“I assure you that their deaths will not come without torment, that before they die they will begin to suffer and their soul will wonder through the darkest and most pestilent places before, somehow, they close their eyes,” said Amazonas governor, Liborio Guarulla, a baniva native. He called on his ancestors and shamans for the curse of Dabucurí to fall upon those who have tried to harm him, thus condemning the political disqualification imposed by Comptroller’s Office, which he accused of acting upon racism and political motives. “If they have power, we have power too,” said Guarulla. An aside: Dabucurí is a legendary ritual proposed by UNESCO as Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Manaus

Arthur Neto, major of Manaus (Brazil), issued a decree allowing the spending of emergency funds after at least 355 Venezuelans arrived in town, most of them warao natives, and established campsites (just like it already happened in Boa Vista). They are looking for jobs in the city’s industrial complex, but they lack the documents necessary to be hired. Supposedly, the Federal Police will help them and there’s the intention of including them in social programs, but their condition as foreign natives demands a different kind of support. Mayor Neto said that Manaus offers to return them home on bus, but that’s not an agreeable option for the migrants, of course.

Zamora’s reach

The National Assembly unanimously approved the agreement condemning the execution of Plan Zamora and the installation of Military Tribunals across the country, while vice-president Tareck El Aissami presented his balance on an eponymous operation, allegedly carried out to dismantle “terrorist cells related to the extreme right-wing, bent on sowing chaos in the country.” In order to make the exercise a bit more serious, El Aissami accused the National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges of leading the cells dismantled so far.

Meanwhile, a Carabobo University student, Oriana Wadsquier, was run down by a vehicle belonging to the Venezuelan Institute of Social Security when she was protesting in the redoma de Los Frailes in Calabozo, Guárico state. Oriana suffered a severe head trauma and she’s in delicate condition. IVSS head Carlos Rotando tweeted: “I regret the accident, where an IVSS vehicle was involved and student Oriana Wadsquier suffered considerable injuries, instructions have been given to provide full support in the medical attention she requires and to complete all the necessary investigations.”

It wasn’t an accident and vehicles don’t get involved –the IVSS vehicle is not a Decepticon–; in a normal country, medical attention shouldn’t depend on official guilt and neither should police investigations.

To the street for the constituyente

Chavismo has exercised power on TV for so long that they’ve lost their sense of reality and the ability to connect with their audience. The evidence lies in the speeches of Diosdado Cabello, Adán Chávez and Elías Jaua yesterday, the same guys who claimed they’d remain on the street the same days as the opposition. The board of Caracas’ Bar Association went to the TSJ’s Political Administrative Chamber to demand the nullification of the decrees Nicolás used to call his Constituyente, denouncing that he usurped Venezuelan people’s power and vastly exceeded his capacities as president. They also denounced the evident contradiction between decrees 2,830 and 2,831, because there can’t be elections ruled simultaneously by the principles of universality and sectorizations: “Those are grammatically, logically and judicially conflicting terms,” they contradict and nullify one another.

The (in)justice of the day

Theresly Malavé, defense lawyer for lawmaker Gilber Caro, confirmed that he was transferred to Carabobo Judicial Prison, without the corresponding transfer order and cautioning that the lawmaker will remain isolated for a month. But relax, because Defense minister Vladimir Padrino claimed in an interview with EFE that civilian cases processed by military tribunals are in compliance with the law and that the Military Prosecutor’s Office has been in communication with General Prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz, about these cases. Just last night, the Prosecutor’s Office posted on Twitter: “Prosecutor 41 of Zulia demanded that 14 people arrested for the incident in Villa del Rosario be tried by civilian and not military courts.”

I hope they’ll manage to secure civilian justice for the 14 people accused of toppling el finado’s statue, because at least eight out of the 19 people arrested in an opposition protest in Falcón state were transferred to Ramo Verde prison, where they will be held for 45 days while a final decision is reached, even though they’ve not been indicted for any crimes, they’ve been tried by a military court and private lawyers couldn’t enter the court and were replaced by a military lawyer. Another pair of students from Lara state, Alejandro Adarfio (Mechanical engineering) and Katisuka Salón (Law), were arrested, tried by a military court and also sent to Ramo Verde.

Human Rights

The IACHR condemns the increase in deaths, injuries and massive arrests that have come with the militarization of protest-related tasks, supported on figures released by the Prosecutor’s Office.

They express their concern for the amount of people killed and wounded by firearm or by the excessive use of tear gas and rubber bullets, also accounting for complaints of torture and cruel treatment against detainees, the violations of guarantees and judicial protections and the use of the military jurisdiction to arrest and try civilians. They also condemn the use of public media to stigmatize and criminalize protesters, labelling them as “terrorists” or “armed insurgents,” in addition to spiking attacks and arbitrary arrests of journalists. The IACHR condemns the disregard for fair elections, the illegal restriction to political rights and the shutdown of democratic spaces in view of society’s complaints.

Diplomatic roadmap

Believe it or not, the Foreign Ministry translated Nicolás’ constituyente decree to English, French and Portuguese, and Delcy Rodríguez sent it via Twitter to Donald Trump and Michel Temer, among other hardcore enemies.

Moreover, in an attempt to blindside the OAS, she ratified her invitation to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay as mediators of the dialogue that hasn’t happened. Obviously, this left her no time to reply to the statements of Costa Rican president Luis Guillermo Solís, talking about the inefficacy of international pressure to help solve Venezuela’s crisis, that political dialogue has failed and that the Venezuelan government’s allies block the initiatives of other Celac member countries. On the other hand, he rejected Luis Almagro’s belligerence as the cause of OAS’s limited range of action. Today, it’s highly probable for the OAS to approve calling for a foreign ministers meeting about Venezuela on May 22.

The march to the TSJ with the Constitution as a shield will take place today.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.
Previous articleMérida Escalates
Next articleWakuénai Chronicles
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.