Ongoing Releases

Your daily briefing for Monday, June 4, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: EFE

Although the Truth Committee and the Supreme Tribunal of Justice increased the amount of beneficiaries of the precautionary measures to 79, the second batch of releases didn’t have a formal list, so NGOs and the media built one as the citizens were being released. Delcy Rodríguez once again demanded a commitment from released prisoners to move away “from political violence, hate, intolerance,” while Tarek William Saab announced that there will be more releases this week “with the effort of the Rule of Law, the justice system.” Minister Jorge Rodríguez also demanded an end to violence, to hate crimes and even to “attacks against citizens for their skin color,” letting TSJ chief Maikel Moreno claim that they “continue to guarantee the access to justice, to due process and the respect for human rights.” Moving.

Who was released?

  1. Alexander Tirado: sportsman and student leader, also known as the “Cat of Aragua,” he was arrested on March 21, 2014. In March, 2018, Maikel Moreno himself ratified his 8-year sentence for the crimes of public instigation, public intimidation and criminal association.
  2. Candelario José Natera: arrested on July 30, 2017, Freddy Guevara’s driver was accused of alleged possession of subversive material.
  3. Franklin Hernández: technical trainer of a football team in Mérida, he was arrested on January 21, 2015. His case went through three courts and his hearing was postponed in several occasions.
  4. Gabriel Vallés: systems engineer, executive director of NGO “Operación Libertad.” He was arrested in 2014 by the Colombian government and deported to Venezuela without respecting due process. His defense has denounced the systematic violation of his human rights.
  5. Gilber Caro: National Assembly lawmaker, he was arrested along his girlfriend Steyci Escalona in January, 2017, violating his parliamentary immunity, alongside the rest of his human rights.
  6. Jovanny González: assistant of Barinas Legislative Council lawmaker Wilmer Azuaje.
  7. Gregory Sanabria: student of computer science engineering from Táchira, he was arrested in October, 2014, accused of conspiring for rebellion.
  8. Ignacio Porras: manager of a laundry shop in Chacao, he was arrested in April, 2014, during a raid without a judicial warrant; accused of criminal association, obstructing a public road and disobeying the law. His preliminary hearing was postponed 30 times.
  9. Jefferson Rodríguez Zerpa: driver of lawmaker Richard Blanco without any more information on the web.
  10. José Vicente García: councilman for San Cristóbal municipality (Táchira), arrested in October, 2016. His release warrant was ignored by his captors.
  11. Juan Carlos Sosa Marquina: arrested in October, 2017, without a judicial warrant. His defense demanded that the Prosecutor’s Office nullify the accusations against him.
  12. Manuel Cotiz: a student arrested on May 8, 2014, when the student camp transferred to the Alfredo Sadel square in Las Mercedes was dismantled. Accused along other students of instigating crime, criminal association and use of minors to commit crime.
  13. Oscar Millán: arrested along dancer Melanie Álvarez, by SEBIN officials who broke into his house in January, 2017, without a judicial warrant. He was isolated for 60 days. He was accused of obstructing and disrupting public order.
  14. Renzo Prieto: lawmaker arrested in May, 2014, by officers of the General Directorate of Military Counterintelligence (DGCIM), PNB and SEBIN, although the arrested warrant was issued after his detention. Accused of violence during 2014 protests.
  15. Rolman Rojas: teacher at the University of Carabobo and political leader, he was arrested on June 3, 2017.
  16. Tonny Real: Voluntad Popular leader in Aragua, he was indicted before a military court for the crimes of stealing Armed Forces’ equipment and instigating rebellion.
  17. Víctor Alonso Navarro: mass communication student, he was accused of criminal association and public instigation. He was isolated for over four months in El Helicoide and was a member of the Community Ambassadors Foundation.
  18. Wilmer Azuaje: lawmaker, arrested by SEBIN as the alleged culprit of violent incidents in Barinas.
  19. Raúl Emilio Baduel: son of general Raúl Baduel, arrested along Alexander Tirado on March 21, 2014, in Maracay and sentenced to eight years in prison. He was also held with common inmates in Uribana, where he was tortured and subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments, after which he was transferred to Tocuyito prisoner in 2014, later to the 26 de Julio prison and finally to the Cerra de Maracay.


There’s no information on the web regarding Edgar Gamboa Pugas (20) and Jerry Esteban Flores (21), although both are mentioned in the list of released prisoners. Even though he was added to this weekend’s list and transferred to the Casa Amarilla and to El Helicoide, engineer Roberto Picón was released in December, 2017. Despite the fierce discrediting campaign against him, the government never proved anything against engineer Picón, but he was kept with a foot shackle, he was barred from leaving the country and from offering statements to the media.

Red reactions

The government, not accustomed to diverse thought within its ranks, has sorted out the reasons for these released through encrypted messages, while some voices (popular for being radical) reacted on social networks demanding that life sentences be applied, more humiliating precautionary measures, declarations of regret and gratefulness from released citizens, and other barbarities that prove non-bot chavismo’s democratic streak, as they’ve questioned how their decision makers have lost credibility.

Briefs and serious

  • Through a statement, the government announced that the monetary reconversion was rescheduled for August 4.

  • Lima Group countries will present a resolution about Venezuela’s political and social crisis before the OAS General Assembly that will start this Monday, June 4. Depending on its reach, it could spark changes in diplomatic relations, the imposition of sanctions and visa restrictions; but the core of this statement is questioning the legitimacy of May 20 elections, demanding that access of humanitarian aid be allowed and that the National Assembly’s full authority be restored.

  • Along these lines, Carlos Trujillo, U.S. ambassador before the OAS, said that the United States has the necessary support to vote on a resolution to disregard Nicolás’s reelection and pave the way for suspending the country from the regional institution: “We have the 24 votes to approve the agenda and 18 (votes) to support and pass the resolution,” the diplomat said to AFP.
  • Chilean President Sebastián Piñera asked the OAS yesterday to carry out “an international action to reclaim the recovery of democracy and the respect for human rights in Venezuela,” through a letter addressed to secretary general Luis Almagro.
  • If you haven’t done it already, check’s work on Odebrecht’s videos, showing the statements of Euzenando Azevedo in a Brazilian court, including the confession about the $35 million that the construction company gave for Nicolás’s campaign and the confirmation that “Chávez died in Cuba.”

The alleged new price for public transport fees is Bs. 10,000. Absurdly disproportionate with regards to minimum wages and the shortage of cash. It’s just one of the many semi-lit fuses we have right now, just one.

The eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala has had serious consequences. Seven people have died already, 200 injured and 1300 evacuated, with ash in Amatitlan, Escuintla, Guatemala City and Chimaltenango, affecting over a million and a half people. The Aurora airport has shut down. They’ll need lots of help to overcome the consequences of this phenomenon.

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.