Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López issued a statement this Tuesday about the criminal conduct of his subordinates: “I don’t want to see another National Guard committing an atrocity in the street. Whoever breaks from the State’s line, from the preeminence of human rights, from respect for human rights and behaves unlike a professional, is going to be held accountable.”

This happens after 67 days of protests in which repression has only dialed up in tandem with GN and PNB crimes.

The admission of the crimes isn’t enough. Making justice and reparations to the victims is an imperative.

Victims

Mérida governor Alexis Ramírez confirmed the death of 25-year old Edwar José Paredes, shot in the abdomen during a protest in Ejido on Monday. In Carabobo, 15-year old student and football player Luis Guillermo Espinoza was shot in the head by the GN in El Tulipán neighborhood. He underwent surgery yesterday and prognosis is reserved since the bullet grazed the base of his skull, according to his aunt.

In Caracas, the GN repressed Metropolitan University students, wounding more than 12 with pellets and tear-gas canisters. The @VPITV team was prevented from covering repression, even though the right to information can’t be suspended even during states of emergency.

Violating rights

Gonzalo Himiob, lawyer for NGO Foro Penal, denounced the cruel treatment suffered by several of the people arrested last Saturday in a TransChacao bus.

Tear-gas canisters have been thrown in their cells and the women in the group have been sexually harassed. One of them was even offered payment for sex. Himiob said that judge Yoani Villafañe was taken aback by the complaints and ordered protective measures for the detainees. 11 out 38 was sent to prison, three were released under precautionary measures and the remaining 25 were also released under precautionary measures, but with a guarantor. One of the girls, Yusneibi López, tried to jump off a window in the courts after the hearing, according to human rights lawyer Elenis Rodríguez Martínez.

Nepotism

Argenis Chávez, brother of el finado, was sworn in as governor of Barinas state yesterday, after Zenaida Gallardo resigned for medical reasons. The former head of Corpoelec vowed in his speech that neoliberalism would never again rule Venezuela, because “the children of Bolívar and Chávez (must be weird to be your own brother’s son) are willing to give their lives” for the Revolution, although he’d later say that the government’s doors will remain open for all Venezuelans. So cute.

Speaking of cute

Prisons minister Iris Varela attacked general prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz because, in her view, Díaz hasn’t done justice for the opposition’s violence, adding that she’s dusting off baseless accusations against chavismo and that she’s removing prosecutors who don’t follow her orders, which shouldn’t shock her if true, because it’s a well-known practice of chavismo. Varela threatened that the Constituyente will make “that lady and those fascist” pay “for every single drop of blood and tears shed by our people.” Pure peace.

Vulnerable

The International Epidemiology Situation Bulletin created by Cuba’s Health minister offers information on Venezuela that the PSUV refuses to release. Hemorrhagic fever (also known as guanarito fever) caused 142 suspicious cases and 26 fatalities in 2016. Until February, 2017, Venezuela reported 52 probable infections and six people dead. The amount of suspicious cases in Venezuela has increased since 2015 and “initial morbidity figures for 2017 anticipate that this year will also be epidemic,” according to the Venezuelan Society of Public Health. We’re as vulnerable for our lack of information as we are for our lack of medicines. The government’s irresponsibility is astounding.

Human rights

The UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights spoke at the opening of the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, pointing out that our growing crisis on the matter underscores the urgency of an impartial analysis and swift assistance: “I urge the government to accept my request for a work mission in the field,” insisted Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Meanwhile the U.S. denounced the Venezuelan government repressing protests against it. Ambassador Nikky Haley declared that if Venezuela can’t fend off human rights violations, the country “should resign willingly from its place in the Council, until order is restored at home,” saying that the only thing we Venezuelans need is a free election. The Venezuelan ambassador, Jorge Valero, replied: “Being a part of the Council is a privilege and a country that violates human rights shouldn’t be allowed to sit at the table,” boasting an enviable coherence. The OAS’s Foreign Ministers meeting about Venezuela will reconvene on June 18th in Mexico, a day before the General Assembly.

