Photo: MercoPress

500 Political Prisoners Isolated for Months

Deputy Adriana Pichardo said that they’ve had no news about their condition; Lawyer Eva Leal was attacked by a GNB lieutenant in Barquisimeto

  • A video of the arbitrary detention of lawyer Eva Leal by a GNB officer in Barquisimeto, Lara state, went viral on social media. La Prensa de Lara reported that it was due to her refusal to pay a bribe at a checkpoint. You can hear witnesses complaining about the abuse of authority, and the officer herself, after she noticed she was being recorded: “she took my gun.” Witnesses deny the claim and add that the officer “cracked (Leal’s) head.” Eva Leal was beaten, hurt and detained, according to deputy Ángel Torres. They also threatened to take her to military court. An aberration. Security forces think their officers can beat with impunity civilian women, as if gender made it less of a violation of human rights. It’s terrible that these officers are victims of the government’s misogyny, because they’ve been used as shields (first line of defense) in protests for years, to deter “aggressions” or to register them and then say it’s gender-based violence. 
  • On Tuesday, Maduro and Delcy Rodríguez presented their reports on the pandemic, but—and it’s not the first time this happens—there were differences between the two. If we take Rodríguez’s report as the truth, there are 137 new cases (total: 4,185). She announced that they’ll use recovered patients’ plasma for treatment and said that this approach has had an impact in the countries that have tried it. Health Minister Carlos Alvarado said that the main points of outbreaks in Venezuela are in Las Pulgas market (403 cases and 13 deaths), and in the Gran Sabana municipality, Bolívar state (126 indigenous Pemones infected), “all of them asymptomatic and isolated.” She didn’t mention the death of a third doctor in Maracaibo, Dr. Jorge Leal, nor the 20 patients with coronavirus that escaped a hospital in Zulia, threatening health workers with coughing in their faces. Apure isn’t even mentioned, the state with the most cases in total and highest density per capita. So far from everything, so abandoned. 
  • Nicolás celebrated in his variety show and talked about topics that are only relevant to him, reiterating the alleged progress in the negotiating process with his prêt-à-porter opposition for the election, that according to him, will “re-constitutionalize” the Legislative Branch of power. He also said that military parades to commemorate 199 years of the Carabobo Battle and Independence Day have been suspended. He promised they’d do them later. He announced the delivery of 591 buses assembled at Yaracuy’s Yutong factory and bragged about his order to reopen the Metro and train stations, because of the “unnecessary and damaging traffic,” due to people crowding together when waiting to get on one of the few available buses. The terrible measure of closing down the Metro lasted two days. 
  • The AN appointed lawyer and constitutional law professor Enrique José Sánchez Falcón as the new attorney general, to ensure protecting, controlling and recovering Venezuelan assets abroad, and protecting Venezuelan interests and rights. Sánchez Falcón is taking over José Ignacio Hernández’s post. The National Assembly unanimously approved an agreement commemorating the World Refugee Day, and asked allied governments to grant the refugee status to Venezuelans. Let’s see if they’re allies for real. They asked for concrete actions, like the issue of regional mobility cards to help with refugees. David Smolansky announced that a regional campaign called “I’m a Venezuelan, I’m a refugee” will start soon, to sensibilize Latin American society. 
  • Deputy Adriana Pichardo denounced the situation of over 500 political prisoners, with family visits prohibited, no access to defense and no information on the outside about whether they’re receiving decent meals or the medical treatment some of them require, during these months of quarantine. Pichardo also denounced serious cases of torture, like those of Captain Juan Carlos Caguaripano, General Raúl Isaías Baduel and his son Josnar Adolfo Baduel. She requested the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to verify the state of political prisoners in Venezuela. Ana María Da Costa, political prisoner Vasco da Costa’s sister, denounced that because of Darwin Malaguera’s escape from the military hospital, authorities decided to punish the prisoners in that facility: “They’re handcuffed to their beds, they leave the door open and the light on all night,” she said about these measures that are cruel and inhumane treatment. 
  • A chavista regional deputy declared that in the next few days, Táchira’s Legislative Council will remove governor Laidy Gómez, in Táchira state, on the Venezuelan Andes. Acción Democrática showed support for the governor, even though three years ago she was expelled from the party for running in the election that appointed her, which will now lose all of its meaning if she’s removed from office. 
  • PDV Marina workers in Puerto la Cruz, Anzoátegui state, protested on June 23rd against the working conditions. They denounced the regime is violating their contracts and their wages aren’t enough. “We’re starving,” said one of the protesters. They also denounced that the regime granted control of the facilities in charge of oil transport to the military. 
  • Armed men entered the Dr. Carlos Arvelo Military Hospital, in Caracas, and stole medical supplies from an OR on Monday night, reported El Pitazo. The criminals threatened and tied up the nurses on call. They stole medicine and equipment. 
  • Cape Verde’s Supreme Tribunal rejected the habeas corpus petition presented by José Manuel Pinto, Alex Saab’s lawyer. This decision could pave the way for his potential extradition requested by the U.S. 
  • The regime’s Foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, is in Moscow and will meet with his Russian counterpart Serguéi Lavrov on Wednesday, after representing chavismo in the Victory Parade, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany. 
  • A British court is evaluating the possibility of recognizing Juan Guaidó as caretaker president having been a merely political act to pressure Nicolás’s regime. As a previous step in deciding whether or not to return one billion dollars of gold deposited in the Bank of England, the UK is analyzing who it recognizes as the country’s legal representative since Monday. 
  • The pandemic surpassed 9.2 million cases in the world and 477,00 people have died, according to Johns Hopkins University. However, in Vargas state, on the Venezuelan northern coast, they decided to celebrate San Juan, an old tradition, and hundreds of people were exposed, without protection gear or social distancing.

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.