Venezuelan diplomats not only broke into Argentina’s Foreign Affairs ministry, but also recorded the whole thing and uploaded the video to social networks. Video 00065 starts with a passive-aggressive exchange between Delcy Rodríguez and her interlocutor, at the ministry’s entrance, asking him with a smile whether they were among golpistas, to almost immediately claim: “We don’t launch coups” and demand him to step aside because she was going in. As she walked, her team shouted: “She’s a lady! Women’s rights! You must respect Venezuela!” -as if gender could legitimize an assault-, this after she was requested to respect the rules several times. Delcy entered and called David, a guy who demanded to be given the Venezuelan flag by a protocol team that never came up. This happens despite the fact that Delcy had already met with her Argentinian counterpart, Susana Malcorra, who asked her to abstain from going to the Mercosur meeting.
Delcy travelled to become news and her bold team decided to use misogyny as the argument to explain her exclusion from a meeting to which she wasn’t invited. Her Mercosur counterparts ended up meeting in Malcorra’s office, while Delcy confirmed to the world that her participation only causes conflicts. Twitter was her only stage. There, she denounced that a Foreign Affairs minister has never been met with anti-riot teams anywhere else in the world, but forgot to mention that never has a Foreign Affairs minister protested before another country’s ministry. Delcy remarked that Venezuela won’t participate in the Free Trade Agreement with the European Union, so, why does she want Venezuela to remain in Mercosur? With another tweet, she convened member States yesterday to a new meeting to discuss the Olivos Protocol, a mechanism to resolve controversies caused only by her.
“Vamo a calmano”
Argentina assumed the six-month presidency during the XI Extraordinary Meeting of the Mercosur Council, where the agenda for the next six months was discussed. In her closing statement, Susana Malcorra explained that she agreed with meet Delcy today at Montevideo (Uruguay,) to start a dialogue process regarding the bloc’s situation, pointing out that Venezuela has failed to comply with over 200 legal requirements of the institution: “There’s an initial meeting to start the direct dialogue, to explain to the Venezuelan Foreign Affairs minister the decisions produced in the Mercosur.” The meeting will help compare the agreements Venezuela claims it has fulfilled and those it actually hasn’t. We Venezuelans hope that, after this show, Delcy’s counterparts will abstain from signing any further statements where they support “dialogue and understanding between the government and the opposition,” to uphold simple coherence and decency.
Of oaths, lawsuits and promises
This Wednesday, the head of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Gladys Gutiérrez, swore National Electoral Council authorities and their replacements into office, after the Constitutional Chamber ratified them in their posts. Right at the TSJ, lawmaker Víctor Clark filed a lawsuit against the National Assembly for “the coup d’Etat attempt being carried out by the legislative institution, in their efforts to perform a political trial against the president,” and action he claims is completely illegal, demanding the TSJ to issue a statement nullifying it. Lawmaker Héctor Rodríguez also demanded the Comptroller’s Office to open a criminal procedure against opposition deputies for the same reason, saying that he’s profoundly upset by the “situation of reiterative contempt.” To conclude, lawmaker Tania Díaz threatened to start criminal proceedings regarding the alleged cyber-attacks against the national banking system denounced by Nicolás: “There will be more arrests, because Venezuela must be respected,” she said at Plaza Bolívar. Cute, aren’t they?
In permanent session
Chavista lawmakers stormed out of the Hemiciclo once again, as the appointment of new CNE authorities was scheduled to be discussed by Parliament, and the remaining legislators declared that they’re in permanent session until the new rectores had been appointed. Parliament hasn’t appointed new electoral authorities since 2009.
Speaker Henry Ramos Allup announced that they’ll continue to work “with or without budget,” because there will be a high deficit in the resources allocated by the Executive Branch for next year’s exercise. Despite this, the majority approved the report about the AN’s Budget for the economic financial exercise of 2017. The head of the National Assembly cautioned that the Constitutional Chamber could issue a decision in the next few hours to strip him off his parliamentary immunity, and remarked that it could be applied to any opposition legislator: “Whatever happens, whatever the decision they issue against our parliamentarians, they have a replacement ready to fill their seat.” The discussion about the CNE’s authorities will resume today at 10:30 a.m.
Cepal released its annual report, Preliminary Overview of the Economies of Latin America and the Caribbean 2016, which forecasts that after two years of sustained contraction, the region will experience a modest growth of 1.3% in 2017, so they make a call to dynamize the impulse of public-private investment to resume growth in the short and long terms. Venezuela’s not a part of the breaking point which will take the Latin American and Caribbean economies back on the growth track; we’re the only country with an scenario of continued contraction, causing an enormous difference regarding the economic behaviour of the rest of the countries.
30 years sentence
National Guard sergeant Albin Bonilla Rojas was sentenced to maximum term in prison for the homicide of student Geraldine Moreno Orozco, which took place on February 19th, 2014, during anti-government protests violently repressed by the State. Bonilla was found guilty of the following crimes: first-degree homicide for arbitrary reasons, violating international agreements and treaties, unauthorized use of institutional weapon and cruel treatment against the victim when she was still alive. Sergeant Francisco Caridad Barroso was also sentenced to 16 years and six months in prison, for being an accomplice in the aforementioned crimes.
In another demonstration of how clear his priorities are, Nicolás left early for Cuba to celebrate the 12th anniversary of the creation of ALBA, right when Hercon Consultores’s latest poll points out that 87.1% of Venezuelans think negatively of his administration and 83.1% of respondents think that the economic and social situation will continue to deteriorate.
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