“We’re Coming For You”

Edgar Zambrano is indicted and imprisoned in the Tiuna Fort and the homes of lawmakers are marked with threatening messages. The U.S. issues more sanctions. Spanish authorities arrested a former Chávez minister and Colombia indicted businessman Álex Saab. President Iván Duque says that ELN leaders are in Venezuelan territory protected by the regime. Nicolás claims he always knew about the April 30th uprising. Thousands of people live with HIV and without treatment in Venezuela.

Photo: @gabyarellanoVE

The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (IACHR) expressed concern for the TSJ’s decision to strip several lawmakers of their parliamentary immunity using the institutional farce of the National Constituent Assembly. The IACHR emphasizes that they’d already cautioned about the absence of Rule of Law in Venezuela, and that this is confirmed with the constant interference of the TSJ and the ANC in the National Assembly’s work.

Now we have to document the coordinated action of political violence executed between yesterday and today against the homes of lawmakers and other political leaders in at least eight states in the country, with threatening phrases such as: “We’re coming for you,” and “We’re coming for you, fascist,” allegedly painted by paramilitary groups (colectivos).

Aside from the threats, several lawmakers have denounced that State Secret Police (SEBIN) patrols are harassing them.

Yesterday afternoon, lawmaker Luis Florido said through Twitter that he’s in Colombia “sheltered from a regime that’s willing to murder (…) that’s willing to imprison,” becoming another lawmaker in exile.

Violating their rights

Early this Friday, the Second Special Control Court of First Instance, with authority in cases tied to terrorism, issued a prison sentence against First National Assembly Vice-President, lawmaker Edgar Zambrano, and against the four people who were with him during the arrest, violating due process denying them the possibility to get in touch with their defense lawyers so they could accompany and represent them during the hearing.

The Second Court disregarded two of the seven crimes the TSJ accused him of: instigation to insurrection and aiding and abetting. The Court decided that the investigation will continue through the ordinary procedure and appointed the Military Police headquarters in the Tiuna military fort as the detention center. Lawmaker Gilber Caro has been missing for 14 days. His defense wanted to request an habeas corpus and the justice system refused them.

Chavismo’s setbacks

  • This Thursday, Spanish authorities arrested Hugo Chávez’s former electrical development minister Javier Alvarado Ochoa, for being allegedly linked to the payment of commissions and bribes by engineering company Duro Felguera. He’ll presumably be indicted for changes of international corruption and money laundering.
  • The Colombian Prosecutor’s Office indicted Álex Saab Moran, a businessman linked to the scandal of the CLAP boxes, for money laundering, aiding and abetting, illegal enrichment, fake exports and imports and aggravated fraud for the scandal of his company Shatex. The Prosecutor’s Office says that Álex Saab and his partners laundered $25 billion, mostly coming from Venezuela.
  • This Friday, the U.S. government sanctioned another two companies, Monsoon Navigation Corporation and Serenity Maritime Limited, for shipping Venezuelan oil to Cuba. The Treasury Department also decided that any local or foreign company that does business with the regime’s security and defense sectors will be subject to sanctions. The new sanctions, they explained, “are a direct response to SEBIN’s illegal arrest of National Assembly members.”

And at the borders

The regime opened the borders with Brazil and air and sea transit with Aruba (fortunately, land transit is a bit complex,) said Tareck El Aissami. Meanwhile, Colombian President Iván Duque denounced that Nicolás’ support for the National Liberation Army (ELN) “is a violation of Resolution 1373 of the UN Security Council. The dictator has been violating International Law, promoting terrorism (…) and I insist, the leaders are in Venezuelan territory.” Duque urged President Guaidó and the AN to aid in capturing the criminals.

“Our Colombian brothers can be certain that Venezuela will no longer be a sanctuary for terrorists. We’ll carry out all procedures together with the National Assembly to cooperate with Colombia and the world in preventing and stopping attacks that have put the population of both countries in check,” Guaidó answered. Regime foreign minister Jorge Arreaza claimed that President Duque “is a scandalously compulsive liar.” Sadly, the same phrase was used by the Cuban Foreign Minister to disregard John Bolton’s statements a couple of weeks ago.

If it’s about…

…Scandalously compulsive liars, Nicolás claimed this Friday that the coordinator of the April 30th uprising was former SEBIN director Manuel Cristopher Figuera. In his tale of the 10 days after, Cristopher Figuera was recruited by CIA “over a year ago,” and was working in that institution, but Vladimir Padrino López, Maikel Moreno and Iván Hernández Dala warned him a week before the uprising, about the general’s “strange behavior.” The trio has Nicolás’ absolute trust, despite acting like double agents for so long. The most interesting part is that Cristopher Figuera was to be detained at 9:00 a.m. on April 30th and replaced by González López, but “he got wind of that somehow and rushed [the uprising],” leaving his troop alone and fleeing. For Nicolás, this is “the first coup planned over Twitter”; for others, it’s the first organized with the help of frontmen.

Let’s talk about Human Rights

  • A year ago yesterday, Pedro Jaimes was arbitrarily detained for sharing the presidential plane’s route on his Twitter account (@AereoMateo), as if it was a crime, although the information on aviation and meteorology is freely accessible on the internet. Since his detention, he’s faced an unfair judicial process and suffered cruel and degrading treatment. Pedro is the 17th person arrested for tweeting.

  • Dr. Carmelo Gallardo, hematologist and chief of Maracay’s Blood Bank, was arrested on April 30th for protesting. Since then he’s been protesting his unfair imprisonment on social media. Yesterday, his wife María Andreína Pérez once again asked #LibertadParaCarmelo.

  • Over 70,000 people live with HIV in Venezuela, including children. Yesterday, Icaso denounced that “thousands of boxes with antiretroviral treatment of various kinds and brands” has been retained in the Jipana Warehouse, and urged the regime’s health authorities to immediately deliver them to patients.

Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba died yesterday at 67 years old. He was one of the most important political figures of democratic Spain, a statist, a brilliant man, considered by the Spanish to be the politician that put an end to ETA. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó called for a rally this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. in the Alfredo Sadel Square in defense of persecuted lawmakers, the National Assembly and the country. See you there.

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.