Honors for a Criminal

For Thursday, January 18, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

21

Photo: Sergio Noveli

The funeral of Heiker Vásquez, leader of the colectivo Tres Raíces, took place yesterday morning in the 23 de Enero parish with gunfire. His funeral march was attended by agents of the PNB’s Special Actions Force (Faes) who stopped the traffic in several roads of the city until they reached the Eastern Cemetery. The man honored by Freddy Bernal in his audio and who was identified as chief inspector Andriun Domingo Ugarte Ferrera in minister Néstor Reverol’s official account, was being investigated, according to crime journalists, for murders, robberies and kidnappings.

Meanwhile,  families of the victims of the massacre at El Junquito haven’t been able to see their bodies and refused to sign the post mortem identification certificate.

More information

Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano led a committee to request the autopsies of the victims of the massacre at El Junquito. She explained that only relatives can decide the fate of a body, even more so if it’s subject to an investigation. She also said that the officers were summoned before Parliament for this Friday 19, in order to start investigations. Lawmaker Manuela Bolívar was mistreated by the National Guard at the Bello Monte morgue. Journalist Sheyla Urdaneta investigated Daniel Soto Torres’ profile, one of the massacre victims, revealing that he’d just graduated in mass communication from the Rafael Belloso Chacín University. The New Herald claims that the assault team that attacked Óscar Pérez had instructions not to leave anyone alive. Lisbeth Andreína Ramírez Mantilla is the name of the woman who died in the attack; yesterday, an audio was sent with her alleged last phone call and information posted on the Twitter account of Óscar Pérez’s team, claimed that Lisbeth was pregnant and that a minor was also killed in the raid. Read Amnesty International’s statement about this case.

Let’s talk economy

Sundde chief William Contreras reported that they’ve started inspecting companies to ensure that they comply with the measure to lower prices to December the same ones used in december, even though last week he’d agreed with supermarket representatives to let them sell at prices that can cover operational costs. On top of this, Carlos Albornoz, head of the National Cattle Farmers Federation of Venezuela, denounced the confiscatory decree on agricultural production in four of the country’s states, which bans transport of cattle, meat, milk and cheese from Barinas, Apure, Guárico and Cojedes.

Portuguesa’s sugar cane growers threatened to start a “technical strike” if the government won’t allow them to release sugar prices, the only solution to avoid producing at a loss. Lastly, the U.S.

Treasury Department cautioned American investors that they must be careful with Venezuelan cryptocurrency Petro, since operating with this currency could violate sanctions against the Venezuelan government and entail legal risks for them.

Globovisión under censorship

Journalist Alba Cecilia Mujica, host of the show “Mujeres en todo,” was fired from the TV station after talking about Óscar Pérez’s case: “What happened [on Monday] was that they didn’t even let them say ‘I surrender’, ‘Here I am’, ‘Allow me to be prosecuted’, as it happened before with this government,” she said on Tuesday, pleading for this not to happen ever again. It’s an unjustified dismissal and another example of the censorship that conditions “private” media outlets that are already controlled by the State anyway. The journalist got the support of thousands of people for this situation, and congratulations for her work, also causing an interesting reaction from several guests to the TV station’s shows, who condemned the sanction against Alba Cecilia Mujica, refusing to attend the scheduled or proposed recording sessions. Well done!

More official barbarities

Without uttering a word about the massacre at El Junquito, the Prosecutor’s Office reported the arrest of two former PDVSA-Güiria employees for alleged acts of corruption. The National Electoral Council handed Delcy Rodríguez the list of political parties that must be revalidated as imposed by the ANC:

Nicolás said in a cadena: “If someone asked me, what would you ask of Venezuelan teachers from the bottom of your heart? I’d ask you (…) to take the construction of school farming plots as the center of your lives.” That’s how they’ll prepare children for the future and we’ll overcome oil dependency. A genius, eh?

Abroad

According to Reuters, seven high-ranking government authorities could face sanctions from the European Union starting next week, as a means to pressure the government. So far, those who could face sanctionas are: Antonio José Benavides Torres (GN); Néstor Reverol (Interior minister); Gustavo González López (Sebin) and Maikel Moreno (TSJ). The sanctions would include travel bans and frozen assets. Approving these sanctions requires the agreement of the ambassadors of the 28 EU countries.

Meanwhile, former Spanish president Felipe González – who urged the EU to impose individual sanctions against Venezuelan regime leaders – said there wouldn’t be clean elections: “Maduro won’t hand over power and, if there are elections, it’s because he’s chosen the appropriate opposition leader to face him and he won’t offer guarantees for clean elections,” he remarked.

Concerning today’s dialogue

In a letter addressed to president Danilo Medina, MUD demanded that the government explain minister Néstor Reverol’s statements.

