Arreaza the Clown

For Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: MPPRE


Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza protested before the plenary of the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States for the inclusion of the Venezuelan case in the agenda. His tantrum didn’t work, so he pointed out that “Venezuela is leaving anyway” and that he was only there to fulfill his obligations until the country’s removal in April, 2019, as if that did anything for our situation’s decline.

He accused the OAS of being a multilateral sham and a circus; he blamed the U.S. for an ongoing 20-year long war; he attacked almost every authority who spoke and openly lied about the shortage of medicines, the number of people “burned” and the amount of votes with which Nicolás was “re-elected”. He proposed holding a forum about America’s electoral systems to study which is “more faithful, democratic and transparent” and blithely recognized that the release of political prisoners was Nicolás’s decision, evidencing that the Judiciary is subservient to the Executive Branch. This exercise in arrogance and vulgarity served as a portrait of chavismo, of their way of handling power and the reach of their violence even amongst peers and with cameras flashing all around. Arreaza showed the revolution’s true colors this Monday.

The others

“We must have a dictatorship-free continent,” said secretary general Luis Almagro as the Assembly started and similar ideas were expressed by Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie, who requested the application of the Inter American Democratic Charter, remarking that the OAS’s mission is protecting democracy and the Inter American Human Rights System, which have been violated by the Venezuelan government. The United States’ chief diplomat Mike Pompeo called for suspending Venezuela from the OAS and urged the countries to keep pressuring Nicolás “until he takes the necessary measures to return to a genuine democracy.”

The recovery of democracy and institutionality, the disregard for the May 20 process and the concern for the ongoing Venezuelan migration were a constant in OAS members’ speeches. Two speeches sealed the necessary beating for Arreaza: Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland criticized the inconsistency of waving the flag of anti-imperialist struggle as if the OAS was working toward that goal, when he’d have to answer for the human rights violations against Venezuelans.
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Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero said: “If this is the way in which Foreign Minister Arreaza treats the diplomats of other States, imagine how he treats Venezuelans who suffer his dictatorship’s hunger and repression.”

Downfall or protest

Luisa Ortega Díaz uploaded a video on Twitter announcing that she’ll send to the National Assembly an Amnesty Law Bill for civilians, police and military officers who “are working toward recovering democracy in Venezuela,” because according to her, it’s a “historic obligation” for legitimate institutions to create “the necessary conditions for toppling the tyranny.”

Ortega said that those who work for ousting the regime have her judicial protection and, with Bolívar as an inspiration, she encouraged conspiracies against “the criminal organization that usurps power and uses them to kill their own people.” With less showmanship, the spokespeople for the Broad Front for a Free Venezuela called for another protest this Friday and that those who protest daily for service issues, transport or food, do so wielding regime change as a condition for improvement. Once more, they didn’t reveal the rallying points so that the government doesn’t block them. About the release of some political prisoners, Víctor Márquez said that they were caused by national and international pressure against the government.

Amazing chavismo

Arreaza played the clown, but Nicolás had to surpass him. He said (as an achievement) that this is the last OAS session where a Venezuelan foreign minister participates, claiming that when Venezuela’s fully out, “we’re going to establish a national holiday, we’re going to declare a public holiday for the entire country,” adding that they’re only wasting time at the OAS, “it’s useless, sadly, it suffered a setback and has become the U.S.’s own Ministry of Colonies.” Ecosocialism and Water Minister Ramón Velásquez explained that the terrible water supply crisis can be explained with: the economic crisis (caused by blockades), the mafias of cistern truck owners (who damage the service to force people to resort to them) and the “induced sabotage” (people who steal equipment from pumping stations); so he asked citizens to avoid excessive consumption to reduce the impact of shortages. PDVSA notified several international customers it will not be able to meet its full crude supply commitments in June, as reported by S&P Global Platts: out of the 1,4 million contracted bpd, PDVSA only has 694,000 bpd available to export, affecting buyers such as Nynas, Tipco, Chevron, CNPC, Reliance, Conoco, Valero and Lukoil, who will receive a part of the volumes established in their contracts. Without offering an explanation, the Vice-president’s Office revoked the exclusivity granted by the Cryptoassets Bureau to the companies Bitmain Technologies de Venezuela and Corporación Criptosoft for importing digital mining equipment; they’ve got to expand the business.

Abroad

  • Tensions intensify in Nicaragua after a weekend with seven people murdered in violent clashes and complaints for an insecticide attack on Masaya. The issue of para-police forces is gaining traction, beyond the impunity that Ortega gives them. IACHR secretary Paulo Abrao confirmed 127 people dead in Nicaragua: “they’ve adopted new repressive practices that we hadn’t identified,” he said this Monday.
  • The violent eruption of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala has already caused 62 deaths, leaving hundreds injured, plus all the destruction of fauna and vegetation. President Jimmy Morales declared a state of calamity in affected departments, but on to of this, the Guatemalan coast suffered a strong 5.2 earthquake yesterday.
  • The International Air Transport Association (IATA) believes that the amount of airlines that still fly to Venezuela could be reduced even further if the country’s situation intensifies. Venezuela still owes $3,8 billion to airlines for repatriation of revenues.
  • In his first month in power, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s government has carried out 132 arbitrary detentions; nevertheless, Delcy Rodríguez thanked his firm support for the ANC, a body that sent representatives to the parliamentarian summit in Russia.
  • Ten years and ten months later, the $790,550 of Guido Antonini Wilson’s suitcase were left sealed like the case, without determining if it belonged to him or to kirschnerista Claudio Uberti, because the Argentinean Justice never came to open a single proceeding, while the U.S. arrested and tried three Venezuelans and an Uruguayan for acting as undercover agents for Chávez in Florida to buy Antonini Wilson’s silence.

The draft of the Resolution about Venezuela that Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, The United States, Mexico and Peru will present before the OAS General Assembly to be voted on Tuesday is already on social networks. We go on, my friends.

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