The Value of Information

Your daily briefing for Thursday, June 14, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Revista Clímax

This Wednesday, the Venezuelan Program for Human Rights Education and Action (PROVEA) issued the 29th edition of its Annual Report on the situation of Human Rights in Venezuela for 2017, detailing the setbacks, obstacles and threats against human rights in our country. In 2017, Provea registered the worst human rights indicators since 1989, without a formal armed conflict, but surpassing the victims of war-torn nations. “The complex humanitarian emergency, the institutional violence and crime have made the right to life the most abused,” says PROVEA, and they had testimonies by several experts for its presentation, who showed with verifiable data how Nicolás’s regime has emphasized exclusion, deepening inequalities, increasing discrimination and reducing the right of participation in public affairs.

Just one

Susana Rafalli, researcher for Cáritas Venezuela, explained that during 2017, food imports fell by a 52%, without any increase in domestic production: “Nine of every ten Venezuelans couldn’t afford daily food requirements,” she said. But also, eight of every ten Venezuelans said to have eaten less because they have less food at home or because of scarcity and there was a 100% increase in figures of acute malnutrition in children under five years old. According to the FAO, the amount of starving citizens recorded in 2016 in Venezuela increased by 1.3 million, which means 1,800,000 Venezuelans are going to bed hungry. For Rafalli, the government’s regulations led “to the erosion of the right to food and the consolidation of social control mechanisms,” a control imposed for political reasons, not to respect any human right.


Civilis sociologist Jo D’Elía said: “there are over 2,000 measles cases in the country. 1,500 diphtheria cases across 23 states. There are 55,000 cancer patients who are resigned to death for the lack of supplies and treatment.” In 2017, there were 9,662 complaints of violations against the right to health, in a context where the Health Ministry stopped publishing official data. For D’Elía, the health humanitarian emergency caused deaths due to the prolonged and absolute deprivation from medicines. Additionally, 3,000 nurses left the public health system that year, which means our situation is unprecedented and “alleviating the devastating effects of the humanitarian crisis and the mass and deliberate destruction of the country’s institutionality” is a tremendous challenge. Nelson Freitez also made important contributions about the protests along with the father of David Vallenilla (one of the young men murdered during the repression in 2017) as a summary on official impunity.

Justice leagues

Through tweets, the Electoral Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in exile ordered prosecutor general in exile Luisa Ortega Díaz (removed by the ANC) to open the necessary investigations against National Electoral Council (CNE) authorities to determine their criminal liability in crimes of fraud against the electorate.

In their ruling, they also declare that the automated voting system is null and inapplicable and order the CNE to design and implement a manual system; they declare the inconsistency of the Electoral Registry and order the CNE to clear it up and update it and lastly, they urge the National Assembly to start the process to appoint new CNE authorities. Last night, the local TSJ Electoral Chamber rejected the challenge filed by former candidate Henri Falcón against the electoral administrative acts of voting tables during the May 20 presidential elections.

Despite the considerable likelihood of a ruling like this, Falcón accused the justices of “feeding the flames of the crisis,” vowing to go to “every international instance” to show this government’s illegitimacy, which many international bodies already know. He finished his messages praying to divine justice for the possibility of bringing down the corrupt, which was far more astonishing than all his previous tweets.

By the way: Last night Diosdado Cabello insisted on holding a recall referendum against AN lawmakers.

We, the migrants

The Colombian Constitutional Court ordered the State to provide healthcare for Venezuelans entering the country due to the crisis: “The integral healthcare of all the Venezuelan migrant population needs to be gradual, because it requires the State to carry out complex efforts and the availability of sufficient resources that won’t tax the system further,” the Court explained after studying the amparo filed by a 34-year-old Venezuelan woman, mother of a 2-year-old child. Meanwhile, Felipe Muñoz, manager at Frontera con Venezuela, explained that “over a million people have crossed from Venezuela to Colombia in the last 15 months, of whom 250,000 more or less are Colombian citizens, while 819,034 are Venezuelans wishing to stay,” adding that the Venezuelan population has spread through the rest of the country, that “this is no longer a phenomenon at the border alone.” For some reason, yesterday, the stances of the Chilean and Brazilian Foreign Ministries coincided. Minister Roberto Ampuero said that Venezuelans are responsible for solving our situation in a peaceful and negotiated manner, although the international community “must support some alternative” that seeks to end the crisis. His counterpart Aloysio Nunes restated that Brazil opposes “any kind of intervention in Venezuela” and even though there’s no democracy here, the crisis must be solved through “negotiation”, so it demands a diplomatic effort.


  • While U.S. President Donald Trump protested because oil prices are too high (criticizing the OPEC’s performance) the newspaper Antigua Observer reported that PDVSA suspended the shipment of 38,000 oil barrels to eight of the 17 Petrocaribe member countries due to the severe output drop and the declining operational capacity of its refineries. Don’t worry! The suspension doesn’t affect Cuba.
  • Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López met with Turkish ambassador Sevki Mütevellioglu to “review mechanisms for bilateral cooperation.” Padrino said that both countries “have opened paths and doors for deeper relationing (…) the geopolitical position of both nations gives us opportunities to complement each other.”

  • The Colombian Army reported that ten dissidents of the old FARC guerrilla died during a bombing at the border with Venezuela, specifically in Fortul municipality, Arauca department. The authorities accuse the group, led by AKA “Burro” of attacking a hospital in the region, along with oil infrastructure and the public force.
  • The Nicaraguan Episcopal Conference said that the dialogue between the opposition and the government will resume this Friday, after it was suspended on May 23 due to lack of consensus between the parties. The IACHR demanded the government “to cease the repression against protesters and dissidents, and investigate, punish and dismantle para-police groups and other armed third parties.” Apparently, there were setbacks with the call to a national strike, but it wasn’t cancelled.

The FIFA Congress announced that the United States, Mexico and Canada will host the 2026 World Cup, where 48 teams will participate for the first time in history. Meanwhile, the 2018 edition starts today!

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.