Two More Years For the Fact-Finding Mission

The HRC also supported a reinforce of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights’ office in Venezuela, as the arbitrary detentions and abuses go on

A living, breathing, unending hell.

Photo: Time Magazine

  • The Human Rights Council approved on Tuesday Resolution 45/L.43 extending the Fact-Finding Mission’s mandate for two years. It was approved with 22 votes in favor, 22 abstentions and three votes against, by Venezuela, Eritrea and the Philippines. The Mission’s report denounces that the Venezuelan State has committed crimes against humanity and made former unconditional allies of the regime take a step back or support the work of the Mission. Without the documentation of the Mission’s report, they could have easily voted against. Mexico abstaining is inadmissible and Spain and Argentina’s votes in favor are meaningful. Far from improving, chavismo keeps doing what it’s always done: arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, torture, ferocious media censorship and excessive use of force against protesters. There’s even been harassment against organizations and people because of the report. Independent experts now have two more years to keep documenting cases, talking to victims and determining responsibilities in the chains of command for the crimes committed since 2014. It’s a victory. 
  • The HRC also supported a resolution to strengthen and improve cooperation and technical assistance to the UN High Commissioner’s Office in Venezuela. Only 14 countries supported this cause but Nicolás’s minister Jorge Arreaza thanked their support. The play backfired because the cooperation exists and has been reinforced. There will now be more UN officers monitoring what happens in the country. 
  • The UNHRC approved a resolution to guarantee the safety of journalists. Out of 60 sponsoring nations, 23 are members of the UNHRC: Venezuela didn’t support it. Besides, it was the only vote against a resolution requesting access of humanitarian organizations in Syria and the end of chemical weapons. Chavismo showed its true morality. 
  • Foro Penal counted 359 political prisoners in the country: 335 men and 24 women; 232 civilians and 127 military officers. Two are minors. 
  • NGOs Monitor Salud and Médicos Unidos de Venezuela (MUV) estimate that 213 healthcare workers have died of COVID-19 until October, 6th. 49 Have died in Zulia state, 23 in the Capital District, 20 in Anzoátegui state, 19 in Bolívar state and 16 in Carabobo state. 
  • Depression and anxiety are common in healthcare workers in Venezuela, explained Carlos Tineo, member of Médicos Unidos de Venezuela, when he published the results of an investigation carried out in August among with 1.266 people. 70% have important symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially among individuals between 25 and 45 years old. “These symptoms are a warning because it will condition the work of healthcare workers. Mental and physical fatigue can cause errors in treating patients or in basic protection measures,” said MUV director Jaime Lorenzo.
  • Chavismo minister Freddy Ñañez reported that there were 679 new cases of COVID-19 in the country and 7 deaths on Tuesday, which brings the total to 79,796 cases and 665 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • The National Assembly warned about the critical situation of the jail system: there are over 110,000 inmates in 26 jails and 273 centers of detention. These places weren’t designed to keep people for over 48 hours, but some prisoners spend years there. “In some cases, overcrowding is more than 1,000%, according to ONG Una Ventana a Libertad”, warned deputy Yajaira de Forero. During the first half of 2020, 118 prisoners died in detention centers and 119 prisoners died in jails, but the diseases and malnutrition  have doubled. 
  • Journalist Eugenio Martínez reported that the design of CNE’s electoral app “forces the elector, even in cases of nominal vote, to select a political party to know the electoral offer”. Martínez emphasized that “this design violates at least three articles of the Electoral Law and one article of the Constitution”, a change that benefits the party over the candidate (which PSUV needs) and it’s as serious as taking away Indigenous people’s direct voting rights. Besides, the CNE changed the timetable: the simulation was moved from October 18th to the 25th. It was first scheduled for the 11th. We don’t know what the system will be like after a CNE warehouse fire burned almost all of the inventory. The country doesn’t know anything about the equipment. 
  • The U.S. Treasury Department extended a measure that prohibits PDVSA creditors to take over CITGO stocks. PDVSA used half of the stocks as the guarantee for the 2020 bonds and then entered default. Bond holders have a powerful lobby in place to see how they collect that debt.  
  • The protests against irregular gas supply continue all over the country. On Tuesday, there were protests in Lara, Mérida and Bolívar, and in Anzoátegui, Cojedes and Vargas, citizens said that some gas stations remain closed. The government had said that it supplied all gas stations in the country on Sunday. 
  • Deputy Luis Parra and the group that accompanied him on his European tour to defend Alex Saab weren’t afraid of the consequences of taking videos of their trip proving their corruption. Parra is seen counting a big wad of Euros and smiles when he sees he’s being recorded. He also hides. 
  • Luisa Ortega Díaz reported from Colombia that there’s no warrant for her arrest. She said “this is another lie by the regime’s communication apparatus.” 
  • Candidate Joe Biden said during a campaign event: “Maduro, whom I’ve met, is a dictator, it’s that simple. He’s causing tremendous suffering on the Venezuelan people in order to remain in power”. Biden said that Venezuelans need U.S. support “to recover democracy and rebuild the country.” 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court rejected the appeal presented by one of Cilia and Nicolás’s nephews, in jail for conspiracy for drug trafficking. The Court didn’t say why it rejected the appeal. 
  • In an interview for El País, Jorge Arreaza said that Henrique Capriles Radonski and Stalin González met with Nicolás and Jorge Rodríguez several times. He attributed the “pardon” that Nicolás gave to political prisoners to the regime, the Capriles-González duo and the prêt-à-porter opposition. He highlighted the political cost of that decision in grassroots chavismo. 
  • Through IG Live, Blanca García, baseball shortstop’s Omar Vizquel’s wife, accused the player of domestic violence and said they’re going through a divorce. “I still have a long way to go because domestic violence, physical violence of any kind, on women, children, can’t be explained (…), nobody should go through that.”  García warned Vizquel about revealing his weakness. Vizquel read a message for his male fans (it starts with “Well, gentlemen”) and said that they are not getting a divorce and that he won’t participate in “a debate on social media that doesn’t contribute to a positive solution”. He asked for patience and respect for his privacy, and thanked his fans for the comments. 

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.