Cheaper than a full-page ad on the New York Times but no less absurd, lawmaker Hugo “El Pollo” Carvajal followed Tareck El Aissami’s example and published a letter this Thursday on local newspapers, requesting to be excluded from the U.S. drug trafficking blacklist. Carvajal is so brave, that he’s willing to travel to the U.S. to cooperate with the investigations, but they must first promise not to arrest him, because won’t go through another Aruba 2014.
It’s noteworthy that he speaks of the inconsistency of the accusation, the lack of evidence, the threat that answers to political rather than judicial motivations; it’s noble that he demands respect for the principle of presumption of innocence, the right to a defense and due process, which he claims are being systematically violated “illegally and therefore unacceptably within the Rule of Law.” This line is majestic: “the accusation was made so lightly that its contents are even more serious and tarnish the essence of the Rule of Law,” and with this, he reiterates his demand for an impartial and transparent investigation, precisely what his government has denied all political prisoners in Venezuela.
“The Carnet de la Patria is the great tool for the future,” said Nicolás in a cadena that had more fanfare than people, despite his considerable populist effort, promising millions of bolívares for the construction of an amphitheater, several schools and even roads. The event took place in Miranda state, where he, along with his bots, were celebrating the handing out of the one million five hundredth housing unit, calling it a world record and an heroic effort. He also announced a new phase for the dialogue that hasn’t happened, which will include the clergy and the media, in response to the statements issued by cardinal Urosa Savino. The guy incapable of holding a press conference now wants to include worshippers and journalists in the task of rebuilding the nation, combining such a noble purpose with jokes about the MUD and threats against governor Henrique Capriles, claiming that “his days are numbered.”
He suddenly decided to love Spain and even Mariano Rajoy himself, calling him friend despite threatening to break his teeth just a few days ago. Meanwhile, he threw a punch at National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges by joking about the tragedy of bitter cassava, trivializing the horrible deaths of several Venezuelans who consumed the deadly tuber, but emphasizing that “all Venezuelans need to learn how to do more with less.”
What did Urosa Savino say?
The archbishop of Caracas said yesterday morning that the Catholic Church supports dialogue, but that the government has played the Vatican for a fool by taking the opposite measures than those agreed during the process: “We believe in dialogue, but a dialogue to find solutions, and it seems that the government has simply played the Vatican and the Church by promising that they’ll continue negotiations but later taking measures that undermine it,” adding that the dialogue is in a dead spot right now, if it ever was truly alive.
Although Spain’s Foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said that president Mariano Rajoy asked him to accompany and support Zapatero to facilitate dialogue in Venezuela, he also reiterated the need to get results in a reasonable period of time. Rajoy also met his Argentinian counterpart, Mauricio Macri, and both expressed their concern for the ongoing decay of Venezuela’s political and economic situation. Macri said: “We’ll keep fighting for legitimate rights, and for Venezuela to be reincorporated into the world”; Rajoy added: “In the 21st century, it’s unacceptable that Human Rights are so blithely violated and that people are kept in prison simply for dissenting.” Send Rajoy a present out of friendship then, Nicolás.
From the empire
After the Washington Post article which recounts Trump’s support for Venezuela and his dogged interests in political prisoners and democracy in our country, yesterday journalist Nelson Bocaranda said that Trump’s real interest in Nicolás’ regime is gathering more allies to reactivate the Inter American Democratic Charter. Meanwhile, this Wednesday, judge Gray Miller of the Southern District of Texas rejected Venezuela’s claim on $600 million that the U.S. recovered from Roberto Rincón and Abraham Shiera, both guilty of conspiring to establish a scheme of a billion dollars worth of bribes in PDVSA contacts. Venezuela played the victim and demanded the restitution of the funds, but judge Miller denied that possibility until the culprits are sentenced. But don’t worry, according to Economy and Finance minister Ramón Lobo, “we’ll recover our economy” this year.
Waiting for the other Tarek
Aragua state’s parliamentary caucus demanded the Ombudsman (Tarek Williams Saab) facilitate a humanitarian measure for political prisoner and mayor of Mario Briceño Iragorry municipality, Delson Guárate, remarking that he’s suffering from a non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer). The mayor was arrested on alleged destabilization charges, and is being held in the Hospital Militar due to his health. The lawmakers caution that Guárate needs a surgical intervention and that the court responsible for his case ordered that he be transported to a clinic. There hasn’t been a single political prisoner who hasn’t experienced severe medical problems during their time in prison.
Vote of no confidence
The National Assembly approved a vote of no confidence against Energy Minister and head of Corpoelec, Luis Motta Domínguez, who was declared responsible for Venezuela’s current electrical crisis, which includes mismanaging resources -according to lawmaker Millán, at least $25 billion have been lost-, divestment, lack of maintenance and witch-doctor rituals to call rain and end draught, because El Guri dam is steadily descending between 5 and 10 cm daily. If law prevailed in this country, Parliament’s decision should mean that the minister, who’s an expert in justifying his mistakes by alleging sabotage, should be removed.
According to the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, January’s inflation rate closed at 18.66%. Another world record.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.