Releasing Hostages

Photo: Prensa Presidencial

The theme for this Thursday was the announcement of the start of releases of political prisoner, with all chavismo working on it; sadly, they’re really poor at publicity. Imposed Prosecutor General Tarek William Saab reported —without revealing names— that releases have progressed and will be announced after each case had been studied and recorded: “We hope that the opposition understands and interprets that elections and political debate must be above acts of violence,” said Saab before talking about the confiscation of 112 kilos of cocaine bound for Jamaica with the support of four National Guard officers. Last night, several opposition governors joined the show of Nicolás’s televised dialogues. The exercise concluded with governor Laidy Gómez’s statement explaining the re-elected president’s promise to review the cases so that releases could start today: “We vouch for the release of political prisoners (…) we propose the termination of those causes and the plan is that they will come through in the next 24 hours,” said Gómez, adding that the essential premise is “the end of political persecution in exchange for the end of certain violent actions isolated from the Constitution.” Minister Jorge Rodríguez ratified that “benefits will start” at noon today.

Defeating the shadows?

Representatives of various universities in the country and the Student Movement gathered in the Central University’s Aula Magna to express their condemnation for the May 20 process and call for unity to plan for the country’s reconstruction. UCV rectora Cecilia García Arocha said that Nicolás is facing a governability crisis, urging the opposition to learn from past mistakes and remain united in their plurality. Luis Ugalde, former rector of the Andrés Bello Catholic University, spoke of the convergence of four key factors: people’s dissatisfaction; the international community’s disregard for the government; the Armed Forces’ intervention to prevent “the fraud from perpetuating” and, the construction of a broad movement to demand Nicolás’ resignation and the restitution of democracy. Ugalde broadened the margin for the renovation, which must go beyond political parties and include citizens and democratic institutions. This was all taking place while Avanzada Progresista explained the reach of its new opposition platform and Henri Falcón announced his international tour to denounce the May 20 fraud. Therefore, the opposition now has three blocs: MUD-Broad Front; Soy Venezuela and Falcón’s nameless coalition.

Monitor de Víctimas

The National Union of Press Workers denounced that since yesterday, two newspapers will stop circulating due to the Alfredo Maneiro Editorial Complex’s newsprint chokehold: Las Noticias de Cojedes and Diario Los Andes in Trujillo, both with over 30 years of uninterrupted circulation in their regions.

During the first five months of 2018, at least eight newspapers have either shut down, reduced the number of pages or become weekly issues due to newsprint access restrictions. Monitor de Víctimas, a data journalism project that records daily homicides in Bolívar State and Caracas, with journalists from, El Pitazo, Crónica.Uno, Efecto Cocuyo, El Cooperante and Correo del Caroní, won “Best small data journalism team” in the Data Journalism Awards 2018 in Lisbon! “This award means that journalism in Venezuela is alive (…) and that the Venezuelan government is also failing in its attempt to silence and destroy journalists and independent media outlets,” said Monitor de Víctimas founder Ronna Rísquez, adding that journalists will always find tools and resources to “defend democracy, unearth the truth and keep telling people’s stories.”


  • Mariano Rajoy, head of the Spanish government, has fallen. With the votes of Basque Nationalist Party, Pedro Sánchez, general secretary of the Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE), has the chance to replace him starting next week, if the motion of no confidence continues to prosper. Rajoy could still resign his post —before he’s removed from office— deactivating the motion of no confidence and forcing king Philip VI to start consultations with political forces with parliamentary representation to form a new government or agree upon a call for early elections, as demanded by emergent party Citizens.
  • Amidst humanitarian emergency and blocking the access of international cooperation to the country, the Venezuelan government sent 12 tons of humanitarian aid supplies for Cuba. Chavismo’s sadism, that insatiable need to boast about their evil is simply bone-chilling.
  • OAS secretary general Luisa Almagro requested the International Criminal Court yesterday to open an investigation against the government for alleged crimes against humanity, submitting the report presented by the group of experts to prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

  • Venezuela’s deputy consul in Houston, Jarlet Sánchez, declared persona non grata by the U.S. in retaliation to a similar measure against Todd Robinson, refuses to return to Venezuela and has requested U.S. residency.
  • Nicaragua’s Health Minister Sonia Castro confirmed that 15 people died and 199 were injured between this Wednesday and early on Thursday’s morning during the protests. Roberto Rivas, chairman of Nicaragua’s Electoral Council, resigned yesterday. He held office since 2007 and was accused of being responsible for fraud in the latest elections. This allegedly negotiated resignation, has unleashed fierce criticism against Luis Almagro. Yesterday, the Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress asked the U.S, Mexico, Spain and other countries to block Nicaragua from purchasing weapons.
  • The U.S. State Department increased Venezuela’s risk level and openly recommends citizens not to visit the country. Already back on May 15, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had increased Venezuela’s sanitary risk, urging American citizens to “avoid non-essential trips” in view of the lack of medicines and supplies.

