Photo: Caraota Digital

17 people died early this Saturday in the Club El Paraíso (Caracas), also called “Los Cotorros.” It was a party for students what was being celebrated in that windowless place, someone detonated a tear gas canister causing the panic of the attendees who far surpassed the cap for which the club was made: In a place for 150 people, there were over 500. According to witnesses, in order to evacuate it, they had to climb down a staircase and many attendees were trampled by the multitude that rushed to the exit. In addition to the deaths, many people were severely injured. The Corps of Scientific and Criminal Investigations (CICPC) is handling the case. While the students, some of them underage, were giving their statements at the corps’ headquarters, not even their parents could accompany them. In testimonies presented by journalist Beatriz Adrián, two attendees claim that the person who detonated the tear gas canister was a National Guard officer. The version presented by journalist Deivis Ramírez, also supported by survivors’ accounts, denies this claim.

Liabilities

According to Interior Minister Néstor Reverol’s phone reports, they’ve already arrested eight people, including three minors (one of them accused of detonating the canister) and the owner of the place. The Ombudsman’s Office decided to tweet that they’d monitor the investigations and the Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t issued any statements despite the gravity of the incident. Neither Minister Reverol nor the Ombudsman’s Office mentioned the State’s institutional responsibility for a civilian having had a tear gas canister. The fact that it was a minor and that he could enter the place with it make the situation worse, but the blame is on those who control that material. The case is a sad summary of the consequences of disrespecting the rules: The club’s capacity, prohibition on civilians to carry weapons, minors drinking alcohol and a long list of issues about which the authorities remain silent. By the way, 26 people have already died with the use of “perreras” as an alternative for this severe public transport crisis. And Nicolás? Giving the brass a wage hike.

Amazing chavismo

Nicolás insisted that a plan’s being set up from Colombia to cause an armed conflict between both countries, claiming that he ordered the Strategic Operational Command to take the necessary measures to guarantee sovereignty, asking the Colombian military and police to preserve peace and avoid “playing into the traps” set by president Santos “who wants to leave a military conflict incubating in favor of American imperialism against Venezuela.” Meanwhile, journalist Sebastiana Barráez,  specialist in military matters, said that military courts will summon María Corina Machado for her alleged involvement in a conspiracy, another alleged assassination plan against Nicolás, which Machado has been financing. The answer to this was an intense campaign on social media presenting testimonies in favor of María Corina. Contradicting the Ombudsman’s sensible story, according to which the relatives of Villca Fernández demanded that he be allowed to leave the country, Villca said in an interview that he was forced to leave the country, that they made him sign some documents (which he wasn’t allowed to read) before he left El Helicoide, and then told him that he was going to Maiquetía and that he’d signed an “agreement” for his exile. Zulia governor Omar Prieto explained the fire that broke out in Corpoelec facilities like this: “The storage yard of the Caujarito Operations Center was sabotaged by terrorists who ignited dielectric oil containers for power transformers,” another level of cynicism, another justification for Zulia’s electrical collapse.

Carissa the biased

Carissa Etienne, head of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), met with civil society representatives and doctors who explained the health crisis and the situation of complex humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, also presenting documents supporting their complaints and detail their demands to start solving the crisis. Etienne, denying the Health Minister’s version, said that PAHO hasn’t signed any agreements with the government to acquire medicines, but supposedly Nicolás ordered Minister Luis López to use resources to acquire medicines and vaccines through PAHO. Etienne, who blithely followed the official script about an efficient health system, later expressed her concern for the growing outbreaks of measles and diphtheria. Lastly, the good news is that the World Health Organization (WHO) discarded that the paralysis suffered by a child in Delta Amacuro was caused by the infection with the poliomyelitis virus.

