For Tuesday, October 4, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.
Yesterday noon’s cadena was a caress for Nicolás’s lacerated ego, the one that had already been wounded after he was left out of the picture of the peace agreement’s signing in Cartagena and now takes the blows of a “defeat” about which he never had a valid opinion. Two hours of nonsense and connecting with other cities where schools were being inaugurated and blatantly accepted as centers for political indoctrination, with teachers speaking as PSUV militants, with children forced to support political proselytism in exchange for a computer we don’t even know if they’ll actually own, thanking Nicolás as if he was financing the schools in which they study or the supplies they use out of his own pocket. Let me be clear: a school named after Hugo Chávez Frías is an oxymoron.
Violating the Constitution
Nicolás claimed that the National Budget for 2017 is adapted to the conditions of the economic war, the financial blockade and oil prices. Remarking that he has more than enough authority to do as he pleases thanks to the decree of Economic Emergency, he said that the Budget will be approved without the National Assembly’s constitutional authorization. For that, he’ll have the Supreme Tribunal of Justice’s support: “Nosotros somos plenalistas, constitutionalistas,” he said before asserting that it’s a brave decision to ignore Parliament and deliver a letter to justice Elvis Amoroso so it can be reviewed by the Constitutional Chamber, because the TSJ, “in full exercise of its sovereignty, has irrevocably declared that the AN is illegitimate.” Funny that he spoke so much about the constitutional order. He created the vice-presidency of services and public works, under the responsibility of Public Works minister Ricardo Molina, while Erika Faría becomes vice-president of territorial socialism.
This Monday, Foreign Affairs minister Delcy Rodríguez filed a complaint against National Assembly Speaker Henry Ramos Allup before the Prosecutor’s Office for alleged vilification: “This citizen attacks the Foreign Affairs ministry, which is an institution directly responsible for the country’s defense and sovereignty. This citizen only attacks the Constitution and public powers, that’s why we brought enough evidence,” adding that the lawmaker promotes foreign interference in Venezuela and attacks women who hold public offices. The newly appointed Women’s minister, Blanca Eekhout, added that the lawmaker’s speech is chauvinistic and misogynistic. Meanwhile, Henry Ramos Allup tweeted that sex doesn’t exempt from criminal responsibility and that the real misogyny comes from the government “that humiliates and starves women of all ages, from newborn girls to old ladies.”
There’s no money
Lawmaker Juan Guaidó indicated that the nomination process for those aspiring to become CNE authorities, replacing Tania D’Amelio and Socorro Hernández, has already started. Aside from that, a new obstacle for the 20% signature collection drive was revealed yesterday: the CNE doesn’t have the necessary budget to perform all the technical activities associated with this pre-requisite for the recall referendum, they haven’t been able to sign -with any of their suppliers- the agreements to guarantee that these activities will take place. Journalist Eugenio Martínez says that the elections on December 6th were held because they were completely financed by the CNE’s suppliers. After eleven months, having ordered the debt’s payment, neither the National Treasury nor the Finance ministry have authorized the money for suppliers.
Broken and usurped
This Monday, nine of Mérida state’s mayor’s offices declared economic emergency, because they lack the funds to pay their employees, denouncing the national government’s irresponsibility and their political and financial choke-hold on opposition mayor’s offices. The Mayors Association also condemned the coups d’Etat carried out in Maturín municipality, with the arrest warrant issued on August 25th against Warner Jiménez, and in Mario Briceño Iragorry municipality, with the illegal arrest of Delson Guarate on September 2nd. The Municipal Councils have appointed new mayors in clear usurpation of authority. The mayors who signed the statement ratify their commitment to keep working for Human Rights, denouncing persecution against opposition mayors and creating spaces so those who were democratically elected may fully exercise their mandates.
Work for Delcy
Ban Ki-moon, head of the United Nations, said he hopes that the government will listen to Venezuelan citizens protesting the country’s situation: “I know that the economic situation is hard, but protests staged by the people, not only by political parties, should be taken into account seriously,” emphasizing that people must be heard and it must be done as soon as possible; that freedom of assembly and press freedom must be respected.
Additionally, Argentina’s Mauricio Macri and Brazil’s Michel Temer restated the need for Venezuela to fulfill the requirements for its definitive integration to Mercosur, an unavoidable condition for ongoing membership in the bloc, reiterating that the government has until December 1st, and once more voicing their concerns for the preservation of political and human rights in Venezuela.
Higher, more expensive
Labor vice-minister José Ramón Rivero said that it’s still possible for Nicolás to approve a new minimum wage hike this year, to preserve the Venezuelan family’s purchasing power. Bus drivers also got the approval to raise fares to Bs. 60, but announced that they expect to raise them to Bs. 100 soon, because Bs. 60 aren’t enough to cover expenses.
If you still haven’t seen it, look for a video of the awesome half-line goal with which Deyna Castellanos secured Venezuela’s victory against Camerún in the U-17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016, earning the best player award. It’s so fun to read her lips and clearly understand the “¡No joda!” she says as she kneels to receive her teammates’ congratulation.Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.