Lunch Break: Caracazo, 31 Years of Impunity

A new anniversary goes by for a painful date without justice; Chavismo still celebrates the Caracazo as if it were the origin of a popular rebellion preceding the current disaster; Political prisoners endure further cruelties.

Photo: El Mundo, retrieved.
  • It’s been 31 years from the Caracazo, and even though chavismo has been ruling for 21 years and the Caracazo is still a bastion in their hate speech, not a single person accused of extrajudicial executions, tortures or forced disappearances on that day has been taken to court. These proceedings have multiplied as a mechanism of social control; in 2009, the IAHRC issued a sentence against Venezuela in this case, but impunity persists. All of the variables that justified the riots in 1989 have gotten worse, to an almost absurd degree, and inequality and human rights violations, too. Condemning this is a crime, according to chavismo. 
  • On Thursday, Diosdado Cabello assured that the Caracazo was “a genuine expression of the people’s power.” Chavismo considers it has the right to celebrate the impunity they have protected, manipulating history and glorifying popular riots that they had nothing to do with. Diosdado compared the Caracazo to the attacks by chavistas against deputies and press workers the day Juan Guaidó returned to the country. A new exercise in promoting hate: “If there were a popular uprising here one day, the people would know perfectly well where to go (…) I’m not going to tell you what to do, but I support them,” he said. 
  • According to Sentence 0324, the deadline imposed by the TSJ to elect new authorities in the Central University (UCV) expired on Thursday. Instead of holding elections, the University Council Federation (FCU) protested on the street and held a solemn act defending autonomy. UCV rector Cecilia García Arocha said that autonomous university authorities want to hold elections, respecting what’s established in the University Law and the Constitution. Hours later, the TSJ Constitutional Chamber announced the suspension of the cautionary measure in Sentence 0324, but only postponing it: the pressure to hold elections with guidelines that violate university autonomy is still on. 
  • On March 10th, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet will update her report on the human rights situation in Venezuela. She ratified her call to free all political prisoners, reiterated that her team hasn’t been able to enter the centers in which they’re kept and that, far from dissolving FAES, Nicolás has granted them “his highest support.”
  • Amnesty International considers the human rights situation in Latin America to be alarming, in their annual report on the region. About Venezuela, they mention generalization and systematization of extrajudiciary executions, arbitrary detentions and use of torture, which is a crime against humanity that have been institutionalized with chavismo. 
  • Lawyer Joel García, Juan Requesens’s attorney, condemned the isolation the deputy has been on since February 5th, and irregularities in the “political” trial against him. The process will continue on March 2nd. 
  • Sebastiana Barráez, journalist specialized in the military field, condemned the inhumane conditions of Juan José Márquez’s cell, Juan Guaidó’s uncle, at the Military Intelligence’s HQ: high temperatures, isolation and only two showers a week. 
  • Nicolás held his variety show announcing the creation of a special health commission presided by Delcy Rodríguez to prepare the country for coronavirus. He said that this could be a “strain created as a weapon in a biological war against China,” a thesis that not even the Chinese have come up with. About the FAES shootings in highways, Nicolás only asked to analyze how to censor social media to stop spreading violent videos, like the one from Wednesday. He praised the Cuadrantes de Paz Mission and announced the creation of a new special institution against terrorism, which will be in charge of “dismembering terrorist groups coming from Colombia and the U.S.” During the show, TSJ president Maikel Moreno announced the creation of Casas de Paz. As CDIs helped destroy the public health system, these “houses” will do the same with justice. 
  • On Thursday, the JM de los Ríos Hospital intensive care unit fell into technical foreclosure. This hospital is the most important pediatric hospital in the country. Nicolás’s health minister, Carlos Alvarado, said that they’re strengthening the Epidemic Surveillance System in airports and ports and they’ve followed up on 93 people who have been in China. 
  • Deputy Delsa Solórzano said that the shootings on Wednesday at the highway prove that the state security institutions are incapable of stopping violence. She rejected that criminals have weapons of that caliber and said that this proves the fracture of the monopoly on violence that the state is supposed to have.
  • Twelve years after the first list of sanctioned individuals from the Cártel de los Soles, the International Narcotics Control Board (UN body that enforces international treaties against drugs) announced that there are signs of criminal organizations infiltrating state security forces in Venezuela, to “facilitate the process of getting drugs into and out of the country”. 
  • Juan Guaidó thanked Austria and Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz for their support to Venezuela.  The Austrian government announced a 2 million euro donation to alleviate the humanitarian emergency. 
  • Iván Simonovis says that he delivered a list of government officials and family members who are “sanctionable” to the U.S. State Department. 
  • Eduardo Cabrita, Portuguese minister of Internal Affairs, said that the investigation against TAP Air Portugal concluded the airline didn’t break any rules. 
  • Chavismo has kept quiet about 5,000 kilos of pure cocaine being confiscated in the ship Aressa, on Tuesday February 25th in Aruba, after it shipped from the Guaranao port in Punto Fijo, Falcón State. 

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.