Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Latin America’s shameful silence on Venezuela

Maybe to be latinoamerican means supporting dictators, tyrants and drug traffickers ... if so, I am not latinoamerican anymore... I feel more like an American.
vdebate reporter

Judging from the shamefully weak response from Latin America’s regional organizations such as the OAS and UNASUR to the arbitrary arrest of Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma and other opposition leaders in Venezuela, it’s hard not to conclude that they have become mutual protection societies for repressive regimes.
Instead of immediately requesting the unconditional release of Ledezma, as well as that of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and other political prisoners who according to the United Nations have been victims of “arbitrary arrests,” the biggest regional organizations and virtually all Latin American leaders have largely looked the other way.
What’s the point of having these regional organizations, if they don’t even raise a finger to enforce their own charters calling for the respect and defense of democracy? And how to justify the absence of strong responses from Brazil and Mexico, the region’s biggest countries, whose presidents want to be seen as leaders of modern democracies?
Decades ago, when a Latin American country blatantly infringed democratic freedoms, such as Venezuela is doing now, the region’s most important democratic leaders condemned such events, and asked for urgent meetings of the Organization of American States (OAS) to press for corrective actions.
When former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori shut down his country’s Congress in 1992, the then pro-democracy government of Venezuela broke diplomatic relations with Peru, Argentina withdrew its ambassador, and Chile and several other countries officially requested that Peru be suspended from the OAS. And the OAS protested Fujimori’s action, forcing him to eventually call early elections for a new Congress a few months later.
Nothing even close to that happened after Thursday’s arrest of Ledezma, one of Venezuela’s top elected officials and leading opposition figure. At the time of this writing, no Latin American government had issued a strong condemnation of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s arbitrary arrest of Ledezma, nor requested an urgent OAS foreign ministers’ meeting to address the issue.
Maduro, who only earlier this month led official celebrations to honor a 1992 coup attempt by late President Hugo Chávez, has accused Ledezma and other opposition leaders of “conspiring and organizing” violent anti-government actions, which they categorically deny.
On Friday, outgoing OAS Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza expressed his “alarm” over the latest events in Venezuela. But in the absence of any member country request to hold an extraordinary meeting, the group is basically watching Venezuelan events from afar.
The Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) announced Friday it will send a delegation of foreign ministers from Brazil, Ecuador and Colombia to Venezuela at a yet to be determined date to observe the situation on the ground.
That may be good news for Maduro, since UNASUR is the regional group most sympathetic to his government. Last year, UNASUR dispatched the same three countries’ foreign ministers to Venezuela for an alleged mediation effort after student protests in Caracas left at least 43 dead.
But the UNASUR mediators not only failed to broker an agreement between Maduro and the opposition, but helped Maduro win precious time to diffuse the protests. The three countries’ foreign ministers did not get the release of all students arrested during the protests, nor a commitment from Maduro to meet some basic demands, such as the appointment of independent electoral authorities for this year’s legislative elections.
Earlier, in 2013, UNASUR had rushed to bless Maduro’s dubious election victory, after a pro-government electoral tribunal had proclaimed him winner by 1 percent of the vote despite opposition charges of massive fraud.
UNASUR President Ernesto Samper called Friday for “dialogue” in Venezuela, and criticized U.S. sanctions against about five dozen Venezuelan officials suspected of human rights abuses and corruption.
Jose Miguel Vivanco, head of the Americas department of Human Rights Watch, called Samper’s statements “highly unfortunate, because there’s absolutely no connection between the rightful U.S. cancelation of visas and freezing of assets of Venezuelan officials involved in human rights abuses and corruption, and the arbitrary detentions in Venezuela.”
Vivanco added that “we are seeing a daily deterioration of fundamental freedoms in Venezuela. The government is not accountable to any independent democratic institution there. The only thing left to stop this escalade of abuses is the regional community.”
My opinion: I agree. Trouble is, the regional community is leaderless. It’s no surprise that Venezuela’s closest allies — the populist demagogues ruling in Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua and Argentina –— have remained silent.
What’s more difficult to understand is Mexico and Brazil’s failure to ask regional organizations to meet their duty and demand the respect for democratic institutions in all member countries.
Because of that, the OAS, UNASUR and other regional groups are increasingly looking as protectors of government abuses, rather than of democratic freedoms.
Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article10886603.html#storylink=cpy

