How to Treat a DEA Informant

Among other news, Jorge Rodríguez denied that Alex Saab had been a DEA informant.

  • The speaker of Maduro’s Assembly, Jorge Rodríguez denied that Alex Saab had been a DEA informant. “If that’s the case, why did they knock two of his teeth out while beating him in Cape Verde, why was he tortured, why is he kept in less than human conditions in a cell that no human being deserves?” The crimes he spoke of can’t be proved and weren’t denounced by his lawyers before a court or in Cape Verde. About 20 countries asked to return to the negotiation table, Rodríguez  said that in order for that to happen, the U.S. “must take back what it has done.” 
  • The IACHR expressed concern for the reform of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice law that Maduro’s AN has done and exhorted to advance in building a truly independent Judicial Branch. The IACHR highlighted that reducing the number of justices without forbidding reelection is a factor of fragility for independence. They commented on the new size of the nominations committee, with more deputies, and warned that it deepens de institutional crisis because the alleged election in 2020 “didn’t have the minimum conditions to be considered free or fair.” So, the legitimacy of Nicolás’s AN isn’t only scarce because of chavista overrepresentation but by its weak origin. They called for a reform that can achieve true judicial independence and rebuild a balanced system. 
  • Jorge Rodríguez assured that Venezuelan criminals have weapons and resources coming from the government of Iván Duque. He assured that Carlos Revette, a.k.a. “El Koki”, and Carlos Gómez, a.k.a. “El Conejo”, received orders from Colombia. 
  • Maduro’s interior minister, Remigio Ceballos, went to the chavista Assembly to read the report on police operations. After he was asked about the situation of armed gangs, he said: “We have identified all the gangs. What country in the world doesn’t have crime? What country doesn’t have criminal groups? They all have criminal groups (…) crime will always be present,” he said. 
  • ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab reported a new achievement, destroying 341,000 coca plants in Zulia. He didn’t say why this is relevant to the Prosecutor’s Office agenda, or for respect for human rights or justice. 
  • William Echarry and Juan Rafael Blanco were released from prison after five days, but the trial against them continues. They tried to put up a sign in Vargas. They have to go to court every 15 days, and their monthly pensions aren’t enough to cover their bus fare. 
  • Control Ciudadano reported 106 people were killed by police and military officers in 17 states in January. The NGO denounced that in most cases, there’s evidence of extrajudicial executions, violating the right to life and due process. 
  • Tax attorney Daniel Betancourt warned that the new fees in notaries and civil registries impede citizens from providing legal certainty to their businesses. He emphasized that “formalizing defines economic growth, which is why it’s important to have institutions that make it easier, not harder.” 
  • Costa Rica decided to demand visas for Venezuelan citizens who want to do tourism. They will be issued for 30 days and can be extended to up to 90 days. The visa must be requested abroad because there’s no Costa Rican embassy or consular services in Venezuela, they closed their doors in 2020 for political differences with the regime. 24 countries in Latin America demand visas. 
  • Hundreds of migrants, most of them Venezuelan, entered Chile illegally in the last couple of hours through the border with Bolivia. Witnesses said that the number of migrants increased after sunset on Wednesday and went all throughout the night because migrants were taking advantage of less police and military patrolling. 
  • Colombian vice president Marta Lucía Ramírez said that her country doesn’t have the ability to assimilate new Venezuelan migrants and refugees but that they will continue to assist them. 
  • The EU electoral observation mission will present its final report on the 2021 regional election from Brussels on February 22nd. Nicolás’s regime expelled the mission before the set date and didn’t grant them visas to present their report from Venezuela. 
  • The coordinator of the Bolivarian Union of Socialist Workers said that they’ll propose a minimum wage increase, to 2,000 bolivars. From 7 to 2,000 bolivars. Chavismo doesn’t care if it’s feasible, it only cares about propaganda. 
  • PAHO assistant director Jarbas Barbosa assured that Venezuela still owes money, but assured that it’s working to release some funds that are blocked to pay the debt. We don’t know if he’s been forced to repeat the regime’s narrative. 
  • President Iván Duque said that the ICC investigation will yield “more forceful processes” that will go after “the leader of these crimes, who’s been Nicolás (…) We want this investigation to move forward, toward sanctions.” He expressed his trust in the “international criminal justice system,” after he left a meeting with presiding judge Piotr Hofmanski and ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan.
  • The U.S. accused the regime of “supporting the Russian aggression against Ukraine,” after Venezuela offered support to the Kremlin to face NATO and “the western world.” 
  • Américo Martín died at 84 years old. He was a Venezuelan politician, lawmaker, writer and intellectual. A leader of the Generación del 58, who fought Marcos Pérez Jiménez’s dictatorship and later fought chavismo. He was a member of the guerrilla and presidential candidate.

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.