Colombia Says the Venezuelan Army is Taking its Humanitarian Aid

Allegedly, the army interrupted a delivery of humanitarian aid from Noruega to a vulnerable population in Colombia; Venezuela is reaching 11,000 COVID-19 cases

Photo: Wikimedia

  • The Venezuelan Army confiscated yesterday—in Colombian territory—humanitarian aid sent by the government of Norway to Guainía’s vulnerable population. The boat that transported the aid and three Colombian crew members “were captured by Venezuelan military,” said people from the area. They added that the Venezuelan Army constantly exploits merchants in the area. The Colombian Foreign Ministry denounced the confiscation of hygiene kits and food and that Colombian citizens had been detained. They demand their immediate release and respect for their integrity. They rejected and condemned “an act that violates the right of navigation common rivers, that interrupted a humanitarian action amid a pandemic.” Jorge Arreaza, Nicolás’s Foreign minister, responded with a communiqué saying that they were carrying “38 barrels of gas that occupied 80% of the boat” and scolded the Norwegian Refugee Council and the Red Cross. He said they’ll deliver the aid but, because of the alleged crimes committed, the boat and the crew will be taken to Venezuelan court. 
  • Jorge Arreaza issued another communiqué to condemn recent statements by the Commander of the U.S. Southern Command and the USS Pinckney navigating “so close” to Venezuela, 16.1 nautical miles off our shores. Admiral Craig Faller announced on June 15th, that the U.S. is acting lawfully, navigating international waters and that Nicolás’s regime illegally claims control of the waters well beyond our borders (12 nautical miles) and that the American warship was sailing the Caribbean. 
  • On Thursday, 426 new COVID-19 cases in Venezuela were announced, which brings us to a total of 10,854 contagions. In addition, four more patients died (the pandemic has caused a total of 104 deaths). However, deputy in exile José Manuel Olivares, assured yesterday that there are 72 deaths that haven’t been reported in the official figures and that 22 of those were health workers. The PAHO issued an epidemiology warning reporting that there are 152 indigenous patients, with Bolívar being the state with the most cases (96), followed by Zulia (43, and one death); Amazonas (12), and Delta Amacuro (1). The chief of cardio at the Pérez Carreño Hospital, in Caracas, Juan Pérez Terán, has resigned. He didn’t want to send residents without protection gear to the coronavirus isolation area. The commander of Zulia’s Integral Defense Operational Area also resigned after confirming on a voice note that he has coronavirus. 
  • Journalist Otilio Rodríguez, detained on Wednesday for saying that the National Guard is allegedly involved in illegal sale of gas in Sucre state, was released yesterday. During his detention, he wasn’t allowed to see his family or lawyers. He was charged with promoting hate and ordered to attend court for eight months, which he will have to do when the quarantine is over. 
  • Journalist Johan Álvarez said that DGCIM officers told Nicmer Evans’s wife that he was held at the Boleíta headquarters and that she could bring him food and clothes. When she got there they told her that it wasn’t a visitation day. Nobody has been able to check his health condition. Evans is hypertensive and requires medicine. They wouldn’t take the medicine from his wife. He hasn’t been taken to court either, even though it’s been over 48 hours since his detention. 
  • Judge María Lourdes Afiuni’s home was raided with the goal of “finding and confiscating explosives, guns and vehicles,” according to the warrant. Journalist Nelson Bocaranda said that the action was meant to find Afiuni’s daughter, who’s in the U.S. (under political asylum), for working with former Attorney General José Ignacio Hernández. Judge Afiuni is one of the most well known political prisoners, because she was tortured, mistreated and raped in prison with the knowledge of many authorities. 
  • Former Attorney General José Ignacio Hernández denied that the Delaware court has asked for information: “Actually, Avanzada Progresista’s representatives presented a document full of mistakes and lies. They want to rewrite history favoring Maduro, and give him more excuses to persecute,” he wrote. 
  • Cape Verdean law doesn’t allow the Venezuelan regime’s legal intervention in the extradition process of Colombian citizen Alex Saab, alleged middleman of Nicolás Maduro and wanted by the U.S. justice, said Cape Verdean lawyer Arnaldo Silva to Efe yesterday. The Venezuelan Executive tried to hire Silva to assist on the case, but as he explained to Efe: “I let them know that wasn’t possible because in the due process the Venezuelan government has no legitimacy for any kind of intervention in the process.” The lawyer said that in the process, Saab won’t have a trial in Cape Verde, only a decision will be made on the request for extradition presented by the U.S. and already backed by the Executive and “having a result will take a long time.” Silva emphasized this case is judicially complex and it’s subject to many requests of appeal and has a lot of media attention. 
  • Regarding the new report on Venezuela by High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, the under secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Michael Kozak, said that “Venezuelans deserve a peaceful road to democracy and prosperity, as it was stated in the Democratic Transition Framework.” 
  • American company of Latino products Goya Foods announced a donation of 220,000 pounds (99.790 kgs) of food for Venezuelans affected by the pandemic, as part of the company’s global campaign. 
  • Argentinian president Alberto Fernández clarified his position on human rights in Venezuela. He said he never disregarded Nicolás’s legitimacy but that “Argentina ratified its position of always preserving human rights, in any field and any government.” 
  • Arreaza asked the UN to make decisions to stop U.S. sanctions, during the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, a space that should be denied to a regime that forces an entire country to go through a complex humanitarian emergency. 
  • Carlos Vecchio said last night that the U.S. government presented documents to the Delaware court, favoring the defense and protection of CITGO, reinforcing that the caretaker government allows the distinction and considers the Venezuelan State and CITGO to be different judicial entities.

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.