Luisa Flew Away

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz issued a statement before allegedly travelling to Brazil, according to Colombian Migration officials.

The prosecutor explained that she will attend the Meeting of Mercosur Prosecutors set for today, an event that will allow her to expose evidence incriminating Nicolás and his cronies in serious corruption cases and to ratify her condemnation of the breakdown of constitutional order in Venezuela. She restated her commitment toward “the restitution of liberties abolished by the dictatorship.”

Her statement came long before Nicolás threatened to request an Interpol red code against her and her husband, lawmaker Germán Ferrer; claiming that the U.S. managed to blackmail the prosecutor general over corruption evidence collected against her husband. This man’s misogyny is proverbial.

Another boring monologue

With too much make up and dressed in the liquiliqui he insists on turning into his symbol, Nicolás started his monologue claiming that he has no weapons of mass destruction (other than chavismo itself), accusing BBC of being a voracious agency of anti-Venezuelan propaganda and talking about our crisis as if it were a mere sidenote.

The video of an American union leader was enough reason for Nicolás to drone on for an hour about PSUV’s alleged achievements. Proving that he’s a dictator, he commanded his ministers to give him the figures to prove that his government builds more houses that the U.S. government: since the figure he heard contradicted his claim, he demanded another, resulting in an uncomfortable moment that wasn’t resolved until someone gave him the figure he wanted.

He said that international pressure was “blackmail;” he praised former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe Vélez just to spite Juan Manuel Santos, and once again told Trump that he wants to talk with him, despite claiming that he’s prepared a set of decisions and measures (which he didn’t explain) to defend his regime from the commercial, financial and oil blockade that Trump will allegedly decree against him.

Social media control

Perhaps Nicolás wanted to insult presidents Santos, Cartes, Temer and Macri, among others, when he claimed to have 200,000 viewers on Facebook, even though he never even managed 700.

Shortly after, Delcy Rodríguez said at a meeting of the Asamblea Nacional Constituyente (ANC) that in order to achieve peaceful cohabitation, the “Law against crimes of hate, tolerance and violence” must regulate the use of social networks with severe sanctions, because social media has allegedly become “the most grotesque and brutal platform to undermine integrity.”

Evidently, the Constituyentes don’t watch VTV, the most efficient channel for the constant spread of hate, intolerance and violence. Their cynicism runs so deep, that Diosdado Cabello had the nerve to speak about the line that defines the script for his TV show:

Sin odio, el mazo no da.

The threats are news now, in any case.

International Commission of Jurists

This committee denounced that Venezuela’s profound institutional crisis prevents the possibility of those responsible for massive human rights violations from ever being served justice, due to the rupture of the Rule of Law and the Judiciary’s lack of independence.

The report also mentions the increase of “extrajudicial executions, torture and cruel treatment, illegal detentions, civilians tried by military tribunals and the persecution of any social or political dissidence.”

The ICJ expressed its concern for the truth committee’s creation, for its potential to be “an instrument of political manipulation meant to reinforce the executive’s impunity (…) and silence the opposition.”

Political prisoners

While NGO Foro Penal submitted the updated list of Venezuela’s political prisoners to OAS chief Luis Almagro, reporting that there are now 645 of them, lawmaker Wilmer Azuaje was indicted for the crimes of illegal possession of weapons of war, illegal trafficking of ammunitions, inappropriate use of military uniforms, criminal association and resisting authority, and will remain in prison, this time in the Centro de Procesados 26 de julio, in San Juan de los Morros, Guárico.

That’s why it’s good news that the Chilean government decided to grant diplomatic asylum to four justices and a dissident political leader who were sheltered at their embassy in Caracas.

Less and less

Oil exports fell by 24% in the first half of August, heightening concerns that Venezuela may not be able to fulfill coming payments for is $3,5 billion debt, according to Bloomberg. Venezuela exported 1.27 million daily barrels between August 1st and 15th, compared to the 1.68 million exported back in 2016 in the same period. Oil output dropped to its lowest in 14 years in July and there are indications that it could drop even more.


The Vatican’s State Secretary, Pietro Parolin, said after a meeting with Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, that his country could contribute to dialogue in Venezuela due to its close links with Nicolás.

The UN’s Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, spoke to AN Speaker Julio Borges about his concern for the crisis and ratified his support for institutionality, pointing out that the UN can be space for discussion in favor of democracy if the government and the opposition want it. U.S. vice-president Mike Pence will travel today to Doral to meet with Venezuelan exiles.

Yesterday, former Mexican president Vicente Fox once again criticized the government and said that Nicolás must resign “or he’s leaving feet first, in a coffin.” He reiterated his call for the international community to create a common front to save Venezuela.

Carmen Dávila, Colombia’s vice-minister of Social Protection, said that any Venezuelan who enter her country will have guaranteed attention at least during the urgent phase.

Lastly, president Juan Carlos Varela announced that Venezuelans travelling to Panama will require a visa starting October 1st, 2017.

Isabel Allende talked about Venezuela in the presentation of her book Más allá del invierno, saying that ours is a massive crisis. She expressed her wishes for a peaceful solution that involves every country in the region in defense of democracy, and stated that Venezuela once sheltered Chilean citizens during Pinochet’s dictatorship, and now Chile is returning the favor. Allende was clearer than Bachelet.

Yesterday was indeed a day of great ironies, none so serious as the law against hate, that could be used against any dissident.

Chancellor Jorge Arreaza responded to the Panamanian visa announcement with reciprocity and announced “complementary measures.”


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.