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Following yesterday’s meeting of MERCOSUR administrative staff to discuss the oganization’s rejection of Venezuela’s presidency, Foreign Affairs Minister Delcy Rodriguez called today for another meeting of the trade bloc.

Uruguay was the only country that attended the meeting.

The Venezuelan representative at the meeting, Hector Constant, said that Venezuela and Uruguay talked about “Venezuela’s orientation as the president of the organization”, but provided no more details and did not accept questions from the press.

MERCOSUR’s other members – Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay – have been emphatic in their rejection of Venezuela as the organization’s next president. The protest comes over the countries’ disapproval of the Venezuelan government’s abysmal human rights and economic record.

CNE Hands Over Signature Info. to Public Ministry

Tania D’Amelio, one of the rectors of the Consejo Nacional Electoral (National Electoral Council), announced today that the organization had handed over information pertaining to the first step of the recall referendum against Maduro to the Public Ministry. The move is presumable related to an interested the Public Ministry has in investigating the process on the suspicion that criminal activity has taken place.

The information that the CNE handed over pertains specifically to the first step of the recall process, which the opposition completed in early May. During this first step, the CNE verified the validity of 407,622 signatures, more than twice the number needed to complete this first step.

The PSUV – namely through their electoral spokesperson, Jorge Rodriguez – repeatedly charged throughout the process that the opposition had committed fraud in the collection of the signatures.

On May 15, Rodriguez claimed that the opposition had falsified more than half of the signatures it collected. However, the CNE itself later claimed that only 243 fingerprints on the signature forms appeared to have been duplicated, while 1,326 signatures appeared to have been falsified.

When taken as a total, by the CNE’s own admission only 0.004% of the signatures collected may have been falsified in some way.

Torrealba Issues Ultimatum for AG to Address Firings

Jesus Torrealba, the head of the Mesa de la Unidad Democratica (MUD), issued an ultimatum to both the Public Ministry and the People’s Defender to address comments by Jorge Rodriguez regarding the firing of public officials found to have signed in favour of the recall against Maduro.

Rodriguez, who is the mayor of the Libertador municipality in Caracas, announced on Monday night that 99 officials in five government ministries would be fired this week for signing the petition, and left the door open for more dismissals. People’s Defender Tarek William Saab responded yesterday by saying that no one should lose their job because of their political inclination.

Torrealba said:

He [Rodriguez] gave workers 48 hours. Today, I’m giving the Attorney General of the Republic and the People’s Defender 48 hours (…) Jorge Rodriguez doesn’t talk about the deterioration that the city of Caracas suffers, but he does talk to sabotage the recall referendum and to threaten Venezuelans.

Jaua: It’s “Not Ethical” For Gov’t Employees To Sign Recall Petition

National Assembly PSUV deputy Elias Jaua said today that he does not believe that it is ethical for an individual working for the government to have signed in favour of the recall referendum against Maduro.

Jaua made the comments during a radio interview that aired on Union Radio earlier today. Stressing that his comments only applied to high-ranking officials, Jaua said:

It’s not ethical for someone who doesn’t support a government to work for the government that [he/she] wants to replace. We’re talking about a vice-minister, a general-director, the head of a company, [and I] can’t understand how they can be assigned [to their post] by the government [while at the same time] looking to replace that government.

He also said that public sector workers have only found stability in their professions “in the Bolivarian revolution”.

Maduro Enjoyed “Jason Bourne”, “The Secret Lives of Pets”

Speaking during his weekly television show last night, Maduro turned his attention to some of the movies that he has watched recently.

Maduro said that he particularly enjoyed “Jason Bourne”, starring Matt Damon. He urged the crowd to watch the film, and suggested to Ronald Blanco de la Cruz – the rector of the Universidad Nacional Experimental de la Seguridad [National Experimental Security University] – to use the film as an educational tool.

Below, a clip showing Maduro’s discussion of the Bourne series last night:

Maduro: Before that, last week, we went to see Jason Burr [sic] [Jason Bourne]. Have you seen Jason Burr? No one’s seen Jason Burr? You have to go see Jason Burr. Ah – General Padrino Lopez has seen it. The General-in-Chief. Jason Burr. And Jacquelyn [Faria] too – did you see it? No? It’s better that you don’t watch it [laughing]. It’s going to make you worse.

It’s part of the cycle of the Jason Burr movies. You haven’t seen it? It starts with the Burr Ultimatum — The Burr Myth [the Spanish name of “The Bourne Supremacy”] — The Burr Supremacy, then there are other ones that I can’t remember, and now Jason Burr. Go see it. Did you hear me, [Ronald] Blanco la Cruz? Make all the children watch it and comment on those movies. Because they make it into a film movie, but it speaks the truth about interventionism, the CIA and the United States, and how it orders the executions of people around the world. And they want to rule over the world! You will never rule over the world again. And Venezuela will never ever be ruled by the North American empire. We will make sure of that, in this life and in our next twenty lives. Venezuela will be an absolutely free, sovereign and independent country.


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