At 6:00 a.m. this Friday, February 22nd, in Kumarakapay (San Francisco de Yuruaní, Bolivar State) the Aretauka (indigenous communal guard) retained a National Guard and Army convoy on its way to Santa Elena de Uairen to prevent the entry of humanitarian aid. The soldiers used tear gas and gunfire against the natives, leaving the sad balance of 14 people wounded and one dead: Zoraida Rodríguez, an empanadera who was shot three times despite being at home with her children when the attack took place. The Aretauka retained the vehicle of general José Miguel Montoya Rodríguez, commander of the GN, and his two escorts. Montoya told the natives that the order to shoot against any obstacle came from Nicolás.
Sobre lo ocurrido en #Kumarakapay (San Francisco de Yuruani) este #22Feb:
A las 6:00am los Aretauka (Guardia comunal del sector) retuvieron un convoy de la GN y Ejército que se dirigía a #SantaElenaDeUairén para impedir la entrada de la #AyudaHumanitaria.#Bolívar #Venezuela pic.twitter.com/6Y9lwxoSUl
— Germán Dam (@GEDV86) February 22, 2019
— Americo De Grazia (@AmericoDeGrazia) February 22, 2019
Desgarrador testimonio de uno de los pemones heridos, Alberto Delgado, quién manifestó que se enfrentó a la GNB por su abuelo y tío quienes tienen problemas de salud y no tienen recursos para costear todos los gastos. #Venezuela #VenezuelaAidLive #22F #AyudaHumanitaria pic.twitter.com/S2b1lll2wb
— Cristian Crespo F. (@cristiancrespoj) February 22, 2019
Later, another Pemon, Rolando García, who was taken to the Pacaraima Hospital in Brazil after he was wounded, also died. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó expressed his solidarity with the Pemon people and demanded generals Jesús Mantilla Oliveros and Alberto Mirtiliano Bermúdez to capture and turn those responsible in.
En la comunidad de #Kumarakapay, 2 efectivos disparan ráfagas contra pemones que estaban en el puesto de control de la guardia. Resultado de este crimen: 12 personas heridas y 1 fallecida. Nuestra solidaridad con ellos. No quedará impune. #22Feb
— Juan Guaidó (@jguaido) February 22, 2019
Afterwards, there was another attack at the airport of Santa Elena de Uairen when the Waramasen indigenous community surrounded the GN.
#22Feb 11:22 am El aeropuerto de Santa Elena lo tomó la Guardia Nacional. 40 miembros de la comunidad indígena de Waramasen acaban de rodear a la GNB. Ahora hay disparos contra la comunidad #GranSabana #AyudaHumanitaria
— Clavel Rangel J. (@ClavelRangel) February 22, 2019
Muere otro Pemon de los heridos en #Kumarakapay Rolando Garcia. Y tres más se encuentran gravemente heridos. Para un total de 2 muertos y 14 heridos. Indígenas retienen al Gral de la GN José Miguel Montoya quien comando el trágico asalto. pic.twitter.com/SFgLhmFYgN
— Americo De Grazia (@AmericoDeGrazia) February 22, 2019
Diosdado Cabello denied the GN’s responsibility in the attack, calling it a “false positive” and blaming it on lawmaker Américo de Grazia. Jorge Arreaza reproduced Cabello’s statement verbatim, except that he blamed it on the “mediatic war,” but added that the wounds were made with “blades, arrows and such.” The Prosecutor’s Office hasn’t announced the start of an investigation.
— VPItv (@VPITV) February 22, 2019
Other forms of repression
Lawmaker Juan Requesens was taken this Friday from SEBIN HQ to Justice Palace for his preliminary hearing. After a six-hour wait, the parliamentarian’s hearing started, but it ended in a third suspension (until March 8th) “because there are too many elements” in his file that the diligent judge Carol Padilla hasn’t been able to review.
El abogado Joel García informa sobre la suspensión de la audiencia preliminar de Juan Requesens, luego de que la jueza Carol Padilla alegara que hay 17 acusaciones y sobrepasó la hora #22Feb – vía @SammyPaola https://t.co/w143zdPNx4 pic.twitter.com/GdhRmK6XCm
— El Pitazo (@ElPitazoTV) February 23, 2019
Also yesterday, judge María Afiuni recused the judge in charge of her cause mid-trial, and denounced him for the crime of denying justice. The judge had María Afiuni taken from the court and the trial was postponed for March 15th.
El juicio político quedó diferido para el #15Mar con el “ juez “ denunciado penalmente y recusado por la acusada !
Además el juicio está interrumpido por el tiempo transcurrido y el “juez “ se negó a dar el cómputo de los días transcurridos !
— José AMALIO Graterol (@JoseAGraterol) February 22, 2019
When silence defeated noise
Grupo Niche and even the copycats of Las Chicas del Can rejected the regime’s invitation to sing in their (dis)concert. Darío Vivas said in the morning: “Vallenato is coming,” in order to clear the doubt for the event’s lineup.
Asked repeatedly what artists are coming to the chavista concert, senior lawmaker Dario Vivas only said “Vallenato is coming.” pic.twitter.com/ooaeUJevsu
— Anatoly Kurmanaev (@AKurmanaev) February 22, 2019
He lied. It took many hours for the audience, transported in Yutong buses and taking cover from the sun under some tents, could enter the stage’s area, where the sound check was done with songs from Guaco and Carlos Vives.
