56 Hours Later

Want to know how the government is keeping the relative peace in Venezuela's cities? Zero tolerance against protesters

  • On Thursday, advised by the Coalition for Human Rights and Democracy, the families of four Voluntad Popular youth activists that have been arbitrarily detained since June 7th, took a document to the Prosecutor’s Office, denouncing their forced disappearance. After Luis Martinez, Carlos Maneiro, Argelis Rovaina, and Jholbert Godoy’s lawyers filed the document, the DGCIM (the Division of Military Counter-intelligence, WTF) admitted to having them under custody without explaining the charges against them. On Wednesday, DGCIM Boleíta released five people who had been apprehended because they were traveling on the same bus (as the kids who were caught for painting graffiti on a gray wall) and nobody explained why a group of civilians is kept in a military facility. The Coalition asked the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights for measures to protect the activists. 56 hours after their arbitrary detention, there was a hearing where they were charged with instigating hate, association to commit crimes, and obstructing public roads. 
  • The Food Ministry installed a committee that will try to control the production of 11 basic products like sugar, oil, pasta, flour, animal protein, milk, corn flour, rice, and canned goods, among others. General Menry Fernández Pereira will lead the committee. 
  • Maduro announced a new airline will be serving Argel/Caracas flights, and the start of a new economic, commercial and financial agenda for both countries. They promised to help the Palestinian people. 

The speaker of Maduro’s National Assembly (AN) Jorge Rodríguez, threatened Banesco founder Juan Carlos Escotet: “I’m coming to get you, Escotet, I know what you do against judges, thief!” 

  • PDVSA changed most of its oil sales to a system where everyone pays upfront since May. They now require 100% of the value of the shipment before it sails, reported Reuters. This has meant demand for more discounts and inventory accumulating because of the delay in transactions. Since 2019, PDVSA depends on companies with small commercial precedent and some of them haven’t paid. 
  • FEDENAGA denounced that mobility guides are a resource to extort producers and farmers, since they delay transactions for commerce and don’t guarantee the decrease of contraband operations. They denounced the presence of irregular groups from Colombia on the border, in states like Apure and Zulia. 
  • The economic activity growth registered in 2022 can be reverted in mayorships don’t control their “fiscal voracity” as evidenced in the increase of municipal tax by almost 10,000% in two years, which stimulates informality. 
  • Maduro’s National Assembly declared that Zamora mayor Raziel Rodríguez and eight accomplices are politically responsible for evacuating inhabitants of the Villa Zamora sector in April. They asked for legal action against the mayor’s criminal responsibility. 
  • The director of the graduate program of Zulia University’s School of Medicine Freddy Pachano said that residents Rafael Briceño and María Elias have been released from jail but are now under house arrest, while the investigation against them takes place. They allegedly had supplies in their car. 
  • After 72 hours in a Maracay hospital, an inmate with tuberculosis died. He had been waiting for a measure for over three years. 
  • Journalist Roland Carreño’s fifth hearing was postponed. 
  • The president of the Real Estate Chamber Roberto Orta Martínez proposed modifying three laws that are blocking the sector’s reactivation. He condemned the rates in public notaries and registries, which can go from 5 to 40% of the property. 
  • Political party Encuentro Ciudadano demanded an investigation of the Smartmatic scandal, which overshadows all electoral results and reveals the regime’s illegitimacy. 
  • U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere Brian A. Nichols accused Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela of repressing dissenting voices and the civil society and said there’s a continuous refusal to respect human rights by all three countries. 

A U.S. federal judge rejected delaying the trial set to start on June 27th against former Venezuelan treasurer Claudia Díaz Guillén, Hugo Chávez’s nurse, who was charged with three different counts of money laundering. 

  • Venezuela presented preliminary objections to the suit by Guyana at the International Court of Justice. Guyana accused Venezuela of trying to delay the ICJ’s final ruling. 
  • Eleven days before the second round of the Colombian presidential election, a new political scandal in Colombia because of videos and audios revealing Gustavo Petro’s political strategy. Rodolfo Hernández  decided to cancel campaign events because he’s “certain” his life is at risk.