Although several journalists say that the opposition’s delegation won’t attend today’s meeting, this information hasn’t been confirmed so far. Only Henry Ramos Allup said that AD’s representative won’t attend and lawmaker Luis Florido tweeted:

“Reverol lied to the people of Venezuela, his statements hamper tomorrow’s [today’s] meeting (…) the government must deny his words (…) A State agreement demands seriousness.”

On the other hand, advisor Colette Capriles retweeted Edgar Otálvora’s message saying:

“Fourth round of Maduro-MUD negotiations scheduled for January 18 in the Dominican Republic is suspended (no new date) for multiple reasons. Foreign ministers of Mexico and Chile not available that day. Opposition refuses to meet without international mediators.”

Literally, we’ll see what the day brings.

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21 COMMENTS

  1. One simple thing needs to happen. How it happens is up to Venezuelans.

    The colectivos need to be afraid to leave their barrios, and the state police apparatus have to be afraid to go outside in their uniforms.

    That is when you will see change.

    Until then, continue on like sheep to the slaughter.

  2. Let’s talk economy!

    “Venezuela’s oil output is collapsing, making it unlikely the South American country can benefit from rising global prices for oil and increasing the chances of a debt default this year that could turn its economic crisis into a humanitarian disaster.

    Production fell 216,000 barrels a day to 1.6 million in a month to December, the 15th consecutive monthly decline, according to data reported by Venezuelan government to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries released Thursday. During 2017 as a whole, Venezuelan output fell 649,000 barrels a day, a decline of 29%.

    This ranks among the deepest declines in the industry’s recent history.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/venezuelas-oil-industry-takes-a-fall-1516271401

    • But the new shmuck in charge of PDVSA claims they’re way up for December. I think the number he quoted was they were at 1.9 mil barrels per day. Don’t remember.

      Of course, any idiot knows this is impossible, especially considering the HOLIDAYS when so many people just aren’t working in the first place.

    • MR, The first million barrels per day of production are committed to loan payments, subsidized domestic consumption, aid to Cuba and other Petro Carib members. Actually I think it is a little over 1.1 million but it doesn’t matter. PDVSA is paying lift costs on 3 barrels to get one to sell. The sale price may not be covering the lift costs. Before the Bolivar collapsed, lift costs were reported to be around $27.56 per barrel. The highest of any OPEC member. PDVSA has lost around 50% of the oil available to them for export sale.

      In other news the shipper has one of the other packages. I’m not sure who it is for. Either you or Vicky. I paid the freight on that package and the onion seeds yesterday. Hopefully by the end of next week they will be available for you to arrange the final leg of the journey.

      • I know China had allowed the Maduro regime to suspend their oil payment for outstanding debt. Also, aid to Cuba and Petro Carib has been significantly reduced. (I think for some islands they are no longer getting anything, but I can’t remember where I read or heard that).

        Regardless of the above, they are certainly broke. The recent uptick in oil prices does them no good considering their production has plummeted much in recent months (and is now less than half of what it was a decade agoo).

      • John, as per Albornoz in Naky above, don’t count on your onions or other agro products getting to intended markets; Tachira producers say they wont even send their production East due to poor road conditions/hijacking/public sacking….

  3. “Foreign ministers of Mexico and Chile not available that day. Opposition refuses to meet without international mediators.”

    So are these guys finally realizing how useless these talks are?

  4. Police supervisor Andriun Domingo Ugarte Ferrera, AKA Heyker Leobaldo Vásquez Ferrera, leader of the colectivo Tres Raíces del 23 de Enero, sought for several years for numerous crimes including murder. Best way to hide a tree.

  5. All this “dialogue” is pure BS which all three (MUD, Govt. and mediators) sides have a surplus. Soap Boxes, saber rattling and hot air.

  6. Did anyone notice delcy is talking about CNE matters? What happened to tibi? There were some rumors in december that she had died. I wonder if they are actually true and she’s getting the chavez treatment now

  7. So Delcy talking about the CNE? where’s tibisay? there were some rumors in december that she had died, I wonder if they are true and she’s receivign the chavez treatment right now

  8. That’s a whole lotta pallbearer in that picture. Life must be pretty good for the Chavista faithful… a tub of lard that size clearly hasn’t been on the Maduro diet. He must be pushing 150kg! I didn’t know they made uniforms of that size!

    But, the good news is he won’t be chasing any protesters down the street anytime soon. Or hiding in a tiny little spider hole when Chavismo’s time is up.

  9. I don’t have a documented source, but the word on the street was that while the media was covering Oscar Perez’ death, there was 1 tonne of gold being transferred to China.

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