For Tuesday, January 24, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
The Guanape bridge, in Vargas state, collapsed this Tuesday afternoon. Twelve people were injured, and transit to Punta de Mulatos, Macuto, Caraballeda, Caribe, Tanaguarenas and Naiguatá was severely restricted. Lawmaker José Manuel Olivares said that the structure’s unfit state had been denounced throughout 2016, but Jorge García Carneiro, the state’s governor for two terms in a row, chooses to raise a statue of el finado instead of repairing roads. Now he claims that they’re investigating the causes for the bridge’s collapse because there was no seismic activity nor transit of heavy vehicles -as if those were the only reasons for structures to collapse- and he doesn’t dismiss sabotage as an explanation, saying that it’s suspicious for opposition lawmakers to have arrived right after the collapse, and threatening them with a potential investigation of the Bolivarian Service of Military Intelligence.
Still not baffled enough? Journalist Jessica Carrillo reported that the defense of Efraín Campo Flores and Franqui Francisco Flores De Freitas requested a new absolution trial based on insufficient evidence, after their clients were found guilty by a jury that issued the verdict last November 18th, 2016. Judge Paul Crotty is set to give judgement on March 7th, but the defense filed a motion on January 23rd -last day for appeals-, using nearly the same arguments they used during the trial to request evidence suppression. The Prosecution has until February 13th to answer the motion. The narcosobrinos’ expected sentence ranges from 10 years to life in prison.
And so, dialogue
But Chaderton only agreed to the interview to confirm people’s fixation on social networks: that the meetings of the dialogue that hasn’t happened are taking place behind closed doors
While the Apostolic Nuncio, Aldo Giordano, said this Tuesday in the National Assembly that he hopes a common document as a platform for dialogue can be achieved, Sucre mayor Carlos Ocariz said that the members of the Democratic Unity Roundtable were studying the proposal, ratifying that they’ll answer in consensus. Later, mediator José Rodríguez Zapatero said that there are unbridgeable differences in Venezuela, but that the idea is to accomplish a political resolution “to clear the deep antagonism that produces two radically different narratives”. Wow.
We move on to Roy Chaderton, who claimed that the opposition doesn’t learn from its victories, which stalls progress; asking for patience until presidential elections take place – two more years of inflation, scarcity and corruption? Who cares?-, remarking that “the country can handle these hardships.” But Chaderton only agreed to the interview to confirm people’s fixation on social networks: that the meetings of the dialogue that hasn’t happened are taking place behind closed doors, because according to him “that’s part of the private civilized dialogue that helps public dialogue.”
We conclude with the Foreign ministers of Celac’s member countries, who approved their support for dialogue in Venezuela, an issue that wasn’t part of the agenda but was introduced by our delegation. Sadly, the same ministers rejected the proposal for Celac to condemn the alleged American meddling in our country; but don’t worry, Nicolás will present it again today in the Summit’s plenary.
Another bold move
the Supreme Tribunal of Justice -through its Political Administrative Chamber- revoked the authority of the Comptroller’s Office to control the activities of institutions attached to the Defense ministry, so the Armed Forces themselves will be in charge of monitoring military companies
Vice-president Tareck El Aissami said that Nicolás approved the creation of Empresa Neumáticos del Alba, which will be attached to the Defense ministry. This takes place just as the Supreme Tribunal of Justice -through its Political Administrative Chamber- revoked the authority of the Comptroller’s Office to control the activities of institutions attached to the Defense ministry, so the Armed Forces themselves will be in charge of monitoring military companies. The NGO Acceso a la Justicia denounces that the decision ranks the military institution as “sui generis,” giving it full control of its own companies’ administration. The decision admits that there are no laws that support this kind of control, substantiating their decision in an article of the COGEFANB’s Regulation, so the Armed Forces’ Comptroller grants monitoring power to himself, excluding civilians from controlling public expenditure of military companies -as the Constitution establishes-, increasing the opacity, destroying the Rule of Law and favoring the country’s militarization.
Per la democrazia venezuelana
After his trip to Venezuela in December, Italian senator Pier Ferdinando Casini proposed and defended a resolution committing his government to take urgent actions to recover Venezuela’s democracy. The document, approved by the majority of Senate, demands the reinstatement of Branch Autonomy, the protection of the various constitutional institutions and the release of political prisoners; promising the Italian government’s cooperation with international institutions to tend to the severe humanitarian crisis and to apply a special aid plan for Italians living in Venezuela, in addition to guaranteeing the rights of Italian companies that operate in Venezuelan soil and are owed money by the government. Italian Foreign minister Angelino Alfano attended the discussion and announced that a special budget had already been approved to reinforce the staff of the consular network to answer the community’s demands. Upon leaving the Senate, Alfano went to the Holy See to meet with the Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, to discuss the Venezuelan crisis. Ay, Delcy!
Our everyday depreciation keeps rising. Yesterday, the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 686.58 per dollar.
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate