Lunch Break: Guaidó Fully Backed by the European Parliament
At the European Parliament, Juan Guaidó reaffirms the international support on his cause, while chavismo says it won't matter in the end; Jorge Rodríguez explains the rationale behind the raid on Guaidó's office; The Venezuela-Colombia border becomes a modern wild west, according to HRW.
- Caretaker President Juan Guaidó met the High Representative of the European Union for Foreing Affairs, Josep Borrell, on Wednesday, who expressed the EU’s support for the National Assembly and its mission. Borrell reiterated their commitment to supporting a genuine process that leads towards a peaceful democratic solution, based on transparent, credible presidential and legislative elections. The Euro Parliament vice-president, Dita Charanzová, said “Our message today is clear: we support President Guaidó and the Venezuelan people. Support by the international community is important now more than ever. Next month, the Parliament will approve a new resolution about Venezuela and the Council must immediately approve selective sanctions against the regime.”
- Later, Juan Guaidó gave a press conference presided by vice-president Charanzová, Eurodeputy Jordi Cañas and members of other groups that support the democratic cause. Guaidó decried the terrorist groups that operate in Venezuela and asked the EU to designate the gold extracted in the Mining Arc as “blood gold,” since it’s used to finance armed groups. Guaidó thinks that such a tag can end the ethnocide and ecocide in a territory that’s over 110,000 km². Guaidó asked the EU to strengthen the sanction process, aid in the refugee crisis and assume that the only way to force Nicolás into a transition is increasing international pressure. He thinks that “with the Contact Group there’s an opportunity for a specific solucion, pressure, and that’s why sanctions are important.”
- Meanwhile, chavismo came up with a World Summit Against Imperialism. Diosdado Cabello used it to condemn the attacks by nations “that pretend to be over Venezuelans’ will,” questioning the Davos World Forum. Maduro said on his variety show that the efforts of all economic actors will advance towards reducing hyperinflation and he called “to definitively part from the Cadivi model,” saying it’ll never return: “That model is over, we have to produce, we’re on our way to a self-regulating model, a model of permanently generating wealth in the country.”
- In Zulia, Conatel director Jorge Márquez, ordered closing down radio station Aventura 91.3 FM, because “their concession has expired.” Julio Reyes, president of the station, said this violation of freedom of speech will be denounced before international institutions.
- NGO Rescate Venezuela said that “the state’s security forces, without warrants, illegally entered (their premises) and took medical supplies, non-perishable food, medicine, t-shirts and other items (…) destined to help Venezuelans at risk.”
- CLAP deputy José Gregorio Noriega pressed defamation charges against deputy Alfonso Marquina for publishing the audio where he explains payments to support chavismo. He says the audio has been forged.
- Deputy Juan Pablo Guanipa, first vice-president of the National Assembly, exhorted citizens to commemorate January 23rd, 1958, in the events that deputies will hold in their regions. He also said there would be an activity on Tuesday, January 28th, towards the Federal Legislative Palace. Presidential commissioner for human rights Humberto Prado announced he’ll soon meet with “people appointed by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, and IACHR representatives.” Prado presented the Sole Registry of Victims, to give answers after violations of fundamental rights.
- Nicolás’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, said the raid on Guaidó’s offices on Tuesday was an operation to investigate a case of money laundering.
- Illegal armed groups control the Colombia-Venezuela border, threatening inhabitants with punishment going from penalty fees to forced labor and death, said Human Rights Watch representative José Miguel Vivanco, presenting the organization’s most recent report: “Guerrillas are the police.” With testimonies by 105 people, HRW concluded that the abuses, “including murder, forced labor, child abuse and rape, are part of the groups’ strategies to control the social, political and economic life in Arauca and Apure.”
- Uruguayan President elect, Luis Lacalle Pou, announced his government will recognize Juan Guaidó as speaker but not as caretaker president.
- Agencia EFE says the Spanish government continues supporting Juan Guaidó and the fact that President Pedro Sánchez didn’t meet him doesn’t imply a change in policy regarding Venezuela.
- Guaidó will be in the World Economic Forum in Davos on Thursday. Meanwhile, there was a blackout in at least three states: Zulia, Mérida and Táchira. Other states like Trujillo, Lara and Falcón, reported partial blackouts.