Early this afternoon, Juan Guaido announced that the National Assembly would formally pass a motion that could result in Venezuela’s re-entry into the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (also known by its Spanish acronym, TIAR), a hemispheric military defense pact.

Guaido made the announcement in a Twitter thread in which he said that Venezuela had the “legitimate right to build… international relationships to protect the people and our sovereignty”, but did not give an exact timeline on the National Assembly’s vote.

Guaido said in the same thread that once passed by the legislature, the opposition would work towards “building the support of other countries in the region” at the Organization of American States (OAS), which will decide whether to allow Venezuela to return to the TIAR.

Created in 1947, the TIAR became one of the diplomatic battlegrounds of the Cold War, as the United States worked to use the treaty to keep communism out of the hemisphere.

Venezuela withdrew from TIAR in 2012, alongside Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Opposition, Regime to Resume Talks in Barbados

The opposition announced today that it will continue talks with the Maduro regime, this time in Barbados. The announcement came from the official opposition communication account:

Part of the statement reads:

On behalf of the office of the President (interim) of the Bolviarian Republic of Venezuela, we wish to announce to the country and to the international community that we will attend a meeting with representatives from the usurping regime [Maduro’s] in Barbados mediated by the Kingdom of Norway, in order to establish a negotiated exit of the dictatorship.

The statement does not say when the talks are set to resume. It also states that the European Union’s special representative to Venezuela, Enrique Iglesias, is expected to arrive in Caracas as part of the negotiation efforts.

Opposition Distributes NGO Aid

Juan Guaido announced yesterday that humanitarian aid had entered Venezuela, and that it was being distributed in several places around the country. Guaido said that the aid reached locations in Sucre, Delta Amacuro, Amazonas, and Nueva Esparta states.

According to Lester Toledo, an opposition politician with the Voluntad Popular (Popular Will, VP) party, the aid came from a pair of NGOs called Coalicion Ayuda y Libertad and Rescate Venezuela.

Guaido shared a thread on Twitter showing volunteers distributing the aid:

Toledo did the same. In his pictures, volunteers give out medicine, while medical staff do check-ups on children and the elderly:

Supreme Court Magistrate Calls Sex Workers “Whores”, Attacks Bachelet Over Report

Supreme Court magistrate Carmen Zuleta Merchan caused an uproar on social media yesterday with a string of tweets in which she attacked United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michele Bachelet over her scathing report of the Maduro regime, and called sex workers “whores”.

Zuleta appeared to be taking issue with a section of the report that highlights the particular difficulties that affect Venezuelan women when it comes to accessing food. The report highlights the fact that some women are being forced to “exchange sex for food” given the severity of the economic crisis in the country. The report states:

Lack of access to food has a particularly adverse impact on women who are the main caregivers and/or heads of households, and who dedicate an average of 10 hours per day queuing for food. Local sources reported some women being compelled to exchange sex for food.

Zuleta took aim at the report’s assertion by suggesting that it was playing into patriarchal themes. She said:

Bachelet’s report emphasizes women to create sympathy for them as victims as per the patriarchal discourse… women in Venezuela are the masters of their own destiny and when they choose to become prostitutes (as they do everywhere else in the world) it is because they are whores

In a later tweet, Zuleta expressed surprise at the negative reaction that her comment had caused, and called her critics “functionally illiterate”.

Zuleta sits on the Constitutional Chamber of the Tribunal Supremo de Justicia, Venezuela’s top court.

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

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