Differences

Henrique Capriles said last night that there are differences between Nicolás and Diosdado, because the former wants to find a space for negotiation and the guy with the mace, much more radical, won’t accept that. He also mentioned growing tensions between GN commander Benavides Torres and Interior minister Reverol. Technically, they’ve already realized they won’t be able to squash protests in 10 days, although Reverol will lose his spot if he doesn’t deliver. “If all of us don’t take to the streets [today], then Reverol will impose his agenda,” said the governor, asking the young frontliners of the protests to be careful with infiltrated agents. He asked minister Padrino López who was the highest authorities in Defense matters, him or Reverol, and whether he’ll guarantee the lives of Venezuelans, urging him not to stay in words but to take action, because we’ll go out to protest today.

Parents of J. M. de los Ríos patients who have died for the unresolved contamination in the hospital went to the Prosecutor’s Office yesterday to file their complaint. An guard prevented them from entering in the company of lawyers from Cecodap and Prepara Familia, two NGOs that have followed these cases closely. Despite this violation, they could still accomplish their purpose. If the Prosecutor’s Office wants to earn a few extra points with history, it should shake up corruption in the healthcare system.

See you today, on the street.

15 COMMENTS

  1. “No quiero ver un Guardia Nacional más cometiendo una atrocidad en la calle.”

    “Ya saben, hasta ahora se les puede tapar lo que hicieron, los que no aprovecharon antes que me amenazaran mis dólares en el imperio, se jodieron.”

    • The tendency is to want to believe people are good, and I think many get lost in that direction – forgiving too much, hoping too much, accepting any concession as “proof” of goodwill. On the opposite side, too many people tend to see, to witness, the good use of force and resolve, and label it as bad. Once one has accepted lies, the truth hurts.

      “Trust, but verify.”

      The collectivos aren’t GNB, right? After all the lies from the regime, I’d like to believe like Guevara apparently does, but could it be … “Take off your uniforms before you beat people up and steal whatever they have left”. So it alleviates international pressure on the GNB, puts lipstick on a pig. What do I know of the internal pressures behind the scenes, of the need to keep a position of direct influence and command, but it seems to me that if this guy Padrino Lopez were doing his job, he would NOT have come out in partisan support of Maduro …. But half the country voted for Chavez, so obviously there WAS once support for Maduro. That has obviously changed – it changes a while ago. The 2016 elections prove that. millions in the streets prove that. Can it possibly be that it takes a general that long to notice that his position is being overrun?

      Let’s see if abuse and repression diminish. Let’s see the effect in action. If there has been a change, I think it is obvious what brought on that change: protests. So it would make sense to keep the pressure on until the GNB does its job in action, and “protest marches” into Miraflores to remove the last holdouts of the regime, no? IF it’s all about the money, then this guy’s best chance for leniency is to act against the regime. To be really nasty and suspicious about true intent, maybe he could take THEIR money, too.

      • Interesting …
        https://www.lapatilla.com/site/2017/06/07/efecto-padrino-lopez-acceso-al-cne-en-nueva-esparta-sin-restriccion-de-transito-por-la-gnb/
        O se cansaron. Now would definitely be the time for ultra-peaceful, very, very civil protest. The justification for blocking protest marches is that the crowd might do damage or violence. A completely peaceful and respectful gathering to show protest would significantly disarm that justification.

        I’m watching the chess matches, Norway chess. now THAT is an expert’s exercise in patience. I always tune in when the players take like 20 minutes to make one move …

        • One of the reasons to block and thus repress the marches everytime, everywhere, is as Juliococo said, that the regime can’t afford the base to see that there are over 2 million people protesting to kick maduro of power, because then the base’s faith in the “indestructible eternal regime” will be undermined and eventually will crumble.

          Padrino is only behaving like this because he knows the money he stole that’s in USA is at risk, and that’s the weak spot of these bastards, THAT is the “international intervention” the chavista high command was crying all this time.

