Anti-imperialism in Miraflores

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, August 15, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Nicolás arrived late to the event the government improvised for Monday in Miraflores and, as usual, there were more freshly-made signs, flags and banners than people, unless you count those in uniform and public employees forced to attend.

Angry at MUD’s “truly miserable” response to Donald Trump’s statement, he urged the ANC to prosecute them for treason and asked the Truth Committee to call dissident protest leaders to testify, and to find them and “put them behind bars” if they didn’t comply. Encouraged by his token audience chanting “Jail them, jail them, jail them,” he ratified that he wants punishment for each and everyone of those responsible for violence, as if the State had no responsibility for all the people wounded, arrested and killed during these months of protests.

In prison, but thanks

Oddly enough, after this show of avenging might, he once again turned to rabble-rousing, thanking some opposition leaders by name for registering their candidates for gubernatorial elections, which, he assumes, is a sign that they recognize the CNE and its head, Tibisay Lucena.

He claimed that the ambassadors of Guatemala, Japan, Vietnam, Syria, Spain and France will be witnesses in October’s “electoral celebration.”

Prior to that, however, on August 26th and 27th, he’ll launch a military drill with tanks, planes, missiles and rifles, calling on the whole world to watch “the empire’s shock” with such a patriotic display.

But of course, regarding the man who inspired this new-found sovereign zeal, he repeated:

“I want to talk on the phone with you, Trump, because you’re being deceived.”

Nicolás also said that he’ll announce “important economic measures,” and asked us to support them.

Baduel’s whereabouts

Relatives and lawyers of Raúl Isaías Baduel denounced his forceful disappearance at OAS headquarters in Caracas. Lawyer Guillermo Rojas explained that after Baduel was transferred from Ramo Verde prison on August 8th, and since they were unable to verify his current detention center, they denounced his forceful disappearance before the Prosecutor’s Office.

This happens on the same day that OAS chief Luis Almagro condemned the persecution against Omar Lares, mayor of Campo Elías municipality, Mérida, demanding the immediate return of his son, Juan Pedro Lares, who disappeared on July 30th in a joint operation performed by the National Guard and SEBIN.

A totalitarian government

The ousted prosecutor general, Luisa Ortega Díaz, denounced that the government extorted public employees into voting for the ANC, which she said was “common practice in the regimes of Hitler and Stalin,” remarking that the Prosecutor’s Office received complaints from employees of 25 State institutions that prove they were threatened into voting.

Ortega announced that she’s working on a website where she’ll upload all the information on criminal matters and the Prosecutor’s Office, since many investigations are at risk now. “This is a totalitarian government, ” she said, adding that the ANC can’t operate above the Constitution.

She’s considering going to The Hague with evidence that would allow her to denounce severe human rights violations.

Menacing or delirious?

Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López claimed that the Armed Forces condemns president Donald Trump’s statements:

“We think his is a delirious, menacing attitude, and the threat of arms is madness (…) we won’t tolerate imperialists from the American government.”

He said he won’t accept ambivalent stances and demanded everyone who hasn’t condemned the threat yet to do so, because “this is about the survival of our territorial integrity.”

Once again, he accused the American government of financing violent groups inside the country.

Sadly, he didn’t talk about the GN captain who was arrested while stealing wires from Corpoelec in Paraguaná, the sublieutenant who declared herself in open rebellion or the government’s red alert on Interpol against Nixon Moreno, Patricia Poleo and Roderick Navarro.

Pence in Colombia

Yesterday, president Juan Manuel Santos asked US vice-president Mike Pence to disregard a military intervention in Venezuela because neither Colombia nor the rest of America Latina would agree with that:

“America is a continent of peace. Let’s keep it that way.”

Santos shares Pence’s concern for Venezuela where “citizen liberties and the institutional order are being destroyed.”

Pence met with thirty Venezuelans who settled in Calvary Chapel, Cartagena.

He said that he heard heartbreaking stories about food shortages and that they’re “not going to tolerate seeing Venezuela collapse into dictatorship,” as he remarked that this is a failed State that poses a threat to the safety and prosperity of the entire hemisphere, and that a greater influx of victimized families and a rise in illegal immigration that could compromise the Colombia’s borders, economy and security is expected.

The U.S., he declared, is “absolutely determined to bring the full measure of American economic and diplomatic power to bear until we see democracy restored in Venezuela.”


CIA head Mike Pompeo said in an interview that Venezuela postes a danger for the U.S. due to the alleged presence of Cuban, Russian and Iranian cells in the country, as well as members of Islamic group Hezbollah:

“This is something that has a risk of getting to a very very bad place, so America needs to take this very seriously.”

Yesterday, the German government condemned the breakdown of democratic order in Venezuela with the de facto dissolution of Venezuela’s Parliament. Steffen Seibert, spokesman for the German administration, urged Nicolás to clear the way for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the crisis.

English prime minister Theresa May called for the suspension of licences for controlled exports of military equipment from the United Kingdom to Venezuela, after closing deals worth over two and a half million pounds in the last decades, including military radar components, weapon scopes and engines for military aircrafts.

Mexican Foreign minister Luis Videgaray said that Venezuela’s suffering an extreme, regrettable and very painful situation with the ANC, which is an assault on democracy, ratifying that they don’t recognize it.

It was moving to see the image of farmers from Northern Santander collecting vegetables and fruits to take them to the Cúcuta diocese, for those Venezuelans who go there looking for food. In our circumstances, solidarity is invaluable.

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.