State Terrorism Increases

The arrival of coronavirus to Venezuela allows the regime to deploy its well-known totalitarian weapons: discrimination, merciless persecution and bullying.

Photo: The Intercept, retrieved.
  • Yesterday, the regime’s leader threatened the opposition with “Operation Tun Tun for all terrorists and conspirators,” after insisting on “the Bolivarian fury as a national response” if they touch a single hair on one of his people’s heads. “Operation Tun Tun” is the regime’s euphemism for political detentions.
  • Meanwhile, several opposition deputies announced that this weekend their homes were graffitied with the words “Bolivarian fury.” The authorship is clear and so is the promoter of hate. On Monday, Guaidó also decried his reception of similar threats. Bullying him, Nicolás said: “We’re not talking and promising stupid things with pimpled faces.” That’s how he dismissed the option of an emergency government to solve the pandemic crisis. 
  • On Monday afternoon, Delcy Rodríguez said that in the last 24 hours they had registered six new cases of COVID-19 in the country. Nicolás warned that there are some “derivative or communitarian cases,” meaning that the rhetorical resource of cases being all imported has run out and they have to admit to local contagions. Nicolás once again blamed a victim and said that there must be an investigation regarding why the third patient, a taxi driver, didn’t go to a hospital (several witnesses say he had been in a wheelchair for months, after having a stroke).
  • Nicolás welcomed a medical commission from China and said that Venezuela is the first country in Latin America to receive Chinese supplies. He said that “we now have one million fast-response tests” and special Chinese equipment, also celebrating President Vladimir Putin’s support in battling the pandemic. He asked for “nerves of steel, maximum awareness and radical quarantine,” and said the pandemic has been contained (!) and all we have to do now is cutting the contagion chain. He reported that around 6,000 Venezuelans returned to the country using the Colombia-Venezuela border, because even though “Duque wants to kill him,” what happens on the border must be controlled. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez said that the spread of COVID-19 is controlled, that the quarantine is very important and that it hasn’t been lifted. People who recently tested positive are in the states of Miranda (2), the Capital District (1), Bolívar (1), Aragua (1) and Yaracuy (1). Miranda keeps leading with the highest number of cases (51), then comes the Capital District with 25; Aragua has 17; there are 10 in Vargas, five in Barinas, four in Los Roques, four in Zulia and Lara, two in Bolívar, Apure and Falcón. There’s only one case per state in Anzoátegui, Monagas, Nueva Esparta and Cojedes. 
  • Delcy said that out of all cases, 47 are in home isolation and 39 have recovered, even though the time frames don’t allow for recovery allegations by WHO standards. There are 21 patients in CDIs, 18 in “sentinel” hospitals and 10 in private hospitals. He said the majority of patients are 30 to 50 years old and celebrated the arrival of 22 tons of Chinese supplies, including ultrasounds, masks, thermometers and mechanical ventilators, and 500,000 rapid-response tests (Nicolás, mind you, said there was “a million” and 50,000 PCR kits for testing).
  • The U.S. Department of State proposed Maduro and Guaidó both step aside and make way for free elections. Special representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams published a Democratic Transition Framework to help Venezuelans escape from the national crisis that falling oil prices and the coronavirus have now deepened. He proposed that the National Assembly should create a Council of State to serve as the transitional government which would hold free and fair presidential elections, with a new National Electoral Council  and an independent Supreme Tribunal of Justice.
  • Abrams said that “the military and police forces must abandon the role the Maduro regime has forged for them—carrying out the repression of the Venezuelan people,” and expel Cuban intelligence agents. He thinks that “free and fair presidential elections are the path out of Venezuela’s crisis” and that Maduro can’t be trusted to organize them, which is why the Council of State is an essential step. He added: “Until that objective is achieved, our pressure will strengthen.”
  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab announced Juan Guaidó is being subpoenaed and must attend a hearing next Thursday because of the regime’s investigation on his alleged “plotting against the government” and his involvement in a coup plan. 
  • According to a statement from the White House, President Donald Trump asked President Vladimir Putin to support a democratic transition in Venezuela. The call was focused on the prices of oil and how to stop the spread of coronavirus. Trump reiterated that “the situation in Venezuela is serious,” according to the statement. The call was made two days after Rosneft announced they’d be ceasing operations in Venezuela and that they’d be selling their assets in the country to other Russian companies. 
  • The statement also talked about “the importance of stability in global energy markets.” “I never thought I’d say that we might have to increase the (price of) oil, but we have to. The price is too low,” said Trump in an interview. The head of state thinks that Russia and Saudi Arabia “have gone crazy” with their price war and that they don’t want that situation to “destroy the energy sector.” According to a statement by the Kremlin, both presidents agreed that their Oil ministers should continue consulting about the price of oil. 

The regime asked other governments for support, while it keeps violating the citizens’ human rights and using public media for threats during mandatory broadcasts. It’s still making arbitrary detentions too, in an exercise that NGO Provea has called “state terrorism.” Coherence, as we know, isn’t their forte.

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.