Wooden terrorism

Your daily briefing for Thursday, April 19, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: @MIJPVenezuela

“We dismantled a terrorist cell that threatened the Republic’s peace,” said Interior minister Néstor Reverol this Wednesday, starting up the story of the second phase of Operación Gedeón, which ended with the execution of former police inspector Óscar Pérez and his team. This time, it’s about an innovative terrorist cell that compromised peace with wooden knives and guns, among other confiscated weapons. 10 people were arrested, including former political prisoners Vasco Da Costa and José Luis Santamaría, allegedly for financing a group specialized in recruiting minors for insurgent activities. Reverol explained that another detainee, Yorfran Quinero, confessed that he’d been trained for the urban ghost guerrilla. He’s thus accused of having placed explosives in Altamira to wound military officials during the protests of 2017. They dismantled a training center in Los Teques; a former DISIP officer who allegedly was an instructor in search for terrorist talent in the country was arrested in El Bosque (Chacao). The minister spoke of plans to place explosives in public institutions; he claimed that the detainees include those responsible for the fire in Corpomiranda warehouses and said that the main financier for this operation is a fugitive in Spain. Don’t worry, Reverol already requested her and th operations its search for weapons and further evidence.

Life, so irrelevant for chavismo

Lawmaker José Manuel Olivares denounced that two patients in the El Niño y El Mar Psychosocial Attention Center died of malnutrition and lack of medication, so he emphasized the urgency of opening a humanitarian channel to stop the deaths for lack of medicines and medical supplies, as well as food. There was a protest near Health Ministry headquarters staged by Venezuelan HIV patients, because the lack of antiretrovirals and the rest of the medication necessary to treat their disease threatens their lives, a marked shortage since 2009. They intended to meet with minister Luis López, but they had to make do with vice-minister Jessica Alemán, whom they delivered a document demanding the opening of a humanitarian channel. Codevida’s Francisco Valencia cautioned that if the minister does not offer a solution in 24 hours, they’ll protest in Miraflores to demand solutions from Nicolás.

 Wooden knives, titanium faces

While Rocío San Miguel, head of NGO Control Ciudadano, cautioned about the constant investigations between and from State intelligence bodies, imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab said that political dissidence was judicially persecuted during Luisa Ortega Díaz’s tender. As an example, he used the cases of Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Iván Simonovis. “I clashed often with her when I was Ombudsman, because she hated political dissident to the extreme,” said Saab, adding that they argued many times over the arrests and detention conditions of dissidents, blithely admitting that the former prosecutor “didn’t respect their legitimate right to a defense”; because just like corruption shows up even in his office and nobody apologizes, he knew about Ortega Díaz’s abuses but only now does he denounce them. Titanium’s not a good cosmetic for a cynical face. Hopefully, these statements will help the defense of so many unfairly imprisoned citizens.

Campaigning State

Now that chavismo’s databases are exhausted, Nicolás’ campaign team decided to promise others a pension they didn’t ask for: “Congratulations. Your pension request was approved by president Nicolás Maduro. More revolution with the carnet de la patria. Valid for V-.” Likewise the National Bureau for the Defense of Socio-economic Rights (SUNDDE) and the Libertador municipality’s Mayor’s Office decided to seize tons of food allegedly hoarded by a distribution company in Quinta Crespo (Downtown Caracas.) Without waiting for any sort of investigation, they put a show because everything will be handed over to the Local Committees of Supply and Production (CLAP) in Caracas, a compensation now that he boxes bring increasingly less products each time, when they arrive at all, always with delays. In the same spirit, last night Tareck El Aissami used Nicolás’ Facebook Live to repeat the story of the operation “Manos de Papel” and announced “an administrative investigation on Banesco,” because 90% of the bank accounts investigated by the operation were opened in that bank. Minister Motta Domínguez made up a cool (and original) excuse, blaming the failures of the national electrical system on sabotage. Next time, try to discuss these things with the community manager of Corpoelec’s Twitter account: yesterday he wrote that electrical failures were caused by “unstable weather conditions.”

The people says no

The Broad Front for a Free Venezuela announced that this April 21, they’ll start holding citizen assemblies across the country to demand free elections and that on April 27, they’ll call for a great protest against corruption. During the event at Los Palos Grandes square, lawmaker Stalin González said that the Constitution establishes that these assemblie’s decisions are binding and that public powers must abide by them: “Today Venezuelans don’t have food because expropriated companies stole all the money, today Venezuelan suffer blackouts in every sector because all the funds of the electrical system were stolen,” statements that he tied to Nicolás’ trial for the Odebrecht corruption scandal. University students called citizens to attend the National Youth Congress that will be held at the UCV today.


– After repeatedly denying it, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan announced the holding of presidential and legislative elections on June 24, a year and a half before the scheduled date. Sounds familiar?

Brazil’s Supreme Court gave 30 days for the government to issue an official reply to the request made by Roraima state to close the border with Venezuela after they claimed that their capacity to receive immigrants was overwhelmed.

Venezuela and Spain announced their decision to start the process of normalizing the diplomatic relations that were broken in January 2018.

– “I’m ready to restore relations and I want you to know it. There was a secret meeting today between delegates of the Panamanian and Venezuelan governments but no consensus was reached. If we need to meet in person, Juan Carlos Varela, let’s do it,” said Nicolás last night on his Facebook Live broadcast. Such a diplomat he is.

The Brazilian Justice denied the last appeal filed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva against his conviction for passive corruption and money laundering.

– President Lenín Moreno said that he’d decided to remove Ecuador as a guarantor of the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Army of National Liberation guerrilla group after the murder of El Comercio journalists and the recent kidnapping of entrepreneurs Vanesa Velasco and Oscar Villacís.

– On the other side of the world, the terrorist organization ETA reported that they’ll announce their dismantling in the first week of May.

The World Bank expressed its willingness to relieve the crisis of Venezuelan refugees in Brazil and Colombia, although there are no concrete talks to send institutional funds for that.

Journalist Román Camacho reported the shootout that broke out yesterday in a jewelry shop in the San Ignacio Mall, which caused no wounded or fatalities, caused by a mistake in protocol of the bodyguards of the daughter of TSJ chief justice Maikel Moreno. It’s at least ironic that this event happened the same day that her dad announced his participation in the plenary of Iberoamerican Judicial Summit, which he deemed “an unprecedented event for the country.” Unprecedented is these people’s need to be “recognized” even if it’s only by the amount of bodyguards accompanying them to buy jewelry in a country with hunger and without medicines.

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.