Lunch Break: Meetings in Europe, Harassment in Caracas

Deputy Ismael León is detained, in absolute disregard for due process; The fake National Assembly directive board does everything it can to help chavismo's agenda; Juan Guaidó carries on with his international tour, while his offices are raided in Caracas.

Photo: A Punto, retrieved.
  • “In Venezuela, we have to face the serious problem of terrorism,” said deputy Ismael León on Tuesday morning, hours before disappearing. “We hear comments like that’s not terrorism, that we don’t have full-on terrorist cells, but wait: terrorism is what colectivos do when they hit a journalist or citizen. Terrorism is when you see someone illegally carrying a gun, and everyone agaisnt us is armed. Terrorism is what the FAES does, chasing you illegally, arresting you without a warrant, that’s terrorism and we have to fight it.” 
  • Deputy Adriana Pichardo explained that Ismael León and his assistant, Alexander Matos, must have been intercepted by FAES at Libertador Ave. in Caracas. Lawyer Joel García reported they’re both detained at El Helicoide, and there’s no information about the crimes they’re accused of. García mentioned that Nicolás’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, had accused León of leading a plan to attack military units in Bolívar state, and emphasized that the lawmaker has a heart condition and needs daily meds. Thus, chavismo violates Article 200 of the Constitution, granting parliamentary immunity. Again.
  • On Tuesday afternoon, deputies Manuela Bolívar, Delsa Solórzano and Adriana Pichardo said that Sebin agents raided the office of the caretaker president and speaker of the National Assembly Juan Guaidó without a search warrant. With several SUVs and dozens of officers, Sebin emptied the building and blocked the entry. “Any proceeding is without a warrant, without authorization, without witnesses… so it’s possible they’re planting all kinds of things,” said Delsa Solórzano. From the UK, Guaidó rejected the arbitrary action against Ismael León and his office, calling the regime “ a coward dictatorship.”
  • In the lawmaker reunion led by Luis Parra on Tuesday, other than officers sitting in spots belonging to absent opposition deputies, there was an impressive amount of bodyguards, guarding the self-proclaimed CLAP board. There was no roll call and even though they said there were 94 deputies present, there were actually 60 people there. Deputies Omar Ávila (6th alternate in the Miranda state list, deputies Manuela Bolívar and Franco Casella are already sworn in,) Alexis Lamazares (expelled by Alianza Bravo Pueblo) and Teresa Hernández de Azuaje (no longer a part of ABP) were sworn in. Another deputy who wasn’t even identified by Parra was sworn in too. In less than 45 minutes, they were done with the other item on the agenda: appointing a new National Electoral Council. Franklyn Duarte  announced the call for 11 deputies in the Preliminary Commission installed in November, and the “special commission” that contributes with dialogue, composed of people who have betrayed their opposition parties. Dissident deputy José Gregorio Aparicio requested chavismo to declare legislative omission and asked the TSJ to appoint CNE rectors, since no side manages to have 112 deputies necessary to elect them. He also asked for pushing the election forward, to be celebrated in three or four months. By the end of the meeting, Francisco Torrealba, chavismo’s spokesperson, celebrated that “the Right” requested legislative omission. 
  • A GNB officer was accused of hitting a two year old child with his weapon on January 19th in Casigua El Cubo, Zulia. Cecodap demanded the authorities start an investigation. 
  • NGO Prepara Familia denounced that the ORs at J.M. de los Ríos Hospital are closed down because “there’s no running water, the elevators in the hospitalization wing aren’t working and the ORs are located on the last floor.” 
  • UK’s Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Dominic Raab, expressed his unbreakable support for Juan Guaidó to end our crisis. Guaidó also had a private meeting with Boris Johnson and the people in charge of the Davos World Forum issued a press release saying that Guaidó had been added as a speaker at the very last minute. On Wednesday, he’ll meet in Brussels with a representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell and members of the Euro Comission and deputies of the Euro Parliament. 
  • The OFAC sanctioned and blocked the use of 15 Venezuelan airplanes, owned by Pdvsa, because they were operating “unsafely and unprofessionally near U.S. military planes, while they were flying in international airspace.”
  • Davos’s Deutsche Welle envoy asked President Donald Trump, “What’s the plan to remove Nicolás Maduro from power?” To which Trump responded, “I think Venezuela will do very well. Just watch.” 
  • Raúl Amundaray, known as “el galán de los galanes,” died at 82 years old. He was an actor for over 40 years for radio, film, TV and theater. May he rest in peace.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.