Sanctions are go!

One day after the historic reboot of U.S.-Cuba relations, Barack Obama has signed into law what will officially be known as the Venezuela Defense of Human Rights and Civil Society Act of 2014 (and unofficially as the Rubio-Menendez Act), which sanctions specific members of the Venezuelan government involved in human rights abuses in response the protests early this year. Looks…

Uribana Crisis Update

The latest official number of inmates killed by intoxication (combination of drugs and alcohol) earlier this week in Uribana Prison has reached 35, with another 20 in critical condition. But even if the state insists with pushing its version of the story, putting the blame on the inmates themselves, the Public Ministry formally asked for…

Maduro hearts Kim

The U.N. General Assembly voted in favor of referring North Korea to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity and to impose targeted sanctions on the Asian country. The vote was 111-19, with 55 abstentions. Guess which was one of the nineteen countries supporting Pyongyang? The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. (Bolivia, Cuba and…

Paging Miss Marple

A few weeks ago I was researching all the material I could find about Venezuela’s human rights violations, both pre- and post-Chávez. Lo and behold, I came across this report put out by the People’s Ombudsperson, the main human rights protection agency of the Venezuelan state, also known as the place where the “talented” Gabriela del…

Visualize July

A few months ago, in the heat of the student protests, Quico wrote a post saying that, come May, the protest movement would have been forgotten. Among other things, by May, he said, “several high profile student movement leaders will be in jail, perhaps alongside some additional, household name politicians.” The student movement proved to…

Postcards from El Rodeo III

  A few days ago 18-year-old Clider Martínez was taken in by the National Guard while protesting in Los Palos Grandes. After being processed he was sent to El Rodeo III, one of Latin America’s most dangerous prisons. Allegedly, Clider got the book thrown at him because he had been caught a few days earlier in one of…

No shortage of tear gas

More than three months since the start of the protests, the excessive use of tear gas is the new normal, both in Caracas and right here in Barquisimeto. But not every incident involving tear gas here in Guaroristan is directly related to the demostrations. Let me explain… Last weekend, a local nightclub was celebrating its farewell party when…

Know fear

The lingering question as we conclude Human Rights week is – why? What are the authorities looking for? Are they looking to stoke the protests? Do they want them to tire out? Is the goal to physically disappear key protestors? Or, perhaps, to repress completely, to simply take away Venezuelans’ fundamental rights thoroughly, such as was done in Cuba?…