For a second year in a row, Ron Santa Teresa 1796 was awarded the double gold medal of the International Rum Congress in Madrid, which brought together rum industry experts and connoisseurs for a week.

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  1. “Representatives of various universities in the country and the Student Movement gathered in the Central University’s Aula Magna to express their condemnation for the May 20 process and call for unity to plan for the country’s reconstruction.”

    I spoke on Skype with an associate who is currently in Nicaragua, and things are blowing up on Ortega and his Cuban masters. The students, poor and oldsters are NOT backing down, as they see what Marxism has brought to Venezuela. The Turbas Divinas are the equivalent of the colectivos, and while they are fighting dirty to bring Marxism/Stalinism to full fruition in Nicaragua, the opposition is fighting fire with fire, and it is working to the oppositions advantage. The opposition REFUSES to take a backseat and “negotiate” from a position of weakness. And for what its worth, the church in Nicaragua is finally showing some BALLS.

    Someone in Venezuela could learn from someone in Nicaragua.

    Gathering together to wring your hands and plan for the future after Chavismo is MEANINGLESS unless you seize the opportunity to have that future.

    • Nicaragua Protest on Mother’s Day Kills at Least 15

      At least 15 people were killed during protests this week in Nicaragua, raising the death toll of the nation’s six-week political uprising to about 100, human rights activists said Thursday.

      The latest killings took place at a march on Wednesday attended by hundreds of thousands of people on Nicaragua’s Mother’s Day. It was held to honor the mothers of students killed at previous rallies.

      A leading Roman Catholic bishop called it a “massacre,” and the Episcopal Conference of Nicaragua, which had been mediating a national dialogue between the opposition and the government, abruptly ended the peace talks.

      “How can you dialogue with your assassins?” said Gonzalo Carrión, a lawyer at the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights, who said the police had opened fire on protesters. “This was the biggest rally yet. It was a homage to mothers who lost their sons at rallies in April and May, and they wound up adding 15 more mothers to that list.”

      The Nicaraguan Army said at least six police officers had been shot and wounded at the demonstration.

      The protest on Wednesday capped six weeks of what has been described as a national rebellion against the government of President Daniel Ortega. The government has denied responsibility for any of the deaths and insists that it is the victim of a vast conspiracy….The shootings by the police Wednesday prompted outrage.

      “The demonstration was peaceful,” said Juan Sebastián Chamorro, a negotiator on the national dialogue committee. “There were children there. It was a peaceful manifestation that ended up with people shot in the head and killed deliberately by snipers.”

      Guillermina Zapata, 63, said protesters had told her that the bullet that hit her son, Francisco Javier Reyes Zapata, 34, came from a sharpshooter perched on the top of the national baseball stadium. Mr. Reyes was struck in the eye and died, she said.

      “They have to go,” Ms. Zapata said of the president and his wife, Rosario Murillo, who is also the vice president. “He is a murderer, and a murderer cannot continue to govern Nicaragua. They have to leave. I believe that dialogue is no longer an option. That’s sitting down to talk with the devil, who is killing the people.”

      As the peace talks started two weeks ago, student protesters, in a televised spectacle, interrupted, chanting the names of the dead.

      More at the link. The article points out that the protests started in April when the government changed the social security system: higher contributions and less pension money paid out. Most likely the finance change in the social security system was a response to the reduction in Chavista $ sent to Nicaragua.

      The government backed down on the change to the social security system, but the protests continued.

        • Funny thing! I am going to the range today to shoot one. I doubt I will be impressed, as my own rifles (while not military) are designed for long distance accuracy. The cartridge of the Dragunov is 7.62 x 54… its like throwing a softball for anything over 200 yards, and the MOA/muzzle velocity is outrageous when considering distance shooting. I shoot 6.0 Creedmoor.

          Then again, military rifles aren’t designed that way. They need to shoot a lot of lead downrange and be durable, and I am sure the Dragunov qualifies.


        A light bulb should go on above the head of Venezuelas opposition “leadership”.

        It is a total shitstorm for Ortega in Nicaragua right now. My associate says that in recent days, the ranks of the local Nicaraguan version of national police have been filled with Cuban accent speaking types. There have been HUGE defections from the local police forces as they are refusing to shoot at their own people. That sort of thing doesn’t seem to bother the Cuban accent speaking types who are now in leadership positions.

