Silence After The Fire

Your daily briefing for Saturday, March 31, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: La Capital

It’s been two days since 68 people died in Policarabobo dungeons and Nicolás only tweets about the Holy Week; Interior minister Reverol shares information as if he was the Head of Civil Protection and Prisons minister Varela got stuck in the joy for former Peruvian president Kuczynski’s resignation. Imposed prosecutor general Saab shares messages from a zen buddhist nun, while TSJ chairman Moreno left his condolences as the last activity on social media. Forgetting that the Prosecutor’s Office must take the lead in these circumstances, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement requesting an investigation to determine the causes and culprits of what happened at Policarabobo HQ, although judging by how the note develops, it seems more like an excuse to reject the statements of the UN Office of the High Commission on Human Rights, calling them a “multiform aggression” against the country. The same people who demand “the implacable and firm application of justice,” forget that the UN has a founded opinion about the situation of Venezuelan prisoners based on their investigations and the contributions of NGOs dedicated to the subject. According to the Foreign Ministry, the regime has agreed to make reparations to the victims and their families “in compliance with the Constitution.”

Sometimes, silence is best

Only the Education minister, Elías Jaua, broke the official silence to offer an alternate interpretation of empty shelves as evidence of shortages, which he considered an isolated issue, although we’ve been facing it for over a decade. Jaua claimed that the shortages haven’t diminished the guarantee of the right to food. And how does he know that? Because “if the Venezuelan people wasn’t eating food, shelves would surely be full.” He added that thanks to God and the revolution, people has the right “to eat meat, chicken, milk, which they didn’t have 10, 14 years ago,” in other words, amidst the oil boom and with Chávez still alive, but before that, he spoke of the challenge of producing more food in view of the growing demand and the possibility to purchase them, with this minimum wage and these prices! This minister’s brilliant.

Searching for enemies

PSUV released a video explaining their replica of the Cuban Committees of Republican Defense (CDR), called the Network of articulation and socio-political action (Raas). The video urges PSUV militants to understand dissidents as a “historical enemy,” despite the fact that minister Jorge Rodríguez has been parroting “peace” like crazy in recent interviews. The most important defense task that PSUV militants must develop is a “door to door” map to define the socio-political status of their neighbors. With that map, they will: identify the “historical enemy”; unite to “face it”; eletate the “will to fight” against it and, organize and train to “defeat it.” The party says that the basis for this network lies on the 5 Strategic Lines left by el finado (in addition to the Decalog of the UBCh,) which will create a bond and an organic structure to strengthen this catastrophe on all fronts. Each tweet issued by PSUV’s account about the network is addressed to Nicolás, Diosdado Cabello and Francisco Ameliach. Now, being a snitch is a noble task, or perhaps the victory of Nicolás the popular is impossible without fear?

All that glitters

Several journalists denounced that this Wednesday, 2.1 tons of gold departed from the Maiquetía airport on an AirBus -code A6-RRJ- bound for the United Arab Emirates and that the Armed Forces escorted 57 boxes containing the metal, which should be an scandal, considering the material sent and the opacity of the method. Computer scientist Jesús Lara wrote that, aside from the load, the AirBus A6-RRJ’s routes are strange, inquiring whether this was a commercial airline, because this time the plain left Dubai on March 26, landed in Caracas at 2:00 a.m. on March 27, and left bound for the Bahamas on March 28 (where it remained for two hours,) later departing for Dubai via Belfast. Mercedes de Freites, from Transparencia Venezuela, remarked: “Without the National Assembly’s consent, without a sale report, without telling which bank will receive the payments for that gold, without control of how much is being exported, at what price… is someone in the State recording this information?”. Questions without answers, about the possible embezzlement carried out by those who still denounce the embezzlement the Spanish carried out back in 16th century.


  • Peru’s Foreign Minister released on the website of the Summit of the Americas, the list of invited presidents. Nicolás isn’t one of them, unlike his buddies Raúl Castro, Daniel Ortega, Evo Morales and Tabaré Vásquez.
  • The Venezuelan Foreign ministry reacted to Guyana’s action with a statement saying that on March 28, they senta  Diplomatic Notice to Guyana’s Foreign ministry rejecting the stance of UN secretary general António Guterres, objecting to judicial settlements as a means to solve the territorial controversy and proposing to resume diplomatic discussions to reach a satisfactory solution.
  • In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El País, IMF director Christine Lagarde said: “Venezuela is the saddest story in the continent. In four years, its GDP has dropped by 40%; it’s experiencing a humanitarian crisis which its government denies. I don’t know how this will be solved, but the country will need humanitarian and financial support, a complete reanimation.”
  • Cuba’s Central Bank urged calm in view of the fake rumors that one of the two currencies circulating in the country (the Cuban peso and the convertible peso) would be imminently removed in the process of monetary reunification. Sound familiar?
  • Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro claimed: “If you ask me whether Maduro is a dictator now, I’d say yes.” He compared Nicolás’ performance with Chávez’s (the spotless), and then he said that Nicolás lacks the operational capacity; “he kills” and has completely shut down democratic spaces: “That’s a dictatorship,” Petro said, while facing a scandal for the university degrees he apparently forged.
  • Exiled prosecutor Luisa Ortega Díaz backed the list created by Panama’s Economy and Finance Ministry and said that it should be replicated by other countries in the region. These are “positive actions aimed at financially dismantling the groups of organized criminals clinging to power in Venezuela,” disregarding how long she was a part of them herself.

Hell does exist, my friends. The Vatican reprimanded 93-year old Italian atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari who, according to the Holy See, didn’t make a “faithful transcription of the words of the Holy Father.” Scalfari asked the Pope where do evil souls to be punished. The Pope’s alleged reply was: ““They are not punished. Those who repent obtain God’s forgiveness and take their place among the ranks of those who contemplate him, but those who do not repent and cannot be forgiven disappear. A hell doesn’t exist, the disappearance of sinning souls exists.” This is the third time that the Vatican has reprimanded Scalfari’s articles about the Pope.

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.