The source of violence

Your daily briefing for Monday, May 22, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

On Saturday night, 23-year old Administration student Edy Terán Aguilar was murdered by armed motorizados in El Murachi (Valera, Trujillo state.) He was able to tell a friend he’d been shot in the chest, before collapsing. The bullet lodged in his heart. He was the youngest of five siblings and earned a living by unloading trucks in Valera’s Mercado de Mayoristas. He had also learned some agriculture in the rural area where he grew up. The Prosecutor’s Office appointed the 3rd Prosecutor to coordinate field investigations to clarify his death and the injuries suffered by two other people: Dennys Araujo and Cesar Montilla. Trujillo governor Henry Rangel Silva blamed the crime on “right-wing guarimberos,” proving his impartiality.

Impossible agreement

The popular Nicolás claimed on Sunday that he knows how to sing, do theatre and cineclub; that he lived in Caricuao before moving to El Valle, that he was head of a rock movement in Caracas (1981-1983) and, then, with his audience a bit more comfortable, he spoke about La Capriloca’s overdose and denounced –with evidence in hand, he said– that Miranda governor Henrique Capriles arms violent groups in his own house. Breaking the law on media responsibility and disregarding the court ruling that bans the broadcast of lynching videos, Nicolás made a colossal effort to show videos that reflect the opposition’s evil –generalizing and taking events out of context, and even editing audio to terrorize chavista militants and bring them together under his mustache. He played the video of the motorizado burned in Altamira three times.

Don’t call it repression

“I’ve faced these protests with democratic authority,” he said, referring to repression, after criticizing the ungratefulness of athletes and musicians who have denounced the dictatorship in Venezuela. According to Nicolás, dissidents have shown their true colors by “burning their own people” and “newly-formed Nazi-fascist groups are cracking down on Venezuelans for being chavistas.” He firmly asserted that “Trump is the opposition’s Commander in Chief,” that he’s behind all violent attacks –seeking to colonize Venezuela– and that he’s responsible for this new wave of hatred.

Strangely, Nicolás is concerned only with “dissident violence,” despite the murders committed by security forces and colectivos, the 800+ people wounded, and the ruthless assaults on street protests and residential neighborhoods; even after promising rifles for milicianos loyal to chavismo, Nicolás insists on this twisted narrative that chavismo is being persecuted and the opposition is to blame, dismissing the fact that most of the people indicted by the Prosecutor’s Office for murders during protests are National Guardsmen and PNB officers.

The absurdity

The same guy who makes near-daily claims that only his party has the moral authority to govern this country, and that’s precisely why they’ll never leave power, pledged to catch all those who have engaged in violence, calling on the Ombudsman and the General Prosecutor to join efforts to guarantee justice. And so, the man responsible for each tear-gas shower that we’ve suffered during protests, called for “a national march on Tuesday, May 23rd, all across the country, condemning hatred, violence and fascism,” asking people to bring the Venezuelan flag with them, because it’ll be the march of love, remarking that his first constituent proposal will be the creation of a committee for truth, justice and reconciliation, and musing out loud about “over a thousand shops destroyed,” the same ones that security forces allowed to be looted and vandalized.


Ombudsman Tarek William Saab claimed yesterday that hate crimes are being committed in the country. Unsurprisingly, he also used the vague and disrespectful comparison with nazism to define the opposition, while chavistas are like the Jews. Saab says that we’ve all seen him condemn violence from any side, and call for investigations to solve the crimes, which somehow gives him a moral platform from which to speak about selective hate crimes and the crackdown on “neonazism.”

It would be great if he specified whether this could mean the removal of a minister such as Néstor Reverol, for instance, who insists on denouncing “violent groups hired by the terrorist right-wing,” but who’s yet to show evidence of any contracts, transactions or pictures collected by his wide intelligence apparatus to support his claims. That’s what inciting hatred really looks like, but we all know how Saab’s impartiality works.

Payback for the sanctions

The Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ratified that constituent assembly members can be chosen through indirect elections, remarking that they’re allowed by the Constitution, thus guaranteeing the proper exercise of social and participative democracy. Ruling 335 declares that participation and representation are equally valid regardless of whether they’re exercised by individuals or by social entities and so, just like citizen assemblies and communal councils can elect communal parish committees –devolved political participation for the win–, direct and controlled… ehem… collective elections can coexist, thus ditching “free, universal, direct and secret” elections as a thing of the past.

But don’t worry, as a sort of compensation, we get to participate “in the training, execution and monitoring process of the public administration,” which they’ve denied anyone who doesn’t have el finado’s crooked eyes tattooed on their body. The TSJ couldn’t find a better excuse to allow Nicolás’ constituent representatives to be elected according to their loyalty to PSUV than allegedly strengthening their fake participative democracy, prioritizing votes they can control through missions or CLAP bags.

“What’s the source of this violence?”, Nicolás asked. I’d swear that undermining rights, neglecting liberties and the indignity of a miserable life has something to do with that, but I’m not sure. I haven’t seen anybody justify or support lynchings, but I haven’t heard a single chavista protest the barbarity of indirect elections either.

The healthcare sector marches today.

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.