Weapons and paramilitary officers are included in the trade.
Photo: Navy Times
- During the last campaign events previous to next sunday’s elections, the PSUV didn’t mind the biosecurity measures and held events in several states. Attendees were taken to the events in public hospitals buses, as it happened in Puerto Ordaz, on Bolivar state. Their great promise: revenge against the population. Yes, their main promise was that when they make it to the National Assembly, they’ll detain the current opposition deputies for treason. They assured that they would forbid NGOs and deputies from receiving international financing. Everything else was recycled ideas. The prêt-à-porter opposition didn’t do any better. They promised no dependence on the Legislative Branch and the intention of working together. Shameful.
- In a narcissistic exercise, Maduro imposed a press conference with several “journalists” in Miraflores. “We could have suspended the election in 2015, but we acted in line with the Constitution, we lost the election, we lost terribly and I recognized the results,” he lied in public. He was very clear, the “election” on Sunday isn’t a consultation against him. He reminded everyone that they can hold a referendum against him in 2022, he didn’t say if he’ll run in 2024 and assured that he isn’t “madurista.” He said that Capriles “was a great candidate,” that Henry Ramos Allup is the best public speaker in the opposition and that Rafael Ramírez is corrupted. “My head is worth 15 million dollars and they say I’m a drug trafficker,” he said. No journalist asked about their imprisoned colleague Roland Carreño. He wanted to state that on Sunday, nobody will actually be choosing, just verifying his imposition. Anyone can vote, but no one is going to choose.
- In a special session of the UN General Assembly about the fight against the pandemic, Maduro asked that vaccines should be declared “public goods for global benefit, this pandemic will also be defeated through a joint response by humanity,” he said. He promised that in exchange for vaccines, Venezuela will seek alliances to mass produce the DR10 molecule, that he presented in October without evidence that Venezuela “has found a medicine that erases coronavirus 100%.” He said that international sanctions have blocked his government from buying medicine, fuel and food, but he celebrated that he was able to evade them. He said chavismo has been efficient against the pandemic, but health workers have died by the hundreds without improvements on their conditions, and official figures aren’t consistent or verifiable.
- Juan Guaidó traveled to Carabobo to promote the popular consultation from December 7th to December 12th. On the way there, he was harassed by officers. He took their picture and posted it on social media. He asked the people to help identify them and warned that they are part of the repression apparatus accused of crimes that don’t prescribe.
- María Graciela López, president of the Venezuelan Society of Infectology, told news site Efecto Cocuyo: “The virus is still among us,” and explained the risks of a second wave, that might be worse, because the measures were flexibilized in November, and it’s likely that the high mobility in December causes an increase in the number of cases.
- Pediatrician Susley Marcano from Zulia state and anesthesiologist Alida Paredes in Táchira state died of COVID-19. Indigenous Pemon leader and former mayor Ricardo Delgado died in Brazil. He was an activist of indigenous rights, survivor of the Kumarakapay massacre in 2019 and exiled because of chavismo.
- UN Secretary General António Guterres criticized the management of the pandemic of governments like the Venezuelan: there’s not enough PCR testing, as reported by the WHO, no updates on their epidemiology situation, there’s lying in the figures and a relaxing of biosafety measures. Maduro said this morning that, at the end of the campaign, “the number of cases hasn’t increased, thankfully” but there were twice as many cases as they’ve admitted to on Monday.
- On Wednesday, OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro and the special advisor on the R2P Jared Genser published the Promoting Impunity report, where they state that there’s reasonable evidence to conclude that Maduro’s regime is committing crimes against humanity since 2014. The report assures that ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda is delaying the preliminary investigation on Venezuela (which started in February 2018), a delay that the OAS condemns. The ICC responded that they won’t allow external pressure on their investigation and that it will run its course. The regime denounced that the OAS wants to interfere in the work of the ICC.
- Julio Borges denounced before the OAS the treatment of Venezuelan migrants by Trinidad and Tobago.
- Javier Tarazona, director of NGO Fundaredes, said that he got a new citation to show up in court: “I hold the Venezuelan State responsible for my life and the lives of the entire Fundaredes team,” he wrote on Twitter. This is after getting a fourth order to show up in court, in less than 80 days, after he denounced the presence of irregular armed groups from Colombia in Venezuelan territory.
- The Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission of the U.S. Congress recently said that Venezuela is the most extreme example of the devastating effects that organized crime, financed by drug trafficking, has had on the region. They state that Venezuela is the most affected for its ties with drug traffickers and it accuses the ties with Cuba, Russia and Iran, international crime organizations and gold traffickers.
- Michael Kozak accused Jorge Arreaza, Nicolás’s Foreign minister, of stealing Venezuelans’ patrimony for his own unlawful enrichment. And added: “A legitimate government serves the people, not itself. The 5.4 million Venezuelans that have had to leave their country prove that, and are Maduro’s legacy, and yours.”
- U.S. South Command Admiral Craig Faller said that Iran has sent more weapons and paramilitary officers to Venezuela, in order to help Nicolás stay in power, as they’ve done with other allies, like Syrian president Bashar Al Assad: “We see a growing Iranian influence there. It’s not just fuel, they also send weapons,” said Faller.
- The Venezuelan short film “Far from home: the story of Nancy and Frangeer” (2019), directed by Yangel Machado, won Casa de América’s 1st Hispanic-American Short Film Competition, where 200 short films from 12 countries participated. Venezuelan movie theaters demand to be allowed to open again, adopting all safety protocols.
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