Humiliation Brings No Redemption

For Monday, July 16, 2018. Translated by Javier Liendo.

Photo: Noticias al Día y a la Hora

For Prisons Minister Iris Varela, the first victim of the Venezuelan crisis is Nicolás, and the rest of us just need “to have a greater degree of awareness and patriotism.” Although she recognizes migration, she spoke of how powerless she feels when she sees the images depicting our exodus because, according to her, the border has always been that way: “The same people who leave, come back,” she claimed. The praises she had for close rank formations in prisons and how following orders can redeem a prisoner, could’ve been the worst part, but she added that our prison system is “the best in the world,” that violence in prisons has dropped and that they can give conferences on how to treat a prisoner. The Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons has been denouncing inmates’ problems for years, such as punishments with prolonged isolation periods, overcrowding, unhealthy environments, lack of medical assistance, mistreatments and tortures, but they’ve specifically denounced that the “new” penitentiary regime exhibits worrisome features: uniforms, shaving men’s heads, practicing military formation and with it, making prisoners yell political slogans in favor of the government, as well as the decline in family visits. Inspired in Nicolás’s “new beginning,” Varela thinks that “this is a great opportunity to truly build socialism,” after 20 years in power.

More from the amazing chavismo

On Saturday night, Minister Jorge Rodríguez claimed that Nicolás was “polishing the map of concrete action for the new beginning.” His sister did the same, saying that Nicolás works “for people’s protection, the country’s development and prosperity,” promising to tune up a public administration for happiness.

In the same line, Nicolás used Children’s Day to claim that they’re “the drive and reason” for his work, omitting all children living in the streets, those who are malnourished or can’t study in a school, and those who have died from treatable diseases; so many children hurt by his indifference and corruption.

Additionally, the government announced that they managed to “stop” low oil production and that it pumps 1.57 million barrels per day, saying that the figure could increase to 1,735,000 if they included condensates and hydrocarbons derived from gas. Sadly, nobody said that imports have been plummeting since April, which further complicates supply, shortages and prices.

From the balanced São Paulo Forum held in Cuba, former Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff said: “I admire the people of Venezuela for the resilience against the imperialist assault.”

We, migrants

Efecto Cocuyo collects the data presented by Dr. Julio Castro showing that 25% of Venezuelan doctors have left the country, with Chile, Spain and the U.S. as their main destinations. 98% of medical students and graduated doctors show that the current healthcare situation is “very bad” and “bad”, compared to 80% of integral community doctors that coincide with that negative value. 50% of respondents who have left the country would return if the political, social and economic situation improves. Aside from this, the Yanomami tribe, settled at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, reports 67 measles cases confirmed among natives. Data from the Brazilian government shows that 1,756 measles cases have been notified between January and June in Amazonas alone. Meanwhile, Sol Quiceno, deputy director of the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, confirmed that at least 402 Venezuelan children have been found by this organization in precarious conditions, their main problems being: abandonment, homelessness, child labor and malnutrition; thus, she demands processes of social and productive inclusion for the Venezuelan population.

Diplomatic tensions

Although President Donald Trump confessed that he’s attending his meeting in Helsinki with “low expectations,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos asked him to request Vladimir Putin to stop supporting Nicolás, to contribute with the end of the Venezuelan crisis.

On that same day, it was revealed that Venezuela’s ambassador in Colombia, Iván Rincón, requested “the end of his term in office” because he feels that “uribista harassment” against him has increased. Meanwhile, President-Elect Iván Duque said in Florida that Colombia doesn’t seek any kind of armed confrontation but that they’ll continue to firmly condemn the dictatorship and demand the holding of free elections. Moreover, Milos Alcalay explained the implications of UNASUR’s end due to the Ecuadorian government’s recent decision to recover the building that served as the organization’s headquarters, saying that integration principles through institutions such as Mercosur or OAS are back in force, and that new political agreement mechanisms such as the Lima Group have been established. In another evidence of the institutionality destroyed by chavismo, Haitian Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned his office during the Chamber of Deputies’ session after the crisis unleashed by violent protests because of the announcement of higher fuel prices.

SOS Nicaragua!

After the siege that students of Nicaragua’s National Autonomous University suffered for over 15 hours (which left two dead students and 16 wounded); dictator Daniel Ortega kept repressing this Sunday, adding at least five more dead with the “Operación Limpieza,” armed actions against the civilian population. Álvaro Leiva, of the Nicaraguan Pro Human Rights Association (ANPDH), denounced “two dead in Diriá, two in Masaya and one in Catarina.” The IACHR also reported on violent repression, with citizens wounded and arrested, expressing their concern for a State that doesn’t guarantee its citizens’ lives. Meanwhile, our Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza accused the biased editorial line “of western media agencies about violence in Nicaragua,” calling it identical “to the twisted narrative applied to Venezuela in 2017.”

The FIFA World Cup’s final had two hallmarks: dressed as police officers, four Pussy Riot activists slipped into the field and suspended the match, using their social networks to demand freedom for political prisoners, an end to illegal arrests and political effectiveness. We don’t know what happened with them after they were detained. But Putin’s barbarity was summed up in the protocol team’s priority when offering the first available umbrella during the rainy award ceremony. While presidents Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Emmanuel Macron were soaking wet, Putin was protected. It was a great game and on top of second place, Croatia had the admiration of many and the Golden Ball for their player Luka Modric. The best young player was France’s Kylian Mbappé; with six goals, Harry Kane (England) was the top scorer and Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) was chosen as the best goalkeeper.

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