More Support for the Caretaker Government

Photo: Ariana Cubillos / AP retrieved

President Donald Trump called our crisis “a tragedy of historic proportions ” and said that the U.S. won’t abandon their efforts to free Venezuelans from “this horrible, brutal oppression.” In the meeting that he held with leaders of 12 Latin American countries to intensify pressure against Nicolás to generate political change in the country, Trump said that  Nicolás is “mean and corrupt”, that “he doesn’t care about his people’s wellbeing” and that he “sold his country to a foreign dictatorship” talking about Cuba, obviously. Trump celebrated with applause Julio Borges and Carlos Vecchio’s interventions and ratified his commitment to Venezuelans until we re-establish the democratic order and solve the crisis. “We will always be by the Venezuelan people’s side until they are finally freed from this brutal and terrible oppression. They’ll be free, it will happen,” he said. 

They Won’t Come In

After they tripled their help to the Venezuelan opposition, assigning funds directly to caretaker President Juan Guaidó for the first time, the U.S. government issued today a decree prohibiting the entrance of Nicolás’s officers, their families and those who benefit from policies that undermine the democratic institutions in Venezuela. According to the decree, the following people are forbidden from entering the U.S.: regime members ranked as vice-ministers, all Army officers, police, GNB from the colonel rank and all members of the ANC. In addition to this, the measure affects every foreigners that act in the name or in support of Nicolás’s regime, foreigners that obtain benefits from transactions and business with the people described and their close family. 

The Legitimate National Assembly

President Vladimir Putin received Nicolás in Moscow and reiterated his support: “Russia consistently supports all the legitimate institutions, including the presidency and Parliament,” he said. He also reaffirmed his commitment to the technical and military agreements (proof of that is is the group of military officers photographed in Maiquetía today). Putin said that his country has “invested” 

$ 4,000 million in the Venezuelan economy, that they intend to deliver several million flu vaccines and that they’ll keep the agricultural trade (it’s assumed that he could be sending up to 600,000 t.of food) as part of humanitarian aid. Nicolás tweeted that bilateral relations are in the “best moment for their consolidation.” Hm, hadn’t they been consolidated all this time? Cilia Flores, his vice-president Tareck El Aissami and his ministers Vladimir Padrino López, Jorge Rodríguez and Manuel Quevedo went with Maduro. 

Back to Contempt

The PSUV deputies reincorporating to the National Assembly decided to once more ignore the rules. Every deputy that takes another role in the Executive Branch, loses his seat. Second vice-president of the AN asked the PSUV to “change their attitude and decide who are  lawmakers and who are not.” Chavismo’s excuse has been that, since the AN was in contempt, there wasn’t an institution to resign from, so their deputies and ex ministers can be back without a problem. But the National Constitution says that these deputies exclusion is automatic: “It’s not about being polemic, it’s about abiding by the law,” says González who expects their return to “help solve the crisis and not posing in front of a camera.” Former minister Francisco Torrealba said today that chavismo only recognizes Ramos Allup as speaker of the National Assembly (which he was, in 2016), even when Guaidó swore his oath of office  on January 5th, 2019. 

Everything for Cuba

PDVSA increased oil exports to Cuba this month, to alleviate their fuel shortage, even if that meant defying the U.S. sanctions against companies involved in bilateral commerce, said Reuters today. The Treasury Department imposed sanctions on four companies and ships that take Venezuelan oil to Cuba, a measure that according dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel is a brutal policy of genocide. In any case, two ships left PDVSA ports this week and other nine are in line to load up on oil for Cuba. So far this month, PDVSA has sent 119,000 barrels per day to Cuba. 

The Non-Country

– Up until September 23rd, Venezuela’s international reserves showed a drop of  $422 million compared to the end of August, according to the Central Bank. During Nicolás’s government, they’ve dropped by 72.4%, $22.000 million (mostly in gold).

– However, the ANC-imposed comptroller, Elvis Amoroso, said that he’d ask the Prosecutor’s Office to hold an investigation on former Chacao mayo, Ramón Muchacho y Guanta, Jhonnathan Marín, for alleged money laundering.

– According to Amoroso, there’s a corruption plan from Guaidó and former PDVSA president  Rafael Ramírez, and Javier Troconis, presidential commissioner for foreign assets management. That’s why he instructed the Sudeban to forbid any transaction by Guaidó with the financial system and asked the international community to not make any transaction with Guaidó’s representatives.

– Former chavista governor of Cojedes State, (2000-2008), Jhonny Yánez Rangel, accused in October 2018 of criminal association, was murdered. His car and his body were found in the Caracas-Charallave old highway. 

– Héctor Hernández da Costa’s forced disappearance was reported today, after he was moved from Dgcim headquarters.

Let’s Talk Human Rights

The IACHR announced the creation of the Special Mechanism for Following the Venezuelan Crisis, during their 173rd  period of sessions.

After the interventions by Venezuelan human right NGOs in the hearing, commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena announced this special mechanism would be created, an institution that will monitor and document, alongside Venezuelan human rights  activists, the abuses in the country.

Movements on the Board

  • Colombian President Iván Duque spoke in the 74th UN General Assembly  and called Nicolás a threat to the region: “The Venezuelan dictatorship is a mere part of international terrorism (…) it’s time to call things by their name, the dictatorship serves drug cartels, pawns of violence, they shelter murderers and child rapists.
  • Duque will deliver a 128-page dossier to the UN Secretary General, which contains “evidence of Nicolás Maduro’s complicity against the Colombian people.”
  • Countries of the EU approved sanctions against seven officials from Maduro’s government, a decision that must now be confirmed by the EU council.
  • “The more we can pressure the regime, they’ll topple on their own. The Venezuelan people can’t take it any longer, a country that should be rich living with wages of $2 a month,” said Salvadorian president Nayib Bukele.
  • Diosdado Cabello traveled to North Korea to settle their ties in strategic areas. Minister Mervin Maldonado (sports), Rodbexa Poleo (Psuv Youth) and Blanca Eekhout are with him.

The Lima Group and International Contact Group reaffirmed their support for the National Assembly and their commitment to re-establishing democracy in Venezuela. They expressed their concern for severe violations of human rights and fundamental liberties. They said they’d work for recovering democracy, the rule of law and human rights, through a peaceful transition with free, credible and transparent credible elections. 

 

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