Tuesday, April 20

The Venezuelan Justice detains two writers for “instigation of hatred” | International


The journalist Milagros Mata Gil and the novelist Juan Manuel Muñoz leaving the Court of Justice this Thursday.
The journalist Milagros Mata Gil and the novelist Juan Manuel Muñoz leaving the Court of Justice this Thursday.Marinelid Marcano / El Pitazo

Venezuelan political police officers detained in the city of El Tigre, Anzoátegui state, in the eastern part of the country, the writer and essayist Milagros Mata Gil, 69, a member of the Venezuelan Academy of Language, and her husband, the poet and activist Juan Manuel Muñoz, 73. Both are accused of “incitement to hatred and defamation” for writing on social networks a critical text against the celebration of a great wedding attended by the Venezuelan Attorney General, Tarek William Saab. The two writers were released this Friday with a substitute precautionary measure, which requires them to appear every 30 days in court.

The text that caused the annoyance of the Chavista authorities is called Deadly party, and was posted on their Facebook page. It also circulated on some WhatsApp chains. Mata is accused of writing the content. Márquez is responsible for disseminating it. In her comments, the writer criticizes very harshly the celebration of a gigantic wedding of members of the Syrian community held recently in the coastal city of Puerto La Cruz, in the same Anzoátegui state, which Prosecutor Saab himself would have attended.

In his lines he does not hide his indignation: “The desire for social representation of the newly dressed is as great as is their narcissism, a variant of stupidity.” The couple points out that the wedding, which they claim was attended by some 800 people, has been the cause of the new wave of infections that is experienced in the conurbation of Puerto La Cruz and Barcelona, ​​the capital axis of the Anzoátegui State. “They say that the planner wedding, a well-known businesswoman, had symptoms of covid, but was not willing to lose a contract for six figures in dollars ”. The text ends with statements about the Arab community in Venezuela: “There was a time when it was a modest colony, they enjoyed their profits, but without ostentation. Their new and unbridled riches, inserted in the murky and voragious business channel of this misgovernment, have made them slide towards the superficiality of demonstrable and demonstrable luxury. The decadence. The decadence. Of this, they paid some consequence ”.

Jorge Márquez, Mata y Muñoz’s defense attorney, reported that both had their cell phones confiscated “to empty the information they have there and continue the investigations. They were forbidden to make any type of publication regarding the party mentioned in the text ”. Gonzalo Himiob, lawyer member of the NGO Foro Penal Venezolano said that “the criminal code prohibits preventive detention in detention centers for those over 70 years of age.”

Of all the communities of foreigners present in Venezuela, traditionally very numerous in the past, it has been the Arab colony, from countries such as Syria and Lebanon, that has the most fluid relations with the Chavismo authorities. It is also the one that has been able to capitalize the most on the economic opening that Nicolás Maduro has been trying for a year. One of the battering rams in Chavismo’s current opening attempt is Tareck El Aissami, an important Chavista official of Syrian parents.

The measure against Mata and Muñoz caused enormous consternation on social networks, and a much more attenuated impact on the mass media.

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