Photo: RCN Radio
This Sunday, dozens of Venezuelan doctors rallied in the Las Tienditas bridge to demand the entry of humanitarian aid to the country. Their testimonies are evidence of the complex humanitarian emergency we’re going through and the huge need for medicines and supplies in the hospitals where they work, explaining how much more vulnerable a malnourished person is: “It’s the medieval phase of medicine, this is how low the regime has dragged us,” said traumatologist José Luis Mateus.
#Ahora Grupo Médicos Unidos ingresa a la ciudad de Cúcuta con la bandera de Venezuela para solicitar el ingreso de la ayuda humanitaria y brindar apoyo a las personas que la necesitan #10Feb pic.twitter.com/GUKmfyFMKg
— Efecto Cocuyo (@EfectoCocuyo) February 10, 2019
In the morning, caretaker President Juan Guaidó announced that a platform will be launched to register the people who want to participate in the entry of humanitarian aid to the country: “Thousands of people have already registered in the great volunteer work for the access of humanitarian aid,” he said and called for registering at: www.voluntariosxvenezuela.com. Guaidó cautioned the military and chavismo that blocking the humanitarian aid makes them “almost genocidal,” because that’s a crime against humanity: “I understand that the regime refuses to recognize the crisis they caused. But we’re working very hard to end the usurpation and see to this emergency,” he said.
The war of all the people?
Nicolás started this Monday the military exercised that will extend until Friday and, as usual, he opened with his favorite contradiction: talking of peace while re-creating war: “Get out of Venezuela, Donald Trump! Out with your threats, there’s an armed force here and there’s people here to defend the country’s honor, dignity and decorum,” he said from Fuerte Guaicaipuro, Charallave, while soldiers and the military appeared to be participating in a flash mob, with more flags and guns, with more rhythm than discipline. Nicolás announced that he’ll approve the necessary investments to have the entire system of anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense (no matter that people are dying of hunger and lack of medicines); he also claimed that they’ve trained 10,000 militia men as snipers, ready to mix with the surroundings, but the crown jewel was the explanation of the “masked container,” a truck that will pretend to transport food, but will work as a moving arsenal.
Si usted tiene hambre, tendrá que comer fusil porque Maduro lo que le ofrece es un "contenedor enmascarado" que llegará a las comunidades haciendo creer que lleva "granos", pero en realidad llevará son armas. #10Feb pic.twitter.com/G9CWqhOihi
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) February 10, 2019
“Advancing in the consolidation of our new military doctrine, the war of all the people, based on the ideals of our liberators,” said Nicolás in a tweet last night. Just to be sure, ask any stranger if they’d fight for him or the military high command.
Avanzamos en la consolidación de nuestra nueva Doctrina Militar, la “Guerra de Todo el Pueblo”, basados en los ideales de nuestros libertadores y retomada, para la Defensa Integral de la Patria, por nuestro Comandante Chávez. pic.twitter.com/4QIW9VzAm3
— Nicolás Maduro (@NicolasMaduro) February 11, 2019
Regime Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza made some funny remarks, inviting the European Union to “demand the end of the economic and financial blockade against Venezuela.” Not as cool but just as cynical, Delcy Rodríguez asked Juan Guaidó to meditate and stop the madness of his actions. She said something strange: “A project to hand over Venezuela’s resources, an unworthy project,” because it invites anyone to think of the Orinoco Mining Arc or each social program that has reported no accomplishments due to corruption, but no, Delcy would rather see the mote in another’s eye and deny the humanitarian crisis, hyperinflation, general shortages and the decline of all public services. Meanwhile, Remigio Ceballos, head of the Armed Forces’ Strategic Operational Command, told cousin Mumm-Ra (José Vicente Rangel) that there are no fissures within the Armed Forces, saying that it’s unthinkable and unacceptable that the brass recognizes Juan Guaidó. He said that deserters are “counter-revolutionary,” denying that soldiers violate human rights, condemning the support that so many democracies have given Guaidó and claiming that social networks are the “current battlefield.”
Taking his words for granted, Ernesto Villegas has consistently failed in that field and Gualberto Ibarreto’s statement demanding the access of humanitarian aid was a bombshell.
