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.

21 COMMENTS

  1. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-04/no-elections-in-venezuela-while-vulgar-sanctions-stand?cmpid%3D=socialflow-twitter-politics

    No Elections in Venezuela as Long as ‘Vulgar Sanctions’ Stand
    By Andrew Rosati
    December 4, 2017, 5:22 PM CST

    “Venezuela said future elections in the country would only take place once U.S. sanctions against top ranking officials and its finances are lifted, in a sign from the government that next year’s presidential vote is at risk.

    Information Minister Jorge Rodriguez said on Monday that any potential accord between President Nicolas Maduro and opposition lawmakers, as well as any vote, hinged on “the lifting of the vulgar sanctions the Venezuelan right wing’s leadership requested of Donald Trump’s Treasury Department as well as Spanish, Canadian and other authorities.”

    Rodriguez’s comments on a televised address followed two days of close-door discussions in the Dominican Republic between Venezuela’s warring political factions. The meeting was the first since Maduro installed an all-powerful body of loyalists in August in his push to rewrite the constitution and consolidate power….”

  2. Well actually, it does not make sense to make elections in any terms because the govt is plainly saying: “remove the sanctions so we can keep ruling without hindering” and keep ruling means not until 2018 or 2019 but forever and ever.

    So as it stands it’s very difficult to know what reasons have the people that are negotiating with the govt. The only achievement they can get is “elections”, elections that will bring the same result than in the past gobernaciones elections which means that all polls will indicate that the govt will lose in a landslide fashion and suddenly at 10 pm the “ladies” will say that the government won by a mile. And the next day, the analyst will blame the “abstención” because “only” 8 millions people voted against the govt, and the govt got 23 millions votes because starving people voted for a clap. And then we will talk about the MUD and the next parroquial elections because we can not give “espacios”. And then we will negotiate again. El cuento del gallo pelón. And in two centuries, Kim Jong Pun, the grandson of Kim Jong Un, will be still fighting the “guerra económica”.

    • The sanctions are causing major problems for chavismo. Otherwise, they’d not be complaining about them constantly. Will the ultimately bring about a change in regime? I doubt it. I think more is needed.

      As for the rest of the “news”, I often wonder why I bother reading. It’s the same shit served over and over again. This regime is not going anywhere unless carried out feet first. Whoever cannot see that is blind.

      • I concur. The way to hurt people is to hurt what they care about. In this case, you take away Chavismo’s revenue.

        Sooner or later, Chavismo is going to run out of dollars. And dollars are what keep their pals in the military content. Nobody is going to lend him a plug nickel. They are in default. Very soon, Maduro will have to make the choice between feeding the “dumb masses” who voted for him, or lining the pockets of his generals in the hope that they stay in their barracks.

        Maduro will run out of money before he runs out of time. Time has always been his ally.

        • “And dollars are what keep their pals in the military content.”

          Most importantly, dollars are what keep the BULLETS AND TEAR GAS SKULL-CRASHERS COMING.

          Take chavismo’s dollars away, and suddenly their capacity to slaughter millions seems much less plausible once they have to count their available bullets.

  3. Well… the “fight for the democratic spaces” cant be clearer that this.

    Either they go away, or no more “spaces”.

  4. The US, the EU, members of the Lima Group, and all other nations that support democracy should increase the pressure on the regime. Double down as they say.
    Any Venezuelan ex-pats with ties to the Chavez or Maduro regime, should be deported from these countries and repatriated. Make them live in the hell hole they created. Repatriation would place an interesting destabilizing pressure on the current regime as Chavistas that are living abroad return and create a more fractured political environment.
    Maduro wants sanctions ended. Many of the newly repatriated will blame Maduro for the destruction of their lifestyles and will desire for foreign relations to be restored. They will see regime change as the answer.
    It may be that the Venezuelans that are needed to overthrow the regime will be the ones that are forced to return.
    As long as the regime controls the CNE, there will never be free and fair elections. The fraud has been proven over and over. Continuing to believe that Presidential elections will make a difference is foolish.
    Did winning the National Assembly make a difference?
    The regime has created the ANC and claims the ANC has absolute authority. In effect the regime will countermand the Presidency, if they were ever to allow (doubtful) the office to be lost in an election.
    The sanctions are working. The criminal cadre needs money and / or access to their ill gotten lucre that has been stashed out of the country.
    I do hope that more countries see the refusal to hold elections as what it has been all along. The Venezuelan people being held hostage by an organized criminal regime.
    I do not believe that sanctions will increase the suffering of the Venezuelan people. The regime will fund the military that oppresses the people and give little to their loyal supporters. Most of the people will suffer regardless of sanctions.
    Lifting the sanctions will guarantee that the people will suffer this regime indefinitely. The people are already starving. Sanctions are need to make the military feel the pain just as much.

