The Venezuelan Episcopal Conference Disagrees Again

The organization feels like no political sector is considering the dignity of the most vulnerable Venezuelans; Floods are awful in Aragua state while Maduro wants to have Christmas right now

Venezuelan poetry shining again.

Photo: The Objective

  • In their Pastoral about the serious social, economic, moral and political situation, the Venezuelan Episcopal Conference (CEV) said on Thursday that neither Nicolás’s regime nor the opposition have presented “a project for the country that manages to unite or convince the will of the majority.” They hold chavismo responsible for the problems they haven’t solved, but say that no political option is taking into account the dignity of the most vulnerable population. Bishops defended the right to peaceful protest, a reflection of all the simultaneous crises, and condemned censorship, repression and the persecution of citizens because it’s “a direct attack on popular sovereignty and they have the right to express it.” 
  • The CEV recognizes that the reports about Venezuela presented to the Human Rights Council demand justice, that those responsible for crimes against humanity must be taken to justice and ask that institutions act so these crimes don’t happen again. They criticized Nicolás’s Anti-Blockade Law, for its illegality and discretionality, and they said that the “elections” in December will only worsen our already profound political crisis. 
  • Meanwhile, Aragua state, about an hour from the nation’s capital, suffers floods that started on Wednesday and state-owned TV station VTV announced that Christmas would start on October 15th, disrespecting those who just lost everything. 
  • Nicolás appeared last night to reinforce his key messages after the São Paulo Forum: that the country is standing, that he’s inspired by Salvador Allende, that he’s the “political, social and military stability” and that PSUV is at the helm of vigilance in the slums. If you also consider his clichés against Spain on October, 12th, you’ll see that he’s trying to reposition himself before his comrades at the forum. Let’s see who believes him. 
  • Breaking the rules again, the TSJ-imposed CNE modified the Electoral Law to change the observation and accompaniment for “supervision.” That’s how it hides that no serious organization has volunteered for this fraud. 
  • The day started with good news: poet Yolanda Pantin won the Federico García Lorca International Poetry Award, that recognizes the body of work of an author relevant for the cultural patrimony of Hispanic literature. 
  • Caracas saw heavy rains which caused collapsed avenues in Caracas. Again. The draining system hasn’t been cleaned since forever. 
  • Last night, works by Armando.Info, El Pitazo TV, La Vida de Nos and Prodavinci won the Roche Award of Health Journalism 2020, from the Gabo Foundation. Congratulations! 
  • On October 15th, Provea celebrated its 32nd anniversary defending Venezuelans’ human rights. It’s sad that even on a happy day, Diosdado Cabello needed to attack them on national television: all criticism, for him, means a campaign against the country. 
  • Foro Penal presented its Repression in Venezuela report, summarizing the actions of security forces during the protests in September 2020, including 80 arrests (there have been 375 detentions since January), mostly in Yaracuy state (35 people), Nueva Esparta state (28) and Zulia state (11).
  • There were at least 30 peaceful protests in 14 states yesterday, according to figures by NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social, an organization that denounced the tragedy in Aragua: citizens demand authorities to fulfill their duty. It’s absurd that there are still people on the roofs of their homes. The state hasn’t even bothered to feed the victims. 
  • Migration is starting its reverse process. After all the hardships that Nicolás’s regime made them endure, people are starting to leave again. There are stories in the press about migrants leaving the country, but with this new wave came new abuses. FundaRedes denounced on Thursday that in checkpoints on the way, officers from several security forces incur in cruel and degrading treatment against migrants, extorting and even sexually attacking them. This NGO gathered testimonies by these caminantes on several routes to Colombia, people that are robbed or are forced to have sex with the officers in order to let them pass. Only in Táchira state, there are over 250 illegal pathways, 180 in Zulia state and 90 in Apure state. Venezuelans who are migrating through these pathways also have to pay (in dollars or pesos) Colombian guerrillas from the ELN or FARC. Local officers (military and police) ask for the PCR tests to allow them in, when it’s clear that Venezuelans don’t have access to that test. 
  • NGO Control Ciudadano said that the number of cases of COVID-19 in the Armed Forces is a mystery, as is the number of deaths. The article includes a list of cases that have leaked to the press. 
  • The Bioethics National Center denounced that Nicolás’s regime is violating universal biometric rules by using the Russian vaccine Sputnik V against COVID-19: people who are receiving doses are at risk because the product’s efficiency hasn’t been tested and it could cause negative side effects that are unknown for now. 
  • Delcy Rodríguez reported that there are 464 new COVID-19 cases in the country and six deaths, which brings the total to 85,469 cases and 720 deaths they’ve admitted to. 
  • On September, 29th, journalist Luis Carlos Díaz and I talked to journalist Alexei Guerra about fake news in a Medianálisis event. Guerra drank a lot of water and even muted his audio to cough. Unfortunately, Alexei died yesterday in Barquisimeto after two weeks in the ICU. His PCR test never arrived. To his students, friends and family: I’m sorry for your loss. 
  • Please, wash your hands, keep social distance and use a facemask.

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.