Constant Outrage

For Friday, June 30, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

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Alfredo Figuera, the 18-year old boy who had been declared brain-dead after been shot to the head while protesting in Aragua, finally died yesterday.

According to CNE rectora Sandra Oblitas, it’s a contradiction to “seek to configure democracy while blocking the right to vote,” but consolidating a dictatorship with the unconstitutional imposition of an election nobody wants? That’s wise indeed.

Táchira state’s Security secretary, Ramón Cabeza, urged authorities to invalidate fuel chips for car owners who participate in protests, and his Zulian counterpart, Biagio Parisi, announced that people who block main avenues will be arrested.

CICPC helicopter pilot Óscar Pérez isn’t on Interpol’s wanted list, which means Interior minister Néstor Reverol lied again.

And PDVSA Gas vice-president César Triana denied reports of household gas shortages in the country, despite daily protests. I could go on, but there are more serious matters.

A cross for shame

Last night, Nicolás decorated colonel Lugo, commander of the GN unit assigned to the National Assembly. A standing ovation on VTV on Tuesday and the fact that he’s keeping his post weren’t enough. The regime needed a symbolic boost to savagery, to the guarantee of impunity as long as they remain in power despite their lack of support and votes. Those who control the weapons by law, need other incentives. Now, along with the rest of his useless medals, Lugo bears the Cross of the Presidential Honor Guard, just for recording and spreading his insults against lawmaker Julio Borges, and nothing else.

That’s why the prize was a cross, a cross of dishonor, the only thing Nicolás can give now.

Tear-gas truck

By decorating colonel Lugo, Nicolás legitimized each human rights violation against Venezuelans, each murder committed by the National Guard and the PNB; it was a celebration of the tear-gas used to choke residents of Caricuao, Ruiz Pineda, El Valle, La Vega, Propatria and Catia – a hug for every protester injured in Chacao and Baruta yesterday –. Nicolás rewarded the illegal arrest of 31 university students in El Rosal, he approved that they were robbed and locked in a truck, that the GN waited for the tear-gas to fill the truck’s cabin to shut the doors, even though the students’ hands were tied and there was no ventilation. The students are being held in El Helicoide, as if protesting was a crime, as if torture could extol the purpose of the regime’s thugs and the sociopaths who command them.

Indicted

The Prosecutor’s Office indicted former National Guard general commander and current Capital District Government chief, Antonio Benavides Torres, for “allegedly committing serious and systematic human rights violations during more than 80 days of nationwide protests.” The PO elaborates that in many of these incidents, there’s evidence of excessive use of force, use of unauthorized firearms, inadequate use of supplied equipment, cruel treatment and torture, as well as home searches without judicial warrants and damages to private property.

Benavides is to be questioned by 49th national prosecutor Oliver Uribe Pinto next Wednesday, July 5th, and he must go with his defense lawyer, after taking an oath before a court of first instance of control of Caracas’ Metropolitan Area.  The PO is carrying out 450 investigations for fundamental rights violations, which include 23 people murdered and 853 wounded by police and military officers.

Ratification

This Thursday, Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz requested the National Assembly to ratify the appointment of Deputy Prosecutor General Rafael González Arias. Speaker Julio Borges said that the Legislative Branch will fulfill its constitutional duty and process the Prosecutor’s Office’s request to authorize the Deputy Prosecutor’s appointment, adding that Ortega Díaz’s request confirms her commitment with the Constitution and restates her support for Parliament’s call: upholding article 333 of the Constitution.

IACHR

The Inter American Commission of Human Rights condemned the repression exercised by State security forces during protests, urging the State to immediately investigate the murders and to uphold the guarantees of due process, remarking that it’s crucial that these actions are duly punished, in order to prevent the disproportionate use of force: exactly the opposite of what the government does.

The IACHR said it is concerned by armed assaults involving the GN, SEBIN and the PNB and by their actions in residential areas, as well as their systematic and indiscriminate use of repression, the opaque nature of their operations and the lack of official information regarding compliance with legal requirements to perform searches and arrests.

Increasing pressure

After meeting with his American counterpart Rex Tillerson, Spanish Foreign minister Alfonso Dastis said:

“We must keep increasing the pressure so that Venezuela can return to democracy, political prisoners are released and true, free, universal and secret elections are held.”