        Also, every single medical/educational mission to Nicaragua has been halted. Even the most left wingish colleges aren’t sending their “change the world” little minions in to embrace the culture. I wish they would… I’d love to see some of those 20 year old lefty twats get a truncheon across the chops from one of their fellow Marxist true believers from Cuba.

        I hope the best for the Nicaraguan people. They are appreciative and generous to a fault, but the FSLN leadership are scumbags, and beholden to the Cubans. If not actually Cuban.

  2. “Saab before talking about the confiscation of 112 kilos of cocaine bound for Jamaica with the support of four National Guard officers.”

    I guess the four National Guard Officers did not pay the appropriate bribes to Tarek and Nicolas. Now the same 112 kilos of cocaine will take another 2-3 days to get to Jamaica.

  3. The news cycle from Venezuela has the most fascinating pieces in talcual

    This one describes the interpretation of reality according to a Chavista fanatic. What is certainly interersting is that even those committed Chavista are ‘pasando trabajo’.

    And then there is the Chavistas apparatchik ‘pidiendo cacao’ because he doesn’t want to return to Venezuela.

    And then there this morning conversation with Tio E. For a highly educated man, he seemed to be only able to use ‘mierda’ and ‘mierdero’ as he described how life was. Just for the record, he never supported Chavismo so he is a real victim of tropical mierda.

  4. Where did those 12 tons of humanitarian aid gifted to the Cubans come from? You wonder if the Chavistas have a lit of stockpiled food in warehouses that they will release along with some political prisioners. The charm campaign is coming. Hopefully no one will be so gullible as to believe it.

  5. I would like to be a fly on the wall to hear what Sanchez is offering in return for a green card.
    Although the regime revoked his diplomatic status, he didn’t apply for refugee status.
    This complicates his situation. He could have defected earlier and not be in the gray area he is in with State and Justice.
    There are many places he could have gone. Why stay in the US?
    Interesting. Very interesting.

    • He probably got greedy. Why forgo a comfortable living in hard US currency and risk ‘limpiar pocetas” (Maduro dixit)? So he wanted to ride the gravy train as far as he could.

      It’s like the soldier or policeman that is trying to become refugee by claiming that he was tasked with the murder of Guanipa, but he was too upright for that so he fled and now need refuge.

      The US should negotiate refugee status for those guys in Central African Republic or Libya or some other comparable hellhole.

    • I don’t see how Sanchez would be allowed to stay in the US. If he had made his request being being sucked into the diplomatic tit-for-tat he might have had a chance to have his request approved. All he will likely accomplish is show the current Vz diplomats what they need to do ASAP.

      • Big mistake if they let him stay. Not worth any PR value for the U.S.

        He’s Chavista scum and should be forced to return.

  6. “Venezuela’s deputy consul in Houston, Jarlet Sánchez, declared persona non grata by the U.S. in retaliation to a similar measure against Todd Robinson, refuses to return to Venezuela and has requested U.S. residency.”

    This is one of those things when you say, “You just can’t make this shit up.”

  7. Jarlet Sánchez presents an interesting case. A fundamental aspect of Chavismo is the belief that they will never have to account to anyone but themselves about anything whatsoever. So what happens with a professional Chavista rides the gravy train till it is no longer convenient, and decides to step off? Does he not – in the case of Jarlet – escape having to account for being a Chavista lackey for however long, of being part of the problem, if only through passive consent?

    Tough call. I’d wager they send him back to face the piper, which ironically, is Chavismo itself.

    • Why he would be rewarded with US residence is puzzling. I can only assume that he has something to offer in return. Perhaps he knows where a big chunk of those capitalist, imperialist Dollars are hidden.
      Things must be bad in Maduro country if he would rather stay and become a slave to capitalism.
      The regime revoking his diplomatic status allows one to infer that he is no longer in good standing with them.
      The recent kidnapping and torture of family members may make him fear for his family’s safety also. There is no mention of whether he has a wife and kids with him in the US.
      The flip side of the coin could be that if he returns, the regime may want to extort whatever money he has amassed from him and use his family to do it.
      Like I said, I would love to be a fly on the wall to hear the negotiations. If the Green Card application is denied, it will be interesting to see if he then seeks refugee status.
      The only situations that I recall that were similar were during the Cold War. The CIA, FBI and State were already involved with the people seeking asylum / residency. Sometimes they were big names but many times they were nobodies that had access to sensitive information and had cooperated before the granting of asylum.

        • I doubt any VZ diplomats in Houston know anything that the U.S. doesn’t already know.

          More important, what more is there to know about this corrupt dictatorship? Don’t we know enough already?

          Sanchez sounds like Himmler as the war was coming to an end, trying to negotiate a good deal with the Allies for himself, as the Nazi regime crumbled.

