After claiming that Ramos Allup tried to persuade him to take his oath of office before the ANC, Zulia governor Juan Pablo Guanipa denounced that National Guard officers fired tear-gas against one of the peaceful demonstrations that demanded the state’s Legislative Council to swear him in, this in a city without power.

In the meantime, Táchira governor Laidy Gómez was the spokeswoman for the obedient governors, in the same role that was forced on female police officers during protests: being the vanguard of repression, to see if any man would “hit them.” A misogynistic tactic that didn’t work during protests and that yesterday made her look even worse, not only because Gómez’s argumentative capacity is worse than her speech, but also because anything she said was irrelevant due to the meeting she and her fellow AD governors held with Nicolás.

“We’re not traitors”

Laidy Gómez learned everything she knows about public speaking from Blanca Eekhout, which means she only knows how to yell and thinks aggressiveness is the best resource to answer every kind of question. It was and still is her mission to save AD chief Henry Ramos Allup from being accountable, since he allegedly warned them not to go the ANC because they would be humiliated. According to Gómez, it was just as bad to participate in the election with this National Electoral Council (CNE) as being sworn into office by the ANC, and the obedient governors didn’t win because the CNE declared them winners, but because the four of them had their states’ vote tallies and since the evil legislative councils in their states warned them that new elections would be held in 30 days if they didn’t bow to the ANC.

Because of the impending doom of becoming pariahs and receding to indifference in a month, they chose to become the opposition Nicolás needed! She yelled that she accepts the political cost of her decision. We’ll see.

“I don’t lie”

Ramos Allup used the general attention to attack all of his critics, multiply the deception and justify the actions of his own people, because they “were caught in an ambush,” fulfilled a “decision of their constituents,” and overcame “the checkpoints imposed by the government.” So, now unconstitutional impositions are checkpoints, bowing before Delcy Rodríguez isn’t recognizing the ANC and criticism against their decision only seeks “to damage his image and the party’s.” Disappointed in the sad show that the opposition was presenting to the public and consistent with the idea of refounding MUD, Ramos Allup claimed that governor Guanipa had the intention of going to the ANC but changed his mind; that Julio Borges and Luis Florido took part in a negotiation meeting in the Dominican Republic and said he was interested in taking measures to participate “in the coming elections.” AD governors weren’t expelled, they excluded themselves.

Brilliant!

“There are no excuses or arguments”

Henrique Capriles said that without a change in the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), he’d leave the opposition coalition, demanding Ramos Allup to stop trying to persuade Venezuelans that the governors excluded themselves: “Not even a pencil moves in AD without Ramos Allup’s authorization (…) the four of them are in a complex situation but they clearly have authorization,” he said, adding that ever since 2015 Ramos Allup got the idea that he might be a presidential candidate and everything he’s done so far is focused on that possibility, because he’s “the candidate the government wants and that’s an open secret now.”

According to Capriles, this is the reason behind the sabotage against the recall referendum and political disqualifications, among other things. “I’m leaving if they don’t change course,” he said about MUD, restating the need to restructure the opposition coalition and seek to build a new organization.

The split has been confirmed

Voluntad Popular leader Freddy Guevara said that they won’t participate in municipal elections in 2018: “The country wants to vote, but not if that vote will become a useful tool for the dictatorship,” saying that the decision made by the submissive governors created a split within MUD. “This is a betrayal against all of us (…) we won’t accept fake expulsions, humiliation isn’t a sacrifice.”

Later, in response to Ramos Allup’s jab, lawmaker Luis Florido clarified that Julio Borges, Eudoro González and him met with Dominican president Danilo Medina and his Foreign minister Miguel Vargas, to condemn the terrible fraud committed in regional elections. He said that they will now go to the UN to meet with Jeffrey Feltman, an electoral expert who has led observation missions in the past and they will request a full audit on regional elections.

Unconstitutional and illegal handling

Without Speaker Julio Borges or Secretary José Ignacio Guédez, who resigned yesterday, the National Assembly held the session approving an agreement in rejection of the ANC and the submissive governors’ decision. Freddy Guevara said: “This agreement represents an institutional stance in rejection of the ANC and its subordination.”

Juan Requesens added that they won’t accept that the ANC subordinates authorities elected by the people, rejecting the argument that the swearing in “was a judicial and not a political event.”

Williams Dávila (AD) said: “Nobody can teach us lessons on principles and values (…) We can’t discourage the people after what happened yesterday.”

The agreement ratifies the ANC’s constitutional fraud and the mandate of the popular consultation of July 16th.

In addition, they unanimously approved the agreement regarding the unconstitutional and illegal handling of the National Budget Law for 2018.

Abroad

  • Iceland denied the necessary permission to transfer 16 tons of tear gas coming from China to Venezuela, since it was heading to “a vulnerable country where basic human rights are not respected.”
  • President Juan Manuel Santos restated that forcing opposition governors to be sworn into office by the ANC “is the greatest abuse of power.”
  • Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan met with president Enrique Peña Nieto and Foreign minister Luis Videgaray, expressing the shared concern for the decline of democratic principles in Venezuela.
  • Nicolás awarded outgoing Chinese ambassador Zhao Bentang with the Francisco de Miranda order, first class.
  • A special mention to the impeccable performance of Venezuelan human rights NGOs attending the sessions of the 165th ordinary period of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights. When you can, read the studies published by Provea, Espacio Público and UCAB’s Human Rights Center.

These are dark days, days when the country hurts. We must go on, my friends.

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