Under Water

Your daily briefing for Friday, April 21, 2016.

For Thursday, April 21, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The Metro collapsed, several streets blocked, fallen trees, power outages and still, Nicolás appointed the minister of Prisons to monitor the consequences of the rains. Iris Varela has distinguished herself by sending insulting, homophobic, discriminating and deranged messages. The fact that she had the nerve to celebrate the situation in states with opposition governors without dedicating so much as a line to Caracas, speaks volumes.

Humberto Prado, head of the Venezuelan Observatory of Prisons, wondered this afternoon why the minister was reporting on rains instead of offering explanations for the 2000 inmates who have died during her tenure.

Electrical rationing plan

Nicolás was supposed to report on the rains and started out asking for Venezuelans not to allow themselves to be manipulated by lies. That said, despite yesterday’s palo de agua, nobody left while he rambled on about April 19. He repeated that El Niño is going to be replaced by La Niña in June. He confirmed that his plan to save electricity was a failure because residential consumption hasn’t decreased: “We’re working miracles to keep up the quality of life (…) I ask that we all work that miracle from our homes.”

In line with Varela, he said that Miranda state is the entity with the least upkeep in the country, and then exchanged information with minister Motta Domínguez, charged with reporting that the municipalities with the highest consumption rates are Baruta, Libertador and Chacao. It hasn’t rained on Guri and the minister said: “For the first time in history, the dam has reached the lowest levels ever since Venezuela is Venezuela.” Praiseworthy. That’s the reason behind the Plan for Load Management which they’ll publicly share in due course. This means the rest of Venezuela can’t keep sustaining Caracas’ power consumption and there will be more severe outages, under another name.

Evo Morales stepped out from his plane for an hour to talk with Nicolás, on his way to New York, where he’ll participate in the signing of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Nicolás took the opportunity during his short stop in Maiquetía airport to take some pictures with the crew of the fourth plane carrying humanitarian aid for Ecuador.

In the National Assembly

The MUD majority assigned political responsibility on former ministers Carlos Osorio and Giuseppe Yoffreda for failing to turn up to the Hemiciclo to be questioned about the food crisis. Although Parliament’s secretary, Roberto Marrero, indicated there was quorum, Pedro Carreño requested a roll call to verify it, despite being the only PSUV deputy in attendance. With 96 deputies, Ramos Allup called Carreño out on his swing-and-a-miss. Later, Carlos Osorio took to Twitter to say that, in view of the insults and lies against his honor, he would undertake legal action in his defense with the same strength that el finado taught him. That must be why Nicolás said tonight that “nobody touches” Osorio.

The MUD majority approved the Framework Law on Referendums, but this bill will be returned to the Interior Policy Committee for a second look at calls to change some of the transitory provisions. The Constitutional Amendment to, among other things, shorten the presidential term was also approved in its first reading.

Hand over the form

Henrique Capriles said once more that the National Electoral Council is hindering the possibility for the people to exercise their constitutional right to revoke a president they don’t support. He urged the CNE to provide the signature collection forms: “Either you give us the forms or we’ll go get them ourselves. You’re blocking the recall referendum and in view of that, the people must go to every CNE office in the country.” Four officials can’t impose their will on 30 million people, he added.

Press freedom

In 2002, Reporteros Sin Fronteras started producing a worldwide ranking on press freedom. Out of the 180 countries studied, Finland continues to be the top ranked, while Venezuela and Cuba keep the lowst scores in the region. In our case, because opposition press and independent media must try to survive Nicolás’ intimidation tactics and in Cuba because the regime holds almost complete control on information.

This paragraph from the report sums it up well:

The general atmosphere of fear entails a profound hatred for debate and pluralism, media chained by governments that drift completely into practices that are authoritarian and fatal to freedom, coupled with an increasing control of personal interests on information in the private sector.

My love to minister Luis José Marcano.

Bernardo Álvarez threatens Luis Almagro

Because according to him, invoking the Inter American Democratic Charter on Venezuela “would constitute a reason to request the secretary general’s removal, because it would be a coup against the institutions of the State or states involved.” To Álvarez, there is “no alteration in the constitutional order that could gravely affect the democratic order” in Venezuela; the fact that the Supreme Court of Justice works under the president’s orders is irrelevant, remember that this guy thinks Venezuela isn’t in condition to declare humanitarian crisis.

Good things also happen

The designer for Editorial Libros de fuego, Juan Fernando Mercerón, was the winner of the Second Latin American Award for Publishing Design for his works in César Segovia’s “Próximo tren”, José Urriola’s “Santiago se va” and Luis Yslas’ “A la brevedad posible”, distinguished for “his quality and integral publishing concept, for typographic refinement and his gentle manipulation.” The collection stood above 805 others submitted from all over Latin America. Bravo, guys!

-You can find them in the Chacao Reading Festival, which opens today.


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.