Inmate at El Helicoide Dead Amidst COVID-19 Rumors

In a week, chavismo has admitted the existence 5,639 cases of coronavirus in Venezuela. America is the most affected region on the planet

Photo: Espacio Público

  • On Sunday, Nicolás extended the “state of alarm” for the fifth time. However, he also announced that from Monday, August 10th to Sunday, August 16th, the quarantine will be flexibilized in the country. He called it a “partial and surveilled” flexibilization scheme, and economic logic will rule in Caracas and the states of Miranda, Vargas, Zulia, Sucre, Bolívar and Táchira. The sectors that will be allowed to work in those entities are: construction, hardware stores, chemical raw materials, transportation, banks, beauty salons, auto shops, dentists, veterinarians, textile sector, shoe and plumbing stores. The other states will go through a broader flexibilization plan, 24 sectors of the economy will be allowed to reopen “even though in some states, the contagion rate is quickly growing,” said Nicolás. Chavismo uses the following punitive strategy to separate them: the Ministry of Commerce has a sit-room to monitor authorized and non-authorized shops. What we’ve seen in these last few months, is a lot of discretionality when it comes to these controls. 
  • Nicolás said that 844 new cases of coronavirus were reported on Sunday, for a total of 25,805 cases they’ve admitted to. This weekend, there were 1,679 new cases, and from Monday to Sunday, there were 5,639 cases they’ve admitted to. Nicolás reported 8 new deaths, 223 deaths in total. What did he leave out? The death of Dr. Luis Urdaneta, founder of the ICU at the Vargas Hospital. He didn’t mention the complaints of political prisoners’ families, who demand information about cases of COVID-19 at El Helicoide, DGCIM and Ramo Verde, a military prison. He didn’t talk about Erick Echegaray, who was an inmate at El Helicoide. 
  • Nicolás’s Communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, accused Juan Guaidó of using bots on Twitter to spread posts of people who are mourning the deaths of their families of COVID-19 and causing panic. But it’s another lie. The image shared by Rodríguez was spread in Argentina and Spain earlier, countries where Guaidó has no interest in causing panic. 
  • On Sunday, the colectivos, supporters of Nicolás’s regime, raided the headquarters of Acción Democrática in Caracas. These armed groups took over the offices in El Paraíso and La Florida. Henry Ramos Allup condemned the attack and denounced that “uniformed FAES officers” supported the colectivos. Deputy Héctor Cordero accused Bernabé Gutiérrez—appointed by the TSJ as the ad hoc president of AD—of using Nicolás’s forces of repression to take over AD headquarters. 
  • The president of the CNE imposed by the TSJ, Indira Alfonzo, reported that according to the Electoral Registry published on Saturday, 20,733,941 people will be allowed to vote in the “elections” on December, 6th. She said that in the Electoral Registry update process, 251,398 people registered to vote. Alfonzo didn’t say how many people from indigenous communities won’t be allowed to vote because of the new “rule” that abolished their right to vote directly. They also forgot to mention how many potential voters now live abroad because of the humanitarian crisis. 
  • The CNE published a manual to make the complaint about errors in the Electoral Registry. The complaints will be received from August 9th to August 23rd, 2020. 
  • On Friday, August 7th, at 11:00 p.m., ANC-imposed prosecutor general spoke about the first preliminary hearing against the American citizens detained for disembarking in Operation Gedeón (Luke Denman and Airam Berry), accused of conspiracy, weapons trafficking and terrorism. Saab wrote: “They admitted their responsibility in the events (…) they were sentenced to 20 years in jail.” On the other hand, family members say that the men weren’t even allowed a defense team. 
  • The family of political prisoner Juan Antonio Planchart reported about a tumor on his neck that was diagnosed on September, 12th, 2019, when he had been detained for only six months at El Helicoide. He was issued a medical order that recommended urgent surgery. The court ordered that he’d be taken to a hospital in October 2019, but SEBIN officers haven’t complied with the order, or the four orders that have followed since. Even the IACHR gave him precautionary measures, requesting the humanitarian measure of house arrest. Juan Antonio Planchart is Guaidó’s cousin and this is an attempt against his life by the Venezuelan state. 
  • Without solving the oil spill in Falcón, which already affects the islands of Morrocoy National Park, the complaints about presence of oil in beaches at Puerto Cabello, Carabobo state, increased over the weekend. There have also been new reports of a spill of another nature in San Tomé and Barbacoas, in Anzoátegui state. This is all in northern Venezuela. 
  • There have been 19.7 million cases and over 729,300 people have died of coronavirus in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over the weekend, there were 280,000 cases per day and America is still the most affected region on the planet, with 10.4 million cases and 385,000 deaths (212,000 in Latin America). The U.S. is still the country with the most cases, 5 million cases and 163,000 deaths, but out of the ten countries with the most cases, five are in Latin America: Brazil (over 3 million cases), Mexico ( over 476,000), Peru (471,000), Colombia ( over 376,800) and Chile (over 373,000). 
  • Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Social distance.

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.