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Venezuela is the third country with highest deposits in Swiss HSBC bank

Venezuela's Banco del Tesoro and the Treasury Office top the list of Venezuelan depositors
Venezuela is below Switzerland and England, among other countries, with a capital exceeding USD 14 billion in deposits 
Tuesday February 10, 2015  10:08 AM
According to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), Venezuela ranks third among the countries with higher deposits in dollars in HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland.
"The government deposited between 2006 and 2007, over USD 12 billion in the HSBC branch in Geneva, Switzerland's business capital," revealed the ICIJ.
Venezuela is below Switzerland itself and England, among other countries, with a capital exceeding USD 14 billion in deposits. Venezuelan public sector accounts represent 85% of total Venezuelan deposits.
The details were provided by whistleblower Hervé Falciani, a former HSBC employee.
Most Venezuelan funds belong to the Banco del Tesoro, represented by Minister of Public Banking, Rodolfo Marco Torres, and Alejandro Andrade, who was National Treasurer from 2007-2010. Andrade was also president of the Economic and Social Development Bank of Venezuela (Bandes) from 2008-2010.
The Venezuelan Treasury Office also holds funds in the HSBC.

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Monday, February 9, 2015

Letter to the American Congress, related to Venezuela - VEPPEX

I agree 100% with this letter... Let me know if you also do.
vdebate reporter

Miami, 9 de Febrero 2015
Congresswoman Ileana Ros Letinen
Congressman Mario Diaz Balart
Congressman Carlos Curbelo
Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Shultz
Congresswoman Federica Wilson

And your office.
It is an honor to address you with the opportunity to greet you all and ask the possibility of creating a hearing in the United States congress. This hearing would serve the purpose of assisting organizations, activists and Venezuelan leaders who can aid in exposing the human rights violations in Venezuela. We want to expose the persecution and use of torture to end the opposition resistance, the encarceration of young students and opposition leaders. We would like to get a chance to show the U.S congress the participation of senior and military officials of the Maduro regime in illicit activities such as drug trafficking and international terrorism.  Currently, in Venezuela there are various violations to the democracy charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) in which it is reiterated of the dictatorship that exist. Such dictatorship has placed Venezuela outside of the international realm and has left the citizens within in a state of dangerous helplessness and vulnerability.
It is most important that, in addition to the sanctions that have been placed on Venezuelan officials for violations of human rights, it is known in great detail the participation of other functionaries in illegal activities that destabilize the country and the region.
We are hoping you strongly consider this petition and we await with high anticipation your response, while welcoming any additional ideas you may have.  We thank you for your solidarity with the Venezuelan people. 
With utmost respect, 
Jose Antonio Colina President of the organization of Politically Persecuted Venezuelan’s in Exile (VEPPEX)
Janette González  Director of VEPPEX-USA

In God We Trust

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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Diosdado Cabello's head of security defects to the U.S. and accuses him of narcotrafficking

