Photo: Provea

A declaration that sums up the magnitude of our health crisis, denouncing the circumstances we didn’t choose, the responsibilities that must be established and the conditions that must change. This government is incapable of guaranteeing something other than its own permanence in power, that’s why life is accessory to them, just like the remaining human rights, but it’s quite different to listen to the testimony of someone who knows death is imminent, without finding a single shred of hope around.

#NoQueremosMorir was used this Thursday beyond the protest in the Sadel square, by people who exposed their conditions and fears on social media.

Letting people die for lack of medicine and supplies is a decision of the State and they’re right to demand investigations on those responsible for such a slow and cruel genocide.

Exploring the barbarity

The International Criminal Court announced that they started a preliminary examination for the reiterated allegations of detentions and excessive force by State security forces during protests in Venezuela:

“Following a careful, independent and impartial review of a number of communications and reports documenting alleged crimes potentially falling within the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, I have decided to open a preliminary examination into each situation,” said prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, remarking that according to the Rome Statute, national jurisdictions are responsible for investigating, identifying and imprisoning those responsible for these alleged crimes. Prosecutor Bensouda pointed out that a preliminary examination isn’t a full investigation, but rather a process by which the available information is reviewed.

Imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab had the gall to reject the ICC’s decision, remind prosecutor Bensouda of her complementary role and claim that they’re handling biased information. He could’ve spared us the praise for Nicolás and this idea: “We’re not like other countries that have engaged in extremism and State terrorism against their citizens.”

Aside from this, the IACHR announced that their Report on the Situation of Human Rights in Venezuela will be released on February 12.

Expanding sanctions

Too early for our time zone, an overwhelming majority in the European Parliament asked to expand sanctions against Venezuelan government authorities and disregard the call to elections for April 22. The new sanctions would include Nicolás himself, his vice-president, the defense minister, other members of the military high command and the families of everyone mentioned. The plenary condemned the Spanish ambassador’s expulsion from Caracas; cautioned that they will only recognize elections based on a viable electoral timetable with equal, fair and transparent conditions for participation, also remarking their willingness to send an electoral observation mission. The European Parliament restated that all political prisoners must be immediately released and the extrajudicial executions of Óscar Pérez and his comrades must be condemned, as well as the arbitrary detention of Enrique Aristeguieta. Lastly, the Parliament urged the government to allow humanitarian aid access to the country, as well as international assistance organizations to operate in the country.

Imperial messages

During the National Prayer Breakfast, President Donald Trump denounced “repressive governments” in Cuba, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea, saying that the U.S. takes the side of all the people who suffer oppression and religious persecution.

Later, along with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales, he agreed to work to restore democracy in Venezuela.

Also yesterday, the U.S. rejected the call for presidential elections, denouncing the conditions imposed by the government “without guarantees to ensure free, fair and internationally-validated elections (…) the Maduro regime continues to dismantle Venezuela’s democracy and reveal his authoritarian rule.”

Sadly, they didn’t hear CNE rectora Socorro Hernández speak about the “merciless blockade” against the country that, according to her, justifies the call for early presidential elections, because: “We can’t continue in this chokehold.” That must be why UN ambassador Nikki Haley said that the agreement proposed by the government wasn’t serious, that the government never had the intention to negotiate in good faith or allow free and fair elections.

And at the Colombian border

President Juan Manuel Santos announced several immigration measures so that the arrival of Venezuelans to the country is “controlled, orderly and done in compliance with the law.” The measures include the installation of a battalion at the border to fight crime and regulate the access of immigrants, as well as stopping the issuance of Border Mobility Cards, demanding the immigration card or the passport from now on. The Special Immigration Group has the mission of guaranteeing respect for public space, prevent disorder, control prostitution, protect minors and impose sanctions on illegal immigrants. They will make a registry of the Venezuelans who are already in Colombia before the appropriate instances. Santos thanks the UN for the support in creating a immigrant attention center. He said to Nicolás: “These are the results of your policies and of your refusal to receive the help that we’ve offered in all possible ways,” once again urging him to accept them.

Other statements

In view of the call for presidential elections in conditions that won’t allow a free, fair and transparent process, the Lima Group convened a meeting for next Tuesday in Peru. It’s worth noting how Chilean parliamentarians rejected their government’s invitation for Nicolás to attend the presidential inauguration of Sebastián Piñera on March 11, clearly establishing that he’s not welcome in their country and that it’s an inconsistency for Chile to provide asylum for Venezuelan opposition leaders while inviting their tormentor. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Heraldo Muñoz restated yesterday that the elections convened in Venezuela don’t comply with minimal democratic guarantees and regretted the failure of dialogue in the Dominican Republic. Spain also expressed doubts about the electoral conditions, and Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said: “We would’ve preferred the date and the conditions in which those elections will be held to be the result of an agreement between the government and the opposition,” adding that invalidated parties and barred leaders aren’t a good signal.

