According to lawmaker Pedro Carreño, the wisdom and discipline of chavistas are being tested and the time has come to energize “peaceful but armed” protest, despite claiming that: “When the GN, the PNB, the SEBIN are taking action, the people’s taking action, they’re the people in arms,” but there’s more, Carreño announced the plan to arm PSUV militants, because the parti has “a tremendous responsibility to sign in as fighting groups through four great axes”: registry (Carnet de la patria,) organization, training and employment.
Training means going “to training camps, to shooting ranges for training in combat, infiltration, instinctive shooting, personal defense, anti-riot defense,” training for all scenarios. Each one of the 10,176 UBCh (Bolívar Chávez Battle Units) will find 20 fighters to turn each UBCh into a platoon. Four UBCh will form a CLP and four CLP will form a militia battalion, and thus Carreño promised to provide 3,680 companies or 920 battalions “for the nation’s defense,” which will be at Nicolás’ disposal once trained and equipped. After exhibiting once again the “Revolutionary Fighter Handbook,” claiming that they’re distributing it by the millions, Carreño said that el finado trained them for that. The only incentive available for this version of the soviets will be food. They better have enough.
Carreño isn’t on his own, this is obviously an official stance and Communications minister Ernesto Villegas himself supported it with a paragraph in José Vicente Rangel’s opinion column, saying: “if the country reaches a borderline scenario, in which we’re forced to settle differences through violence -since the opposition refused to negotiate-, be sure that the fight will be fought. They don’t have it easy.” Yesterday, Diosdado Cabello claimed that the Armed Forces are “vaccinated” against the opposition, which is allegedly “looking for a Pinochet, but they won’t find him.” Unfortunately, his audience in Plaza Morelos couldn’t even fill a block, but this wasn’t chavismo’s biggest blunder yesterday.
— Jennifer Mujica Ch. (@JenniferMujica) May 8, 2017
None of the members of the most important opposition alliance, the MUD, attended the Presidential Constituent Committee meeting and none of the parties who did attend, agreed with Nicolás’ proposal, despite the fact that they’re pre-invalidated after being unable to collect the 1% voter signatures required by the CNE for re-validation. In fact, the meeting even had impostors, which was denounced by party Bandera Roja.
— Bandera Roja (@Bandera_Roja) May 8, 2017
To make things worse for Education minister Elías Jaua, when the representative from Movimiento al Socialismo (MAS), Segundo Meléndez, read his extensive statement about the reasons to reject the Constituyente, VTV was still broadcasting live, so everybody was able to watch and listen when he said that the current Constitution has the necessary tools to solve the country’s problems, but the issue lies in the lack of political will to comply with and enforce the Constitution.
Parties Unidad Visión Venezuela and Democracia Renovadora also expressed their refusal, although VTV was no longer transmitting the official failure.
Nicolás closed the exhibition Venezuela Producción Soberana along with Defense minister Padrino López who said that the event was attended by over 100,000 people. Nicolás admitted that in his next life, he’d like to be a soldier, that the Constituyente will be installed in the next few weeks whether we like it or not; that he used to be an altar boy and that’s why he respects the Episcopal Conference although “they don’t know what they’re doing” and that he’ll activate a military constituyente “to strengthen and deepen the Armed Forces’ four components,” and also an economic Constituyente.
Letter for Elías
The Democratic Unity Roundtable issued the letter they were supposed to deliver at Elías Jaua’s office in response to his invitation. In it, they ratify that the call for a constituent process is illegitimate and unconstitutional since it wasn’t consulted with the people: “it not only usurps popular sovereignty, it’s being imposed through repression against the Venezuelan people, who are resisting on the streets with peaceful protest, demanding effective solutions,” adding that Venezuela doesn’t need a new Constitution, but a new government as the only way out of this crisis. MUD says that, without a referendum and with anti-democratic electoral rules, Nicolás seeks to avoid restoring the right to vote and wants to distract us from the severe problems he’s caused: inflation, shortages of food and medicines and rampant crime.
A group of physicians ratified this Monday their complaint regarding the shortage of medicines in the country and condemned Nicolás’ Constituyente because: “The health of Venezuelans won’t improve or change with a new COnstitution, the health of Venezuelans will improve with an effective government, capable of guaranteeing supply,” said Danny Golindano, coordinator of Médicos por la Salud, demanding the government to allow humanitarian aid. They also demanded the Ombudsman’s Office to guarantee sufficient supplies and medicines, and well-maintained equipment. They announced that health unions will stage a protest in the next few days and denounced that some hospital chiefs are trying to prevent doctors from tending to wounded demonstrators if they’re not chavistas.
Once again Canada expressed concern for our crisis and, in view of Amazonas governor Liborio Guarulla’s disqualification, they remarked that “each attempt at silencing elected leaders is an attempt at silencing voters,” also condemning that civilians are being tried by military tribunals, considering it to be a serious lapse in the government’s international obligations on Human Rights, both civil and political.
— Canadá en Venezuela (@EmbCanVenezuela) May 8, 2017
President Juan Manuel Santos said that Venezuela’s instability is a priority for Colombia. Lastly, Costa Rica ratified its support for political dialogue and a democratic solution to the crisis.
Repression was fierce and disproportionate yesterday once again. The PNB and the National Guard attacked journalists and photographers, they threatened, beaten and robbed protesters, and even chanted macabre slogans. Diosdado Cabello threatening to sue opposition mayors who allow protests in their municipalities for damages to public property while ignoring the consequences of repression only makes everything worse. Repression in Mérida was terrible, with the Green Cross reporting well over a hundred people wounded, while power outages affect several residential areas and others were under attack with tear gas, as Tupamaros (paramilitary armed groups) stole the fire brigade’s only operational ambulance.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.