An assembly with unions in the Central University’s Concert Hall, was part of caretaker President Juan Guaidó’s agenda for February 14th. The statement of the Venezuelan Central of Workers (CTV) ratifies workers’ commitment to the restitution of constitutional order, recognizing Guaidó as caretaker President and becoming a part of this route for the end of usurpation. The testimonies of public servants about the coercion they suffer for demanding better labor conditions and the layoffs for denouncing poor conditions, were moving. Despite the blackout reported in Caracas, Guaidó took advantage of the event to talk about an important matter: the fallacy of the blockade denounced by the regime, demonstrated in the access of 953 tons of medicines, as announced by Health Minister Carlos Alvarado. For Guaidó, this is an accomplishment of the democratic cause and also Nicolás’s admission of the complex humanitarian crisis we’re experiencing.
— Gabriela Gonzalez (@GabyGabyGG) February 14, 2019
Venezuela as a topic
During the World Conference of the Humanitarian Crisis in Venezuela, David Smolansky, envoy before the Organization of American States (OEA) for the crisis of Venezuelan migrants and refugees, announced that $100 million had been collected for humanitarian aid.
Anuncio importante al país:
En la Conferencia Mundial de la Crisis Humanitaria en Venezuela acabamos de recaudar más de 100 millones de dólares para comida y medicinas en ayuda al pueblo venezolano. #ElMundoConVzla pic.twitter.com/fOaMw9xmcD
— David Smolansky (@dsmolansky) February 14, 2019
OAS chief Luis Almagro requested support for the democratic transition process and said “the end of the usurping dictatorship is the best humanitarian assistance that we can give Venezuela.” U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams emphasized that ours is the largest crisis in the region’s history. The hearing about the situation of human rights in Venezuela was also held yesterday during the 171st Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in Bolivia.
En la audiencia de la @CIDH en Sucre #Bolivia, Javier Tarazona @javiertarazona, Director de Redes, denuncia la incursión de la Farc y el ELN en 14 estados de Venezuela. “Son responsables de 683 desaparecidos y 120 secuestros” en frontera con #Colombia. #14FEB @ReporteYa pic.twitter.com/6iDsBigeDe
— Obeysser Prada T (@ObeysserPrada) February 14, 2019
Among other topics, civil society representatives highlighted the violations against freedom of expression; the murders committed by the FAES; the deaths for lack of medicines; food insecurity, hyperinflation, school absenteeism as consequence of malnutrition; the attacks against academic freedom and the fact that the Venezuelan State hasn’t implemented coherent public policies for this crisis. The comments of regime representative Larry Devoe were irrelevant.
The forms of repression
Continuing the thread on human rights, this Thursday, Venezuelan soldiers started reinforcing the blockade at the Las Tienditas binational bridge. The balance of NGO Foro Penal included the testimonies of relatives of people detained in the National Guard garrison in El Junquito, who detailed all the violations against the rights of the detainees, as well as the cruel and inhuman treatments and tortures they’ve suffered: “They hit them on their knees, their ankles; they threw icy water on them; they sprayed tear gas in their eyes and tried to shave their heads,” denounced the husband of a 28-year-old saleswoman. Other relatives ratified the practices. We’re talking about 1,069 citizens arbitrarily detained between January 21st and 31st this year for protesting; 723 of them remain detained. We conclude with the order issued by the Supreme Tribunal of Justice in Caracas: all employees must “sign against humanitarian aid,” under threat of removal and layoffs, according to Tal Cual.
ANC-imposed prosecutor general Saab announced that the Prosecutor’s Office will open a series of investigations against the PDVSA and CITGO boards appointed by the National Assembly this Wednesday, saying that the conduct of the appointees “conspires against peace and constitutional order.”
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) February 14, 2019
Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced the creation of a coalition of countries to preserve the respect for various precepts established in the UN Charter. Strangely, out of 193 nations, he managed the support of only 10 (with China and Russia among them) but in proportional terms, draw your own conclusions.
— VTV CANAL 8 (@VTVcanal8) February 14, 2019
Later, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber declared the appointments made by the National Assembly for PDVSA and CITGO “absolutely null and lacking any judicial validity”; barring people who have been living abroad for years from leaving the country, freezing their accounts (in bolivars and in hyperinflation) but nothing as bold as ordering the U.S., a nation that doesn’t recognize them as the government, to extradite the appointees. The TSJ’s action is comparable to the videos of military exercises shared recently, they’re so mediocre that we’d like to believe they’re fake. Mediocrity is an insult.
Back to PDVSA
This Wednesday, Bulgaria blocked transfers from various accounts as part of an investigation on suspicions of PDVSA money laundering. The bank Investbank said that they had no relation with Venezuelan banks and that the incoming and outgoing transfers of the accounts were processed through various lenders in the European Union and the U.S., claiming that money transfers from Venezuela to Investbank accounts didn’t violate any regulations or international sanctions. There are around 60 million euros in the suspicious accounts. Believe it or not, yesterday chavismo used the hashtag #CitgoNoSeVende, despite having used this company as guarantee for Rosneft’s loans, giving Russia the control of 49.9% of CITGO. I’ve told you before, they won’t die of coherence. A federal judge ordered former Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez to pay the owners of the company Harvest Natural Resources $1.4 billion as compensation in a fraud lawsuit. Ramírez wasn’t surprised by the decision, it’s just $1.4 billion less for his presidential campaign, after all.
Movements on the board
Cuba’s government accused the U.S. of moving military supplies across Caribbean islands to carry out an armed incursion against Venezuela. Miguel Vargas, Foreign Minister of the Dominican Republic, denied that American planes had landed in the San Isidro Air Base as confirmed by his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodríguez. Slovenia recognized Juan Guaidó as caretaker President until the holding of new presidential elections. Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado announced that his government has given the diplomatic staff at the Venezuelan embassy a period of time to leave the country.
🇨🇷🇻🇪 Presidente @CarlosAlvQ anuncia que dio plazo para que delegación diplomática de Maduro abandone Costa Rica, tras recibir a la nueva representante de Venezuela designada por el Presidente (E) @jguaido. #14Feb Video vía @noticiarepretel pic.twitter.com/DLt59heTBt
— Gabriel Bastidas (@Gbastidas) February 14, 2019
This Thursday, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged the international community to support Colombia and Ecuador in covering the needs of Venezuelan refugees, announcing that Germany is part of an assistance fund. “Day by day, hundreds of refugees cross the borders because their country is experiencing unbearable social conditions,” said Steinmeier. A six-member delegation from the European Parliament will arrive this Sunday to hold several meetings, among them one with Juan Guaidó.
On February 22nd, the Colombian-Venezuelan border will be the venue of a great concert where great musicians such as Carlos Vives, Luis Fonsi, Fonseca, Ricardo Montaner, Alejandro Sanz, Miguel Bosé and Diego Torres, among others will participate. This Cúcuta Woodstock (Cucustock) will be sponsored by eccentric millionaire Richard Branson, and will be organized by Dynamo Producciones. By the way, Branson’s message is quite comprehensive, mixing the denouncement of our complex humanitarian emergency, with Nicolás’s responsibility for it and the need for the access of humanitarian aid.
This is another profoundly peaceful bet to which chavismo will only be able to react with imitation; of course, the audience will have to choose between Roque Valero and Diego Torres, or between Paul Gillman and Peter Gabriel, hahaha!
We go on!