The Worst Optimist

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, November 1st. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Tuesday, November 1st. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Nicolás gave a report on his convoluted agenda of meetings this Monday night. The most important demands made by his propaganda team, was showing him as a conciliator, an optimist and of course, victorious –sobra’o, en criollo. The cameras were set to show his hands -you know, he has nothing to hide- and the order was moving them often. But the exercise was a disaster. Depriving him from the capacity to insult limits his possibilities, his way to translate the opposition. It’s hard to talk well about those you consider political enemies. He clarified that he won’t go to the National Assembly today because “he’s not up for violating the Constitution”, and about the AN’s declaration of his political responsibility in the crisis, he lightly said: “Let’s wait, let’s wait and see what happens.” He was erratic and incoherent.

The meetings

A fundamental point for the dialogue must be reopening the possibility of a recall this year. The opposition must remain firm in that regard

Nicolás met yesterday with representatives from the Vatican, Mgr. Claudio María Celli and Nuncio Aldo Giordano. Urosa Savino’s statements yesterday morning were key for what the government decided to disclose about this meeting: “A fundamental point for the dialogue must be reopening the possibility of a recall this year. The opposition must remain firm in that regard,” said Urosa, adding: “The government gives contradictory signals (…) the assault against the AN last Sunday 23rd was completely unacceptable, that shows a violent and intolerant attitude.” It’s not a coincidence that Nicolás gave his version yesterday night: “They did it in peace. With a smile. Hugging each other. I don’t want to say that I’m propitiating this, no; I’m simply reporting the facts.”

The United States’ under-secretary of State, Thomas Shannon, arrived in Venezuela to meet with government and opposition representatives. The Department of State’s press release reads: “His visit will underscore our support for the ongoing dialogue process, and our interest in the well-being of the Venezuelan people.” Regarding this, Nicolás claimed that he and Shannon have great empathy and political perspective. Yes, really. He also met with Rodríguez Zapatero, but that’s part of his monthly schedule; what did change is that he had Jorge Rodríguez’s and Roy Chaderton’s escort in all the meetings. Starting today, he’ll have a radio show that will last two hours, despite being called “La hora de la salsa.” Incoherent for everything.

Abuses without arbiters

In view of the economic, political and social crisis that Venezuela’s experiencing, Human Rights Watch’s chief for the Americas, José Miguel Vivanco, expressed his concern regarding our circumstances because the country’s situation “worsens, instead of improving” while the government “doesn’t admit its failure, doesn’t request international aid in food and medicine and persecutes those who denounce these facts.” HRW’s research is aggravated by the Armed Forces’ permanent threat against democratic institutions and according to them, this situation of constant abuses and injustice, without institutional regulations, without an independent instance capable of preventing, penalizing or stopping abuses, makes it all much more complex.

To prove Vivanco’s right

lawmaker Pedro Carreño said that the MUD’s conditions are obstacles for dialogue and that talking about political prisoners is an exercise “of deliberate ignorance.”

Throughout this Monday, chavistas answered to a common message: “we’re great for negotiating,” but that didn’t stop them from threatening that they’ll be waiting in the Bolívar avenue in Caracas this Thursday, November 3rd, to stop any opposition demonstration, which they translate as: “reaffirming our support for the defense of peace and stability.” Héctor Rodríguez and Elías Jaua made an effort to recognize those involved in the dialogue -divide and conquer, you know- hoping for political differences ”to be solved through democratic means, the Constitution and political debate.” Everything the PSUV has destroyed, and the very reason that elections exist. Additionally, lawmaker Pedro Carreño said that the MUD’s conditions are obstacles for dialogue and that talking about political prisoners is an exercise “of deliberate ignorance.” Let him say that to lawmaker Rosmit Mantilla’s family.

From the Urológico to the SEBIN

The Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN) arrested lawmaker Rosmit Mantilla on May 2nd, 2014, after illegally searching his home in Caricuao because a patriota cooperante claimed that he had money to finance anti-government protests that year. Another political prisoner under the exclusive responsibility of Miguel Rodríguez Torres, the former minister who teaches peace and dialogue now. It’s impossible to give you a precise account of how many times Mantilla’s hearings have been postponed, but his trial’s yet to take place. He lived his candidacy behind bars and was democratically elected, but that didn’t allow him to be released, despite being protected by parliamentary immunity. He was transferred yesterday to the Urológico de San Román for an emergency operation in his gallbladder. But SEBIN officers ignored the order of the judge who allowed the lawmaker’s transfer and took him to an as yet unknown location.

A day from the UPR

The Universal Periodic Review, an evaluation carried out by the UN’s Human Rights Council since 2008 on his 193 member countries, to examine the fulfillment of commitments regarding Human Rights, is to take place this Tuesday, November 1st. In 2012, when Venezuela was first evaluated, the government received 148 recommendations in 29 subjects. They took note of 51, accepted 97 and made nine promises and voluntary commitments which included updating examination for five pending agreements. 159 binding recommendations resulted from the UPR’s final observations. The Venezuelan government made an effort to cover their space in Geneva with propaganda, as if that was enough, as if pictures could tamper with evidence. If only they respected Human Rights as much as they pay for publicity. In any case, the UPR will analyze the fulfillment of civilian and political rights, as well as the access to economic and social rights, all of them tarnished by the PSUV. The heads of the national institutions responsible for these areas won’t be present, but Delcy’s already in Geneva.

As I wrote this, Carlos Ocariz reported the release of three political prisoners: Carlos Melo -whose release was ordered more than a month ago-; Marco Trejo and Andrés Moreno. That’s how the government proves that they’re political prisoners, ah, and their good will!

Nicolás said yesterday: “Our people will keep writing our history.” Each citizen’s vote is the best paper and pen for that purpose.

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.