He regretted the failure of the OAS’s initiative in Cancún.

Venezuela’s apostolic nuncio, Mgr. Aldo Giordano was granted an audience with the Pope. He said that the Pope “has expressed his proximity and affection for Venezuela, and particularly, he expresses his suffering and recognition for the victims of violence, especially youths and their families.”

We’ve been protesting in Venezuela for 90 days, under the sun and the rain, under exhausting repression. I confess I’m shocked by the students locked in a truck, because I’ve choked on tear-gas in open areas and imagining the effects in a closed space with hands tied is disturbing to me. The cruelty and malice of security forces knows no boundaries. Crimes against humanity never expire, that’s going to be their real cross. For a free and just country, we go on.

13 COMMENTS

  1. BIG MISCALCULATION. The govt has miscalculated the constituyente. It’s using its remaining political capital (echando el resto) to arrive safe on the July 31st and its constituyente.

    Govt thinks that surpassing this threshold the country will be wrapped and packed and ready to be pocketed, and then the govt will transit a peaceful path to totalitarism without being contested (kim jung-un style). Actually, this is its whole idea behind the constituyente.

    As such, govt is selling this idea that resisting one more month (July) is the last hindrance to be safe. For that reason, govt is acting more and more agressively. And this pattern is likely to be worsening in the days to come.

    Along the way, the govt has lost part of its fanbase, nationally and internationally. No more Eva Golinger, no more Rafael Correa, no more the Attorney General, no more Aporrea, and if this is a mirror of the army… This pattern is likely to keep going as well. The money is running out as the govt is increasing the level of promises to the army (mostly impossible promises that by August most of them will be clearly lies).

    By the time govt finally reaches there, July 31st, its tank will be almost out of gas. In its calculus that doesn’t matter because it will have all life to replenish it (ala north korea).

    But there is a question the govt haven’t answer yet: why will on July 31st or after the country magically stop?

    Will the govt have more power with the constituyente? Clearly NO.

    The govt has been doing, after losing the parliament two years ago, whatever it wants.

    If by AUGUST the country is not surrendered the govt will almost be gone because having losing all its capital, with an army tired and knowing the govt only brings it more problems and none of the promises being possible fulfilled the one who is likely to finally stop as a corp is the army.

    If the army stops holding the govt, the only chance the govt will have is to run and get in a plane as soon as possible if by then, there still some energy left to run.

    CONCLUSION: the constituyente and July 31st, will be the last act this govt put in place after finally waking up. And the nightmare will end.

    • Good scenario. Hadn’t looked at it that way. As far as I had gotten was simply that the constituyente (or not) wouldn’t change things. The government has make it abundantly clear that they will use whatever means are “necessary” to subjugate Venezuela to their minority rule.

  2. Jose’….i like …if this was only Venezuelan…..the Cubans will not budge… they will not leave….it is theirs …everytime we think their time has run out……they come rite back….this is a large monster that will fight to the death…..i just do not see a collapse…..i think it is to plan.

  3. The opposition should (now) welcome July 31st Constitution vote. I see it as a blessing. It will be a govt holiday. The police will be out in force at all the polling stations. They will be stretched thin.

    The opposition needs to embrace the day. Tell the whole of VZ that this is the day to protest. The day that you will feel proud, that your kids, and grandkids will look back to. That it is imperative as a citizen to voice your will.

    That on the morning of the 31st, a list of locations in all cities, will be revealed on twitter, whatsapp, Facebook, etc.

    Some of the locations will be voting booths, some will be major intersections, some will be Govt Buildings.

    With the whole of the VZ population out on the streets, there will be no way stop the will of the people.

  4. If the purpose of the constituyente is to deprive the opposition movement of an institutional platform from which to operate and attack the regime , its installation will only take it underground where the struggle will likely assumme a different more violent nd acerbic character …..maybe they prefer it that way because for them the use of armed violence has an epic ring to it that resonates in their overblown ideological egoes but it will mean more traumatic times for the life of all venezuelans and ultimately a worse result for those that now represent the face and hands of the regime.

  5. Hey Bill, lets grab a gun and have some fun! Gotta be positive. Our gringo friends can really help us out then. Once it turns to Chavista hunting season, it will get really really ugly, and the Chavistas will be on the wrong side of history. They are totally outnumbered, we hate their guts for all of the suffering we have been through, we know where they live and we are far past the point of no return.

