That’s what U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said in a video addressed to Venezuelans: “make your voices heard tomorrow, on behalf of the American people, we say: estamos con ustedes. We are with you. We stand with you, and we will stay with you until democracy is restored and you reclaim your birthright.” Pence asked other nations to recognize the National Assembly as the last instance of democracy and deemed the Assembly’s decisions as courageous. Later, U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo ratified the decision to consider Parliament as the only democratically elected body and said that “the Supreme Tribunal of Justice has no more legitimacy than Maduro.” In the afternoon, there was a meeting in the White House involving President Donald Trump, senators Marco Rubio, Rick Scott and Mario Diaz-Balart, as well as governor Ron DeSantis, to “discuss the atrocities caused by the Maduro regime” and how to help restore freedom and democracy, according to senator Scott’s tweet. Lastly, at day’s end, the controversial senator Rubio sent a message to SEBIN officers asking them to reconsider “the plan they have for tomorrow” before they “trigger a response that (…) [they’re] not prepared to face.” He also wrote that if the usurper still has friends, he should avoid a fight he has no chance of winning.
In the National Assembly
Parliament approved in its first discussion the draft of the Amnesty Law and constitutional guarantees for military and civilian officers who cooperate or have cooperated with the restitution of constitutional order. Lawmaker Delsa Solórzano emphasized that the people who committed crimes against humanity won’t be benefited. This is a crucial point. There are many human rights defenders who oppose the possibility of swapping impunity for transition. The AN appointed Gustavo Tarre Briceño as Venezuela’s special representative before the OAS and nullified the usurper’s decision to quit the OAS. The organization’s secretary general, Luis Almagro, celebrated the decision and the “mission to coordinate actions to restore constitutional and democratic order” in Venezuela. While leaving the legislative palace, many lawmakers were attacked by PSUV loyalists, led (according to the testimony of José Guerra) by Pedro Carvajalino.
Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez decided to give dimension to the scandal of the fire of the “Robert Serra” house in La Pastora, but without offering any context for the incident. He didn’t mention the support that Cotiza neighbors gave the rebel soldiers; he didn’t talk about the pot-banging in Western Caracas nor of garbage burned as a method of protest; he didn’t talk about the tear gas used for repression nor of the swift operation with which they cleared the debris in the morning; he only developed a strange thesis that links party Voluntad Popular (which he called a terrorist group) with the fire and potential actions of violence against anyone who attends the march on January 23, because that’s the alleged confession of the rebel guards. The craziest part? Rodríguez said that “all of this is part of Mike Pence’s plan.“ Following the script, last night Zulia governor Omar Prieto announced that they dismantled a plan to murder protesters and sent pictures with the confiscated material.
With Claudio and Eduardo
ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab claimed this Tuesday that the Prosecutor’s Office will act against those who reprise the protests of 2014 and 2017, blaming a “radical minority” of the opposition for the violence of those years: “This time they won’t have the old Prosecutor’s Office that allowed those obstacles. We’re going to prosecute anyone who openly and brazenly calls for a coup d’état, for war and for the murder of Venezuelans.” He disregarded the calls for open assemblies, adding that he’ll comply with the ruling issued by the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber acting “in the timely moment and within the law” and saying that the GN uprising in Cotiza doesn’t help citizen peace; that he will celebrate the fact that Claudio Fermín and Eduardo Fernández recognized Nicolás, thus revealing his level of weakness.
“We don’t want trouble, we want peace”
Wearing a uniform with a new shirt, singing slogans such as “The people of peace stand with Nicolás,” yesterday the usurper celebrated two years of the carnet de la patria, taking the opportunity to present the new bonuses for the Hogares de la Patria mission, he announced the Chamba Mayor mission and, with the excuse of the fire of La Pastora house, he requested the active support “of all groups, social and popular movements, colectivos and young citizens to capture and punish all terrorist and violent groups in accordance to the law.” Shortly after that, he’d claim that “it’s good that people fight for guaranteed services,” that’s how cynical he is. He denounced a coup d’état (yes, another) “like April 11” promoted by the U.S. and that’s why he ordered a full review of all political and diplomatic relations with the country his commercial relations depend on.
The Foreign Ministers of Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and the Netherlands expressed their profound concern for the decline of Venezuela’s political and humanitarian situation, according to an official statement and manifested their desire to create an international contact group able to promote their perspectives about the solution to our conflicts. Chilean Foreign Minister Roberto Ampuero explained that the Venezuelan ambassador in his country: “Wasn’t invited to this meeting between the President and the accredited Diplomatic Corps in Chile because, as you know, Chile, as well as numerous countries, doesn’t recognize Nicolás Maduro’s government.” Ouch, Nicolás. After revealing his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, Gustavo Dudamel said: “This star belongs to the people of Venezuela. Venezuela lives an unacceptable social and political situation, and we must keep fighting now more than ever for the transformation that our people deserve.” His speech would’ve made so much more impact if he’d said “humanitarian crisis” instead of “social situation” and “dictatorship” instead of “political situation,” but well, people are who they are.
For the second consecutive night, there were protests against the dictatorship in Western Caracas. The NGO Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported 63 communities in protest. Several of them have been punished with a fierce repression that has already taken one life: 16-year-old Alixon Pizani, who entered Hospital Periférico of Catia with a wound in his abdomen and no vital signs. That’s how Nicolás shows “his love for the people.”
It’s January 23. Today, we return to the streets to protest for the transition to democracy, for the recovery of the republic that was taken from us, for the possibility of forging another version of country.
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