Metropolitan Mayor and political prisoner Antonio Ledezma arrived in Madrid on Saturday after escaping custody. He flew to Spain via Colombia, saying that he felt free and that he’d soon start travelling around the globe to “contribute from exile to extend the hopes of Venezuelans to topple this regime.” He met with Spanish president Mariano Rajoy, who vowed to keep working to find “a fully democratic solution” for the political crisis currently plaguing Venezuela which, in his view, must include the release of political prisoners and the holding of “certifiably democratic” elections.

After playing down Ledezma’s escape on Friday, Maduro’s regime wasn’t too happy about this meeting with Rajoy and Foreign minister Arreaza deemed it “an unfriendly act,” saying that the Spanish government’s support for the mayor is just one more example of the long list of assaults and meddling committed against the people and the bolivarian government. The incident re-ignited the diplomatic conflict between the two nations, which had already been gaining traction in recent weeks.

Today’s report includes Ledezma declaring he received help from the militaries to escape, and earlier, Ignacio Benítez, head of the condominium of the building where Ledezma lived, was taken by security forces. He’s held isolated at El Helicoide. He could be indicted for allegedly helping Ledezma escape. The security guard was also arrested. Two more innocent scapegoats for the regime.

The Talks

Last week, the opposition sent a delegation to the Dominican Republic to establish the terms for the conversation that’s set to take place on December 1st and 2nd.

According to MUD electoral expert and former CNE board member Vicente Díaz, the opposition’s demands are roughly the same ever since the botched negotiation attempt in 2016: respect for the current Constitution, which is a moot point with this government; the release of all political prisoners and attention to the economic crisis.

Meanwhile, AN Speaker Julio Borges pointed out that the focus of these talks will be recovering “free and fair elections” and the opening of a humanitarian channel. It’s all about presidential elections in 2018, of course, the remaining demands are there just to fill the gap.

The December meetings will be held in the Dominican Foreign Ministry’s Conventions Center. It’s still unclear who’s going in representation of the opposition, aside from Borges himself and lawmaker Luis Florido, who heads Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee. The government’s delegates will be Communications minister Jorge Rodríguez and his sister, ANC chairwoman Delcy Rodríguez.

Crimes against humanity

Santiago Cantón, former executive secretary of the Inter American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), said he hopes OAS member states will take action if their experts find that crimes against humanity have indeed been committed in Venezuela: “In case there have been crimes of this nature, it’s important that they’re sanctioned. We have seen it in the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, the impunity for human rights violations in Latin America is astounding.”

The OAS has been carrying out hearings on this matter, an unprecedented proceeding for the institution. The process will be long and may lead to no formal indictments, as regime members may never set foot in The Hague. Anyway, we’re hoping this achieves something. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, Evo Morales, president of Bolivia, said OAS chief Luis Almagro should be denounced before the International Criminal Court for conspiring against Venezuela instead of president Nicolás Maduro. A half-hearted, meaningless statement, to be sure.

Drugs

Yesterday, GN officers posted in Aldao bridge, Calabozo, Guárico state, arrested two men transporting 88 packs of cocaine. The report came from Lt. Col. Edisson Miquilerana Marcano, who said that there are checkpoints all over the country’s roads at the ready, to detect any irregularity related to drug-trafficking, cattle rustling, stolen vehicles or people wanted by the country’s security forces and courts. Perhaps the people transporting those drugs weren’t at all related to the brass… Right?

The Coalition of Organizations for the Right to Health and Life (Codevida) called for a march today in Caracas, to demand the opening of a humanitarian channel to tackle medicine shortages in Venezuela.

16 COMMENTS

  1. “The report came from Lt. Col. Edisson Miquilerana Marcano, who said that there are checkpoints all over the country’s roads at the ready, to detect any irregularity related to drug-trafficking, cattle rustling, stolen vehicles or people wanted by the country’s security forces and courts.”

    Sure, that’s how thieves empty a farmhouse of all its contents, load the owner’s cattle on a truck, and leave at 3 AM without a fear in the world of being stopped at a checkpoint. It’s rare that anything is ever recovered.

    BTW, we had two locals wake up dead this morning. They and a number of buddies were here at the bodega last night receiving cash for a transfer and when I heard they’d been murdered, I figured it was related to the cash they had on hand. Not so. Apparently they were busy in the wee hours of the morning stealing cattle. They apparently picked the wrong ranch. Ironically, their bodies were left in front of the local matadero.

    That makes four murdered here locally (that I know of) in the last few months who were caught in the act of stealing. The local police do absolutely nothing to solve crimes and can be bought for a few bolivares so no one trusts them. With the total breakdown of the court system and law enforcement here, property owners are taking the law into their own hands.