By Emili J. Blasco
January 27, 2015 
With the arrival yesterday in Washington, DC, of protected witness, [Venezuelan Navy] Captain Leamsy Salazar, who until December was the head of security for Diosdado Cabello, a U.S. federal prosecutor has accelerated the preparation of a formal indictment against the number two in the Venezuelan regime. 
Salazar is the highest-ranking military officer to break ranks with chavismo and make formal accusations in the United States against senior government officials for their involvement in narcotrafficking. 
For almost 10 years, Salazar served as chief of security and as personal assistant to Hugo Chávez. After Chávez's death, Salazar went on to work for Cabello as his chief of security. 
Cartel of the Suns
According to sources close to the investigation, opened by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Salazar claims that [Cabello], the president of the National Assembly, is the head of the Cártel de los Soles (Cartel of the Suns) and therefore the leader of the narcostate that Venezuela became under Chávez. 
The Cartel of the Suns, primarily composed of members of the military (its name comes from the insignia worn on the uniform of Venezuelan generals), has a drug trafficking monopoly in Venezuela. The drugs are produced by the Colombian FARC [Fuerzas Revolucionarias de Colombia guerrillas] and taken to their destinations in the U.S. and Europe by Mexican cartels. Recent international figures indicate that Venezuela ships five tons of narcotics on a weekly basis. Ninety percent of the drugs produced by Colombia transits Venezuela. 
As an aide who constantly accompanied Cabello, Salazar witnessed events and conversations that incriminate the National Assembly president. Specifically, he saw Cabello giving direct orders for the departure of boats loaded with tons of cocaine; he has also provided photographs of places where mountains of dollars (sic) from narcotrafficking are stored, according to sources close to the investigation conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). 
On December 11, 2014, a shipment loaded with $10 million in cash was detained at Puerto Cabello, which is Venezuela's most important seaport. The shipment came from the United States and it is speculated that it could be a payment for drugs. A mistake within the organization probably led to its discovery and confiscation. 
Days later, in his weekly television program, rather than fueling suspicions that the money was related to drugs, Diosdado Cabello specifically accused the political opposition of being the recipient of this money, although he failed to provide any evidence. 
Cabello, who served in the military, cultivated a leadership role among members of the Armed Forces; but given Salazar's testimony and his respected record of military service, Cabello's support in the barracks may be significantly reduced. A navy captain, comparable to the army rank of colonel, Salazar has not been involved in any criminal activities, a fact that reinforces the value of his testimony. 
In his revelations, Salazar also implicates the governor of Aragua state, Tarek el Aissami, who also has links with Islamic networks, and José David Cabello, brother of the National Assembly president, who for several years served as director of SENIAT [tax agency] and minister of industry. José David Cabello is allegedly responsible for the finances of the Cartel of the Suns. Salazar mentions that [the state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela] PDVSA is a money-laundering machine (sic). PDVSA's former president from 2004 to 2014, Rafael Ramirez, was appointed in December as Venezuela's ambassador before the U.N. Security Council. 
Salazar's testimony, according to the sources cited, has ratified many of the facts already provided by Eladio Aponte to the DEA. Aponte was chief of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Venezuela; in 2012, Aponte fled to the United States as a protected witness. 
The case against Diosdado Cabello is closely linked to the indictment announced last year by federal prosecutors in New York and Miami against the [retired] Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal, who headed the Directorate of Military Intelligence for many years. 
The announcement came as Carvajal, alias "El Pollo," was arrested in July [2014] on the Dutch island of Aruba, neighboring Venezuela, at the request of U.S. authorities, who demanded his extradition. However, Aruba gave in to pressure from the government of [Nicolás] Maduro and allowed Carvajal to return to Venezuela. Carvajal was considered to be the head of the Cartel of the Suns. Salazar's information, on the other hand, places Carvajal under Cabello. 
Regarding the links with Havana, Salazar mentioned the regular use of PDVSA aircraft to transport drugs. A son of Chávez's and a son of former Cuban ambassador in Caracas, Germán Sánchez Otero, organized these shipments. Other Cuban officials are mentioned as part of the scheme. The final destination of these shipments was the United States. 
The sources related with this investigation speculate that Sánchez Otero, closely associated with Chávez, was removed from the post of ambassador following the discovery of a briefcase on one of these flights, which proved embarrassing for the Castro regime. The ambassador's son was arrested on one occasion when we traveled alone, while Chávez's son underwent treatment for substance abuse.

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The New York Times Editorial: Mr. Maduro in His Labyrinth.

