Growing isolation

Your Briefing for Thursday, March 30, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

While Great Britain formally started the process to split from the European Union after a 44-year membership, Foreign Minister Delcy Rodríguez offered a press conference with the same pattern of hostility and madness that we are now accustomed to, accusing the OAS of conspiring with “the golpista right-wing” to topple Nicolás; celebrating that the Democratic Charter hasn’t been activated, thanking Nicaragua and Bolivia for their subservient support and remarking that the government will send letters of protest to the 20 countries who voted in favor of the Permanent Council’s debate on Venezuela, demanding that they abandon their meddling intentions. She’ll go to the OAS meeting in Mexico to “tell the truth”; as usual, she insulted Luis Almagro, but also the entire continent saying that this Tuesday’s session was “a solid victory for Bolivarian diplomacy.”

Ombudsman Tarek William Saab spoke on behalf of the Moral Republican Council condemning the “attack against sovereignty from the core of the OAS,” calling the institution “a lukewarm partner for peoples and a servile arena for aggressors.” An entirely befitting description… of himself.

MUD’s statement

The Democratic Unity Roundtable said that the speeches of Delcy Rodríguez and Samuel Moncada were barbaric diplomacy, a performance that, according to them, didn’t prevent the international community from supporting the demand for immediate elections in the country. They were grateful for this support to democratic struggle. For the MUD, what happened at the OAS shows the need for a change in the country’s current democratic model “which prioritizes confrontation instead of dialogue and allows only one view of the world: the government’s.” They also condemned the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber’s second to latest ruling, in which they assume the capacity to define the limits of parliamentary immunity, calling it invalid and unacceptable and denouncing the coup against democracy perpetrated by Nicolás and the public branches subordinated to him.

RECADI pales in comparison

PDVSA is news for many reasons, none of them good. First, once again, rumor has it that its president, Eulogio Del Pino, is to be replaced by minister Nelson Martínez. All experts in the area say that Martínez will be even worse than Del Pino because he lacks the skills for the office. Second, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a statement regarding complaints that Marco Malavé, PDVSA’s International Trade manager, had engaged in illegal activities concerning booking protocols for fuel supply, which would explain the shortage of fuel in the country. Malavé is held in General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence headquarters. Lastly, PDVSA reported the activation of a contingency plan in the Jose Industrial Complex due to an oil spill that was detected last Tuesday, spreading approximately three kilometers into the sea; claiming that the emergency was immediately solved and they placed a provisional clamp in the damaged pipeline to stop the leakage “without further effects in the terminal’s oil shipment operations.”

Arbitrary and cynical

The same day that pictures spread of a campaign in Quito exhibiting posters with the faces of the CNE rectoras, accusing them of partaking in electoral frauds, CNE vice-president Sandra Oblitas once against spoke about the zillion phases of the political party re-registration drive, claiming that 20 parties have participated without issues so far. She was cynical enough to speak against the OAS, calling Tuesday’s session an attempt “to interfere in Venezuela’s sovereign decisions,” urging the people to “reject interventionist tendencies that seek to undermine our sovereignty and intimidate us.” Oblitas added that “Venezuelan democracy is alive and well; electoral matters are transcendental for democracy.”

Well, if it’s about cynicism

Prisons minister Iris Varela denied the existence of pranes (gang lords) in the country’s prisons and simultaneously claimed that they’ve found fifteen bodies in the mass grave at the General Penitentiary of Venezuela, saying that there’s tremendous indifference about the matter, since only two families have claimed bodies. But why is she saying there are no pranes in the prisons? Because all inmates are equal in Varela’s eyes! Assuring that Venezuela is a powerhouse of Human Rights, she insisted that a new prison regime is in place, including prison pacification, even though figures issued by the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons show the opposite. She recommended that all families of missing persons should go to Senamecf to undertake DNA tests, because it’s possible that some bodies found in the mass grave might not be inmates but actually kidnap victims. Sadly, she didn’t explain how there could be kidnap victims in a prison.

Wi-Fi for everyone!

Vice-president Tareck El Aissami opened the event Venezuela Digital 2017, to persuade PSUV militants about the irrelevance of social networks and their impact. El Aissami claimed that Venezuela stands “at the vanguard of internet access,” emphasizing prices and quality of service, and reported that the government approved resources so that public and private operators “can provide free service to all public schools and universities in the country.” It’s so ennobling to supply internet service to places where teachers and professors are paid such a miserable salary, where water supply fails more often than not and where thousands of students don’t even have food…

An aside: the debt the National Center of Information Technology has with the Latin America and Caribbean Network Information Centre (Lacnic), threatens to leave all public institutions in the country without any internet. They’ve already paid a considerable amount, but the debt is still huge.

Coup d’Etat, you say?

Almost at midnight, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber said that thanks to a request for legal interpretation, they declared parliamentary constitutional omission and consequently ruled that: “As long as the situation of contempt persists and the National Assembly’s acts are invalid, the Constitutional Chamber will guarantee that parliamentary powers will be exercised by this Chamber or by the institution that the Chamber chooses, to protect the Rule of Law,” in other words, the TSJ will fully assume Parliament’s authority and thus, Venezuelans finally confirm that, on top of having our electoral rights suspended, the result of the election of December 6, 2015 has been de facto nullified by the TSJ. This is a serious decision. This, is a different country.

Venezuela is the only country where 90% of Odebrecht’s works are unfinished. Another record, Nicolás!

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.