Reptilian Socorro

Your daily briefing for Saturday, October 14, 2017. Translated by Javier Liendo.

CNE rectora Socorro Hernández said this Friday that 204 polling stations were relocated due to violent incidents -a category that includes several schools that refused to participate in the electoral fraud on July 30th- and 70 due to infrastructural issues, claiming that CNE did say that this could happen and that the process has concluded. In her version, they waited until this week to do that, because it was a complex process, disregarding that relocations violate the Constitution. According to Hernández, elected governors must be inducted by the ANC, that was also planned and it’s part of the process: this is a lie.

A nefarious trio

CNE chief Tibisay Lucena said that they installed 95% of voting tables and claimed that the relocation had been widely announced. She condemned the U.S. for questioning CNE, because the State Department “disregards all electoral guarantees” that they’re offering. She said that there were 233 relocations in three days and that they’ll release the chart detailing them. Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López urged respect for people’s will, hoping that Sunday process will be a “clean and tidy” process. FAN Operational Strategic Command chief Remigio Ceballos dismissed concerns that relocations will disrupt election logistics, because they the logistics capacity to fulfill the CNE’s requirements.

“We’ll wrest power away from power on Sunday”

That’s what mayor and MUD campaign chief Gerardo Blyde said yesterday, remarking that Nicolás and his candidates know that they won’t win the governorships with votes, so they’re trying to block the exercise of that right, that the only counterweight for these atrocities is massive turnout, and that there will be activists waiting in closed voting centers to inform and transport voters. He pointed out that Plan Repúbica doesn’t own the electoral process: “they’re only there to guarantee security.” Liliana Hernández said that the international observers are merely pro-government collaborators and that there are only two certified national observers. Although MUD invited several observers, they won’t be able to guarantee them safety or transport within the country.

Unprecedented and absurd?

This Friday, OAS inducted the TSJ justices appointed by the National Assembly in July, who said in their press release that this is a mechanism of international pressure against the dictatorship. Meanwhile several OAS ambassadors -including critics of the Venezuelan government- rejected the event, saying it was absurd. OAS chief Luis Almagro attended the induction ceremony and said that this TSJ’s installation “clears the path for the recovery of democracy in Venezuela,” inviting countries to impose more sanctions against the regime because these are “the way to force the Venezuelan regime down on its knees,” restating that the ANC must be scrapped. Chief justice Maikel Moreno said that the only legitimate justices are “fulfilling their duties in TSJ offices in Caracas.”

PDVSA doesn’t pay

This Wednesday, Fernando Ardila, the owner of a Florida-based energy company, became the tenth person to plead guilty before a federal court in Houston in the investigation on PDVSA bribes and that same day, the oil company delayed a payment for $121 million in debt interests, right when it’s nearly time for PDVSA to face upcoming maturities: $2,9 billion between October and November. This along with the delay on Elecar bonds had an impact on the Venezuelan debt market, because investors are concerned that the nation may not be able to pay, as well as for potential financial sanctions against the government. Also this Friday, when the bolívar keeps plummeting (the black market dollar rose to Bs. 31,109.30) and the Venezuelan Central Bank didn’t release data on international reserves; without a mandatory broadcast, Delcy Rodríguez received the National Budget for 2018 from Economic Area vice-president Ramón Lobo, violating the current Constitution, where article 311 establishes that the president must submit it before the National Assembly.

Suing the government

Prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz said that she shared evidence with the U.S. that incriminates government officials in corruption crimes: “the officials and prosecutors against Venezuelan corruption that stand with me have been meeting with U.S. prosecutors and other powers to exchange information,” she said after meeting with UN High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, adding that she’s already finalized the document that she will submit before the International Criminal Court for human rights violations in the country.

European sanctions

European Union nations came to an unanimous political agreement to prepare selective sanctions against Venezuelan officials responsible for repression in the country. The decision was made by the EU Council’s Political and Security Committee, with representation of the ambassadors of all 28 member States. Next Monday, in the EU Foreign Ministers Council, UE High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, will mention Venezuela in her speech opening the meeting and the will also be a political debate among attending ministers concerning this Sunday’s elections.


Colombia, Canada, the U.S. and Peru have expressed their concern for voting center relocations that prevent the holding of free and fair elections and all of them have urged the government to allow independent national observers to monitor the election and the vote tally process. Meanwhile, Canada and Mexico will continue to work to restore democracy in Venezuela, “which is experiencing a profound political crisis,” said prime minister Justin Trudeau during his visit to the Mexican capital.

Regional elections are a constitutional mandate and a right. No Venezuela law says that governorns must be sworn in before an ANC that is severely despised both within the country and abroad. Our vote is a protest against the schemes of this disastrous regime and its lackey CNE. Not even the most chaotic scenario for opposition votes could give Nicolás its fraudulent 8 million from July 30th:

Go vote!

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.