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Mario Silva, a pro-PSUV television personality, launched into an angry tirade on his show La Hojilla which aired last night. Silva took aim at government supporters who have expressed concern over Resolution 9855, which establishes an obligatory system to transfer workers to the agricultural sector. Silva was upset at what he considers to be government supporters buying into “right-wing garbage”.

Silva directed his comments to a Twitter user he called “comrade Teo”. On his television show, Silva said:

Fuck, how much longer are we going to fall for all the garbage the people from the right throw out?

Let me explain something to you, Teo. This isn’t about [the government] grabbing people, as they’ve been saying, by ordering Minister of Defense Padrino Lopez to start recruiting people, grabbing them and putting them on a bus to plant seeds in a concentration camp. That’s a lie. And any chavista that believes that shit and goes on Twitter and says “This is terrible! Maduro has gone mad”… how can this be obligatory? No. It’s not like that. Try to educate yourself.

Silva continued by arguing that Resolution 9855 operates on a voluntary basis by saying:

In the agricultural sector we have private business that, for example, make corn flour. And we have some public businesses that also make corn flour, and maybe they’ve got some production problems, or the machines aren’t working, or they’ve got some kind of problem with what he called mixed business. What is this resolution about, then, so that you can get this shit out of your head about slavery and labour camps and Amnesty International?

What’s this decree about? Simply, what it does is tell the private business that if it volunteers – listen carefully, volunteers – a worker from, for example, Polar wants to volunteer to go fix some of the machines in the public or mixed business to help them solve the problem with the machines to help them or even teach them how to improve production… then that worker is protected by the decree so that Polar, since this is on a volunteer basis, can’t take away his wages. Do you understand me? They’re not bringing in buses and take them out to the companies, or out to public administration buildings and start recruiting people.

Silva’s assessment of resolution operating on a volunteer basis does not correspond to the language of the resolution. The word “volunteer” does not appear once in the resolution, which in fact makes it quite clear that the labour transfer mechanism is obligatory for both the selected worker and for the worker’s company.

Below, the relevant sections of the resolution establishing it as an obligatory – not volunteer – mechanism (emphasis mine):

FIRST: A special obligatory, transitory and strategic regime is established for all work entities in the country, public, private, social or mixed, that contribute to the re-starting of production in the agricultural sector, which establishes mechanisms for the temporary insertion of workers in those entities which are the objects of special measures implemented to strengthen their production. To this effect, the constitutional and legal goals when it comes to security and the defense of the nation in its offensive against the economic war will act as fundamental guidelines with the objective of increasing and strengthening production in those work entities of social interest related to the agricultural sector.

(…)

THIRD: The private and public sector entities are obligated to comply with the strict demands of this administrative act, to the effect that they must provide the required workers with the goal of increasing the productivity of the work entity [that needs or asks for workers].

Silva also had harsh words for the country’s independent media outlets for reporting on this story, saying:

I want to send a greeting right now to La Patilla, to Noticiero Digital, all of those who played around with this, even Ultimas Noticias [a traditionally PSUV-leaning news outlet] which had something on this… and take note, specially all the people running MaduradasLa PatillaNoticiero Digital, that you’re all a pile of garbage. I’ve always said it, you’re nothing but garbage. And this is what you do: you keep the people in filth.

Borges: 20% Announcement Date Could be Sign of Willingness to Dialogue

National Assembly deputy Julio Borges said in a televised interview yesterday that were the Consejo Nacional Electoral to announce the date for the second step of the recall referendum against Maduro, he would take the gesture as a sign for willingness to dialogue with the opposition by the PSUV.

Borges is also optimistic that even with all the delays from the CNE, the recall referendum will still take place this year:

After collecting the 20% [of signatures from the electorate, which is the second step of the recall process], which the government knows we will do and more, the referendum will come and we have six months to do it. It’s possible to collect the 20% in a month and have the referendum in November or December.

Stressing that the referendum “is the dialogue that Venezuelans want”, he said that the opposition does not want to engage the government in a way that will result in the referendum being held this year:

We won’t take part in a dialogue that seeks to buy time for the government. This government is in agony (…) they can either help build a process that will see them leave power the easy way, or the people will run the over the hard way.

Allup’s Security Chief Still in Detention; “Violently” Transported to Prison

Coromoto Rodriguez, the head of security for National Assembly president Henry Ramos Allup, was allegedly “violently” transported to the Penitenciaria General de Venezuela [Venezuelan General Penitentiary] last night. Rodriguez has been held in a prison inside the SEBIN headquarters in Caracas for 60 days. He has not been formally charged with any crime.

TSJ Speaks on Amazonas Deputies, Claims to Still be “Collecting Evidence”

The country’s top court, the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia [TSJ], issued a statement today on the case of the three deputies from Amazonas state who were integrated into the National Assembly this week after the court sat dormant on a case banning them from doing so for seven months.

The TSJ’s statement argues that despite criticism from the opposition, the case is proceeding according to “all of the procedural acts outlined by law”, and that the case is currently in the evidence collection phase:

At this moment, the process is the evidence collection phase, which is a fundamental step for the continuation of the process and the issuing of a sentence. During this phase, situations that have impeded its completion have surfaced even though the file is evidence that the judiciary ha taken all of the necessary steps to continue to move the case forward…

The deputies were elected to represent their respective electoral districts on December 6, 2015. The results of the election were verified that night by the Consejo Nacional Electoral [CNE] as being valid, which the deputies argue means that their election was without irregularities. The deputies have also argued that by becoming elected deputies on December 6 they automatically gained parliamentary immunity, and that in order for the TSJ to issue an order against them, they must first be stripped of that immunity by the National Assembly via an impeachment process.

MUD Deputy’s Car Torched by Pro-Gov’t Mob

A group of hooded attackers set fire to the personal vehicle of National Assembly MUD deputy Conrado Perez Linares in Trujillo state earlier today. Perez was in the city of Valera this morning at an opposition rally calling for the recall referendum against Maduro to take place this year.

El Universal reports that the attackers arrived at the site riding on motorcycles. Witnesses claim that the attackers threw rocks at the car to break the windows, and then sit fire to the vehicle.

Perez spoke after the attack and blamed the governor of Trujillo state, Henry Rangel Silva, for the violence, saying:

This is what all Venezuelans are living through: humiliation, havoc, attack and mistreatment. This is the governor’s fault, but he won’t stop me by burning my car. He won’t stop my struggle in the streets.

In Venezuela, pro-government violent groups are colloquially known as colectivos armados [armed collectives]. They operate with the implicit knowledge of the authorities, although there is evidence to suggest that they also act with explicit orders from the PSUV.

Below, an image showing the damage to Perez’s car:


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