For Tuesday, November 22, 2016. Translated by Javier Liendo.

While the country struggles to cope with the fact that the National Guard is notably more dedicated to the Special Unit against Pumpking Robbery than to the Anti-drug Unit, the black market dollar rose above the Bs. 2,000 mark (or two millions of old, if you want to get even more depressed) and lawmaker José Guerra once again stressed the importance of printing higher denomination bills, to adjust to the country’s inflation and provide some breathing room for the economy, in addition to applying efficient steps to counter inflation. Economist Omar Zambrano says that the minimum cost to print a bill is $0.05, so every bill in Venezuela is produced at a loss.

Alarms set off

With the budget for Suena Caracas still sound and well, JP Morgan reported this Monday that PDVSA activated a grace period to postpone the payment of $404 million corresponding to interests on their bonds maturing in 2021, 2024 and 2035. PDVSA has up to 30 days before this becomes a non-payment event. It’s not a default and even if there’s some probability that they’ll be able to pay, this evidences PDVSA’s dire financial situation and lousy administration of its liabilities. If we add this to the fact that our international reserves are down to $10,860 million, the alarm is warranted.

Eeestudiantes

Nicolás ignores that in 1870, Antonio Guzmán Blanco established free and mandatory education in Venezuela. He also ignores that free education isn’t limited to the amount of students, it must include food, access to updated books and materials, databases, good infrastructure, etc. That’s why he elevated his time in the halls of the UCV -precisely where there’s no teaching- as if it was an achievement in itself. Nicolás is such a farce that, although he tried to mimic el finado’s illustrative tone, he didn’t even stand up from his chair to speak to the students in his audience. The only invitation he made after fanning his hate speech, was to “the right’s youth, even though they’re a minority (…) to tell them to leave hatred behind, enough of violence,” so they meet with the rest of the student movements to start a great debate to “strengthen public education, reject golpista agendas, and promote cohabitation and tolerance through ideology.”

Inspired by the “semilleristas” -students who participate in the agro-food project-, he claimed that the country must assume the students’ task: building a new economic model, precisely what the PSUV hasn’t accomplished. He also approved a revision and modification of the school curriculum to “break away from the rentier model” and opened the National University of Tourism, headquartered in Azoátegui state, besides promising to open the University for Telecommunications and Computer Science, taking advantage of our national records in both subjects, obviously allowed by the efficient provision of electrical power, among other details.

Suspended

consider the statements issued by Uruguay’s president Tabaré Vázquez and Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs minister Eladio Loizaga about the status that Venezuela will occupy in case it doesn’t ratify the bloc’s agreements on December 2nd, with speaking but not voting rights

Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, stated his willingness to strengthen economic relations between his country and Mercosur, once Argentina assumes the regional bloc’s presidency in the first half of 2017. With that information, consider the statements issued by Uruguay’s president Tabaré Vázquez and Paraguay’s Foreign Affairs minister Eladio Loizaga about the status that Venezuela will occupy in case it doesn’t ratify the bloc’s agreements on December 2nd, with speaking but not voting rights (just like Bolivia, who requested membership and is yet to fulfill the agreements,) until it incorporates at least 300 judicial reforms required by the bloc, as a full member. When I read about the serious earthquake in Fukushima and the tsunami alert in Japan, my mind drifted to Delcy, because signing agreements with such a partner right when Venezuela’s out must make her angry, and this mess can’t be solved through Twitter.

To break the silence

The Venezuelan Prosecutor’s Office has said nothing about the evidence implicating Efraín Campos Flores and Franqui Flores in drug trafficking, influence peddling, corruption and criminal association. And so, the Venezuelan Parliament will discuss this case today because the Flores provided information in their statements that could implicate certain State institutions and authorities; let’s see if they’re as stupid and inexperienced as the guilty nephews.

19 minimum wages

According to the Documentation Center of the Venezuelan Teachers’ Federation (Cendas,) the Basic Food Basket reached Bs. 429,626.08 for October, increasing by 6% compared to September and requiring 19 minimum wages to cover it. Shortages affect 21 food products and 63 basic hygiene products, and the imported products that can be found on the street are 1,200% more expensive than those produced in here. A lunch costs Bs. 2,520 on average (I have no idea where,) and cestatickets only cover Bs. 1,416 daily.

The athletes!

Football player Daniuska Rodríguez, striker for the national female football team, was nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year

Football player Daniuska Rodríguez, striker for the national female football team, was nominated for the FIFA Puskás Award for the best goal of the year, thanks to the marvel she accomplished on March 14th against Colombia during the Sub-17 South American Championship. The award will be chosen with fan’s votes on FIFA’s official web page until December 2nd. Vote! Daniuska competes with Messi himself for this award. The FC Barcelona also announced the signing of Venezuelan triple jump athlete Yulimar Rojas, olympic sub-champion in Río 2016 and indoor track world champion. Yulimar said she was “thrilled to sign up with the best club in the world.”

Three out of five newspapers in Zulia won’t circulate today for lack of paper. That’s how the State’s censorship strategy advances through the Complejo Editorial Alfredo Maneiro.

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