Home Briefing Lunch Break: Paramilitary Against Lawmakers, Teachers And Journalists
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- On Tuesday, January 13th, Diosdado Cabello announced that the National Constituent Assembly will be in “permanent hearing” to comply with the legislative urgency requested by Maduro. This Wednesday, the Federal Legislative Palace (siege of the illegitimate NCA and the legitimate National Assembly, NA) was again surrounded by the National Bolivarian Police and the National Guard. But the officers remained passive while journalists, teachers and opposition lawmakers trying to reach the Palace were attacked by paramilitary colectivos. Human rights NGO Provea explained that the group used for the aggression is a paramilitary organization called “Cuadrillas de Paz” (Peace Squads): “From official vehicles, they were given food. The PSUV logo was visible on their shirts and bulletproof vests”.
- The commission made of deputies Carlos Berrizbeitia, Carlos Prosperi and Delsa Solórzano, plus the NA secretary, Angelo Palmeri, was attacked by these Peace Squads while they were still inside the cars driving them to the parliament. Palmeri told later that when they were trying to coordinate with the police how to get into the Palace, the officers made way to a mob with guns and iron sticks that attached the cars with the congresspeople aboard. Palmeri said he heard four, five shots. Many photos show how those vehicles were gunned down.
- After the attack, the NA directive summoned a session at El Hatillo anphitheater, on the other side of the city, where the physical presence of 93 lawmakers was verified. “There is a shot on the driver’s window of my car”, said Juan Guaidó, who qualified this attack as a dictatorship’s attempt to kill them. A good part of the NA session discussed the problems of the Venezuelan school teachers, because it was Día del Maestro. The indicators exposed by lawmakers and teachers to explain the crisis of education are quite alarming: 70 % of the students are not attending lessons regularly, more than 15 % are severely lagged; more than one million kids are not going to the school at all; 50 % of schools are affected by the endemic diseases, and there is also the nationwide malnutrition.
- Meanwhile, the teachers protesting near the Education ministry were also attacked by paramilitary colectivos with bottles, feces and urine, around the Cathedral. The NGO Laboratorio Ciudadano, present at the demonstration, denounced that when they were leaving the temple after mass, everyone was “kicked, pushed and spread with feces by the area’s colectivos, with apparent permission from the PNB”.
- Ten days after the illegal designation of Luis Parra as the NA Speaker, he and the other “CLAP deputies” have not delivered the proclamation act. The PSUV member of the NCA Francisco Torrealba asked, on behalf chavismo, that the “dialogue table” solves the conflict and creates the “conditions for the imminent parliamentary elections in 2020 and re-institutionalization of the Legislative Power”. The self-proclaimed “directive” designed a commission in charge to go to the Electoral Board and the Supreme Court and require the removal of the condition of “contempt”, as the chavista deputy Willian Gil said.
- Sources from the NCA press team assured to El Pitazo that the Palace will remain taken by the police and the Guard “until new orders”.
- OPEC confirmed Venezuela lost 500.000 daily barrels in 2019. This is the lower production level since 1945.
- Primero Justicia denounced that the CLAP deputies, expelled from the party on corruption charges, will require the TSJ to give them the party’s symbols.
- The U.S. government added Raúl Gorrín, the owner of TV channel Globovisión, to the Most Wanted list, for money laundering, among other crimes.
- The regime’s Foreign Minister, Jorge Arreaza, arrived in Beijing to meet this Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi. Since 2001, China and Venezuela have signed 472 agreements that have increased our debt without any accountability.