— Valentina Lares (@valentinalares) February 22, 2019
The shameful chavista stage included acrobats, performers of electoral jingles and even plagiarists. The regime’s Electricity Minister Motta Domínguez once again showed the talents of his portfolio and that’s why there was a blackout on stage. Nicolás was the great absence in this story, while it was revealed that Tareck El Aissami travelled to Moscow and once again, Delcy Rodríguez attacked the humanitarian aid, informing more Venezuelans about the possibility of its entry. Last night, while Freddy Bernal celebrated on VTV the arrival of 17 trucks with 20,000 CLAP boxes at Tachira, which they’ll distribute on Saturday among the poorest inhabitants of Cucuta, Delcy announced on Twitter that the bridges Simón Bolívar, Santander and Unión at the border with Colombia will be closed, proving the high level of coordination among Nicolás’s loyalists.
El Gobierno Bolivariano informa a la población que, debido a las serias e ilegales amenazas intentadas por el Gobierno de Colombia contra La Paz y la soberanía de Venezuela, ha tomado la decisión de un cierre total temporal de los puentes Simón Bolívar, Santander y Unión!
— Delcy Rodríguez (@DrodriguezVen) February 23, 2019
About humanitarian aid
Very early, Colombian Immigration denounced that Venezuelan soldiers welded the containers that block the Las Tienditas binational bridge, “as if it was a metaphor of the dictator clinging to power,” the Colombian institution said in its text.
Migración Colombia denuncia que funcionarios de Maduro soldaron durante la noche de ayer los contenedores atravesados en el Puente Binacional de Tienditas. “Como si fuese una metáfora del Dictador aferrándose al poder”, es parte del texto enviado por la institución migratoria pic.twitter.com/imGuUcNNvi
— Raylí Luján (@RayliLujan) February 22, 2019
Later, British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said: “Maduro closing borders to humanitarian aid while innocent Venezuelans suffer is disgusting and wholly unacceptable. The blocking of any aid is inhumane, it must be allowed in. Venezuelans have suffered enough.”
Maduro closing borders to humanitarian aid while innocent Venezuelans suffer is disgusting and wholly unacceptable. The blocking of any aid is inhumane, it must be allowed in. Venezuelans have suffered enough
— Jeremy Hunt (@Jeremy_Hunt) February 22, 2019
Another military plane with 74 tons of humanitarian aid landed in at the border between Brazil and Venezuela, while new shipments of aid reached Cucuta from Chile and the United States.
Hasta esta base aérea de Boa Vista (Roraima) han llegado ~74 toneladas de arroz, leche en polvo, azúcar y kits de emergencia. Parte es aportada por el Gobierno de EEUU, el resto por Brasil.
Se desconoce cómo y cuándo llegará a la frontera con Venezuela pic.twitter.com/39AdVOKHNU
— naiara galarraga gortázar (@naiaragg) February 22, 2019
— Te Lo Cuento News (@TeLoCuentoNews) February 22, 2019
Hoy salió un nuevo cargamento de ayuda humanitaria de EE.UU. para los venezolanos. Suficiente arroz para alimentar a cerca de 2.000 personas por un mes y suministros médicos como sillas de rueda, muletas y vendas están entre los artículos que llegan a Cúcuta. #EstamosUnidosVE pic.twitter.com/exojIrvBIj
— USA en Español (@USAenEspanol) February 22, 2019
Lawmaker Miguel Pizarro, head of the National Assembly’s Special Committee for the Oversight of Humanitarian Aid, announced that the aid will enter the country across three points this Saturday, at the borders with Colombia and Brazil, without indicating where President Guaidó will be, but emphasizing that it will be a peaceful action aimed at opening a humanitarian channel. The marches will be led by priests, doctors, nurses and patients’ relatives.
Other movements on the board
The Presidents of Chile and Paraguay, Sebastián Piñera and Mario Abdo Benítez, travelled to Cucuta to participate in the entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela. “We’re showing the world that this process is irreversible and that a new institutional order is coming to Venezuela,” said Colombian President Iván Duque. OAS chief Luis Almagro also joined them. The Brazilian government dismissed any “aggressive action” at the border with Venezuela, after Nicolás closed it. After Jorge Arreaza met with UN Secretary General António Guterres, the institution issued a statement urging to avoid violence this Saturday; sadly, Arreaza didn’t tell them about the attack against the Pemon communities. Also, Arreaza confirmed that there will be a third meeting with U.S. special envoy Elliott Abrams, to discuss the diplomatic conditions between both nations, but Abrams said yesterday in Cucuta that the democratic world stands with Venezuela, that we need change and that change is led by Juan Guaidó.
Eliott Abrams, representante especial de Los Estados Unidos para Venezuela, destaca que los gobiernos democráticos están con Venezuela #22feb – vía @RaynerPenaR https://t.co/xBChJdxjQG pic.twitter.com/UVkBPND93c
— El Pitazo (@ElPitazoTV) February 22, 2019
Ah! CITGO officially confirmed the appointment of its new board of directors chosen by the National Assembly.
Juan Guaidó challenged Nicolás this Friday after crossing the border to Cucuta and attend Cucustock. The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) issued an order barring him from leaving the country and still, the caretaker President explained that he managed to cross thanks to the help of Armed Force officers: “Here we are. This bridge is mine. We can, we can, of course we can,” said Guaidó in a video as he crossed the Las Tienditas bridge. The tension in Santa Elena de Uairen hasn’t declined and there’s been reports of repression on site after 11:00 p.m.
— Dra. Ammy Prada (@ammy_prada) February 23, 2019
All of this seems to be the denial of the emotion kindled by Cucustock; chavismo has no other desire but to crush hope, but they’re wrong. Yesterday saw our nation wrapped in musical notes: thank you, Colombia!Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.