Photo: @unidadvenezuela

Following his usual pattern of sabotaging all negotiation attempts with the government, minister Jorge Rodríguez said yesterday that the government won’t reach any agreement with the opposition to convene new elections if international economic sanctions aren’t lifted:

“Venezuela won’t go to any electoral event or sign any agreement with the Venezuelan opposition until the obscene sanctions that the Venezuelan right-wing requested Donald Trump’s State Department and Spanish, Canadian or any other authority, are lifted” he told EFE, and cited that the opposition’s recognition of the ANC is an official demand, as if legitimacy could be imposed.

Funny thing! The same government obsessed with launching accusations of meddling against anyone who criticizes their policies is the one who wants the opposition to force the U.S., Canada and the European Union to lift their sanctions; and it conditions having an election to that possibility. Chavismo decided to trash the Constitution, but they didn’t erase it from existence.

Common ground

Lawmaker Luis Florido said that MUD is willing to remain in the negotiation process as long as it leads to agreements and that, despite failing to reach them last weekend, the platform is set to accomplish them later on. He emphasized that this process must remain under the conditions agreed upon by the parties and summed up the opposition’s exercise as the proposal of “a process of democratic normalization and political guarantees for the country’s improvement.”

Regarding Nicolás’ refusal to open a humanitarian channel, Florido said that the government has the responsibility of acknowledging the weaknesses and welcome the help that many nations are willing to provide. The lawmaker restated that they seek better electoral, democratic and social conditions for Venezuelans and stated that agreements can’t be decreed or imposed, but that they expect to reach them on December 15 and that they’ll strive to find common ground with the government through the foreign ministers before the next meeting.

The Foreign Ministers speak up

Mexican minister and MUD-aligned mediator Luis Videgaray urged the government and the opposition to “act with absolute restraint and seriousness,” explaining that “what happened in Santo Domingo is the beginning of a process that hasn’t concluded; it will conclude in the next few days. That was the agreement and there’s progress in the right direction.” His Chilean counterpart Heraldo Muñoz said in Colombian channel NTN24, that “when there are differences between the parties, [dialogue] is always complex”; that “nobody can win everything, both parties have to give something way” and that both parties promised to consult with their supporters and superiors about the progress made in this occasion.

Human rights

Political prisoner and former mayor Daniel Ceballos released a public letter narrating the abuses he had to suffer in El Helicoide (SEBIN), saying: “I won’t cooperate anymore, I will endure any cruelty that violates my human rights.”

Ceballos has been isolated for 57 days, without visits from his relatives or lawyers; he hasn’t seen sunlight in three months, or his children since mid-September. He’s been in prison for three years, eight months and fifteen days without a trial.

He asserted that he assumes the consequences of his decision: “the Dictatorship and the agents who execute these orders should also assume it.”

The parents of 18-year-old political prisoner Carlos Velasco requested judge Angy Canelón to authorize the retrieval of the results of the forensic tests practiced on the boy, diagnosing that he suffers from testicular hydrocele. His father said that during his imprisonment, Carlos has also suffered from kidney lithiasis, epididymal cysts, gonalgia in his right knee and depressive breakdowns.

Yesterday, from his exile, Voluntad Popular leader Lester Toledo urged the European Union to sanction 62 alleged human rights abusers in Venezuela, including Nicolás, Tareck El Aissami, Diosdado Cabello; SEBIN chief Gustavo González López and Carlos Calderón, whom he called SEBIN’s “torturer”.

Toledo thinks it’s necessary to appeal to international justice to make these officials pay for violating human rights.

“Nel blu dipinto di blu”

That’s what we’ll sing as we fly, my friends. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that it will suspend activities in Venezuela on January 31, 2018. The information will be ratified today from Switzerland, but so far, the plan is for Venezuela to be managed by IATA Central America, based in Panama. In their statement, they explain that the organization is migrating to a “centralized customer service” model, but the announcement comes after a dozen airlines associated to IATA have left the country, due to the extraordinary debt the State has with them.

Additionally, the general managing office of Bolivariana de Aeropuertos (BAER) reported that they won’t be able to provide the distribution of fuel for piston planes, due to supply and production issues in their plant in Catia la Mar, Vargas state. The inventory of airplane fuel is in critical condition, according to the note.

Abroad

EU parliamentarians and U.S. government representatives will hold a series of meetings until Wednesday, working on their bilateral relations, foreign policy and economy, and Venezuela is a part of the agenda due to our humanitarian crisis. In terms of Security Policy, they will discuss North Korea, Iran and others. Honduran president Juan Orlando Hernández, ruling candidate for the National Party, was announced as the winner after the special audit of 1,006 inconsistent vote tallies, with which David Matamoros, head of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, announced the audit had concluded, amidst a state of emergency decreed on Friday for intense citizen protests.

Offering an example of how they can worsen what’s already bad, the Price Control Bureau (SUNDDE) has forced hundreds of shops across the country to lower their prices and lose their profits, so shop owners won’t have any capacity to replenish their inventories or, even less, incentives to invest. Give William Contreras his espada de Bolívar already, please.

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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.