Abroad

  • Yesterday, Costa Rican newspaper La Nación referenced an investigation of the U.S. Treasury Department that accuses Diosdado Cabello of allegedly using the Company Alunasa in Costa Rica for money laundering. Remember that back in 2000, the Venezuelan Corporation of Guayana acquired Alunasa and it’s been a part of the National Aluminum Corporation of Venezuela since 2015.
  • Paul Crotty, the New York federal judge leading the case of presidential couple’s nephews, rejected this Saturday a request by Efraín Antonio Campo Flores and Francisco Flores de Freitas to publish documents about a drug trafficker who testified against them. Crotty believes that doing so would expose other witnesses who already agreed to appear in court to even greater risks.
  • Mathias and Daryeli were the names of the children who burned to death along with their family in a fire caused by paramilitaries and policemen against a house in the Carlos Marx neighborhood of Managua, Nicaragua. Dictator Daniel Ortega denies all responsibility about the incident, but it’s another crime to add to the massacre he’s staged in order to stay in power. The dialogue resumed with a rosary of refusals to all the options presented by mediators: the IACHR’s presence, a visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and another from the European Union, as well as the end of repression and the immediate dismantling of paramilitary groups. Ortega said no to all of this, and negotiated options are blocked once more.
  • José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero is in Caracas for a brief visit that will end today. He told EFE: “I’ve met with Timoteo Zambrano, Vicente Díaz and Luis Aquiles Moreno,” as part of his role as mediator for “reconciliation”, adding that “once we commit with the task, we can’t abandon it” and claiming that he’ll keep working to ensure the release of political prisoners, although he exaggerated the total releases thus far. 142?

Colombia will elect a new president today.

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32 COMMENTS

  1. What a senseless tragedy. My sympathies to the families of all the victims. I hope they have caught the idiot that detonated the gas grenade or whatever it was. 500 people packed into a space built for 150! That was a disaster waiting to happen.

  2. This is another indication of the breakdown in civil order: Building inspections that don’t happen or inspectors that are bribed. Occupancy permits, whose conditions are ignored. Even the investigation of this tragedy is unlikely to be serious or lead to real conclusions or assignations of responsibility.

    My heart goes out to the families of these young victims.

    • It happens in the US too. It wasn’t too long ago (2016), in that bastion of uber-Liberalism, Oakland/Berkeley California, a warehouse converted into “artist collective” went up in flames, killing 36. Where was the giant, intrusive government that these artists were so fond of? Clearly, NOBODY in the artist collective had sought the necessary permits to even show art, let alone live and have RAVES at their domicile.

      And who did the victims blame? The Big Intrusive Government who wasn’t Big and Intrusive enough! Not the people who had the rave…

      Fear not. Maduro will have plenty of blame to go around, but none for the failures of his government. (after all, who doesn’t have easy access to tear gas?)

  3. I would think the owner/manager bears a lot of responsibility for allowing that many people into the place.

  4. To my father colleagues in the USA, I’m sorry to say that you think the USA working/thinking logic applies to Venezuela.

    In fact, this is what I call the McDonald’s mentality – the Burgers are exactly the same everywhere you go in the USA, therefore, same must be everywhere else in the world!

    In fact, it’s surprising that not many more catastrophic events take place considering the extraordinary anarchy of Venezuela. Nothing really new here.

    Talking about the responsibility of the crappie disco place (the owner). Even if there was ”liability”, in a civil case this event would follow the Civil Code.

    As far as I know there were not material damages, only a few dead people (sorry about that but it’s very similar here)

    And those are immaterial – to the disco owner – All of the dead party goers reps would go to a Civil Court as the owner didn’t cause the tragedy. A Criminal Court could punish the owner for breaking the many occupation laws and sends him to jail. But he’ll be soon free after paying off his compadres.

    A Civil Court judge could order the owner to pay money or a fine, but not beyond the actually sustained material damage to every party goer. A symbolic Bolivar Soberano would suffice.

    Besides this, if you read the local news in the enchufado newspapers, you would not see it on the first page. Much less all the dead people from riding perreras (dog haulers). Locally nobody cares, this is an ”act of God” and those involved had mala leche (bad luck)

    What a heck

    • “To my father colleagues in the USA, I’m sorry to say that you think the USA working/thinking logic applies to Venezuela.

      In fact, this is what I call the McDonald’s mentality – the Burgers are exactly the same everywhere you go in the USA, therefore, same must be everywhere else in the world!”

      I understand exactly what you’re saying Jose, and agree that we Americans often think everyone does it, or should do it, the way we do it. Guilty as charged.

      The first time I walked the streets of Caracas with the guy who would later be my country-manager, I pointed out this huge, deep hole in the middle of a sidewalk. I commented to him, “geez, that’s a lawsuit waiting to happen”. He’d lived here for many years and dryly responded that the presiding judge would simply say, “watch where you’re walking, dumbass”.

