Releases and handovers

Your daily briefing for Sunday, 11, 2018. Written by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Panorama 

Dayana Santana, wife of José Díaz Pimentel, one of Óscar Pérez’s collaborators murdered at El Junquito, was released this Friday. She’d been detained at SEBIN Helicoide since July 26, 2017, a month after Pérez flew a helicopter over the offices of the Supreme Tribunal and the Interior Ministry. Alfredo Romero, executive director of NGO Foro Penal, confirmed that she’s barred from leaving the country and must report to a military court regularly. Douglas Pimentel and Ramón Delgado were also released with the same restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Spanish government decided to send two former high-ranking Venezuelan government officials over to the U.S. to be tried for criminal association and money laundering: former Energy vice-minister Nervis Villalobos and former Electricidad de Caracas Finance direct Carlos León Pérez. Both were arrested in Madrid on October 26 last year and are currently held at a provisional prison by order of the Spanish National Court. The U.S. also wants former PDVSA Security and Loss Prevention manager Rafael Reiter.

Empty insults

Considerably amping up the anti-Maduro rhetoric, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said last Friday on his Twitter account, that the Venezuelan Armed Forces should rise against the regime in rebellion, remarking that the would would support them “if they decide to protect the people and restore democracy by removing a dictator.” Even though she no longer holds a diplomatic office, Delcy Rodríguez couldn’t resist the urge to rain vengeful hellfire on Rubio with phrases like: “You don’t know the stock of our Bolivarian National Armed Forces, heirs of our Liberators!” and much worse. The senator must be fuming with anger, right?

But Delcy completely missed the statements issued by Todd Robinson, U.S. chargé d’affaires in Venezuela, who expressed support for his country’s economic sanctions against members of the Maduro regime: “I’m pleased to know that American sanctions identify and prevent Venezuelan corrupt officials and criminals to travel to the U.S., use our banks and do business with American companies,” he said. He also condemned the recently-convened presidential elections as “unilateral”, remarking that when they’re held in compliance with international regulations and laws, they’re “the essential pillar of democracy.”

Healthcare collapse

Representatives of Carabobo’s Nursing Association said that over 2,000 nursing professionals have resigned their posts in the last year, either to leave the country or to focus on some other activity to boost their income. The institution’s vice-president, David Torrealba, said that salaries are buried by inflation, causing as much as 500,000 nurses to leave the Dr. Enrique Tejera Hospital City, one of the largest healthcare facilities in Valencia: “both the public and the private sector have terrible salaries and they’re worth less and less every day […] a nurse in Venezuela earns Bs. 9,743.00 a day, you can’t by a single egg with that.” he said.

A new massacre

Journalist Pebleysa Ostos reported on her Twitter account, that a group of 17 men and one woman were murdered at the Cicapra mine in Guasipati, Bolívar state, after an Army incursion. According to the official report, the Armed Forces confiscated five rifles, a shotgun, seven pistols, three revolvers and two grenades. The victims were allegedly unidentified and they all had gunshot wounds. Journalist Germán Dam said that the bodies will be transferred to CICPC office and later to Senamef Ciudad Guayana. Once again, neither the Ombudsman nor the fake Prosecutor General have issued any statements on this new massacre.