          The main worry from USA by the previous presidents such as Obama that stopped them from doing ANYTHING against chavismo was that they didn’t wanted a stampede of immigrants fleing the parasitic caribbean islands that have survived only by the chavista petrochequera, which they calculated it would amount to over 5 million illegal immigrants in very few weeks trying to get into their country.

          • Not sure about Obummer’s motives for not doing anything. We (former administrations in the USA) already “granted amnesty” to probably 30 million illegals, and the Obummer followers want (still) more and more socialist-minded people they can buy with taxpayer money to vote for them, to turn the USA into a Cuba, and eliminate the strongest bastion of freedom of choice and business in the world. Obummer and his followers are motivated by the same kind of blindness Pope Francis has exhibited – in my opinion. Just trying to give you a view of what’s going on in the USA (we’re very angry). The Marxist mental disease is a worldwide contagion. Tens of millions of corpses are piled up saying “It does not work”, and still you find fanatics like the 20% Chavistas talking about the piles of corpses and the misery, saying “No vale … no creo.”

            But you explain the motivations of Maduro, S.A., perfectly. The robbers crying that taking their stolen money is a “guerra economica” against them. Now I understand!

            Those who escape jail will probably keep some of it – I don’t know – but I’m hoping the bulk of it can be rounded up with the help of Europeans and some Latin American countries, and returned to Venezuela in the form of either monitored “loans” (never expected to be repaid) to cancel debt or whatever, monitored to ensure it actually gets spent for Venezuela, and not more empresas de maletin. And monitored supplies for many sectors. The OAS doesn’t look like it would be a reliable monitor, when all they can manage now is to agree to talk about the possibility of another meeting … to talk about Venezuela.

            I still think the best outcome of all this is a return of guarantees for private capital investment. And of course totally eliminating the government ban on private imports, the money-laundering currency controls. That is the fastest way to restore production. In my opinion, which is strongly influenced by conditions and culture here in the U.S..

          • Ulamog—do you care to reference a source for that claim of “over 5 million illegal immigrants in very few weeks trying to get into their country.” I would be interested in ready the source paper/analysis. This claim seems ludicrous/insane on its face but I will give you the benefit of the doubt. How are all of these refugees going to arrive on US soil and not end up in custody?

          • Waltz, it’s not a text quote, as I read that claim some months ago, but I could find an article that mentioned such a possibility:

            http://publications.atlanticcouncil.org/Petrocaribe/

            “Venezuela’s financial free fall casts a shadow of concern over the Caribbean and Central America. In the Caribbean, the sudden decline of Petrocaribe and other Venezuelan credit programs could trigger humanitarian crises and unauthorized migration flows to the US mainland. A Petrocaribe shock could also imperil economic growth in Central America, undermining efforts by the Northern Triangle to address transnational crime. ”

            It’s no secret that Castro ordered Chávez to create Petrocaribe as a means to buy alliances from the tiny caribbean islands and make them dependant from Venezuela’s money, thus the fall of the chavista regime would most likely mean the inmediate end of that support, simply because wasting dollars on buy other countries’ loyalies while the local populatuion starves to death is what will bring chavismo’s downfall in the end.

            I’m sorry that I can’t find a more precise source that links the “benevolent” position of Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations to that possible immigration bout as the main cause to let chavismo destroy Venezuela at their leisure.

            It’s very unlikely that the refugees are all arrested on getting in the US, I mean, there have been hundreds of thousands, even millions of immigrants that have arrived to US basically escaping their home countries and they haven’t been tossed into a cell, at worst several have been deported back to their countries (Kinda a worse outcome honestly…), after all, Cuba’s main exports during the castro regime have been slaves and immigrants.

