César Pereira, a 20 year-old Voluntad Popular activist and Iutirla student, died on Sunday morning when a marble entered his abdomen during a protest in Peñol del Faro. The Prosecutor’s Office appointed the 20th prosecutor for Anzoátegui state to lead this murder investigation. Including César, the tally is now up to 62 people killed during 58 days of protests. 49 of them directly in street activities.

CSI: Fuerte Tiuna

Despite what you just read, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López thinks that Plan Zamora is a plan “to protect internal order,” because the alleged evil conspiracy they’re fighting is the shutdown of main roads, which is disrupting the country’s well-stocked supply lines.

Pretending to be the Chief of Public Prosecutions, he claimed that none of the casualties during protests were caused by weapons used by the National Guard, saying that protesters themselves are the ones firing metal buckshot, and that “70% of deaths have been caused by firearms and homemade weapons,” only to frame the PNB and the GN, equating protests to internal subversion and armed insurrection and once again singing the praises of the GN’s “impeccable” handling of demonstrations. Beyond that, he spoke like a PSUV fanatic, saying that even though the game is tight, the only possible way out is the Constituyente.

Another split

Former Ombudsman Gabriela Ramírez came out against the Constituyente: “No Assembly can be Constituent if it doesn’t first watered by the stream of popular sovereignty. Its electoral rules must go to the entire country for universal and direct approval. It’s unthinkable to elect constituent representatives if the people haven’t yet approved the terms and conditions of such an   election. And then, those men must submit the results of their efforts for popular approval,” comparing the way the previous ruling clique “met behind closed doors to think how they believed we wanted to be governed,” with Nicolás’ imposition, pointing out the setbacks in terms of Human Rights, the flagrant HHRR violation of not allowing everyone to express themselves through votes and the consequences of imposing the Constituyente. As if she had excelled during her own tender, she criticized Tarek William Saab, accusing him of being “more interested in defending himself than the people.” The cracks are still opening.

“Even under the rocks”

That’s Nicolás’s order to find those responsible for the death of GN Lt. Danny Subero, allegedly lynched this Saturday by a group of citizens in Lara state, during the funeral for student Manuel Sosa who had been murdered in Valle Hondo. The same guy who wanted Venezuela out of the OAS due to its supposed irrelevance for the local agenda, condemned yesterday the institution’s statement concerning the Subero’s crime and demanded that opposition leaders do the same.

Nicolás also decided to reveal a detail that Tibisay Lucena kept for herself, saying that two days have been enabled for electing constituent representatives, adding that over 50 requests for interpreting the Constituyente have been submitted to the TSJ thus far. Sadly, handling all that information didn’t inspire him to explain that he depreciated the bolívar at least by 60% with DICOM’s first auction, or why the Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman Sachs had purchased $2,800 million in PDVSA bonds at 31 cents on the dollar.

As an attack on president Juan Manuel Santos, after telling him to “wise up,” he said that Colombia “needs a Chávez,” and then alerted Latin America’s oligarchy that “they could pay dearly for their moves against Venezuela.” He ratified that Constituent Assembly members will have absolute power above any known law, summing it up as “a Constituent Assembly to change everything.” Spoken like a true statesman, huh?

Agro-food emergency

The Confederation of Associations of Farmers (Fedeagro) decreed an emergency in Venezuela due to the severe setbacks in the planting period, caused by input shortages and distribution problems caused by State monopoly: “the lack of supplies causes agricultural production to collapse and will worsen food shortages,” cautioning that most of the corn production should’ve already be sown by now, but they’ve scarcely been able to buy 30% of the required seed, fertilizer and agrochemical inputs to fulfill that goal.

Add this to complications caused by unseasonable rains and the hazard they represent to production; the inexplicable privilege that Agropatria has provided to public programs in terms of supply distribution, on top of the price hike of over 1,000% compared to 2016. Fedeagro demands that a humanitarian channel be opened to help supply all the farmers in the country.

“Come out here yourself, Maduro”

Was governor Henrique Capriles’ response to threats of imprisonment, warning Nicolás that he’ll have to face justice with political change and telling him that the dialogue he so desperately needs right now, was the recall referendum of 2016. Capriles opened the possibility for those who can arrive early this Monday to the Ombudsman’s Office on their own should do it, cautioning Interior minister Néstor Reverol and CNE chairwoman Tibisay Lucena they could face the same.

He read the list of fatalities during protests, in response to Padrino López’s statements denying GN responsibility; he ratified that we have the highest number of political prisoners in the last 50 years and condemned those who take justice into their own hands. With a different theory on Danny Subero’s death, he requested the Prosecutor’s Office to start investigations to reveal the truth and said that peaceful constitutional pressure should increase, in preparation for 72 hours of protests and suggesting that regime agents in demonstrations should be isolated and handed over to the authorities, but never attacked.

Today’s march will head to the Ombudsman’s Office. Protesters will wear white in honor of the dead.

On Tuesday, the idea’s to go to consulates, embassies and diplomatic delegations in the country and on Wednesday 31st, the march is set to reach the Foreign Affairs ministry.

In case you didn’t read it, courier companies operating in Venezuela have been banned from bringing helmets, bulletproof vests, bats, baseball balls, gas masks, gloves and first-aid products such as antiacid, gauze, cream for burns, bandages and eye drops. In the words of José Cabello, head of SENIAT: “They won’t use the country’s customs offices as a bridge to arm their terrorist groups.” Because Napalm and Maalox are notoriously similar, you know.

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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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. JVR the mummy saying on the video that the opposition doesn’t have “pueblo” and that their latest demonstrations have been “deplorable”, FFS

  2. My Spanish is not perfect, so maybe I’m missing some cultural clues, but in that video did Jose Vicente Rangel just say “hey look at this fruity sculpture, it’s by some dude who won an award 40 years ago. Now to the commentary”

    Is this guy autistic? What was the point of that?

