After all we’ve been discussing lately, with the government not showing up to the dialogue worktables and questioning the upcoming meeting on December 6th, some are concluding that the dialogue is coming to an end. Now, why would that happen?

To Reform PDVSA

this is a company whose production, from 1999 to today, has gone from 3.3 million barrels to 2.6, while the payroll has gone from 44.500 to 139.000 workers

President Maduro said in cadena that PDVSA needs to be renewed; rid of corruption. Bear in mind that this is a company whose production, from 1999 to today, has gone from 3.3 million barrels to 2.6, while the payroll has gone from 44.500 to 139.000 workers, and the corporate debt went from 3.4 million dollars to over $100.000 million.

The reason? Simple enough. Not only did El Intergaláctico terminate a few thousand of the most skilled PDVSA workers back in 2003. Now, 100.000 PDVSA workers are PSUV militants, whether they’re actually part of the labour force or just on the payroll. But sure, a more PSUV-style, obrero reform is needed.

The “Confiscated” Meds

Caritas replied yesterday, saying that they took all the necessary steps to withdraw the medicines, and that they found out about their confiscation, like everyone else, through Twitter

I know it’s a lost cause to try and explain legal terms in this country, but let’s try it anyways. SENIAT argued that the shipment of medicines which arrived at the Puerto La Guaira for a catholic charity, Caritas, were abandoned. They argued that Caritas did not present the proper documents to withdraw the shipment in time.

This isn’t the same as expropriating the shipment, and it really is more subtle. However, Caritas replied yesterday, saying that they took all the necessary steps to withdraw the medicines, and that they found out about their confiscation, like everyone else, through Twitter. I wonder if this comes as a revelation to the Church as to who they’re working with, or if they’ll continue to look the other way.

Crime and Punishment

Remember the Cariaco massacre we mentioned last week? Where 9 fishermen were murdered in Sucre state for no apparent reason. Well, the people of Cariaco have been protesting, and finally five people have been arrested. We hope the victim’s families at least get some justice.

Efecto Cocuyo also reports that at least 12 State security force officials were involved in various crimes in a single day, ranging from gun theft to asociación para delinquir. It’s not shocking, but it could come as a relief to see some of them get caught.

Cash and no cash

SUNDDE President William Contreras said yesterday that they’ll sanction businesses who offer cash advances for their customers, calling it an act of tax evasion. This on the same month that banks were told they could give out a maximum of less than 5 dollars in cash daily. Translation: “we burnt out all of the country’s cash and it’s your fault, so bow to our crazy regulations or face our wrath.” You have to wonder at which point someone looks up and asks “hey, how about not doing more of the same thing for a change?”.

But while citizens have no access to cash anymore (or food, or medicines, or anything realy), we do have Suena Caracas. That’s right, the government’s annual concert is alive and well, with a budget of two million dollars. It seems as though the usual panem et circenses has been replaced by just circenses.

Two sides of prison

a picture of Braulio Jatar was made public yesterday, showing how his health and appearance have been deeply affected. Braulio is just one of over 100 political prisoners taken in 2016 with no legal justification

While the Narcosobrinos have already been deemed guilty, their actual sentence is still a few months away. One can infer that it’ll be affected by how much they’re willing to cooperate with the US government, and who they’re willing to throw under the bus. However, some experts agree that it’ll swing between 20 and 30 years. Funny, that’s about how long we’ve been prisoners too. High five!

Lastly, a picture of journalist and political prisoner Braulio Jatar was made public yesterday, showing how his health and appearance have been deeply affected. Braulio is just one of over 100 political prisoners taken in 2016 with no legal justification. But we expect the government’s good faith.

Endure, compatriots. We’ll endure.

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Carlos is a Law and Liberal Arts student at Universidad Metropolitana, and a teacher of Philosophy, Entrepreneurship, and Public Speaking at Instituto Cumbres de Caracas. MetroMUNer (@MetroMUN) and VOXista (@voxistas). But really, he's just an overcompensating, failed singer-songwriter.