Paro and all

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, June 14th, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The 24-hour paro called by the public transportation sector this Monday was held in 18 states of the country. The national government legitimized it with the hashtags most used by their bots: “Derrotando el paro.” Despite statements by Castro Soteldo, minister of Food, who says that the country has enough products to feed everybody, protests for food got more severe in Mérida, Valera and San Fernando de Apure. Another tragedy took place in Guatire, when motorizados shot at a queue of people before a Mercal in El Rodeo (Zamora municipality), killing a four-year-old girl and wounding five people, including another 11-year-old child. It’s been a month since the State of Exception and Economic Emergency was declared and everything has gotten worse.


Jorge Rodríguez, in his role as signature verifier, introduced a protective measure before the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s Constitutional Chamber due to “irregularities” found in the signatures delivered to the National Electoral Council by the Democratic Unity Roundtable. The PSUV wants their lapdog Chamber to evaluate these irregularities in depth because, according to Rodríguez, they’re a fraud. The VTV journalist dared to ask if the decision could say: “There’s no trust for the (Recall Referendum) process to continue.” Rodríguez quickly replied that no doubt there might have been people who signed willingly, but that they’re still going to appeal to all institutions, to advance all judicial and criminal actions so that “the MUD doesn’t reach the next phase of the process through a fraud.”

The fact that he’s holding himself as the defender of voter’s rights, goes beyond even his own record of cynicism. An irregular signature is not a fraudulent one. Moreover, the CNE didn’t keep record of the reasons behind the rejection of each voter’s signature. How will they demonstrate the fraud? Are they depending on this week’s exclusions? Is this PSUV’s barajita in case the MUD manages to authenticate 1% signatures in each state?

Hopeless but sovereign

Bernardo Álvarez, Venezuela’s ambassador before the OAS, repeated that the government won’t open a humanitarian channel that could expose the country’s sovereignty, because according to him, this aid “conceals an unacceptable interventionist ambition.”

This Monday, the bold institutions that support Nicolás sent a letter addressed to Andrés Navarro -Dominican Foreign Affairs minister, who’s to head the OAS’s 46th General Assembly-, with flawed writing, transcription and arguments. It was more important to try and discredit Luis Almagro as they condemned the “right-wing opposition’s general offensive”, than to correct a page and a half of pure nonsense.

Delcy Rodríguez arrived in Santo Domingo to participate in the OAS’s Assembly, saying that she’ll remind them “that an agreement was approved through consensus to support dialogue in Venezuela,” adding that Luis Almagro is “promoting a coup d’Etat in Venezuela and has allied himself with those who want to oust the constitutional government.”

A refusal with support

Álvarez wasn’t alone. This Monday afternoon, the TSJ’s Constitutional Chamber declared that the Special Law to Solve the National Healthcare Crisis, approved by the National Assembly on May 3rd is unconstitutional, arguing that it usurps the Executive Branch’s authority regarding states of emergency and foreign affairs.

Nicolás is the only one who can determine whether we’re in an emergency or not. Only he knows the necessary steps to overcome the crisis, in case we ever suffer one. Meanwhile, the TSJ punishes the National Assembly’s insolence for aspiring to be an intermediary for international cooperation and forcing Nicolás to accept help he hasn’t asked for. That doesn’t suit their government model and would mean great risks for the people, due to all the procedures required for medicines to be imported. The PSUV must know about that, wouldn’t they, Eugenia Sader?

Speaking of integration

Henrique Capriles met with Horacio Cartes, president of Paraguay, thanking him for his country’s stance before the Organization of American States’ Permanent Council, and with Mauricio Macri, president of Argentina. The tour, which also includes Brazil, is intended to denounce the violation against the Rule of Law and request support to make the government respect the Constitution, allow the recall referendum, release political prisoners and open a humanitarian channel for medicines and food. Which was already denied by the TSJ. He reminded them that if Venezuela suffers a coup, the whole region would resent its effects.

Aurora Morales, head of Miranda state’s Legislative Council, took advantage of this tour to say that the governor’s responsible for the attacks suffered by some police officers while containing recent protests, so she’ll request that he be investigated. She’s not at all concerned by police shooting at the people.

Less and less each time.

Our everyday depreciation put the Simadi exchange rate at Bs. 588.69 per dollar, up Bs. 8.64 in a day. But the OPEC offered a worse revelation in their report for June 2016. Venezuela’s oil production -according PDVSA’s official data- is 2,370,000 barrels per day, which is a drop of 120,000 barrels per day in May, compared to April. Amid the most severe economic crisis in our country’s history, the government is incapable of even keeping up with their oil production, since market operators who measure real production, report that Venezuela produces much less than what it officially says. Add this to the fact that, despite all their ramblings against the U.S. empire, Venezuela was their third most important individual supplier, providing a 10% of that country’s imports. Coherent, eh?

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.