Latent Threat

Photo: Noticia al día retrieved

This Thursday, hundreds of Venezuelans participated in open assemblies called by Parliament in Maracaibo, San Cristóbal, San Diego, Cagua, Samán de Güere, El Valle, Cabudare and Las Palmas.

Early on, there was a rumor that Nicolás would request the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) to nullify the National Assembly’s board, restating its condition of contempt and demanding the Prosecutor’s Office to take action. The contempt might nullify the board’s swearing in, but it didn’t happen. However, Juan Guaidó wrote on Twitter: “If the TSJ decides to declare us in contempt, I have the responsibility of reminding them that (unlike you and your USURPER) we were elected by the people. So the only mandate we’ll uphold is that of the people that elected us and the mandate of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” disregarding the threat. The messages for Guaidó to “assume his role” have been taking on an interesting shape; perhaps the unexpected and massive attendance to open assemblies is remodelling this (even more unexpected) outsider.

The exhausted official script

The government extended the State of Economic Emergency Decree all over the country for 60 more days “counted from its publication in the Official Gazette,” with the possibility of further extending it another 60 days. This decree has been in force since January 2016. Electric Energy Minister Luis Motta Domínguez said that the man who died after facing the National Guard in Planta Centro in Carabobo State: “Got what he deserved for trying to sabotage electric facilities.” The rest of the group of “saboteurs” was arrested and Motta claimed that “the empire” is behind this action. Education Minister Aristóbulo Istúriz defended that administrative staff, workers and teachers in schools are earning the same wage: “This isn’t about whether I studied and you didn’t, that’s not the problem (…) there’s hierarchy because there are people who work more, but that doesn’t give them the right to complain whether the wage gap is too high or low.” For the 18th month in a row, Venezuelan oil production dropped according to data reported by OPEC’s independent agencies.

Nicolás in his labyrinth

Ignoring the demands of the doctors and the staff of the Dr. Leopoldo Manrique Terrero Hospital in the Coche parish, Caracas, which has been closed for two months due to a power failure, Nicolás headed the graduation of specialist doctors from the University of Health Sciences. He condemned that some doctors get paid in dollars and celebrated how Chávez’s deam “of providing quality medical attention for Venezuelans” has come true, just five days after the blackout at the University Hospital of Caracas. Before that, the usurper asked judicial sector authorities to act fast in case that violent protests rise in the country, with the excuse of guaranteeing the security he doesn’t provide: “Whoever tries to block streets, must be swiftly processed by law and sent to jail, brother.” Once again, he ignored the disregard of the international community, but last night, it was revealed that his team asked journalist María Elvira Salazar for an interview to send a message to U.S. President Trump. Salazar has an interesting story to tell about that: “We’re true, we’re people you can talk and negotiate with,” said the usurper to Trump, imploring a meeting in person that allows them to meet and overcome the prejudices against him.

Other threats

A draft law that further violates the rights of Venezuelans was leaked to the press. A group of defenders of free speech, access to information and human rights wrote a response in which they explain their concern for the Draft Constitutional Law on Cyberspace: since 2007, the Venezuelan State has developed public policies aimed at controlling freedom of expression and access to information on the internet, which has made our internet less free, evidenced when blocking  websites and online services. There are people arrested for tweeting publicly available information and secrets of private communications have been violated. This draft law justifies and expands even more the government’s power to control and monitor internet use with the excuse of defending sovereignty, national security and controlling internal order, but it also expands the concept of terrorism to encompass any activity carried out on the internet or through it. Read the document when you can.

Internationals

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro said that his government will do “every possible for democracy to be restored” in Venezuela so that citizens “may live in freedom.” After seeing a group of Venezuelans who attended a meeting with Lima Group and United States delegates, Bolsonaro asked Venezuelans to resist because “the solution will soon come.” Julio Borges and Antonio Ledezma asked for lawmaker Juan Guaidó to be recognized, as well as economic sanctions for regime cronies. The statement of Brazil’s Foreign Ministry issued last night says: “Brazil will do everything to help the Venezuelan people live in freedom once again and to overcome the humanitarian catastrophe they’re experiencing (…) The system led by Nicolás Maduro constitutes a mechanism of organized crime. It’s based on general corruption, drug trafficking, human trafficking, money laundering and terrorism.”

The Executive Council of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will convene in coming weeks to discuss Venezuela’s situation. Spokesman Gerry Rice said that he awaits for the council to meet in order to evaluate the situation, considering the latest data.

A VTV hostess tripped and fell down live in the studio and the show’s director not only followed her as she fell and rose again, but also concluded the broadcast among laughter, focusing the camera on an empty chair. This video’s virality was only surpassed by the news that Venezuela defeated Colombia 1-0 in its debut in the U-20 South American Championship, with a goal by Samuel Sosa. Ah! And (glorious) Leones del Caracas qualified to the final.

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