So inclusive, so protagónico

Your briefing for Friday, February 10, translated by Javier Liendo.

In keeping with her recent protocol, National Electoral Council authority Tania D’Amelio chose to tweet instead of talking to the press about her meeting with the political parties that they want to annihilate with a renewal process that’s nearly impossible to fulfill, which includes holiday weekends like Carnival and Holy Week; sixteen hours for each party to present between fifty and sixty thousand signatures with an amount of captahuellas that won’t be enough to cover all 135 municipalities. 

It’s evident now that the Great Patriotic Pole is a big lie, that only PSUV exists for the government.

Ilenia Medina, lawmaker for pro-government Patria Para Todos, expressed her disagreement with the process, as she claimed that opposition parties have already been invalidated, because they didn’t divulge their payrolls in recent elections, clarifying that “they’re being given a chance” because they should really have to start from scratch. Medina demanded the process not to apply to PPT. The Venezuelan Communist Party (which refuses to hand over information about its members), Redes and Juan Bimba also protested the measure. It’s evident now that the Great Patriotic Pole is a big lie, that only PSUV exists for the government. The Democratic Unity Roundtable must decide on an appropriate strategy: either protecting individual party ballots or the MUD’s joint ballot. While they decide, they said that they will present a proposal before the CNE with the minimal conditions they demand to undergo this process.

The irony of alliances

National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges met this Thursday with Brazil’s Foreign minister José Serra, to explain Venezuela’s situation. Borges said after the meeting, that Brazil promised to donate food and medicines to ease the crisis. Serra expressed his support and recognition for the National Assembly with important words: “When a president refuses to recognize Parliament, he’s simply a dictator.” Then his counterpart Delcy Rodríguez took time off from her agenda in Saudi Arabia to condemn the meeting in Brasilia between an “acting Foreign minister” (Serra) and a “usurper of authority” (Borges), accusing the former of severe acts of corruption and the latter, crimes against the constitutional order. Her last words were gold: “Golpistas, you won’t defeat our people”. Remember that Diosdado Cabello said on Wednesday that Julio Borges will be sued for usurping authority and treason.

And meanwhile, in Parliament…

Although lawmaker Miguel Pizarro’s hacked Twitter account was trending nearly all day long and a group of his colleagues began a series of protests before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, the Ombudsman’s Office and the Prosecutor’s Office, demanding a date for gubernatorial elections, Parliament approved the agreement on the violation of constitutional principles regarding budgets and debts, since the TSJ has given Nicolás leeway to abuse people’s will, blocking the AN and the Prosecutor’s Office from performing much needed overshight. The legislators also approved an agreement rejecting the illegal sale of Petromonagas shares to Russian State-run company Rosneft, which is a constitutional offense since it wasn’t approved by Parliament, and opens the debate regarding PDVSA’s dropping output (800 thousand barrels less between 2005 and 2016), making us the only OPEC country with reduced oil production in 17 years. But don’t worry, in Saudi Arabia, Delcy pretended to study the agreement to reduce oil production and bring us to a great spot: without drills, without investment, producing less and with extraordinary debt.

Ah, the youth!

The head of the Central University’s Federation of University Centers, Hasler Iglesias, denounced this Tuesday that his counterpart in Los Andes University, Jorge Arellano, is being harassed by the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN). But it’s one thing to violate the right to free association and quite another that young people don’t have money for personal development. That’s why Nicolás ordered State-run banks to dedicate “at least 30%” of their credits to the program “Soy Joven”, to increase credits for economic entrepreneurship and housing for the youth. Isn’t he cute?

It seems that demanding justice is a crime

It’s sad that he thought of this right when the Inter American Human Rights Court carried out the hearing to determine Venezuela’s responsibility in the death of Johan Alexis Ortiz during a shooting exercise in military training in 1998. Ortiz was killed with a firearm during an exercise in the Training School for National Guard at Cordero, which used real bullets. The State didn’t provide adequate assistance for the wounded trainee, but the State also committed alleged omissions and misdeeds during the investigation of the event, covering up the truth. The testimony of Johan’s father is devastating. You can read part of it in the Timeline of the Andrés Bello Catholic University’s Human Rights Center (@CDH_UCAB), so you can have a another perspective of the government’s harassment against those who demand justice, including the shooting of his family’s home; threats, beatings and arrests against his father, Edgar Ortiz, who said before the IAHRC: “It seems that demanding justice is a crime” and added what he believes is the cause of his tragedy: “He had a relationship with a soldier’s wife.” The representative for the Venezuelan government, Larry Devoe Márquez, didn’t question the victims.

Are you a National Guard about to get a promotion? Rejoice! As part of the requirements to get the chapita -and the respective wage- of your new rank, you’ll have to sit though a course about the Philosophy of El Finado, the guy they insist on calling supreme commander. Your attendance will be controlled through: fingerprints, ID Card and military card. Read the article in El Pitazo for more information.

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.