Speaking on the transfer of Daniel Ceballos to a prison in Guarico state over the weekend, People’s Defender Tarek William Saab assured Venezuelans that the move had been legal, since it was sanctioned by a judicial order. Saab explained:
The defender in charger of the Caracas metropolitan area observed that there was in fact a judicial order to conduct the transfer. The People’s Defender is not a tribunal (…) we watch to make sure that [judicial orders] actually exist.
Ceballos’ lawyer, Juan Carlos Gutierrez, restated assertions today that he was not aware that the move was going to take place. Gutierrez also said that moving Ceballos to a prison 150 kilometres away from Caracas for no apparent reason “violates his constitutional rights.”
University Professors Call for Labour Action
The country’s university professors, represented by the Federacion de Asociaciones de Profesores Universitarios (FAPUV) outlined a set of labour actions beginning on May 28 with a nation-wide protest.
The organization’s president, Lourdes Ramirez, explained that her organization had set a deadline of May 22 as the date by which a collective bargaining agreement should have been outlined by the government. Since no agreement materialized, Ramirez said, the association believes it has a right to begin these actions.
Ramirez said that if the government did not react to the professors’ action on May 28, it would begin a program of work-stoppages beginning on June 1.
Minister of Justice Makes Confused Remarks
A video uploaded to YouTube earlier today shows Minister of Justice, Interior and Peace Gustavo Gonzalez Lopez making confused remarks to reporters regarding crime in the country. Lopez appeared to struggle when asked by a reporter to give specific numbers regarding his claim that crime rates had decreased in the country.
The video, along with my translation, can be seen below:
Announcer: … Minister Gonzalez said that there has been a decrease in crime in the country.
Minister Lopez: There have been a lot of high-profile and [inaudible] crimes. I work a lot with the social work [sic], and not with — with — how can I say this? With the qualitative and the quantitative of the mathematics and arithmetic model of expression. I can’t give you a date because — but, I can… I’m sure, I’m sure that it’s decreasing. I swear to you that it’s decreasing.
El Aissami: Smear Campaign Underway
Aragua state governor Tareck El Aissami warned today that “the national and international right wings” were plotting to assassinate Maduro in order to create a “social explosion” in the country. El Aissami said that since Diosdado Cabello (as president of the National Assembly) is the next-in-line for the presidency, a campaign to smear his name was underway.
El Aissami urged his audience to stand behind Maduro, always, saying:
May God protect our President Nicolas Maduro. He is a man with a pure soul; he is married to his principles and lives his life according to the legacy of Commander Hugo Chavez.
He said that Venezuela was under attack “from the most perverse laboratories of global evil”, and that the Venezuelan people would be the victims of “massacres” if the PSUV was ever removed from power.
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