          Delusional in that case, and delusional in this one.

          • Ira
            I do suspect that he is offering something to save himself or his family.
            I just can’t see what it could be with the exception of hidden funds.
            The old saying that someone knows where the bodies are buried is meaningless in this situation. There are so many bodies that there is no need to know about any more of them.
            In the real world, it is almost always about the money. He is either trying to retain whatever he has amassed or he is offering info on funds not yet seized in an attempt to protect himself and his family.
            Possibly both.
            Oh to be a fly on the wall.
            Personally, I hope he is sent home. Let him face the consequences of being out of favor with the devil that he made the deal with.

  8. What is gained by the Opposition to get prisoners released, when the regime is actively grabbing new ones to replace them?

    Even the act of releasing some sends the message that he holds the power to release… and imprison, at will.

    • I interpret any prisoner release as a sign of weakness.

      Chavismo NEVER EVER makes a concession. If you add to this Godgiven Hair’s bitching and grandiose proclamations that he will never release spies and criminals and they just do it, it makes you think PSUV and the U (for unico) is not so unico anymore.

        • LMFAO!

          This-> “None of this worked, nor the Glasnost and less the Perestroika, the socialist economy went into an auger; unemployment, abandonment of agriculture, companies lowered their productivity, the phenomenon of high inflation appeared, the quality of life of the citizens came to a screech.”

          Lawdy Jesus, they pine for the good old days of repression and servitude, these Chavistas!

          The Soviet Union didn’t have any sort of quality of life in the Soviet Union (I visited in 1980), but by God, they had SOCIALISM (Chavismo) and Marx’ (Bolivar) and Lenin’s (Chavez) picture plastered every vertical flat surface. Life was as dreary, meaningless existence, but by God the Soviets (Chavistas) had a tough guy attitude and nobody told them what they could or couldn’t do!

          History goes in a great big circle… I guarantee the author of the above Aporrea rant “learned” all about the glory of the former Soviet Union from some leftist college professor fuck-wit who never worked a day outside of academia.

  9. @renacuajo67…an interesting read. Thanks.
    It is easy to forget how twisted their thinking really is but this serves as a reminder. So many younger people have no idea what the “iron curtain” or the Berlin Wall” were. When this regime falls at least there will be no wall that has to be torn down….the regime can’t afford to build one!

  10. @ ElGuapo. You have coined the perfect phrase to describe the majority of college professors and I don’t just mean on the “left coast”. Even here in mid America the college campuses are literally crawling with “leftist fuck-wit professors who never worked outside academia” as you so eloquently put it! And they are busy everyday indoctrinating their students.

    • You know what’s so nuts?

      The majority of us rabid anti-Chavistas here could hardly be called rabid right-wingers, yet we’re categorized as that by some members here, including this Knucklehead from Canada.

      And in colleges, that’s the teaching as well. It’s either full blown-out liberalism, and if you don’t agree, you’re a rabid right-winger. There’s no room for middle ground with them.

  11. “For a second year in a row, Ron Santa Teresa 1796 was awarded the double gold medal of the International Rum Congress in Madrid, which brought together rum industry experts and connoisseurs for a week.”

    The Vollmer family, though I don’t remember the exact spelling. I did work for them in 88 and 89, in the states.

    Obviously, they played Hugo’s disgusting game, making payoffs and not giving a shit about what happened to their fellow Venezuelans.

    Gotta sell that Selecto, you know!

    Makes me sick, and Alberto Vollmer, drop fucking dead.

  12. Nicaragua’s Health Minister Sonia Castro confirmed that 15 people died and 199 were injured between this Wednesday and early on Thursday’s morning during the protests.

    The anti-government demonstrations in Nicaragua began in April when the government made changes in the Social Security system: employed people had to pay more into the system, and retired people would get less.

    What was the cause of this fiscal belt-tightening? The end of the bonanza of Venezuelan oil money.
    From the Banco Central de Guatemalanforme de Cooperación Oficial Externa 2017_Mayo 2018:

    From page 18, Table 1, “Cooperacion Venezolana en el Marco de ALBA- TCP” we find out that $729.3 million of “cooperation” in 2012 fell to $102.4 million in 2017. That’s a reduction of over $600 million. PDVSA “loans” went from $551.3 million in 2012, to $558.5 million in 2013, to $30.9 million in 2017.

    Interesting that this aid gets called “cooperation.” As in cooperate with the gang or get your store windows broken?

  13. The latest coming out on the prisoner release is that of the 39, only 10 are actually opposition political prisoners. 20 are Chavista Collectivos who the put in jail for attacking a Falcon election event. The rest are a mixture of chavistas and common criminales.

    You just can’t believe ANYTHING the tell you.


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