Another Riot at SEBIN

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, July 10, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: El Pitazo

“People, there’s no negotiation. We’re not going to talk with any SEBIN commissioner, only the Prosecutor’s Office. And we’re holding State authorities accountable if there’s a massacre here, because they’re the ones who ignore the aberrations committed here at SEBIN El Helicoide,” said Fred Mavares in a video, one of the Polichacao officers with a release warrant since August, 2016.

The political prisoners held in El Helicoide have been isolated for 55 days, unable to talk or see their lawyers or relatives, hence they decided to riot so their demands are answered. Outside of the prison, the relatives of common and political prisoners supported the complaints for human rights violations, adding details such as payments in dollars  that SEBIN officers demand to let them visit their people. There are political and common prisoners with release warrants that SEBIN has ignored, because in practice, SEBIN is above justice. The relatives held a vigil last night waiting for information after the riot. In the morning, lawyer Theresly Malavé had denounced that political prisoner Lorent Saleh remains isolated, and Lilian Tintori said that she’ll submit a description of the inhuman treatment suffered by her husband during his imprisonment before several instances.

Although he’s been under house arrest for a year now, Leopoldo López has been unable to see his lawyer for 92 days. Lastly, political party Vente Venezuela confirmed that lawyer and political scientist Alfredo Coronil Hartmann was released after being held by SEBIN agents for several hours.

In hyperinflation

The National Assembly’s Finance Committee revealed the estimates of Parliament’s National Index of Consumer Prices (Inpac): the inflation rate for June reached 128.4%, cumulative inflation stands at 4,684% between January and June, 2018, and yearly inflation is 46,305%.

Lawmaker Alfonso Marquina emphasized that we’ve been suffering a hyperinflation process for nine months and the government has made no corrections to stabilize prices. Daily inflation during June was 2.8%, considerably surpassing Chile’s or Colombia’s annual inflation. The inflation rate for June is the highest ever recorded since Parliament started measuring it, surpassing May’s when it closed at 110.1%. The previously highest annual inflation rate was 103.6% in 1996, after an economic adjustment. We’re living this disaster without any sort of adjustment.


Monagas State governor Yelitze Santaella said that the oil spill reported in the Guarapiche river coming from the Jusepín Complex is “completely under control.” According to newspaper La Verdad de Monagas, 70% of the oil has been removed, while the rest is spread in the water that supplies the Bajo Guarapiche water purification plant, so these facilities will remain shut down for at least six days. According to Santaella, this spill was smaller than the one in 2012. The Prosecutor’s Office ordered the arrest of two PDVSA Furrial managers and two operators of the Jusepín Operational Complex for their alleged responsibility in the oil spill. Monagas State lawmaker María Gabriela Hernández will ask the Parliament’s plenary for an information point to discuss this case and request the creation of a mixed committee to find its origins. Meanwhile, Trinidad and Tobago’s government asked for international aid due to the oil spill in the Couva oil platform in the Paria Gulf, located at the delta mouth of the Orinoco river, whose waters and shores they share with Venezuela. Although the State oil company Petrotrin has made efforts to control the situation, they’ve been unable to stop the crude from leaking, which will also affect the environment, maritime operations and fishing activities.

Amazing chavismo

The National Electoral Council said that, on July 11, they’ll discuss the National Electoral Board’s proposal to hold municipal council elections on December 9, although they should’ve been held in December, 2016, and were postponed without any explanation from the CNE. Food Minister Luis Medina Ramírez met with Land Transport Minister Hipólito Abreu to “study actions to strengthen food distribution,” including the fees to transport essential products. Interior Minister Néstor Reverol announced the arrest of five people allegedly involved in the billionaire robbery against a delegation of Cuban doctors in Ciudad Caribia. Vanessa Velázquez (21) was identified as the leader of the gang that planned the robbery. The absurdity of the resolution and the speed in solving the case are astonishing. Sadly, they didn’t explain the amount of dollars in cash that Cubans had despite exchange controls.


  • Colombia’s President-Elect Iván Duque said that he’ll remove his country from UNASUR because it’s “a resonance box for the [Venezuelan] dictatorship.” He restated that Nicolás has established a “shameful dictatorship” that has destroyed individual liberties, persecuted dissidents, censored the press and plunged the country in the “most severe economic crisis” in the nation’s entire history. Duque will keep working to confirm “a humanitarian assistance fund” to help migrant Venezuelans and also to make sure that various nations manage to establish a temporary protection status.
  • “Mexico will continue a foreign policy that respects non-intervention. That’s the orientation we have,” said Marcelo Ebrard, future Foreign Minister for President-Elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, words that ratify the fears about AMLO’s foreign policy to weaken international pressure on Venezuela.
  • After a bloody weekend in Nicaragua which left at least fourteen people dead, this Monday, a group of supporters of dictator Daniel Ortega and paramilitaries (armed with guns and machetes) attacked and robbed several bishops and journalists at the Diriamba basilica.

After the Assembly in the Central University’s Aula Magna ended, a group of employees decided to go out and protest in the Francisco Fajardo freeway, but National Guard and National Bolivarian Police officers prevented it.

Additionally, nurses also continue their protest and answered Nicolás’s message asking for their understanding in view of the impossibility of raising their wages and his offer of delivering a CLAP box every 15 days. I don’t know the spokeswoman’s name, but she was brilliant. Here’s a transcription, in case you can’t see it:

“We, the employees of the University Hospital of Caracas and all of us at a national level say to you, Mr. President, that we’re quite aware that alleged blockade isn’t for us, the employees, but for the corrupt officials, the thieves you have there in the government. Aside from that, the oligarchy, who’s the oligarchy? Are we? (…) Who are the ones who have a economic war here? Ask yourself that question! Who are the ones hurting all Venezuelans? That’s what you have to see! And about your claim that you can’t offer us a fair salary, why didn’t you think about it before you gave it to the military? Why now? (…) You say we have to resist for the country and for Chávez, but Chávez doesn’t matter! Chávez is dead, let him rest in peace! Enough! And yes, we’re going to resist for the country, for each common Venezuelan, not for you and your government, you can have nice breakfasts every day, and you can have lunch and dinner, you have all your three meals every day. We’re going to keep on fighting!”

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.