The National Assembly’s special session in Parque Miranda offered the chance to unanimously approve the manifesto for the restitution of democracy, explain the unconstitutionality of leaving the OAS –as that violates article 23 of the Constitution–, commemorate the victims of repression and establish the government’s full responsibility for the surge of violence in recent protests, with all the Human Rights abuses exercised so far, summed up in a phrase by lawmaker Henry Ramos Allup: “Repression makes more headlines than the very drive behind protests.” But Freddy Guevara emphasized the core of protests: “The point is that, if the people can’t have peace, we won’t let the government have peace either.” He also talked about Nicolás’ flimsy international support. Once the session had ended, they marched to Altamira to pay homage to student Juan Pablo Pernalete, murdered last Wednesday.
“This agreement has seven demands that we consider to be essential for restoring democracy in Venezuela,” said AN Speaker Julio Borges, as he urged the international community to support the following actions:
- Restoring the right to vote with an impartial CNE and with international monitoring.
- Activating the mechanisms available in the Constitution to hold early presidential elections in 2017.
- Establishing an electoral timetable to guarantee that gubernatorial and local elections will be held in 2017.
- Allowing the opening of a humanitarian channel to overcome the shortage of food and medicines.
- Respect for the AN as an autonomous power, restoring its authority, usurped by the government and the TSJ.
- Releasing all political prisoners.
- Demobilizing paramilitary armed groups and respecting the Armed Forces’ monopoly on weapons of war.
On Thursday, there were reports that the shortage of medicines to control diabetes hit 100% and hypertensive treatments are going the same way. It was also reported that the massacre at Puente Ayala prison (Anzoátegui) left 14 inmates dead and another 14 gravely wounded. Despite these figures, that reveal a severe Human Rights violation not directly related to the protests, None-budsman Tarek William Saab had the nerve to claim that his job has been recognized. Regarding the video of his son Yibram Saab Fornino, he said: “I love and adore my three children” and then went on rampage of self-adulation. Saab said that someone’s trying to extort him, that the Secretariat of the Moral Republican Council has already decided that the TSJ’s justices didn’t incur in severe misconduct, that the AN has no authority to remove him and that “once all political parties are re-validated, elections should be called this year.” He urged those who have evidence that there are paramilitary groups shooting at citizens, to give it to him. He yelled almost the entire time. Saab is a poor spokesman, but he outdid himself yesterday.
Lies from Delxit
The Foreign minister held a fake press conference with chavista militants playing the part of journalists and with arguments worthy of a stand up comedy gig. “Now that I feel a bit freer, I can say things about the OAS,” said Rodríguez, without explaining why she held back, especially after her increasing hostility toward the institution. According to her, leaving the OAS is “a response to a violation against institutionality and sovereignty,” thus questioning the notion of sovereignty of allies as socialist as Bolivia and Nicaragua; she claimed that the impact of this decision on the economy will be “subjective” and then labeled the 19 countries who approved discussing our crisis as “servile colonialists,” but she did it with a Cuban accent. She said that Europe was a decadent continent and claimed to have been widely congratulated for her arbitrary decision. She astonishingly said that there was “a double standard” to evaluate terrorism, as if chavismo itself didn’t do the same with coups d’état, corruption cases, Human Rights violations, everything! She spoke of incorporating new countries to the non-existent dialogue and showed a profound disdain for sense. The regime has made efforts to demonstrate what happens when arrogance surpasses reason, when they’re far more skilled for corruption than for politics.
Free from OAS?
Nicolás called his supporters to get ready for the battle he’ll announce in the next few hours. Once again, sitting before a tailored audience in Miraflores, he regretted that young people are used as “cannon fodder” and before clarifying who shoots the cannons, he connected the idea with a MUD that calls protests only “to call for violence, threats and fear,” remarking that he’ll file the evidence before the Judiciary and the Prosecutor’s Office of the horror MUD has caused this month. He dubbed Luis Almagro “shameless worm (…) the stain of Uruguay and Latin America,” right before yelling that he doesn’t recognize any OAS session and “¡pa’l carajo OAS!” (OAS, to hell). He insisted that the opposition burned all their ships and they’re left without “a single card to play.” He should read the letter released by Colombian writer William Ospina, who after praising chavismo, now says it’s necessary to call for elections, grant presidential amnesty to political prisoners and revoke the political disqualifications of opposition leaders.
With 450 votes in favor and 35 against, the eurodeputies expressed their vigorous condemnation for repression against peaceful protesters exercised by Venezuela’s security forces, urging Brussels to review “other measures to allow the Union to restore full democracy” in the country, besides supporting the mediation process. The United States remarked that the final decision on Venezuela leaving the OAS will be made by Nicolás’ successor. Paraguay’s Foreign minister Eladio Loizaga, said that the OAS has the capacity to issue sanctions against Venezuela with the appropriate consensus, even the country denounced the Charter. “Sooner rather than later, Venezuela’s situation will change, because repression is unsustainable” said El Salvador Congress Speaker Guillermo Gallegos, rejecting the decision to leave OAS. Lastly, Trump warned that “Venezuela is a mess,” at the beginning of his meeting in the White House with president Mauricio Macri, insisting that the situation is very sad and that we must wait to see what happens.
The repression in Barquisimeto on Wednesday night is just part of a scheme widely used by the government in these recent weeks of protests. It was extremely serious and, once again, they allowed paramilitary groups –colectivos– to act unpunished, and carried out illegal searches, extrajudicial arrests and on top of that, onThursday, paramilitary groups forced their entry in the building of Iribibarren’s Municipal Chamber, leaving several people wounded. Governor Henri Falcón has been as efficient as an albatross on a buoy.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.