The Regime Against “Bio-Terrorism”

Despite recommendations from human rights organizations, people infected with coronavirus are criminalized; The public debates on the U.S. proposal for a transition.

Photo: RFI, retrieved.
  • On Tuesday, the Venezuelan public opinion debated about the U.S. Department of State’s proposal to facilitate a democratic transition. The strategy consists of the National Assembly (AN) recovering all of its members, deputies recovering all of their institutional authority and the dissolution of the ANC. After releasing all political prisoners, the AN must elect new Electoral Council directives and Supreme Tribunal justices. The creation of a new Council of State composed of five members, chavistas and opposition, where neither Nicolás Maduro nor Juan Guaidó can be part of, is also suggested, and this Council of State will appoint a new cabinet. By receiving support in different sectors, the Council of State will establish a date for simultaneous presidential and parliamentary elections in the next months (six-month minimum) and, as a guarantee, the proposal establishes that the Armed Forces High Command would keep its position during the transition, as will local and state authorities. The proposal includes slowly lifting sanctions on regime officers, but only after the aforementioned elections are carried out, and if international observers agree they were free and fair. It also includes a Truth and Reconciliation Commission suggestion (appointed by the UN), and an amnesty law suggestion for politically motivated crimes done since 1999. 
  • U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured that Donald Trump’s government will lift all sanctions if all their conditions are met. Elliott Abrams, special envoy for Venezuela, said that Trump’s administration still recognizes and ratifies its full support for Juan Guaidó and highlighted that the Venezuelan oil industry has collapsed. 
  • The regime called the proposal a “monstrosity.” Juan Guaidó, on the other hand, expressed his willingness to accept an emergency government to solve the crisis. Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez was the only one who expressly rejected the proposal, while the OAS secretary general and the governments from Austria, Portugal and Colombia celebrated it. 
  • The Public Ministry subpoenaed Juan Guaidó for a hearing on April 2nd, after Clíver Alcalá Cordones’s testimony, tying him with the purchase of weapons for an alleged coup against Nicolás’s regime. Saab considers that the only valid confession is the one Alcalá did in Colombia. 
  • Saab also reported about the detention of a 45-year-old man and 17 other people, for violating the quarantine and throwing a party in Los Palos Grandes, Caracas. They were tested for COVID-19 and two of them came out positive. The state published these people’s photos, their information and the results of their tests.
  • Delcy Rodríguez warned that, because of the threats they had received, they decided to call for a Council of State. Nicolás announced he’d donate two machines for COVID-19 testing when he gets them from China (!). Eight new cases are now confirmed, making it 143 in total. He called the party in Los Palos Grandes “bio-terror” and said that 43 people have recovered (even though the timeframe or protocols don’t allow for such a miracle), that in two or three months 30 million Venezuelans could get tested (something no country has done) and that we have 23,500 available beds for patients. The worst part was the denial of the fuel crisis that has caused such unrest and affects doctors and farming. Rodríguez read a statement declaring the Council of State in permanent session, reiterated their request for lifting sanctions and supported a dialogue “with all sectors” at the Apostolic Nunciature.
  • Moving vegetables, fruits and processed foods in the regions has been delayed for over two weeks because of severe failures on the fuel supply system. 
  • Chevron Corp’s joint companies with Pdvsa cancelled their service contracts and acquisition processes in the last few weeks, reported Reuters. 
  • A TK 010 oil tanker with a 400 thousand barrel capacity exploded on Tuesday at the José Antonio Anzoátegui complex, said the president of the Sole Federation of Oil Workers, Eudis Girot.
  • Believe it or not, a ship of the Venezuelan Navy was sunk by a tourist ship between Venezuela and Curaçao. 
  • According to Codevida, at least 6,000 nephrology patients in Venezuela have been compromised because of the fuel shortage, making it impossible to load their cars and get to their dialysis centers. 
  • Activist Henderson Maldonado from Movimiento Vinotinto Lara was detained for recording patients’ complaints and irregularities during the handing out of fuel passes. The event was coordinated by Lara state officers during the quarantine. 

There are over 800,000 global cases of COVID-19 and a worldwide effort to contain the pandemic is underway. There have been over 38,000 deaths. PAHO director Carissa F. Etienne asked for urgent measures to assure space and beds in hospitals and the necessary medical team and equipment to face the number of patients that will be infected. The number of cases will increase, so it’s mandatory to protect health personnel, which demands training in how to avoid infection, access to adequate supplies and personal protection gear. Because of the experience in other countries, Dr. Etienne suggested planning social distancing measures that last two to three months at least.

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.