The Socialist International (SI) has unanimously approved a document condemning the Venezuelan crisis, and calling on the Maduro regime to take four concrete measures to rectify the situation in the country.

The SI document calls for the “immediate” release of all political prisoners in the country and to “guarantee” human rights in the country. It also calls for the opening of a humanitarian channel to allow the immediate flow of aid to flow into Venezuela, and for the Maduro regime to take steps to guarantee a truly free and fair presidential election in 2018. Finally, the SI calls on the Maduro regime to “respect” the opposition-controlled National Assembly and all of its deputies.

The document was ratified by the SI’s Latin American and Caribbean Committee.

News of the document’s ratification comes as the Foro Penal Venezolano [FPV] announced that from August 11 to November 24 of this year, 676 individuals were arrested for political reasons.

Citgo Executives Held in Military Intelligence HQ

Six Citgo executives arrested this week on allegations of corruption and treason are being held in the Caracas headquarters of the Direccion General de Contrainteligencia Militiar [Military Counterintelligence General Directorate] (DGCM). The detainees were sent there after appearing before a judge this, who ordered their continued detention pending their trial.

Maduro suggested this week that the six executives would be tried for treason, after he accused them of being spies and saboteurs. The president of the company is among the detained.

The United States embassy in Caracas has already requested “consular access” to the individuals, five of whom are U.S. citizens. It is not clear if the embassy’s request will be granted.

Venezuela Hopes for Closer Russia Ties, Kalashnikov Factory in 2018

Minister of Defense Vladimir Padrino Lopez announced today that Caracas and Moscow are looking to build stronger ties in the future, and that talks on the subject are already underway. Lopez qualified the meetings as “fruitful”, and spoke in general terms about upcoming projects between the two countries.

Lopez explained:

There are a few projects, multiple projects that aren’t just about weapons systems but also about education and special forces.

Lopez said that close Russia-Venezuelan ties are important to “guarantee the independence, sovereignty and peace of the Republic”.

Lopez’s comments were followed by an announcement by Wilmer Castro Soteldo, the vice-president of the economy. Castro said that Venezuela would open its first Kalashnikov rifle factory in 2018. He explained:

One of the main projects between our two countries is the construction of a company to assembly the world-renowned product that is the Kalashnikov rifle. We hope that the factory will be up and running next year.

Venezuela has already purchased 100,000 AK-103 rifles from Russia. Aside from the factory being built next year, Venezuela is also expected to construct another in the future, and to manufacture bullets along with rifles.

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

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