            Other reasons for the US governments to do nil against chavismo in the past might include not believing they were such a bad thing (Maybe Clinton wasn’t informed on how Chávez was responsible for the slaughter of Puente Llaguno), or simply because they weren’t interested at all (Such as the disastrous policies of Bush, who might have decimated Irak to force a raise on oil prices)

  2. I see hope in Padrino’s statement. I see hope for the fall of this criminal regime.
    Padrino does not care about violence. He cares about it being blamed on him.
    Ask yourself why?
    Padrino is positioning himself to be able to defend himself against the inevitable charges of human rights violations that will come when the government is reestablished for the people and this criminal regime is gone from power.
    Every time someone says something like this, it has to make other people paranoid about becoming the one held responsible. The local commanders must be getting concerned about being betrayed by the higher commanders.
    Eventually someone will panic and try to save themselves. The ensuing chaotic collapse of the regime is inevitable.
    How many of these people are truly prepared to die for a group of criminals?
    It will be everyone for themselves.
    The news of the 80% discount on the Venezuelan bond shows that the regime can no longer borrow money. The billion Dollars is probably earmarked for their escape. So much of their assets are frozen that they will do anything to get money.
    It is very close to being over!!
    Viva Venezuela!!

  3. I have always said this farce can go on only so long as Maduro can finance the military to back him. No Bolos. No Rebolution.

    The fire sale on 5 B worth of “hunger bonds” tells us that Maduro is approaching bankruptcy, but the lack of buyers suggests people/companies are no longer willing to bail out this regime – though it wouldn’t surprise me if some gafo bought them anyhow. People are shameless when it comes to money.

    But what is going on with Venezuela’s gold reserves? Last count they were in the billions, no? Have the bold bars been looted or pawned as well, by stealth?

    Once Maduro falls, will a new administration be left with nothing whatsoever? Where will the Chavistas all go once the bottom falls out?

    The world can’t just let these people walk over to Ecuador or flee to Cuba.

    • Very good question about the gold reserves. I believe that they are long gone.
      Citibank was holding around $1 billion of Venezuelan gold when it closed the government’s accounts. This was gold that was physically delivered to Citi in exchange for currency. The transaction was kept quiet. Just like the Russian loan with the balance of Citgo used for collateral.
      Any gold held in other countries may be subject to claims against the government or PDVSA. It isn’t much of a step to show that they are one in the same and that assets are intermingled.
      The US companies that serviced the Venezuelan oil wells are owed billions of Dollars.
      Unless the gold is physically in the country, and I’m not so sure it still is, I think it is gone. If it is still in the country, the regime will be trying to move it to Cuba to protect it.
      My gut tells me that the gold is gone if the regime is offering bonds at an 80% discount.
      Dolar Today still list Venezuela foreign reserves in the $10 billion range. That doesn’t mean that it is accurate though.

  4. I’m just glad that there are so many signs appearing that the end is near and most everyone is speaking in optimistic terms.

    Still a long way to go and nothing is certain, but I’m almost at the point of letting myself believe I’ll live long enough to see this regime fall.

    BTW, the theme of tonight’s bald guy show? Protests, again. He claims over and over that the protests are failing, yet can’t seem to change the subject.

    Hope MUD is watching.

    • Is the bald guy Cabello? I’m in the US and fortunately I don’t get exposed to the regime’s propaganda.

      I do think these are the final days. The paranoia must be spreading through every part of the regime.

      I still expect the collapse to be chaotic and frenzied as they all try to save themselves. Padrino’s statement makes it look like he has no involvement and will blame his subordinates. That is all that is, a part of his defense when the inevitable prosecution occurs. He is trying to appear as though he had nothing to do with the actions of the commanders and soldiers oppressing the protesters.

  5. As sad as a death always is, the death of Neomar Lander doesn’t appears to be the result of a tear gas cartridge. I’m calling for caution when reporting this. Look at the video in slow motion and there are a thick smoke small cloud before the tear gas cartridge comes in, a second thick smoke cloud by the police seconds after. If you look carefully you would see somebody (apparently he) running away (due to the camera moving not that clear, but on the left down edge at 0:24, frame to frame shows movement against pavement marks).

      • The naziguards are known for “spicing” their shotguns and grenade launchers with all sorts of fancy stuff, like marbles, nails, screws, lead pellets, even shrapnel will do the job.

        It’s most likely that Lander was murdered with a shrapnel fragment, shot by a naziguard or a costumed criminal.

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