Justice establishes that every person is innocent until proven otherwise. For chavismo, you’re guilty when they say so, without due process, without respect for human rights, without mercy. On Monday night, Peruvian journalist Jaime Bayly said in his show that he was aware of the drone flight plan and regretted the operation’s failure: “But that’s no reason to falter, they’re surely planning the next attempt,” he claimed.
Yesterday, Reuters published an interview with former San Diego municipal police director Salvatore Lucchese, who claimed responsibility for the drone flight, along with other militants of the “resistance”, without specifying his role in the operation and without clarifying whether this “resistance” includes the Movimiento Nacional Soldados de Franela or not. Lucchese said that “the armed fight will continue.” Later, he wrote on Twitter that he didn’t do anything and called himself “one more soldier.”
Quiero aclarar públicamente que no estoy adjudicándome ninguna acción de la RESISTENCIA VENEZOLANA, simplemente soy un soldado más de la lucha libertaria que ha emprendido la resistencia para la LIBERTAD de 🇻🇪, no escondo mi lucha soy responsable de lo que digo con lo que hago.
— Salvatore Lucchese (@sllucchese) August 7, 2018
At midnight on Monday, omitting the prosecutors, police and military officers who are allegedly working to solve Saturday’s incident, Nicolás shared a video on social media to show that instead of governing, he’s working on the investigation, promising to show solid evidence in the next few hours.
Informo al pueblo de Venezuela que seguimos trabajando en las investigaciones del Magnicidio en Grado de Frustración. En las próximas horas estaré presentando pruebas contundentes de la vinculación que tiene la oligarquía colombiana con los hechos de la Av. Bolívar. pic.twitter.com/Dt9eysTPI6
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) August 7, 2018
Later, the National Assembly’s board issued a statement demanding a “serious, objective, impartial and conclusive” investigation about the incident, demanding that the investigation’s results be published in all speed. Minister Jorge Rodríguez announced that Nicolás would present his evidence at 8:00 p.m. during a mandatory broadcast.
Atención! Hoy a las 8 pm en cadena nacional de Radio y TV nuestro Pdte @NicolasMaduro presentará al mundo pruebas del magnicidio frustrado
— Jorge Rodríguez (@jorgerpsuv) August 7, 2018
“After these hours that have passed after the terrorist and criminal attempt, not just to assassinate the president, but to kill the country, the idea of hope, of peace, the idea of democracy,” said Nicolás, before clarifying that Delcy Rodríguez wasn’t in Saturday’s event due to health issues and that Tareck El Aissami and Wilmar Castro Soteldo were in Turkey. “We were born again on August 4 (…) we were saved by a miracle, beyond all the security measures.” Once again, he listed all the attempts against Venezuelan presidents, the failed coup against Carlos Andrés Pérez that serves as PSUV’s foundational date (February 4, 1992) and discredited all of Chávez’s complaints about frustrated assassination attempts; but that was nothing compared to how he labeled the drone flight as a “terrorist exploit.” “I saw death in the face and told her: ‘My time hasn’t come, leave now, death’,” he said, marking his breathing like a smoker after a day of excessive consumption.
Nicolás lied time and again, but suggesting that an attempt against him is an attempt against democracy, was excessive. Additionally, he said that the political fight starts with respect for the National Constitution, that he believes “in peace, in life and respect for the adversary,” and later he praised SEBIN and announced that they were working to catch the perpetrators. Almost simultaneously, Primero Justicia denounced that SEBIN officers kidnapped lawmaker Juan Requesens and the head of the UCV’s Federation of University Centers, Rafaela Requesens in the Terrazas del Ávila neighborhood.
#Urgente en Terrazas del Club Hípico fueron secuestros por 14 hombres el SEBIN a golpes El diputado @JuanRequesens y la presidenta de la FCU @RRequesens . El régimen es responsable de lo que suceda con ellos
— Primero Justicia (@Pr1meroJusticia) August 8, 2018
— Tomás Guanipa (@TomasGuanipa) August 8, 2018
Nicolás ordered the Interior and Foreign Ministers to explain his evidence to the governments of Colombia and the U.S., because he wants to extradite all the culprits and he expects Donald Trump’s compliance. Well, Nicolás’s “solid evidence” were four videos: a mini-documentary; the testimony of Juan Carlos Monasterios (AKA Bons) involved in the incident (divided in two parts) and an array of audio files from the rest of the team behind Saturday’s operation, the most shameful resource of the official script.
