Not sovereign any more

Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 1, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Through 378 ruling, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice decided to turn Venezuela into a monarchy. The Constitutional Chamber settled a demand to interpret articles 347 and 348 of the Constitution by claiming that a consultative referendum prior to convening the Constituent Assembly is neither required nor constitutionally binding, since Nicolás “is acting on behalf of popular sovereignty.”

Transcending the concept of the “Father” that CNE rectora Socorro Hernández talked about on Tuesday, now we have a king who trashes protagonic democracy, regressively interpreting the Constitution, imposing a fraud and disregarding the sovereignty of Venezuelan citizens.

The Colección Bicentenario’s elementary 4th grade book on Social Studies clearly explains that there can’t be any Constituyente without prior election, but the TSJ’s justices ignore this rule.

The same Constitutional Chamber accepted lawsuits against mayors José Luis Machín (Barinas) and Gustavo Marcano (Anzoátegui), so now there are 12 opposition mayors under attack for allowing protests in their municipalities.

To the Foreign Ministry

The opposition proposed on Tuesday that anyone who could get there on their own should do so. That’s the option we picked yesterday. The National Guard officers posted on the area were so relaxed, there was no doubt in our minds that the march wouldn’t reach its destination. Loud joropos poorly performed by el finado blurted out of the executive offices, while downtown Caracas was a vivid image of a country in recession: many stores closed, people wandering, criminals watching along the streets and SEBIN ready to clear anyone who spends more than 30 seconds before Miraflores.

Protests in Ciudad Bolívar (The Great Eastern March) in which students and professors honored those killed during protests and the Mega tractorazo that took place in Turén municipality, Portuguesa state, were impressive.

In a sad contrast, the GN and the PNB assaulted almost every spot in Caracas where people managed to come together to march, once again setting up ambushes, chasing down, arresting and wounded several protesters with pellets, marbles and even metal bolts, lawmaker Tomás Guanipa denounced.


A marble entered the abdomen of young Jonel Pestana while he protested in Altamira. He underwent surgery and is now out of danger. Once more, security forces fired tear-gas canisters at close range, hitting a worker in the face in Las Mercedes. 39 people wounded were reported by Salud Chacao and 53 by Salud Baruta (6:00 p.m.) with concussions, pellets, asphyxia and marbles. At least three apartments caught fire in Parque Las Américas, a residential complex in Mérida, when the GN brutally rained tear-gas on them. Francisco Bruzco, photojournalist for Crónica Uno, was robbed yesterday (the event as caught on camera by El Pitazo) along with Luis Robayo (photographer for AFP news agency,) while Kenyer Jaramillo, producer for RCR, was arrested and later released.

Tajani and Francisco

“The Venezuelan people are not on their own. The international community must work together to end violence and the humanitarian crisis (…). Democracy demands respect. Only the Venezuelan people may legitimately convene a Constituent Assembly,” was part of the speech by European Parliament Speaker Antonio Tajani, after his meeting with National Assembly Speaker Julio Borges, in which he suggested the possibility of considering sanctions against the government for Human Rights violations.

Foreign minister Delcy Rodríguez denounced that Borges is handing Venezuela over “to multinational, imperialist interests,” right after the bonds transaction between PDVSA and Goldman Sachs. Borges also met with Pope Francis and Vatican State Secretary Pietro Parolin. Francis said: “The Pope owes himself to everyone, I refuse to be politically manipulated, to be used.” It stings to know that he concerned about being manipulated while the regime keeps murdering Venezuelans.

Full freedom?

Milagros Méndez, Sixth Control Court judge, decided to order the full release of Liz Mary Hernández, Omar Barrios’ girlfriend, both of them arrested for running over Paúl Moreno, a medical student and Green Cross volunteer, killed in Maracaibo. Omar Barrios was sent to prison for aggravated homicide. Allegedly, prosecutor Israel Vargas appealed the judge’s decision to release Liz Mary Hernández, but the Senior Prosecutor must decide. The Prosecutor’s Office accused two Carabobo state police officers for their alleged involvement in the death of Daniel Alejandro Queliz Araca (20), who was shot to death on April 10th in Valencia.

Pay attention, Nicolás

The Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office will start handing over evidence about bribes paid by Odebrecht to authorities of eight Latin American countries, but will demand that the documents be kept secret until ordered otherwise. Vladimir Aras, head of international cooperation at the Brazilian Attorney General’s Office, explained that the information will be given to the representative appointed by each prosecutor’s office for Odebrecht matters.

Believe it or not, a lawsuit filed by Diosdado Cabello against digital news outlet La Patilla in August, 2015 for “moral damage” was admitted through a ruling issued by the Third Court of Caracas, ordering the outlet to pay a billion bolívares in compensation.

Venezuela on schedule

The OAS session deserves its own summary for obvious reasons. The speeches of the Foreign ministers of Brazil and Canada were of particular note. Honduras, Costa Rica, Mexico and even Panama also contributed to define our crisis. As expected, Bahamas’ proposal (Caricom) was decisive to block any consensus and Ecuador’s stance was even worse than Bolivia’s and Nicaragua’s. The session was suspended until a new one is convened before the OAS plenary in Cancun, Mexico, set for June 19th. Meanwhile, the PSUV shamefully announced as an achievement that Venezuela will head the UN General Assembly’s Decolonization Committee.

The nomination process for constituent representatives started yesterday, but the CNE’s webpage was down for the entire day. The MUD cautioned that registering nominations is being an accomplice of fraud. Pranes (Ganglords) must be happy: Prisons minister Iris Varela asked Nicolás’ authorization to register her candidacy for the Constituyente. Conatel keeps shutting down radio stations in Barinas.

We hold on in the streets.

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.