      • From an International approach, it is far better to let the Chavistas continue to be the bogeymen, than to change the situation in the country that currently holds sway, after all we need to remember that the Venezuelan people deserve what is happening.
        Remember that the opposition to a socialist government here, are socialist parties like the Adecos.
        Unless there is going to be a fundamental change in political incentives to change the status quo, then as we say in England “you are pissing in the wind”
        Venezuela has no way out, and let me tell you February and March are going to be interesting in so many ways.
        John you say “The sanctions are working” yes but not in the way that you think, they are strengthening the concept of them and us, just as they have in North Korea.
        “Repatriation” is naivety and under what international law will that be carried out?
        It is clearly apparent that the majority of Venezuelan people are happy “to be held hostage by an organized criminal regime.”
        You will understand when i say ‘Sowing seeds in bad earth does not a problem solve!’

        • The point that I was trying to make is that there are many people that were connected to Chavez, made their money and got out of the country before Maduro obtained the dictatorial status that he now uses to oppress the people.
          If these people are living off the ill gotten gains from the corruption of the Chavez years, they shouldn’t be enjoying the fruits of corruption while the masses suffer.
          Children of regime members should all be sent back home.
          There are a large amount of people that supported Chavez and oppose Maduro.
          These people should have their residency revoked and sent back to live in the mess just like the people they have stolen from.
          It is an easy step for the countries that they now reside in to cite criminal behavior for revoking their status. It will even look like a noble thing in the eyes of many people. Putting this type of pressure on the ex-pat Chavistas, may have the added benefit of exposing more of the money that has been stolen from the Venezuelan people. Attempts to transfer large amounts of funds or liquidate assets that may have been held in escrow or by other family members may come to light.
          It will be a nightmare for the regime. There are still allegiances that would put more pressure on the already paranoid regime. These people may still hold considerable influence among sectors of the military.
          I would hope that it would exert destabilizing pressure on the regime.
          At the very least it would be just that they are denied food, medicine and security and forced to live within Venezuela.
          You broke it, you bought it.

          • In the early years of the Chavista regime, Hugo Chavez specifically organized individual accounts to be opened worldwide and billions deposited, he was not going to be taken from power without having a clandestine portfolio of money to continue the fight should he be usurped. It was Government policy.
            Forensic accountants would have a field day, but it will never happen.
            The US authorities know that Chavez’ offspring in New York has billions and can not account for the money, but life goes on.

          • “The US authorities know that Chavez’ offspring in New York has billions and can not account for the money, but life goes on”

            They’re merely waiting for the chance to strike and freeze their assets.

        • So what are they waiting for. These monies will not be repatriated, and the request would need to come from Venezuela. This is completely different to sanctions, as every despot who has relinquished power around the world knows. Lets see how much money Mugabe and his family give back to Zimbabwe!
          Dream on.

  5. Agree with most of John’s comments. Repatriating expats (or exporting la mierda) is particularly interesting, with RR recently unemployed and arriving in Italy?

  6. Economic sanctions are not enough. Maduro has no real internal threat and no political oposition of any kind. He can do as he pleases. The whole country is held hostage, and Maduro will always have the edge in any negotiation. We need a very agressive internal political oposition and military support from allied foreign powers. But we are light-years from that, since we have no real political oposition. We have no hope until we stop participating in fake elections and start preparing for a full scale-rebellion.
    We are losing so much time… Every single minute Maduro gets stronger.
    Maduro es un secuestrador y usa a todos los venezolanos como sus rehenes. La comunidad internacional no puede hacer mucho por eso mismo. Así que la estrategia de Maduro siempre va a ser escalar el conflicto. Así es como sobreviven los tiranos. Mientras no tenga oposición interna fuerte con aliados internacionales dispuestos a actuar, Maduro va a mantener el poder. No hay crisis económica ni humanitaria que lo tumbe.

    • “The whole country is held hostage, and Maduro will always have the edge in any negotiation.”

      The key is to NOT NEGOTIATE under his terms. I consider it a fantasy that anyone would even sit down with them and approach “dialogue” under his terms.

      Make Maduro come to the opposition, not the other way around. The Chavistas are the ones who are in trouble. The opposition holds the high ground. Hell… make the Chavistas come to Miami to negotiate! Rub their noses in it.

