Luis Almagro, the secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), called for “stronger and more general” sanctions against the the Maduro regime during a meeting today on Latin American issues organized by Florida governor Rick Scott.

During his presentation, Almagro argued that more, tougher sanctions have to be geared at targeting the regime officials whom he argues “have put a complete end to the rule of law” in Venezuela.

Almagro also pointed out that the process to suspend Venezuela from the OAS over the Maduro regime’s hard turn towards authoritarianism has not yet begun due to a peculiarity of the Venezuelan political crisis: while the opposition-controlled National Assembly is in support of Venezuela’s suspension from the OAS, the country’s diplomatic mission is not.

The secretary general has advocated for years for the suspension of Venezuela from the OAS through article 21 of the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which allows for the temporary removal of member states from the regional diplomatic body if they have experienced an “unconstitutional interruption of the democratic order”.

Turning to former attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz, Almagro said that he had not yet personally met with he, and that he “has not yet taken a decision” on whether to collaborate with her on any capacity. Ortega Diaz was attorney general from 2007 until August of this year, when she was forced to leave Venezuela under regime pressure after she became an outspoken critic of Maduro.

Ortega Diaz: Torture is Routine in Venezuela

Former attorney general Luisa Ortega Diaz spoke at a meeting of legal professionals in Lima, Peru earlier today in which she said that torture had become routine in Venezuela under Maduro. Ortega Diaz lamented Venezuela’s descent into the dictatorial abyss under Maduro, saying:

People have fewer rights each day, and attempting to exercise any of them could turn label them criminals. Crimes can be made up through the planting of evidence [and as a result of] the lack of due process. Imprisonment, isolation, and torture have become routine in Venezuela.

Ortega Diaz also said that Maduro heads the “very dangerous apparatus of repression and corruption” that is the Venezuelan state, a fact which she blamed for “the serious crisis” affecting the country today.

Freddy Bernal Injured in Car Roll Over

Minister of Urban Agriculture Freddy Bernal was taken to hospital yesterday evening after the car in which he was riding rolled over off a highway in Yaracuy state. Bernal–who is also the head of the CLAP food distribution network–had participated in Maduro’s Sunday television show Los Domingos Con Maduro just hours prior to the event.

Bernal suffered only minor injuries, and the circumstances surrounding the roll over are not known. Through his Twitter account, Bernal said:

After attending an event in Yaracuy state, we were involved in a traffic accident. We are fine. Fortunately, we only suffered some minor injuries. I thank governor @JULIOLEONYARA [Julio Leon Heredia, the governor of Yaracuy state] for his care. WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS!

Maduro Sees Venezuela as a Regional Power by 2058

Maduro laid out his bold vision for Venezuela during his television show yesterday afternoon, and predicted that the country would take a sixty years to become a regional power. In a rambling speech, Maduro spoke demographic growth and laid out his vision for the Venezuela of 2058:

Venezuela has to grow. We have 30 million inhabitants. 60, 70 million people could live here. But we have to grow, structurally. Educationally. Technologically. Productively. Venezuela has to have a future. You will see it. You, David [pointing to a Constituent Assembly member], are only 19 and are in the Constituent Assembly. You will see it. When you are 60 years old, in 40 years, Venezuela will be in the year 2058, and it will have 40, 45 million inhabitants. And then your children see see a Venezuela that is a world power when we reach 60 million inhabitants, and Venezuela will be a power in South America, Latin America.

This is the chavista dream. My dream. Our dream. That is the dream that we have.

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

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