Venezuela: Maldonado attains first Formula One triumph
Maldonado wins first Formula One race, stray bullet from prison revolt hits a civilian, and State Council wants out of Human Rights Commission
Venezuelan Formula One pilot wins Spanish Grand Prix
Pastor Maldonado achieved his first Formula One victory on Sunday 13 May, at the Spanish Grand Prix celebrated in Barcelona.
In his second season, the Venezuelan managed to give Williams-Renault team its first win in 8 years, thanks to a pit stop strategy that kept Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso at bay for the last third of the event.
‘It’s a wonderful day for the team and for me. An unforgettable race,’ said Maldonado to the press. As the Venezuelan reached the winners’ podium he was lifted onto the shoulders of Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen who praised the pilot’s performance on the Montmeló circuit.
Maldonado started on pole position after McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was relegated to the back of the grid on Saturday because of a technical fuel breach.
Prisoners’ revolt leaves one citizen dead and several wounded
A man who lived close to La Planta – a prison located in a residential neighborhood in Caracas – died on Tuesday 8 May after being hit by a stray bullet during a confrontation between the National Guard and inmates inside the reclusion centre.
Henry Molina, 48 years-old, was in his apartment some 300 meters away from the prison when a bullet passed through the window and hit his head. There were at least three other reports of citizens wounded during the confrontation.
The prison revolt came about after the Minister for Penitentiary Affairs, Iris Varela, announced that the urban facility would be closed and its prisoners transferred to other prisons around the country.
Five days after the confrontations began, the inmates are still armed and in control of the penitentiary. On Saturday 12 May, some prisoners uploaded a video on YouTube where they accuse Minister Valera of producing the crisis and demand certain conditions to be met in order to facilitate La Planta’s closure.
State Council members believe Venezuela should leave Human Rights Commission
The recently created State Council is expected to release an official opinion in regards to the country’s possible retirement from OAS Inter-American Human Rights Commission (OAS-IAHRC) this week. Some members have already expressed their support for President Hugo Chávez’s petition to leave the international body.
On Wednesday 9 May, the National Assembly appointed legislator Earle Herrera as its representative on the State council, just hours before he had taken podium to support the proposal to exit the IAHRC.
Meanwhile, on a TV show aired on Thursday 10 May, writer Luis Britto García said the country should abandon the commission because it intended to supersede Venezuela’s judiciary system and pronounce final judgment on any contentious national issues.
As the week progressed, State Council appointments were completed with the designation of La Guaira state governor, Jorge Luis García Carneiro, as the Governors Association representative, and of Supreme Court magistrate Luisa Estela Morales as the judiciary system representative.
Garcia and Morales, as well as the rest of the designated members, belong to the ruling Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (Venezuelan United Socialist Party–PSUV), which already has made clear that it agrees with the idea of leaving the IAHRC.