  5. @MRubio: on the opposite side, Venezuelan do not stop reinventing the wheel and adopting policies that they know upfront won’t work.

    For instance, I remember very well when the major of Valencia (a big town around 100 miles to the west of Caracas) came to visit a big city in Texas to see how our municipalities work. Guess what, they copied everything without understanding the need for some localization. Localization is not the same as ”tropicalization”, the latter includes bribing in great scale.

    Not surprising the test failed miserably and these fellows who I sincerely thought were beyond corruption became the first contributors to Chavismo – Chapter 1: divide people into bad and good, not rich and poor.

    In other words, Venezuelan politicians, government or opposition, believe the solution is simply to copy/paste solutions that prove to be OK somewhere else. The reverse of the McDonald’s mentality applied to everyone and everything.

    Now, the social tissue of Venezuela people has lost the bond that keeps everything together and there is no way back. That bond has been destroyed by all. Unfortunately.

    Thanks

  6. The amount of dead in El Paraíso club was 34 according to accounts of the relatives, the regime as usual is making invisible the victims.

    Also, it’s strongly suspected that the one that activated the bomb was a GNB trying to enter the party without paying.

    • Further supporting that theory, I saw a video last night saying he entered the party because his girlfriend was with another chamo at the party. He entered with a tear gas bomb and nobody checked him. So jealous typical c*$t who lets the power of his position get to his head. I hope he gets lynched.

  7. Too many people dead, Chavistoide crooks or otherwise. Condolences to their families.

    Yet one must suspect that many of the involved, dead or still alive, were corrupt, complicit party-goes. As most – not all – remaining “middle-class” and “upper-class” in Caracas’ Carcass probably are. (Or were they hard-working, honest people, out and about, having a good time on empty stomachs, on minimum salaries in bolival fuelte, dandonse sus whijkicitos?) Si, Luis.

    • It was a party organized by highschool students to gather funds for their graduation, so no, they weren’t “mean rich and corrupt that deserved to die”

      The only one who deserved to die was the GNB that activated the bomb, and he’s still alive and LAUGHING at the dead.

      • Poor kids, then. Their families and friends.

        Then again, a lot of those “parties” in such discos or joints these days are held for much less honorable purposes, largely by corrupt enchufados, complicit, average people, GNB’s or not, from all levels of whatever’s left of that largely putrid society.

        That’s what most people are too politically-correct to admit in public:The mass-scale thievery and desfalco in Kleptozuela is everywhere, perpetuated not all, but most people, at all levels. Esos, que se la calen. They don’t deserve a bomb and to be killed in some disco, much less these good kids, of course, but a lot of them do deserve extensive jail time.

  8. Party goers, That was. Now, the discos and bars and restaurants are still well attended sometimes lately? Even in El Paraiso? I heard Las Mercedes or El Cafetal are mostly deserted at night… People don’t have money anymore, or they aren’t masochists, scared to go out.

    And yet, some of those places are jammed with average pueblo-people, eager to spend money and party all night, huh? Or at least with enough to try and sneak in. Can’t help but wonder where does the wealth come from, at any level of the remaining Caraqueño mutant society. Maybe it’s Mango Season there too, as it is in Miami now, and they came across a good cosecha to pay for the nights out in El Paraiso and elsewhere.

    • Venezuelan style for abusadoras is to show up to a party that somebody else pays for all the curda (booze) and they cant even show up with a bottle of llava gallo (cheap rum). So in that case the question becomes, who paid for the party??? And how did they get their money.

      But I heard it was a 1,000,000bsf cover. Maybe everybody sneaks in their own booze…who knows.

      More details will come out over this case and way too many people were there and way too many died and were injured to let this settle. Too early to draw conclusions as of yet.

      • At the end, remember who the enemy is, the GNB that activated a tear gas bomb in a place chock full of people just because he didn’t want to pay for a beer.

      • My point is there are such parties everywhere in Caracas’ Carcass today. A few of them might be good, honest fun. Most are planned, carried out, supported and attended by corrupt pueblo-people and enchufados, everywhere, by the Millions nation wide. Complicit enablers of the ongoing tragedy. All over. They helped to build the crap where they now live. Not all, but most of them. Party on, then, at your own risk, in La Urbina, Prados del Este or Guatire. Now don’t say the cash came in from Mother Teresa to benefit some non-profit org. all night drinking rum. Most times it was STOLEN by the people themselves.

