In Three Weeks

Your daily briefing for Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

For Tuesday, August 9, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

The Democratic Unity Roundtable’s call for “the greatest rally of our history” for September 1st has generated more doubts than certainties. The additional explanations by opposition spokespersons haven’t answered the most important question: why would a mechanism to apply pressure on the National Electoral Council give them more time than the one established by law? They’ve promised 24 nationwide assemblies, 335 municipal meetings and 1084 parish meetings to organize the country’s grassroots. We all have to make an effort, but it’s necessary for the MUD to polish their arguments and reasons, for their call to have a clear motivation and for some of their people to simply keep quiet, for the love of any god they want.


The CNE rectora who answers to such an apt name and whose last name is Hernández, warned that the MUD won’t be able to promote the recall if the Supreme Tribunal of Justice invalidates them as a political party. Because being the good PSUVistas they are, they’ll respect the decision made by their lapdog TSJ. She added that they would call for new legislative elections in Amazonas state if necessary, despite the fact that they haven’t moved a finger to organize gubernatorial elections, which are established by law. To demonstrate the Electoral Branch’s autonomy, she referred to the report on the 1% validated signatures -as if it was an imperative- where it was proven that the MUD fulfilled this requirement. Hernández sharpened a Sword of Damocles.

Meanwhile, rector Luis E. Rondón reported on his Twitter account that the CNE’s Participation and Financing Committee didn’t discuss the participation letter for the Recall Referendum and the rest of the members proposed “analyzing it along with the request to invalidate the MUD,” leaving the obligatory date for the signature collection of 20% registered voters to be set by a TSJ decision, which they’ll issue when the government party commands. The question is: Which is the most costly option? Invalidating the MUD with or without a date for the 20%? Please include the threat to dissolve the National Assembly as an aggravating element, remember the radical -and united- tone used by PSUV members in their threats: from “we don’t care what the world says,” to “we’ll do whatever’s necessary to prevent the referendum.”

Gotta catch ’em all!

Lawmaker Freddy Guevara, head of the National Assembly’s Comptrollership Committee, said that “if the national government blocks all electoral avenues, we’ll call for civilian disobedience, meaning article 350 of the Constitution (…) the people must have a way to express themselves peacefully and nonviolently,” adding that, in case the recall takes place in January, the MUD will have to talk, because “if they think they’ll take us like fools, to a date where we won’t have any kind of option to solve the crisis, we’ll have to change the method,” he said. Coño, Pikachu, gotta catch ’em all!

We’ll compensate Gold Reserve

Hold your jaw. The title refers to the Venezuelan government’s dispute with the Canadian mining company Gold Reserve. which was solved with the agreement to commit ecocide on the Orinoco’s Mining Arc and on top of that, Venezuela will pay them $769 million for having nationalized their operations. The payment will be done in two parts: $600 million by October 21st, 2016, and the remainder before the year’s up. Moreover, Venezuela will purchase “mining data” from the company for $240 million more.

Because we say so

Eduardo Piñate, assistant to the PSUV’s presidency, remarked this Monday that after the difficult first six months of the year, they can observe small changes in Venezuela’s economic situation: “All estimates indicate that, by December, we’ll be in a better situation,” he said, although inflation and scarcity are worsening. As a means of confirmation, he used Hinterlances’s data, which estimates that 41% of Venezuelans think that Nicolás is taking the right measures: radicalizing, changing ministers, giving more power to the military, ransacking private companies, controlling political drive with discretional food distribution, etc. The efficient Nicolás used the faculties of the Economic Emergency Decree to approve an additional credit of Bs. 10,634 million for the Ministry of Transport and Public Works, without the National Assembly’s authorization. They’re not investments but a calculation made by recently appointed minister Ricardo Molina, regarding the necessary funds to pay wages, buy materials, repair equipment and purchase spare parts.

From happiness to consensus

El finado’s son in law, Jorge Arreaza, said this Tuesday that they’re fully complying with Venezuela’s Social Happiness Agenda and that they’re already preparing several activities in Mercosur, and they’ll call “all the countries in the world to participate.” But Venezuela must fulfill the judicial, political, social and commercial requirements needed to remain a member of this group. Now the debate can go two ways: either Argentina assumes the block’s presidency, or the presidency’s exercised by a council of ambassadors. Although Delcy believes otherwise, raising a little flag with the Mercosur logo on it, isn’t as important as the agreement and opinion of the block’s founding members: Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, and the list of Venezuela’s commitments and breaches (with more that 200 pending commitments.) This list will be discussed on August 23rd in Mercosur’s Foreign Affairs ministers meeting, according to Paraguayan Foreign Affairs minister Eladio Loizaga.

Tabaré Vázquez, president of Uruguay, said that Mercosur’s situation regarding Venezuela’s appointment as head of the bloc is worrying, remarking that Uruguay “supports respect for the law, as it must be and secondly, we’re open to discussion with the other countries.” And Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador -after confirming that he won’t present his candidacy for February’s presidential elections- also spoke about Venezuela’s “right” to assume Mercosur’s presidency, although he has no say on the matter.

The information published by NGO Espacio Público about increasing attacks against journalists covering food riots and the referendum is serious. They include harassment from the Bolivarian Intelligence Service (SEBIN), persecutions and attacks carried out by groups of government supporters, and the inaction of both the police and the military in view of this savagery. Although Nicolás smiles after OPEC’s statements saying that oil prices will increase this year, due to a greater oil demand in the third and fourth trimesters, this doesn’t represent any advantage for the country or relief for our need of resources, considering that our production levels keep dropping. I applaud the perseverance with which legislator Américo De Grazia has exposed the disadvantages of the Orinoco’s Mining Arc. The National Assembly will discuss the matter this Tuesday.
As I finished the briefing, I got information that Tibisay Lucena, head of the CNE, will speak about the Recall Referendum this Tuesday, and that she convened the diplomatic body and the representatives of government branches for this statement. Place your bets!

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.