Nicolás called for a signature collection to support his agreement with himself and he deemed it extraordinary. He asked MUD (the organization whose ballot he invalidated) and its parties to also sign, promising that if there are new matters to discuss, they’ll keep discussing: “I’m a man of my word,” he said. None of yesterday’s official statements answers to the political moment they’ve unleashed. This exercise transcends cynicism and the denial of reality, it’s another level of violence and arrogance that’s an assault against themselves, the only “protected” gang in an unprotected land.

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  1. Venezuelans are ingrates! Venezuelans used to be strong! They used to be brave! Now, all they want is the ability to purchase food and medicine, and access to basic freedoms that the rest of the world (mostly) has.

    What is important is The Revolution! Viva Chavez!

    Never retreat!

    (sarcasm off)

    Chavistas don’t care about little things like food and medicine. They have their eye on the prize!

  2. “The new sanctions would include Nicolás himself, his vice-president, the defense minister, other members of the military high command and the families of everyone mentioned.”

    Most of these fuckers have sent their families overseas to avoid the dangerous shithole the country has become and to live in luxury while tending the bank accounts that they continue to stuff with stolen Venezuelan treasure. It would be great to see all of thse accounts frozen until the monies could be returned to its rightful owner, the people of a free and democratic Venezuela.

    Caracas Chronicles editors, would it not be a worthwhile project to provide to the world information on who some of these family members are and where they’re living? That data would most certainly be examined by authorities with an interest in applying justice outside the country, not to mention doxxing their whereabouts would keep them looking over their shoulders constantly.

    And you want to talk about pressuring those at the top, imagine the wife and kids calling daddy every day screaming about bank accounts that are no longer available to them.

  3. I am happy Santos decided to include a call to not fall into xenophobia in his whole speech, but the idea that from now on only Venezuelans with passports or those cards (that he is not going to be issuing anymore) will be able to cross the border is … well, thats not going to happen. If what he is saying is that he will return all the others inmediatly thats also bad.

    I understand the situation has to start being a real problem from Colombia, but realistically speaking, prepare for it to be worse, not better.

  4. I have read here that Chavez’s daughter is the wealthiest person in Venezuela. Sanction her and freeze her accounts worldwide. That’s where the money is and perhaps she would split with Maduro. Divide and conquer.

  5. Mientras tanto:

    Mad Max violence stalks Venezuela’s lawless roads

    LA GRITA, Venezuela (Reuters) – It’s midnight on one of the most dangerous roads in Latin America and Venezuelan trucker Humberto Aguilar hurtles through the darkness with 20 tons of vegetables freshly harvested from the Andes for sale in the capital Caracas.

    When he set off at sunset from the town of La Grita in western Venezuela on his 900-km (560-mile) journey, Aguilar knew he was taking his life in his hands.

    With hunger widespread amid a fifth year of painful economic implosion under President Nicolas Maduro, Venezuela has seen a frightening surge in attacks on increasingly lawless roads.

    Just a few days earlier, Aguilar said he sat terrified when hundreds of looters swarmed a stationary convoy, overwhelming drivers by sheer numbers. They carted off milk, rice and sugar from other trucks but left his less-prized vegetables alone.

    “The best protection is to be submissive, hand things over,” said Roberto Maldonado, who handles paperwork for truckers in La Grita. “When people are hungry, they are dangerous.”

    However, all the truckers interviewed by Reuters said they knew of someone murdered on the roads – mainly during targeted robberies rather than spontaneous lootings.

    With new tires now going for about 70 million bolivars – about $300 on the black market or more than two decades of work at the official minimum wage – looters often swipe them along with food.

    • At some point the trucks will stop coming.
      When the robberies become so commonplace that there is very little chance of making any profit by hauling food to the markets, the trucks will no longer come.
      Of course the US will be blamed.
      The losses of packages transiting Venezuelan customs has made many shipping companies in the US stop shipping household goods to Venezuela. These thefts are not being committed by Collectives and street criminals. The shipments are being stolen by the government officials, police and soldiers.
      Venezuela could easily become the Somalia of the Western hemisphere. A collapse of the central government could result in warlords controlling individual sectors in the country.
      This would be the absolute worst case scenario. Bringing representatives of competing factions to a peace table and reaching an accord with various entities, each with their own interests to protect, is a daunting task.
      As the money loses more and more value, the influence that the central government has over the different power brokers is diminished. With so many military leaders in power in different parts of the country, a major rift in the military or even a military coup, holds the possibility of a civil war breaking out.
      What happens when the military that is now in control of the ports, oil production and procuring imports begins to have internal disputes regarding distribution of food, medicines and money? The upper echelon officers that witness some people enriching themselves at the expense of others may have their loyalty to the regime put under great stress.
      To the regime’s credit, the military has remained a cohesive force. The pressures that must be on the individual companies and their commanders makes me think that this can not continue.
      Mad Max may be a fitting analogy.

