A Week of Protests and Repression in Almost all of the Country
There are serious demonstrations and repression in Yaracuy state; Juan Guaidó called for a protest on October 5th; Tareck William Saab admitted that state security forces should be restructured
- This weekend, there were tens of protests in at least 17 states, most of them peaceful, to denounce the terrible living conditions, the states of public utilities and the gas shortages. Yaracuy state had the most protests during this week of quarantine flexibilization, also being the state with the worst repression by Nicolás’s regime, including new human rights violations such as the arrest of minors, illegal raids and throwing tear gas canisters at health centers and homes. On Saturday, there was an attack on the Bruzual Mayorship building, in Chivacoa, and on Sunday, governor Julio León Heredia assured that they have identified the suspects: “All of them must be brought to justice,” he said on a twitter video.
- There were also threats by the authorities about the use of their colectivos to destroy property and “brand” citizens, as a method for dissuading protests. After the repression in Yaracuy, Foro Penal reported 31 protesters had been detained, including two minors. On Sunday night, Víctor Hugo Basabe, denounced that raids in Yaracuy continue, against the towns that have protested and against members of several NGOs: “Yaracuy is the proof of the truth contained in the UN report. There are no rights for these people,” he wrote.
- NGO Observatorio Social Humanitario registered 15 protests in 12 states, only on Sunday, most for lack of gas. Santa María de Ipire (in Guárico state, at the Venezuelan plains) is the town where the repression was worse. Despite the evidence, the regime took Sunday to attack citizens who protest. The regime’s propaganda formula is the same: it’s only a few people protesting and they’re getting paid to protest. Their key message is that “they want to live in peace” as if the protest had another goal. When you denounce an administration that destroyed institutions and the country’s productive apparatus, when you fight for your right to basic utilities and gas, when you demand your salary doesn’t lose value every day, that’s when you’re supporting peace.
- Caretaker President and AN Speaker Juan Guaidó presented on Sunday a new agenda for mobilization and activation: “I call on Venezuela to stand up, to resist, to demand. We’ll make it! Let’s free Venezuela!” he said and called for a national protest of the education sector on October 5th. Guaidó reiterated that they won’t back the fraud of next December 6th. “Your fraud, Maduro, it didn’t fool anyone. The attempt to confuse the international community and divide the Venezuelan people has been defeated.” He emphasized that delaying the fraud wouldn’t make it less of a fraud and reiterated that there must be conditions. “We represent 90% of the country, most Venezuelans, and that’s why they don’t want free, fair and verifiable presidential and parliamentary elections,” said Guaidó, before talking about five lines of work: internal pressure, consultation, pandemic understanding and protection for protesters.
- ANC-imposed prosecutor general, Tarek William Saab, talked on Sunday about the need to restructure the police forces PNB (the national police) and the FAES (the much decried Special Actions Force), admitting to the amount of officers participating in extrajudicial executions and other human rights violations. Saab said that the officers know that if they shoot a citizen they’ll have sentences of “20 to 30 years in prison” but he didn’t say if FAES officers who have been tied to 85 deaths in August are already wanted by justice. He also said that human rights violations in 21 years have been punished and anyone with a court-mandated release form must be freed. But we know there’s people in El Helicoide that have had those for over a year. We must insist: it’s crazy that Saab assumes like a victory the record of having over 1,000 officers in three years for human rights crimes and not associating that figure to the fact that there’s a pattern. Also, only 140 officers have been convicted.
- Delcy Rodríguez reported on Sunday that there were 751 new cases and six deaths of COVID-19, which brings the total to 72,691 cases and 606 deaths they’ve admitted to. According to her, 62,427 people have recovered (87%) and there are barely 9,658 active cases.
- Nicolás lied again about his policy for facing the pandemic. What’s unforgivable is that he’s mocking the sanitary personnel. He told Delcy: “We ask our doctors to take care, it’s a call we constantly make,” as if asking for it was a substitution of their obligation to supply them with enough gear. “Let me tell you, let us take care of you. We’ve seen cases where some doctors self-prescribed, isolated, were too late and we lost them.”
- Pediatrician Jorge Pachano died in Zulia state and nephrologist Marlene Naffah died in Monagas state.
- Former Táchira state governor José Gregorio Vielma Mora said that he had coronavirus and that he’s having the PCR test once a week. Truth is, nobody in the country can get that done. The fact that those in power are keeping them to themselves means that they just take them out of citizens’ hands.
- Nicolás said he’d forward the special constitutional law against the imperialist blockade to the ANC, to use policy against the U.S. sanctions. If he only needed a law for that, why did he wait so long?
- AP reported that a key source in the case against Tareck El Aissami has been accused of lying. This twist could seriously hurt the case against the minister, considered by the U.S. a “drug dealer, especially appointed for having an important role in international drug trafficking.” El Aissami denied the accusations against him. “They’re supported by lies, infamy and fake evidence, wanting to further hurt the morale of the revolution’s leaders.”
- There have been almost 33 million cases of COVID-19 and one million deaths in the world, according to Johns Hopkins University. The WHO says that Latin America and the Caribbean have had 9.1 million cases and over 341,000 deaths, but 75% of patients have recovered. Only 1% of patients are in critical condition. The greatest problem in the region is still under recording official figures: not enough testing means it’s impossible to trace the infection in order to control it. The Americas are the most affected region in the world: the U.S. ( first in the world with 7.1 million cases), Brazil (third in the world with 4.7 million), Colombia (fifth, with 806,038), Peru (sixth, with 800,142), Mexico (seventh, with 726,431), Argentina (ninth, with 702,484); and four out of ten places with the most deaths: the U.S has had 204,721, Brazil has had 141,406, Mexico in fourth place with 76,243 and Peru is seventh in the world with 32,142.
- On Monday, September 28th, three Iranian tankers are expected to arrive in the country. Two more tankers are expected to arrive during the week, for a total of approximately 800,000 barrels of gas.
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