The drowsiness of power

Your daily briefing for Monday, May 8, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo

Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections on Sunday with a far better result than pollstersforecast and with a lower turnout than expected. Meanwhile, Nicolás didn’t do his Sunday show but instead held a conference call with one of the terribly dull meetings of the Presidential Committee for his constituyente —with alleged intellectuals—, to insist on the same ineffective messaging. Check the government’s Twitter accounts and try to find the least bit of enthusiasm in those pictures, the overwhelming joy in the faces of Elías Jaua, Aristóbulo Istúriz or Adán Chávez, the optimism for this widely unpopular imposition that demands hours of broadcast on VTV from them, although in his interview with José Vicente Rangel, Diosdado Cabello claimed that the Constituyente isn’t meant to scrap the current Constitution but to strengthen it.

What else did Diosdado say?

As if his weekly program wasn’t enough, he took the used the interview with Mum Ra’s brother to ratify that the opposition leaders are to blame for violence in the country, accusing political parties Voluntad Popular and Primero Justicia of competing “to see which one’s more violent,” remarking that they train their people with only three fascist films and offering a description far more fitting for PSUV than to any other political organization: “Their numbers dwindle every day and every day they grow more violent.” He regretted that Manuel Rosales has been the only opposition leader to condemn dissident anarchy, but he didn’t do anything of the sort when he claimed that Human Rights are respected in Venezuela. Another study on colossal cynicism.

Not attending

Although TeleSUR says otherwise, governor Henrique Capriles said that the opposition won’t attend the meeting for the Constituyente, but they will march to the Education Ministry to talk to Elías Jaua. Capriles announced the rest of the protests scheduled for this week, which include citizen assemblies and open gatherings all over the country on Tuesday to inform people about Nicolás’ constituent process, besides a session of the National Assembly, with participation of various NGOs, seeking to denounce repression against protests. On Wednesday 10th, we’ll have the march “Our Shield is the Constitution,” set to arrive to Interior Ministry offices across the nation. On Thursday 11th, lawmakers will go to their respective states to listen to citizen complaints; on Friday 12th, the elderly will march to Ombudsman’s Office buildings and on Saturday 13th, the march “The Union of States.” We’ll have more details about each activity throughout the week.

Another act of injustice and a late finding

Amazonas state governor Liborio Guarulla was notified that he’s barred from running for office for 15 years. He’ll explain further in a press conference on Tuesday. The Prosecutor’s Office reported that after five months a military helicopter disappeared in Amazonas, eight bodies were found in the crash site, and transferred to Puerto Ayacucho, to be identified. They also found the aircraft’s black box and other elements of interest for the criminal investigation. Let’s just hope it moves quicker than the search.


After 35 days of isolation, Leopoldo López’s family was able to visit him at Ramo Verde military prison. Upon leaving the prison, Lilian Tintori said that he’s healthy, that his isolation’s meant to keep him in the dark about what’s happening in the country and that’s why it hasn’t ended which qualifies as torture, that the video shown by Diosdado Cabello was real although highly distorted and edited (in it, he denounced that they were trying to poison him); that Leopoldo has been threatened, beaten and abused and that includes constant recordings, unreasonable punishments, intimidation with rifles and death threats. Tintori said that she’s post messages sent by López for the entire country.

More Human Rights violations

Proiuris, and NGO dedicated to promoting protection for Human Rights, reported that they’ve confirmed 52 cases of civilians tried by military criminal jurisdiction, a serious violation of the fundamental right to due process enshrined in the National Constitution as well as in international treaties.

The 52 names documented included the Carabobo University teacher, Santiago Guevara, Steyci Escalona (girlfriend of lawmaker Gilbert Caro,) Marco Trejo, César Cuéllar and Andrés Febres-Cordero.

Recently, eight civilians were arrested during protests and processed in Lara in April, 2017. In all of these cases, the prisoners’ legal teams have denounced political motivations. Now add José Miguel Martínez Primera, one of the 14 detainees for bringing down el finado’s statue in Villa del Rosario of Perijá, accused of terrorism for taking a few pictures with the statue’s boots, the only thing that remained in its place.

Sunday’s demonstration was extremely powerful in emotional terms, a virtue of the arts, even though the stage was rather small and they didn’t invest that much money on sound, the tenderness of most of the performances served to evoke noble emotions, to honor our dead but also to recharge the energies we need to keep on.

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.