Opinion Pages | EDITORIAL
Mr. Maduro in His Labyrinth
JAN. 26, 2015
Framed portraits of the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez were propped up at various stops of President Nicolás Maduro’s recent whirlwind trip abroad, as the man at the helm of the nation with the world’s largest oil reserves begged for bailouts.
Posters of his predecessor also abounded when Mr. Maduro, a former bus driver, arrived home to a carnival-like welcome, as he drove the lead coach of a convoy that snaked through crowds of supporters.
Last week, in a speech before lawmakers, Mr. Maduro, whose approval rating has slipped to 22 percent as the Venezuelan economy teeters on the brink of collapse, again invoked his mentor in predicting a landslide victory in upcoming parliamentary elections. “I have no doubt that Chávez’s nation will deliver a great victory in the memory of Hugo Chávez in elections that are being held this year,” he said.
Since he was voted into office in April 2013 by a minuscule margin after Mr. Chávez’s death, Mr. Maduro has leaned heavily on the legacy of his predecessor, a populist who governed poorly but had magnetic charisma and shrewd political instincts. Woefully lacking on both fronts, Mr. Maduro has become increasingly erratic and despotic in a quest for political survival that seems more daunting by the day. Healthy oil export revenue allowed Mr. Chávez to build a robust network of patronage and create generous welfare programs during his 14 years in power. Those are becoming increasingly paltry on Mr. Maduro’s watch.
The tumbling price of oil, which accounts for 95 percent of Venezuela’s export earnings, has nearly destroyed an economy that has been managed dismally for years. Inflation rose to 64 percent last year. On Wednesday, the International Monetary Fund predicted that Venezuela’s economy would contract 7 percent in 2015, which could force Mr. Maduro’s government to default on its loans or significantly curtail the subsidized oil his country provides to allies in the Caribbean, including Cuba.
Mr. Maduro has been vague about the type of painful economic measures his government has been willing to embrace, yet he bafflingly has promised to expand social programs and raise salaries. Far from acknowledging responsibility for the crisis, he and his loyalists have blamed the revenue shortfalls on political opponents they accuse of enabling an international conspiracy.
They have jailed one of the most prominent figures in the opposition, Leopoldo López, since last February on trumped up charges of stoking violent protests a year ago. During Mr. López’s Kafkaesque trial, which is still in process, prosecutors have argued that he instigated bloodshed through subliminal messages.
Last month, the authorities in Venezuela charged another opposition leader, María Corina Machado, with plotting to assassinate Mr. Maduro — a ludicrous, unfounded allegation against another inspiring challenger.
The crackdown on the opposition, unobstructed by a weak and compromised press, appears to be an effort to divert attention from Venezuelans’ deteriorating quality of life. Security forces have been deployed to maintain order outside supermarkets, where people line up for hours to scrounge whatever is left on depleted shelves.
On a recent afternoon, a Venezuelan woman who had been waiting in line since 4 a.m. showed a television journalist from Al Jazeera English her forearm, where someone had written the number 413 with a black marker to establish her place in line. “Now we are like cattle,” the woman lamented. “This must end.”
Hours later, Mr. Maduro’s government responded with its standard effort to find a scapegoat for the national calamity. The head of the National Assembly, Diosdado Cabello, in a televised address, called the journalist, Mónica Villamizar, an American spy.

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Oil Cash Waning, Venezuelan shelves lie bare - New York Times