  6. Making public a list of government family members living in foreign countries would cause a hailstorm of trouble, more, I suppose, than CC is willing to bear. You’re basically outing people and leaving them as targets. Trouble, that….

    • Perhaps JL, though I’m pretty sure CC has published some information before…..names of family members, cities where they live, major purchases, companies formed etc. If those family members are clearly living off treasure that is not rightfully theirs, should they not be targets? I think they need to feel the heat, all of them. They’ve looted this country and too many of them go about their lives in tranquility while Venezuelans eat…….well, nothing, some of them.

  7. Rubiocito, I agree completely, of course. The fact is you can bet that the Chavistas are following every word written here because it is the one semi-objective take on the failed state they have created, and is a historical record of what is actually going down, sans all the socialistic hogwash and doubletalk. With Maduro and com. so compromised, it seems logical that if you go after theirs, you are open target for them to go after you.

    Cutting off all Chavistas from their burgled loot, and their freedom outside Venezuela, is a noble cause, but people should know going in what the stakes are. This is a mafia outfit at this stage – and the sober world knows perfectly well the charades that are going on in the name of democracy.

    It may be that Rex and amigos have garnered enough support to cut all Ven oil imports, so chasing after dirty family and purloined dough might not be necessary for the Maduro government to fall. With no liquid cash to pay off the military, how long do you reckon the bus driver will last? We keep hearing about Somalia and Cuban dictators hanging on long after the money was gone but those countries never had tens of millions of dollars a day in oil income suddenly go to zero.

    My sense of it the world community is ready to pull the plug on Maduro and they can do so through an actual economic embargo. And Maduro’s Petro won’t save him.

    But again, these people are like cockroaches who can apparently survive a direct atomic blast, so who the hell knows.

    • I wonder what the number is in dollars? Wonder what percentage of it was moved outside of Venezuela? Wonder what the laws are in the US, Canada, the EU, just to name a few, about how to identify those funds and recover them. I would assume that it wouldn’t matter that the money may not be liquid, as in dollars or euros in a bank account, that there’s a process to liquidate physical properties once identified and hold those funds until they can be returned to the country.

      Perhaps just talking about these subject here would be of benefit? In my opinion, if it did nothing more than keep one chavista leech awake at night worrying about when the hammer will fall, I’d consider that a minor victory.

      Today, I’m more confident than ever that Tillerson has other countries on board and that Trump will soon be given a list of options that allow him to directly squeeze Maduro’s balls.

  8. Today, I’m more confident than ever that Tillerson has other countries on board and that Trump will soon be given a list of options that allow him to directly squeeze Maduro’s balls.

    My thought exactly. Trump – for whatever else you can say about him – is not afraid to make a bold move, and NO move might be seen as impotency and complaisance at this point. Seems like the world is standing by, as usual, for the US to make a definitive move.

    Gonna get interesting moving forward. The sham election will probably not be allowed to happen. Maduro and co. are so used to acting with impunity within Venezuela that no telling what he/they will do when balls are squeezed.

  9. MRubio, yes, we need to go after enchufados abroad. However this regime will surely fall if poor people (as well as the resistencia) go after enchufados in Venezeula.

    Last night most all of the yachts at Venetur in Margarita were burned down. I have photos and video. Very impressive and an otherwise organized attack. Rumor mill says fishermen are sick and tired of no parts, oil, and zero security at sea. So they sailed into harbor and burned down all the yachts of the enchufados at Venetur Margarita (and maybe a yacht or two of a gringo (white foreigner), but the few gringos who are left are at el concorde). Other say it is an inside job of enchufados trying to hide the evidence from drug dealing. Others say it is the resistencia. I think it is the first one: angry poor fishermen going after enchufados.

    • “I think it is the first one: angry poor fishermen going after enchufados.”

      Hmmmm, I thought fishermen were one of the “sectors” of the new all-powerful ANC? They should have no worries, right?

  10. Also, more news from Margarita: “The Corrupt Opposition Governor got Bit Mike Tyson Style in Fist Fight with Chavista Thugs at Carnival Event at Conejeros” (government owns 50% of Sol de Margarita so this is what headline should really read)

    “Alcaldía de Mariño y Gobernación se adjudican estadio de Conejeros”
    Luego de la pelea entre el jefe del Ejecutivo regional Alfredo Díaz y el síndico de Mariño, Reinaldo Silva, se abrieron investigaciones penales por las denuncias de las dos partes y hasta se habla de allanar inmunidad del gobernador.

    Cant wait to see the videos that come out of this. Just read the news this morning hung over and drinking a coffee.

  11. Another: The El Nacional photo shows a lot of smaller craft on what looks like the other side of the marina. There was also that fire, January 20th. Plus of course the Imperio sabotaging the refineries. The Imperio must be getting really desperate to stop the world takeover by Maduro and his merry band of Chavistas. Man, thos eImperialistas!


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