Fallen Cross

Your daily briefing for Friday, May 19, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Paúl René Moreno (24), was a medical student at Zulia University and a member of the Green Cross, a medical assistance tem that tends the wounded in protests. Paúl was run down this afternoon in Maracaibo, Zulia state by “a white, armored Toyota Hilux driven by armed men,” according to witnesses. And so they’ve murdered a boy who could’ve saved the lives of Venezuelans, not only in repression, but also in his own practice. Michelle Strubinger (13) was also run down but by a National Guard motorcycle, during a protest in the Colonia Tovar (Aragua). She was rushed to an outpatient clinic and is stable.

But there’s a darker, sadder, far more inexplicable story: that of the native wayúu 11-year-old boy who was found bound in Maracaibo with a tear-gas canister on his back that caused him second-degree burns, merely for witnessing a protest. His testimony was punished with torture by the National Guard.

94 people were wounded between Chacao and Baruta municipalities during repression in Caracas yesterday.

Conract killing

Amazonas governor Liborio Guarulla denounced that his nephew, Eric Guarulla Payua, was murdered by hired killers in Casiquiare neighborhood, Puerto Ayacucho. The governor thinks that his nephew’s murder could’ve been a retaliation against him. The 30-year old man was the head of the General Archive of Amazonas Governor’s Office and was a militant of political party Movimiento Progresista de Venezuela.

A country for prison

Governor Henrique Capriles was supposed to travel to New York on Thursday to meet the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. He was retained at Maiquetìa airport and notified that his passport had been nullified –even though it wouldn’t expire until 2020–. Capriles qualified the event as a robery: “My passport has been stolen.” High commissioner Zeid Raas al Hussein regretted that the governor’s passport had been invalidated, adding that he hopes this measure was a retaliation. Much less generous than Zeid, OAS secretary general Luis Almagro said that it was unacceptable to prevent an opposition leader from travelling by withholding his passport: “Another flagrant Human Rights violation in Venezuela.”

State violence

The Prosecutor’s Office reported that three officers of theNational Guard (GN) will be indicted for the murder of Manuel Castellanos in Tucapé, Táchira. The PO’s investigations don’t match the statements Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López’s statements, in which he claimed that the GN doesn’t use firearms to repress protesters and that he’d banned the use of rubber pellet shotguns. Furthermore, the PO will present six GNs for the assault on UPEL (Aragua) which ended with six students wounded with gunshots. On Wednesday night, general Benavides Torres (commander of the GN) tweeted: “I don’t support and categorically condemn the use of firearms to restore public order.” If he’s being sincere, he is supposed to assume shared responsibility for the crimes committed by his men, for his negligence in oversight and leadership, or he’d have to admit that they were, in fact, following his orders and save all his lies for himself.

Cursed robe

The US Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the eight justices of the Supreme Tribunal  for violating human rights, for usurping the National Assembly’s authority. Manuel Urdaneta, Carmen Zuleta, Lourdes Suárez, Calixto Ortega, Maikel Moreno, Juan José Mendoza, Gladys Gutiérrez, Arcadio Delgado and Luis Damiani saw their assets swiftly frozen in the American, European and Asian systems (except China and Russia,). Also, their names have been financially blacklisted worldwide and they are facing potential federal charges. Right now, the highest representative of the Judicial Branch and one member of the Executive in Venezuela are blacklisted by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), which makes 16 chavistas under sanction. It’s time for the figureheads and also the Prosecutor’s Office, which should now open investigations against the justices.

Happy birthday, Delcy

President Donald Trump said yesterday that his administration will do all that’s necessary to help Venezuela, since he believes our situation is “a disgrace to humanity.” And he added: “When you look at the oil reserves that they have, when you look at the potential wealth that Venezuela has, you sort of have to wonder ‘Why is that happening? How is that possible?’ But It has been unbelievably poorly run for a long period of time.”

Canada chose to remark that the Armed Forces’ mission in a democracy is to keep civil order and protect the citizens respecting Human Rights, without promoting violence.

And that isn’t all, former Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa ratified the importance of elections to solve our conflict and the Chilean Senate, by an unanimous decision (which includes the Communist Party,) condemned the Executive’s abuses against the National Assembly. And Delcy was so happy that Michel Temer had been accused of corruption and the Brazilian Supreme Tribunal was quick to open an investigation.


The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference replied to minister Elías Jaua that they’ll expect his visit today at 10:00 a.m. at their offices to express their opinion about Nicolás’s Constituyente. They also issued a communiqué explaining several key aspects for effective negotiations, reconciliation and the responsible exercise of protests, pointing out that “the people is the true social core of democracy,” that elections are the way to restore the exercise of democracy and inviting the government acknowledge and accept the four points set out by Pietro Parolin: opening a humanitarian channel, releasing political prisoners, recognizing the National Assembly and scheduling elections to solve the conflict.

A million

When el finado took power, a dollar was equal to Bs. 576. The price just rose to Bs. 5,800 overnight, meaning Bs. 5,800,000. That’s one million percent failure, right when our economy has significantly contracted (made worse by political conditions,) our oil output is faltering, our imports are contracting (we must avoid default at all costs,) inflation goes through the roof, shortages getting worse and our international reserves are at a dramatic lowest. The government assumes that the only way to overcome the drama they’ve created is intensifying the measures that brought us here: more restrictions, only the State is salvation, so they can fully exercise their clumsy apartheid and more easily indulge their corruption.

This is a country without elections, subjected to fierce repression, with censorship as a rule while parliamentary immunity, university autonomy and due process are systematically violated, so that soldiers are trying civilians and even passports are nullified for political reasons. This is an astonishingly incapable dictatorship, but that doesn’t make them any less vile. They’re sickeningly interested in ramping up violence, the scenario they need to justify what they’ve been doing: killing innocents.

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.