Cruelty as State Policy

A video published by Provea shows paramilitaries "punishing" citizens who step outside without the proper permits. It’s the bloodiest way possible to "teach a lesson," promoted by a criminal state

Photo: NotiCentro, Canal 1

  • In a dark alley, a torturer warms up, stretches his arms, just measuring how much damage he can inflict without hurting his muscles. He stretches using his bat and jokes around with accomplices, who record him. The victim closest to him, topless, says something about his stomach. The torturer approaches and hits an ankle after someone says “Yeah, but those asscheeks have nothing to do with the stomach!” Provea made this video viral, where paramilitaries torture citizens, play around, laugh, use baseball terms and record each other. Violating human rights defined chavismo, not only because of the horrible figures that prove the torture and cruel practices, but because of the institutionalized impunity. ANC-imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab, appointed two prosecutors with human rights background to investigate the case. But who inspires the paramilitaries?
  • On Wednesday, Nicolás decreed for the umptieth time that everything that’s consumed in Venezuela has to be produced here, even though the manufacturing sector has been destroyed and the tax scheme promotes imports. Today, he sent to the ANC a proposal for a Constitutional Law of the Great AgroVenezuela Mission, that according to him summarizes the “level of scientific, political, strategic, organizational level of commander Hugo Chávez’s relationship to land.” He also ordered the creation of a superior entity to conduct this phase of AgroVenezuela, activating a Registry of Producers and corroborate it against the carnet de la patria, so “financing, seeds, supplies, support, information” have this partisan discrimination filter. He also exhorted the establishment of petro as a currency for every operation in the agriculture sector. 
  • In two days, we got 1000 more: On Wednesday, 390 new cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths were reported, which brings us to a total of 13,164 cases and 124 deaths, according to Nicolás’s Communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez. 366 cases are “local contagions.”
  • Dr. Julio Castro, president of the Health Expert Commission, published figures of supplies that have arrived to 29 hospitals with the PAHO donation, using international funds. He made it very clear that the supplies are insufficient. 
  • Nicolás’s regime is blocking COVID-19 testing in private labs and universities at a moment where the infection rate is accelerating: “They’re controlling epidemiology information as if it were a state secret. Implementing social control through a monopoly on information is more important to them than shortening the diagnosis period,” said former Health Minister José Félix Oletta to Bloomberg. 
  • Mayor Érika Farías reported that there are five active epicenters in the Libertador municipality, Caracas. She didn’t say where exactly.
  • Zulian doctors dead of COVID-19:  Analys Fernández and Édgar Rabinovich; in Caracas: Ana Henríquez Salazar. 23 health workers have died, 17 doctors (14 of them were from Zulia). 
  • The TSJ Constitutional Chamber ruled decree N° 4.247 is constitutional, a piece of law where Nicolás declares a state of alarm in the country because of the pandemic. It’s the fourth extension of the decree issued on March 10th. 
  • ULA’s Observatory of Human Rights (ODH-ULA) denounced and condemned Nicolás’s regime politicizing university scholarships,  because the University Education Ministry notified that the scholarships will be done through the Patria System, created for the PSUV. 
  • Oil workers protested in PDVSA offices all over the country, to demand wage increases, over the $6 per month they currently make. They called their jobs “half enslavement”: “We won’t conform with living in misery or living as cowards,” said Eudis Girot, director of the Unified Federation of Oil Workers.  They called for another protest on July 28th. 
  • The National Journalists Collegiate said that VTV workers with COVID-19 are isolated, can’t leave the premises and hypertensive patients who tested negative are isolated without treatment and are forbidden to go buy it. 
  • According to Cendas, a Venezuelan family needs over 56 million bolivars to cover basic food needs: the price of the basic basket in June 56,241,121 bolivars, a 2,042% increase in a year. 140,000 minimum wages (400,000 bolivars), almost five minimum wages per day, are required to buy the food basket. 
  • The Venezuelan Teachers Federation expressed their concern for education amid a pandemic: Venezuela doesn’t meet the conditions for students to take classes online, so education will be more exclusive. They warn that because of their income, teachers are on the extreme poverty line. 
  • INAMEH, the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology,  reported that tropical storm Gonzalo, making its way over the Caribbean, has authorities closely monitoring and alert for the next hours. They foresee rain and strong winds over a large part of Venezuelan territory because of tropical waves 24 and 25. Delta Amacuro, Sucre and Nueva Esparta states have the highest chances of rain. 
  • The Radio Chamber rejected the shutdown of 95.5 FM and requested Conatel their return to the airwaves and a proper right for defense. 
  • The law firm of former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, Ilocad, confirmed that they’d be representing Alex Saab, and said that they’ll get in touch with the UN and the African Union to prove that “Alex Saab’s rights are being violated with this extradition process.” Officers of the Colombian General Prosecutor raided and took over seven properties belonging to Saab. The properties had been bought through a fake front company and the resources from Saab’s illegal activities. 
  • Delaware’s Supreme Court reaffirmed the legitimacy of CITGO’s ad hoc board appointed by Guaidó, “which is an important victory for CITGO’s lawful protection.” Juan Guaidó ordered a public presentation of the work they’ve done to defend and protect Venezuelan assets abroad: “So everyone has official figures at hand and we can spread it with strength and defeat censorship, misinformation and fake news,” he wrote. 
  • “Nobody will be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the first half of 2021,” said the WHO’s director of Sanitary Emergencies, Mike Ryan. “It doesn’t matter how hard we try to accelerate the process, we have to be sure the vaccine is safe and effective and that has its own time (…) under no circumstance will we take shortcuts when it comes to safety.”

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.