Enough Dead Patients

Photo: Tal Cual

After a protest in front of the J.M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital denouncing the recent deaths of patients, this Wednesday representatives from various health sectors marched to the Venezuelan Red Cross’ headquarters, along with relatives and patients, demanding explanations about the humanitarian aid that this institution received and should’ve distributed. A committee headed by Dr. Carlos Prosperi, chief of the Association of Internal Doctors and Residents of the Vargas Hospital, met with the Red Cross’ board. When the meeting concluded, Prosperi said that they told him other Red Cross planes with hypertensive medicine and antibiotics will arrive in coming months.

But the pain is now, because the complex humanitarian emergency is getting worse, because the shortage of medicines and supplies is considerable, because the regime has merely kept silent before the drama that takes lives daily. There were complaints against the regime’s Health Minister Carlos Alvarado for his terrible administration, and also for Nicolás’s indifference with the daily deaths of dozens of Venezuelans, deaths which could be prevented.

One less deputy

The Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) asked the National Constituent Assembly (ANC) to strip deputy Rafael Guzmán of his immunity. They did it with the same template, arguments and crimes they’ve used against the legislators who have already been stripped of their immunity without respecting due process.

Deputy Guzmán said that Nicolás “continues in his goal of persecuting and destroying the National Assembly, but no shameful tribunal will forcefully take from us what our people has given us with their votes.”

After the failed military uprising on April 30th, the TSJ, the Prosecutor’s Office and the ANC have stripped 14 deputies of their immunity: eight of them remain underground, four are under the protection of foreign governments, one fled to Colombia and AN Vice-President Edgar Zambrano is still missing.

No agreements in Oslo

Norway said this Wednesday that there was willingness to seek a solution to the current political crisis in the second round of talks, “in the search for an agreed-upon and constitutional solution for the country, which includes political, economic and electoral matters,” says the statement issued by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, urging the parties to show caution to avoid affecting the process. In Caracas, caretaker President Juan Guaidó said in a statement that the meeting concluded without agreements, thanking the Norwegian government for their mediation and ratifying his willingness to keep searching for a solution.

U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence said that he spoke with Guaidó: “Told him America will continue to stand with Venezuela until freedom is restored! The people of Venezuela are suffering under dictatorship and oppression. Nicolás Maduro must go,” he wrote.

Nicolás’s version

Nicolás ignored Norway’s suggestion and said that he’s been negotiating in secret for the past “two or three months” with the opposition, adding that he wants a peace agreement. The recent pacifist didn’t say with whom he held those “secret and prudent talks,” but he had the gall to recommend opposition leaders to be brave and tell people the truth. Preserving the process that could lead to results isn’t a priority for Nicolás, but lying is. That’s why he held an event to promote fishing and offering resources for the fishing sector, although according to data published by the Central Bank, fish processing and conservation dropped by over 90% between 2018 and 2019.

Let’s talk about human rights

  • Elderly citizens divulged a document denouncing the minimum payment that the nearly 4.5 Venezuelan pensioners receive, and the violation against their rights to health and food.
  • Rubén González, general coordinator of the union of CVG Ferrominera Orinoco, has been unjustly held for six months in the military wing of La Pica prison. There’s no date for his trial for the military crimes he’s accused of: attack on the centinel, offense against the centinel and offense against the Armed Forces.
  • An image went viral yesterday showing Medicine students at the University of Zulia having a test on the floor of the school’s hallway because electric failures prevent them from using the classrooms. Also yesterday, René Rivas, head of Lara State’s Association of Physicians, said that the “Hugo Chávez Frías” University of Health Sciences issued a call for post-graduate contests that will be shorter that those taught in the country’s autonomous universities. The Association’s Ethics Committee will summon the conveners, Iver Gil and Simón Uzcátegui.

The non-country

  • In 2018, Nicolás managed to make the payments for the foreign public debt. Despite the drop in oil production and the sanctions, he paid $12.3 billion, $10.9 billion of which were for public debt bondholders, and for loans granted by China and Russia.
  • Businessman José Manuel González Testino, captured in July last year in Miami, pleaded guilty for his involvement in a network of bribes in PDVSA and its branch company CITGO, to secure and illegally hold contracts in energy and logistics.
  • The community of Galipán denounced the construction of a cable car system between this sector of the Ávila and Vargas State, as the town’s inhabitants are being harassed because they oppose the development of the work in their properties “without legal guarantees of risk mitigation, regarding the integrity of their properties and a negotiated compensation,” they say in their statement. They emphasize their complaint for how the representatives of companies Ventel and AlfaMaq have harassed them to force their consent for the civil work’s development. By the way, the Inparques union and environmental activists have explained that this construction is a crime against Galipán’s ecosystem.

Other movements on the board

  • The OAS Permanent Council debated about the forced displacement and the health situation in Venezuela. While Colombia demanded more help and greater regional coordination to assist those who flee Venezuela, Argentina announced that they’re organizing the 4th Quito Process meeting, to be held on July 4th and 5th. The Quito Process is the name of the meetings and commitments established among 11 Latin American countries to coordinate the response to our migration crisis.

  • Before the Lima Group and the European Union’s International Contact Group meet on June 3rd, the ambassador appointed by Guaidó in Brazil held a meeting with the ambassadors of the Lima Group’s countries and Canadian Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Grant.

  • The French Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing yesterday to discuss Venezuela’s situation. They had testimonies from Lorent Saleh, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez and deputy Rosmit Mantilla, whose human rights efforts were recognized by the French Senate’s plenary.

We go on.

Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.