For Tuesday, August 30, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Poor Elías Jaua. Always defeated at the ballot box and in the media. His earlier statements were overshadowed by Diosdado Cabello’s words, and his claims that the September 1st march are part of a destabilizing plan were forgotten. Even though he cautioned that security bodies are ready to apply public force, that the opposition leadership will be accountable for any acts of violence. He even spoke about snipers, although chavismo never showed evidence of those who were allegedly used in 2002.
But legislator Diosdado Cabello was the Executive Branch’s chosen spokesman to confirm Yon Goicochea’s arrest -reported earlier by David Smolansky, mayor of El Hatillo-, although he didn’t explain the arbitrary searches in the homes of lawmaker Lester Toledo and Delson Guarate, mayor of Mario Briceño Iragorry municipality in Aragua, both also leaders of Voluntad Popular. Cabello said that Goicochea was found with “detonating cords for explosives” and the argument he developed seemed to have come from one of Mario Silva’s scripts: “that man was trained by the North American empire (…) we prefer a million times to imprison a murderer early, than let blood stain Venezuela’s streets.” He should have a shirt made with that phrase and then visit the Bello Monte morgue to speak with the families of the 38 people murdered this past weekend.
Cabello threatened that the day the people decide to take to the streets, “they’ll know where to go and who to look for,” right before claiming that sometimes peace must be conquered by fighting, perhaps he meant the peace of tombs. Finally, Cabello called chavismo to take over Venezuela starting this Wednesday, you know, to keep “la paj”.
Chavismo’s upset about the statements issued by the spokesman of the North American State Department. John Kirby condemned former mayor Daniel Ceballos’s transfer back to prison, considering the measure to be an effort to intimidate and obstruct the people who will march on September 1st. The U.S. demands Ceballos’s immediate release and explains that Venezuela’s basic legal supports have been alarmingly degraded: ”There is no place in a democratic society for employing the instruments of the State to bully, intimidate, and silence the political opposition,” Kirby said.
As a response, Venezuela’s Foreign Affairs ministry issued a statement rejecting Kirby’s “insolent” words, saying that he “thinks he can give orders to a free, sovereign and independent nation,” which is evidence of his involvement and complicity with the opposition, in the coup d’Etat that will take place next September 1st, to repeat the April 2002 coup; urging extremist factors to “commit terrorist acts” with “the imperial government’s irresponsible support.”
The story about the coup d’Etat has been around for days. CICPC director, Douglas Rico, had already announced the confiscation of military weapons and uniforms that would be used in the 1S march, “to provoke a reaction.” Now we add the joint declaration issued by ministers Néstor Reverol (Interior Affairs) and Ricardo Molina (Transportation and Public Works) in a sancocho that mixes everything from drones to malandros killed by the OLP, an operation that now involves 1,704 officers deployed in the Cota 905, El Cementerio, El Valle and Coche.
Reverol announced they’d acquire 30 new drones to “permanently monitor all activities inherent to public security,” even though Molina ratified that flying private drones was prohibited (except for government institutions) until September 5th, because the State “must safeguard and protect the national airspace (…) these measures are meant to bring our people calm, to keep the peace of Venezuelans and continue building socialism in revolution.” Reverol insisted that “the right has an agenda of destabilizing actions for September 1st,” but relax, he also said that intelligence bodies are revealing a plot that he’ll announce in due time.
That must be why the team of journalist from Arab news agency Al Jazeera was detained in Maiquetía, their equipment was confiscated, and they were told that “the rules have changed“ and that they must communicate with Juan Dugarte, head of SAIME, according to the report by the National Union of Press Worker.
National Electoral Council rectora Tania D’amelio, said on Twitter that article 32 of the Law of Political Parties establishes the reasons to invalidate parties, using bold text to highlight that one of the reasons is “finding evidence that (the party) has been registered committing legal fraud, or has stopped complying with the requirements established by Law, or its actions do not fulfill legal rules,” adding that the CNE could invalidate the registration, as per request of the Ministry of Interior, Justice and Peace.
Meanwhile, rectora Socorro Hernández ratified that the next phase to activate the recall referendum will take place between October 24th and 30th and that’s why she doesn’t understand the call to march on September 1st; considering that it’s likely that the 20% signatures will have to be collected regionally -instead of nationally, as the Law establishes-, that the process will take 21 hours (7 daily) and that the number of machines is calculated like this: “the Law establishes that there must be a machine for every 1,000 voters, that’s the proportion we take into account, and that’s how we’ll make the appropriate distribution” for the 3,900,000 voters necessary to activate the recall referendum.
Venezuela’s poverty rate increases
Both general and extreme poverty, despite the billions of dollars in income during the chavista regime, and all the debts they’ve created. According to the National Institute of Statistics, poverty in Venezuela is located at 33.1%, which translates to 2,434,035 families, and 9.3% of those (683,370 families) live in extreme poverty, exceeding the 8.4% recorded last year.
This Monday, Cendas-FVM published the price of the Basic Basket for July 2016: Bs. 465,034.79, which is an increment of Bs. 99,933.60 (27.4%) compared to June and a variation of 615.3% in a year. All prices increased -the gap between controlled and market prices is 2,985%- and many products are scarce. Fortunately, Ernesto Villegas -reader of el finado’s medical reports- explained the direct influence of Obama’s executive order over the country’s economic situation and William Contreras, Superintendent of Fair Prices, announced that these figures show that shortages and inflation are induced. What a relief!