Your daily briefing for Friday, July 8, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
For Friday, July 8, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
“The barbarity they’re trying to force on us is unjustifiable” – Tibisay Lucena
Leopoldo López’s appeal hearing was suspended once again because one of the other defendant’s lawyer was absent. Parlasur’s committee was denied access to El Helicoide because they didn’t have the required permission from SEBIN headquarters in Plaza Venezuela. The National Guard used tear gas and rubber bullets to repress those who were protesting for food in El Tigre (Anzoátegui state), with a balance of three people wounded and 13 arrested. And Comptroller Manuel Galindo said that there “can be positive or negative nepotism” to justify that 13 of his relatives are on the payroll of an institution that’s supposed to prevent precisely that kind of illegality. All of this causes indignation! But the title actually refers to the statements issued by the CNE’s chief.
She said what?
Lucena read: “We want to set a stance concerning the disrespectful attacks, threats, accusations and insults against the Electoral Branch.” Once she expressed her indignation regarding the machista violence which defines “the new way certain people have of making politics,” she spouted her most important phrase: “They sow a chaos that will irrevocably destroy their hopes.” A threat, or the prelude for shutting down the recall referendum. The good part is that the CNE joins Nicolás in his efforts to turn Henry Ramos Allup into the “leader” they need, for his association with the past and their desperate attempts at recovering the “4th Republic“ discourse, as if emotions from 1998 could be rekindled now, as if the circumstances weren’t significantly worse.
They’re so vulgar, that Freddy Bernal also launched statements against Ramos Allup for “his attacks against the CLAPs” -criticizing inefficacy and apartheid is an attack now- and Nicolás couldn’t help but tweeting his moral support for the CNE regarding “Mr. Allup’s violent and unbalanced attacks,” demanding him to end the hatred and intolerance he promotes every day.
Primaries and dialogue
The Democratic Unity Roundtable signed an agreement to organize primary elections to choose their regional candidates, except in states were unanimous consensus is reached. They also issued a statement where they presented their conditions for dialogue with the government, including demands such as the publication of an integral electoral schedule with specific dates for the remaining procedures for the recall referendum and for regional elections; expanding the mediating body -adding emissaries from the Vatican and other former presidents as per the OAS’s suggestion-, and respect for the National Assembly’s decisions. The MUD’s willing to enter real negotiations starting July 12th and they let the mediators know as much.
Just as it was revealed that Agroisleña started arbitrage proceedings against Venezuela before the World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) to get compensation for their expropriation, Delcy tweeted pictures with UN SecGen candidate Helen Elizabeth Clark. Her team published the statement replying to the US’s extension of sanctions against PSUV’s authorities, not knowing that they’d have to prepare another one this Friday, since the US issued a travel alert for Venezuela with a summary of the country’s hazardous situation and the embassy staff’s inability to assist their countrymen in case any problems arise.
Reports about the Ushuaia Protocol, the mechanism that would suspend Venezuela from Mercosur, mixed in with Luis Almagro’s statements confirming that the Democratic Charter is active and in progress. That could be why Evo Morales woke from his silence demanding Tabaré Vázquez to let Nicolás succeed him as head of Mercosur, reaffirming his support for him and justifying the Venezuelan crisis with these words: “Each country has its own issues, but institutionality must be respected.” Unless it’s democratic institutionality.
Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos will seek to meet Nicolás to discuss the border’s reopening, proposing the creation of a committee to make it possible. It will be led by Foreign Affairs minister María Ángela Holguín, who expressed the need to recover safety at the border to set an example for the world. Vielma Mora, governor of Táchira, already declared that pedestrians will be allowed to cross from 6:00 am until 6:00 pm, in addition to a bunch of other measures closer to capitalism than to the socialism he supposedly supports.
Ratified and changed
This Thursday, Nicolás graduated 1,112 navy lieutenants and second lieutenants at the Military Academy. The speech was shameful. He ratified Vladimir Padrino López as Defense minister “so that he can continue to work firmly and honestly.” He also ratified Gustavo González López as Interior minister, and commanders of the Army, the Aviation and the Bolivarian Militia. He announced that Antonio José Benavides Torres will succeed Néstor Reverol as general commander of the National Guard -he’s also supposed to assume a public office-; admiral Maneiro Gaspar is to assume command of the Navy and finally, Remigio Ceballos takes one of Padrino López’ posts and becomes head of the Operational Strategic Command. According to Nicolás, these appointments will invigorate and strengthen the Armed Forces. If he says so.
And the economy
Our everyday depreciation: the Simadi exchange rate closed at Bs. 640.57 per dollar, increasing Bs. 1.13 this Thursday. AN representative José Guerra spoke about the tax increment for ATM operations approved by commercial banks for the BCV’s benefit, calling it a “tarifazo”. He insisted on the need to create and print higher denomination bills and said that, for the first time since 1996, international reserves dropped below the $12,000 billion mark -they now stand at $11,953 billion. Econométrica’s Henkel García says that Venezuela’s weekly inflation rate is approximately 4.7%, and the monthly rate is 20%. Only 10 countries in the world have yearly inflation rates of over 20%. That’s why Tibisay’s quote is relevant, the barbarity that’s been forced on us is unjustifiable; indignation belongs to the people, not to the PSUV’s rectora.
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