Playing Tug of War with the CNE Appointment
Former Spanish President Felipe González bet on the transition in Venezuela in a virtual forum with Juan Guaidó and Julio Borges. Coronavirus spreads and more excesses by the regime
- Last week, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice issued a ruling where they declared “legislative omission” in the pre-nomination list for the CNE’s board of authorities. However, on Wednesday night, the Constitutional Chamber issued a new ruling exhorting the AN’s Electoral Nomination Committee to present a list of in the next 72 hours (by Saturday). The AN’s response, is that they won’t abide by the ruling. Deputy Ángel Medina, who presides over the committee, said that they’ll respect the established schedule and highlighted that nobody can force them to violate the deadline the law establishes. Juan Guaidó reiterated that the National Assembly is the only power that can appoint the CNE board and that a trustworthy CNE board is one of the conditions to achieve a political solution for the country.
- On Thursday, AN Speaker Juan Guaidó was part of the virtual forum “The Venezuelan transition is possible” with former Spanish president Felipe González, commissioner Julio Borges and Antonio Ecarri. Guaidó assured that despite the mistakes, change is possible and we have to “use every tool we have to achieve a transition to democracy”. He said that unity is a central point to defeat the regime. He assured that the country is at the end of the tunnel that leads to the end of the dictatorship, because the regime has no way to remain in power. Felipe González said that it’s time for the EU to re-evaluate their policy on the Venezuelan crisis, after not recognizing Maduro as president and the TSJ rulings to validate a parallel board of authorities for the AN. He highlighted that the European community must back a political change that leads to a new government. His main point is the legitimacy of the democrats’ fight and the AN being the only institution representing the will of the majority. He recommended keeping a unity of purpose and resolve in the goals. He said the Venezuelan transition will be achieved, despite how difficult it is, and he exhorted chavismo to not sink with Nicolás.
- “We keep in contact with many people from Nicolás Maduro’s regime. To them, I say, take our offer seriously,” said James Story, U.S. chargé d’affaires for Venezuela. Donald Trump’s government has shown political will to lift the sanctions, “if and when there are conversations between the actors to achieve free and fair elections”. Story added that the guidelines to achieve a potential agreement that leads to freedom for the country are in the Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela, presented in March by the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He reiterated that the U.S. expects “Venezuelans to start talking about how to have free and fair elections in order to reach true democracy.”
- In the last 24 hours, 76 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed, for a total of 2,814. Nicolás said that 34 cases of local contagion originated in Maracaibo’s Las Pulgas market, in Zulia and said: “This epicenter came from Colombia, they brought it from Maicao through the Wayuu corridor.” In the case of returning migrants, he said that Venezuela is the only country receiving “reverse migration”. He said that the Colombian president is “desperate” because he couldn’t infect Venezuela with coronavirus. He announced that on Monday, June 15th, the seven-day of quarantine flexibilization plan (even though the number of cases has increased over the last two weeks) will begin and he announced that the political movement Somos Venezuela will start collecting the demands of the Venezuelan people.
- On Thursday, there was a 4.4 magnitude earthquake at 5:53 a.m. Its epicenter was 42 kms west of La Tortuga island, reported FUNVISIS.
- Selling Venezuelan oil in international markets got more complicated with ships stopped in the ocean. According to Argus Media agency, a fleet of 44 international oil tankers with 40.5 million barrels of Venezuelan oil are inactive or have returned, for fear of being sanctioned by the U.S. A source said that according to data from several companies in the energy sector, Venezuelan exports barely reached 450,000 barrels per day in May.
- Family members of Wilmer Yánez, who was a bodyguard for Iris Varela, denounced that FAES officers staged an attack to cover the murders of five people in the El Limón sector, Libertador municipality. Journalist Román Camacho released the testimonies, where the sister of one of the victims said that she saw how FAES murdered him and planted the evidence.
- FundaRedes published complaints of migrants who returned through Arauca, and are kept in Guasdualito. They’ve been quarantined for 22 days, they’ve been tested for COVID-19, they’ve all tested negative and they haven’t been allowed to move and are kept in terrible conditions.
- There was a campaign on social media, for the release of Edgari Beria, Miguel Vargas and Edgar Flores, who have been detained in Coro for 50 days, for demanding gas, even though protesting isn’t a crime. Edgar is a psychiatric patient and prosecutor Elsy Villegas doesn’t think that’s important.
- The Colombian Army announced that they captured a Venezuelan who’s a spy for the Venezuelan Armed Forces. Gerardo Rojas Castillo, “has received military training by the DGCIM” and spied Colombian military facilities.
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