Photo: Reuters UK, retrieved.
After July 22nd, Nicolás Maduro’s regime started August decrying that another U.S. plane flew over Venezuelan airspace. On CEOFANB’s Twitter account, they wrote that “provocation by the empire continues,” saying that they reject “the interference attempts.” Later, President Donald Trump was asked: “Are you considering putting on quarantine or blocking Venezuela, because of the degree of Russia, China and Iran’s involvement?” Trump answered: “Yes, I am,” sealing a sort of chavista wet dream and broadening the meaning of “all options are on the table” that they’ve repeated without substance, because the “threat” of a military invasion doesn’t substitute sanctions.
An “important amount” of gold ingots was seized in Princess Juliana of Sint Maarten airport (Dutch part of Saint Martin island,) in a private plane coming from Venezuela, reported the police. The gold was discovered during a routine check by Customs and the Alpha Team on July 14th, 2019, said the police in a statement sent to AFP. They added that the cargo’s documents weren’t in order and the pilot, the copilot and other people suspected of money laundering, were interrogated. The ingots and the plane were seized by authorities while the investigation continues.
After Trump’s answer about the blockade, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said that his country is ready to support reforms that favor free markets and private business in Venezuela with credits and investments. Ross warned that there’d be an immediate need to inject capital to dismantle socialism, highlighting that Venezuela in the long term has 300,000 barrels of oil, gold and minerals to rebuild its economy. Ross said that first, they’d have to revert the “terrible” chavista rule, pushing for private capital and investment, to later restore sustainable growth injecting capital and using management techniques for the oil, gas and electricity industries.
Hearing for Extrajudicial Executions
Investigative journalist Ronna Rísquez posted a Twitter thread to reflect on the sudden “wave” of pictures and videos of alleged criminals that have made the rounds on social media, showing gangs exhibiting their weapons and giving them to children. Rísquez questions the intentions behind sending this type of media to journalists, with a warning about the importance of knowing where it all comes from before it’s published. Rísquez discovered a pattern in which, days after publishing the videos, the alleged perpetrators die in confrontations with the police, opening another chapter in extrajudicial executions. In 2018, over 5,000 people died this way: “FAES killed more than 600 people only in Caracas.” Showing people in this attitude makes it harder for anybody to question the executions, and understand them as human rights violations. There were at least four cases in July and “leaking videos of criminals could be a way of looking for these murders to be condoned.”
A Little More Human Rights
First Vice-President and AN deputy Edgar Zambrano’s first hearing, scheduled for August 1st, didn’t take place. Deputy Delsa Solórzano condemned that repression against political prisoners has increased at DGCIM headquarters. Other than the characteristics repeatedly mentioned (no ventilation in the cells, no light, septic tank inside,) she talked about the “Bachelet doors,” a model of little slits to slide the food inside. Solórzano demands join efforts by international human rights organizations to denounce the danger political prisoners are in. Political prisoner Vasco Da Costa, in jail since February 2018, hasn’t been taken to a hospital to determine if his eye cancer has metastasized, said his sister Ana María Da Costa.
We, the Migrants
Colombian authorities opened an investigation for flyers circulating around Bucaramanga (Santander,) threatening Venezuelans and those who shelter them, giving businessmen 48 hours to fire any Venezuelan employee. “Las Águilas Negras” sign the pamphlet, a criminal organization that according to local police has been subdued a long time ago. Several Colombian authorities institutionally responded to the threat. Colombian Immigration published its most recent report, registering 1,408,055 Venezuelan immigrants in total up until June 30th, 11% more than the first quarter of the year.
– Lawyer Tamara Sujú resigned to her position as Venezuelan ambassador appointed by Guaidó to the Czech Republic. The decision comes after a conflict of interest with her work and responsibilities… funny she understood the conflict after four months of having both roles.
– Brazil and Paraguay cancelled the energy agreement that had President Mario Abdo Martínez, who hasn’t even been in office for a year, against the ropes for a week. The straw that broke the camel’s back? The agreement contemplated increasing the amount of megawatts bought, until then, at a lower price, which would increase the price of electricity in a country with a high poverty rate. It hurts, doesn’t it?
– It was a very dark day all around the world, with terrible outcomes in Nigeria (combat between the army and jihadists,) in Afghanistan (after a bus explosion,) in Yemen (where most of the dead were corps,) the dead protesters in Sudan and those “warned” in Hong Kong.
Maybe the violence we saw today makes it even more relevant to honor the Polish that led the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto. On August 1st, 1944, around 25,000 poorly armed soldiers of the clandestine Polish army, most of them young men with no military experience, rose up in arms against Nazi occupiers in Warsaw. Despite their heroics, they were slaughtered by the German Army. Around 200,000 people died. Warsaw commemorated the uprising’s 75th anniversary today.