COMUNICADO OFICIAL DE GUALBERTO IBARRETO – 10/02/2019. pic.twitter.com/UtoK5ucdPF
— Gualberto Ibarreto (@Gibarreto47) February 10, 2019
The mechanisms of repression
Romelis Guilarte is the mom of Jickson Rodríguez, the kid who was jailed on January 23rd despite his age (14 years old) and neurological condition (he’s been epileptic since he was 5 years old). After his release with precautionary measures on January 29th, Jickson spoke of the cruel and inhuman treatment he suffered. Last Saturday night, his mom was arrested by the National Guard, who accused her of manipulating her son to speak ill of them.
Pasadas las 11pm de #9Feb, Romelis Guilarte fue liberada, tras permanecer detenida en un puesto castrense de Unare, en Puerto Ordaz. De momento, se desconoce el motivo de la detención. https://t.co/K3YWqeDe7v
— Carlos Suniaga G. (@CarlosSuniagaG) February 10, 2019
With this abuse, let’s quote Fernando Pereira from Cecodap, who reminds us: “67 teenagers remain detained among the 120 prisoners since January 21st. 53 were released but let’s not forget those who remain.”
67 adolescentes permanecen detenidos de los 120 privados de libertad desde el 21 de enero. 53 fueron excarcelados pero no olvidemos a los que permanecen #liberenaninosyadolescentes pic.twitter.com/B6ywfFYspK
— Fernando Pereira V (@Fernanpereirav) February 9, 2019
Caretaker President Juan Guaidó denounced this Sunday that his family was again targeted by persecution from state security bodies; this time they visited the house of his wife’s grandmother in Mérida State, an 83-year-old lady. Armando.Info released an interesting work about lieutenant colonel Igbert Marín Chaparro, who used to lead the Ayala battalion: in March 2018, this commander was summoned by the Defense Ministry where he spoke of the dissatisfaction among soldiers affected by the crisis. He left the office straight to prison. His detention wasn’t made public, allegedly because he was respected among his superiors and troops, and he remains in DGCIM headquarters (and not in Ramo Verde) because they fear his ascendancy might influence the balance that the regime is holding.
Reuters says that PDVSA instructed the chairmen of mixed companies that from now on, they’ll receive the money from oil exports in a new bank account in the Russian bank Gazpombank to sidestep the sanctions imposed by the United States, but Gazpombank said this Sunday that PDVSA has had accounts in the entity for several years, and they haven’t opened another account recently.
La estatal Petróleos de Venezuela (@PDVSA) instruyó a los presidentes de las empresas mixtas que en adelante recibirán el dinero por las exportaciones de crudo en una nueva cuenta bancaria en la institución rusa Gazprombank para sortear las sanciones impuestas por Estados Unidos https://t.co/muJZyHGOGO
— Reuters Venezuela (@ReutersVzla) February 10, 2019
Additionally, Carlos Paparoni, head of the National Assembly’s Finance Committee, cautioned about a new modality executed by the regime to obtain foreign currency: PDVSA is seeking to trade its foreign debt bonds through an exchange in Bulgaria. “They’re asking the debtors to send money there so that they can retrieve it in cash,” Paparoni wrote.
#DENUNCIA Usurpadores en PDVSA quieren usar una casa de bolsa en Bulgaria para seguir saqueando el dinero de vzla, piden a los deudores les manden dinero por ests vía para ellos poder sacarlo en efectivo Ya nos comunicamos con Bulgaria! No se robarán ni un dólar más (1/2) pic.twitter.com/3pKxTRvCCb
— Carlos Paparoni (@CarlosPaparoni) February 9, 2019
Movements on the board
The U.S. is pressuring the UN Security Council to demand free, fair and credible presidential elections in Venezuela with international observers, said diplomats, a measure that allegedly made Russia propose a rival project to seek a solution, expressing their “concern for any attempts to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of Venezuela” and “for the threats to use force against the territorial integrity and political independence” of Venezuela. In any case, Mike Pompeo held a meeting with the executive director of FAO to discuss the situation in Venezuela and Yemen.
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 10, 2019
Former Vice-President Joe Biden said that “Only a tyrant would prevent the delivery of food and medicine to people he claims to lead,” later adding that it’s time for Nicolás to leave power and allow a democratic transition.
Only a tyrant would prevent the delivery of food and medicine to people he claims to lead. The international community must support Juan Guaido and the National Assembly. It is time for Maduro to step aside and allow a democratic transition. The Venezuelan people deserve better.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 9, 2019
After the power outage in Miraflores during the press conference, security advisor John Bolton said that “the lights are going off” for Nicolás’s regime.
Caretaker President Juan Guaidó called the people to join the protest on Tuesday, February 12th, to demand the access of humanitarian aid. See you at 10:00 a.m.