Photo: CNN retrieved 

Unlike the usual parades held on the anniversary of the Battle of Carabobo, Nicolás made a more discrete event and said that 2021 will be a year of “social, economic and cultural glow,” and called public institutions to update the technology and to configure “a perfect weapon system.” As if that offense had been insufficient for a country in ruins and with much more urgent needs to take care of, he also claimed that in 2021, the militia will swell to 4 million members and that each will have their weapon, a task that will be handled by a presidential committee headed by Delcy Rodríguez who, along with nine people (the usual suspects, the few remaining loyalists,) will create “the entire blueprint that we’ll build in the future to become a better country.”

Responding from all spaces

During the military parade to celebrate Army Day, Nicolás rejected the statement of congratulations to the Armed Forces sent on Sunday by Admiral Craig Faller, chief of the U.S. Southern Command: “Is it possible to believe in congratulations that he’s trying to fill with intrigue, hypocrisy, falsehood? Is it possible to believe that the same man who threatens to invade our country respects and loves our Armed Forces?” he asked, because that part about the military having an essential role to restore hope and safety in Venezuela didn’t please him much. He also rejected the comments about alleged splits within the Armed Forces made by Colombian President Iván Duque, and that’s why he called him a “pupper of the empire” and an “oligarch bastard,” and saying that the military has more than enough unity and loyalty, he authorized the Armed Forces “to respond to the Bogota oligarchy from all spaces and tell them in practice, in action and with words, that they’re more united than ever.”

Enforced disappearances (of soldiers)

The Venezuelan Armed Forces are so united that even before UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet left the country, the Bolivarian Service of National Intelligence (SEBIN) started arresting soldiers: retired Aviation colonel Francisco Antonio Torres; Aviation colonel Miguel Castillo Cedeño; Aviation brigadier Miguel Sisco Mora; as well as corvette captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo. Since there was no official statement about their cases, their relatives used social media to denounce the situation. All testimonies agree that they ignore the reasons for their arrests as well as their whereabouts. Rocío San Miguel, head of NGO Control Ciudadano, reported the arrests of active soldiers.

Simonovis is free

On May 16th, many of us watched a video of commissioner Iván Simonovis ringing a bell along with his wife Bony Pertiñez. That same day, caretaker President Juan Guaidó said that it wasn’t a escape but a pardon executed by “democratic forces loyal to our Constitution,” but it was was on Monday, June 24th, when the political prisoner who was unfairly imprisoned for 15 years wrote on Twitter: “I’m free!” and added that his freedom will be complete when Venezuela is also free. Last night, Joshua Goodman, head of The Associated Press, said that today he’ll do the first interview with Simonovis in exile, from Washington, adding that it involves: rappelling a 25-meter wall and a tiresome 14-hour water crossing. 

Remember that Simonovis’s lawyer Enrique Perdomo was arbitrarily arrested for protecting his client’s property, with the absurd charge of obstructing justice. 

We already know how Teodoro Petkoff escaped the San Carlos garrison, now we’ll have to know about Simonovis’s escape, the huge setback that has kept Nicolás and all of his loyalists silent.

We, the pariahs

While President Sebastián Piñera predicted that “The days of Maduro’s corrupt dictatorship are numbered,” Chile imposed a consular visa for Venezuelans to enter their territory. As of this Monday, hundreds of Venezuelan are still stranded in the Chacalluta border pass, to the north of the country. “There are other people requesting asylum who have been accepted in Peru in that condition and now they come to Chile to force the Chilean state to give them access in inappropriate conditions, having all opportunities,” said Mijail Bonito, immigration policy advisor for the Interior Ministry. But according to Foreign Minister Teodoro Ribera, it’s not discrimination: “What we’re doing is making sure that Venezuelans with visas aren’t coming as tourists, but to stay in our country,” he said. Meanwhile, Peru blocked 97 Venezuelans from entering their territory because they didn’t have the humanitarian visa nor the full documentation to request it, said the Immigration Office. With over 800,000 Venezuelans in their territory, Peru started demanding humanitarian visas on June 15th. Colombia’s Ombudsman’s Office cheered the Foreign Ministry’s decision to decree the nationalization of Venezuelan children sheltered there, saying that it’s “a humanitarian imperative.”

Movements on the board

  • Joseph Biden, democrat candidate for U.S. presidential elections in 2020, accused Donald Trump of misjudging what’s needed to restore democracy in Venezuela and added that “his increasing belligerence threatens the international coalition of more than 50 countries that recognize Juan Guaidó.”

 

  • Elliott Abrams met with President Guaidó’s negotiation delegation to restate U.S. support for “their efforts to put an end to the Venezuelan people’s suffering,” saying that they keep coordinating efforts in all boards to achieve the end of usurpation. By the way, Abrams said it clearly: “A president, it doesn’t matter which president, uses the Armed Forces when he decides and indicates that it’s totally necessary.”

 

  • At the 12th Atlantic Forum, former Spanish President Felipe González said that the dialogue in Norway lacks the proper focus and that America “is threatened by the cancer represented by Nicolás Maduro.” González added: “Today, the corruption of Maduro’s government is much worse than in 2016. And I’m not against dialogue, but the opposition must know why they’re negotiating. Otherwise, dialogue only benefits the tyranny’s survival.” If you can, read his full statements. Fabiana Rosales, Juan Guaidó’s wife, denounced that the regime threatened her, barring her from leaving the country to attend this event.

 

  • Yesterday, former Oil Minister Rafael Ramírez asked a federal judge in Houston to nullify a ruling against him, ordering him to pay $1.4 billion as compensation in a fraud lawsuit filed by an oil company in that city, because according to him, he wasn’t properly notified of the lawsuit.
  • Another Russian Air Force plane landed in Maiquetia on Monday.

Between Wednesday, June 26th and Friday 28th, Medellin will host the 49th OAS General Assembly, which will address the strengthening of democracy, social development and progress in the continent. This Tuesday, among other parallel events, the OAS will present a report about our exodus and the Venezuelan crisis will be on their diplomatic agenda.

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