JAN. 29, 2015
CARACAS, Venezuela — Mary Noriega heard there would be chicken. She hated being herded “like cattle,” she said, standing for hours in a line of more than 1,500 people hoping to buy food, as soldiers with side arms checked identification cards to make sure no one tried to buy basic items more than once or twice a week.
But Ms. Noriega, a laboratory assistant with three children, said she had no choice, ticking off the inventory in her depleted refrigerator: coffee and corn flour. Things had gotten so bad, she said, that she had begun bartering with neighbors to put food on the table.
“We always knew that this year would start badly, but I think this is super bad,” Ms. Noriega said.
Traffic in Caracas, where inexpensive fuel keeps old gas guzzlers on the road.Venezuela May Meet New Reality, and New Price, at the PumpJAN. 20, 2014
Venezuelans have put up with shortages and long lines for years. But as the price of oil, the country’s main export, has plunged, the situation has grown so dire that the government has sent troops to patrol huge lines snaking for blocks. Some states have barred people from waiting outside stores overnight, and government officials are posted near entrances, ready to arrest shoppers who cheat the rationing system.
Because Venezuela is so dependent on oil sales to buy imports of food, medicine and many other basics, the drop in oil prices means that there is even less hard currency to buy what the country needs.
Even before oil prices tumbled, Venezuela was in the throes of a deep recession, with one of the world’s highest inflation rates and chronic shortages of basic items.
One of the nation’s most prestigious public hospitals shut down its heart surgery unit for weeks because of shortages of medical supplies. Some drugs have been out of stock for months, and at least one clinic performed heart operations only by smuggling in a vital drug from the United States. Diapers are so coveted that some shoppers carry the birth certificates of their children in case stores demand them.
Now economists predict that shortages will get even more acute and inflation, already 64 percent, will climb further. The price of Venezuelan oil dropped this month to $38 a barrel, down from $96 in September.
“Things are going to be even worse because oil keeps Venezuela going,” said Luis Castro, 42, a nurse, standing in line with hundreds of others at a grocery store. He had arrived with his wife and 6-year-old son at 6 a.m., but by 11:30 a.m., they had still not entered. “We’re getting used to standing on line,” he said, “and when you get used to something, they give you only crumbs.”
The shortages and inflation present another round of political challenges for President Nicolás Maduro, who has vowed to continue the Socialist-inspired revolution begun by his predecessor, the charismatic leftist Hugo Chávez.
“I’ve always been a Chavista,” said Ms. Noriega, using a term for a loyal Chávez supporter. But “the other day, I found a Chávez T-shirt I’d kept, and I threw it on the ground and stamped on it, and then I used it to clean the floor. I was so angry. I don’t know if this is his fault or not, but he died and left us here, and things have been going from bad to worse.”
Venezuela has the world’s largest estimated petroleum reserves, and when oil prices were high, oil exports made up more than 95 percent of its hard currency income. Mr. Chávez used the oil riches to fund social spending, like increased pensions and subsidized grocery stores. Now that income has been slashed.
“If things are so bad now, I really cannot imagine how they will be in February or March” when some of the lowest oil prices “materialize in terms of cash flow,” said Francisco J. Monaldi, a professor of energy policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Mr. Maduro spent 14 straight days in January traveling the globe in an effort to court investment and persuade other oil-producing nations to cut production and push the price back up.
“We have serious economic difficulties regarding the country’s revenue,” Mr. Maduro said to the legislature during his annual address, which had to be pushed back because of the trip. “But God will always be with us. God will provide. And we will get, and we have gotten, the resources to maintain the country’s rhythm.”
After months of toying with the politically taboo idea of raising the price of gasoline sold at pumps here, the cheapest in the world, he said that the time had finally come to do so.
And he reiterated his position that the country’s economic ills are the fault of an economic war being waged against his government by right-wing enemies.
Many economists argue that government policies are a big part of the problem, including a highly overvalued currency, price controls that dissuade manufacturers and farmers, and government restrictions on access to dollars that have led to a steep drop in imports.
Some investors fear Venezuela will default on billions of dollars in bonds, but Mr. Maduro has said the country will pay its debts.
Typically, in an election year like this one, when voters will choose a new legislature, the government showers supporters with goods, like refrigerators and washing machines, or other benefits, like free housing. But now there may not be enough foreign currency to import appliances and construction materials.
In interviews, shoppers did not say they were going hungry. Rather, many said the economic crisis meant eating canned sardines instead of chicken, or boiled food instead of fried because vegetable oil is so hard to get. Many said they ate meat less frequently because it is out of stock or too expensive. Fresh fish can be harder to find, in part, fishermen said, because they find it more profitable to use their boats to sell subsidized Venezuelan diesel on the black market in a high-seas rendezvous instead of hauling in a catch.
But social media in Venezuela is full of urgent pleas from patients trying to find prescription medicine.
Dr. Gastón Silva, the head of cardiovascular surgery at the University Hospital of Caracas, said that because of medical shortages, only about 100 heart operations were performed there last year, down from 300 or more in previous years.
Some patients who had been hospitalized awaiting surgery for a month or more were sent home in November because there were not enough supplies, and the operating rooms remained shut for more than eight weeks, Dr. Silva said, despite a list of hundreds of people awaiting heart operations.
He said the shortages stemmed from the government’s foreign exchange controls, which have kept medical importers from getting access to the money they need to make purchases abroad. 
Now with the low price of oil further restricting the government’s supply of hard currency, he worried the crisis would get worse.“We are getting to a breaking point,” Dr. Silva said. “If one thing is lacking, O.K. If there are no automobile parts, we’ll see. Food, that’s problematic. But health care, that’s more problematic. Where will it end?”
Mr. Silva said that a private clinic where he also works had sharply scaled back heart surgeries in the last four months of 2014 because of limited supplies.
A heart surgeon at another private clinic said that a colleague had smuggled an essential drug from the United States to keep the operating room functioning.
Ana Guanipa, 75, a retired government office worker, said that she had searched numerous pharmacies for her hypertension medicine.
“I’ve been looking all month, and I can’t find it,” she said, adding that a neighbor who takes the same drug gave her some. “I take it one day on and one day off so that it will last longer.”
On a recent morning, hundreds of people stood in line outside a big-box store, similar to Costco. Inside, many shelves were stripped clean. The large appliance and electronics section was empty. One aisle displayed hundreds of boxes of a single brand of toothpaste. There was no fresh meat; a cooler was filled with frozen pigs feet.
Most people came to buy only three items sold at government-mandated prices: laundry detergent, vegetable oil and corn flour.
Most people came to buy only three items sold at government-mandated prices: laundry detergent, vegetable oil and corn flour.
Every purchase was entered into a database, ensuring that shoppers did not try to buy the same regulated staples at the chain for at least seven days.
Soldiers patrolled the line outside, police officers were stationed inside and government officials checked identification cards, looking for fake ones that could be used to cheat the rationing system — or for immigrants with expired visas. An official from the immigration and identification service said that offenders would be arrested.
“This is pathetic,” said Yenerly Niño, 18, adding that she had waited more than five hours to buy the three subsidized products because she could not afford to buy them at the higher prices charged by street vendors.
“You do what you have to,” she said. “If you don’t do it, you don’t eat.”

