Luisa Ortega Díaz attended the meeting of Mercosur Prosecutors in Brasilia to say that justice isn’t guaranteed in Venezuela and that the likeliest outcome regarding cases of corruption and drug trafficking is that evidence vanishes. That’s why she decided to hand over the evidence she’s kept guarded to American, Colombian and Spanish authorities, who must now take up the cases and investigate them “in virtue of the principle of universal jurisdiction.”

She linked Nicolás, Diosdado Cabello and Jorge Rodríguez to the Odebrecht corruption scandal and said that Nicolás owns the Mexican company Group Grand Limited, responsible for distributing CLAP bags. She said that Diosdado Cabello got a $100 million payment from the Spanish company TSE Arietis, owned by his cousins Luis Campos Cabello and Nelson Campos Cabello.

She said that Tarek William Saab is involved in six cases of corruption regarding the PDVSA embezzlement scandal and that the very first move the new prosecutor general made was to demand these cases be dismissed.

She argued that the government’s accusations against her were false and remarked that there’s no such thing as a UBS bank in the Bahamas.

The imposed prosecutor lashes out

Tarek William Saab made an appearance to discredit Luisa Ortega Díaz, criticizing her for presenting her accusations outside her post and country, accusing her of being an accomplice, a way of admitting the veracity of her claims.

Saab’s artillery against his predecessor included cases such as the Panama Papers, Cadivi and Cencoex, claiming, for instance, that 80% of Cencoex causes were dismissed. Considering that the current Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, was one of those responsible for Cencoex, Saab should probably be more careful around these cases.

He restated that the Prosecutor’s Office became a lair for extortion and highlighted the number of cases that were dismissed because money was involved.

Brazil’s stance

Brazilian Foreign minister Aloysio Nunes offered asylum to Ortega Díaz, “because we have one of the world’s most modern legal frameworks for refugees.” He also revealed that the Prosecutor General has a busy international agenda for the coming days, including her visit to The Hague and the OAS.

Brazil’s attorney general Rodrigo Janot said that the interference of Nicolás’ regime has turned the Prosecutor’s Office into an institution “dominated by a truly dictatorial political power” and that they’re witnessing an institutional violation.

A new State model?

The ANC’s main proposal to fight inflation in Venezuela is “a functional system of price restrictions.”

Gerson Hernández (constituyente and head of the Bolivarian Chamber of Construction) explained that “induced inflation leads to price speculation,” so they’ve decided to “tackle the black market dollar and review the mechanisms to regulate and monitor prices” so they’re “better adjusted to reality and don’t turn into an escape valve for businesses that don’t comply with regulations.”

Political prisoners

Several NGOs demanded that the international community take action in view of the evidence of torture and cruel treatments suffered by Venezuelan political prisoners, and that institutions with authority on Human Rights visit the country to monitor the situation.

They mentioned the case of journalist Carlos Julio Rojas – held in Ramo Verde – who has been severely tortured. Also on Wednesday, lawmaker Wilmer Azuaje‘s wife, Kelly García, denounced that her husband has suffered physical and psychological torture during his detention in El Helicoide, where mayor Alfredo Ramos has spent 25 days in isolation. Relatives of former Defense minister Raúl Isaías Baduel denounced that Military Counterintelligence agents were responsible for his forced disappearance 15 days ago.

Despite these serious cases, Julio Chávez proposed that the ANC should investigate lawmaker Freddy Guevara’s liability concerning violence during protests, so he’ll request a preliminary hearing on merits to strip Guevara of his parliamentary immunity, adding that “others will soon get their turn.”

Pence in Florida

U.S. vice-president Mike Pence said that president Trump sent a very simple message for the people of Venezuela:

“We are with you. We will stand with you until democracy is restored (…) We will not allow Venezuela to fall apart.”

Regarding Panama’s decision to demand a visa for Venezuelans, Pence said that it’s a strong measure, asking the region’s countries to do more, explaining that Venezuela’s collapse would affect all of them, clearing the way for drug trafficking and more illegal immigration, and endangering the entire hemisphere’s wellbeing. He said that the American government will continue to take action until free elections are held, all political prisoners are released and repression ceases.

The Wall Street Journal’s article revealed much more than the vice-president.