    Ironically, this is what Diosdado and crew want: a civil war. They want martial law and think that everybody will cower in fear. However, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Once it turns to murders/kidnappings and eventually a low intensity guerilla war (once arms arrive) then the real nightmare for these scum begins. They cannot win.

    We do not want it to get to this point but: prepare for war and pray for peace.

    If you actually live in Venezuela, you should know this is something we have to keep in the back of our minds everyday. What took place in Barquisimeto yesterday is a big reminder.

    Now as far as overblown egos, yeah of course, this is an opposition politicians wet dream… However for the rest of us who actually have a pair of nuts: “yo soy libertador.” So yeah, got to be swept up by the spirit of the revolution so we can throw the commies out. If we are cowards, then Diosdado wins.

    Honestly, I really like Jose’s scenario. These guys are chimbo and only holding on by a thin tread. Got to keep the pressure up. Pray Diosdado and his merry band of malandros disintegrate before July 30th. If not, well gotta be ready to grab a gun and go have some fun!

  6. Further supporting Jose’s point:

    La falta de alimentos y la amenaza de violencia ensombrecen la Constituyente

    Read more here: http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article159159319.html#storylink=cpy

    http://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/mundo/america-latina/venezuela-es/article159159319.html

    Once the CLAPpers dont have their CLAP, then the barrio people will be coming down from the hills. That will be the end of this regime.

    So all we got to do is rely on the PSUV militants who distribute CLAP to be the abusadores that they are and steal half of it to sell on black market; rely on the the generals and GNB to steal their share; rely on the enchufados who broker these deals to take their cut; and rely on the fact that nobody will borrow anymore to these scum and they cannot turn junk bonds/payday loans and gold reserves into cash fast enough (see the article). The dam is about to break for these guys.

    • “Once the CLAPpers dont have their CLAP, then the barrio people will be coming down from the hills. That will be the end of this regime.”

      Ok, but for how long will the regime be able to continue affording the crap bags? Even more when they happily let a scammer like Samark López to steal 980$ for each? A couple of years? If then, how many more will die at the hands of the regime until then?

      The problem with Venezuela is that time isn’t measured by days, it’s measured by corpses.

  7. If the dam breaks and the regime is toppled fine…..if it doesnt , then the oppo has four choices , surrender and adapt to the demands of the regime, allow itself to be exterminated, go into exile or continue the struggle in whatever way is most expedient………, in the latter case it is not impossible that many will go underground and organize some form of violent resistance …….you dont wish your fate , you take your decision and act acordingly …no need for pathetic outbursts……. I make no predictions ….!!

  8. As I’ve said before, the constituyente is the last rabbit this government has to pull out of the hat before it goes full dictatorship. Every Venezuelan knows this. The exercise is purely for consumption outside the country to make it appear that there’s some kind of legitimacy to what it’s doing.

    Once the post-30 July shit hits the fan, the country will either explode and topple this regime or surrender in a whimper. I honestly don’t know which.

    • …or, likely, become engaged in an unequal civil war, which will only be decided if the Army flips, or, if too much blood runs in the streets, international armed intervention occurs.

      • Notice the number of military events the regime is holding these days? Tonite Nico was handing out participation medals to every swinging dick in uniform.

        He knows he’s going to need them more than ever soon, very soon.

  9. The govt has basically kicked the table in which the political game was being played and has begun acting as a de facto dictatorship for some time now -even if farsically making pretense that it continues to observe (minimally) some institutional formalities – because the latter allow some virtual institutional presence to the opposition, its now decided to outlaw the opposition altogether by fraudently changing the Constitution ……

    The dictatorship will thus acquire a papier mache legal fachade to attempt to convince the world that is is a legitimate regime, no one will be fooled but maybe they will find some self comfort in this shoddy manouver.

    By denying the oppo any formal institutional presence it will force much of it to go underground and begin a struggle which might start taking an increasingly violent form ……the oppo feeds on the discontent which is caused by the govts inability to do anything effective to relieve venezuelans from the miserable life conditions that now afflict them …..to the extent this discontent continues the tinder will be there to maintain the fires of oppo resistance going…….. If as expected Venezuela is facing deepening financial and economic woes the oppo’s strenght will grow and become more menacing as people grow desperate in the continuation of their miseries.

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