The Criminal Court

Your daily briefing for Friday November 17th, 2017.

Yesterday, prosecutor general Luisa Ortega Díaz submitted formal accusations of alleged crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court against Nicolás Maduro, ministers Vladimir Padrino López and Néstor Reverol; SEBIN chief Gustavo González López and Capital District Government chief Antonio Benavides Torres.

In a short press conference with international media outlets at The Hague, she told reporters that the regime has engaged in torture, extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrest, and that these crimes happened “under the orders of the Executive Branch, as part of a social cleansing plan carried out by the government.”

She didn’t take any questions, of course, considering that she’s personally responsible for many of the same crimes.

Foro Penal chief Gonzalo Himiob said that this NGO has been denouncing these crimes before The Hague since 2004 and that international justice is a matter of endurance, not speed.

Ortega Díaz’ accusations must first be sent to ICC prosecutors and after a long review process, they’d be the ones to decide if the cases proceed.

Meanwhile, OAS chief Luis Almagro said that Ortega Díaz’s actions will be “extremely useful” to OAS experts, who have been carrying out their own investigations on these issues.


The opposition and the government will resume negotiations on December 1st and 2nd, with the attendance of Foreign ministers from Mexico, Paraguay and Chile.

The announcement comes after a preliminary meeting in the Dominican Republic, where MUD was represented by former CNE board member Luis Vicente Díaz, and their expert negotiator Gustavo Velásquez.

The National Assembly established a special committee headed by lawmaker and UNT leader Stalin González, to carry out a national consultation process with various sectors of society ahead of the event, in order to be able to have more data to take to the meetings. The consultation process will take place between November 20th and 27th.

Meanwhile, Maduro was rejoiced by the news and claimed: “I finally made it, I made it again, there they are, the delegates of MUD, or the Venezuelan opposition, ready to negotiate,” thanking Dominican president Danilo Medina for his efforts to make this possible.

The Chinese Debt

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that “the Venezuelan government has vowed to pay its debt and has turned its words into action […] We believe that the government of Venezuela has the credibility to appropriately handle debt issues.”

He didn’t say whether China was following on Russia’s footsteps and was planning on restructuring  the $23 billion debt Venezuela owes them: “We expect the concerned parties to solve this issue through negotiations.”

Who knows what the government has offered them already.

In memoriam

José Alejandro Blanco, best known as Blanquito Man, lead singer of Venezuelan band King Changó, died yesterday in New York due to complications caused by colon cancer. He’d been fighting it for three years. On Monday, the 42-year old singer wrote: “I send these blessings with all my love to thank you for your support. It’s been crucial in this hard battle.”