Grind for March 25th, 2019
“I write for the same reason I breathe – because if I didn’t, I would die.”
– Isaac Asimov
In Venezuela: Top aide to interim president Juan Guaido arrested
Intelligence officials working for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro broke into the apartment of Robert Marrero around 3:00AM Thursday morning.
Marrero serves as top aide to Juan Guaido, who declared himself acting president in January following the controversial reelection of President Maduro.
Marrero’s whereabouts are unknown.
“This is the repression of 21st century socialism, of a failed revolution,” says Sergio Vergara, a neighbor and fellow opposition lawmaker whose house was also broken into and searched. “It’s a repeated strategy by this dictator Maduro to try to force us back down. But we are going to keep on the streets.”
Marrero told reporters he believes the invaders planted two firearms and a grenade inside Marrero’s house to justify their actions.
Earlier this week, UN commissioner Michelle Bachelet warned that arbitrary arrests, killings, and torture by pro-Maduro forces are exacerbating the social crisis in Venezuela.
“The US condemns raids by Maduro’s security services and detention of Roberto Marrero,” tweeted Sec. of State Mike Pompeo. “We call for his immediate release. We will hold accountable those involved.”
More than 50 nations have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s acting president, but Maduro is refusing to step down. With support from the military, Maduro has been successful in driving Guaido out of the country and blocking his attempts to deliver humanitarian aid.
Maduro claims he is the victim of an international coup.
Petition to cancel Brexit earns over 1 million signatures
British lawmakers this month voted overwhelmingly against Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit proposal. They also rejected the idea of leaving the EU without a deal.
The votes forced May to ask the European Council to postpone the divorce date from March 29th to June 30th, something she had fiercely opposed doing.
Now, UK citizens are asking lawmakers to give up on the whole thing.
This week, a petition to cancel Brexit topped 1 million signatures (far more than the 100,000 needed to prompt a debate in Parliament).
“The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people,'” reads the petition. “We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU.”
The petition was launched in February by Margaret Anne Georgiadou, who said she wanted “a large number to slap in the government’s face.”
The petition, which is getting so much attention that it broke the government’s petition website, is a stark reminder that the original vote to leave the EU was nearly 50-50.
That means there’s a lot of people out there who want to stay in the bloc.
“A lot of people have been asking about numbers,” tweeted the UK Petitions Committee. “Between 80,000 and 100,000 have been simultaneously viewing the petition to revoke Article 50. Nearly 2,000 signatures are being completed every minute,”
Signatures are being tracked by “UltraButt,” a Twitter bot which initially existed as a joke account dedicated to bathroom humor.
GOOD TO THE LAST DROP:
Did you know… The search engine Google got its name from the word ‘googol’, which refers to the number one with a hundred zeros after it.