Venezuela’s attention remained in area bordering the Colombian city of Cucuta, as signs that a shipment of 60 tonnes of humanitarian aid might soon attempt to cross the border into Venezuela.
The first sign of movement came in the form of trucks that drove to the Tienditas international bridge. Below, images of some of the trucks:
In the video below, the trucks pull into what appears to be the customs area of the Colombian side of the Tienditas bridge:
The movement of the trucks caused a stir with the media, which gathered in the area to record the trucks’ movement:
Another video of the trucks on the move:
Venezuelan authorities have blocked the bridge with a trio of barricades to prevent the aid from entering the country, following televised comments by Maduro on Monday in which he rejected the aid by saying that Venezuelans “are not beggars”.
As night fell over the area, Venezuelan soldiers stood watch on their side of the bridge:
Embassy Websites Hacked with Pro-Guaido Messages
The Foreign Ministry alleged today that messages supporting interim president Juan Guaido posted on the Venezuelan embassy websites in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico were the result of a coordinated hacking operation.
According to Bloomberg’s Patricia Laya, the messages appeared within the span of an hour this morning:
In a statement issued in the early afternoon, the Foreign Ministry said that the websites had been hacked:
We denounce the criminal policy of hacking and interference with the websites of the [Venezuelan Foreign Ministry] in several countries. We have decided to suspend the sharing of information online until digital security measures have been re-established.
Maria Lourdes Urbaneja, the Venezuelan ambassador to Mexico, released a statement saying that their website had been hacked and stressing her commitment and that of her staff to Maduro.
NGO Counted 2,573 Protests in January
The Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (Venezuelan Civil Conflict Watch, OCVS) released a report today on the protests that took place around the country last week. Below, some of the highlights from the report:
- There were 2,573 protests around the country throughout January, compared to 714 in January 2018.
- 35 people died during the January protests
- In addition, 8 people were victims of “extrajudicial executions” by the authorities, “presumably for their participation in protests”.
- 19.70% of all protests (507) took place at night.
When broken down by region, the top six areas that saw protests were:
- Capital District (western Caracas): 300
- Tachira: 247
- Trujillo: 224
- Bolivar: 222
- Merida: 208
- Miranda: 204
Student Protester Arrested in 2017 Dies
Virgilio Jimenez Urbina died in a hospital in Lara state on Tuesday from an unspecified illness the symptoms of which included bloody diarrhea and fever. Jimenez was 20 years old.
Jimenez had been in prison since 2017 after being arrested in November of that year in the Las Trinitarias area of Barquisimeto, Lara state. Jimenez, who was arrested while at an anti-government protest, was charged with terrorism. In his fourteen months of detention, Jimenez was never brought before a judge. He was held in the Uribana prison.
According to Jimenez’s sister, Yoliani Uzcategui, his health took a turn for the worse two weeks ago when he asked his family to bring him food and medicine in the prison. Uzcategui said that her brother told the family that he food that he was eating in the prison was full of cockroaches and worms.
Uzcategui said that her parents brought food and medicine to their son as requested, but that the Uribana prison guards only allowed him to receive it “after several days of insisting”, and that even then they only allowed the medicine to reach him.
According to Uzcategui, her brother was taken to the Antonio Maria Pineda Central Hospital in Barquisimeto on February 2. She told Efecto Cocuyo about the state of her brother then:
He was covered in feces, but what was most noticeable were the blood coagulos [this word literally means “clots”, but it is possible that Uzcategui meant “scabs”]. The doctor told me to prepare for the worst because he was not doing well. He was delirious. He told me that he had beaten Viloria [and] that he was going to escape today but that he couldn’t because he was thinking about me. When he returned to his senses he told me that he couldn’t eat because todo lo hacia en sangre [literally, “all he made was blood”, which I think means “he had bloody stool”] and that he hadn’t eaten in days.
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