Nicolás said they’d captured the culprits thanks to “popular intelligence that saw the strange attitude of two trucks (vehicles have attitudes now) they saw them fly the drones and captured them.” The mini-documentary claims that the assassins (11 in total) were offered $50 million; that they were trained in Colombia, that the original plan was set for July 5, but the drones hadn’t arrived. In the second video, Monasterios (AKA Bons) mentions lawmakers Juan Requesens and Julio Borges, which would allegedly “explain” SEBIN’s arrest.
VIDEO 4- Maduro revela parte del testimonio de Juan Carlos Monanterios, alias Bons, uno de los detenidos por el atentado terrorista contra Nicolás Maduro en la avenida Bolívar de Caracas. Sgto Mayor 1era, Juan Carlos Monasterios menciona a Juan Requesens y Julio Borges. pic.twitter.com/GvXExtpoSg
— Alberto Rodríguez (@AlbertoRodNews) August 8, 2018
Strangely, Bons’s voice is relaxed; he’s not a man narrating a crime but telling a story, so much so, that despite the handcuffs, he moves his hands comfortably and coherently. Despite showing only that testimony, judge Nicolás took it as a confirmation of his theory, summing up the reach of his arbitrariness, the denial of justice. He said that lawmaker Juan Requesens was a psychopath. It was very serious for prosecutors to allow him to manipulate the investigation’s evidence, from military berets to lead pieces, which the drones supposedly carried.
Nicolás said that the drone that reached the presidential stage came out of the Cipreses building and flew past TSJ headquarters. His tale suggested that the choice to hold the August 4 celebration in the Bolívar Av. was made by the attackers and not by the government itself. He insisted that the drone that reached his stage had gunpowder and lead and the one that crashed against the Don Eduardo building had C4 and gunpowder. After discrediting lawmaker Requesens, Diosdado Cabello announced that this Wednesday the ANC will strip the lawmakers involved in the “frustrated assassination attempt” off their parliamentary immunity, a faculty which the ANC doesn’t have. Parliamentary immunity can only be stripped by the National Assembly, after a preliminary hearing on merits before the TSJ, according to articles 200 and 266 of the Constitution. Requesens’s arrest, considering his parliamentary immunity and the lack of a judicial warrant against him, is illegal and arbitrary.
Several Parliament lawmakers went to SEBIN HQ at El Helicoide. Additionally, on social networks someone pulled out the tweet of late Oscar Pérez from December 2017, where he denounced that Osman Delgado Tabosky and Rayder Russo (two of the men Nicolás denounced as perpetrators) are government moles within the “resistance”.
— Delsa Solorzano (@delsasolorzano) August 8, 2018
Juan Requesens spoke yesterday from the National Assembly’s speaker’s podium. Talking about the case of recently exiled lawmaker José Manuel Olivares and of many young citizens of his generation who are either abroad of buried underground “because they were murdered, because you killed them, Nicolás.” And he went on: “Today, I can speak here, I don’t know about tomorrow (…) what I do want to restate today and what I want to tell the people, is that we’ll continue to do all we can to accomplish what every Venezuelan wants, which is to remove Nicolás Maduro from power, because today Venezuela is demanding, today Venezuela is clamoring, raising its voice to remove him. If we have to talk, let’s talk; if we have to fight, we’ll fight; if we have to protest, we’ll protest and don’t you think for a moment that from Miraflores, with the orders you give to persecute, to kill, to murder, to jail, because you don’t have a strategy (…) the only strategy the dictatorship has here is crushing dissidents, within their ranks and out of them.”
#7Ago #Venezuela Partido Primero Justicia denuncia presunto secuestro del diputado Juan Requesens y su hermana la presidenta de la FCU-UCV Rafaela Requesens hace minutos en urbanización de Caracas. Aquí parte del discurso que dio el diputado hoy en la #SesiónAN
— Maru Morales (@morapin) August 8, 2018
This vulgar and arbitrary script didn’t help them in appearing as the victims, they’re back to being thugs enjoying their role. The witch hunt that’s just starting won’t distinguish between criminals and innocents, which makes it even worse that several opposition members justified these abuses with mistakes committed by other dissidents, instead of addressing the regime’s villainy.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.