Photo: La Tercera retrieved
The Dread Show
On Sunday, Nicolás decided to show that the military is the real power. Each video and picture that he posted on social media inspired jokes and insults, but not fear. The fear is experienced by the relatives of each person prosecuted for exercising their legitimate right to protest, including many minors. Judges and prosecutors keep indicting Venezuelans for protesting and all courts are imposing the same charges and the same sentences, showing a pattern (and an order) that doesn’t extricate those who follow it from their individual responsibility. Gonzalo Himiob, from NGO Foro Penal, reported that 791 people have been arrested during protests, with the Capital District (171), Aragua (112) and Zulia (97) reporting the most detentions.
#27Ene 2:30PM hasta este momento, y seguimos recibiendo denuncias y verificando datos, en el @ForoPenal hemos corroborado 791 arrestos de manifestantes en #Venezuela desde el 21 de enero de 2019. pic.twitter.com/XjgHJbG1EH
— Gonzalo Himiob S. (@HimiobSantome) January 27, 2019
The human rights centers of the Metropolitan and Andrés Bello Catholic Universities expressed in a statement that they have verified arbitrary detentions and human rights violations in this new wave of criminalization of protest.
Comunicado oficial de @cdhunimet y @CDH_UCAB: 1- Hemos podido verificar, la detención arbitraria de personas en el contexto de manifestaciones, y la franca violación de derechos humanos, específicamente del derecho a la libertad, al debido proceso y a la defensa.
— Apoyo UNIMET (@ApoyoUNIMET) January 27, 2019
Yesterday, armed groups attacked people within the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe temple (San Francisco, Zulia State,) trashing the place, only to stop an open assembly. At least 15 people were wounded.
Profanada Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, en Maracaibo por Colectivos Armados. Atacaron a los participantes de un Cabildo Abierto donde se presentaba a los ciudadanos la ley de Amnistía. 27 de enero 2019. Vía Periodista Lenin Danieri. pic.twitter.com/a0HgbMxZWK
— Conferencia Episcopal Venezolana CEV (@CEVmedios) January 27, 2019
A law, an order
Many people decided to fulfill the request of caretaker President Juan Guaidó: printing a copy of the Amnesty Law and taking it to military and police facilities. It was a non-violent action that was recorded with cameras and mobile phones of both officers and citizens. It caused a broad range of responses: from officers who, demanding respect for their security perimeters, received the law declaring their loyalty for Nicolás, others who ripped the sheets and gave them back to the messengers, to those who even burned their copies. It’s a triumph that civilians managed to reach those spaces. It’s a triumph that this exercise allowed more officers to know about the existence of the Amnesty Law and it’s also a triumph that the exercise revealed those who respond with violence.
Don’t shoot against the people!
After he left mass for 40 citizens murdered in recent days, caretaker President Juan Guaidó emphasized that the world has seen the peaceful and civic attitude in demonstrations: “Today, we went to offer the officers of the Armed Forces our hand. This is an order, Venezuelan soldier, don’t shoot against the people, don’t repress peaceful demonstrations.”
El presidente encargado de Venezuela, @jguaido, le ordenó a la Fuerza Armada Nacional (FAN), no disparar más al pueblo de Venezuela, ni reprimir las marchas de carácter pacíficas y democráticas. #VzlaEnAsamblea pic.twitter.com/Tdq0xc4beg
— Asamblea Nacional (@AsambleaVE) January 27, 2019
He urged Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, to see how security bodies have been used to intimidate and commit massacres, and said that these murders will be punished, promising an email address for soldiers to report who’s giving the order to kill. “Repression won’t stop a country that decided to be free and to change,” said Guaidó, adding that the force mobilized in the street will keep increasing. He appointed Carlos Vecchio as Venezuela’s representative in Washington.
Balance and coming actions
Tonight, caretaker President Juan Guaidó held a broadcast online and started celebrating the reception the Amnesty Law had in military and police commands, adding that they’ve received observations about the Amnesty Law from relatives, victims and soldiers. He thanked NGOs for collecting the data about the FAES’s actions, promising to identify the authorities who have engaged in repression (police, prosecutors and judges) saying that they’ll have international sanctions. Guaidó said that the approval of Carlos Vecchio as chargé d’affaires in the U.S. is very important, adding that it will also happen in other countries. He also reported that he formally requested other countries to protect the nation’s assets: “We hope to progressively use those resources to attend the humanitarian crisis,” he said. He asked all Venezuelans to take to the streets on Wednesday from 12:00 m to 2:00 p.m. “wherever they are” to demand the Armed Forces to stand with the people and allow the access of humanitarian aid to the country. On Saturday, the European Union’s ultimatum expires and there will be a great march to accompany the support. “We’re doing well, Venezuela. We woke up from a nightmare. We’ve made progress and we must keep holding citizen assemblies. You can count of me and the National Assembly to serve you. See you back in the streets on Wednesday and Saturday,” said Guaidó.
Movements on the board
On International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel joined the countries that recognize Juan Guaidó: “Israel joins the United States, Canada and most of the countries in Latin America and countries in Europe in recognizing the new leadership in Venezuela,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a video.
In Venezuela, there were 25,000 jews until 1999, but now less than, 6,000 remain. Australia also recognizes and supports caretaker President Juan Guaidó “in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution and until elections are held,” says their Foreign Ministry’s statement. U.S. national security advisor said yesterday: “Any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela’s democratic leader, Juan Guaidó, or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response.”
Any violence and intimidation against U.S. diplomatic personnel, Venezuela’s democratic leader, Juan Guiado, or the National Assembly itself would represent a grave assault on the rule of law and will be met with a significant response. 2/2
— John Bolton (@AmbJohnBolton) January 27, 2019
But even more important is that the U.S. government accepted the appointment of Carlos Vecchio as Venezuela’s Chargé d’Affaires, saying that he “will have authority over diplomatic affairs in the United States on behalf of Venezuela.” An opinion article on the Wall Street Journal says that the State Department already notified the Federal Reserve that Juan Guaidó is the only agent authorized to manage Venezuelan assets in the U.S. financial system. Senator Marco Rubio quoted the article, but there’s still no official statement.
Pedro Sánchez Castejón, chief of the Spanish government, offered some funny statements: “The left has nothing to do with Maduro. The left is the complete opposite of Maduro in Venezuela,” a reflection he connected with the criticism his political adversaries have made about his stance. Nicolás has seven days before the European offer expires. Pope Francis said in Panama: “I have thought a lot about the Venezuelan people with whom I feel particularly united during these days. Given the serious situation they are going through, I pray to the Lord that they manage to find a fair and peaceful solution to overcome the crisis, respecting human rights and effusively wishing good for all inhabitants of the country.”
🇻🇦🇻🇪 Papa Francisco desde Panamá: Ante la grave situación por la que atraviesa Venezuela, pido que se busque y se logre una solución justa y pacífica para superar la crisis, respetando los derechos humanos. #27Ene pic.twitter.com/T8gQdukN4a
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) January 27, 2019
Cardenales de Lara became the champions of the Professional Baseball League, but a few hours later the office of the Commissioner of the Caribbean Professional Baseball Leagues Confederation announced its irrevocable decision not to hold the 2019 Caribbean Series in Barquisimeto.