Coloring

For Wednesday, March 7, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Some bolivarian schools paid their respects to el finado by having children color an image of him with his beret as an extra-credit activity. On the other hand some parents, when some bureaucrat at the Don Samuel school of Barinas, eager to score some brownie points, had a Chávez mural painted on one of the institution’s walls (over a slogan about how everybody loves Chávez here), the school’s parents quickly painted it over.

And just as Nicolás came up with a network of intellectuals, including Danny Glover, Piedad Córdoba and Alfredo Serrano, world famous for their knowledge; the Democratic Unity Roundtable promised to shield all of its member parties from the threat of being declared illegal, be it through a TSJ ruling or through CNE’s re-registration drive.

At the Teresa Carreño theatre

The government not only brought international guests and covered their expenses, but even closed off a public cultural space for a shameful show: making those guests repeat chavismo’s key messages, from Israel’s role in the “media war,” to el finado’s unquestionable contribution to the new world order.

Nicolás chose to mock OAS chief Luis Almagro, calling him “Almugre,” and remarking that he won’t tolerate any further attacks or schemes from him, he said: “With or without charter, we’ll beat them all within the law and the bolivarian revolution will prevail (…) because all the might of the Cuban revolution is in service of the bolivarian process.” Nicolás said he was glad because he’ll push “a great dialogue of civilizations for peace, a great dialogue of cultures,” this from the man who has been unable even to sit Transport minister Ricardo Molina at the same table with the nation’s bus drivers.

MUD’s agreement

MUD says that any free, fair and transparent electoral process will be a great victory for democratic forces and that’s precisely why the PSUV came up with a strategy to get rid of Venezuelans’ right to vote for good. They say that the goal of the party re-registration drive is to sweep political parties that the PSUV finds uncomfortable out of the way, leaving the government to handpick its own opposition.

So, MUD parties promised to protect all political parties; fully recognizing the membership of MUD parties, regardless of what CNE and TSJ say; defending, recognizing and respecting the symbols and initials of the MUD ballot; accepting the ballots of the parties that manage to re-register and enroll any Unity candidates elected in primaries.

Inconsistencies

While Venezuela’s regime seems unusually interested by union protests against president Mauricio Macri, not realizing that people in Argentina can actually reach a public institution’s headquarters without having to sort out police or military blockades, CLAPartheid is upping its game in the country and that’s why Freddy Bernal, head of the government’s food distribution scheme, announced yesterday that the CLAP grocery bags won’t reach communities without a consejo comunal. That means that, if you want to eat and assuming that you have enough money, you’ll need a Consejo Comunal, a CLAP and also a carnet de la patria where you live.

PDVSA announced the “progress” of the Golpe de Timón plan in its fifth phase, with workers spread out over ten technical tables for the “absolute restructuring” ordered by Nicolás so that “the working class assumes the industry’s leadership.”

Meanwhile, Communications minister Ernesto Villegas said on Tuesday that a campaign to plunder the country’s foreign currency is underway, as well as a financial persecution against PDVSA, explaining that dollarizing our economy is the ultimate goal of the country’s sinister enemies. He also took the opportunity to emphasize that democracy is threatened “by the invasion of new technologies that allow for the creation of undetectable campaigns through psychometry and what experts call big data.” This, my friends, is extremely serious.

Spaces

The Inter-American Human Rights Court will hear over twelve Venezuelan civil society institutions in its 161st set of hearings to discuss the right to truth, access to justice and political persecution in Venezuela, from March 15th until 22nd.

Meanwhile, the National Assembly approved an agreement condemning the fact that vice-president Tareck El Aissami and the minister cabinet didn’t present their accountability speeches in Parliament. Additionally, AN head Julio Borges detailed the country’s severe humanitarian crisis for a delegation of the Italian Parliament, which had previously met with the government. Borges urged the delegation to get involved with what’s happening in Venezuela because it’s a humanitarian matter.

Narcosobrinos

The U.S. government has new information about the narcosobrinos case —the drug trafficking trial against two of the first lady’s nephews— that could end the possibility for the court to show leniency toward them and a new trial starts. Prosecutors are trying to establish that the Flores cousins were in the drug business long before the DEA showed up, that they’re not new to drug trafficking but rather seasoned criminals. The claims are supported by information about their connections with drug kingpins such as Hermágoras González and Vasily Kotosky Villarroel Ramírez, both currently in custody in Venezuela. The Prosecution’s goal is to ratify that the Flores have experience in drug trafficking, adding the possibility that they managed to smuggle over 3,000 kilos of cocaine coming from the FARC through Maiquetía Airport. Todo bello.

Bravo, Michelle!

Out of the 330 texts presented in the Fifth Francisco Ayala Narrative Award, the jury decided to honor the compilation of tales Gente decente,” by Venezuelan writer Michelle Roche, highlighting that her work is “the product of a solid narrative voice.” Michelle writes prose, essays, journalism and literary critique; she teaches essays, cultural journalism and prose, and she also dictates literature courses. She contributes with magazines Barcelona Review, Buensalvaje, Quimera and Zenda, and with Venezuelan cultural outlets Qué Leer and Papel Literario. In 2014, she founded the website Colofón Revista Literaria. The award includes the publication of her work in digital format.

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