Last Sunday, the opposition issued a statement supporting the United States’ measures to put pressure on Nicolás’ government, whom they hold personally responsible for the country’s crisis, saying that “the people of Venezuela won’t allow him to use any international sanction as an excuse to avoid his responsibility for pushing the country into the current disaster.”
In a statement against MUD, the government denounces “the return to the dark ages of the guillotine and death to the enemy.” That is nothing but a simple way of summing up the Truth Committee’s purpose, as they said yesterday to have opened an investigation on Parliament Speaker Julio Borges for requesting a financial blockade against Venezuela, although they’re actually just granting Nicolás’ request: the historic trial for treason that he hopes will set an example for any dissident against his government. The regime said that MUD’s statement was “the most fascist of all statements ever read,” reducing it to a provocation of war.
That is why, when Delcy Rodríguez claims that 18% of Venezuelans approve expressions of hate, she appears to be describing chavismo, the same group that’s proposing to regulate violence on social networks through the law against hate and intolerance, exactly the same hatred they cheer on every day on VTV and the rest of their propaganda stations. When Delcy describes the only victims as “poor afro-descendants,” she’s not talking about the OLP’s horrible figures but about these alleged hate crimes, a huge fascist blanket ready to cover us all, I insist.
Suzanna Tkalec, Caritas Internationalis humanitarian chief, denounced the worsening of the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the impact it’s having on thousands of citizens, defining a situation that’s getting worse due to growing poverty, the shortage of food and medicines, and the alarming rates of infant malnutrition: 54% of children suffer some level of nutritional deficiency.
The severe shortage of medicines and the rising number of chronic diseases, as well as the spread of malaria and diphtheria due to lack of vaccines in the country, are another factor to take into account, along with the short supply of essential pharmaceuticals in the country and an even shorter supply of medicines available in hospitals to treat basic infectious diseases.
Diabetes cases have increased by 95% and hypertension by 92% in 2017, due to lack of medicines. The postnatal mortality index has tripled in 2017 and 114,000 HIV/AIDS patients don’t have access to essential medication.
But according to Delcy, Venezuela couldn’t pay for shipments of medicines last weekend because of Friday’s economic sanctions.
The preliminary hearing for activist Lisbeth Añez, better known as Mamá Lis, was postponed yesterday, for the fourth time. She was arrested over three months ago, accused of treason and instigating rebellion for giving food, clothes, shoes and medicines to political prisoners in El Helicoide.
Ejido mayor Omar Lares denounced that as of yesterday, it’s been 30 days since SEBIN took his son Juan Pedro Lares without presenting him before any judicial authority. OAS chief Luis Almagro tweeted:
— Luis Almagro (@Almagro_OEA2015) August 28, 2017
“We condemn the abduction of Juan Pedro Lares, attacking the relatives of political targets is a deplorable pattern of conduct of the Venezuelan regime.”
Luisa in Costa Rica
Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz denounced from Costa Rica that Venezuelan authorities hired thugs to threaten her life and that of other prosecutors seeking to expose the government’s abuses: “I came specifically to submit a complaint before Costa Rica’s Prosecutor’s Office and the Inter American Commission on Human Rights,” Ortega said, refusing to offer details about her agenda, for security reasons.
Foreign minister Jorge Arreaza bashed Costa Rica on Twitter: “The Costa Rican government chooses to bow to Washington’s policies, attacking Venezuelan democracy and its legitimate institutions.” In another tweet he wrote: “We are saddened by the arrogance of Costa Rica’s Foreign Ministry, which appears to mirror the supremacist behavior of its Northern overlords.”
I’d swear the real arrogance lies in the Foreign minister’s own messages, but chavismo has a PhD in projecting their flaws onto others.
Former presidents José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Martín Torrijos and Leonel Fernández think that the U.S. sanctions against Venezuela don’t contribute to a peaceful solution to the crisis. The useless mediators claim that “feeding into the confrontation doesn’t help, it’ll only increase instability and lead the country to a dead end.”
Russia accused the U.S. of seeking to escalate tensions in Venezuela and inciting “the intransigent party” (the opposition); promising to perform a careful review of the consequences sanctions will have and their impact on Russia’s interests, remarking that they won’t affect their willingness to reinforce cooperation with Venezuela. That’s why Oil minister Eulogio Del Pino will visit Russia just before the meeting of OPEC’s Oversight Committee in Vienna.
China tagged along and claimed that sanctions only complicate the situation even further, without helping in the crisis’ resolution.
Weildler Guerra, governor of Colombian department La Guajira, denounced that on Saturday night, Venezuelan National Guard officers entered the Paraguachón area, where they “stole money and cellphones from several citizens.” The Venezuelan government denied the incursion.
According to Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López, the statements issued by La Guajira governor “are part of a strategy of provocation to promote conflict.”
Despite this statement, Colombia’s Foreign ministry submitted a formal note of protest before the Venezuelan Embassy in Bogotá, to condemn and reject the alleged incursion of Venezuelan soldiers in their territory.
Also in Colombia
Due to the amount of Venezuelan citizens who have sought refuge in recent months and who cross the border every day, Colombia decided to include them in their national healthcare system by opening the Special Stay Permit which will be valid for 90 days and renewable for two years. The very day this measure entered into effect, some 22,000 Venezuelans have legalized their stay. The government also established refugee camps for Venezuelans at the border, as a preventive plan in view of a potential massive exodus, in case the crisis gets even worse.
Despite the threats, we go on.