Kidnappings and Blows

Photo: VTV

The National Communications Center denounced this Wednesday morning that a group of armed civilians tried to kidnap caretaker President Juan Guaidó’s team. The group wasn’t identified with any state security body, they carried long weapons and wanted to take Guaidó’s team to DGCIM headquarters, but Guaidó prevented it. 

Last night in a conversation with journalist César Miguel Rondón, Guaidó said: “We don’t really know if they were colectivos or policemen, they were in civilian clothes,” then he expressed the willingness to talk with all officers who stood on the side of democracy and used the example of former SEBIN director Manuel Figuera, to explain the benefits of those who support freedom, not without cautioning that “we’re facing those who hold power sadistically.”

Another elaborate coup script

Communications Minister Jorge Rodríguez denounced another plan to oust Nicolás and appoint retired general and political prisoner Raúl Isaías Baduel (currently in enforced disappearance) as President. 

The same intelligence officers who didn’t foresee or prevent the escapes of commissioner Iván Simonovis or Leopoldo López, could monitor for the plans for a coup d’état that would be carried out by the end of this month, collecting over 56 hours of recordings and video calls as evidence of the coup that this time would’ve included the assassinations of Nicolás, Cilia Flores, Diosdado Cabello and Freddy Bernal. The coup would’ve involved the Aviation, the National Guard, and the CICPC’s special forces squad. The mess of the accusations would warrant a briefing by itself, but in truth, Rodríguez justified the recent detentions as if repression and persecution were a novelty, but who was he justifying them for?

An all-purpose testimony

Repeating the strategy of his star witness, Rodríguez showed the “voluntary” confession of lieutenant Eduardo Lozada Saavedra, who said that he was recruited to assault the arsenal of the Bolívar and Ayala battalions; that with those weapons they’d take over La Carlota airbase and rescue Baduel from SEBIN HQ, who would then admit on VTV that he masterminded the incident and would be proclaimed President (out of gratitude?). The lieutenant added that the coup would involve special Israeli, American and Colombian agents, and they’d also take over the Central Bank’s vault, and steal armored vehicles to enter Miraflores and La Carlota. It was so funny when he said that “they wanted to make away with the BCV’s riches for their terrorist acts.” Perhaps he hasn’t read how much our international gold reserves have dwindled.

Briefs and serious

The Dominican Republic’s National Anti-Drug Agency arrested three Venezuelans at La Romana airport, when they tried to leave the country with $1,355,000, bound for Venezuela. The detainees are pilots Jonnathan Mata Figueroa (Aviation officer) and Claudio Di Genova Fistaron, and passenger Estela Gómez de Rodríguez. Meanwhile, the Spanish police released eight transexuals coming from Venezuela and Colombia and arrested six suspects (led by a Venezuelan) for forcing them into prostitution and to consume drugs with clients. The victims were lured with alleged tourist trips and upon arriving to Spain, their passports were taken and they became sexual slaves to clear their debts. Deputy Carlos Valero said that they expect to have the names of 20 people that the National Guard found in Delta Amacuro and compare them with the list of 92 people who went missing while sailing illegally. Criticizing the regime’s lack of information, Valero said that the investigation he’s leading is structured on the hypothesis of human trafficking. On the occasion of National Journalism Day, celebrated on June 27th, journalists and mass communication students from Los Andes University took to the streets of San Cristóbal to demand press freedom. Ah! Hugo Ocando, coordinator of Transport United for Venezuela, said that they want to increase bus fares to Bs. 700 starting July 1st.

Nicolás’s counteroffensive

Although Jorge Rodríguez spread the blame among the presidents of Colombia, Chile and the United States, Nicolás decided to focus on Iván Duque’s government and accuse him of promoting “the development of coup-mongering maneuvers to subvert the constitutional order and violate peace,” saying that if the “Venezuelan far right” were to get their way, the people would lead “a counteroffensive that would shatter the privileges of the country’s oligarchy and fascist sectors.”

According to Nicolás, those who oppose his regime only elect presidents through armed coups: “Is that the political way? Is that the road they want to take in order to get political power?” he asked, although he celebrates February 4th as a foundational date. And although he phased on and off the coup script several times, he also celebrated the 16th anniversary of the Francisco de Miranda Front and approved Bs. 5.5 billion to train its members in politics, as well as another Bs. 3.2 billion for a Vegetable Agriculture Plan; I’ll spare you the details.

Movements on the board

  • Aside from congratulating the regime for carrying on with the construction of the Kalashnikov rifle factory (remember that there are $11 billion in technical-military contracts between Russia and Venezuela), the Russian Embassy in Venezuela announced that the military specialists in charge of equipment maintenance were leaving the country, perhaps the plane that landed on Monday in Maiquetía came to take them. By the way, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump will meet this Friday, outside the G20 agenda.
  • Colombia’s Supreme Court of Justice dismissed two extradition requests made by Venezuela after Juan Guaidó removed the petitions against Suyín Navarrete and Oscar Arapé, required by the regime for allegedly committing several crimes.
  • Former commissioner Iván Simonovis said that he has information about the regime’s criminal activities and that he’ll share it with U.S. intelligence and investigation agencies, including the presence of Colombian guerrilla groups, the Hezbollah and drug-trafficking operations. About the uprising on April 30th, Simonovis confirmed that high-ranking regime officers had promised to force Nicolás’s ouster and that the agreement was signed: “There’s a document.” Later, he showed pictures of his meeting with Elliott Abrams.

  • A U.S. court will decide which of the two boards, whether the one appointed by Nicolás or the one appointed by Juan Guaidó, will lead CITGO Petroleum Corp. The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday by the regime before a court in Delaware, to regain control of CITGO and other PDVSA subsidiaries in the United States.

  • Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza also showed pictures of his meeting with Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell. “We reviewed our bilateral relations and shared the interest in advancing through a path of dialogue as the only way to guarantee Venezuela’s prosperity,” he said. Now let’s wait for Borrell’s version.

The people of El Ampli showcased the skills of former minister Haiman El Troudi, to “carefully read the overbilled contracts and effectively negotiate the payment of bribes,” thus presenting new evidence that he received bribes from Odebrecht for works that he didn’t even finish. You can read Joseph Poliszuk’s story on Armando.Info.

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.