Lunch Break: TAP Against Cabello

Protests about violence against the media marked a day when Radio Télévision Suisse published a piece about the illegal mechanisms to buy Venezuelan gold; Airline TAP says things aren't quite as chavismo says regarding Juan Guaidó's uncle.

Supporters of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro scuffle with members of the media at the Simon Bolivar international airport in Maiquetia, Venezuela February 11, 2020. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero - RC2LYE9S6QBO
Photo: CPJ, retrieved.
  • Under surveillance by anti-riot units from detective corps CICPC, workers of the press, NGOs and union representatives demonstrated at the Prosecutor’s Office against violent attacks on the media at the Simón Bolívar International Airport on Tuesday, and the general increase of violence against journalists’ during 2020.
  • Marco Ruiz, secretary general of the national journalists’s syndicate (SNTP), accused Maduro of using state forces to promote violence against journalists: “What we saw two days ago is an escalation that could have ended in tragedy.” He demanded Tarek William Saab, ANC-imposed prosecutor general, to investigate civilians Franco Quintero, Náyades Pérez, Royber Sojo, Juan Iriarte and the officers recorded, for the unjustified attacks against at least 15 journalists at the airport. 
  • Edgar Cárdenas, secretary of the collegiate body of journalists (CNP), said that the attack on press workers is public policy, intended to only provide citizens with the versions of reality crafted by the media chavismo controls. 
  • Carlos Correa, director of NGO Espacio Público, said that there’s been an increase and escalation in violence against journalists and absolute impunity, because no one is held responsible for these attacks. 
  • Nurelyin Contreras and Maiker Yriarte, two out of the 15 attacked journalists, told the story of what happened at the aforementioned airport. The details are horrifying, with security officers justifying the attacks.
  • Journalist Mildred Manrique said that CICPC officers are investigating her for “terrorism.” Manrique was detained on January 29th inside the Federal Legislative Palace by Leandro Malaguera Hernández, the parliament’s chief of security. 
  • On Thursday morning, Joel García, lawyer of Juan Guaidó’s uncle (Juan José Márquez), reported that the regime simulated a hearing for his client, who has been missing for 28 hours. 
  • Judge Elffy Yaurit Vicenti and prosecutor Hayshel Huanire ordered Márquez to remain detained and sent him to the DGCIM in Boleíta. His lawyer informed that the state has 45 days to come up with a case intended to harm Guaidó; the defense will do its job. 
  • Juan Guaidó said that what happened to his uncle once again proves the recurring cruelty against the families of 380 Venezuelan political prisoners. Márquez’s arrest is a “coincidence of the clash between two political blocks of the dictatorship.”
  • Airline TAP Portugal clarified that “it’s impossible to travel with explosives” on their airlines because they have “security systems that detect them (…) In rules of TAP and all airlines affiliated to IATA, it’s not only forbidden to travel with explosives, but that list also includes batteries.” That’s how Diosdado Cabello’s argument to detain  José Márquez was disproven. 
  • Reuters reported that Pdvsa will unload a million barrel shipment trapped in Venezuelan waters for over a year due to the Pdvsa-Citgo dispute, even though the American court hasn’t made a final ruling over the Gerd Knutsen case. 
  • According to the National Assembly’s Price Index, costs increased in January and inflation reached 65.4%, against 33,1% in December. The index escalated a 32.3%. 
  • January 2020 was the month with the highest inflation since February 2019, but the interannual inflation rate in January (4,140%) is lower than December’s (7,374.4%).
  • IESA Finance tenured professor Urbi Garay explained that every banknote and every deposit in the banking system add up to less than 700 million dollars (1% of our GDP). If we divide the total amount of bolivars in banknotes (Bs. 3.7 billion) among the population, it’s only enough for 125,000 bolivars in banknotes per person ($1.70).
  • RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse) published an investigation about Venezuelan gold, since one of its main destinations has been Switzerland. The world market’s opacity makes it easier to avoid the sanctions that affect Venezuela and an entire new system has been created to sell it. Switzerland hasn’t done any investigation about it. The piece quotes events where European authorities have intercepted planes (private and property of the regime) with hidden kilos of gold. Switzerland officially imports Venezuelan gold since 2016, and last year it exported 2.5 tonnes from Curaçao, an island with no mines which imports almost all of its gold from Venezuela.
  • Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said he’d work with Donald Trump in concrete proposals for the crisis in Venezuela: “We’ll do everything it takes so Venezuela is free and can go back to the road towards development.” He assured his government will keep supporting migrants in his country. 
  • Jorge Arreaza accused the U.S. before the ICC in Hague for “crimes against humanity,” meaning the economic sanctions imposed on his government. The ICC tries people, not governments.
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya clarified today that, in the eyes of the Spanish government, Juan Guaidó is the caretaker president and an opposition leader. She insisted Spain recognizes him. 
  • The EU ruled out an investigation about how Spain treated Delcy Rodríguez. They said that countries have to enforce diplomatic sanctions and there are no reasons to doubt that Spain didn’t do it. 
  • Colombia formally requested former congresswoman Aida Merlano’s extradition to Juan Guaidó’s office. 
  • Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said detaining Juan Guaidó’s uncle is an attempt to intimidate, that it’s pointless and that the crisis won’t be solved by intimidation and arbitrary arrests. 
  • Iván Simonovis, security commissioner appointed by the caretaker government, reported after the conversation with Trump, that they talked about the threat that Maduro’s regime poses for national security and said that the president will continue to help Venezuela. 
  • It’s estimated that a hyperinflation period that lasted over 12 months is coming to an end with a rate of under 50%. Venezuelan hyperinflation would have been the second longest in the world, after Nicaragua’s, which lasted a little over five years.

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.