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VenEconomy: Is Resolution No. 008610 a Cover for Venezuela’s Drug Cartels?

From the Editors of VenEconomy
Venezuela seems not only resting upon an erupting volcano, but violently hit by a hurricane at the same time, even though the country doesn’t have any volcanoes or is a tornado area. The alarming and inexplicable events here happen so fast that is hard for anyone to get the chance to digest and analyze their implications.
On Wednesday, for example, the national and international public opinion was surprised with a report by Spain-based newspaper ABC talking about the defection of Leamsy Salazar Villafaña, a lieutenant commander and former head of security of the late Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, who had allegedly requested asylum in the U.S. and would be testifying as a protected witness of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The scandal was made viral by the social networks and the media because of the size of the disclosures Salazar Villafaña would be supposedly making at the DEA on the penetration of drug organizations into the Venezuelan government, directly involving Diosdado Cabello, the head of the Parliament and the ruling party PSUV and, according to the lieutenant commander, the famed "Cartel of the Suns" and its operations of international drug trafficking.
This story is still in full development and no one knows where it will lead. And there is no official confirmation of any U.S. authority that Salazar Villafaña is a protected witness of the DEA so far. What is indeed a fact is that some Venezuelan government officials, such as lawmaker Pedro Carreño, have publicly acknowledged the defection of Salazar Villafaña and that Cabello already announced legal action against ABC and other local newspapers that picked up the story, including El Nacional and TalCual.
The next day, as Venezuelans remained lost in amazement, the independent media, social networks and international press reported another serious complaint from constitutional lawyers and representatives of local Human Rights NGOs: the Resolution No. 008610 from the Ministry of Defense, published in the Official Gazette on January 27, authorizing in its article 22, paragraph 7, that military officers can intervene in demonstrations and use "potentially deadly force that might as well be firearms or another life-threatening weapon," as a last resort to "avoid disturbances, support the legitimately constituted authority and reject any aggression by repelling it immediately with the necessary resources." 
This resolution caused panic among citizens living today amid a climate of social tensions, food shortages, high inflation, rampant insecurity, human rights violations, and a loss of basic civil and political freedoms.
Various specialists in the field have expressed their concern over the implications and consequences of this resolution.
One of them is Rocío San Miguel, a human rights lawyer who said that even though the resolution has positive aspects, it also contains some dangerous inaccuracies with respect to the use of deadly force or firearms. Not only is this prohibited during peaceful demonstrations, she says, but the use of "deadly force" within the Armed Forces, overall, is for specific cases "under very precise and restrictive rules," something that lacks this resolution. 
Furthermore, this resolution constitutes a violation of the new National Constitution, which stipulates that the National Guard is the military component responsible for the security of citizens, thus taking an additional step forward in strengthening the militarization of the country. 
The reality is that Resolution No. 008610 adds a new ingredient to the menu of violence and repression served to the population by the so-called "peaceful-but-armed revolution" that Chávez had once boasted about and where authorities can end up "shooting first and asking questions later."
VenEconomy has been a leading provider of consultancy on financial, political and economic data in Venezuela since 1982.

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