The Regime Aims at NGOs Working for Human Rights in Venezuela

It’s been raining for two weeks in Táchira state and several rivers and streams have flooded, thousands of families have lost their homes; Looks like the COVID-19 curve is finally flattening; The regime threatens NGOs with a law to forbid international financing

Too many negative reports are disrupting the chavista narrative.

Photo: Proyecto Migración Venezuela

  • Nicolás’s Communications minister Freddy Ñañez reported 296 cases of COVID-19 and four new deaths in Venezuela, for a total of 95,445 cases and 834 deaths they’ve admitted to. Unfortunately, Dr. Giovaldo González, who was an ER doctor and disaster medicine specialist from Cabimas (Zulia state), died after being infected in Zulia. 
  • Deputy Karim Vera asked the National Assembly for humanitarian aid to solve the emergency in Táchira state: floods caused by heavy rains that have been going for two weeks in a row. “We think there are over 1,300 families that lost their homes, around 600 houses and buildings destroyed and around 7,000 families that lost everything,” said Vera. Governor Laidy Gómez decreed a state of emergency. 
  • NGO Espacio Público said in its monthly report that there were 25 cases and 106 violations of freedom of speech in Venezuela. Censorship, administrative sanctions and intimidation are the most common violations. 
  • The regime offers in its electoral campaign, paid with public funds, a law that forbids the international financing for NGOs defending human  rights. After the reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, the Independent UN Fact-Finding Mission and the ICC prosecutor, based on the work carried out by Venezuelan NGOs, the regime wants to block further research and stop NGOs from working, when it’s its duty to help them. 
  • Cargill sold its assets after 34 years of uninterrupted operations in Venezuela. The food processing company agreed to sell the company to investors represented by international investment fund Phoenix Global Investment. Cargill will be managed by Puig Group, producers of María cookies. The company has around 1,600 workers in Venezuela and produced mass consumption food items like flour, pasta and oil. 
  • Oil union leader Jovani Queva denounced the lack of maintenance of the PDV Marina fleet: 70% of the fleet is paralyzed. Workers, who have been asking for supplies to do their jobs for months, will remain active and on alert. 
  • NGO Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social registered protests for failures in public utilities like water and gas, for citizen security measures and for the working rights of people in the states of Amazonas, Anzoátegui, Aragua, Caracas, Mérida, Monagas and Sucre.
  • A plane coming from Venezuela crashed and was found in Guatemala, with 1,028 kilos of cocaine, worth around 14 million dollars. They also found documents, satellite phones, $16,000 dollars and Colombian pesos. 
  • AN deputies rejected the prioritizing that Nicolás gives to military expenses and the little attention he gives to the low budget for the Venezuelan education system. “Besides hunger and misery, kids have to suffer the null budget for schools, high schools and universities,” said deputy Lawrence Castro, asking for a rejection to the military budget.
  • Deputy Luis Barragán talked about the evident paralyzation of public universities in the country. He warned that the collapse may make its way to private universities that don’t share ideology with Nicolás’s regime: “The purpose is to alter production of strategic knowledge in Venezuela and the region.” He insisted on establishing a national cooperation strategy for universities and to take their complaints to UNESCO. Deputy Oneiber Peraza explained that since 2007 the budget for universities isn’t enough for maintenance. A recent communiqué issued by the Simón Bolívar University warns that it’s really hard to keep operating.
  • Deputy Delsa Solórzano criticized the visit by Nicolás’s ombudsman and prosecutor to the International Criminal Court to try to stop investigations on crimes against humanity. Solórzano’s main point was that Tarek William Saab admits to human rights violations and disregards the need to investigate the chains of command that authorize them. 
  • Nicolás assured on Tuesday that caretaker President and Speaker of the AN Juan Guaidó betrayed Donald Trump when he congratulated President-elect Joe Biden: “There were no results on the American election and Guaidó recognized Biden, betraying Trump who had given him over $800 in cash. They’re hyenas, scorpions,” he said, forgetting that he tweeted, 20 minutes after Guaidó, congratulating Biden and vice president-elect Kamala Harris. He also said the country “will be in conditions” for mass vaccination against COVID-19 starting April 2021, for “all of our people, for free, in a direct and safe manner,” and then he said that people with pre-existing conditions, senior citizens, teachers, doctors and nurses would be the first to get a vaccine that doesn’t exist, hasn’t been negotiated or budgeted. In a country that doesn’t even have enough vaccines for their children. 
  • Since he’s campaigning, Nicolás reported that he inaugurated 100 new bases of socialist missions to help over 100,000 Venezuelan families (built during the lockdown?) and announced that before December 31st, he’ll inaugurate 100 more. He didn’t explain where that money came from, who builds them or how they’re useful during a complex humanitarian emergency. Nicolás also ordered an expansion and reinauguration strategy for the Barrio Nuevo and Barrio Tricolor missions. 
  • Eurodeputy Leopoldo López Gil called on the EU to not delay the sanctions against Nicolás’s regime: “We can’t relax or flexibilize our position against human rights violators,” he said. 
  • Colombian Immigration director Juan Francisco Espinosa said that his country established humanitarian channels on the Simón Bolívar and José Antonio Páez international bridges, on the border with the states of Táchira and Apure, so Venezuelan migrants can enter Colombia, even though the border is closed because of the pandemic until December 1st.

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.