      As you mentioned, an aggressive internal political opposition. The wheels are literally coming off the Chavista wagon, and these MUD frauds are negotiating from a position of weakness. The Chavistas are desperate,.. they have no more money, and MUD does nothing but prolong the issue by playing along with the farce. And I agree with you 100%. The time for rebellion is now.

      Don’t count on US military intervention. It isn’t going to happen in any scenario, short of Russians sending in the troops. Sending in the Devil Dogs would be quick and effective end to Chavismo, but then what? It would play right into Maduro’s hand, and the politically leftist bed-wetters in the States would have a stroke about going to war for oil… again.

      The US citizenry is tired of rescuing ingrates who won’t lift a finger to rescue themselves.

      • The whole world is tired of the crying from Venezuelans. I know that living here i find it now so difficult to find a likeable quality in most that i meet, and that is sad.
        I have risked my life fighting for other peoples countries and interests……and i wouldnt fucking touch Venezuela, as i dont trust 99% of them.
        Now some people might not like that comment, so feel free to expand on the beautiful inter actions of the Venezuelan people, that you see on a daily basis, and then be prepared for a deluge ripping you to shit.
        Its interesting that the only person on this site that i know of trying to help for the benefit of the pueblo was a foreigner.
        “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today” are they not John?

    • ” Maduro has no real internal threat and no political oposition of any kind. He can do as he pleases. The whole country is held hostage, and Maduro will always have the edge in any negotiation.

      Así que la estrategia de Maduro siempre va a ser escalar el conflicto. Así es como sobreviven los tiranos. Mientras no tenga oposición interna fuerte con aliados internacionales dispuestos a actuar, Maduro va a mantener el poder. No hay crisis económica ni humanitaria que lo tumbe.”

      El peo del chavismo se resuelve cuando ellos ya no puedan comprar más balas para las armas de los guardias nazis y los colectivos.

      A fin de cuentas ¿Con qué se va a defender de una turba de gente con palos, piedras y machetes un malandrito de esos cuando vea que tiene tres balas en la caserina? Sí, podrá matar a uno o dos, ¿Pero podrá huir lo bastante rápido para que no lo agarren? Si la moto se le jodió por falta de repuestos, no.

      Y el mismo caso aplica para los guardiecitas nazis que son choritos y cubaniches con uniforme, cuando sepan que mil personas van a chimpanflores (Uso premeditado de la palabra para joderle la paciencia a los racistas rojos que lean esto) ¿Con qué van a salir los colectivos? ¿A poner mujeres y viejas al frente para que “nadie haga nada porque los meterían presos por abuso de género”? Debe ser que a alguien que se le haya muerto un hijo de hambre por culpa del chavismo le va a importar lo que el uniformado que tiene enfrente tenga entre las piernas.

      • Pero mientras haya gente dispuesta a negociar y contener la ira contra la dictadura eso no va a ocurrir.
        Creo que una rebelión bien organizada y con suficiente apoyo internacional puede acabar con la dictadura. Yo estoy de acuerdo contigo: el chavismo es cobarde y se rendiría ante una amenaza creíble de violencia.
        A veces una amenaza, si es creíble, es suficiente.
        Desde mi punto de vista, la agenda de quienes estamos en contra de la dictadura debe incluir acciones contra la “oposición política”. No hemos avanzado lo suficiente en la creación de una alternativa, aunque es difícil por un tema de recursos. Si bien agentes colaboradores de la dictadura como Julio Borges y Ramos Allup pueden operar en público, la verdadera oposición sólo puede operar en la clandestinidad. Si no formamos una red clandestina sólida (comunicada, organizada y con objetivos claros), no hay ningún tipo de esperanza para el país.

  7. The key is to NOT NEGOTIATE under his terms. I consider it a fantasy that anyone would even sit down with them and approach “dialogue” under his terms.

    Make Maduro come to the opposition, not the other way around. The Chavistas are the ones who are in trouble. The opposition holds the high ground. Hell… make the Chavistas come to Miami to negotiate! Rub their noses in it.

    As you mentioned, an aggressive internal political opposition. The wheels are literally coming off the Chavista wagon, and these MUD frauds are negotiating from a position of weakness. The Chavistas are desperate,.. they have no more money…

    ———–

    How I see it. The Chavista’s trying to say they won’t negotiate unless sanctions are lifted is a bluff. They have nowhere to turn. The idea that they can carry on indefinately, with no options, is a Chavista myth. They’re done. Now the world waits for them to quite, since this apparently cannot happen via outside pressure on internal resistance.

    But they won’t quit. That’s the impasse.

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