged a strategic alliance with Venezuela, confronted now with significant debts and in view of our country’s lack of safety, has begun a wide reformulation of that alliance and the $60 billion they’ve lent the government. They won’t lend us any more money, forcing deeper cost-cutting and more shortages. China fears for the payment of Venezuela’s debt. There’s a specially bone-chilling line: “The message was clear: let them fall.” Since February, the article reports, some opposition lawmakers and other advisers have been invited to Beijing to discuss a transition government a recovery plan.

Our everyday depreciation shows us that Simadi closed this Monday at Bs. 649.80 per dollar. But remember, we must remain focused on the summit, everything else is irrelevant. I fear we’ll have to deal with hours of cadenas. Hours.

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.