Two Tantrums Later, The Dialogue Continues

Maduro warned about new conspiracies by President Iván Duque, to sabotage the negotiation process with “criminals and sicarios.” Less than 7% of the country has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Maduro imposed a mandatory TV and radio broadcast of his variety show, where he assured that the memo of understanding signed in Mexico “has a life of its own,” that it will be taken to his National Assembly for approval and ratified in the Official Gazette. He said that chavismo’s demands are in the document: recognizing their authority, the end of violence and lifting the sanctions. He even talked about the success of a process that has just begun. 
    • Maduro warned about new conspiracies by President Iván Duque, to sabotage the process with “criminals and sicarios.” He said they won’t allow “the opposition to kick the table” and that he isn’t obligated to issue a communique on the death of a.k.a. Jesús Santrich, a FARC dissident who was murdered in Venezuela in May. 

Read more about the history of negotiations between the Venezuelan government and the opposition: Time After Time: 20 Years of Negotiations in Venezuela

  • Maduro said that Freddy Guevara was released from prison and that if he were to be called to Mexico as a representative of the opposition, he’d be welcome. He freely added many things to the Mexican agenda, like the possibility of “opening channels of communication with the U.S., but only if they stop the arrogance and hate.” He added that the U.S. “has to lift sanctions sooner or later.” 
  • Main board member of the National Electoral Council said that “it’s not the same, nominating candidates that have leadership (…) or saving the spots for other people and that in the end waiting for the negotiation. Whatever happens with the candidates who are barred from running is important. Hopefully, we’ll make progress on that matter this week.” 
    • Picón assured that other pending topics are the rules of the pre-campaign and campaign and the equitable use of TV and radio time for candidates. He thinks the process in Mexico can “help obtain political conditions that would allow a larger participation.” 
    • Picón said he thinks that political actors have been reasonable and prudent regarding the November elections because they are parallel to the negotiations. He exhorted Venezuelans to continue protesting peacefully and persevere in using the vote as a tool for protest. 

Read more about how candidates and parties are gearing up for the regional elections announced for November, but Venezuelans are still waiting for proper audits, global observation, and full participation: The Electoral Guarantees Venezuela Needs 

  • Maduro reiterated his magic formula to increase the GDP and the rest of the economy. He thinks that everything can get better, but he didn’t mention the plans, the budget, the investment figures, only his projections. He talked about Venezuela increasing activity in “all sectors during 2021,” but again, didn’t provide figures. 

Read more about how during the first quarter of the year, the Caracas stock market grew by 81.3% compared to the same period in 2020: The Caracas Stock Exchange: an Investment Oasis or a Mirage?

  • In a communiqué, the Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) rejected the document declassified last week by the ICC, assuring that their conclusions “aren’t aligned with reality.” They’re repeating Tarek William Saab’s mistake, treating former prosecutor Fatou Bensouda as Karim Khan’s rival, not his predecessor. 
  • Former Finance minister Rodrigo Cabezas and former ombudswoman Gabriela Ramírez assured that there’s an opportunity to restore citizenry using the vote to express their rejection. 
  • Maduro said that the commission that monitors COVID-19 in the country must find the second doses of the Russian vaccine Sputnik V. According to him, he’s kept “the pandemic under control” and he promised again that “between August and September we’ll be reaching around 70% of the country being vaccinated with both doses.” 

Dr. Huniades Urbina, secretary of the National Academy of Medicine, said that barely 7% of the country has been vaccinated against COVID-19:  “That’s less than 2 million people and there are more than 28 million inhabitants,” he explained. 

  • Freddy Guevara was released from prison on Sunday. He had been isolated at El Helicoide prison for over a month, and he was accused by chavismo of terrorism and paramilitary ties. After his release, he said he needed to obtain political information, understanding the limitations of his case, and assured he’s willing to collaborate in the negotiation process. 
  • “What about the release of the rest of the political prisoners?” was the general comment on social media platforms after Guevara’s release. Most people demanded the release of hundreds of political prisoners and thousands of prisoners on parole or special conditions on their freedom that Maduro’s regime has kept in a criminal justice limbo. 
  • A group of protesters marched from Rubio to San Cristóbal in Táchira, to demand the release of FundaRedes human rights activists: Javier Tarazona, Rafael Tarazona and Omar García.
  • Norway’s Foreign Ministry issued a communique announcing the next round of negotiations between the regime and the unitary platform from September 3rd to September 6th. They said that the delegations held constructive meetings on August 14th and August 15th. 

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.