Michelle is Here

Photo: @mbachelet

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, arrived in Venezuela from Canada via Panama, living the unpleasant experience of a nation with few operational airlines because Nicolás’s regime didn’t honor the billionaire debts it acquired with them. She was received in Maiquetia by the regime’s Human Rights Executive Secretary Larry Devoe, who has represented the state in various instances, denying their violations, refuting the victims’ arguments. The exaggerated security ring even prevented the work of the free press and closed access to the airport. Earlier, Nicolás commented that Bachelet’s visit had to be “to listen to recommendations, proposals of a high professional and human level, so that Venezuela can improve,” and he welcomed her with those expectations.

The first meeting

Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza met Bachelet with a repertoire of the Children Symphonic Orchestra and the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra at the Foreign Ministry headquarters, and once the meeting (where only official news outlets were present) had ended, he said: “We hope that she’ll guide us so that we can go hand in hand with [the United Nations System] to correct whatever needs correcting and rectify whatever needs rectifying,” restating that there will be meetings with public powers and private organizations “that will express their concerns with complete freedom.”

Arreaza explained that he told her about the Venezuelan model of human rights guarantees and that they studied “the blockade’s impact”; that chavismo has an “anti-neoliberal and anti-privatizing model that prioritizes human beings” (yes, he said that); and that they’ll provide everything so that the ministers and representatives of public powers can meet with Bachelet. Sadly, he didn’t mention the makeover they made on the Helicoide, or why they’ve kept silent about the massacre that took place in Tachira last Tuesday.

The non-country

The visit put pressure on the regime’s creative capacities and that’s why this Wednesday they announced vaccination campaigns, exhibitions of art made by prisoners, the Great Housing Mission completing the house N° 2,658,654 with the construction sector in contraction! All due to the Bachelet effect. Nicolás approved resources to open one million wallet accounts and give young citizens “cryptocurrency exchanges through the Digital Bank”; he also approved resources to finance productive credits and even took a walk through Los Caobos park and greeted a group of kids playing football, offering them his support to improve their training court; he doesn’t visit the kids at the J.M. de los Ríos Children’s Hospital. Digital outlets such as El Pitazo and Efecto Cocuyo have been suffering blocks since Monday which, according to the Press and Society Institute, were implemented through all phone companies. El Pitazo has been severely affected by chavismo’s fierce digital censorship and yesterday they published a mail where Conatel ordered teleoperators to impose the blockade, preventing the access to information. Welcome, Bachelet.

The Agrofood Plan

Caretaker President Juan Guaidó presented the Agrofood Plan País at the Metropolitan University and spoke about the data he’s collected in each visit he’s made to various states in the country: “In our tour through the Merida Andes and in Barinas, we didn’t see producers in the field but in a gasoline queue. Venezuelans need to work. We don’t want any giveaways (…) We want to recover the field.”

Deputy Carlos Paparoni, head of the Finance Committee, reappeared in the Plan País presentation after the Supreme Tribunal of Justice ordered the start of his trial for his alleged involvement in April 30th events. During his presentation, he said that “the only way for them to defeat us is for us to give up. We must be strong, and soon we’ll harvest Venezuela’s freedom”; he emphasized the bureaucratic complexity that the regime has imposed on producers: “Any of us needs an average of 14 permits to be able to move our products and put them on the any Venezuelan table,” as well as the Seeds Law “that criminalizes Venezuelan producers for having supplies to work,” a topic he connected with the scheme of corruption and social control of the CLAP boxes, saying that if the contents were produced in Venezuela, they’d cost an eighth of the import price.

Let’s talk about human rights

Guaidó expressed his support for the protest set for June 21st in front of UN Development Programme offices, organized by civil institutions to denounce Venezuela’s situation before the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

In that regard, yesterday there were various protests for Michelle Bachelet to know that Nicolás lies; and there were at least three different hashtags on social networks dedicated to giving Bachelet more information which, in a country amidst humanitarian emergency, involved a painful range of complaints, from malnutrition, going through the collapse of public services, to all the initiatives of defenders and the relatives of political prisoners who see this visit as a unique chance to manage their release. But the regime won’t stop imprisoning citizens, and that’s why business owner Daniel Denis was arrested in Guarico when he refused to pay his taxes in petros, as denounced by former Fedenaga chairman Carlos Albornoz.

In that same state, there was a riot in the “26 de julio” prison, which left a balance of one person dead and five wounded; the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons denounced that the riot started because of the poor food given to inmates.

We, the migrants

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, expressed concern for the situation in Latin America, due to the actions of armed groups, as well as the specific crisis in Venezuela. UNHCR’s annual report shows that the figure of displaced citizens reaches almost 71 million people, the highest figure recorded in 70 years. Regarding Venezuela, Grandi explained that not all of the four million migrants are refugees, “but many flee situations of violence and need protection in neighboring countries.”

Meanwhile, the Australian government will prioritize Venezuelans in their refugee program; while Ecuador is studying the details to impose a humanitarian visa and the regime said that Venezuelan passports and extensions for citizens in Colombia can only be retrieved at SAIME offices in Caracas, which will force Iván Duque’s government to find options to facilitate the legal stay of Venezuelans in Colombia. Marina Navarro, executive director of Amnesty International in Peru, asked President Martín Vizcarra to revoke the visa demand for Venezuelan migrants, saying that the Peruvian government is being inconsistent with the political speech they’re offering.

CITGO’s provisional board appointed by Juan Guaidó received a request for information from the U.S. Justice Department, which is “carrying out an investigation about corruption practices in Petróleos de Venezuela S.A. and its branch companies for the past several years, and they’ve also requested information from CITGO,” said the board in a statement published on their Twitter account. The board said they’re ready to cooperate

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