Lilian Tintori announced today that her husband, Leopoldo Lopez, was being moved from his cell in the Ramo Verde military prison near Caracas to an undisclosed location. Tintori was made aware of the decision to move Lopez when she attempted to visit him with their children this morning. Along with receiving the information, Tintori was denied access to Lopez.
Below, a photo showing Tintori with her children at Ramo Verde this morning:
The country’s most famous political prisoner declared himself “in permanent protest” last night, along with fellow prisoners Daniel Ceballos, Enzo Scarano and Salvatore Lucchesse. The men made their protest known through a letter, which you can read below along with my translation:
Ramo Verde Military Prison 24/10/2014
To All Venezuelans,
We declare ourselves to be in permanent protest for the following reasons:
1. The United Nations requests our immediate release,
2. Our trials have been sin despacho [roughly, “indefinitely delayed”] and the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [the Supreme Court] does not provide an answer,
3. Human rights violations continue, [including] discrimination, isolation, [denied] visits (including family), degrading treatment and torture, to the point of making an attempt on the life of one of us, Enzo Scarano, to whom the right to health has been denied for months,
4. We protest not only because of what’s happening in this prison of injustice, but also for all Venezuelans whose human, social, economic and political rights are violated every day,
5. We ratify with these actions our deep commitment to peaceful protest, freedom of thought and our undeniable struggle for urgent change, [in order to] escape this disaster to which all Venezuelans are being submitted by the government of Nicolas Maduro.
All rights for all Venezuelans.
[Signed: Leopoldo Lopez, Enzo Scarano, Daniel Ceballos, Salvatore Lucchesse)
The letter, which appears to have been drafted yesterday, was released late in the day.
Some time this morning, someone managed to record Leopoldo Lopez yelling the same letter out his cell window. Audio of the event can be heard here. I did not translate what Leopoldo says, since it is a near verbatim reading of the letter above. At the end of the audio clip, Lopez yells, “Viva Venezuela!“, to which the crowd present replies by repeating the phrase.
While it is unclear why the decision was made to move Lopez from the cell which has been his home for the past eight and a half months, the fact that it immediately follows his declaration has the appearance of indicating that the two events are related.
Moving Lopez is Illegal: Lawyer
Roberto Marrero, one of Lopez’s lawyers, said that he had spoken with the head of the Ramo Verde prison, who confirmed that Lopez was indeed scheduled to be moved to another prison today. Marrero called the move illegal, saying:
Without a judicial order, without addressing the order of the United Nations [to release Lopez] and without having his lawyers present it is impossible to move Leopoldo. These conditions must be met.
Furthermore, Lilian Tintori denounced the fact that Lopez’s trial has been delayed for 12 days without any reason given.
NTN24 Shows Medical Supply Scarcity
A news report by NTN24 shows the deplorable state in which the Hospital Clinico Universitario in Caracas finds itself. Hospital staff and patients tell reporters that the hospital is suffering from a lack of basic supplies and medicine, from beds to syringes.
The video can be seen below, along with my translation:
Hospital Worker: These are all the gloves that we have. This is all the gauze that we have. Gloves – as you can see, the drawer is empty. There’s nothing. We have nothing here. All the drawers are totally empty.
Reporter: What is this place?
Hospital Worker: This is the main supply room, where supposedly there should be material to supply the whole hospital.
Hospital Worker (Red): This is the intensive care unit, where the girls rest at night and where they get dressed to go to work.
Reporter: And the bathrooms don’t work?
Hospital Worker (Red): No, the bathrooms don’t work. This doesn’t work. This room never works.
Woman with Glasses: This unit doesn’t have air conditioning. All radiology equipment needs air conditioning to maintain the adequate temperature to ensure that they don’t overheat. This unit has been damaged for around two years.
Woman (Off-Camera): The elevators… there’s 10 elevators. Out of those, one is for the public, and one is for staff. And, they use the same elevator to bring down waste and move patients up.
Woman in White: How is it possible that such a delicate service [doesn’t have] a tensometer? There aren’t even insulin needles. On top of that, the conditions… so many cockroaches!
Woman with Hoops: I have asthma. How can they tell me that they don’t have a nebulizer mask?
Man in Blue: In my case, same as all these people – sitting in a chair for three days, when what we need is beds, and they don’t have any. Lots of people are waiting outside because there are no supplies, no medicine, there aren’t things that we really need.
Woman in Brown: I’ve been waiting for two days. My daughter has haemorrhoids and an anal prolapse and they couldn’t see her yesterday. I was here all day, then I had to go home. I came back today at 4:00 AM. Now look at the time, they still haven’t seen us.