Union Worker on Military Trial

Photo: Tal cual retrieved

An unfair sentence

On Tuesday morning, Dgcim officers made Rubén González’s family leave court. He was the secretary general of the Ferrominera Orinoco Workers Union and he has been in jail at La Pica prison for over eight months. Mid-afternoon, the military court sentenced González to five years and nine months in prison for assaulting the Armed Forces and the guard, after they detained him on November 2018 when he was coming back from a protest to demand Nicolás that he’d respect the workers’ collective agreements, those Maduro disregarded when he imposed in August 2018, the public administration salary tabs, deteriorating every agreement contemplated in the contracts. González’s lawyer, Miguel Ekar, assured that the Military Prosecutor’s Office didn’t present a single convincing piece of evidence that proved that he was guilty and that this was the “most abhorrent military trial in Venezuela.” According to Article 49 of our Constitution, judging civilians in military trials is illegal, another step in Nicolás’s repressive policy, who still calls himself “el presidente obrero”

Citgo and the debt

Caretaker President Juan Guaidó announced Carlos Jordá as CEO of Citgo, the Pdvsa subsidiary in the U.S. He also said that there’ll be a commission for renegotiating our debt and protecting the country’s assets from creditors’ lawsuits. Citgo is also at risk of embargo, not only for holders of the bonds that expire in 2020 and from other firms that seek compensation and payments that Venezuela hasn’t issued. Reuters assures Citgo is preparing to make Carlos Jordá’s appointment as general manager official, according to three sources. Jordá presided Citgo’s board from 1999 to 2002. He’s the director of Delek U.S. Holding, an oil refinery in Tennessee.

No more Trump?

Nicolás’ variety show today was all about the six-year anniversary of the mission and great mission systems in Venezuela. “What would have happened to Venezuela without the carnet de la patria and our misiones?” he asked, before he explained that it was chavismo’s answer to the “historical debt” that it discovered regarding health, education and housing. Too bad chavismo destroyed everything that existed and wasted oil revenue, leaving the country  in ruins, causing an unprecedented, massive exodus in Latinamerica. But Nicolás’s concern is the show, that’s why he talked to Michelle Bachelet, defended Tareck El Aissami, saying “it’s political persecution” and announced as a great achievement collecting over one million signatures against Trump. He asked his base to “go home by home” to collect even more signatures that he’d later give to UN secretary general António Guterres. His new ministers swore their oath of office and he asked them: “Don’t let anyone fool you so you won’t fool the people.” 

No-transition Padrino

In a military act for collecting signatures rejecting Trump, Nicolás’s Defense minister Vladimir Padrino López encouraged the opposition to act from reason and listen to the calls for dialogue to smooth things over: “Quit being mean, put pettiness and misery aside,” said the stimulating minister, and he said that there would be no coup d’état, de facto government or transition but elections, upholding the Constitution. Padrino López condemned that there’s a fifth movement in the country, a group of traitors that are trying to ruin peace in the Armed Forces, but that he remains firm to guarantee “peace”. Guaidó was asked at the Federal Legislative Palace what he thought about Padrino López’s request. He said someone should remind the military man “who left the table in a rush when the officers’ interests were discussed?” Doesn’t Padrino know this or was he talking to somebody else? 

The non-country

Bryan Navarro was nine years old. He played for Mineros de Guayana and on Monday, when he was going back home with his parents in Puerto Ordaz after a game, he was murdered by a shot to the chest in an attempted robbery. 

Fedenaga president Armando Chacín said that because of shortages of necessary supplies for production, the sector is at technical paralysis. Chacín warns of possibly having to raise the price of milk, “so we can survive”  

Suma (Sindicato Unitario del Magisterio de Aragua) warned that the government pretends to hide the lack of teachers in the state, hiring Plan Chamba Juvenil youth to cover at least 60% of the current vacancies. 

Rocío San Miguel, who presided NGO Control Ciudadano, denounced that she and her husband have gotten calls and have been threatened. She holds the state responsible for what might happen to them. 

Pedro Carreño suggested using the following arguments against citizens from the opposition who think that sanctions don’t affect them, write this down: “Look, pendejo, stupid, you, from the Right, when you were buying dollars to go on vacation… if you want to go on vacation now you have to take four, five, six flights, because the U.S. banned direct flights… Who suffers from that? Chavismo?! No.” He added a deeply self-describing accusation: “You’ve been turned into idiots, you’re chainless slaves because the crickets are inside your heads.” He said crickets, not shackles. In Spanish, grillos means crickets and grilletes means shackles. 

Movements on the board

  • Federica Mogherini said that the TSJ acted for political reasons when they asked to strip AN deputies from their parliamentary immunity and this represents “another direct attack against the only democratically elected institution in Venezuela.” Mogherini said that the solution to our crisis is only possible after a negotiation process, and free, credible elections. The EU exhorted both sides to commit to the conversation Oslo proposes. 
  • While Freddy Bernal accused the Colombian government of supporting paramilitaries in the border, assuring that there are seven U.S. military bases that are all part of the White House plan to defeat Nicolás, Iván Duque condemned before the UN General Assembly the support Nicolás Maduro’s regime gives to Colombian terrorists. 
  • Colombia also rejected the possibility of moving the legislative elections for this year in Venezuela and the persecution by TSJ and ANC against deputies. John Bolton and Spanish political leader also condemned their actions and threats. 
  • In his visit to Chile, Filippo Grandi (UNHCR), warned that Venezuelans will continue to migrate “until there’s a political solution in Venezuela that allows these people to return to their country.” Grandi said that our migration flow has been the “most important” in the world in decades. 

Guaidó said today that Nicolás is only interested in staying in power and to do so, he uses force, threats and persecution, calling how he goes after the AN “as a continuous, sustained attack. The only sanction that hits the people is Nicolás Maduro usurping power still,” he said. He reassured that the National Assembly “will continue fulfilling its role, no matter what. If they want they can, drive a tank into the building,” he suggested. 

 

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