Lunch Break: Pressure Mounts on the Regime
Juan Guaidó and the opposition deputies keep on the trail to complicate business for the regime; The U.S. renews its attention on Venezuelan democracy; The European Union applies further pressure on the Venezuelan situation.
Photo: El Impulso, retrieved.
- The First Vice-President of the National Assembly, Juan Pablo Guanipa, called citizens of Caracas to attend an open assembly on Saturday, January 11th, in El Paraíso: “2020 is a crucial year in achieving change for Venezuela. All the deputies will be with the country, in activities to inform and be informed.”
- AN Speaker Juan Guaidó talked to Reuters about his proposal to Europe of tagging the gold from the Mining Arc as “blood gold” to limit its purchase, because of the social and ecological consequences it causes on the region. He said that the money obtained from this gold is used to finance irregular groups. Guaidó also told La Voz de América that there are no conditions for elections and if chavismo continues on its path to hold them, “we’ll have to put another option on the table” to celebrate “free elections.” He believes it’s necessary to retake the streets, while recognizing that the goals weren’t met in 2019, after underestimating the regime. They now must redesign a strategy and insist.
- On Wednesday, January 8th, the IACHR approved a visit to Venezuela, invited by caretaker President Juan Guaidó, to verify “on site” the accusations of abuse. The president of the AN Commission for Human Rights, Humberto Prado, looks forward to the arrival of representatives so they can meet with human rights defenders, the Church, scholars, the National Assembly and the media. The visit would take place from February 3rd to February 7th. “We’ll protect them and accompany them at all times,” said Prado, who also said that the visit will include Esmeralda Arosemena, president of the IACHR, executive secretary Paulo Abrão, and commissioner Francisco Eguiguren. Prado considers that if Nicolás prevents their entry into the country, “he’ll look like a human rights violator.” The IACHR hasn’t been allowed in the country for 17 years.
- U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, called for dialogue to form a transition government: “A quick negotiated transition towards democracy is the most effective and sustainable route to peace and prosperity in Venezuela.” Pompeo estimates that negotiations could open a way to presidential elections this year and emphasized the amount of Venezuelan migrants as a determinant of our crisis. He reviews the necessary conditions for free and fair elections, supervised by the transition government. Special Envoy for Venezuela Elliott Abrams warned on Thursday that, in the next few days, there’ll be new sanctions to those who sabotaged the election of the new board in the National Assembly and warned that the U.S. will also punish Russia for supporting Nicolás, even though these sanctions will be issued later.
- The International Contact Group, created by the EU to pressure for a peaceful way out of our political crisis, expressed its concern for the actions against the democratic functioning of the National Assembly. The coalition warns that Luis Parra’s election “can’t be considered democratic or legitimate in any way” and ratifies its support for Guaidó. They also condemn the military action against deputies and the media, pointing out that these arbitrary actions “deepen the crisis, create more obstacles for the peaceful return of democracy and the rule of law.” Also, Josep Borrell said that the EU would be willing to impose sanctions against the people responsible for intimidating deputies and reiterated that “the EU considers the ‘election’ of Luis Parra as illegitimate.” The statements by Switzerland and France are important: they backed Guaidó and are concerned about the coup on the Venezuelan Parliament.
- Eurodeputy Leopoldo López Gil said he’ll request sanctions against the deputies that chavismo bought so Guaidó wouldn’t be reelected as speaker. Luis Parra, Franklin Duarte, Negal Morales and José Noriega would be sanctioned.
- Commissioner for Foreign Relations Julio Borges reiterated that Nicolás’s regime has been offering protection and financing to terrorist group Hezbollah, so it can operate in Venezuela.
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