Your daily friefing for Thursday, July 13, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The National Union of Press Workers denounced on Twitter that the National Telecommunications Commission (Conatel) had ordered the media not to call Sunday’s election a popular consultation, comparing images to caution that some outlets have already changed their headlines.

Governor Henrique Capriles said on Periscope:

“Today Conatel called all the media to silence and censor information. They’ve been threatened not to report on the July 16th election.”

It might be another genius idea by a jerk who wants to earn some points with the ruling clique, or perhaps an order coming from the Executive Branch itself, but it’s incredible how to they seek to control our language as well.

And on the fifth day

The TSJ’s Full Chamber discussed but didn’t make a decision on the preliminary hearing on merits against prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz. However, the Constitutional Chamber did rule against the Prosecutor’s Office and decided that this institution will only be able to make indictments before control judges to avoid “the violation of constitutional rights,” a privilege reserved for them.

And so, for the Constitutional Chamber, alleged human rights abusers such as Antonio Benavides Torres or Gustavo González López could only be indicted

“Once they’ve been informed by the Prosecutor’s Office with defense guarantees, in the jurisdictional offices, of the events they allegedly caused or in which they participated.”

They must also be informed of the conviction elements supporting the indictment, in this case, the dozens of deaths and hundreds of people wounded and arrested during their tender, safeguarding of the “victims’ rights during these proceedings.”

Aside from that, the Full Chamber granted house arrest for lawmaker Wilmer Azuaje.

Odebrecht in Venezuela

Despite this convenient ruling, yesterday the Prosecutor’s Office summoned Elita Zacarías Díaz and her daughter María Eugenia Baptista Zacarías, for allegedly being involved in the Odebrecht case.

Since the two ladies are former minister Haiman El Troudi’s mother-in-law and wife, according to the Constitutional Chamber, we’ll have to wait for the preliminary hearing to see if the judge accepts the indictment, considering Mrs. Baptista’s outstanding career as her husband’s assistant in the Public Works and Transportation Ministry, the Metro de Los Teques and the Planning Ministry, among others.

For some reason, nepotism isn’t corruption for chavismo.

Heavy cynicism

CNE chief Tibisay Lucena spoke on Wednesday before the diplomatic body, saying that Sunday’s consultation is an “activity of political convulsion.” Despite admitting that the electoral drill imposed for the same day wasn’t in their initial plans “due to the process’ strictness” – after scrapping dozens of inspections in it –, it’s the only activity that she recognizes as legitimate. She threatened that

“Any polling station that incites violence will be suspended and its voters will be relocated (…) reprisals will be decisive.”

Then she repeated that nobody can prevent Venezuelans from voting, even though that’s exactly what the CNE’s been doing.

Polling stations will be militarized a week in advance and the security perimeter was extended to 500 meters.

A chance

Nicolás repeated his lousy strongman performance, with the same arguments, threats and resources, so worn-out by now that not even a “carajo” at the end could save them. The black liquiliqui doesn’t help either. According to him, the Prosecutor’s Office is an accomplice of protests against him and has enabled impunity which, according to his weird statistics, means that only 10% of people arrested during protests have been indicted.

Sadly, he didn’t mention abuses, cruel treatment or tortures, those would be actually useful, but he shamelessly claimed: “I want to avoid a conflagration.”

He hopes the constituent assembly will be installed and already changing laws by August 3rd. He said: “Anyone who promotes a coup d’État must be punished with 40 years in prison without benefits” and shortly after that, he asked for a chance with the Constituyente, for peace and a new economic model.

He reiterated that there will be more political persecution and even more price controls, so I’ll keep his words for the Prosecutor General:

“Sooner or later, those who were accomplices of criminal impunity will end up in prison.”

Ay, Freud!

In Lara 

Retired teacher Yanet Angulo Parra (56) died after being shot in the head during a protest in the Villa Colonial neighborhood, El Tocuyo. She taught Physical Education and was a judge in the Copa Jacinto Lara, an International Rafting Judge for 17 years, and a member of the Venezuelan Rafting Federation (FCV), an institution which repudiated her murder, saying that she was valuable for this sports discipline. Her neighbors reported that the National Guard violently repressed a protest near her home and although she was immediately taken to a hospital, she died a few minutes after being shot.

Against the Constituyente

A group of European parliamentarians signed a public statement in which they demand plural elections as the only democratic and peaceful means of solving Venezuela’s crisis, cautioning that the European Parliament won’t recognize the illegal constituent assembly, calling it an “unacceptable step in both form and content”; emphasizing that the measures against the Prosecutor General are inadmissible examples of violations against the Rule of Law and requesting the European Union to support the mediation process to reach a national agreement.

The European lawmakers celebrated the house arrest granted to Leopoldo López, who also talked on the phone with OAS head Luis Almagro, and was visited for four hours by former Spanish president and mediator José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.

The government annulled the passport of Prosecutor’s Office director Zair Mundaray, who was set to travel to Argentina to represent the Prosecutor General in a meeting of the Ibero American Association of Public Prosecutors. The meeting will take place anyway, and this event will be added to the file.

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.