With 19 votes in favor, seven against and 21 abstentions, the UN Human Rights Council approved the resolution proposed by the Lima Group to create an international commission for Determining Facts in Venezuela. Its goal will be to investigate the alleged human rights violations, including extrajudicial executions and torture since 2014. The resolution asked that this mission be immediately sent to Venezuela (its members will be appointed by the Human Rights Council president) and it clearly expressed that if the human rights situation in the country doesn’t get better, an Investigation Commission will be created, which is a more important mechanism. The mission will start working before the end of the year and will have a one-year mandate. Their investigations will be binding to the ICJ. Nicolás’s ambassador, Jorge Valero, rejected the “hostile resolution” and warned that his government won’t cooperate: “Imposing additional monitoring mechanisms won’t ever be supported by my country,” said Valero. This is a defeat for the dictatorship’s diplomacy. The mission can operate even if they’re forbidden from entering the country. In fact, that would make it even more necessary. 

Seven Sanctioned Torturers 

On Tuesday, Tribunal 36th of the Metropolitan Area in Caracas, led by judge Norelys León Saab, decided to sentence the murderers of captain Rafael Acosta Arévalo to six years and eight months in prison, ignoring everything that’s established in the Law Against Torture. Ergo, inciting it. On Friday, the EU sanctioned seven security forces officers “tied to torture and other severe human rights violations” and to Acosta Arévalo’s death, warning that they’re willing to adopt further measures to allow a negotiated transition. The sanctioned officers are Néstor Blanco Hurtado, Rafael Blanco Marrero, Alexander Granko and Hannover Guerrero, from Dgcim; Carlos Calderón and Rafael Franco Quintero, from Sebin and Alexis Escalona, from Conas. The UK followed, approving the measure: “Alongside our international allies, we must  keep morally and politically pressuring Maduro’s brutal and illegitimate regime,” said Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.

The Non Country

– In addition to those states constantly punished with electricity rationing (Lara, Mérida, Táchira, Trujillo and Zulia), today, failures in the system were reported throughout the day in at least ten states. They destroyed appliances, affected working hours and prevented the Metro from working normally.

– Cuban doctors said in a forum about human trafficking in New York, that they were pressured to influence their Venezuelan patients to vote for Hugo Chávez. The pattern was repeated with Nicolás. They also said they earned low wages, were forbidden from going out or mingling with locals. 

– Cicpc director Douglas Rico confirmed that the body found in the old Caracas-Charallave highway is Jhonny Yánez Rangel, former Cojedes governor.

Delcy at the UN 

Her infamous speech before the General Assembly was broadcasted on national TV and radio, following Nicolás’s orders. “I come in the name of Venezuela, brave, that doesn’t kneel before any imperial power,” she said in an outburst. She said that “they’ve tried to murder the Venezuelan state’s entire military and political high command and ambassadors.” She said: “World media says nothing about the social security system that exists in Venezuela and covers, without any kind of discrimination, 19 million Venezuelans. This model  (…) has become a target that the U.S. government wants to destroy.” She condemned 350 U.S. sanctions from 2015 to 2019; the economic loss of $130,000 million (in Fonden they wasted over $143,000 million.) She assured she has “the precise location” of three camps in Colombia “where they train mercenaries to attack Venezuela” and accused the U.S. of “economic terrorism,” so she asked for an investigation on all the violations to the UN Charter. Don’t worry, according to her: “Cuba, Fidel’s Cuba,won’t surrender” and “Venezuela is in peace.” 

It’s Viable

“Maduro hasn’t retired from the dialogue process (…) he had meetings with Norwegian representatives (…) Nobody goes to a negotiation process at gunpoint,” said Delcy Rodríguez in a press conference after her intervention. She was bold enough to say that “school attendance rates, gas and electricity consumption have increased,” ignoring teachers’ protests and the main reasons why kids don’t go to school, that refineries are operating at minimum capacity and that the electric system failures that began in 2009, have gotten worse since March. Delcy didn’t mention that 87% of the population lives in poverty and 61% of them live in extreme poverty. She didn’t talk about the 4.3 million people in our diaspora. Delcy said that “Venezuelan socialism proved that it’s viable.” What is? Is it bringing a company like Pdvsa to bankruptcy? A country? Creating a complex humanitarian emergency? Hyperinflation? 

Creditless Guy 

Nicolás retook his variety show, in an encounter with filmmakers financed by the state to generate a short script, with which he tried to start the political movement against Donald Trump and the accusation for asking Ukraine to investigate his rival, Joe Biden. Well, creative Nicolás said that Trump spoke to the president of a “friendly country” to threaten them with “ending commerce, financial aid and credits.” In addition to that, Trump warned that he’d overthrow him, so the president surrendered to Trump’s blackmail. He asked for a thousand political trials for Trump. I’ll spare you the details about his praise for Delcy in the UN, Diosdado Cabello in North Korea and himself in Russia. 

Other Movements on the Board

– Josep Borrell’s appointment as EU diplomatic chief “will play a very important role” in the Venezuelan crisis, because of his sensitivity towards the region, said Julio Borges. 

– The U.S. granted 1.5 million dollars to help Trinidad and Tobago with assistance for Venezuela. American Ambassador Joseph Mondello explained that the aid is included in a USAid program to support communities when they receive their Venezuelan neighbors. 

– Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at the UN that he can see attempts to add Venezuela to the list of countries that were destroyed by aggressions or failed coups from abroad. 

– Terrible images from Peru’s El Comercio went viral. They summed up the “Venezuelan criminal profile”. Journalist Joshua Collins warned that xenophobia in Peru is growing and that some of his colleagues have orders to “find stories about crimes committed by migrants.” 

– Guaidó’s ambassador to Peru,Carlos Scull, condemned the attacks by local officers. He encouraged the authorities to investigate and shared a phone number for filing reports. 

– The monument honoring Néstor Kirchner in Unasur was taken away, after the National Assembly in Ecuador approved removing it for considering it a “symbol of corruption.”

What happened today is a victory for society and the sustained and dedicated work of many people who have contributed from social and political organizations to denounce and document human rights violations in Venezuela. To all of them I say, thank you!

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