My Way or the Highway

Photo: Panorama retrieved

A few days ago, the regime expressed its hope about the positive influx that the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights could have on its reputation. After the publication of Michelle Bachelet’s report this Thursday, now the regime “categorically” rejects its content and also blames the United States. In a plot twist that’s fairly similar to another exercise of psychological projection, the Foreign Ministry’s statement denounces American cynicism (apparently they shouldn’t talk about human rights); claiming the diligence and firmness with which they’ve never punished a human rights abuser, and saying that it’s admissible for a government to keep clandestine detention centers for torture. But don’t worry, according to the statement, nothing would prevent chavismo from intensifying its “democratic model.”

The 70 observations

As usual, the regime’s best and first reaction is discrediting the UNHCHR’s report, claiming methodological weaknesses in its creation, the privilege of sources “that lack objectivity,” as well as inaccuracies, decontextualizations and fake affirmations, claiming that the document “completely ignores the accomplishments and progress” reached on human rights. Allegedly, the report doesn’t recognize the regime for measures that positively impact the economy, such as the ‘carnet de la patria’ (which is actually discrimination,) the subsidy of public services (which ruined operational capacity and maintenance) and the payment of pensions, for $5 a month!, and the Central Bank continues to issue money that further devalues the bolivar. Despite the data, they think that the use of the term humanitarian crisis is inappropriate, they deny the food crisis as well as the crisis in the healthcare system, very offended because the report mentions the reappearance of controlled or eradicated diseases, when they managed to keep Zika under control. The regime denies the death of 40 people during the electric crisis in March, because hospitals have power generators.

Anything else, Nicolás?

Regarding indigenous peoples, the regime claims that they’ve granted 102 collective property titles to native communities, but they don’t deny the lack of legislative representatives or the massacres. Given the responsibility to adopt measures to overcome the economic crisis, they demand the lifting of sanctions. They blithely argue that they’ve shut down media outlets because their concessions had expired, and expelled foreign journalists had tourist visas instead of work visas. And political persecution and repression against dissidents?, they don’t deny them, they just claim that the violent actions carried out by the opposition since 2002 were omitted. The persecution against National Assembly lawmakers comes because they’ve attacked Nicolás. They admit, with smaller figures, the dramatic murder rates and the complaints against FAES officers for their “excesses”. The regime insisted that the number of Venezuelan migrants is exaggerated. Each item explains how chavismo operates, how they argue and how they impose themselves, confirming their complete disinterest for modifying their policies. The document is an admission of responsibility for the human rights situation in the country.

Black panther, Padrino and Maikel

Manuel Cristopher Figuera spoke once again, as the intelligence officer trained in Cuba and Belarus who “started to lose faith” and who is now in Washington seeking revenge against Nicolás, helping with the investigation of corruption and human rights violations, although at least for AP, it’s not clear whether he has evidence to support his claims. In this outlet, he detailed direct order from Nicolás to commit abuses, including arbitrary detentions and forging evidence to incriminate dissidents. He claimed that the most arbitrary order was that of disturbing Juan Guaidó’s intimate circle to break his morale, accepting responsibility for being involved in the arrest of Roberto Marrero and other arbitrary detentions. Figuera restated that he made an exit plan for Nicolás along with Vladimir Padrino López and Maikel Moreno, and claimed that he keeps in touch with high-ranking officers “who despise Maduro but are afraid to act (…) in many ways, I’m still counterintelligence director,” he said.

The non-country

  • The Prosecutor’s Office indicted Táchira Police officers Javier Useche Blanco and Henry Hernández for frustrated malicious homicide, inappropriate use of institutional weapon and cruel treatment, for the case of teenager Rufo Chacón.

  • Another measure to counterbalance Bachelet’s report, was having State media outlets promote  that “national and international social movements” denounced the “blockade imposed on Venezuela by the United States government.”
  • Nicolás wants to implement a new payment system through QR code (to enable transactions of goods and services without depending on Visa and Mastercard) and guarantee bank accounts for 100% of Venezuelans. He authorized the opening of cashiers to operate in petros and announced a special service to exchange foreign currencies for bolivars through Banco de Venezuela.
  • Later, obviously affected by the UNHCHR’s report, he lied about healthcare achievements, announcing that 6,500 vaccination points will remain open, but claiming that he fulfilled 91% of the vaccination goal against poliomyelitis and, as if it was a huge figure, he promised Bs. 3.9 billions for the company Vensalud, for the repair of medical equipment.

Movements on the board

  • Cuban “President” Miguel Díaz Canel promised to keep supporting Nicolás without submitting to the unilateral measures applied by the U.S.

  • The United States denied Venezuelan the possibility to name Turkey as its protector State for the embassy in Washington.
  • Pope Francis and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke this Thursday about the situation in Venezuela, Syria and Ukraine, during meeting that lasted almost an hour in the Vatican, according to the Holy See.

  • Irwin LaRocque, general secretary of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), claimed that the organization maintains a posture of non-interference in the Venezuelan crisis.
  • The Inter American Commission of Human Rights received a formal invitation from Gustavo Tarre Briceño, Venezuelan ambassador before the OAS, to visit Venezuela “in loco” to evaluate the human rights situation, establish special investigation mechanisms for the serious incidents regarding torture, and for the murder of corvette captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo and other prisoners.

The 4th International Technical Meeting about Human Mobility was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to discuss the situation of refugees and migrants in Venezuela. “The ongoing exodus of refugees and migrants from Venezuela surpasses the countries’ capacities, this brings an immediate challenge,” said Eduardo Stein, joint special representative for the International Organization of Migrations and the UN Refugee Agency. Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie said that Venezuelan immigration “is an emergency like our region has never known,” and “the crisis caused by the Maduro regime is the origin of all this chaos.” In this meeting, ambassador Elisa Totta Gamus presented the proposal of a Regional Mobility Card for Venezuelans suggested by David Smolansky and Luis Almagro to make it easier for migrants to move across Latin America.

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