  3. Here in my immediate area not a single hectar of corn has been planted. No seed, no fertilizer, no insecticide, no herbicide, no credit.

    • Have you seen this WaPo article? Venezuela’s paradox: People are hungry, but farmers can’t feed them.
      Venezuela’s disaster is man-made, economists point out — the result of farm nationalizations, currency distortions and a government takeover of food distribution. While millions of Venezuelans can’t get enough to eat, officials have refused to allow international aid groups to deliver food, accustomed to viewing their oil-rich country as the benefactor of poorer nations, not a charity case.

      “It’s not only the nationalization of land,” said Carlos Machado, an expert on Venezuelan agriculture. “The government has made the decision to be the producer, processor and distributor, so the entire chain of food production suffers from an inefficient agricultural bureaucracy.”

      Absolute control, absolute chaos. I am reminded of recently coming across the story of an economist who went to the former Soviet Union to help them establish a free market economy. The Soviet economists were flabbergasted when western economists told them that there was no need for the government to set prices- the free market would do that.

      • About ten years ago Chavez was going to revolutionize how farming was done. The government bought thousands of tractors from Iran along with other agricultural equipment and distributed them to town councils across the country with the idea that services would be provided to locals at flat bottom rates.

        The scheme worked long enough to drive private providers of those services out of business. Today, of course, virtually all of that equipment is in ruins, robbed of parts, sold illegally, or just driven into the ground due to neglect.

        Ain’t socialism great?

  4. Naky, thank you for the VPL video. Everyone should see it. For those thinking VPL is a solution, forgeddaboudit. He starts by saying that the 23 De Enero was a popular (Communist) uprising, in which Hugo (Commie) Trejo was betrayed, as well as wonderful Fabricio (Commie guerrilla) Ojeda, recently “rightfully” elevated to the Panteon Nacional, to take his place alongside other great historical heroes (his buddy, ex-Commie guerrilla Soto Rojas, agrees with him). All subsequent governments, before Chavez, similarly betrayed the 23 De Enero ideal/meaning. He admires Mao Tse Tung, and Ho Chi Minh, for their anti-imperialism, and ability to organize grass-roots resistance against the imperial enemy. He considers the AN/CEV/certain media illicit insurrectionists trying to undermine democracy and the Constitution. He admires Chavez for establishing the current military “doctrina”, whereby the military, netamente Bolivariana and Revolucionaria, go hand-in-hand with the “Pueblo”, in a Civico-Militar alliance, to defend against all interlopers. He knows nothing about economics, real democracy, interprets everything to defend his own Communist ideology, including that a small doctrinaire Leftist minority are the real “democrats” defending the “People” against the mistaken majority. A real wake-up video. Abandon hope all ye who would think the military at upper levels is a solution. Civil war is looking more and more possible…..

    • Everyone should see it. For those thinking VPL is a solution, forgeddaboudit
      Seems to me that given what he had said in the last year, it was obvious he was a hard-core Chavista. Though the video is useful information- just not a game changer for most informed people. Thanks for your summary. Now I need to watch it.

      In addition, it is not a big surprise, given that his parents named him Vladimir: that name screams red diaper baby to me. Some red diaper babies, such as David Horowitz, change drastically from what they inherited- though it took the murder of an associate to jump-start his change. The red diaper babies I knew from childhood remained leftward trending but not crazy leftist- such as a veterinarian who does a lot of pro bono work. The Venezuelan strain of red diaper babies contains several that have done their parents proud. Vladimir Padrino López ( I suspect ) for one, and definitely Ilyich Ramírez Sánchez, a.k.a. Carlos the Jackal, for another.

      The renowned author Ariel Dorfman was a red diaper baby. His parents named him Vladimiro, but in childhood he started calling himself Eddie and as an adult, His name change was also symptomatic of a gradual change in politics from what he inherited from his parents. He was 9 years old when he chose to change his name:

      Up to the point that when I was born in 1942 my father gave me a name I would disclaim when I was nine years old, for reasons that will be revealed: the flaming moniker of Vladimiro. In honor of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and the Bolshevik Revolution, which, my father felt, was fast approaching the pampas…….

      But more important: here was my chance to throw Vlady into the sea, drown the sonofabitch, and baptize myself with my true and princely title. I did not inform my parents of my intentions when we boarded the French ship De Grasse in June 1951. First I carefully spread my new English name among the other children on that ship, then engaged their parents, the crew members, the waiters, the stewards, until everybody was calling me Eddie. I would have preferred the lofty and lordly Edward, but what the hell, a small price to pay, that tacky diminutive, for getting rid of the detested Vladimiro. By the time my parents began to realize what I had wrought, it was too late. I informed them that I would not answer if called Vlady ever again. Not quite true, because when we returned to the States many months later, Vlady was waiting for me there in the memories of the neighbors and the school, and during the next few years my two names fluctuated back and forth, until our expatriation to Chile in 1954 gave me the opportunity to start afresh and definitely cut Lenin’s embalmed name out of my life, to the point that my high school graduation certificates are all made out in the name of Edward Dorfman (a crazy thing to do, because my legal name was and in fact still is Vladimiro). Many of my friends from Chile still call me Ed or Eddie, and not the Ariel which I was eventually to adopt.

      From Dorfman’s Heading South, Looking North: A Bilingual Journey.

      • Thanks, Boludo. There was hope at one time (Capriles was even considering him as MinDef in any new Govt.), since he was key in blocking the changing of the AN vote. He has now crossed the Rubicon, although, in the end, he may argue “just following orders/Constitution”, which, hopefully, will not give him a safe pass, unless he pulls a democratic Pinochet….

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