A New Authority

Caretaker President Guaidó appointed José Ignacio Hernández as Special Prosecutor. Critical situation in Santa Elena de Uairen, while the regime blocks the Simón Bolívar bridge with containers. Hugo Carvajal offers his insights on the Armed Forces. Several delegations abandon the UN Human Rights Council when Jorge Arreaza started speaking.

Photo: @Naky retrieved

This Wednesday, February 27th, Caretaker President Juan Guaidó appointed José Ignacio Hernández as Special Prosecutor of the Republic. Prof. Hernández thanked him for the trust and vowed his dedication, work and effort.

At the Federal Legislative Palace, after leaving behind the aggressive actions of some workers of Parliament’s chavista union, lawmakers reviewed the report of the special committee about the humanitarian aid process, denouncing regime repression and violence state by state. The National Assembly asked the UN, the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the European Parliament to condemn violence, to send an official commission to accompany the investigation about the massacre that took place over February 23rd and 24th, and also to ask the Inter American Commission on Human Rights to issue protective measures for the Pemon community and for health volunteers. The report will be presented before the International Criminal Court as evidence that Nicolás has committed crimes against humanity.

At the border

Lawmaker Rommel Guzamana made a detailed (and devastating) exposition about the tragic events experienced in Santa Elena de Uairen, including the use of inmates from El Dorado and Vista Hermosa prisons for repressive tasks, the number of people dead, wounded and detained, and the fact that they’re currently under siege.

The Simón Bolívar bridge started the day blocked by containers, replicating the technique used at the Las Tienditas bridge. The Colombian Foreign Ministry decided to restrict the crossing of the international bridge until there are guarantees for passersby.

Colombian Immigration reported that 411 military and police officers have crossed the border in four days, disregarding Nicolás Maduro.

30 years since the Caracazo

“On February 27th, yes, that’s when everything started. Three years later, we rebelled in a garrison,” said Diosdado Cabello on the stage they set up at the Petare wall for another event full of militiamen and public employees. Cabello boasted that the “young chavistas” (another name for the colectivos, I guess) and the PNB made protesters flee on February 23rd, saying that it was “an inflection point in that everyday battle.” Venezuela still doesn’t comply with the ruling of the Inter American Court about the Caracazo which, among other things, established that military forces mustn’t be used in public order control operations. Chavismo keeps using this date as an emblem, but in 20 years in power, they’ve done nothing against the culprits, because impunity, as the Committee of the Families of Victims (COFAVIC) said, “has a political function, it sends a message that aggressors will never be punished.”

It was beautiful to see so many empty chairs in Elías Jaua’s event in Menca de Leoni, Guarenas, as well as an excess of Nicolás’ defense minister Padrino López, who claimed that the Armed Forces will never again “be a force of internal occupation attacking and subduing the people under orders of the oligarchies and political elites.” They also need to restrain their cynicism.

Chavismo’s remaining noise

On February 23rd, lieutenant Grecia Roque Castillo, detained by indigenous security at Kumarakapay, begged for forgiveness for the Army’s crime of “shooting against the indigenous people.” Yesterday, she re-appeared with another version, where the natives are the bad guys and they fired arrows, pinched tires, threw rocks and stripped her peers naked. She also cried; please, an Oscar for Grecia. At the port of La Guaira, a fire broke out in the warehouse where CLAP boxes were assembled and electricity (darkness) minister Luis Motta Domínguez said that it was “a right-wing sabotage”; while Delcy Rodríguez said it’s “an example of humanitarian aid through violence and destruction.”

At least eight tons of gold left the Central Bank’s vaults in the last week presumably to be sold as contraband abroad, said lawmaker Ángel Alvarado and three regime sources yesterday; strangely, that was reported the same day that former national treasurer Alejandro Andrade was sent to an American jail to serve a 10-year sentence for corruption. With the country in recession, with hyperinflation, shortages and collapsed public services, Nicolás dedicated his night broadcast to the Carnival, even copying Guaidó’s phrase: “We’re doing well, we’re doing very well.” Why? Because Nicolás is a disguise.

El Pollo’s Considerations

From his Twitter account, Hugo Carvajal, creator of chavismo’s military intelligence and counterintelligence agencies, presented his ideas about the possibility of diminishing the support of the Armed Forces to Nicolás. In his view, it’s true that 90% of the FAN wants to uphold the Constitution, “but the control is much more unyielding than you can imagine,” cautioning that there’s no way of neutralizing the high command without starting a war. He defines the National Guard as “the true handmaids of drug trafficking in Venezuela,” setting it apart from the Army, the Navy and the Aviation, which he considers mostly “healthy”. According to El Pollo, the healthy FAN would be willing to clear the territory off irregular groups (FARC, ELN, drug traffickers, colectivos, etc.), so the main goal should be dismantling “the Cuban intelligence apparatus and control mechanisms.” He’ll directly relay President Guaidó the strategy to achieve that, as well as more confidential information.

Lonelier than Arreaza at the UN

Dozens of diplomatic representatives showed their rejection to the regime leaving the Human Rights Council when Jorge Arreaza started his speech. Before his meagre audience, he said that the United States is trying to topple the regime and that they’ve lost $30 billion in “confiscated” assets since November 2017, including those belonging to State company CITGO. Despite this complaint, he suggested that Nicolás and Donald Trump should meet to “try and find common ground” and talk about their differences.

Arreaza got two answers: U.S. Vice-president Mike Pence said that the only thing they’re going to discuss with Nicolás “is the time and date of his departure. For democracy to return and for Venezuela to rebuild, Maduro must go”; also, the U.S. requested a vote at the UN about Venezuela for this Thursday.

Other movements on the board

Juan Guaidó will meet this Thursday with President Jair Bolsonaro in Brasilia. OAS chief Luis Almagro and European Parliament Speaker Antonio Tajani agreed that “if there’s no cause for constitutional or legal disqualification,” they wouldn’t object if Nicolás runs as a candidate in new presidential elections, cautioning that these polls should comply with international standards and new electoral authorities. Before that, Gonzalo Koncke, chief of cabinet of the OAS secretary general, said that he believes the transition in Venezuela won’t be immediate and probably not spectacular either, but that it will come through the increasing pressure of the international community. Spanish President Pedro Sánchez said that Nicolás “doesn’t have any intention to negotiate,” insisting that free elections must be held. Alí Uzcátegui, Nicolás’ ambassador in the Dominican Republic, put up a sad show when he attended the accountability speech, an event to which he wasn’t invited because the Dominican government only recognizes Juan Guaidó.

The xenophobic ideas of Uruguayan Vice-president Lucía Topolansky to solve our crisis don’t deserve any comments here. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with Delcy Rodríguez on March 1st in Moscow.

Francisco Eguiguren, rapporteur of the IACHR, expressed his concern for what might happen to Juan Guaidó upon his return to the country, assuming this as a fire trial for Nicolás, because if he arrests Guaidó, it would evidence “a next step in repression.” Eguiguren should know that yesterday, the regime once again blocked Twitter and SoundCloud; and how after the threat that Tinaco mayor José Rivas issued 10 days ago, CONATEL shut down the radio station Rumbera 94.7 FM in Cojedes.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.