I will not have reliable internet service until June 26. As a result, the daily updates will not be as thorough until then. I apologize.
National Assembly President Henry Ramos Allup arrived in Caracas today after spending the week in Washington, D.C. for the meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) on the Venezuela crisis on June 23. While Allup was initially expected to speak at the meeting, he did not.
Allup said that he was discriminated against upon his return at the Caracas airport by National Guard soldiers there, who subjected him and National Assembly deputy Luis Florido to “unnecessary delays” by thoroughly checking each one of their pieces of luggage despite being exempt from security scrutiny at airports on account of their parliamentary immunity.
On why he decided to submit himself to the search without protest, Allup said:
We’re allowing them to search us because if we resist they might say that we’re bringing in contraband of weapons.
Allup also pointed out the obvious nature of the discriminatory nature of the search he endured by saying:
Truthfully, this provocation and delay is discriminatory [because] whenever army officers or civilians [connected to the PSUV] arrive they’re not searched. They almost carry them around on their shoulders.
NA to Create Formal Report on Validation Abuses
The National Assembly announced today that it would compile an official report in the coming weeks detailing all of the abuses Venezuelans suffered during this week’s signature-validation process.
The announcement was made by National Assembly deputy Julio Borges, who said:
We will compile a report [including accounts of] those who were not able to validate. Each abuse will be registered.
La Patilla reports that at least hundreds of Venezuelans denounced through social media all throughout the week that they were either outright denied the right to validate their signatures, or otherwise suffered abuses at the hand of electoral officials. The website estimates that it is possible that as many as one million people may have been unable to validate their signatures as a result of these abuses, based on the fact that the Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE) authorized approximately 1.3 million signatures for validation earlier this month.
Magaly Puga told EFE that she went to a signature-validation station in Macarao, in Caracas’ west end, along with a group of friends. She says that once she got there, a group of government supporters arrived, and proceeded to insult and threaten the citizens in line at the station. Puga said that she left the area out of fear, and that when she attempted to return to the station later to validate her signature, the bus she was riding on was stopped and robbed.
Puga said that the bus – which was chartered to take citizens to verify their signatures in Maracao – continued to the CNE station after the robber, where the passengers were successful in validating their signatures.
Francia de Betancourt told EFE that when she attempted to validate her signature in Aragua state, she stood in life for three hours. Then, National Guard soldiers guarding the CNE station told everyone in line that only those wearing pants (as opposed to shorts and skirts) and long-sleeved shirts would be allowed to validate, seemingly in an attempt to make people uncomfortable in the heat.
De Betancourt explained what happened next:
A young man from the MUD [the opposition] arrived with a huge bag of clothes – long pants, sweaters – for whoever needed it. They gave me a huge scarf.
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