Maduro arrived in Brazil last night to participate in the Mercosur Summit taking place in Brasilia. Upon his arrival, Maduro spoke on the importance of Mercosur, and called for Latin American countries to continue to strengthen it in the name of economic equality.

During the summit, Maduro said that Venezuela was “a democratic reality”, and called on international organizations to acknowledge the fact. He also spoke more generally on the crisis in Venezuela, and made the following perplexing remark:

President Hugo Chavez also insisted on unity, diversity, because there are some out there who feel tempted – either inside our countries or outside of countries – for force history and reality.

Maduro also announced that UNASUR will hold a special meeting in August to address the Venezuela-Guyana border dispute. He said:

I’m grateful for our agreement to hold a UNASUR meeting in August to talk about an issue that, as you all know, has become a current controversy.

Cota 905 Residents Stage Protest

Residents from the Cota 905 area of Caracas held a protest outside the Attorney General’s Office in Caracas today over abuses they claim to have been victim to during this week’s raid on the area.

On Monday, some 200 officers from different security bodies assaulted the Cote 905 neighbourhood, leaving 16 people dead and over 130 arrested. The government claims that Colombian paramilitary groups had infiltrated the neighbourhood.

The residents claim that during the raid, they were threatened by officers with death, robbery and physical abuses. They also said that they had no ties with paramilitary groups. Others claimed that they had been robbed of money and possessions by security forces, and that officers had broken into their homes.

Below, some shots from the demonstration:

Machado Defiant on Disqualification Issue

After being disqualified from holding public office by order of the Comptroller General earlier this week, Maria Corina Machado stressed that she would continue to run for the December 6 parliamentary elections. Her determination drew the ridicule of National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello, who mocked Machado on his television show on Wednesday, saying that someone disqualified from holding office could not run in an election.

Machado disagrees. According to a video posted today and shared on El Nacional, Machado believes that beside the fact that the Comptroller has no power to disqualify someone from running office, his order was clear: she is disqualified from holding office, not from running for office. As such, Machado explained, she will continue to run.

Tomas Aria, one of Machado’s lawyers, explained:

The measure taken by the Comptroller is not of a political nature; rather, it is administrative. In other words, Maria Corina Machado can run in the December 6 parliamentary elections without any problem. The issue is that while she can be elected, she cannot carry out her duties until the end of the disqualification period imposed by the [Comptroller].

Questions/Comments? E-mail me: invenezuelablog@gmail.com

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