One Year Anniversary of Fernando Albán’s Death

Photo: El País retrieved

Primero Justicia deputies demanded on Tuesday outside Sebin headquarters that councilman Fernando Albán’s death would not go unpunished. Caretaker President Juan Guaidó called his death a “murder” and criticized that a year later, there’s no justice. He emphasized that “this is the cost of being a member of the opposition in Venezuela. This is the dictatorship that murders and tortures as they also did with Captain Acosta Arévalo.” Councilman Albán died at Sebin headquarters after he was allegedly thrown from the tenth floor. In the National Assembly session, they condemned his murder again. The councilman’s family spoke during the debate for an Agreement, rejecting cruel treatment and torture of political prisoners, approved without chavista votes. Deputy Adriana Pichardo said that Albán was murdered by Sebin officers before they dropped him from the tenth floor, and that the autopsy “revealed there was water in his lungs and evidence of torture.”

What Else Happened in the National Assembly?

Guaidó reiterated his proposal of creating a Government Council for political transition with chavismo. Answering chavismo’s petition that he’d resign from his position as deputy to be investigated, he said he’d leave the caretaker presidency when there’s a Government Council. 

Guaidó said that in 20 years, chavismo has had 24 credit lines that represent a debt to the country of 36,000 million dollars and over $ 28,000 million to Pdvsa: “That’s why we have no electricity, no water, no food in Venezuela,” he said. He asked citizens to join the protest for Zulia on October 24th in Caracas, commemorating Rafael Urdaneta’s birth. Guaidó also talked about his work with U.S. companies  to avoid that the sanctions imposed on Nicolás affect citizens, after Adobe’s decision to forbid users in Venezuela from using their services. In 1999, Venezuela’s debt was $ 2,.000 million; it’s currently $132,000 million, said the National Communications Center. 

Freedom According to Chavismo

Former Labor minister and constituyentista, Francisco Torrealba said on Tuesday morning that another group of political prisoners would be released that day, assuring that these cases had been reviewed by the so-called Commission of Truth. Torrealba also said that “there’s a fair amount” that would have “full possession of their rights” during the next couple of days, even if in most of those cases they’ll be released with precautionary measures. Hours later the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) informed they agreed on precautionary measures for Martín Hernández, Pedro Alfonzo, Abrahan Rodríguez and Luis Peña, members of deputy Edgar Zambrano’s security team. The people who were released have to go to court every 30 days and aren’t allowed to leave the country. 

The Malqueridos

Most of the citizens rate Nicolás poorly, and describe negatively the country’s situation. The most recent survey by Datanálisis shows that with Nicolás in power, chavismo has been reduced to a historical minimum: only 13.8% of Venezuelans identify themselves as chavistas. Journalist Eugenio Martínez explained that Nicolás’s image and performance have decreased continuously since  2013: 93% of Venezuelans share a negative view of the country’s situation, and 83.7% rates Nicolás’s performance poorly. But, these negative ratings extend beyond the mammoth, because two of his government’s main officers, Vladimir Padrino López and Diosdado Cabello: 83% rate the Defense Minister’s performance negatively, and 86% think the same of Cabello. Also, 83.5% of Venezuelans negatively view the ANC.

The Non Country

– Disregarding all of the criticism because of its political goal and lack of technical efficiency, Nicolás officially approved the 15th National Census in the Official Gazette N° 6.480

– The UCV student movement rejected the electoral commission created by Nicolás’s university education ministry to impose the TSJ’s sentence that undermines university autonomy.

– On its weekly report, the Press and Society Institute (Ipys) informed that during the first nine months of 2019, there 430 cases of violations against freedom of information.

– Julio Chávez, Psuv deputy, said that the crisis of our national electricity system happened because Corpoelec’s accounts are blocked, so they can’t buy equipment or perform routine technical maintenance.

Ecuadorian Crisis

Ecuador has undergone five days of protests since President Lenín Moreno canceled subsidies on fuel. The decision sparked protests and violent events in the country. This nation’s problems derive from the high public debt inherited from Rafael Correa’s government. Several governments have rejected destabilizing actions in Ecuador and have shown support for Moreno’s government. The OAS encouraged all the parts involved to respect the constitutional term. While Correa asked to push the elections forward due to the “serious social outrest”, Secretary to the Presidency Juan Sebastián Roldán announced they’re willing to commit to international mediation: “The only answer is dialogue and firmness.” Moreno ordered on Tuesday a mandatory curfew to protect the state’s offices and other strategic areas. Several Venezuelan spokespeople reaffirmed Moreno’s thesis of Nicolás contributing financially and strategically with this crisis.

Super Mustache

Nicolás dedicated his variety show to the start of the school year for universities, once more ignoring poor infrastructure, basic services and professors’ salaries. He proudly talked about 82 scholarships for students from Brazil, Palestine, Gambia and Ghana, who came to “to study integral medicine in Venezuela.” He suggested to Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno that he followed his model in order to “guarantee quality public education.” According to him, “Ecuadorians protest because the IMF wants to impose its oligarchic, excluding model that only benefits capital” and he also suggested that Moreno take back his paquete económico and dialogue with the people. He mocked Moreno’s accusation: “What’s happening there is my fault, I move my mustache and overthrow a government. I’m thinking which government to overthrow next with my mustache, I’m not Superman I’m Super Mustache.” 

Movements on the Board

– Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said today that they suspect that the oil spots that has appeared in hundreds of beaches in North-Western Brazil may have been “criminally” thrown there but didn’t confirm it came from Venezuela. “It’s classified, it’s classified. I can’t accuse a country, it’s not that country. I don’t want to create a problem,” he said. 

– The U.S. Office of Aid to Foreigners signed an agreement with Guaidó, recognized by over 50 countries as Venezuela’s legitimate president. Usaid director, Mark Green, said that it intends to reach specific mutually agreed deals. The goals are “measurable, verifiable,” he emphasized.

The Swedish Royal Academy of Science awarded a Nobel Prize for Physics 2019 to  Michel Mayor, Didier Queloz and James Peebles. Mayor and Queloz were responsible for discovering the first planets outside our solar system. James Peebles fathered one of the theories that explained how the universe began and how it has evolved. In the academy’s announcement from Stockholm, they said they had awarded them for their contributions to human knowledge about the evolution of the cosmos and the place the Earth has in it. 

 

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