    • What do the local police do? I mean, i guess they do nothing about these killings, do they do anything? Parking tickets, traffic monitoring, domestic disputes, etc?

      • The local police do NOTHING. They don’t even have a vehicle or motorbikes. They just walk the streets and that’s usually just to putiar. If someone files a complaint against someone and the guy’s family comes in an gives them some cash, the complaint goes directly to the trashcan. The PTJ also does this but the price is significantly higher.

        Rory14, true story, saw it with my own eyes as our neighbor is the local municipal police station.

        They got a call one day about two stolen vehicles hidden on a farm nearby. One was a Ford 350 flatbed with cargo and the other a pickup truck. They moved both vehicles to their base next door and immediatly unloaded the cargo and sent it to the chief for his personal use (cases of ceramic tile). The flatbed owner must have been someone of influence or $$$ because he got his vehicle back within a couple of days…..minus the cargo of course, which was “stolen by those evil theives who hijacked the truck”.

        The pickup however stayed next door while the tires were removed and the FUCKING ENGINE was taken out of the vehice right there at their base. Only then was the owner called to pick up what was left of his truck.

        • Wow. It’s truly hard to imagine such a state of affairs. near complete breakdown of society.

          Vigilante justice is only going to increase going forward, someone has to fill that void.

  2. In the last 9 days, the Bolivar has lost over 55% of its value.

    11/11/2017- 52,129 VEF/USD
    11/20/2017- 81,271 VEF/USD

    Over 14,000,000% of its value since Chavismo.

    I might change my name to Mr. Good News.

  3. How does anyone escape a country by passing through 29 police check points but there is little discussion here of that amazing fact. Also today’s Wall St Journal had a story stating that the Chavistas only hand out your new electronic identity cards to its followers and then distributes food to these card holders. The story suggests this influenced the last election. However, the story lacked factual support and was conclusory. Tomorrow the WSJ will carry a story thst David Martinez a vulture found billonaire met with tge Chavista regime to urge them to default.

    • I was expecting to hear more about the amazing story of a group of PDVSA employees in the east being charged with dismantling SIX HUNDRED PDVSA automobiles. SIX HUNDRED.

      Probably have to pay Quico to read those stories.

      As for the Ledezma story, it smells. I commented on it elsewhere.

          • Reading the article, it appears the scheme involved stealing VIN’s and other serial numbers on the motors and the chassis of the PDVSA cars and tranferring them to cars that were stolen or of otherwise questionable provenance.

            I’m guessing that PDVSA cars are rarely stopped at checkpoints and even less so would ever go through a detailed review of their serial numbers that sometimes takes place at checkpoints.

            I had a young fellow who worked for me 10 years ago who was former PTJ and an expert in determining vehicle fraud and serial number tampering. Interesting to watch him do his stuff examining used vehicles that others wanted to purchase and had paid him to review.

            The stolen car business here is YUGE. Many buyers of used cars will demand that the PTJ review a vehicle before they buy it and give them a letter or certificate of the authenticity of its serial numbers and also that the car is not “solicited” or on a wanted list. A stolen car on the wanted list, even after it has been recovered and cleared to return to the owner, will always be on the wanted list which means it can be taken away at virtually any checkpoint where they bother to verify its history.

            They know you own it legally, but they’ll fuck with you anyway. Just one more way to make a citizen’s life miserable.

  4. I wonder how the events in Zimbabwe are playing out in those great minds in Miraflores.

    Too bad they didn’t hang Mugabe, but I guess there’s still time.

  5. so I have read that the US will only alliw a restructuring of debt if it is approved by the National Assembly. Could that result in a deal whereby political prisioners are released, the Chavistas like FARC are immunized and allowed to participate in politics, the ANC is disbanded and there is a presidential election under UN supervision and of course aid relief is provided. I hate the FARC like deal for the Chavistas but the real sticking point is who would allow the Chavistas to manage the economy going forward.

  6. What William is suggesting is that a deal might be struck that would let the Chavistas off the hook and power would be shared going forward. But the truth is the Chavistas have no chip to deal at this point and if the opposition – whoever they may be – says no to power sharing, of any kind, what are the Chavista’s options? They only hold power within the country, and that won’t last long with a virtually valueless currency and sharks circling for whatever liquidity they have. With little coming in, I look for the biggest thieves to start trying to pawn the countries physical assets, mafioso style, or anything of value so long as there is a dime to be made. The physical looting of Venezuela is close at hand I’m afraid, all the stuff Rubicito is mentioning but on a federal level. Problem will be finding buyers. Or maybe they start hawking stuff in Colombia as they used to do with discounted oil. Bastards would probably look Miraflores if it paid to do so.

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