The National Assembly formally installed the Delegate Committee that will meet during parliamentary recess, made up of the presidents and vice-presidents of Parliament’s 15 permanent committees. They discussed the corruption accusations made by prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz during the Mercosur meeting, and authorized the Administration and Services, Finance and Comptrollership Committees to request the evidence held by Ortega Díaz. They also agreed to invite Amazonas governor Liborio Guarulla to discuss the massacre of 37 people in the Judicial Detention Center of Puerto Ayacucho.
Committees and sub-committees
The National Constituent Assembly established permanent committees and sub-committees to discuss and review any matters they come up with.
Imagine how solvent the Economy committee can be, with these talents: Óscar Schemel, Jesús Faría, Nicolás Jr. and Mario Silva.
That in addition to the practical goals they mentioned: to beat down the Internet dollar, to overcome induced inflation and people’s uncertainty, and to optimize the FX control system, as well as increasing national production (without saying how) and introducing other actors to the economic system, without explaining the incentives they’ll offer.
The Constitutional Committee will write the new Constitution’s explanatory memorandum. The People’s Power committee will include the Armed Forces, so belligerent that they’ll fit right in. They approved modifications to their operational regulations, including article 10, regarding the consultative referendum to approve a new Constitution. They made a pretty show out of inducting the Constituyentes elected after repeating the election in Mérida and Táchira, although it’s been 20 months and they still haven’t repeated parliamentary elections in Amazonas, which would finally dispel their absurd story about Parliament’s contempt.
Mariela Zerpa, sister of jailed justice Ángel Zerpa, said on Thursday that the lawyer’s hunger strike continues and reported that he’s lost between 10 and 15 kilos. She remarked that his health is deteriorating, so she demanded that he be examined by a doctor, since her brother suffers from hypertension, chronic gastritis and an ulcerous rectocolitis, and he’s only ingested water and coconut water during his detention. Lawmaker Rafael Veloz reported that they’ve denounced Zerpa’s case before Parlasur’s Human Rights Committee.
Carmen de Ramos, wife of mayor Alfredo Ramos, finally got to visit him after 26 days of isolation in El Helicoide. She reported that his hypertensive crisis continues and that he’s in a delicate medical condition.
Journalist and community leader Carlos Julio Rojas was released after 49 days of detention in Ramo Verde military prison. His mother said that he was released with four precautionary measures, remarking that he must appear before court every 30 days.
Lawmaker Freddy Guevara explained that Julio Chávez, the man interested in depriving him of his parliamentary immunity, is involved in PDVSA’s corruption cases, as is stated in a report released by the National Assembly Comptrollership Committee.
The NGO Red Venezolana de Gente Positiva (RVG+) denounced that once again, a shipment with medicines for patients diagnosed with HIV is being impounded, putting their lives at risk, including patients who haven’t taken their treatment for over five months. RVG+ denounced that HIV isn’t relevant for Health minister Luis López, that the office has seen three different ministers in six months and that, additionally, the Health Ministry hasn’t paid its debt obligations to suppliers, severely compromising the patients’ options to acquire the vital medicines, the reagents for their tests and the vitamin supplements that their condition demands.
Andrés Eloy Méndez, former head of Conatel, said that an administrative proceeding was opened against Colombian TV networks RCN and Caracol for repeating former Mexican president Vicente Fox’s statements, saying that Nicolás either leaves power through elections or dead. Méndez claimed that the programming of both channels about Venezuela “incites death,” considering the proceeding to be in compliance with the law.
President Juan Manuel Santos begged to differ, saying that by pulling those channels off the air, Venezuela’s regime is once again acting as a dictatorship and restricting our liberties. Colombia’s Foreign ministry issued a statement condemning the measure, as it’s “a clear violation of the press freedom that guarantees citizens’ right to information.”
Additionally, OAS head Luis Almagro tweeted:
— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) August 24, 2017
“Dictatorship fears the truth and cracks down on the media. Pulling Caracol TV and Canal RCN off the air is one more step in the systematic violation of press freedom.”
Almagro met with a group of the 33 persecuted Supreme Court (TSJ) justices appointed by the National Assembly on July 21st, acknowledging their work in defense of the Rule of Law and remarking that the current TSJ’s decisions are invalid as long as they refuse to include the justices appointed by Parliament.
— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) August 24, 2017
He said that the justices are working in tandem with Prosecutor General Luisa Ortega Díaz to investigate corruption cases.
Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel González said that Costa Rica denied having extended any diplomatic courtesies so that ANC members could attend an event scheduled for Friday and organized by leftist political party Frente Amplio, which supports Nicolás: “Costa Rica has been very clear and emphatic in its disregard [for the ANC],” he said.
Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz confirmed that she’ll tour several countries offering information concerning corruption crimes committed in Venezuela and that she’s planning to travel to Uruguay, saying among other things, that Nicolás “has never had a vocation for freedom or respect for his citizens,” and that he’s established a criminal State.
Mgr. Rigoberto Corredor, bishop of the Pereira Diocese, announced that Pope Francis will meet with members of the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference during his Colombian tour.
After searching for six days, the rescue mission finally found Enmanuel and Kaina, the kids who went missing in the Ávila!
We go on!