  9. My wife’s had family relative who said this during the 1994 Formula One race in Interlahos, hr was ambassador of Venezuela in Brazil during the 90’s: the egalitarian policies of Venezuelan socializing extremes will eventually kill all of us. A brother in law once said in the eighties: freedom of speech is making this country better off but when the freedom of speech of street hotdogs sellers is what decides policies to follow then we can say we’re all fucked up.

    What can you expect now? In the Venezuela of today, your worst enemy is education, respect, honesty, etc. Worldwide civility values have been thrown away.

    So keep the party going.

  10. I’m an animal how can I be discussing this point without feeling anything for the death. Sentido Pesame, shouldn’t I say? But, why don’t I feel anything is disturbing. I need to go see my shrink.

  11. Ven. partying isn’t the problem–in fact, few parties/little clubbing are being done due to the prohibitive cost of booze/nighttime horrendous personal insecurity/no public transportation/etc. The problem is typical Venezuelan IRRESPONSIBILITY ( 3x/+ capacity attendance/ booze sold to minors/ macho jealousy-anger/ illegal possession of tear gas cannister/ under-reporting of casualties/ impunity for wrong-doers). Venezuelan irresponsibility, ingrained in the culture/social ethos/even many laws, is the basic reason the Country is what it is today/probably will be somewhat like this forever.

  12. PDVSA closes production as its operations crumble
    Jun 18 2018, 7:38 a.m.

    By Nick Cunningham on Oilprice.com

    Now there are indications that your oil industry is entering a new and dangerous phase. Argus Media reports that PDVSA has begun to “proactively shut down oil production to cope with the almost full storage of its terminals, which further accelerates the decline in production and brings the OPEC country closer to the psychological barrier of 1 million of b / d production ”

    Venezuela’s oil production fell to an average of 1,392 million barrels per day in May, a decrease of another 42,000 bpd from the previous month, according to OPEC secondary sources . However, with the crisis in Venezuela spiraling out of control at a horrible rate, the May figures may well have been a year ago.

    The May figures do not reflect all the ramifications and implications of having to deal with inadequate port capacity, after Pdvsa diverted operations to Venezuela from its refineries and storage facilities in the Caribbean islands after ConocoPhillips obtained court orders of confiscation of products for the complaint that maintains against Venezuela when obtaining an arbitral award of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), for a total amount of 2,040 million US dollars.

    The problem of export capacity has become so acute that PDVSA is demanding that its customers send ships that can handle cargoes from ship to ship , since there is a delay of ships trying to load in the decrepit ports of the country. PDVSA is even considering declaring force majeure in contracts that it will not be able to comply with. The result is that PDVSA could only have 694,000 bpd available for export in June, which is less than half of the 1,495 million b / d it is contractually obligated to deliver this month.

    As such, the figure of 1,392 million b / d for May, however bad, is unfortunately outdated. Sources told Argus Media that production plummeted to just 1.1-1.2 million b / d in early June, falling to 1 million b / d.

    read more at

    https://www.lapatilla.com/2018/06/18/pdvsa-cierra-produccion-en-la-medida-que-sus-operaciones-se-desmoronan/

    End of the road, bitches…

    • Down to 1.1 – 1.2 MBPD Guess no point to try and pump more out if they have no place to store it, and no ability to load more onto ships.

      But, since they pay their (remaining) workers in bolivars, labor is basically free, so there’s that ….

      • Assuming those numbers are correct they are on the precipice of just folding up and being done. Full Stop. Receiving about $60/barrel and $20/barrel lift costs this would mean little to no further imports, unless of course they plan to roll through what little/if any foreign reserves remain. Approximately 400,000 go to China for interest payments and another 400,000 to domestic consumption (smuggled out of the country). That leaves a profit of $6-7/barrel, without considering Cuba or what has not already been cut from PetroCaribe. Done, riots in the streets by the end of this year.

        What is going on with the Bolívar Super Fuerte, errrrr Sovereign Bolívar? Banking on the Petro does not seem to have helped much either. Jajaja

  13. Too bad strict sanctions have been applied or the regime would have been long gone by now.

    Gawd I crack myself up sometimes.

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