Poorer Another Day

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Wednesday, November 30, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

On August 23rd, in his 65th cadena, Nicolás gave instructions to expand the Operation for People’s Liberation (OLP) all over the country. He justified it with the proliferation of paramilitary gangs linked to “ultra-right [parties] with the United States Embassy’s support,” claiming that they had to fight and they had the OLP for that.

In the National Assembly

The Parliament’s plenary discussed the massacre that took place in Barlovento (Miranda state.) Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano demanded Néstor Reverol’s immediate resignation as Interior minister, saying that the OLPs have only been used to exterminate Venezuelan citizens. Several of the victims’ families presented their testimony, explaining the ordeal they’ve had to endure since October, providing details about arbitrary detentions and how government-controlled media (Últimas Noticias and VTV) refused to publish their story. Lieutenant colonel José Ángel Rojas Córdova was mentioned several times as the man responsible for this OLP.

Chavista lawmakers gave three key messages: they’re appalled, they condemn these events and there were also massacres in the IV republic. Opposition lawmakers emphasized that there’s a pattern in the actions carried out by the OLPs, refuting Defense minister Padrino López’s argument about the “isolated event” to dampen the effect that these massacres have on the Armed Forces. I highlight lawmaker Miguel Pizarro: the OLPs have failed because the people now fear the police and the military as much as they fear criminals. The lawmakers unanimously approved an agreement condemning the murders and disappearances of citizens in Barlovento.

The late Ombudsman

Tarek William Saab demanded judicial and military authorities to get to the bottom of the massacre at Barlovento: “I’m convinced that this lieutenant colonel (Rojas Córdova) didn’t act on his own (…) so we have to go there and determine who was the intellectual author.” The eleven Army officers who were arrested are yet to be indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office. Saab revealed that Rojas Córdova confessed that he was guilty, and that he provided the locations of the two mass graves where the murdered citizens were found. The Ombudsman endorsed the testimony of a soldier from the Comando 323 Caribe as proof of “the attitude” of Nicolás and Padrino López to ensure this case isn’t left unpunished.

Citizen security must be strictly civilian

The Committee of the Victims’ Families established after the events of February and March, 1989, issued a statement expressing their concern for the massacres at Barlovento and Cariaco, remarking that the State can’t argue ignorance about the situation because those areas are heavily militarized and under police control. The NGO demands the government to revoke the resolutions they’ve issued for the creation of the ill-named “Peace Zones,” to suspend the OLPs and to guarantee that citizen security is strictly civilian, focused on crime prevention and criminal investigation. And look! Minister Néstor Reverol issued a statement this Tuesday, but talking about the areas affected by rains in Carabobo. Good to have a bit of cynicism once in a while.

The OLPs have done everything wrong

Criminologist Fermín Mármol García explained that the excesses and and Human Rights violations of the OLPs are originated in their discretional use of violence and lack of control. In a place where criminals are better armed than the police (thanks to the regime’s disastrous actions and omissions,) he believed that military intervention is necessary in citizen security, but with soldiers subordinated to civilian control. Mármol cautioned that the operations have gone wrong because of the impossibility of monitoring the security plan -nothing’s written-; since they’re handled as operations, they can’t be lasting policies; authorities from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Ombudsman’s Office are always absent from the operations, and participants never use technology to record them. The criminologist says that 2016 will end with at least five thousand people murdered at the hands of State security bodies.

Believe it or not!

The black market dollar reached Bs. 3,986.48 this Tuesday, marking a depreciation of Bs. 241.96 in just one day. In this context, PSUV’s signature-verifier Jorge Rodríguez said that Dólar Today’s actions were an attack against the national currency, claiming that this issue will be presented at the dialogue table: “so that we all condemn the brutal actions against the Venezuelan currency.” Rodríguez should read more economists. Most of them agree on at least three measures to stop the hike of the black market dollar: stopping the growth of monetary aggregates, increasing the banking reserve and performing open market operations to stop monetary pressure. Sadly, none of them said anything about condemning Dólar Today, the only option presented by the government to stop the ferocious hike.

Against more lawmakers

Lawmaker Karin Salanova said that the Supreme Tribunal of Justice is exercising political pressure to unseat the five parliamentarians representing Aragua, indicating that governor Tareck El Aissami will challenge that state’s lawmakers: “The reason behind this pressure is that I have denounced violence in Aragua,” she said, and urged the Electoral Chamber’s justices to stick to the law and the Constitution. Ha!

Opening a humanitarian channel

Douglas León Natera, head of the Venezuelan Medical Federation, urged the government to open a humanitarian channel to hold back the severe crisis affecting the healthcare sector, saying that this is a humanitarian crisis. The doctor said that several foreign governments have offered to open a humanitarian channel: “… the Latin American and Caribbean Medical Confederation, the Ibero-American Forum and the World Medical Association, the latter of which sent a communiqué to the government and we delivered it at the President’s offices.” León Natera emphasized that all sorts of medications are scarce, considering that our circumstance is a calamity.

Juan Arango –La Vinotinto’s most beloved captain- is such a good athlete, that he hit a home run during the game of celebrities.

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.