Justice for Linda Loaiza

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Conciencia es Noticias

The first Venezuelan woman to expose a case of gender violence before the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACHR), demanded that all judicial operators, prosecutors and judges who were in charge of her case be punished, and restated her request to hold the Venezuelan State accountable for the failure of justice. Loaiza was systematically abused by Luis Carrera Almoina for four months. IACHR chairman Francisco Eguigueren said that the Venezuelan State is responsible for failing to exert appropriate and proportionate punishment for the extreme violence Loaiza had to endure. The lack of disposition is partly explained by the political contacts of Luis Carrera Damas, the culprit’s father; who got Carrera Almoina acquitted in first instance in 2004, and it would take six years for a second instance to sentence him for deprivation of freedom and body injuries, but he was still acquitted of rape and attempted murder. The worst performance of the hearing was offered by the “expert” invited by the Venezuelan State, Argentinian María Lucrecia Hernández, who worked with chavismo for several years and who, among other things, ratified that Loaiza made a mistake by not filing her accusation against Carrera Almoina before the proper authority. I’ll spare you the names I’d call this generous woman. My admiration for Linda and her enormous temperance and effort to reach this space and give her testimony.

Returning on foot

There was a nearly four-hour long power outage in Caracas, Vargas and Miranda, further complicating an already chaotic day, starting with transport. As usual, Electric Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez claimed that the outage was due to an act of sabotage when a power transformer’s wires were cut, causing an explosion and a fore in Santa Teresa substation in Valles del Tuy, where “sabotage” had already taken place last December.

Was there an agreement?

Shortly before 11:00 a.m., the Dominican Foreign Ministry said they had received confirmation that the parties were resuming negotiations. Soon after, the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD) restated the four demands they’ve been making from the start: free elections, humanitarian channel, recovery of the National Assembly’s functions and release of all political prisoners. Many hours later, when power had returned, an exhausted version of Minister Jorge Rodríguez was on TV signing a document summing up accomplished agreements. However, Rodríguez blamed the lack of an agreement to “a call from Bogota,” not from President Juan Manuel Santos but from U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson; so he was signing his own words, as usual.

No, there was no agreement

Julio Borges’ statements were cut by state media, but they were reported by other outlets. The opposition representative restated that they won’t sign an agreement in detriment of the Venezuelan people, promising to work on the document they received, because among other things, they’re facing “a government that’s here to rob Venezuelans of their rights.”

Take note that, prior to both statements, Chilean Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz said on Twitter that the opposition was being subjected to “enormous pressure” to sign a document without guarantees.

In any case, they were scheduled to meet again today at 10:00 a.m.

A patriot without options

Costa Rica’s Public Security Minister Gustavo Mata said that he’d ordered ports and airports to prevent the eventual entry of Minister Vladimir Padrino López and his family to the country: “We’ve received intelligence reports saying that the minister’s family might seek to enter Costa Rica. He’s been linked with several crimes and we judged it wiser to prevent his family’s arrival,” said Mata, explaining that he issued the resolution based on his country’s immigration policy, which grants him the authority to prevent individuals who are investigated or wanted for various crimes from entering the national territory.

And so, Peru

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski graciously accepted Tillerson’s praise for Peru’s leadership in the Lima Group to tackle the collapse of Venezuelan democracy, saying that in addition to this monitoring, they believe humanitarian aid for Venezuela should be strengthened “because otherwise we’ll have a country with very serious problems amidst a developing region.”

Meanwhile, the congressional caucuses for Fuerza Popular, Peruanos por el Kambio, Partido Aprista and Acción Popular signed a motion urging the Lima Group to mediate with the countries that will attend the Summit of the Americas to have Nicolás declared persona non grata:

“Maduro mustn’t be in the summit, but in the International Criminal Court answering for his crimes in Venezuela,” explained Gilbert Violeta, cautioning Nicolás that if he travels to Lima, he’ll be met with street protests.

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza didn’t know how to reply to these statements.

Colombia to manage

President Juan Manuel Santos asked secretary Tillerson to urgently restore “democratic order in Venezuela, because it’s the citizens who are suffering the consequences of a destructive dictatorship,” remarking the enormous repercussions that our crisis has for the region and restating that they won’t recognize elections without guarantees, the ones Nicolás would never attend “because he knows he’d lose.” Tillerson said that the humanitarian aid that the North American nation has been unable to send to Venezuela, in view of the government’s refusal, could be given to the hundreds of immigrants arriving to Colombia. Additionally, the Foreign Ministry issued a resolution extending the registry for the Special Stay Permit (PEP), for Venezuelans who had entered the country prior to February 2, 2018.

Brazil, the other border

Four Brazilian government ministers will travel this week to Roraima state, which has received hundreds of Venezuelans in recent months. Social Development Minister Osmar Terra explained the critical situation in Boa Vista, where they’re even considering to build a special area to receive Venezuelan immigrants, as well as the census to be carried out in coming weeks. Aside from this, the Brazilian government also issued a statement about the invalidation of party Primero Justicia, summing up the abuse as an “evidence of the authorities’ most profound disdain.”

Osmel Sousa announced his retirement from the Miss Venezuela organization, which he led for over 40 years.

Naky Soto

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.