A Fatal Obsession

Your daily briefing for Wednesday, March 16, 2016.

For Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

“The Commander sowed a time for future generations” Nicolás Maduro

Sowing time in time is easy; try sowing a farm under criminal and official extortion. All of Nicolás’ inspiring ideas are a mess. This Tuesday, while he announced that the decree making all of Easter Week a holiday applies to the private sector as well as the public, the ten days decreed to commemorate el finado’s death concluded. But Nicolás dedicated most of his time to replying to Barack Obama’s statements.

Nicolás wants to meet Obama face to face to tell him that he has it wrong, because the U.S. has taken advantage of el finado’s death to attack his Government with renewed strength, to try and “erase the history of our independence.” Obama’s statement that the Venezuelan people must choose a new government as soon as possible is, in fact, an order, a green light for “the opposition’s terrorist madness” and the best evidence that the U.S. are directly connected with all the efforts to topple the government. Regrettably, he couldn’t provide evidence to back any of the many accusations he made.

“Barack Obama has a fatal obsession with Venezuela,” he said, after mentioning him another 29 times during his speech, warning him that he’s tainted by his conspiracy against the country, telling him that nobody surrenders in Venezuela. Nicolás has obviously never been held up at gunpoint.

Seven question

Ernesto Villegas, reader of el finado’s fake medical reports, premiered a new program on TeleSUR, another propaganda stationed financed by the Venezuelan regime. Nicolás was the guest and he took the opportunity to declare himself “Venezuelan, Caraqueño, Bolivarian, citizen of Latin America and the Caribbean,” saying that his birth certificate is publicly accessible by any means.

Sadly, he didn’t bring a copy with him. Before expressing his sympathies to the families of the survivors, Nicolás chose to congratulate the government officials working on Tumeremo’s case, even speaking of the “record time” it took them to solve the massacre, which he said was perpetrated by paramilitary mafias linked to political figures.

Aristóbulo at the National Assembly

The Vice-President climbed to the speaker’s podium flanked by ministers Miguel Pérez Abad and Wilmar Castro Soteldo, like a musical trio. Expectations about his statement were low, but when he spoke about economic war; about real and induced inflation; about real and induced shortages, then talked about the plan for “foreign exchange acupuncture” and referring to our economic crisis as “duraaa”, nobody was surprised. The sheer accumulation of A’s justifies the decree’s extension, apparently.

According to the Vice-President the priorities are: defending against attacks on the bolívar, creating an anti-inflation policy and redistributing the oil rents. None of the eight decrees approved so far complies with this plan. But don’t worry, they’ve been working to “bring the prices of food and medicine to a more reasonable level” because prices must be adjusted to reality. The only way to end inflation is with production, said Aristóbulo to general applause; pero eso sí, 70% of inflation is caused by black market dollar and the prices published by DolarToday. That’s why he warned that the country’s situation doesn’t allow for unification of foreign exchange rates and, to deputy Alfonso Marquina’s question about the measures the government will take to tackle fiscal déficit, he replied that he won’t reveal a State secret such as the amount of the debt because he’s a patriot.

Deputy Julio Borges told him that the measures taken so far in the last 60 days didn’t require an Emergency Decree, that extending it was unnecessary. Aristóbulo supported the extension by pointing to falling oil prices; he justified that official numbers aren’t publicly accessible, saying it’s to protect the people; he didn’t answer whether the fiscal deficit would be covered with more devaluations and neither did he speak about Petromonaga’s privatization (after a part of its shares were sold to Rosneft) because it’s not under his authority. Nélson Merentes, president of the Central Bank, is expected for questioning at the National Assembly next Thursday.


Ombudsman Tarek William Saab said that investigations haven’t concluded yet, that the search continues and that authorities are considering the possibility of a mass grave in Hojalata mine -near Nuevo Callao-, and they’re expecting to get information from witnesses and inhabitants of the area to confirm this hypothesis.

But why does he believe that? Because in the process of identifying the 17 bodies found this Monday, some (between three and six) corresponded to the missing miners, but there are bodies with tattoos that the relatives of the miners don’t recognize. All of the bodies show gunshot wounds. Obviously, Nicolás didn’t go to Tumeremo. People there haven’t seen governor Rangel Gómez even in pictures.

Living off art

Carlos Cruz-Diez, the Venezuelan optic and cinetic artist, was awarded an International Trebbia Award in the category of “Artistic achievements”. This is one of the most prestigious awards given to personalities in the world of arts and culture. The Trebbia Foundation, established in the Czech Republic, created the awards in 2000, to stimulate the arts and culture. Eileen Cooper, dean of the London Royal Academy of Arts, was the speaker during the presentation of the award to maestro Cruz-Diez, received by his daughter, Adriana Cruz, who said that his sons and grandchildren work alongside him on the projects he still creates… at 92 years old!

Sadly, we lost Fonseca, a Venezuelan cartoonist who, with simplicity and brevity, described the situation of the country and its most vulnerable people through his drawings. May he rest in peace.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.