EFE reported today that 720 Cuban doctors sent to Venezuela to work in the country’s poorest areas have fled into Colombia so far this year. The figure comes from MIgracion Colombia [Immigration Colombia], which also said that 1,931 Cuban citizens had been detained in Colombia so far in 2015 for being in the country illegally.
A Cuban physiotherapist named Yusel Mantilla who crossed into Colombia six months ago, told EFE her reasons for leaving Venezuela:
I deserted because the situation was very precarious. Food was really expensive, and our salaries didn’t cover hygiene and food necessities.
Mantilla said that her living conditions in Venezuela were so poor that her mother in Cuba “sent me deodorant, sanitary towels and even seasoning for food”, and that her freedom was severely restricted while in Venezuela:
[We were controlled] from the moment we arrived. [We had] a few people who were members of the Party [the Communist Party of Cuba] who controlled us at every moment.
Immigration Colombia told EFE that out of the 720 doctors who escaped Venezuela this year, 117 are awaiting U.S. visas, while the other 603 have already been deported back to Colombia.
Investigation Launched After Video Shown Police Execution Released
A video obtained by El Nuevo Herald and uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday shows what appear to be Aragua state police officers executing a man.
The video – filmed by at least two men from a distance – begins by showing what appear to be the dead bodies of three men. Later, a red SUV appears on the scene, and a group of at least 9 uniformed men, who appear to be Aragua state police officers, speak to an eighth man. Two of the officers grab the man by his arms, and a third shoots him in the had point blank. The man falls to the ground, and does not appear to die immediately.
After the man dies, the officers position his body and walk around the scene looking at the other bodies.
The video can be seen below: (WARNING: The video below clearly shows three dead men. It also clearly shows the moment a man is shot in the head and killed)
El Nuevo Herald says that the events recorded in the video happened on August 5 in San Vicente, near Maracay. The officers in the video had responded to an attempted car robbery, for which the executed man was presumably a suspect.
On Thursday, governor of Aragua state Tareck El Aissami spoke for the first time on the video through a press release. Calling the execution a “repudiable and misguided form of policing”, El Aissami stressed his government’s “respect for fundamental rights”. and said that the state would “accelerate the application of a new model of policing”.
The same press release says that arrest warrants have been issued for the officers seen in the video and that disciplinary hearings will be opened against any officer found to have been involved in the event. Additionally, El Aissami has asked the Ministry of the Interior, Justice and Peace to conduct a review of the Aragua police.
El Aissami ends the press release by saying that that his government will continue to fight against the “anti-values” he considers are “a result of the capitalist model”.
Diosdado Cabello Sues Venezuelan Media for Bs. 1,000,000,000
La Patilla reported yesterday that it had received legal notification of a lawsuit filed against the website by Diosdado Cabello for “moral damages”. Cabello is suing La Patilla one billion Bolivares over a news story that broke earlier this year in which Cabello was implicated with a drug trafficking organization.
Juan Garanton, a lawyer for El Nacional, said today that he expects that other publications – including the one he represents – will be served with similar notices in the near future.
He also said that the sum Cabello is so large that it might break records:
Never in Venezuelan judicial history has there been a ruling for that amount. It doesn’t exist in the legal annals. I believe it might be a world-record figure.
Venezuelan Oil Ends Week at $41.40
The price for a barrel of Venezuelan oil dropped $1.75 in one week, and is currently sitting at $41.40 per barrel. The price has dropped $15.60 in the last three months, making the average price for 2015 so far is $49.21 per barrel.
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