Bachelet Updates Her Report and We Marched Despite Everything

The high commissioner’s report confirms the human rights situation in Venezuela hasn’t improved; the same day, the opposition’s peaceful march is repressed.

Photo: El Universo, retrieved.
  • “Today’s the day we go back to the streets and rebel against the dictatorship, but we must organize, the dictatorship wants to generate violence,” said Juan Guaidó before the march towards the Federal Legislative Palace started. The march itself didn’t make it beyond Chacaíto, with police checkpoints in nearby El Bosque and Francisco Solano Ave. blocking them, with tear gas, too. Deputies and protesters went to  Alfredo Sadel Sq. where the AN held its session. The Venezuelan Observatory of Social Conflict reported opposition protests in 22 out of 23 states (and seven chavista events in seven states). There was repression in Zulia and Caracas only. 
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet updated her report on Venezuela. She mentions that political tensions continue and so do violent acts against opposition deputies (she talked about detained deputies Caro and Ismael León) and attacks on opposition supporters and press workers, where state security forces don’t intervene. She talked about Guaidó’s arrival on February 11th and the attacks in Maiquetía and Barquisimeto, raids on NGOs, media outlets and political parties headquarters. 
  • Bachelet also highlights that the attacks come alongside rhetoric that justifies violence against the victims. She condemned the notion of legislating against human rights NGOs financed from abroad, harassing university authorities and restricting unions’ freedom. She said that she keeps getting accusations of inhumane, cruel and degrading treatment at military intelligence DGCIM; she talks about the urgency of treatment for children who need transplants and the critical situation of J.M. de los Ríos Hospital and the World Food Programme survey revealing terrible figures (2.3 million Venezuelans are in severe food insecurity and seven million in moderate insecurity). She also talks about 4.9 million Venezuelans fleeing the country.
  • In the AN session held at Alfredo Sadel Sq., Fetracarabobo president Jhonny Magdaleno presented the National Conflict Sheet in the name of the country’s workers. The AN approved it and underlined the need to join forces to achieve presidential elections that would allow restoring Venezuelans’ rights. They stated non negotiable conditions: impartial CNE, rehabilitating all political organizations, allowing all political figures barred to run for office, guaranteeing judiciary and political rights and the presence of international observers. Guaidó said that rescuing constitutional powers is necessary and there will be another protest on Thursday. 
  • FAES officers took over the hotel where deputies were, confiscating their phones and IDs. The detained deputies are Renzo Prieto, Ángel Torres and Zandra Castillo. Their colleagues forced officers to release Torres and Castillo, who is pregnant and said they took her shirt off and touched her. Renzo Prieto, who was a political prisoner for four years and who was denied medical attention, is still detained. Chavista perversion is abysmal.
  • Diosdado Cabello said that the march was a failure (he didn’t mention the repression) and Nicolás will appoint a CNE board (“so we can have electoral guarantees”) for parliamentary elections this year. He said Néstor Reverol will show evidence of the terrorist attack and sabotage plans of the CNE fire. Apparently, the sanctions that forbids the regime from buying food and medicine won’t be an obstacle in the electoral arena. 
  • On Monday, journalist, diplomat and writer Alfredo Coronil Hartmann, 78 years old, was kidnapped. OAS secretary general Luis Almagro demanded Maduro’s regime to release him and made it responsible for Coronil’s safety. 
  • On Tuesday morning, there was a hydrosulphuric acid leak at José Antonio Anzoátegui complex, after a sulfur pipe broke. 
  • Opposition leader Juan Pablo Guanipa said he doesn’t know if the installation of the Electoral Nominations Committee is part of an agreement. He said that there will be parliamentary elections, but at the same time as presidential elections and with a new CNE because “parliamentary elections don’t solve the country’s problems”. 
  • A group of 27 eurodeputies requested Josep Borrell to push for prohibiting commerce of Venezuelan oil in the EU. This was led by Dita Charanzová, vice-president of the European Parliament. 
  • UNHCR representative in Colombia, Jozef Merkx, asked countries in the EU for support and promoting the humanitarian work in that country to millions of Venezuelan refugees whose situation in Colombia is critical. 
  • The Uruguayan government resolved to retire from Unasur; only Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela remain. 
  • Japan announced the donation of 13 million dollars to cover the needs of Venezuelan refugees in the region. Through UNHCR, the funds will be destined to food, blankets, tents and other supplies for vulnerable areas. 
  • Chavismo says that Bachelet’s report is “full of lies”. 

Allow me a standing ovation for every Venezuelan who marched. Perseverance is a show of inner strenght and bravery. We carry on.

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.