- On Monday, ANC-imposed prosecutor general Tarek William Saab ordered the arrest of Olga Mata de Gil, 72 years old and her son Florencio Gil Mata, accused of promoting hate for a funny Tik Tok video, where she’s making arepas Olga and after she’s asked by the flavors, she answers why each arepa is named after Tarek William Saab, Hugo Chávez, Diosdado Cabello, Iris Varela and Cilia Flores. NGO Espacio Libre had to explain how freedom of speech works once again, and that these individual expressions of humor are protected and can’t be criminally processed. According to Saab, this “instigates the murder of public figures.” Since 2017, chavismo has used the Anti-Hate Law to sanction anything they might consider an “offense;” including funny videos that aren’t promoting criminal activities, but openly mocking those responsible for the complex humanitarian emergency in Venezuela.
Grabar y difundir un video ejerciendo su derecho a la #LibertadDeExpresión en su dimensión individual y social, a través del humor, no es motivo de detención ni es delito #18abr pic.twitter.com/s5CW0fnfeo
— Espacio Público 🗣️ (@espaciopublico) April 18, 2022
- Saab also announced that Guatire mayor Raziel Rodríguez has been notified of charges for allegedly ordering tearing down the homes of elderly citizens in the city’s industrial district. Diosdado Cabello ordered an investigation on mayor Rodríguez in his TV show last April, 14th.
- NGO Acceso a la Justicia analyzed the reform on the Family Protection Law and highlighted the use of the unconstitutional “power of the people” through communes as a conciliatory mechanism. The Constitution establishes that the State is responsible for protecting families, not communes.
- NGO Coordinadora de Pensionados y Jubilados announced new protests to oppose “the extermination we’ve been suffering for the last years with our insufficient pensions.” Senior citizens in Venezuela die prematurely for not being able to afford food or the medicine they need.
- The deadline established by the International Criminal Court expired on April 16th. The regime was supposed to hand over the final report detailing investigations on human rights violations and crimes against humanity. We don’t know if they asked for an extension again.
- Maduro’s regime has been producing data for its productivity propaganda, but hasn’t explained how they got the data or who analyzed it. Veep Delcy Rodriguez assured that over two million people traveled during Easter week and that hotels in tourist areas were booked over 90% their capacity.
Delcy also said that imports coming from the U.S. reached 1.6 billion dollars, 46% more than in 2020, the first year of the pandemic. Somehow, they forgot about the blockade. She also said that the commerce sector grew 86%.
- The regime said that the fire at the Bogota Consular Office was “caused by permanent vandalization,” for which they blamed the Colombian State.
- Journalist Pedro Pablo Peñaloza assured that the Unitary Platform is making efforts to re-start the Mexico negotiations. He reiterated that electoral conditions are crucial for the potential agreement.
- Citizens in Lara, Falcon and Merida reported damages caused by heavy rains and floods, including the collapse of roads and homes.
- Argentinean president Alberto Fernández announced that he plans on restarting diplomatic relations with the Maduro regime. Tamara Taraciuk, director of Human Rights Watch, questioned Fernández’s statement and shared facts that prove that Venezuela’s problems persist: lack of justice, crimes against humanity, repression, political prisoners and a complex humanitarian emergency that explains 6 million migrants.
- Ecuadorian president Guillermo Lasso said the Executive Branch will consider and study Fernández’s decision.
- The UNHCR estimates that over 4.9 million citizens have left Ukraine. However, over 5 million people have left the country, according to the IOM, considering that over 215,000 foreig citizens have also left the country since February.
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