Photo: Reuters retrieved
“More than a liberator I’d rather be a public servant for you and for this country,” said Caretaker President Juan Guaidó at Bolívar Sq. in Chacao, and that this movement won’t die down. Nicolás popped up to compete with Guaidó and held in Miraflores a press conference in which he accused the foreign press of committing “a media coup” against him. He said that even though he was in a mandatory broadcast on radio and television. While Guaidó thanked the European Union’s position and said that it’ll surely be more terminant in coming days, the usurper said it was insolent for Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell to demand holding of elections as soon as possible. For Nicolás, Spain doesn’t have the moral ground to send him an ultimatum and he even condemned their “racism”. Guaidó’s event was marked by the joy of those present, while Nicolás’s preserved the halo of inexorable boredom, his speech was so predictable.
Naked in the Ávila
“I haven’t vacated my post nor will I,” said Nicolás, and then he dedicated a long time to offering details about the alleged meeting that took place between Juan Guaidó, Diosdado Cabello and Freddy Bernal.
#EnVivo 📹 | Vicepresidente sectorial @jorgerpsuv muestra pruebas del encuentro entre el diputado Juan Guaidó y el presidente de la ANC @dcabellor y @FreddyBernal el pasado #22ENE pic.twitter.com/wzfuhKdYfR
— Prensa Presidencial (@PresidencialVen) January 25, 2019
The insidiousness was replaced by capitulation. The usurper said: “If I have to go meet with that boy in a cap and hoodie in the Humboldt peak at 3:00 a.m., I will; if I have to go naked, I’ll do it,” recognizing Juan Guaidó’s legitimacy and the urgency of the dialogue amidst the institutional crisis. It wasn’t his only setback. Yesterday he claimed that he didn’t break relations with the U.S. but with Donald Trump, because the U.S. buys Venezuelan oil, because the U.S. is much more than Trump, because he loves the U.S. very much and would like to return once he’s out of power. But he still restated the 72-hour timeframe for diplomatic and consular staff to leave Venezuela and requested a plan for defense and battle in view of the possibility of that marines could enter Caracas.
After the details offered by Nicolás about the alleged meeting between Juan Guaidó, Diosdado and Bernal at Lido Hotel on January 22, Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez showed a clip of the hotel’s security video which would supposedly prove that the event took place, but, although Roberto Marrero was clearly visible, it’s impossible to establish the identity of the man wearing a cap and a hoodie. Far from eroding Guaidó’s credibility, Jorge Rodríguez opened a crater for mockery and that’s the start of the #GuaidóChallenge, a meme positioning the Caretaker President’s name that injured chavismo with popular sarcasm. I repeat: if the meeting took place, it means that chavismo recognized the authority of Juan Guaidó and the National Assembly, proving that the alleged contempt and the orders to the Prosecutor’s Office made by the TSJ are fallacies.
PSUV councilmember José Meléndez claimed that just like there are 14 countries that have declared themselves against Venezuela, “2,000 declared in our favor,” adding 1806 nations to the planet.
— Watcher (@Watcher_Ven) January 25, 2019
But the mistakes kept coming and that’s why ANC member Saúl Ortega said to WRadio (Colombia) that Guaidó’s parliamentary immunity will be revoked because “he’s a golpista,” news that should’ve come from imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab, but he suspended the press conference that he’d called for 11:00 a.m. Later, PSUV put up a patriotic show in Maracaibo with the participation of General Fabio Zavarce (Western REDI commander) who spoke as a militant and not as a military officer, openly violating Article 328 of the Constitution. The best part of the event as the audience’s reaction with the details Diosdado Cabello offered about the alleged meeting with Guaidó: saying that they met in a hotel at night, people shouted “Aaaayyy!” which broke the gravity of his complaint for “Guaidó’s treachery” and forced him to laugh as well. All his fury about 4F, the inevitable American invasion and the permanent alert to defend the revolution were set aside. But the battle for the Buffoon of the Day Award also included Culture Minister Ernesto Villegas and his pictures of the popular vigil in Miraflores, with selfies of the 20 people they managed to gather.
#Ahora Vigilia revolucionaria a las puertas del Palacio Presidencial de Miraflores, sede oficial del Poder Ejecutivo Nacional #Venezuela #Caracas #UnidadYLealtadConNicolás #UnidadYLealtadConNicolas #25Enero #25Ene #25E pic.twitter.com/jkNtoe5cr4
— Ernesto Villegas P. (@VillegasPoljak) January 26, 2019
The international community
Spain said that if Venezuela doesn’t hold elections shortly, they’ll recognize Juan Guaidó as Caretaker President. Germany said pretty much the same. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the conduct of the U.S. is inadmissible, while U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo said that he’ll work with Mexico and Uruguay so they recognize Juan Guaidó as legitimate President. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said that his country recognizes the legitimacy of the National Assembly and Juan Guaidó’s role, but that the next step must be dialogue to define credible elections.
Los 8 rectores del CNE (los cinco principales y los tres suplentes incorporados con funciones importantes) fueron designados por el TSJ (asumiendo la función de la @AsambleaVE) Cualquier evento electoral que garantice la alternabilidad pasa por corregir el problema en su origen
— Eugenio G. Martínez (@puzkas) January 25, 2019
Japan said that our crisis is deplorable and demanded immediate measures to resolve it. France demands presidential elections and that Nicolás quits using force against demonstrations. Equatorial Guinea issued a statement in favor of Nicolás and Trinidad and Tobago excuses their indifference with the principle of non-intervention. Mike Pompeo will speak this Saturday with the UN Security Council and will urge its members to recognize Juan Guaidó. The appointment of Elliott Abrams as U.S. envoy to help restore democracy set off the alarms of many, and with motive.
“I’m extremely concerned because the situation could rapidly escalate into a chaos spiral with catastrophic consequences,” said Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemning the deaths from repression and urging the parties to start a dialogue. Bachelet not only condemned the deaths but also met with former Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez (reconverted into the usurper’s die-hard enemy) and he posted pictures of the meeting in which he denounced the violence unleashed by Nicolás.
.@mbachelet condena las muertes en #Venezuela; relatores de la ONU investigarán la muerte de #JamalKhashoggi; España sigue discriminando a los gitanos. Las noticias del viernes #np https://t.co/RdHpBmXHX6
— Noticias ONU (@NoticiasONU) January 25, 2019
NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced the death of at least 26 people during protests against Nicolás and argued that the authorities must be held accountable before justice, highlighting that unlike previous years, “now the international community is monitoring what’s happening in Venezuela more closely than ever.” In addition to the people killed, 350 people have been arbitrarily arrested in illegal proceedings. The IACHR granted protective measures in favor of Juan Guaidó and the members of his family after considering that there’s a situation of risk to his life and physical integrity due to the exceptional context of the serious crisis in Venezuela that brings special dangers. That’s why the IACHR orders national institutions to adopt the necessary measures to protect him and his family.
The blow of the day was the Bank of England’s decision to deny Nicolás’s request to withdraw $1.2 billion in gold, by request of U.S. officials Mike Pompeo and John Bolton. Our international reserves stand at $8 billion, the lowest level in the last 20 years, according to data from the Central Bank of Venezuela. It was an intense day. We celebrated chavismo’s mistakes: they were many and profound.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.