- DGCIM officers detained El Hatillo’s (eastern Caracas) head of citizen security Javier Gorriño (66 years old) on Thursday, for reporting that Nicolás was allegedly at a party in Los Naranjos. The news trended on Twitter. DGCIM also took the director of PoliHatillo, Sergio González, and the officers who answered the neighbors’ call complaining about the long, loud party during quarantine. Gorriño said that PoliHatillo officers encountered Casa Militar officers at the party, the reason why he assumed Nicolás was there, a reasonable deduction since that’s the presidential honor guard. The debate on social media then spun into the license for power to break their own quarantine amid a pandemic. Mayor Elías Sayegh backed Javier Gorriño, calling him an exemplary public servant and thanking him for his contribution regarding security. Gorriño is a reference in Venezuelan criminology.
- Thursday was a day for amazing rumors. In the morning, Carlos Ortega, exiled union leader, tweeted: “Right now we’re amid a negotiation process after which Nicolás Maduro will either turn himself in or resign.” His name trended the rest of the day. In the afternoon, Luis Borjas, former editorial chief of Notitarde, tweeted: “Breaking! Through a radiograma classified A1, Venezuelan Armed Forces and police corps are ordered to be on high alert for a threat of an air attack by the U.S.” Last night, El Cooperante and Globovisión announced that Nicolás’s middleman detained in cape Verde, Alex Saab, had been released, even though A Nação, the local outlet that has best covered the case, didn’t mention anything similar. Half an hour later, tweets and news on websites were deleted. What’s true is that Saab’s lawyers once again filed a habeas corpus petition on Wednesday before the Supreme Court of Cape Verde to demand his release. Protect yourself from lies.
- Eva Leal, the lawyer who was beaten, injured and detained by a female GNB officer for refusing to be a victim of extortion in a checkpoint in Barquisimeto, was taken to military court on Thursday, violating the Constitution. She was accused of “attacking a guard”, even though it was the guard who attacked her. Eva Leal is on parole, has to attend court every time they order her to. I celebrate Luis Lecuna’s bravery (Eva Leal’s nephew), who not only recorded the video that went viral, but who denounced on Thursday morning the irregular treatment she endured and assured she was taken to court in secret. Eva Leal shouldn’t have been a victim of extortion, or beaten for refusing to pay. She shouldn’t have been a victim of abuse of force or authority. She shouldn’t have been detained or taken to court for opposing an act of corruption. We know nothing about her attacker.
- At 10:00 p.m., Delcy decided to report 198 cases of COVID-19, for a total of 4,564, even though inconsistencies of previous days suggest that this figure may be wrong. 84 of the new cases are in Zulia and she tied them to the Las Pulgas market outbreak. She also reported one death in Zulia, bringing the total to 39 deaths. In the morning, Juan Pablo Guanipa, first VP of the National Assembly, warned about the inevitable collapse of hospitals and clinics in that state for the increase of COVID-19 cases. He emphasized that there aren’t enough beds or vents in the state and that health workers aren’t properly protected. Guanipa mentioned a very important point: by deciding that some hospitals would exclusively treat COVID-19 patients, “people with other pathologies don’t get medical attention.” He also talked about the lack of medical supplies in hospitals.
- ANC-imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab, reported that authorities have confiscated around 99 T. of drugs, 65 of cocaine and 33.4 of marijuana. He also said the Public Ministry has charged 38,328 people for drug trafficking, a scandalous number that he used without an itch.
- The Public Ministry appointed special prosecutors in the states of Apure, Táchira, Zulia, Amazonas and Delta Amacuro to take measures on Venezuelans entering the country through illegal passageways or trochas.
- Claudio Fermín, a player in Nicolás’s prêt-à-porter opposition, warned that “having a new National Assembly is urgent, for those of us who believe in independence of power and balance.” I mean, it was said by someone who plays with the power that controls other powers, isn’t that beautiful?
- Freddy Bernal denied that Táchira state governor Laidy Gómez would be removed. He dismissed the announcement made by PSUV regional deputy Josuar Faratro a couple of days ago. That’s how chavismo works.
- Lawyer Thelma Fernández demanded Juan Guaidó’s caretaker government to immediately remove from the embassy in Panama former prosecutor of Nicolás’s regime, Yuraima Reyes: “It’s unthinkable that this criminal who’s been accused of human rights violations in international organizations is part of your government,” she said.
- Journalist Eugenio Martínez warned that CNE was supposed to announce “the new system for allotting deputies, which goal is to substantially increase the number of deputies and proportional representation” today, a decision that he points out, wasn’t made by the CNE but by Nicolás’s prêt-à-porter opposition to ensure more seats.
- The members of the fake dialogue roundtable say that the amount of deputies should increase because “the population has increased” even though the size of the National Assembly is regulated in Article 186 of our Constitution, for a population quotient of 1,1 % and Venezuela has lost millions of residents for forced migration in the last five years.
- “The road to solving the Venezuelan crisis is a transition government to oversee fair elections,” said Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, who ratified that his country supports Juan Guaidó. He said that this transition government must count with the support of the people and guarantee presidential and legislative elections.
- Special Representative for Venezuela Elliott Abrams asked Russia and China to deliver more humanitarian aid to Venezuela: “We’d like to see more contributions in the humanitarian field (…) the amount in dollars is truly low compared to the needs,” he said in Geneva.
- The anti-terrorist strategy coordinator of the U.S. State Department Nathan A. Sales denounced that Nicolás’s regime turned Venezuelan into a safe haven for terrorists, and that any cooperation from Iran and an authoritarian in the Western Hemisphere will be seen with concern. He reiterated that among the terrorist organizations operating in Venezuela are the ELN, FARC and Hezbollah.
- Former national security advisor John Bolton said that President Trump should under no circumstances meet with Maduro: “He shouldn’t sit with Maduro, it isn’t something the President of the United States would do,” he said. He added that when he was part of the government the only thing to negotiate would have been what Nicolás would eat on the plane out of Venezuela.
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