Día del Trabajador

Your daily briefing for Monday, May 2nd, 2016.

For Monday, May 2nd, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

This Sunday, a “spontaneous march” by public employees reached Miraflores thanks to a logistical effort that included transport, water, food, public restrooms, stages and music. The protest signs in the demonstration weren’t demanding improvements in working conditions, but rather attacking the National Assembly, Henry Ramos Allup, the signature-collecting effort to activate the recall referendum and of course: Lorenzo Mendoza, head of Empresas Polar.

Nicolás no longer leaves Miraflores unless a very controlled audience is set for him and the production team prepares several cameras, videos about el finado and contacts to demonstrate that everybody’s working all the time. Otherwise, his unpopularity forces him to remain in the only place that he supposedly controls. In recent times he’s included an inexplicable habit: he prefers to talk while seated.

Nicolás thinks that he’s “the most persecuted human being on planet Earth,” that he’s the victim of psychological warfare and censorship, despite thinking that he’s a “vergatario” President. The chief reminded his audience that strong unity is necessary to complete the Bolivarian labor of the 21st century. The country’s utter destruction, I presume. Nicolás doesn’t connect, doesn’t summarize, lacks coherence and if you mix that with rain, you get a significantly sparse audience, so much so that at one point el becerro yelled: “Listen to me! Listen to me, carajo!”

He told public employees on site that if one day they decided to stay home, not even a pin would move in the country. We’ll be able to put that theory to the test next Wednesday. He announced a joint investment fund for which the private sector has already provided $30 million; he said that he’ll soon sign vital documents for the certification of the Mining Arc and he’ll also create the National University of Tourism, an investment of unquestionable pertinence.

He repeated the barbarism “Closed plant, taken plant” so the working class can reactivate it immediately while the legitimate owner ends up behind bars. “Encanao con justicia”, in our distinguished speaker’s words. Because -and get this interesting theory- if people have faced the economic war, how much would it really cost them to face another one?

Unemployment? General famine? More poverty? Darkness? Peanuts. The plot to create riots and violence, and thus end his life, is far more important.

After warning about more conspiracies against him he called for rebellion against any electoral result that might end his grasp on power: “If the oligarchy someday did something against me and succeeded in taking this government palace one way or the other, I order you to declare yourselves in rebellion and start an indefinite general strike until we achieve victory.” Because -and don’t you say the phrase isn’t commercial-worthy- “revoking history is revoking Chávez, it’s revoking the patria.” Although no media has reported on it, Nicolás claimed to have arrested tens of people who were “occupying the highest floors of a building in O’Leary square.” Strange, to say the least.

Thirty days?

Henrique Capriles Radonski, governor of Miranda, said that signature collection for the recall referendum is probably a world record, reporting 2,301,945 signatures being processed and another 200,000 still on their way. Once the MUD finishes auditing them, they’ll be sent to the CNE to be stamped.

But Tania D’Amelio, a National Electoral Council official, announced via Twitter this Sunday that: “The 30 day period assigned for the collection of 1% signatures representing voters’ will must end before moving on to the verification phase.” Yes, even though the signatures have been collected, the official imposes the interpretation that in order to verify the signatures, we must wait the whole month. Former electoral official Vicente Díaz clarifies: “The periods refer to maximum timecaps, the Principle of Urgency demands the minimum possible.”

If pressure worked to force them to deliver the form, it’ll be necessary to make the same effort to pressure them to receive and verify the signatures. That’s the only way we’ll be able to demand the new form to collect the signatures of 20% registered voters. If Jorge Rodríguez is capable of undermining CNE’s credibility, we must make them fulfill their duties.


For Oswaldo Vera, Labor minister, the minimum wage raise announced this Saturday is insufficient and will remain so as long as there’s “economic war, speculation and hoarding, which have an important impact on inflation.” He didn’t mention currency exchange and  price controls, much less low productivity, declining imports -prioritizing the payment of the external debt-, increasing days off for public workers, power cuts or shortages. We only need to remember the International Monetary Fund’s forecast of an 720% inflation rate for 2016, but we already know it’s an inflation induced by the economic war, just like shortages, according to our preeminent minister.


A vehicle belonging to the Venezuelan Armed Forces crashed this Sunday in the José Antonio Páez freeway (Cojedes state) with more than 40 kilos of drugs. The balance so far is allegedly one person dead and two arrested: Jhon Cuardos and Juan Carlos Crispin. The images published by reporters, show this pair of soldiers so covered in powder that there won’t be a need for a great forensic team to solve the case. Lovely.

Do you know what time it is?

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.