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Political Prisoners in Venezuela
Newsletter Nº 188
Marzo 14, 2019

Intimidation of journalists also keeps Venezuelans in the dark

March 13, 2019 

With Venezuela’s entire electrical grid on the fritz, the economy paralyzed and the health system collapsed, the suffering of Venezuelans knows no limits. Amid their many basic needs — food, sanitation and transportation — there is another that is less obvious but no less essential: information.

It goes without saying that Venezuelans are living through a huge news story. But the government of Nicolás Maduro wants to keep the people of Venezuela in the dark. “It’s like a movie about the apocalypse and we continue to work very hard to cover it,” said Luz Mely Reyes, the editor of Efecto Cocuyo, a leading independent news website. Read more

Venezuelan Regime Militarizes Morgues to Hide Genocide Death Toll

March 11, 2019 

So far, just at the University Hospital of Maracaibo, the Venezuelan blackout has left a toll of 296 dead, among them 80 babies, as the massive power outage now enters its fifth day. Without electricity, there is no internet or cell phones, so there is a lack of information on the total number of deaths. There is already talk of genocide, which follows patterns of previous dictatorships that sought to hold on to power at all costs.

Since the government is the only supplier of electricity in the country, it bears the blame for this crisis, and its actions are entirely part of a political strategy.

The morgues at the nation’s main hospitals are already under military custody, and Venezuelan families have no way to communicate with each other, and many with loved ones in hospitals are fearing the worst. Read more

The Human Network that Saved a Man from Prison

March 13, 2019 

On the morning of Tuesday, March 12th, about 100 people gathered in front of the Prosecutor’s Office in Parque Carabobo, Caracas, at the request of our Naky Soto, to demand the release of her husband, journalist and human rights activist Luis Carlos Díaz, taken on Monday after being blamed for the countrywide blackout. The crowd was mostly made up of other journalists and human rights activists, many of whom are also Luis Carlos’s friends and were there not only for monitoring and reporting the events: it was personal this time.

Luis Carlos is a devotee of digital activism, teaching people and institutions how to harness the internet’s potential and resources, and how to build networks to verify and spread information. Thanks to his specialized knowledge and dedication, he’s had the opportunity of working on a wide range of projects in Venezuela and abroad, earning the trust and support of many different individuals and organizations, attaining a sort of celebrity status in the digital community. This made all the difference. Read more

Freedom of Expression Experts of the UN and the IACHR express alarm over expansion of censorship measures in Venezuela

The UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression, David Kaye, and the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the IACHR, Edison Lanza, raised alarm over censorship measures and blockings of platforms, social networks and online media, as well as the serious restrictions of journalistic coverage, by the  authorities in Venezuela.

During the development of the political and social crisis in Venezuela, various media were blocked on platforms such as YouTube and Google, while users' access to Facebook was intermittent. Also, at different times it was not possible to access news portals through the internet.

During the demonstrations and political events of recent weeks, the National Television of Chile and Radio Caracol were blocked in the schedule of the subscription channels by order of Conatel, the body that regulates the media. The blocking of TV channels by subscription remains, including CNN and several Colombian television channels. Read more
Doctors Pray for Sick as Blackout Batters Venezuelan Hospitals

March 11, 2019 

Maria Rodriguez's daughter has spent a month in Caracas's J.M. de los Rios children's hospital with hydrocephalus, a buildup of spinal fluid in the brain, but staff there have faced an uphill battle treating the girl because of a nationwide power outage.

"It has been horrible since the blackout. My daughter needs treatment that lasts six hours: now she is only getting it when there is power available," said Rodriguez, 36, who said she is also worried about inadequate water and food in the facility. 

Venezuela's hospitals, already struggling with shortages of supplies and equipment amid an economic meltdown, entered crisis mode on Thursday when the South American nation's power system went down. Read more

Arbitrary Detentions since January 1th, 2014

892 political prisoners 
Source: Foro Penal
March 6, 2019
Copyright © 2019 Acción por la Libertad, All rights reserved.

Coordinator: Zulmaire González

This Newsletter is made possible by the cooperation of Justice for Venezuelans Foundation

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