Without Conditions

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, September 27, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The end of OAS chief Luis Almagro’s video presenting the fourth report on Venezuela, contained some relevant words: “Peace, democracy and freedom must be the result of dialogue and not a matter for negotiation.” He demands that the potential dialogue between the government and the opposition not be based on redistributing power but on re-democratizing the country.

The opposition announced yesterday that they won’t participate in the new round of meetings with the government because none of the conditions they’ve set to resume talks have been fulfilled. Lawmaker Luis Florido said: “In order to meet in the Dominican Republic we require a convened and clear agenda.”

Additionally, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) sent a letter to Dominican President Danilo Medina, thanking him for his efforts and informing him of their refusal to attend the meetings, emphasizing that political prisoners must be released, the State must respect judicial and humanitarian principles and the CNE must comply with the Framework Law of Electoral Processes, in addition to the mechanism of international guarantees, including the creation of a group of guarantor countries.

Utmost loyalty?

After blaming Parliament Speaker Julio Borges for the measures imposed by the U.S. against members of his government, and claiming that no sanction can stop the Revolution, Nicolás used the 11th anniversary of the Armed Forces’ Operational Strategic Command (Ceofan) to decorate soldiers and demand from them their utmost loyalty to him, el finado and Bolívar, because in his view, the FAN has new concepts, doctrine, management and morality “that have tried to enter and cause rifts in the unity.” Although he said the word “peace” on many occasions, he associated the possibility for progress and stability with having “rifles, missiles and tanks well-oiled.” He had the nerve to claim that he doesn’t respond to braggarts with boasts and yet he spouted: “Mission accomplished, comandante Chávez, here are your armed forces, ready for combat, ready for history, ready for peace.”

Gubernatorial elections

ANC member Ernesto Rodríguez said yesterday that this body requested the Prosecutor’s Office to investigate opposition candidates who allegedly instigated violent incidents during protests, without specifying who will be under investigation.

CNE rectora Tania D’Amelio tweeted that the inspection process for the machines that will be used on October 15th began yesterday. For the first time since digital voting was implemented, there won’t be a ballot for the elections; instead, voters will press the touch screen directly on the candidate of their choice and then on the word “Vote”.

MUD representative Liliana Hernández denounced that there’s been some issues with the CNE’s process to replace electoral ballots, that there’s been no information on this procedure even though they’ve requested it from the Electoral Board on several occasions. She also denounced that, far from providing information, Electoral Fairs are practically being used to call for abstention.


According to the government, PDVSA and China National Petroleum Corporation are making progress in the reactivation and rehabilitation of 800 oil wells to increase output by 200,000 barrels per day in a short time.

Meanwhile, David Paravisini said that the ANC is considering the possibility of increasing gas prices, while the National Assembly denounced PDVSA’s disastrous management, the ruin caused by a policy of gas imports that adds some $9 billion to the country’s bill in order to patch the lack of production, and the waste of resources that could’ve been invested on keeping machines well-maintained and operational.

Precisely yesterday, the head of the Association of alternative transportation vehicles, José Luis Montoya, said that they’re missing over 80% of their units, suggesting that the fare should be Bs. 1,000, but admitting that the minimum wage “wouldn’t allow it.”

Human rights

Cepaz, Provea and UCAB’s Human Rights Center released the Urgent Timeline for Human Rights, a series of proposals to act on five key issues, produced in consensus by 296 civil society institutions. You can read about it here: agendaurgenteddhh.com.ve.

The Global Parliament of Mayors issued a resolution condemning the arrest and dismissal of mayors in Venezuela.

Lawmaker Freddy Guevara met with Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz, to gauge the level of international support for the Venezuelan democratic cause achieved in the UN General Assembly.

The Anti-corruption Prosecutor’s Office of Spain opened legal proceedings against Venezuelans Nervis Villalobos and Javier Alvarado Ochoa, old members of Chávez’s government, for alleged crimes of international bribery and money laundering.

Lastly, the OAS verified the most recent list of political prisoners provided by NGO Foro Penal Venezolano.


“We hope our friends in the European Union will soon follow the United States, Canada and many Latin American nations in sanctioning the Maduro regime,” said president Donald Trump in a joint press conference with Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy; in which he also explained that we’ve endured immense suffering, poverty, starvation and dangerous unrest under what he called “an oppressive socialist regime.”

Rajoy stated: “We’ve confirmed the need to keep international pressure on the Venezuelan government (…) We’re helming a proposal in the EU to sanction Venezuela.” He added that since Venezuela isn’t a democratic country, sanctions and an international coalition to pressure the government are necessary.

The list of nominations for the 18th edition of the Latin Grammy Awards was released yesterday, and it includes various Venezuelan artists. So happy for my dear friends Edward Ramírez and Rafa Pino!, nominated for Best Folkloric Album for El Tuyero Ilustrado, a record that you should enjoy soon if you haven’t yet. It contains one of the most beautiful love songs I know: “Claro de Luna”, as well the extraordinary “Viernes de quincena” and “El Aguacate.”

Other nominated artists are Guaco, Franco de Vita and the great Yordano, who tweeted:

“For four years I’ve been waking up differently, always with some pain or discomfort. But I was assaulted by joy today. Nomination to the #LatinGrammy.”

Let’s wait with bated breath for the ceremony to be held on November 16th.

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.