See you on 23E

“January 23 will undoubtedly be a day of great importance for our history, but it won’t be the only one, we must understand that this part to retake constitutional order demands many actions and there’s much to do,” wrote National Assembly Speaker Juan Guaidó, repeating one of the key messages with which lawmakers have been working in open assemblies across the country.

The protest will provide dimension for a legitimate cause, it isn’t “a day without return,” it’s meant to denounce the infamy of seeing more Venezuelans die for Nicolás Maduro’s personal power project, even though he no longer has legitimacy of origin and has always lacked legitimacy of performance. A small group of the opposition keeps demanding Guaidó’s immediate swearing-in. Their arguments are so cartoonish that they look like they were written by chavista bots.

Ouch!

After agreeing to meet with Nicolás in Miraflores on Friday, European Union ambassadors met on Saturday with the National Assembly’s Board. Hours later, they issued a statement in which they ratified the demands previously made by the bloc: respect for democracy; recognition and respect for the National Assembly; holding free elections; the release of all political prisoners and urgent attention to people’s needs, proposing to establish an International Contact Group to help “create the conditions for a political, democratic and peaceful solution.” Early this Sunday, European Parliament Speaker Antonio Tajani asked Europe to unite “against the dictator Nicolás Maduro” who “only brings hunger, poverty and repression.”

Corrupt and assailant

After the testimony in Argentina of witness Claudio Uberti, journalist Daniel Santoro tells Armando.info how Hugo Chávez and Néstor Kirchner used Venezuelan public funds at leisure for exchange operations that gave them millions in profit, with the consent (among other corrupt authorities) of former Oil Minister Rafael Ramíerez, who tweeted this Sunday: “There’s no future with Maduro. His government is unviable,” calling for unity to restore the Constitution, hopeful no doubt to get some sort of amnesty. Except that his testimony in the BBC production “Revolution in ruins: the Hugo Chávez story,” describes him better. Here’s just one phrase: “I gave $100 billion to the commander,” surpassing the scandal of Eva Gollinger’s double accusation: sexually harassed by a Chávez who, according to her, consumed stronger substances than tobacco. Fortunately in Venezuela, cuartel (as in Cuartel de la Montaña) also translates to jail.

“Enough of minimalism!”

That was one of the usurper’s most recent slogans and perhaps following his instruction, Delcy Rodríguez has been turning her face into a piece as surrealist as her discourse; that’s why she said on Sunday that the efforts made by the Lima Group and the United States in favor of restoring democracy were a failure; she claimed that Nicolás hasn’t paid (nor will pay) any political price for his usurpation and promised “devastating surprises” and new economic measures for “the coming days.”

Even cubist José Vicente Rangel had to strain his words to follow on Rodríguez’s solvency exercise. On the same track, Elías Jaua demanded “an end to the madness,” considering that Zulia governor Omar Prieto’s threat to separate the state from the country; the detention of Juan Guaidó by SEBIN agents; the reports that ELN is in Venezuela and the fact that Guaidó is called president-in-charge are all equally serious issues. Despite the inventory of necessities he blithely lists, Jaua thinks that there can be “an end to the madness” if we recognize the usurper as president and tend to the needs that have intensified. Weakling.

An insult and a phobia

On Saturday night, during a match of the U-20 South American Championship, Chilean player Nicolás Díaz insulted Venezuelan Pablo Bonilla, calling him “starving bastard.” This isn’t the first demonstration of xenophobia in a sports field and as evidence, we have the testimonies of sports journalists such as Eumar Esáa. Nicolás Díaz published this Sunday morning a rather questionable apology to excuse himself.

But even more serious, that same night, an Ecuadorian woman was murdered in Ibarra (Ecuador) by her Venezuelan boyfriend, who stabbed her in front of a police barricade.

Although there were over 70 femicides in 2018 in Ecuador committed by Ecuadorians, President Lenín Moreno conditioned this death to the culprit’s nationality and sought to minimize the drama of structural gender violence as an immigration problem, ordering brigades to control the legal situation of Venezuelans and announcing the possibility of creating a special entry permit. Hours later, the attacks against Venezuelans in Ecuador began. This is serious, very serious.

The bolivar continues its downward death spiral and the acceleration over the weekend has been overwhelming. Hyperinflation considerably precipitates the need to change this disaster. We must mobilize to denounce the unbearable situation, as Metro de Caracas chanted in chorus: “I don’t want bonuses, I won’t want CLAP, I just want you to go, Nicolás.” Lawmaker Américo De Grazia restated last night the warning about a possible TSJ ruling against the National Assembly, but with an important modification: it’s no longer about declaring it in contempt but about legitimizing the 2016 Board, with Ramos Allup as Speaker, to try and split the opposition. According to De Grazia, they will disregard it.

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