Of Cyberattacks and Dancing

Your daily briefing for Monday, December 6th, 2016.

The letter

“There are maneuvers to implode the dialogue table in complicity with one of the mediators, I have the evidence in my hand,” said Nicolás last Friday without showing any evidence or revealing additional details. This Monday, Diosdado Cabello clarified that the mediator they were talking about is the Vatican, which the opposition invited to be a part of negotiations, and the PSUV later ratified after the surprise visit to Pope Francis Nicolás made on October 24th.

A Disgrace

The Vatican’s letter urges both parties to comply with the agreements. Since PSUV hasn’t complied and doesn’t intend to, their rage is understandable. There’s no better spokesman to shatter any diplomatic effort than Diosdado, who took the opportunity during another of his campaign events to remark that the letter wasn’t sent by the Pope but by Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of State, whom he called disrespectful and irresponsible for believing “that Venezuela can be directed by the Vatican.” According to Diosdado, the Vatican is merely a facilitator with limited authority, they have no veto and can make no proposals, they can’t lean towards any of the parties in conflict or mess with the Venezuelan agenda just like the PSUV never mentions “the priests accused of pedophilia.” Pure respect.


In Nicolás’ imaginary country, it’s appropriate for a president who denounces an economic coup d’Etat and a cyber-attack against its financial system to dance in a trencito two days later to celebrate the Carnavales de El Callao, a ritual that boasts world cultural heritage status. And if he’s accompanied by Trinidad & Tobago’s prime minister, Keith Rowley, all the better. That way, they can strengthen binational relations, agreements to get financing from the mixed company Petroregional del Lago S.A., and encourage that association’s hike in oil production. That way, they can accelerate the start of natural gas exports from Campo Dragón to the island and evaluate opportunities to reduce gas burning in the north of Monagas state; but while swinging their hips, of course.


During the 12th high-level Russian-Venezuelan Intergovernmental Commission meeting in the Foreign ministry’s headquarters, minister Carlos Faría said that they reviewed oil projects, energy and mining matters, adding that health care is also part of Venezuela’s interests. If Delcy and Nicolás are done dancing today, they might know what was agreed. Add this to the fact that Russia, China and Venezuela voted against a resolution for a truce in Aleppo in the UN’s Security Council. The text, advanced by Spain, Egypt and New Zealand, received eleven votes in favor, one abstention and three against, including Russia and China, countries with veto power. A hit, Venezuela, right?


A group of 14 political prisoners held at SEBIN headquarters started an indefinite hunger strike last Sunday to demand the honoring of agreements reached at the dialogue table. Yesterday morning, the lawyer José Vicente Haro denounced that these political prisoners were brutally beaten, that they have lesions and bruises and they’re still held in isolation, so they weren’t allowed to see their lawyers, violating their right to a defense. Haro says that torture and cruel treatments are a State policy and, despite having filed a formal complaint before the Ombudsman’s Office, this institution hasn’t made any investigations. Additionally, a court in control functions ordered the release of Yon Goicoechea, according to lawyer Nizar El Fakih, who remarked that both his family and his lawyers await the fulfilment of this decision.

No light

Lawmaker Juan Guaidó, head of the Electoral Nominations Committee, said that the final list with the candidates for the two vacant seats in the National Electoral Council was to be submitted this Monday, since the tender of rectoras Tania D’Amelio and Socorro Hernández concluded on December 4th. The original list, composed by 33 people, had 17 candidates who fulfilled the constitutional requirements to be eligible. Guaidó said it was irresponsible for government representatives to ask the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber to appoint the two new CNE authorities, because the rules established for the Nominations Committee have been fully met and it’s been the PSUV and the Citizen Branch who haven’t fulfilled their side, well, they’re one and the same.

The comrade speaks

The agreements that must be fulfilled for holding today’s meeting are the release of political prisoners, respect for Parliament’s autonomy and the establishment of channels to solve the humanitarian crisis. Diosdado Cabello claimed that the government will remain in the dialogue table “defending truth” and accused the opposition hasn’t complied with the agreements by not withdrawing the three Amazonas state lawmakers through a plenary vote at the National Assembly. The Democratic Unity Roundtable threatened to leave talks if the government doesn’t comply with the acquired commitments.

Meanwhile, the BCV published third increase in banking services and fees in less than a year. The new bills aren’t here but we have to pay for them anyway. Credicard’s case was submitted to military jurisdiction, believe it or not. Now it’s the Military Prosecutor who investigates the cyber-attack. Finally, and after drinking a nice huge cup of lime tea, check the videos that show that SUNDDE’s chief is a brute, ignoring the law and due process, capable of assaulting shops, imposing discounts and leaving the shops with no merchandise for January. That stupid, that barbaric.

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.