Briefs

  • Choroní: there’s little information coming from security agencies regarding the catastrophe in sectors Romerito and Tremaría. At least 600 families are in need of food and water. Authorities report four deaths and at least 29 people missing. Aragua’s Engineers’ Center offered its headquarters to receive donations. Aside from this, Civil Protection announced that they’re still searching for the young couple lost in El Ávila.
  • Back to school: Education minister Elías Jaua announced that the 2017-2018 school year will start on September 18th for elementary school students and on October 2nd for high school students. He announced a new Curriculum for High School Education, involving 14 areas of instruction.
  • Censorship: unofficial reports revealed that Conatel met with representatives of cable providers to order them to drop Colombian channels Caracol and RCN, which would now join the ranks of NTN24 and CNN off the Venezuelan airwaves.

The Planning Office for Universities (Opsu) tweeted this:

“Did you know that in the past, only the bourgeoisie’s children could study in a university?,” a fallacy that unleashed a landslide of replies with honest testimonials: people describing their parents’ professions, where they studied and what, thanks to the benefits of free education or through initiatives such as Fundayacucho. The access to higher education was far greater during democracy than under chavismo.

11 COMMENTS

  1. “Brazilian Foreign minister Aloysio Nunes offered asylum to Ortega Díaz, “because we have one of the world’s most modern legal frameworks for refugees.” He also revealed that the Prosecutor General has a busy international agenda for the coming days, including her visit to The Hague and the OAS.”

    We’re one of the best in the world, love to help, but we’re busy right now. Don’t call us we’ll call you.

    Love it…

    • LOL! It is possible she is just naive about international private banking and didn’t know it existed.

      The line in today’s article about Ms Diaz’ [former] home being 3,000 square meter kind of caught my attention. Unless my math is wrong, that would be over 27,000 square feet. So I kind of Googled very big houses. That 25,000 square feet qualifies as a mansion. Not making any sly allusions, but the fabled Playboy Mansion is, according to Wikipedia, just under 22,000 square feet, with 29 rooms. Some of the photos of other 25,000sf and up “houses” show kitchens bigger than the living room shown in the video about Ms Diaz’ [former] home.

      Twenty-five thousand square feet is a very big house. I didn’t think to Google the square footage for Miraflores. That may be more than 25,000sf. Someone else can look it up. Most lots I’ve seen in Caracas are not big enough for a house that size.

    • So the story would be that due to the restrictions imposed on buying and selling Venny’s, their price has fallen, and the regime is looking to take advantage of that by offering to repurchase the bonds at the current discount. Interesting. Messing with free markets never pays, and if this does provide an opportunity for the regime, then by bowing to “public pressure” about the Goldman Sachs open market purchase, the U.S. metio la pata and provided a net cash flow bonanza to the regime.

      It’s not nice to mess with Mother Nature!

  2. What they are attempting to agree is on an extension to the current deal that allows payments on the principal to be deferred for up to a further 9 years while maintaining the interest payments on the whole amount of whats owed……there is no new money coming in …whether this is done by buying or reselling certain bond issues or whatever what the regime wants is to defer payment of the chinese govt part of the debt (not the chinese commercial debt which considerable) maintaining interest payments as before.

    Meantime Pdvsa operational situation is growing desperate each day that passes …

    • Bill Bass – From the link posted by “A Deplorable” just above:

      “Un grupo de funcionarios venezolanos de alto nivel se encuentra en China desde la semana pasada para negociar con sus pares del gobierno chino la creación de un fondo binacional que se encargue de comprar a descuento bonos de la deuda soberana de la República Pdvsa, dijeron a El Estímulo fuentes vinculadas con esta operación estratégica.”

      Unless I misread it, the regime is talking about setting up a fund to buy the bonds back at a discount. That’s assuming the Chinese government is the actual holder. I don’t have any quotes for them, and I don’t know which issue they’re talking, but if it is trading at 40, that saves them 60 over redemption, plus the interest payments (which are probably around 20% on the market value). I have no idea where they’d get the cash for it. Maybe they’re negotiating more oil shipments in anticipation of a possible oil embargo by the U.S. / EU. Maybe they anticipate that when the regime clamps down on everything, the bonds will be perceived as “dictator bonds”, but not as great a risk. With a higher market value, they could then issue new bonds at more favorable terms.

      • This strategy would make some sense to deal with a short-term liquidity crisis but with PDVSA output shrinking on a yearly basis, I am not sure of its effectiveness. Doesn’t look like any money will be coming in from new issues from the US, EU and other western democracies. This leaves China and Russia, who given the situation will demand a premium. Both China and Russia may have put themselves in the situation where if I were to owe you $50,000 it would be my problem but if I owed you $500,000 it becomes your problem, they may have overextended the credit line to Venezuela.

        One scary, possible implication, is that the Regime has no intention to leave power until the bonds have been payed off. Netting insiders billions more in interest payments. Yes, I am aware that it already looks like they have intention to leave.

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